Lycoming Creek

My friend and neighbor, Jim Latini, and I just returned from an evening fishing trip, just over the hill to Lycoming Creek. We went above the Delayed Harvest Section upstream from Powy’s Bar, along a section known as “Powy’s Curve.” The name originated from a curve on US Rt. 15 north of Williamsport, and back in the days of the old three-lane section on the hill to Summit Lodge or the curve below that, it was an area known as being potentially dangerous to travelers due to the number of vehicle accidents over the years. Now there is a four-lane that is destined to become part of the future Interstate 99.

Lycoming Creek, downstream of this area, inside the Williamsport city limits was where I fished as a teenager with my fly rod before I was old enough to drive. That was mostly catching smallmouths, rock bass, and chubs. But those fish helped me learn how to cast and play fish on a fly rod. On a very rare occasion we would catch a trout.

Lycoming Creek is not a known fly fishing destination. But parts of it are very picturesque and just plain beautiful. Historically, it had some great trout fishing, and it still has good fishing to offer. Presently it has a decent head of stream-bred browns, scattered brook trout, and the rainbows are stocked. A good diversity and healthy population of stoneflies, caddis, mayflies, and midges feed its residents. State trout stockings are augmented by plantings of larger, two and three-year old fish from a co-operative nursery near Marsh Hill called the Lycoming Creek Anglers Club.

In the late 1800’s a man named Thaddeus Updegraff, a resident of Elmira, New York, who had also been an officer in the Civil War, wrote a book titled, Bodines, Or Camping on the Lycoming. I have a reprinted edition of that book, and it describes his fishing trips here, where they often stayed at a stream-side camp for a month or longer. One of these days perhaps I’ll see if I can post some excerpts from it. It makes for mighty interesting reading.

Fast-forward to this evening. Jim called me this morning to see if I was interested in some fishing. You bet! He picked me up at 7:00 PM, even though he lives so close I could have walked to his house, wearing my hat and vest, carrying my rod and wader bag. This section of the creek is barely two miles from my house. These photos represent a nutshell version of our evening. This is primarily a photographic post. I hope you enjoy it!

Jim tying on a fly.

Cross-stream view where we entered the stream channel. There were a couple trout rising right away. Sweet!

Upstream wide-angle view. No one else was fishing. And it stayed that way. We could see 3/4 of a mile of the stream.

Upstream view again, zoomed in a little bit. Jim moved up into this water above me and before too long…

Fish on!

Playing it in. Jim has his FFF Certified Casting Instructor Certificate. He used to work for me when I was guiding.

Turned out to be a decent sized rainbow…

…that, once in hand, cooperatively posed for this portrait. Nice plump fish. As the evening progressed more trout started feeding.

One highlight of the evening was that two veerys came within 60 feet of me and were singing their territorial call. This was the first time this year that I have heard them. Their call is very beautiful, quite different from many other birds, and has an ethereal quality to it; they are in the thrush family. Here’s a clip of their song:

Extended Body Slate Drake Thorax Dun – my own design / pattern version. The hackle is clipped half-way between hook shank and point. It lands right side up every time. I rose 8 – 10 fish on it this evening, and brought three to hand on this dun pattern. The abdomen is closed-cell foam, so floatation is supreme. I designed the fly about 7 years ago. It’s a good fly. I’ll try to get the pattern on here in the next week or so. I am also going to be offering a series of five Slate Drake patterns of this design on Look for them soon.

This is the first trout that took my Extended Body Slate Drake Spinner pattern. Sorry, I do not have a photo of that fly…yet. The fly is still in his jaw, you can see the leader, 5x.

The last fish of the evening. I caught eight altogether; three on the dun and five on the spinner. The hook is a size #14, but the construction of the fly with the extended body makes it about a size #8. Jim caught 5 – 6. He held this brown for a photo…it’s about a 15″ fish – there’s a better picture below. It was dark by this time, so I couldn’t see too well to pose the image.

We didn’t make another cast after this fish was netted. It took less than five minutes to drive home. We are very fortunate to have good trout fishing so close to home. Nice!

And we didn’t stop at Powy’s for a cold one. Maybe next time.