Stream Information:

East Branch of the Brandywine
(Updated 9/22/17)


Terrestrials, various

Ants, black or cinnamon, #16-22

Beetles, black or brown, size #12-20

Tan Caddis, #14-18

Slate Drake, #12-14

Prince Nymph or Zug Bug, #12-14 (for Slate Drake)

Blue-Wing Olive, #18-20

Pheasant Tail nymph, #16-20 (for BWO)

Midges #20-26

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

Streamers, various

Bead-Head nymphs, various

The heat has held on a bit longer than usual, but water temperatures in the East Branch of the Brandywine have fallen to levels comfortable for the hold-over trout that have managed to survive through the summer heat.  Those hardy survivors are to be joined by a fresh round of stocked trout courtesy of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission on October 4 (click here for details).  The East Branch is one of two streams in our area to receive a fall stocking by the Commission.  


Trout are soon coming into spawning.  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, rapid storm water run-off and siltation typically scour out or smother the eggs.  Despite this sad situation, spawning activity does put eggs into the drift.  This accounts 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 even 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.

Bear in mind that once fall trout stocking has taken place, you are fishing over two distinctly different populations of fish—the freshly stocked trout and those that have held over since spring.  Hold-over trout are the ones most likely to respond to the availability of aquatic insects. Be on the alert for rising fish, and be prepared to match the insects they are taking.   

There are a few hatches to watch for now through October, including midges, Blue-Wing Olives, Tan Caddis, and Slate Drakes.  Terrestrial patterns will also continue to be productive during early and mid-October, even after most of 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.     



Woolly Bugger, black, white, #8-10

Streamers, various, #8

Bead-Head Nymphs, various #10-12

 Poppers and Sliders, chartreuse, white, or black #4-10

Clouser Crayfish, #6-8

As water temperatures drop, bass and panfish are transitioning into their fall behavioral patterns.  Fish that have been spread throughout available habitat all summer are now bunching up in specific areas.  Autumn warmwater fishing typically brings fewer but larger fish.  You may have to move around and cover some water to find them.   

Weed bed edges, drop-offs, and woody cover are high-percentage locations for bass at this time of year.  Panfish will also school up in these areas, and they tend naturally to sort themselves by size.  If you’re lucky enough to find a pod of big bluegills or crappie, you will have a blast picking off one after another.