Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Blog
Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice
] on 01/12/2017 (545 reads)
Through the generosity of one of our Sponsors, Ed Wooton from Harman's Luxury Cabins offered a free weekend getaway to a lucky winner in a raffle. I was the lucky winner and have to say I am glad I entered.
The first order of business was to find some folks to join me and with the short notice it turned out that Slay12345 and my brother in law mblatt, were able to oblige. So on Friday we scrambled to gather our gear and began the journey to WVA.
We traveled in low 20 degree temps on Friday but a warm snap was upon us and by morning it was above freezing with freezing rain coating every surface outside. We arrived to the fireplace running and a comfy temperature inside.
I tied some flies in in the cabins lower floor sitting area in front of the warm fire and flat screen TV showing the Penguin game while Mick stabbed olives in a glass full of vodka I think. Josh showed up late and we met and shared stories of our fishing addictions over a few cocktails.
In the morning on Saturday, Josh, Mick and I enjoyed some hot coffee in our beautiful home for the weekend as we talked ourselves into braving the freezing rain only to stand in 35 degree water after busting out ice. Knowing the air temp was going to increase all day to a high of 55 was on our minds though so we soldiered through the dressing and trip over the icy hill to the river. We found a long riffle, run, pool sequence based on a little research over the past few hours and it proved to have plenty of room for three guys to flyfish. The North Fork of the South Branch of Potomac is a fairly large river that had flows in the 220CFS range for the weekend we were there. It also is rather filthy with fish...Rainbow Trout to be exact.
A short time after breaking free and drifting a few giant ice sheets so we could wade ( a skill we developed in Erie for Steelhead) we quickly got into fish. Rainbows, largely in the 15"-20" range and heavy. I started by swinging a dumbell eye rabbit strip streamer that I had tied the night before. It took a few casts but After a few short strikes I realized I had to slow it down and soon began hooking up, landing about half those that bit while I just hung the streamer in the current and twitched it. Josh was downstream up over his waist in ice water and was hooking up as well using egg patterns. I switched over to dredging eggs and beadheads at that point because of the low landing rate with the streamer. Mick was rewarded with a huge bow for his first fish, immediately after complaining about not getting bit.
The water was c-c-c-cold! Frozen feet and fingers was a price we paid for the frequent hook ups with heavy rainbows. Just looking at Josh made me even colder I think. I don't know how he did it. I guess from the power from his digital camera being out all the time warmed him up. LOL. Every time I looked down there he had a bent rod or was looking in his net. Mick was doing well above me too.
During the day we saw the sun poke through a few times and the ice covered trees rained down on the water providing some interesting views between fish. We hadn't seen the landscape when we arrived the evening before and the morning was very foggy. While the fog lifted the gray fuzzy filter from our view, it revealed sheer rocky cliffs, green moss covered hillsides and Lichen It was beautiful!
Some of our fish were pretty chunky, maybe a few over 20" by a hair, some over 4 lbs I think. It reminded me of steelhead fishing. Especially the need to get out of the crik and walk because I had Block Foot. Around noon we all started walking around the banks warming our feet and apparently chilling our legs as was explained to me by Josh later that day. You see when your feet are freezing and you are standing still, then begin to walk and get the blood moving, that cold blood begins working its way up your legs and makes them cold. Learn something new everyday.
I went back to the cabin for a bite to eat and to try to get the "rest of my blood" to be the same temperature. Josh and Mick followed shortly after and we compared notes and went back out for the last couple hours of daylight. By now the air had warm gusts and there was a more optimistic feeling about climbing down that slippery hill to the stream.
We went to another long pool section and basically repeated the pattern we had in the am. After it got too dark to fish we celebrated our successful day with a toast and went down the road for a bite to eat. We ate at a small "greasy spoon" down the road. (It was my recommendation by the way) I like to experience local examples of Americana even though the food may not meet your expectations. Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes you foul one off. I'd call this place a bloop single down the line. But the waitress was nice which is probably what got us to first base.
Anyway, we finished the evening with a few libations and a recount of the days events over an Eric Clapton concert featuring Derek Trucks on the boob tube while Josh tied SJ worms. We also discussed fishing the next morning but woke to a steady rain and it seemed prudent to just hit the road after checking out and meeting our host Ed Wooton. Great guy, shared a great deal of information for our return trips, which will likely happen for sure.
So a Big Thumbs UP for Harman's and their accommodations, the fishing and beauty of the area. We learned there are plenty of other sections to fish on the NFSB Potomac too so that was encouraging. The drive home out of that valley in the daylight was impressive as well.
Trip comments in the forum here. Pictures by Josh Slaymaker.
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 01/04/2017 (1274 reads)
Winter can chase even the most avid angers off the water for months. Some focus their time tying flies or bantering on the forums. Many enjoy the many outdoor shows. The Fly Fishing Shows are the best programs focused exclusively on fly fishing. They are highly regarded for the opportunity to check all the new gear. But the shows hold so much more!
Sure it is a great place if you are looking for trips, rods, reels, flies, waders, tying materials or any fly fishing gear. More importantly, in todays online world it is the best way to get face to face with manufactures, vendors and industry experts. You can even try casting many of the rods you just read about.
A review of the Somerset Show in 2014
Each of the shows is multi-day event that includes a very large exhibit floor, fly tiers, retail shops and plenty educational programs. The outstanding classes are lead by some of the best pros in the business. Many of your favorite celebrity authors are found teaching techniques and sharing some great ideas on how to improve you fly fishing. Some of my favorite classes are programs about fly fishing locations near and far.
For me,The Fly Fishing Shows are a great chance to catch up with some friends I don't often see. There is always plenty of members from Paflyfish wondering the exhibit floors.
The Somerset, NJ show is one of the biggest of the shows and the Lancaster event is clearly located located close to home. Here is a full list of the upcoming schedule. I like going to both!
The Fly Fishing Show Schedule
Denver, CO: January 6-8
Marlborough, MA: January 20-22
Somerset, NJ: January 27-29
Atlanta, GE: February 3 & 4
Lynnwood, WA: February 18 & 19
Pleasanton, CA: February 24-26
Lancaster, PA: March 4 & 5
You can found out more about times, entrance fees and detailed locations here at the Fly Fishing website. For some more conversations follow along here on the Paflyfish forum.
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 12/20/2016 (1896 reads)
I was catching up on some of the recent threads in the Paflyfish Fly Tying Forum and found a post from Night_Stalker about a Christmas Tree Fly. Digging a little deeper into the post I checked out the post originating from Louis Cahill at Gink and Gasoline. Louis is an advertising photographer and along with Kent Klewein share their fly fishing stories on Gink and Gasoline. I have enjoyed many of their blog posts, but had missed this one from a couple years ago.
Well Loius served up a little holiday fly tying wonderment with his post a couple years ago and should you should check out his Christmas Tree Fly post and the Gink and Gasoline blog.
From Paflyfish!images with permission from Louis Cahill
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 12/05/2016 (4659 reads)
Winter fly fishing can a be a very rewarding time to get out on the water. The most important thing to an enjoyable day of winter fly fishing is dressing for the weather. After decades of winter activities like hiking, hunting and fishing you would think I would know better, but one of my worst days fly fishing was because I forgot my wool socks. Not so smart with my cotton socks. So let's take a look at the best approach wintering up for a day of fly fishing.
You've heard it before, but I'll say it again. Layers, layers, and more layers. The most important thing are the correct layers.
Alright Captain Obvious we know cotton socks don't work, so the best bet is a two layer approach with your feet. I first put on a thin polyester wicking sock. Overtop of the polyester sock I use a classic ragg merino wool sock. Bigger can be better, but make sure you can still get into your boots comfortably. If your socks are too thick and your feet are too tight in the boot this will not help keep you warm. What you are trying to accomplish is wicking away the perspiration from your feet with the polyester sock to the wool sock.
Legs and lower body
Again layers are the way to go. Keeping your legs and lower body warm while in the water is a non- negotiable. A few years ago I ended up getting a pair of Simms Guide Mid Pants. These pants are made of fleece and provide greater insulation than cotton. I would imagine you can get a decent pair of tapered fleece pants online that will do the trick. I like the tapered pants as they bunch up less at your ankles when you get into your boots. Often I'll wear a pair of light polyester long pants overtop of the fleece pants. A few ways to approach this but I'd avoid the cotton sweat pants.
I generally have a three layer approach to the upper body. I use synthetic polyester base layer for wicking. I like the Under Armour mock longsleves. Offers a good base from the arms to the neck. The middle layers are your main insulators and going to keep you warm. A couple layers of fleece or wool always work for me. I found a great fleece shirt at Walmart for $10 a couple of years ago and is my goto whenever I head outside. A good down vest can work too, but you don't want too much bulk. The number of layers and type is really up to you and the temperatures you expect to encounter.
Finally for your upper body is a good outer shell. The key is something that will keep the wind from getting to you. With the layers you have already put on, a big winter coat is not best step here. A winter windstopper shell that is water repentant is the answer. This is the place I would invest my money. I have an older Simms windstopper jacket that works great and think I spent $200 at the time. With layering this jacket works from October thru April for me. Today I would look at the Simms Bulkley Jacket ($300) or Cabela's Guidewear WindStopper Jacket (on sale for $110, but not water repentant). Specific fly fishing wading jackets are usually cut short in length and make it easier fitting into your waders. Once you are dressed and have your waders on you want warmth, but also upper body mobility too.
The other stuff
Fingerless gloves or mittens are a must. Plenty of good options made of wool, fleece and polyester. Leave the ski gloves for the slopes. Last but not least is a wool hat.
You really should try all this gear on before you go to the stream. Adding a few more layers may cause some difficulties getting onto your fly fishing boots and waders. The holidays don't help either. No sense having all the right gear if you can't fit into your waders. I enjoy my fly fishing backpack this time of year with layers I am taking off or adding on. Finally, even if you don't think you'll need it, bring an extra layer to leave in the car.
The New Keystone Fly Fishing Book
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