Low Water & Wild Trout on Cumberland Valley Creeks

Christmas weekend 2016 just wrapped up and the air temperatures have been relatively mild for late December. Highs reached the mid 40s on Saturday and Sunday and they’re supposed to get as high as 50 degrees by this Wednesday. Today I decided to take a trip to Boiling Springs to fly fish the Yellow Breeches Creek (“the Breeches”). I arrived at the Iron Furnace parking lot at 10:30am and got rigged up. There was one guy fishing “the Run” and three other guys were walking back from the Breeches. Even from twenty yards away, it was apparent the Run was at a below average flow for this time of the year. When I’d driven by the Children’s Lake in town, I could see the water line around the perimeter was down considerably. After I was set to start fishing I headed straight to the Breeches and skipped the riffles on the Run. I started fishing just below where the Run dumps into the Breeches. I had a my 5wt Winston with me and I was fishing a #16 Beadhead Hare’s Ear nymph with a trailing #20 Black Midge nymph on 5X fluorocarbon tippet. The water levels were very low.

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Cold December Rainbows on The Tulpehocken Creek

Watching the forecast this past week I knew it was going to be a cold weekend. On Saturday there was a good breeze going and I didn’t want to deal with it on the water. I opted to take the fly rod out on Sunday. When I headed outside to pack up my truck at 10:00am it was 28 degrees outside. I broke out the heavy long johns and headed to the Tulpehocken Creek in Berks County. I haven’t fished the Tulpehocken (“Tully”) since this past July. I knew the state had completed a fall stocking back in October. And I also knew that TCO Fly Shop had stocked a large number of small fingerlings back in November. There are problaby more trout in the Tully this time of year than any other body of water in southeastern Pennsylvania. Typically when the state stocks the Tully, they put fish in the same locations each time. I figured it was a safe bet to start fly fishing in the riffles below Rebers Bridge Road. I arrived at the Rebers Bridge parking lot around 11:00am and started getting geared up. While I was there a gentlmen who’d been out fishing stopped at my truck and offered me his hand warmers, saying they still had a couple of hours left in them and that I’d need them.

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