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Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/02/2016 (9988 reads)
The Sulphurs are here!
With the best hatch of the season fast approaching, I thought it might be helpful for some of the “Newbie’s” to post a few words on the Sulphur Hatch to get them off to a flying start this month… so if anyone has anything to add in the way of tips, tricks, details, etc. PLEASE feel free to chime in!

The months of May and June here in southeastern PA bring forth the greatest event of the fly-fishing season… the SULPHUR HATCH. These yellowish mayflies are actually made up of three (3) different mayfly species; Ephemerella rotunda, E. invaria, and E. dorothea. Most streams in SEPA hold all three (3) species which can be good AND bad. It’s good because it extends the sulphur hatch from 1st/2nd week of May through much of June (most seasons)… and it’s bad because there are subtleties that the fish notice and key on (sometimes) and if the angler does not adjust, he (or she) could be in for a long evening. The good news though, is that the “bad” is well within your control.

First a quick overview of the three (3) players, in order of emergence;
Ephemerella rotunda: Duns have a medium yellow body color with slight “olive cast” to them… the largest of the three by a hair, could be as large as a size 12 hook size, but a size 14 will do (a true “tweener”)… often hatch out of very swift water (just below riffles)… hatching usually begins around Mother’s Day and lasts 2-3 weeks… hatch most often in late afternoons (4-6 pm)

Ephemerella invaria: Duns have a yellowish/orange body color … best imitated with a size 14 hook… often hatch out of slightly slower flows than rotunda’s… hatching usually begins around 3rd week in May peaking around Memorial Day (slowing down in June)… hatch most often in early evenings (6-7 pm)

Ephemerella dorothea: Duns have a pale yellow body color … best imitated with a size 16 hook (sometimes 18)… often hatch out of slower pools… hatching usually begins in last week of May and lasting well into June… hatch most often in evenings (7-8:30 pm), sometimes right at dusk in a quick “blizzard” of activity.

Believe it or not, there are other “yellow” mayflies hatching during these same times as well, but those listed above make up the Sulphur Hatch as most anglers know it. As you can see there are differences between the three and it will save your sanity to have the proper sizes/colors to cover the gamut. At the very least I would carry size 14 dry fly’s in sulphur yellow to cover the rotunda/invaria and size 16 pale yellow imitations to cover the dorothea (some anglers use a Light Cahill for this). To compound the mayhem, in addition to the over-lapping hatch activity, trout will often key on a certain “stage” of emergence from drifting nymphs, to struggling emergers, to floating duns… and just when you think you have THAT all figured out, there could be spent spinners on the water as well!

If you show up to the stream in the mid afternoon and no fish are rising and no insects are on the water (or in the air)… you could be in for some fast action by tying on a Pheasant-tail nymph (size 14-16) and fishing the riffles and runs. Prior to emergence these nymphs will fill the water column as they struggle to reach the surface. Trout will be gorging on them and you will often see flashes in the stream as fish slash from side-to-side engulfing drifting nymphs by the mouthful.

Once a good supply of duns are on the surface the trout will come up for them and the real fun begins with dry flies… fish staging in faster water will be easier targets as they have precious little time to inspect your offering. Trout holding in slower pools will be a bit tougher, but may be larger and you should still dupe them easily with a stealthy “down & across” approach. If the fish refuse your floating dry, try tying an emerger pattern or weightless nymph about 6” off the back of the dry. This will take fish that are targeting these hapless naturals. Some of you may have heard people say that the trout are easier to catch at the beginning of the sulphur hatch but get smarter as the weeks wear on? These are the guys that don’t adjust to the dorothea activity and are missing out big time. The difference in a size 16 or 14 hook may not sound like much, but place the fly’s next to each other and you will see why the trout key on one or the other. Just pay attention to what is on the water and you’ll be OK.

The last piece of the puzzle is the spinnerfall. Again, this can be as frustrating or as rewarding as you want to make it. Personally I take my largest “dry fly caught” trout every season during the spinnerfall. It’s an easy meal and one that large trout rarely pass up. As you survey the stream take notice of the presence of any swarms of “dancing” mayflies over the riffles. These will be egg-laden females preparing to drop their cargo into the drink before dying and dropping in themselves. The males in all likelihood have already fallen, spent from mating activity. During sulphur season this activity most often takes place during the early evening if not right at dark (maybe early morning if air temp’s are too high for mating flights). These mating swarms start out high above the stream surface and if you happen to notice flocks of insect-eating birds (swallows, swifts, nighthawks… maybe bats) high above, you can be pretty sure that a spinnerfall is about an hour away. Sounds complicated but it is surprisingly simple… for this activity I carry just one fly—The Rusty Spinner—in sizes 14-18. Look for subtle risers, often times near the tail ends of pools, just “dimpling’ the surface and float your imitation right down into the waiting jaws of a heavy brown. If rising fish continue to ignore your floating dun, tie on a Rusty Spinner and 9 out of 10 times you will be surprised at the response.

Always keep in mind that ANY and ALL of the above described activities could be going on… sometimes simultaneously! Just be observant, let the trout tell you what they want, and you will enjoy your cigar and cold beverage a LOT more back at the parking area… this I promise.

*NOTE* The referenced taxon above is a bit outdated as the society of entomologists (or whoever they are) have decided that E. invaria and E. rotunda are now the same species (E. invaria)… also they have added a second dorothea to E. dorothea (E. dorothea dorothea). This info is strictly for the angler’s that are over-obsessed with details (like ME for example)… the trout still eat them the same as they always have.

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/19/2016 (8187 reads)
A mayfly hatch is the grand finale in the year long seasonal play that returns annually for trout and anglers.

MayFly StagesThis show begins the previous season with mature female mayflies, called spinners, laying their eggs on the surface of the water(video). The eggs shortly hatch into small larvae and quickly change into nymphs.

The nymph phase of the mayfly is the longest and will last just about one year. Different species of mayflies can be found in different parts of a stream. Some prefer the faster water and rocks, while others are only found at the end of pools in deep mud. During this time a nymph will grow and molt regularly. Molting is when the mayfly breaks out of it's old skin and a larger one is exposed underneath to protect it during the next growth cycle. During the final molting these leftover soft shells are referred to as shucks.

The emergence stage out of the water can be a quick and dangerous time for these transitional nymphs. Trout can find and aggressively feed on these insects that normally may be hiding or burrowing at the bottom of a stream. Once ready to leave the water the hatch begins. The emerger swims to the surface film molts their skins and expose there wings.

Green Drake Spinner aka Coffin FlyThe cloudy, grayish wings they emerge with give them there name: dun. The duns sit on top of the water and prepare its wings for flight. On top of the film of a stream they ready their wings for flight. This can take seconds or minutes depending how fast the mayfly can take flight. During this phase, mayflies often can been seen in great numbers sailing down the stream with trout striking on an easy food source. Once the dun escapes the water, it will head for the trees for several days.

While maturation occurs during this stage a dun may molt several more times until it becomes a spinner (Green Drake spinner aka Coffin Fly pictured left). As spinners they have no mouths to feed, male and female mayflies will seek each other out only to mate. The females will quickly lay her eggs back at the water starting the cycle over again.

The cycle ends when the dead and dying mayflies drop to the stream. The spent wing spinner is the one final opportunity for tout to feed on the last stage of this great yearlong production provided by the mayfly.

To learn and discuss more about mayflies on the site head over to the Hatch and Entomology Forum. Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.

A great online site to follow and get deep into the latin is Troutnut and his Aquatic Insects of our Trout Streams. A must read!!







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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/11/2016 (7120 reads)
Trout enjoy a wide array of food and insects being the more popular. While mayflies (Ephemeroptera) enjoy much of the spotlight, caddisflies (Trichoptera) are incredibly plentiful in waters across the region. Not always the preferred insect of the fly anglers mostly due to lack of familiarity.

caddisflyCaddis are a hardy insect and has thrived in streams that have been decimated with pollution. Streams like the Tulpehocken, Oil Creek and Casselman are are just a few streams known for their abundant caddis fly populations in our region. For many of these streams the caddisfly is so prolific that mayflies are an often afterthought for anglers.

The caddis behavior is a little less predictable and is certainly one of the reasons it is not as popular for many anglers. Many mayflies can be timed to within a few days and hours. The Green Drakes on Penn's Creek are revered by anglers the same way the "Swallows" of Capistrano are anticipated at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. Caddis not so much.

That is not to say great hatches of caddis are not enjoyed by anglers and trout, as there can be wonderful evenings and days with them covering a stream. Just as often there can be sporadic emergers happening with without much fanfare.

There are over 1200 species of caddis flies in the country. They range in size and colors covering the gambit of black, green, tan, cream and white bodies. The more popular Grannom hatch do arrive across much of the region at the end of April and are much anticipated by anglers and trout alike.

To get some understanding of their cycle it is as easy to do as by simply lifting a rock the next time out on the water.

caddisflyMany types of caddis larvae can be found at the bottom of the stream in self-made protected cases or roaming along the bottoms of streams. Some these species create protective cocoons made of small stones or sticks held together with silk like threads. This thread is also used to secure the larvae to the larger rocks or stream bed where they live.

As the caddisflies mature they reach the pupa stage were they hold-up inside their cases and prepare to emerge out as adults above the water. This transformation from water to wing is the most dangerous for all insects. The caddisfly rise from their cases often with the help of a small gas bubble pulling them towards the surface. Once there they emerge with their uniquely folded tent-style of wings they take flight.

The caddis return to lay their eggs either on the surface or by diving to the bottom depending on the species. Like when they emerge, this is the time when they are most susceptible to hungry trout. The cycle of life then returns as these eggs transform into the larvae again.

Like mayflies, caddis flies begin in ernest in April and are big part of many streams. Continued sporadic hatches can be found through the late Fall.

To learn and discuss more about mayflies on the site head over to the Hatch and Entomology Forum. Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.

A great online site to follow and get deep into the latin is Troutnut and his Aquatic Insects of our Trout Streams. A must read!!
For further reading check out Gary LaFontaine's book Caddisflies.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/21/2016 (1372 reads)
It has been a few years since we held a photo contest and we are due to recognize some of the fantastic anglers on this site who share some some wonderful images from their fly fishing experiences. Paflyfish is holding a fly fishing photo contest this spring. All photographic skill levels are encouraged to participate.

Winning photos will be displayed on the Paflyfish website and social media sites. We have prizes from our friends at Allen Fly Fishing, Orvis-Plymouth Meeting, Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins and Cutthroat Furled Leaders.

Paflyfish

2009 Josh Slaymaker's - Sal on the Letort


Both amateur and professional photographers are welcome to participate. Photos must be submitted in digital format; see contest rules for details.

Each participant may submit one photograph in total. All images must be digitally uploaded. You can upload your images at the photo section. Select the “2016 Spring Photo Contest” Category when submitting your photograph.

Paflyfish

2013 Tomitrout's - Anticipation


Start Date: March 21, 2016 at 12:00 AM, EST End Date: June 19, 2016 at 11:00 PM EST. We’re not responsible for errors that may terminate the contest early so enter soon.

Sorry for the length and this is intended to be fun, but most all questions can be answered by reading the rules and directions below. Please read!

No payment necessary to enter or win

Photo Eligibility
To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen. Paflyfish.com employees, moderators and their immediate family members are not eligible. All photos must be taken in Pennsylvania region, which includes: New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio during the timeframe of the contest. The photo subject must be relevant to fly fishing in the region. Photos must be taken during spring of 2016. Do not submit previous season photographs or from another year.

How to Enter
Digital photos may be submitted online only. You must register on the PalyFish.com website. Previously uploaded photographs can not be resubmitted. You can upload your images in the photo section. Select the “2016 Spring Photo Contest” Category when submitting your photograph. Entries must be received by the deadline (see above). Digital images will not be returned. No mail or postal entries accepted.

Image Modifications:
Minor digital enhancement is permitted, but images that have been significantly modified or appear unnatural will be disqualified.
Not Permitted:
* No borders or frames may be added to images.
* No watermarks, signatures, or copyright notices may be added to images. All winning images will be displayed with the photographer's name.

Photo Formats
Entries must be digital JPEG images and images should be 1024 pixels on the longest side at 72PPI. Please read the specific guidelines for submitting prints and digital images. Winning entries may be requested to provide larger available images.

Judging
Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and/or unique character of fly fishing in the region.

Winners
Judges will select a first, second and third place winning photos. Winners will be announced on the website and notified approximately 2-3 weeks after the contest deadline by website private messaging and email using the information provided in your Paflyfish.com website registration. Winning photographs, along with the photographer's name, email address (optional) and information about the photo, will be displayed on the Paflyfish.com website.

Photographer/Copyright
Entries must be submitted by the original photographer. Do not submit a photo taken by someone other than yourself. You must be the sole owner of the copyright of any image submitted. Your submission of the photo and entry form is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of the photo.

Photo Subject Restrictions
We cannot accept photos that contain any nudity and follow site guidelines. Paflyfish.com retains sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content. Winners will be selected based on several criteria including, originality, theme, technical & artistic details, story, and visual impact. Notified winning photos containing recognizable people must be able to provide a signed model release to be announced as a winner.

Ownership/Use Rights
Photographers retain the copyright to their photographs. By entering the contest, photographers agree to have their submitted photograph displayed on the Paflyfish.com website without any fee or other form of compensation, and agree that Paflyfish.com may display winning photos in a "past winners" photo gallery, and may make and retain copies of the photograph for archival purposes. Posted photos will be subject to the Paflyfish.com website photo use policy. Photos will be credited to the photographer named in the entry form. Entries (including non-winning entries) may be selected for display or use in Paflyfish.com web pages. Your entry to the contest constitutes your agreement to allow your photographs — and your name, city and state of residence — to be published as selected award winners in all materials related to the contest and to be published or used on websites owned or operated by Kile Media Group and PaFlyFish.com; and used for promotions of the website including, but not limited to, exhibitions, a photo calendar, a compilation book or electronic collection of photographs, online photo features, and web pages providing information, updates, rules and photography and fly fishing tips. Entrants retain Copyright ownership and all other rights to future use of their photographs. Paflyfish.com shall have the right to verify, in their sole judgment, winner eligibility.


I think it is pretty clear, but if you have any questions please use the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/14/2016 (1394 reads)
For the past 22 years in June along the Yellow Breeches 32 young men and women get an outstanding opportunity to become better educated on the importance of cold water conservation. For those not familiar with Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp it is wonderful program supported by many expert volunteers from the fly fishing community.

A good portion of the time during camp students spend time in a classroom setting. Classes include studies of entomology, wetlands, ecology, hydrogeology, aquatic invertebrates, hydrology, watersheds, the biology of pollution, trout behavior and stream restoration. There are many sessions that take place on the stream or outside during the week.

Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp


The instructors in the program often include leading experts including many from state agencies like the PFBC, DEP and DCNR. The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited sponsors the program with help from the Cumberland Valley TU.

Every morning and evening the participants are given the opportunity to fly fish the catch and release section of Yellow Breeches where they stay for the week. June on the Yellow Breeches is an excellent time to be fishing. Lessons in casting, knot tying, fly tying and more are also part of the curriculum.

• The camp is co-ed for ages 14 to 17
• It is held at the Allenberry Resort on the Yellow Breeches in Boiling Springs, PA
• Cost is $400 which includes tuition, room and board. Financial aid is available
• The students are provided with three meals per day
• Classes are also held in the evenings after fishing
• Campers receive all course materials, a vest, camp tee shirt, hat, and flies
• There are 10 fishing sessions on the Catch-andRelease section of the Yellow Breeches held prior to breakfast and after dinner each day
• Classes are taught by more than 25 different instructors, all experts in their field
• Fly fishing equipment is available for loan if needed

This year the program will run from June 19-24, 2016. There are different ways that financial support is provided and there are several openings still available. The deadline for the early acceptance period is March 31, 2016.

Truly an exciting opportunity to learn more about conservation and enjoy fly fishing as well. To find out more please go to the website here where they also provide applications. More details can be found on the website.

Paflyfish is a supporting sponsor of this program. You can too by contacting riverscamp@gmail.com
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