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new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2010/12/22 15:17
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 6
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Hi everyone. This is my first post of hopefully many. I've been reading much of this blog site and find it extremely useful and "i've got a stupid question" friendly (which i'm sure to have plenty of).

I'm 30 and live in SW PA in a town called Greensburg. I briefly tried FFing when i was around 12, but it didnt last long because i didn't have a mentor and the internet wasn't what it is today. Basicly I had no knowledge, very little means to gain knowledge, and i lost interest pretty quickly. I took up spin fishing and have done so, fairly successfully, for the better part of the past 20 years. I've decided i'm a little bored with it and its time to give FFing my patience and dedication. I figured winter is the time to learn about what to expect in spring and summer. I picked up a TFO Lefty Kreh Pro (9' 5wt) matched with a Cabelas RLS reel, SciAngler GPX WF line which came as a combo through Cabelas which got excellant reviews by other customers. I purchased the better amount of the flies listed by the blogger GFEN, which i learned about on this site. Many others seemed to agree with the flies he listed, so i used that as my starter guide and I do thankyou GFEN. I went out and bought "Trout Streams and Hatches of PA" by Charles Meck. I'm starting to learn the differences between caddis, mayfly, etc. So without further adieu.. here is my first list of stupid questions..

1. I often watch fly fishing shows on TV.. sometimes they reel the fish in with the reel, and sometimes they strip the line in until they net the fish. What am i supposed to be doing?

2. I know how to tie an improoved clinch knot. I learned how to tie a few knots (arbor, loop to loop connection) when i was piecing together my reel, line, etc... but what knots should i be practicing right now so that i can tie them "on stream" without being clumsy?

3. I have a 9' 5wt rod. I plan on doing 99% of my fishing for the basic 10"+ stocked PA trout (hopefully running into a few lunkers from time to time), what length and weight leader/tippet combo should i be using? There are so many brands.. any recommendations?

4. I do most of my fishing in Westmoreland (loyalhanna) and Somerset (laurel hill, indian creek) Counties. Is there anyone who reads this blog or fishes these streams with some regulartity who would potentially be looking for a new fly fishing buddy? I'm a pretty quick learner and I've been known to spring for the occasional lunch

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!

Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:00


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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1. Lol. You're choice. One of the difficulties of switching from spinning gear to fly gear is line control. To achieve drag free drifts, you often have some slack line, and you're controlling it with your free hand. In the situation you get a hit, you have to hold the line tight to set the hook, will take some practice. Anyway, then you have a dilemma. You've got a fish on, and you're holding the line, but there's all this slack between your hand and the reel. You can hold the fish there and reel in the slack to get it "on the reel", or you can just strip the fish in.

95% of the time, stripping it in is fine, whichever way you like better. With truly big fish you want to get it on the reel ASAP so that you can utilize the drag. I usually just get everything on the reel, prevents a mess with the line I just stripped in, and knowing whether its big or not isn't always immediately apparant, so I figure its good practice.

2. Learn the blood knot. With the blood and clinch, you should be alright streamside.

3. leader/tippet combo has less to do with the fish you're catching and more to do with the fly your using. Generally, 9 ft leaders tapered to 5x tippets will do the bulk of the work if you want to keep it simple for now. If you want to get all proper, adjust you're leader length for the "spook" level of the fish and necessary tightness of the cast, and adjust tippet size based on the fly. For tippet size, the general rule is divide the fly size by 4 and add 1. So, a size 12 would be 4x, size 16 = 5x, size 20 = 6x, and so on. In between sizes you can go either way.

Tip: keep the total leader + tippet length slightly shorter than the rod length, keeps you from reeling the fly line-leader knot past the guides....

4. Yes, but not me, so I'll let them answer. By the way, you have PLENTY of wild trout fishing around you, once you get bored of the stockers.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:11


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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P.S.

For #2, the blood knot is used for line to line connections. So, when you add tippet to your leader, it'll be the blood knot.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:20


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:32
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Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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2006/9/10 9:05
From Schwenksville
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I would learn the triple surgeons knot instead of the blood knot. It's way quicker and easier and just as effective. If you weren't so far away, I'd suggest coming the the Learning Jam at the end of the month. Or if you don't mind the 5 hour drive, on way, come out to the Little Lehigh on the 26th and learn all kinds of good stuff.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:33


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Easier, yes. But the knot is bigger than a blood knot, no?

Either way, learn one or the other.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 13:43


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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I don't think it is much bigger, if at all. Sounds like a test for the 26th!

Posted on: 2011/2/3 14:19


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2008/10/8 0:36
From Florida
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Welcome to the forum, and back into fly-fishing

In addition to the blood and/or triple surgeon knots, practice tying tippet material to the bend of a hook using the clinch knot. It is quite common to fish two nymphs at a time, or to fish a nymph using a dry-fly as an indicator. Being able to quickly tie hook-bend clinch knots makes fishing either way much easier.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 14:35
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Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Ryan,
Welcome to PAFF! Glad to see you've used the wisdom of some of our regular posters to select flies. The Beginner's Forum is precisely for newbies coming into fly fishing (FFing) - or coming back into it - to ask questions.

I'll second Pcray's answers.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 14:53


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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Welcome, ryan. Any getting out I do over the next few weeks will be spur of the moment, weather dependent, when I am terribly bored or just can't take it anymore. I would be glad to answer your questions about SWPa trout fly fishing and when the weather breaks maybe we can hit a stream together. I'll bring someone along who knows what they are doing in case you need some instruction. In the meantime, soak up the valuable information here.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 19:22

Edited by JackM on 2011/2/4 6:31:06
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Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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ryan good luck with your endeavor here. One part of learning to fly fish via a message board like this is trying to decipher what is BS. But i assure you that if you stick arround long enough the more you learn the more you will learn what is BS !

Posted on: 2011/2/3 20:04


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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It takes alot of patience and practice- I gave it up for several years before it stuck for me.

Gander Mt there might have free classes as well as the shops in Ligonier- The Fishing Post and the Orivs shop there. Get to know them and ask questions. Anyone know if the guy in Derry still operates a shop?


The Forbes Trail trout unlimited chapter meets at the barn at St Vincent College- a place to meet others, not far for you.

This time of year is pretty tough fishing but a good time to learn the knots etc... Good luck.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 20:34
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Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

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2006/9/11 15:10
From collegeville, pa
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Ryan, great info above, one thing i would do this spring is go the local stocked bath tub and first fish some wooly buggers, fish them any way you want: dead drift, swing strip. You should catch a few and then experiment with bringing them in and see what feels "natural" if you hook a slob you'll see what Pcray means by getting it on the reel. After that try dead drifting/nymphing some egg patterns. soak up all the info you can here, you'll constantly learn here.

jeff

Posted on: 2011/2/3 20:35


Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2006/9/10 20:44
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Come to the Jam and I am sure you will learn and make some friends that will be willing to take you out fishing. I would suggest hitting up twin lakes for blue gills and stockies . Also check out the stocking schedule and take a drive to the yough tail waters or meadow run.

Posted on: 2011/2/3 21:13
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Re: new guy in SW PA has ?'s

Joined:
2010/12/22 15:17
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 6
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Thanks for all the great info on the knots guys. I'll be practicing all winter.

acristickid, thanks for the ideas about Gander Mt. and the Trout Unlimited @ St. Vincent. I'll be looking into both.

The flies i ordered already got here. That was quick! I bought them from The Fly Stop, which I learned about on here. They look great. Thanks for the recommendation.

One thing that you guys didn't touch on was a recommendation for a brand of leader or tippit? There are so many different ones to pick from. One thing i know about spinning fishing which i'm sure translates to FFing... garbage line can ruin your day. Can anyone recommend a good loop to loop leader or tippit? Also are there any brands i should stay away from??

Posted on: 2011/2/4 12:36



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