Youghiogheny Hatch report for early May

What’s Hatchenin’?

May 11, 2011

Stream conditions improve with each rainless day! All of the Yough tribs in Maryland & PA are at good levels and are running clear. The Yough iteself is high, but fishable. The color is good but levels make for tricky wading. Be safe. Remember your wading staff or fish Meadow Run, Dunbar, Laurel Hill or the Casselman.

Friday the 13th update: IT RAINED!! Ohiopyle received nearly 2″ of rain, which brought the tributaries up and turned everything muddy. The Yough itself is still holding well and might be the best fishable option for your weekend.



Water temps are running in the 50’s now, finally! This makes for good hatches and the warm days of later will cause all the hatches to be compressed into fewer weeks time. Look for and be ready to fish any or all of these:

BWO sz 18
Blue Quill sz 16
Quill Gordon sz 12-14
Hendrickenson sz 12-14
March Brown sz 12-14
Sulphurs sz 16
Caddis sz 14-18

Categories: Fishing the yough, Fly Fishing, Fly fishing in Ohiopyle, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learn to kayak

Time to focus on summer fun.  Around Ohiopyle, that means kayaking!  If you have a few river miles under your belt, then this time of year means lots of river options that do not normally exist.

Think about kayaking the Casselman River, a great class 2 and class 3 whitewater run, located in Somerset County about 30 minutes from Ohiopyle.  It is a great section of river to head for when the Lower Yough is to high for comfort.  If the Yough is over 5 feet there is a really good chance that the Casselman is at a runnable level.  Between 2 feet and 4 feet on the Casselman there are a lot of friendly well defined features, eddies with strong eddy lines, surfing holes that are forgiving.   This week we had a number of kayak students in town to shake off the rust, and they were lucky enough for this treat.

great kayak learning river
Typical rapid on Casselman River
Learning to kayak in Pennsylvania

Spring day on the Casselman River

If you have any interest in learning how to kayak, now is the season, and learning to kayak in Pennsylvania is the way to go.  We have some many rivers that are easy to access and that you can kayak most of the year, and you have the  experience of Wilderness Voyageurs to draw upon.

Get in a kayak this week!

See you on the river.

Categories: Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, learn to kayak, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Spring time class 5 West Virginia Whitewater

Yeeha!!!!!!  the refrain echoing off of the canyon walls in the Big Sandy this week.  The Ohiopyle area received 1.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, this equals big time fun for us marginally employed raft guide types.  During the early spring we all arrive in Ohiopyle, like lemmings, no one is sure where we have been for the winter or exactly how we survived or managed to navigate back to this place.    Anyways  we do and this picture sums up why we do

Big Sandy Falls, "West Virginia Whitewater"

Wilderness Voyageurs staff running Big Sandy Falls in West Virginia

This is Ben Scoville, Wilderness Voyageurs‘ operations manager guiding a raft over Wonder Falls.  This is an 18 footer  folks!

"Wonder Falls" "big Sandy West virginia"

18 foot Wonder Falls on the Big Sandy

The Big Sandy is a tributary to the Cheat River, and is located about 30 minutes south of Ohiopyle.  This river is raftable only after significant rain storms, so it is a real treat.  It is one of the prettiest places around.  The canyon walls are too steep for it to have been logged, thus it is still covered by Rhododendron and Hemlock.

Big Sandy River West Virginia

Typical scenery along the Big Sandy

This time of year, there is not whole lot going on in the rafting world, so we all get to run around and kayak and raft all fo these col out of the way places.  If you have rafted with Wilderness Voyageurs before, you can sign up for the Adventurers Club and you may get a chance to visit some of these magical places.  The Club,  gets notified when their is sufficient natural flow in rivers like the Big Sandy and the Top Yough, or Indian Creek.  This is rafting that is not for the faint of heart,  all class V, in remote locations, usually involving waterfalls!    Do it once and you never know, you might become a lemming like us.

See you on the river  :)

Categories: Cheat River West Virginia, Uncategorized, Upper Yough, West virginia rafting, Whitewater Rafting | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

the un-shoes have landed – Vibram FiveFingers

I never thought it would happen. But it just did:

From Drop Box
From Drop Box

Vibram Five Fingers are in-stock. And I really want to dislike them.

They’re a shoe that simulates not wearing a shoe. Bare-feet are free, these are not.

The name doesn’t even make sense. I could understand FiveFinger gloves, but we have toes on our feet.

But here I am, writing this blog post behind the counter, wearing a pair of FiveFingers:

From Drop Box

And I like them (it hurts me to type that.)

They’re really damn cool. I have a pair of the KSOs (keep stuff out), and they’re great. I’ve run, hiked, and longboarded in them.

The idea is that modern shoes offer too much support, and actually cause some injuries. Humans evolved to move around without shoes on, so Vibram made a foot-glove that lets your foot bend naturally, but still offers a little bit of protection.

The rubber sole is thin enough to let your foot feel big things like roots and rocks, but it’s just thick enough to keep things comfortable on gravel and other sharp surfaces.

For running and hiking, they take a little getting used to. You’re forced to have good form. There isn’t enough cushioning to slam your heels into the ground.

In the cold, I’ve been able to run on pavement when it’s about 30 degrees, but any colder and my feet start to go numb.

They’re super low profile, so they should fit into a boat without a problem. And the rubber is tacky and sipped for traction on rocks.

My dad has even expressed interest in owning a pair to use as “house shoes.” (He needs protection from the rough carpet.)

So there you go. FiveFingers. Good for running, hiking, looking like a pretentious yuppie, carpets, boating, long boarding, blogging and everything in between.


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Kayaking is Cool

Over the years I’ve been kayaking I always get questions like “where did you learn to kayak”, “how did you get into the sport”,” how can I get into kayaking” etc…  My first experience was memorable but not at all the right way to get into the sport. 

 I asked a friend who was fairly new to kayaking to teach me how to kayak.  We lived near the Slippery Rock Creek but my friend said we should go to the lower yough.  So one day we drove to the lower yough took our boats to the put in and geared up.  Up to this point I still had never even held a paddle nor did I know how to get into a kayak or whether I was supposed to kneel or sit inside the boat.  Once we got that figured out it was on to trying to wrap my head around the mechanics of a roll.  We never talked about a wet exit or a bow rescue instead it was straight to ok try to roll.  Needless to say my first roll attempt was a disaster but we were burning daylight and needed to get going.  My teachers words were “eh lets go maybe you’ll figure it out down the river” and with that we went.  I swam every ripple and rapid on the lower yough.

 I wasn’t turned off from the sport completely but I didn’t try again until I was in my 20’s.  Luckily the college I was at offered a whitewater kayak class and I learned the right way the second time around. Personally I think taking a formally class is the best way to learn kayaking.

 You don’t need to enroll in a college just to take a 1 credit kayak class.  All you need to do is come to Ohiopyle and enroll in a Kayak Clinic at Wilderness Voyageurs.

Whether your just starting out or looking to step your game up and run some more difficult rivers there is a group or private clinic for your skill level.

Before Wilderness Voyageurs Kayak Instruction and After

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, PA, Uncategorized, Upper Yough | Leave a comment

time to break out the bikes

It’s 60 degrees and sunny today in Ohiopyle. The snow is close to gone. Bummer if you like to ski, but if you have a mountain bike it’s awesome.

The singletrack is a little wet in spots, but still good enough to get a ride in.

Since I was working I wasn’t able to hit the trails today, but I did take one of our Kona Kahuna 29ers on a lap through the WV headquarters.

Our expert mechanic Travis has made sure all the Konas are all tuned up and ready to rent. But we might not be happy if you try to ride one through the store. Fortunately there was no one around to yell at me.

Categories: Biking Vacations, Ohiopyle, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

What is your travel AHA moment?

Wilderness Voyageurs works with Adventurefinder.com, they are a great travel portal.  If you are dreaming of cool places to go, they will help you find the outfitter to take you there.  Today, we received this email from them.  Thought you might be interested in a shot at winning a big trip.

If you have a tale that revolves around your travel with Wilderness Voyageurs…. Share it with us here, we may have a little something to send your way as a thank you

Soaking it all in

Spotlight on Travel Memories
What’s your travel OMG! moment? January 2011

Adventure travel really does create memories that last a lifetime – memories that you can laugh about, be inspired by and share with your loved ones. Tell us about an incredible experience you’ve had whilst travelling – a moment in time that you will never forget and that will always make you smile. In 200 words or less, please share your OMG! moment and you’ll be entered to win an Explore adventure for two.

To share your OMG! moment and for your chance to win click here.

Explore on AdventureFinder.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Newest Addition to Pyranha

New for 2011 in the Pyranha line up is the Varun(God of Rain).  I recently had the chance to try the Varun on a quick loop run and I’m pretty impressed with it. This is basically a do it all boat; it’s a river running play boat.  It has a lot of characteristics of a play boat and it even looks like a stretched out Molan.

Similar to a Molan but stretched out and has ends


As a river runner I thought this boat was great.  It tracks nicely and was a lot faster then I expected.  It’s really responsive when making moves, ferrying and getting into eddies.  On the playboat side of things the Varun is dialed in as well. Like a lot of the current playboats the bow has a lot of volume (medium is 58 gal.), and can get enough pop for loops and other aerial moves, but the longer slicier ends make it easy to cartwheel. Another plus for paddlers of all skill level is how easy this boat is to roll.

The flat planing hull and edges make it super easy to get on wave and carve


Size     Length     Width     Volume     Length*     Width*     Weight 

M         6’8”       24.75”     58 gals        35”          18.75”      33.6 lbs

*external cockpit



Because this boat is so versatile I think it’s going to be an awesome choice for a wide range of paddlers.  The volume distribution allows for all kinds tricks new school and old.  The added length makes this a fast fun river runner and you’ll have no problem getting back up to and on the wave.

Playing ♦♦♦♦ River running ♦♦♦♦♦

Categories: Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Outdoor Gear, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mayfly hatches on the Youghiogheny (Yough)

The water temps are dropping and the hatches are starting to pick up.  This week our staff  have seen plenty of Slate Drakes, Cahills, and the much vaunted Hexagenia have been seen.  Check out this photo from Monday evening.  Look for the Hex right before dark, and along sandy or muddy banks.   Starting to see some rises.  Actually caught 2 rainbows on dry flys Monday night  SWEET!

Hexagenia on the Yough

Hexagenia hatch Yough

For the Youghiogheny hatch report

Good fall fishing is starting to happen

tight lines

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bonus Trout stocked in the Yough

Harrisburg, PA – Anglers fishing the Kinzua and Youghiogheny tailraces should find plenty of trout to keep them busy this fall. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently released yearling trout (6-9 inches) in the tailraces from their Pleasant Gap State Fish Hatchery. These fish are intermediate in size compared to a typical fingerling, which are stocked at less than the statewide minimum legal size of 7 inches, and to a typical adult trout, which are stocked at approximately 10-11 inches.

Not telling you where I caught this

“These fish were surplus to the production goals of the Pleasant Gap facility and have been stocked in these tailraces to grow and become available to the anglers fishing these waters,” said Brian Wisner, chief of the PFBC’s Division of Fish Production. “The stockings offer a great opportunity for families to get outside this fall and enjoy the fishing at two very popular waters.”

In Warren County, the PFBC stocked rainbow trout in section 7 of the Allegheny River from the Kinzua Dam downstream to the confluence of Conewango Creek.

In Fayette County, the PFBC stocked brown and rainbow trout in sections 2 and 3 of the Youghiogheny River from the mouth of Casselman River downstream to the mouth of Ramcat Run and from the mouth of Ramcat Run downstream to State Route 0381.

Take advantage of this and the cooler temp and join us on a guided fishing trip or grab a bike and head down the Great Allegheny Passage.

Categories: Fly Fishing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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