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What is your local day paddle?

I took a trip to a local reservoir on the Lehigh River two days ago. My goal was to go as far up the river as possible looking for rainbow trout. After a few miles of lake paddling and another mile on the river we came to some riffles that were "unnavigable." I waded with the boat a few hundred yards to the next pool. We paddled up that and then I was able to pole up the next rapid to the head of another pool.

This area is rarely fished as most boats can't get above the riffles and there is no access from upstream because of private land. On my first cast into the pool I hooked what I think would have been the biggest fish of the trip. It was a large rainbow trout that took an olive wooly bugger, he jumped a few times and then got off. I landed four or five more trout and a few smallmouth bass.

We had lunch and headed back. I snubbed my way down the first rapid making sure that the upstream end of the boat was light so it wouldn't get caught in the current. I guess it was too light and was affected by a strong downstream breeze. We made it to the next pool without incident but it wasn't pretty. I waded the boat down the riffles and then had almost four miles to get back to the truck. It was a fantastic trip, beautiful weather and the best day I ever had fly fishing for trout. I am really impressed with the recreational opportunities in Pa.

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I am in the Western Adirondack area, with too many nearby good choices to mention. My quick trip training paddle is at my camp on a small private no motors lake. I can get only about 3 miles by circumnavigating around the entire lake, as I monitor the loon family and blue heron population. Several trips around gets me as many miles as I feel I need to cover for the day. If I need a more continuous long distance, a much larger lake is very nearby where I can get 3 miles on the lake, plus another 3 miles up the slow current inlet river before reaching rocky rapids, making a total training round trip of 12 miles. But the popular lake is highly populated with large-ish fast wave making motor boats and those annoyingly awful kids on jet skis, which have intentionally harassed me in the past. So, although conveniently close by for distance paddling, it is not my favorite place to paddle.

Not much farther away, I sometimes like to paddle by my childhood home on the always boater quiet fairly slow moving Black River from the Lyons Falls dam to the Carthage dam, up to about 42 miles one way with a number of shorter take out options. For more of the Adirondack experience, Old Forge and the beginning of the NFCT and the beginning of the 90 mile race route is only about a half hour away. Not only for the race itself, but also frequently also for the "Cannonball-90", which is paddling the entire 90 mile route within a single (24hr) day that a few us like to do.
 
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In my desire to know "what's around the next bend" I returned to the Lehigh River yesterday. I went alone and took my Seliga Tripper. Partly because it's less effected by the wind but mostly because I'd rather smash it then my wood canvas E M White.

I got a late start at 1:30 PM. That's OK because now I can stay late and enjoy an evening paddle. I've recently decided that if I can't get an early start to just go later, but be prepared to finish up after dark. I made it to the pool that I got to last week and pressed on to find an additional mile + of a good poling rapid just "beyond that next bend." The fishing was also good up there. I caught 4 or five trout before getting one small enough for lunch. I kept one that I thought was a brown but maybe it was a brookie. Can someone confirm? At any rate it was tastier than a rainbow. After lunch I didn't get another trout but I did get lots of small smallmouth bass.

I had an easy time snubbing downstream and was surprised at how much control I had. I stopped to fish at likely spots but didn't get any trout. It may have been because I had to change my tippet and it may have been heavier that the one it replaced, or they just stopped biting. I also found a channel on the section that I previously waded, so in the future I may be able to eliminate any wading at all.

My timing was near perfect, I finished the whitewater section just before dark at 8:00. I put on dry shoes and warm clothes and had a nice relaxing paddle back. I arrived at the truck at 9:35, was on the road at 10:00 and home by 10:30. I would not have felt comfortable doing this trip if I hadn't had a tent, sleeping bag and everything else I might need to spend the night comfortably, in case things go bad. I covered over 11 miles and was out for 8 hours.

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Great post Al! It was nice to your Seliga in action again. Jake and I hit the timber early today, maintaining trails, seeding a food plot … then time for woods walk … with my bug shirt. By 10:30 both tired and hot, we sat on the couch, turned on the fan and took a fiver. This is a great post to read. I loved your pictures and write up of a great solo day in the bush.

Keep posting your boats and their adventures, Jake and I love reading about them.👍
 
I enjoyed your posts Al. It looks like the Susquehanna has been cleaned up quite a bit since I last paddled it about 35 years ago. My parents used to live about 10 miles from Meshoppen and I have good memories of river trips in that area and on the West Branch.
 
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