|Allentown's urban streams require speciality equipment.|
One might surmise I had to augment the usual equipment for this (extended!) weekend's jaunts, and you're right. I took in two new places I'd been thinking about in the past, and since one was in a not-so-good area (or so I'm told), I figured I'd have to add something with a little more punch than the usual 5wt.
With all the rain and my distinct distaste of high water, when I got my chance to go out this weekend I decided to take in a new place I"d driven over many times, but never bothered to look at. A friend told me a new park had opened in Catasauqua, and I figured since I tried something new on the first chance I got, I'd try something different on the second chance: A look at Trout Creek in the middle of Allentown's most upscale neighbourhood.
I'd driven over Catasauqua Creek in its namesake town so many times, and every time I cross over the bridge on Race Street (or whatever it is, who cares its fuckin' Catty, for fuck's sake), I always wondered if the channelized drainage ditch harboured anything alive, or if it was basically an open sewer enroute to the largest open sewer of all the Valley, the Mighty Lehigh River. A friend of mine recently asked on a forum if anyone had ever fished Catty Creek due to a new park that opened up, and it seem extremely fishy looking.
|When art meets life.|
First thing I noted, it literally is a drainage ditch. That was unexpected, I mean, sure I call them that, but it hardly seems I'd ever find something labeled as such, but sure enough, the shiny new signs in the shiny new park proclaimed it to be the Stormwater Recharge Area. The next thing I noted is that one man's drainage ditch is another man's Awesomely Sized Creek. Guess what, it ain't my idea drainage ditch, and I felt woefully undergunned with that little tiny 3wt rod. However, after cleaning everything out of my car after the break in, its all I had, so you make due.
|Am I supposed to wade there?|
Well, OK... tell you what, it looked fantastic. There were plenty of faster sections, some deeper stuff and some riffly areas. It rain through a "wetland" area, and I'm entirely not sure if I was supposed to fish it or not. The banks weren't clearcut at all (until you got down to the posted area by the ranch), lots of over hanging branches but mostly devoid of decent instream structure where I was at. There was also no, none, nada, sign of piscine life. I witnessed some smaller mayflies and a midge hatch, but nothing came up and nothing took what I had to offer (which wasn't deep due to the little rod).
|Catasauqua Creek, cont'd.|
|The top of Trout Creek Park.|
|Is no one is immune to car|
jacking and joyriding, eh?
Guess who made the wrong choice. Turns out, Trout Creek is what I'd consider drainage ditch sized, and would've been a dream to fish with that little 3wt rod. Also, despite everything I've heard about the area, the immediate surroundings to Trout Creek Park and Mack Park (next to each other, and Trout Creek flows through both) didn't look nearly as bad as I was lead to believe. Don't get me wrong, go a couple blocks in the wrong direction and it gets sort of shady looking, but the immediate area seemed entirely OK.
Then again, its the end of November. Maybe the
|Its a project, not The Projects.|
Now, for the casual reader who's looking for dinner: Don't bother. 99% of the fish I saw were small, but the thing is, there's numbers here that impress the shit out of me. Its a goddamned shame that I felt the need to carry serious hardware with me to go fish this stream, because its really that nice. There's a myriad of springs feeding the water, its clear and inside the park was amazingly trash free. A major amount of work has been done planting riparian buffers (which look like they got nailed in the recent floods) and bank stablization (grass laid over new rock embankments). There's more work to be done, but its not nearly as silty and nasty as, for instance, the Little Lehigh is.
|Yes, that's a tire in the mid-|
dle of this weedy spring.
Like many other places in the lesser Lehigh Valley, it amazes me sometimes to see how a tiny little ditch can flow through the center of an urban sprawl. If you look outside the thin tree line, or up an embankment you'll see sprawl and parking garages, but right down in the thick of it, you can be standing knee deep in a cold spring, with the realization that you're less than 10 miles from your doorstep.
|Bottom of Trout Creek Park.|
Both streams are on my return list, Catty because its close by, well sized, and I'm sure must contain fish. Trout Creek worries me, its just really an unreputable part of town, but after seeing what it is now, and where it could be I want nothing more to really enjoy this.
Hopefully without resorting to extra equipment, or filing a police report.