Stream Information:

East Branch of the Brandywine
(Updated 11/2/17)

Trout

● Ants, black or cinnamon, #16-22

● Beetles, black or brown, size #12-20

● Blue-Wing Olive, #18-20

● Pheasant Tail nymph, #16-20

● Midges #20-26

● Weenies, Green or various fluorescent colors, #12-16

● Woolly Buggers and other streamers, various

● Bead-Head nymphs, various



November fishing can be difficult, frustrating, or uniquely rewarding—depending on conditions at the time you go.  The unusually warm autumn we’ve experienced so far has everything a bit behind normal schedule.  Although peak leaf fall has yet to happen, significant quantities of leaves are already on the water surface.  This is a nuisance to anglers, and will get far worse before it gets better.  Still, it’s more than worth the effort to fish this month. 



Although it’s far from a panacea, one of the best tactics to employ to avoid catching leaves is to fish upstream.  In this way your fly tends to drift straight downstream and picks up fewer leaves.  If you swing a fly below you so that it sweeps across the current, it’s almost sure to snag a floating leaf.


 

The East Branch of the Brandywine was stocked with trout by the PA Fish & Boat Commission on October 4.  This is one of the only fall stockings done by the Commission in our area. 


 

Fall-stocked trout are often coming into spawning condition as they are being stocked, or will do so soon after.  A few may even construct redds and deposit eggs.  Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that any of these eggs will survive and hatch.  Because of extensive development in our watersheds, most area streams experience rapid storm water run-off and siltation that typically scour out or smother the eggs.  Despite this sad situation, spawning activity does put eggs into the drift.  This accounts, in part, for the effectiveness of Glo-Bugs and other egg patterns during mid to late-autumn. 



Trout in spawning condition can be very aggressive.  You’ll see them chasing one another, and this aggression can also make these fish more susceptible than usual to streamer patterns.  Flies that resemble native chubs, dace, and shiners can work very well this month, as can brightly-colored attractor patterns. 



By the time you read this, the hatchery trout that were stocked earlier this fall will have been in our streams for nearly a month.  The ones that are still around are now acclimated to life in the wild and are eating natural foods.  Although they will respond to various attractor patterns, they are increasingly tuned in to the availability of aquatic insects. Be on the alert for rising fish, and be prepared to match the insects they are taking.  Small nymph patterns are readily taken by hold-over trout as well. 



November hatches are few, but midges are always a strong possibility.  You may also see some tiny Blue-Wing Olives.  Because it’s been warm so late into the fall, terrestrial patterns will continue to be productive at least for the first week or two of November, even after the naturals have succumbed to cold weather.  Trout have been seeing these insects all summer, and will still be looking for them.  Ants, beetles, and bee or wasp patterns are all good choices.      

         

 

Warmwater


● Woolly Buggers various, #10-12
● Bead-Head Nymphs, various #10-12
● Green Weenie or Hot Weenie, #12-14

         

Warmwater fishing is slowing down as temperatures fall but it’s still worthwhile to give it a try.  Warmwater species are now solidly in their fall behavioral pattern.  Fish that were spread throughout available habitat in early-autumn are now bunched up in specific areas.  Although deep pools are the most likely spots to find them, a group of fish can lay up in a surprisingly small area for no apparent reason.  Fallfish are more cold-tolerant than sunnies or bass, and they are also more likely to hold in water with more current.  The best strategy is to keep moving, and cover a lot of water until you find fish.  Work that spot until the bite falls off, and then move along.