By: Bryan C. Meck
Ask Tom Hutchison of Macedon, NY if his lunch hour is more productive. Does Tom do more work over his lunch hour? Well...yes! Tom has found out that lunchtime in April and May in New York state can be more productive...on the trout stream that is! Tom and I had the chance to fish Irondequoit Creek at Powder Mill Park in Victor, NY a few days after the opening day of trout season in April 2000. Using a zebra midge and a pheasant tail bead head we both picked up quite a few fish in the 30 minute window that we both had. This included an 18+ inch brown trout that took the size 18 zebra midge.
You may ask why during the middle of the day would the fishing be so good. During this time of year in the Northeast this many times is the warmest time of the day. The fish and the aquatic life are also more active.
Where to go?
Think of streams that are close to where you work. Sure they may not be in a beautiful wildnerness location. They may be streams that are stocked heavily, get warm in the summer, and are heavily fished on the weekends. Remember, you only have a limited amount of time to fish over the lunch hour - so you have to have a location close to work. Some places to think of fishing include the Tulpehocken in Reading,PA; Quittapihialia Creek in Lebanon, PA; Clarks Creek near Harrisburg, PA ; Yellow Breeches near Carlisle, PA ; Ridley Creek and Valley Creek near Philadelphia ; The South Branch of the Raritan in New Jersey ; Oatka Creek in Rochester, NY and Irondequoit Creek in East Rochester, NY. This year Irondequoit Creek received over 20,000 Steelhead smolts in one day from the New York DEC. They are dedicated to making the Irondequoit a Steelhead fishery. If you're in Buffalo, don't forget Cazenovia Creek in Lackawana. Again this is in the middle of old steel mills, so don't expect any beautiful scenery. It is however very close to where many people work and lends itself to quick "Lunchtime trips!" The Cuyahoga river near downtown Cleveland and both the Chagrin River in East Cleveland and the Rocky River in Western Cleveland are also worthy of checking out. The state of Ohio stocks over 100,000 Steelhead yearly in both the Chagrin and Rocky Rivers. The Cuyahoga is now supporting a Steelhead run in the spring. Austin Morrow of Cleveland regularly fishes the stream and his trout club in Cleveland is dedicated to improving the quality of fishing in the greater Cleveland area. In May of 2000 Austin's club held a celebration signifying the comeback of the great Cuyahoga. Austin also points out not to fish the first 4 + miles from Lake Erie as it is more of a canal and makes Steelheading difficult. Finally, even the Lehigh Canal near Allentown and Bethlehem, PA is stocked with trout.
What to use?
Get a copy of Charlie's book Pennsylvania Trout Streams or Mid-Atlantic Trout Streams book
through the Amazon link on this site and see what the hatches are for April and May. Does the stream have a Hendrickson hatch? Does it have a Caddis, or Blue Quill? Look at the mayfly identification page
to see and purchase these patterns. A pheasant tail bead head closely matches a Hendrickson (size 14) or Sulphur (16) so it covers a lot of patterns. If the stream has recently been stocked with trout try a glo-bug or wolly bugger. Even if you are fishing dry flies often twitching a fly on the top prevokes a strike from a recently stocked trout.
What did you do during your lunch hour?
Chances are you could be fishing for 30 minutes during your lunch hour. Go ahead and try it - pack a lunch...and your fly rod.
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