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Recommended

Lodging:

Beaver Valley Inn

Lew Beach, New York

Ph. 845-439-4844

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The 1880 House

Bed & Breakfast

Pulaski, New York

Ph. 315-298-6088

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Kettle Creek Lodge

Cross Fork, PA

Ph. 315-298-6088

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Guides:

Ray's Guide Service

Guide: Ray Ellis

Fishing the Salmon River

Salmon & Trout

Pulaski, New York

Ph. 315-298-7575

Email: Wogiewus@aol.com

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Other:

The Wulff School of Fly Fishing

P.O. Box 984, Livingston Manor, New York

Ph. 845-439-5020

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Successful Little Lehigh flies:

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Deer hair beetle

Black Beetle, size 16

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Elk wing caddis

Tan, Brown or Olive Elk Wing Caddis, size 16

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Blue wing olive

Blue-winged Olive, size 22, 20

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Midge

Cream Midge, size 24-20

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Trico

Trico, size 24, 22

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Caddis larva

Oliver Edward's Hydropsyche Larva, size 16

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Bead head caddis larva

Barr's Bead Head Net Builder Larva, size 16

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Caddis pupa

Oliver Edward's Rhycophilia Pupa, size 16


 

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Articles:                                                          Read other articles

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The Little Lehigh: A Bio of a Pennsylvania Creek

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Little Lehigh Creek

Little Lehigh Creek (section below the covered bridge)

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The Little Lehigh Creek is a meandering limestone creek known for providing some of the best trout fishing in eastern Pennsylvania.  The stream begins in northeastern Berks County and flows east through a seven mile wide limestone valley situated between Blue Mountain and South Mountain.  The Little Lehigh comes to rest as a tributary to the Lehigh River and is one of four major tributaries; the others include Jordan Creek, Monocacy Creek and Saucon Creek.  The Little Lehigh is the largest of the four and drains nearly 188 square miles.

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The Lehigh was originally named Lechauweki, "where there are forks", by Delaware Indians due to its natural branching from the Delaware River.  It's thought the left bank provided an Indian path from the lower part of the Delaware country leading North and West to various trails.  The name Lechauweki evolved to Lechau, but not before nearly a dozen variations.  Then in 1750 German influenced maps began appearing with the Little Lehigh labeled as "Little Lecha".  Since then English adopted its present form, "Lehigh".  Those trails originally used by the Indians have evolved as well in the form of present day municipal parkways, the most notable being the Little Lehigh Parkway in Allentown.  This four-mile long greenway extends from the western edge of the city to nearly the Lehigh River.

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Little Lehigh stream improvements

Stream improvement section

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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has designated the Little Lehigh as High Quality Waters (HQ) .  "High Quality Waters" are streams or watersheds with exceptional quality waters and environmental features that require special protection.  These waters are only second to Exceptional Value Waters (EV). Electro-fishing by Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commision

Fishery Biologists in 2003 revealed both hatchery and wild trout were present. Two sections were accessed and included the section of stream adjacent to the Queen City Hatchery and a section just upstream of Bogarts Bridge, both within the Heritage Trout special regulations (no-kill fly fishing only) area. Wild trout accounted for nearly 70 percent of the total catch with 96 percent of both hatchery and wild trout being brown trout. A total of 1,971 ft. of stream was electro-fished with a total of 1,365 individual trout measured and assessed. Overall, most fish included smaller wild browns with a small percentage being larger hatchery rainbows. Very few golden or brook trout were present.

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Heritage Trout Angling rules apply if you're fishing the one mile stretch below the bridge on Fish Hatchery Road. This section is a no-kill fly-fishing only section limited to barbless hooks.  Fishing is allowed the entire year provided the angler has a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and a trout stamp. Fishing licenses may be purchased online at the Pennsylvania

Little Lehigh regulations

Heritage Trout Angling rules apply

Fish & Boat Commission (The Outdoor Shop). One additional rule for this one mile section is wading is prohibited. Access to this section of the stream is easy. Various routes exist, however directions are provided from Route 78.

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Directions from Route 78:

From New Jersey

Take 78 West to Exit 55 (Cedar Crest Blvd./Route 29).  Travel south on Route 29 (~0.4 mi.) to Fish Hatchery Road. Turn Left (east) on Fish Hatchery Road and travel ~0.3 mi. to the parking lot.  The parking lot appears immediately after crossing the bridge on your right.  This is the parking lot used by fishermen.  Another parking lot exists for the hatchery and is on your left prior to crossing the bridge.

 

From Harrisburg, PA

Take 78 East to Exit 55. Follow remaining directions from above.

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Topographical Map:

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Little Lehigh topo map

Image courtesy of the USGS, click on image to enlarge.

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Aerial Map:

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Little Lehigh aerial photograph

Image courtesy of the USGS, click on image to enlarge.

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Fishing is permitted on other sections of the Little Lehigh as well.  If you travel further east on Fish Hatchery Road access to the red covered bridge (pictured below) is possible.  You'll come to a traffic light for the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road and Oxford Drive.  Continue straight through the light and follow the road to the left to the parking lot.  Bridle Path parallels the stream.  Further downstream stream improvements have been built (pictured above).

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Another fishable spot is governed by Delayed Harvest Fly Fishing regulations.  This section located off of Wild Cherry Lane (pictured below) is accessible by returning to Route 29 and following it south towards Lower Macungie Road (~2.0 mi.).  Turn right onto Lower Macungie and follow approximately 1.0 mile to Wild Cherry Lane.  Turn left on to Wild Cherry Lane, the stream is approximately 0.5 miles down the road.  This section of the stream is productive as well but has both less fish and less crowds.  Fishing quarters are tight due to brush and trees.

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Hatches on the Little Lehigh are few and at times the fish can be very picky, sometimes passing on the naturals.  Midges are staples but you'll find the usuals too, blue-winged olives, sulphurs, caddis, tricos and terrestrials; 6x and 7x tippet is the norm.  More fishing specifics can be found by visiting The Little Lehigh Fly Shop.  Productive Little Lehigh patterns are provided in the left margin.

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Climatologic Data:

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Monthly Average Temperature, degrees F (20 year average)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

29.3

29.4

38.0

48.4

60.4

69.7

74.1

72.0

65.0

52.8

42.4

32.3

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Monthly Average Precipitation, inches (30 year average)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

3.44 2.94 3.43 3.67 3.51 3.83 4.99 4.53 3.51 3.25 2.76 3.18

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Stream Data:

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Little Lehigh Daily (Real-time) Stream Heights & Flows

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While you're in the area you may wish to try other local streams. Both Monocacy and Saucon Creek fish well.  They receive less pressure but have less fish and less fishing access.  Enjoy the pictures below.

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Little Lehigh Photographs

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Little Lehigh Creek

The Head Pool

Little Lehigh Stream

The Rat Hole

Kiddie Pool

The Kiddie Pool

Little Lehigh Fish

Lots of fish in the Kiddie Pool

Big Brown Trout

Nice Brown caught by Brad Berlin

Rainbow Trout

Author with a rainbow

Little Lehigh Fly Shop

The Little Lehigh Fly Shop

Little Lehigh Stream Improvements

Wheelchair accessibility by the fly shop

Little Lehigh Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge along Bridle Path

Little Lehigh Regulations

Delayed Harvest by Wild Cherry Lane

Little Lehigh Cherry Lane

Wild Cherry Lane (downstream)

Little Lehigh

Wild Cherry Lane (upstream)

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Source: This article would not have been possible without the gracious time, research and effort provided by the following:

  • Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission - Fisheries Management Field Report (Little Lehigh Creek 2003) and Bob Weber, Justin Lorson, Joe Minnichbach and Dave Nihart

  • Lehigh Valley Planning Commission - Natural Resource Plan

  • Lehigh County Pennsylvania - Geology and Geography by Benjamin LeRoy Miller, Donald McCoy Fraser, Ralph LeRoy Miller, Bradford Willard and Edgar T Wherry

  • US Weather Bureau

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