Late August Carp on The Perkiomen

This past week I was traveling through the town of Schwenksville and I crossed a stream that looked like it would be a good place to explore for carp. I wasn’t too familiar with this part of Pennsylvania and did a quick Google Maps search to find that I had crossed the Perkiomen Creek. I did a bunch of online research on the Perkiomen and found that it is indeed a decent warm water fishery. The Perkiomen is a tributary of the Schuylkill River and holds a good number of panfish, bass, carp, catfish, and even musky. I found that the most accessible part of the Perkiomen Creek is below the Green Lane Reservoir to the Schuylkill River confluence. This portion of the creek is paralleled by the Perkiomen River Trail. This is a well-kept paved trail and you can find resources online that will explain where you can park.

 The Perkiomen Creek at Spring Mt, Pennsylvania.

The Perkiomen Creek at Spring Mt, Pennsylvania.

On Saturday morning I was up before dawn and heading east on 422. I decided to park at the Spring Mountain Skiing parking lot. This is a huge stone lot you can park in that is right next to the trail and the creek. After getting rigged up I walked the trail a little bit until I found some water that looked like it would hold carp. The Perkiomen is a rocky stream. If you look downstream in this section, you will see many large boulders in the creek. I got into the water and went into stealth mode, trying to move through the water without creating much disturbance, trying to avoid sending ripples out across the surface. After walking 50 yards I hadn’t seen any carp and was starting to wonder if I should’ve driven to Nockamixon State Park. But then I saw a good carp patrolling the water ahead of me. I positioned myself behind a rock to hide my outline underwater and stood still to observe. I saw there were a half dozen good-sized carp patrolling and feeding about 10 feet in front of me. I don’t know how other fly fishermen feel, but finding a fresh school of carp feeding in the morning is exciting. I tied on the egg pattern I’ve been using the past two weekends and got my line out to the fish. After several looks, I finally had a good carp take my fly. It was a tough fight in the Perkiomen because of the number of large rocks. The carp was running around the rocks like they were an obstacle course and my line was being abraded while going over them. Fortunately, I didn’t get stuck but my 1X tippet was roughed up once the fish was finally in hand. I can’t say enough about Trout Hunter tippet. Its durability really showed in this situation. It felt good to land my first Perkiomen carp.

 My first Perkiomen Creek carp.

My first Perkiomen Creek carp.

For the next hour I had 5 hookups with this school of carp. I landed two fish and was broken off by the other three. The largest carp in the school took me on a run that happened so fast that when I went to lightly palm my reel to brake, the handle on my Sage 3850 broke off. I was left trying to fight this fish with no handle, using only a hand retrieve. That was the first time I’ve ever had an issue with a Sage reel and that particular reel has been through a good amount of big fish abuse.

 The carp that helped break the handle on my Sage reel.

The carp that helped break the handle on my Sage reel.

 Another common carp from the first school I fished to.

Another common carp from the first school I fished to.

Once I was no longer able to fool these carp, I headed further downstream. Over the next three hours I was able to locate two more good schools of carp. I landed over 10 good carp by the time I was done fishing at 11:00am. The largest carp I saw on my walk was probably 30+” and in the 20 pound range. I hooked this fish and he ran 75 yards downstream in a few seconds and by the time I tried to put some pressure on the rod, he got around a rock and broke the line.

The Perkiomen is a great carp fishery and I only explored a small section. I’d love to explore the water near Schwenksville and south. I’ve read many good things online about the quality of the fishing closer to the Schuylkill River as well. That will have to be for another day and adventure.