Contest 4 under “Get Hooked (Up) at HomeWaters” was to select a topic for a post that would be written by me and appear here on the HomeWaters Blog. Congrats Don Dulac, I liked your idea for discussing how fly fishing here at HomeWaters changes during the seasons.
We are blessed here in Central Pennsylvania to be able to have a fishing season that can last all year. Since we are able to fish almost any month of year, an experience on the water can change drastically depending on the time of year.
The weather does play a vital role in influencing conditions, techniques, and the experience on the water for a given day. However, there are some general guidelines that differentiate each of the four seasons from another.
Winter. We definitely see winter weather here in Pennsylvania, but if anglers pick and choose mild days it can be a great opportunity to net large fish. When I think of fly fishing during the winter, I usually think of fishing at a slower pace working deeper, slower water with nymphs or streamers. During the winter I like fly patterns that can encourage a strike by having a little extra size, flash, or color. Witnessing the streams while the backdrop is snow covered is also worth the experience if your into that type of scene.
Spring. Spring is often the favorite season for many anglers, and for good reason. The spring season is notorious for the great hatches we have on our streams such as Blue Winged Olives, Grannoms, Sulphurs, and Green Drakes to name a few. Since bugs are around this time of year more than others, playing the “imitation game” with fly patterns is important for success. Fishing nymphs in the faster riffles, pockets, and runs can be equally productive as fishing dry flies and emergers in the slower pools.
Summer. It’s usually worth getting out of bed a bit earlier to help beat the heat. During the summer months the water conditions are usually lower and clearer than during the other seasons. This can give anglers a more challenging experience that can be very rewarding where they are able to spot fish, sight fish, and visualize strikes. Terrestrial fishing with Ants and Beetles is a common summer fishing technique, but morning Trico hatches are noteworthy. The summer also presents anglers the opportunity to fish our water located in Colorado.
Fall. Cooler, crisp air feels refreshing after the summers over, and the fishing usually speeds back up as a result. The fall is a productive and beautiful time of the year to be on the water as the weather is comfortable and leaves change color. Witnessing the fall foliage we have here in Central Pennsylvania is definitely worth the trip. As fish begin to spawn in the fall egg patterns work well, but it’s not uncommon to see fish eating Caddis or Blue Winged Olives. The fall also presents anglers the opportunity to fish our water in Erie for Steelhead Season.
Each of the four seasons can be a great time of year to be on the water for the many different reasons discussed above. We are very fortunate to be located in an area that it is possible to fish nearly every month of year.
Don, thanks again for submitting your topic, and I hope I have answered any questions you had about how fly fishing here at HomeWaters changes during the seasons.