Less than 2 months out of the gate, the BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF has held its first on-the-water outing. The fledgling chapter hosted a Wednesday evening outing on Owego Creek at the Park Settlement Road access. A total of 8 BCFF members attended.
After rigging up, talking, and taking a few pictures, the anglers headed separate ways. Some ventured downstream, some upstream, and one fished the waters right around the bridge. Owego Creek had just been stocked the week before. In Tioga County alone, the main stem, west and east branches of Owego Creek receive over 16,000 brown trout during the months of March, April, May, and June, each year. Yet on this day, trout were nowhere to be seen around the bridge. Certainly some of these fish are taken by anglers who chase the stocking truck and then by anglers who fish the access points hard, but some, no doubt also had moved.
Owego Creek is a significant fishery with a history of producing some sizeable trout. The creek gets its name from the village and town it flows through, and that name comes from the Iroquois word, 'Ahwaga' which means 'where the valley widens'. It flows into the Susquehanna River, but flows a good long way to get there. The West and East branches of Owego Creek, alone, are 47 miles and 27 miles in length from their sources in Hammond Hill State Forest and just south of Dryden, NY. The water is generally cool, although the lower main stem tends to warm to marginal levels for trout during warmer than average summers and low flow events. Habitat is excellent, however, allowing hold-over browns to get quite big, where fish catches are often reported in pounds, not length.
The Owego outing was a success, by all accounts. Some brown trout were caught, including some two-year-olds. There were a few risers seen but anglers who caught fish did so on nymphs and soft hackles. A few March Browns and Sulphurs were about but their activity did not seem to interest resident trout. The evening was pleasantly warm and the water, just beautiful, with water temps in the low to mid 60's.
The BC Flyfishers chapter wants to do more on-the-water events, going forward. The chapter has planned its next monthly meeting for Thursday, June 26th. The event will feature expert nymph fisherman Joe Goodspeed and will be held on the West Branch of the Delaware from 6 to 9 pm at the Gentleman's Club access in Deposit. In keeping with its goal of being an active fly fishing chapter, there will be more events scheduled throughout the summer and into fall.