Sep 022011

Never enough time to go fishing?  Remember, time is never something you have, time must be made.

Tuesday night I made time to go fishing on the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.  I say “made” time but I would honestly consider this hour stolen.  In late August, in Southeastern PA, sunset starts at around 7:30pm.  I arrived on the water at about 7:35pm after a trip to Lowes to purchase some PVC pipe for rod tubes (more on that later).

Because I was short on time I decided to skip the fly rod and go straight for my spinning rod.  Yep, Senkos were on the menu.  The sun was quickly setting but after a weekend of hurricane weather I was ready to fish!

USGS depth chart for the East branch of the Perkiomen creek


Notice anything odd here?  Say hello to my little friend Hurricane Irene.  This usually mild mannered creek spiked from 3ft to 13ft due to Hurricane Irene’s rainfall.  It amazes me that not even three days later the flow was only a foot above pre-hurricane levels.

120 days east branch USGS data

120 Day Rainfall

Here’s another graph that shows the depth of the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek over 120 days.  Mother nature and her daughter Irene are really amazing  when you look at the numbers.  Some local reports are calling this a 100 year flood for the area.

I was ecstatic upon arriving at one of my favorite fishing spots to see that the water was relatively clear and only a little fast.  Unfortunately that would be the end of the seeing part of this trip.  As I began casting my Senko to the far side of the creek bank, the daylight quickly vanished.

Smallmouth Bass east branch perkiomen creek 8-30-2011

First Fish

My first fish was a bite in the dark.  I’ve grown accustomed to watching the line while fishing Senkos.  Presented with this blind challenge I adopted a strategy of quickly popping my line up to remove slack without pulling on the Senko.  This way the action of the bait would not be affected but I could better manage slack and drift in the line.  I also believe 80% of strikes on a Senko happen between when the worm hits the water and the first time it touches bottom.  By focusing on the first drop I was able to land my first fish.

Smallmouth Bass 2 East Branch Perkie

Hurricane Fish

My second fish would be my last for the night.  As the darkness closed around me I quickly realized that while I couldn’t see anything the mosquitoes had no trouble finding me and making a pincushion out of my elbows.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have a ton of experience being alone in the dark in remote outdoor places.  While I know the list of things that can “come get me” in the dark is limited to other humans and aliens I still get an uneasy feeling like I’m being watched.  Usually I push past it and keep fishing but with it going on 8:30pm and two fish caught I decided it was time to head home for dinner.

The fish were fairly ravenous after the hurricane and I’m hoping that their activity extends to this weekend where I’ll be doing a little lake fishing for Largemouth Bass.

How’s the fishing been after Irene?  Let us know in the comments below.



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