Stream Information
(last updated 5/22/18)


Tan Caddis, #14

Olive Caddis, #16-18

Black Caddis #18-20

Blue-Winged Olive #18-22

Cranefly #16-18

Midges #20-26

March Brown, #14

Gray Fox, #12

Light Cahill, #12

Big Sulphur/Light Hendrickson, #14

Dorothea/Pale Evening Dun Sulphur, #16

Bead-Head Nymphs, various #12-20

Woolly Buggers, various #8-12

At the time of this writing, local streams are running at high, above average mid-spring levels.  We’ve gotten higher than average rainfall, which means the water color has been vacillating between chocolate milk and average springtime clarity.  The good news is Delaware Valley streams tend to clear up quickly after rain events – usually within a day or two at the max.


The month of May provides the finest trout fishing of the year in our area, with fish and hatches reaching their peak of activity.  Due to lower-than-usual average temperatures hatches are about 2 -3 weeks behind schedule.  That, combined with lots of rain, will most likely translate to a “muddling” of the hatches.  You just may see Slate Drakes, Hendricksons, Sulphers, Caddis, etc. hatching all at once!  Plan to get out as often as you can between rainfall events and take advantage of a potential feeding frenzy.


When the water is high & off-color, emerger patterns often work well.  In these conditions trout will often chase flies that have been dislodged from the bottom of the stream to the surface, snatching them when they are most vulnerable in the surface film. If you see trout feeding towards the surface but there are no visible insects on the water, try this: dead-drift a nymph or emerger pattern on the bottom, but instead of picking up the fly at the end of the drift let it “drag” for a few seconds.  When you do this the fly will “float” from the bottom to the surface, which will often trigger a strike. 


Swinging streamer patterns in these conditions can also be fruitful.  Cast patterns like a woolly bugger 45 degrees downstream.  Let the current “swing” the fly, moving it through the water until it stops at the end of the drift.  Instead of picking it up and casting again, let it sit for a few seconds.  If nothing happens, retrieve it at varying rates.   Colors like black or white are great patterns to use in water that’s off-color.


For the remainder of the month it will pay to study the hatch charts, and observe carefully once you arrive at the stream.  No matter how much confidence you may have in a particular fly pattern or technique, if it’s not working change up.  Remember, everything works sometimes, nothing works all the time.  Whether you choose patterns and methods based on science, by educated guess, or mere whimsy, keep your options open.


Even when the trout are not feeding selectively, you will generally do better if you show them a familiar food item.  Area streams often have a good variety of insects present, but not in large numbers.  Still, it doesn’t take a high density of a particular form for the fish to learn to recognize it as something good to eat.  March Brown, Gray Fox, Light Cahill and Sulphur mayflies may be present at various times during the remainder of May.  It pays to have appropriate flies in your box to match these hatches. 





Streamers, various #8

Bead-Head Nymphs, various #10-12

Poppers and Sliders, #4-10, various

For Hickory Shad:

Marabou or Bucktail Streamers, Red/Yellow, Chartreuse/White,

            or Hot-Pink/White #8

Action with Hickory Shad is drawing to a close for the season, but may continue for another week or so at Deer Creek and other tributaries to the lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.  If you take a drive down there, be sure to check out the Bald Eagle nest along Stafford Road.  The young eaglets are growing quickly now, and the adults are making ever more frequent trips to the nest with food for the youngsters.     


Bass, sunfish, pickerel, and other warmwater species will become more active as water temperatures and day length increase.  Lakes and ponds will fish well first, as fish move into shallow flats preparatory to spawning.  Good warmwater fishing in streams and rivers will soon follow.  If you become weary of difficult and technical trout fishing in mid to late-spring, warmwater fish can offer a very welcome change-of-pace.  As the trout fishing tapers off, the warmwater fishing gets better and better.    




Clouser Deep Minnow, Lefty Deceiver,

or Half & Half, Chartreuse/White or Hot Pink/White #2 – 2/0

Call the shop for a current report.