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There is no such thing as a sure thing and Nature showed us that yesterday up at the beautiful and scenic Schoharie Creek and its region....

Vic wanted Gregg and I up there because just a few weeks ago, he and his brother tilled it for 50 smallies and last year, it produced even better in October....so we went expecting a fall bonanza...however.....LOL>>>>>

in summation we caught 10 fish! 6 smallies, spearheaded by a 2 and half pounder.....0ne nice looking Walleye, 2 plus pounds, and 3 odd but enormous golden shiners that were at least 12 inches long!!

Now for the scoop;

Schoharie is a wading proposition only.....you must stop at various access points and catch pools of standing water before they cascade into the various rapids present on there...

Problem number one: not too much standing water! the river was very high and moving rapidly all over.....

Problem number two: 36 degrees and steady, but not downpour , rains all morning, followed by a balmy 38 or 39 degrees in the afternoon.

Problem number three: the slopes and rocks that you had to climb down over or on top of were extremely slippery and treacherous....

I will say this right now: Schoharie is NOT for the faint of heart! LOL....I consider it an athletic endeavor putting in a day over there, especially with those stupid neoprene waders that cramp your every leg move.......

Now: lures: I pretty much stuck with brewers grub, it worked for me and it minimized hangups....


sidetrack: Problem number four: you are going to lose a lot of jigheads!!! LOL.....

the other guys mixed up some various grubs....I did crank a little but it wasnt easy with the current and I didn't feel like losing a bunch of cranks......Senkos yesterday would have moved twenty feet before you cranked your reel! LOL.....

we are talking shallow water with pools that maybe go to 6 or 8 feet so there is not a lot of depth to cover....all of my takes were on the rocky bottoms, the other guys can come on and tell more about that aspect......

Now: we had a "fun" day in that it was an outing, an adventure, we love each other's company, we punctuated the trip with various coffee and snack stopovers, and the usual banter and BSing went on...but it was arduous!

I guess it is like Erie , where you will be buffeted by winds and white caps and lose a ton of jigs, but will be rewarded by holding up a 6 pound smallie...

Well: Schoharie is all of the above problems that I mentioned, however, yesterday we weren't given the reward! LOL.......

timing is everything, and we though we were up there at the right time, but as so many of us have seen this season with its wacky weather patterns, you could throw all records of "timing" out the window.....

if we had caught the expected bonanza of smallies, all of the hard work would be worth it, and I would go back in a few days!

But this is something that I feel would be better served by having a more recent report to go by so that the trip ( about 4 hours with traffic each way) is worth the while.....

naturally , we caught nasty bumper to bumper approaching the Tappan Zee on the way back, that we certainly weren't in the mood for at that time.......

would love to see other reports though about this waterway, and as I said, the countryside where it is situated is so scenic and rustic, that is truly a marvel to see..........

yesterday definitely had a "Tom Sawyer" feel to it!!
 
W

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Amazing

I learned a ton this year but minus the pools and it sounds like you were fishing the Conn River.
This was the first year I EVER fished a river and it was a little disconcerting watching my bait fly by the boat in the current.
Sounded like a good day to be alive Doc.
I have a November trip in mind if you are game... 2 hours Max and Smallies !!!!
Tight Lines,
Woody
 

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one of my favorites....

John

Unfortunately it seems that you "fellas" caught her (Schoharie Creek) on a bad day. Normally at this time of year you can load the boat .....I mean your waders..lol.

It's a tough walk no doubt and as John said it's deffinitley not for the feint hearted. That said, the rewards usually out-weigh the effort. Schoharie Creek is one of my "all time" favorite smallmouth creeks, but like everything else in life, nothing is a given.

John dont cross this off your list just yet...give her another chance next fall. It could be a trip you wont soon forget.

Scul
 

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Scul: I agree, next year I will try to time it a little better....maybe go soon ( no more than a week) after someone else goes there and has a favorable report......

it was a good day to be alive Woody, I agree, despite the hardships, I found it fascinating......
 

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John summed it up pretty good it was an adventure and always fun hanging with John and Vic, but the fishing sure was tough. Don't know much about river fishing but feel the high swift water was working against us. Sorry for no pictures of our few catches but climbing up and down hills mud and more mud and slipper footing the camera stayed in the car.
 

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I fished the Schoharie over near the Greene/Delaware/Schoharie county border about 20 minutes from Hunter Mountain near the reservoir...I never fished moving water for bass either before this summer, but it was an experience pulling those smallies from that narrow stream...

You guys were further away I believe...We are only about 2 hours 40 minutes from my home in southern westchester...

But at least you got to take in a beautiful countryside, saw some fish and it didn't snow on you...

Nice report...Good to see Vic is back in action...


Mark D
 

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Earthy: we were right in the town of Schoharie.....after reaching Albany we went left onto 90 for a short while and then got on 88 and went about 3 exits into 88.....we were at various interections of 20, 30, and 30A......
 

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Schoharie

OK I will have to put my 2 cents in on this one. I have owned 75 acres of land just above Prattsville and have been fishing and hunting up there for as long as I can remember, which is the last town that the river runs through before it turns into the reservoir. There is a spillway right before you enter the town that goes over some small rapids before turning into a deep pool. As a kid I used to go snorkeling here and be rewarded with all kinds of free lures. But like John said this river is very rocky and loaded with crayfish. If you go at the right time you can hook into some really nice smallies and trout also. There are several other spots that you can fish in the Schoharie that are down river of the reservoir dam, not to mention the deep hole at the bottom of the dam. Another good spot is by the Blenheim/Gilboa power project. The upper and lower reservoirs of this body of water are and always have been big producers and you can put boats in both. Also down river of that there is a DEC launch that is in a much deeper part of the river. John there is a much quicker way to get there. Go up the Thruway to exit 19. Take 28 West to rt 42. At the end of 42 you will be in the town of Lexington, you will want to make a left there. You will be following along the river the whole way from there. And if anybody wants let me know, I am always looking for an excuse to go up there, I have a cabin with bathrooms, showers and beds. It is a great place to spend the weekend and have a blast. Like everyone has said it is god's country up there. Good luck to all that fish it.
 

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Fish: that is great information, thanks for the input!!! there is much to learn about that waterway for sure......maybe I will stay there for a couple of days one year, preferrably when the fishing is excellent! LOL.....
 

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I was only there once with Ray a few years ago, but we had a great time. It was in the fall as well, and we probably caught over 50 smallies that day too - maybe more. The problem was that they were all between 3/4 and 1.5lbs, but the action on 4lb test was a blast. Constant - all day.

I also remember my back KILLING me a the end of the day - walking on all of those slippery rocks, and wading the river.

I can tell you that I have never seen tht many crayfish in my life. There were literally THOUSANDS of them walking accross the bottom. Ray and I got more out of that trip simply by watching the craws. It was amazing!

If Ray wants to, he can fill you in on what we saw. I know it changed how we both look at Jig fishing - thats for sure.

Pat X
 

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Pat: two things about what you said: we did not see this Craw explosion that day, NONE were present and that may very well be the reason it was slow!

secondly: my legs are still in spasm, from all the bending and trudging with the neoprene waders on...my back was a little sore also...as I said in the opening post, a physical endeavor.......
 

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John,
Sounds much like the Middle Fork River here in WV. Although I've only started river fishing this past summer, in my several trips to it I've found out a few things that may be of assistance.
1) MMJigs are a necessity!!!!
Craig's old gold/pumpkin color scheme is deadly!
2) Fish the heads of pools and any current breaks whether above or below water.
3) ALL the fish I've taken were caught casting up or cross current. Never on a retrieve against the flow. (Delaware river shad being the exception.) When casting up-stream, I keep "in touch" with the jig at all times. Never allow any slack. After it hits bottom, pop it off the bottom and let it drop, again, constantly reeling up any slack.
When casting cross current, the flow will take care of most of the slack.
4) You have to be able to tell the difference between rocks and branches and a pick-up. If you set the hook at every bump, it will be a VERY expensive day. When I feel a bump and the line stops moving, I've found that it takes a tender touch and s-l-o-w reeling to work over and around these obstacles. This is not to say I will retrieve EVERY lure, but this method cut back my losses greatly. It's been my experience that river fish do NOT play with a bait like lake fish. They dash out of their holding area to nail it and race back.
As to water levels and flow. Several years ago I posted a site for Surface Water Conditions in NY State. When I got to WV, I dumped a lot of NY stuff (NYBass excepted) and unfortunatly that was one of them. Perhaps another member of the board saved it and can post it.
Now for the excersise involved in fishing these waters. On one trip in Aug., the water was lower than we anticipated and our 8ft. 'tinny' swamped. From there on for the next six hours we had to walk it and ourselves down the boulder ridden river. This was in the woods. No roads nearby, no houses or campsites, no nuthin! We almost had to spend the night on the bank. All I could think of was a kid swinging a banjo from a bridge! A half hr. after sunset we came to a State campsite and were able to call for help. Had probably my best nights sleep in years. The next morning, however, getting out of bed was a new experience in pain.
Anyhow, these are a few of the things I've learned about river fishing in the Mountain State.
May they serve you well. Gene
 

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Fish, that location near Prattsville is where I fish it. I know exactly the spot your talking about. I love that place for all day Ul action...nothing too big but you can get a 3lber on occassion. Lots of fun. I also love the Catskill creek out of Cairo or Durham. Give that one a shot if you've never done it before. Lots of solitude and bass.
 

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Gene: is this fishing from a boat? remember, we were wading.....

and Earthy: it seems that you are very familiar with that area up there....did you used to vacation there??
 

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John, we fished the Middle Fork both ways. We also waded th N FK. of the S Branch of the Patomac near Seneca Rocks (great scenery,) the Cheat R.,Tygart Valley R and the Buckhannon R.
My only disapointment with the sm fishing is the size of the fish. My buddy's son says that the larger fish seem to get washed downstream during heavy flooding and all that's left are the smaller fish. After a couple of years without flooding, sizes increase.
This is all new to me. I'm not used to seeing water levels fluctuate as much or as fast as they do here, but it is WV and heavy floods are not uncommon. Still, I don't know if the kid is right or he's just yanking the chain of the 'city feller'.
 

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Which Creek ?

Are you talking about the small two step falls in the town of Prattsville across from Pratt Rock?...I thought that wasa continuation of the Batavia Kill...I lose track when rt 23 ends into 23 A...

Or are you talking about the creek under the steel bridge in Prattsville that leads down to the reservoir?...That's the Schoharie Creek, i think...

My family has had a vacation home in Prattsville since i was a kid...I walked that whole area, never even fished for bass, only stockie trout...

This year my brother-in-law rigged a 5 " Senko and threw it out there...I said, "I would be very surprised if you caught something on that"...Two 1.5 lb smallies later, we were both throwing senkos and split shotting several limits of bass from that narrow stream...The next day we roughed the Schoharie reservoir...And I mean, roughed it...I sympathise with you John...Those mountainsides are tuff on the ass and legs...

I scouted that Blenheim Gilboa Power Project one night...It looked good enough, and I planned to come back the next day...The next morning, i went back there very early with my cousin and brother-in-law and they looked at me like I was crazy...The lake had nothing but beach...They dropped the water level overnight and left at least 45 more feet of beach than I had seen the night before...Needless to say, the fishing was tuff...Hydropower can be a bitch (lol)...

I wish there was more good bass fishing up near that house, because i spend a decent amount of time there each year with the family...


Mark D
 
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