WCO Report for Erie County 11/09/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: November 09, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on November 09, 2011 at 10:05:24:

November 9th, 2011

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton


Low and clear water conditions on all the tribs have continue to provide a real challenge to area anglers with steelhead being very bite shy. Fish are holding in the pools along Walnut, the Manchester Hole and up to the bridge on Millfair road. Fish are scattered throughout Elk Creek up to the Legion Hole in Girard and small numbers can be found up to Folly's End. Water levels are low enough to allow casting from shore in most areas to avoid spooking fish. 4 lb., and as light as 2 lb. line along with hooks no larger than the 14 to 18 range have become typical tackle. Anglers were having good success on lower Elk Creek on Saturday with shiners and locally cured single eggs. The Walnut Creek Access basin has been producing some great fish for the patient anglers with success coming in time blocks typically in the early morning and just before sunset. The basin opening has thinned the upstream crowds along the Walnut Creek Project waters and combined with hunting season and cold weather, a considerable amount of valuable elbow room may now be found especially during the week. We have had a number of calm lake days, allowing anglers good fishing opportunities along the lakeshore at Trout and Godfrey runs. Lake Erie water temperature is still relatively warm at 54 degrees. The West County Tributaries were low and clear as of Tuesday afternoon.

Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will hold its next meeting on Wednesday November 9th, at the American Legion on West 12th street (route 5 near the Airport) at 7:00 PM. The public is welcome.

It Won't Be Long, Cold Weather Trib Tips:
Cold weather requires some modifications that can be prepared for in advance. Here are some of those tips to make your experience in Erie more satisfying:
Allowing your reel to get wet in freezing weather can make the drag system ineffective. Be sure to thoroughly dry out a wet reel or even change reels .... especially in freezing conditions.
Smearing a thin coat of petroleum jelly or lip balm on each eyelet can alleviate frozen rod eyelets. Water will not stick to the eyelets and allow them to freeze them shut.

Have your rod and reel rigged and ready to cast at home. Trying to thread a size 18 hook streamside or in a parking lot with the wind howling and the temperature dropping can be a real challenge.

Ice on your line or float will adversely affect you casts and excessive ice build up can make 4# test line sound like rope when it hits the water. Clear any ice build up frequently.

When wading, an extra set of gloves can be a blessing if that first pair falls into the water. Neoprene gloves are great for cold water fishing. An extra set of dry clothes in the vehicle can be gold after a cold day on the tribs.

Disposable pocket hand warmers work great when they are kept dry

Fish become less active as the water temperature drops. Sometimes it is necessary to induce the strike. Bright colored Glo Bugs and Blood Dots and sucker spawn in red, chartreuse, pink and orange can be the ticket in cold water. "Jigging" will often produce a strike when the fish aren't hungry. Twitching a small marabou jig under a very light float will often produce the desired result. Try pink, chartreuse, or white in cold water. Steelhead are cold blooded and as such their body temperature adjusts to the water temperature. The colder the water, generally the less active the fish will be. A slight increase in water temperature by just a few degrees can trigger activity that was absent the day before.

Never wear cotton clothing under your waders. Cotton retains moisture and has very little insulation value when damp. It also becomes a medium for fungal infections. The organisms that cause infections such a jock itch and athletes foot can not live in synthetic fabrics. Synthetic materials tend to "pass-through", rather than "retain" moisture from perspiration. Nylon, acrylic and polyester do not retain as much moisture as cotton, silk or wool. Dressing with layers of Synthetic material under your waders will help keep you dry and dry means warm.

Why Are the Steelhead Allowed to Stack Up at Trout Run:
We were again asked this past week about the steelhead trout that collect at Trout Run where it enters Lake Erie in Fairview. This is a common question with many people wondering what happens to all these fish and why are they blocked from their upstream run. Trout Run is marked as Nursery waters by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and as most anglers know, it is off limits to angling and highly protected. Trout Run is heavily stocked and controlled through out the Fall months. A gate or "weir" as it is called is used to control fish migration on the trib. The weir is typically closed through late fall which confines the migrating fish in a small area easily accessible area. Typically fish are netted and trucked out of this area in the late fall by the Commission with most going to the Fairview Hatchery for sorting and milking. The spawned out fish then are released back in other trib areas and occasionally the Walnut Basin and the Mckean Hole. Once this process is complete the weir is normally opened to allow the fish to move upstream. Although many of these fish do not survive the winter, there are a good number that actually return to the lake. Trout Run is a very small trib that is perfect for this process. If The Nursery waters have an over abundance of fish the Commission will often move the fish from Trout Run to other areas, a process that has often been assisted with by local sportsmen's clubs.

Open Fires: With the colder weather setting in, anglers will often be tempted to gather loose wood and start fires. Starting, tending, building and especially abandoning an open fire without landowner or land lessee's permission is a violation of the law. This law applies to PFBC controlled properties and Presque Isle State Park as well. Since nearly all fishable land along the tribs and lake shore is privately owned, open fires should not be started unless you are able to provide proof of the specific landowners permission to do so.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Windy with lows in the lower 40s. South winds 20 to 25 mph...becoming west 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph after midnight.

Thursday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Much cooler with highs in the mid 40s. West winds 15 to 20 mph.

Thursday Night...Rain showers likely in the evening. Snow showers likely. Lows in the mid 30s. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

Veterans Day...Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. A chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.

Saturday...Partly sunny in the morning...then becoming partly cloudy. Not as cool with highs in the mid 50s.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.

Sunday...Partly sunny in the morning...then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the upper 40s.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 50s.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

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