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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/27/2020 (9774 reads)
By Alan Ritt

Ritt’s Fighting CrayfishThere are times when I just don’t feel inspired to sit down and tie more of “the same.” Whether “the same” means flies others and I have tied for years, or it means patterns I’ve conjured up and like to think of as more or less mine. The point is a change is needed.

During one of these restless periods a decade or so ago I was thinking to myself that I didn’t fish nearly enough large flies. You know, the ones regularly hanging from the jaws of those fish in the pictures of each day’s newest instant hero. Not that I felt like I should be that hero, but sometimes you just want a shot at a larger fish. Another streamer or leech pattern just wasn’t what I was craving though. I wanted something more interesting. My mind gravitated to the crayfish.

Though there were a lot of effective crayfish patterns around, I wasn’t convinced there weren’t improvements to be made. I needed a pattern that would swim, crawl or rest in a realistic posture and was snag resistant enough to fish around cover where crayfish are commonly found. The details of the trial and error are entertaining stories of their own (like the version that, though heavily weighted, floated in the surface film).

Suffice it to say I did come up with a pattern that has been extremely effective for many species of fish and in many types of water and fishing conditions. The pattern incorporates the hard shiny carapace and multitude of legs, antennae and other appendages of the natural. It has lots of movement in the water, even when not being actively manipulated. The hook not only rides up, but the posture of the fly places the hook eye down and the bend up in the water column to make it relatively snag free even without a weed guard (or fish guard as I think of them). And unlike all other crayfish patterns I’ve seen, the main arms and claws do not lay limply behind the fly as if it was dead, but are held high like a natural warding off a predator and collapse behind the fly when stripped just as a live crayfish holds them when swimming.

I’ve used this fly myself to catch trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappie, bullheads, silver salmon and bonefish. Others have told me of catching carp, walleye and pike as well. Below is the recipe, vary the color to match the crayfish in your local waters (there are many variations) and let me know how you do! My flies are available on MyFlies.com and also my own web site has patterns and information on my tying demo appearances, lessons, guide services and flies as well as my contact information below.

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/20/2020 (266 reads)
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Forum member Andy Ranieri (Krayfish) shares his knowledge, experiences, and tips fishing the regional big waters in the latest podcast with Steve and Coty. Andy spends time talking about the Delaware and other big rivers in the region. Check it out.

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The Open Air Project is a podcast by Coty Soult and Steve Sunderland. The podcast is about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The vision for The Open Air project is to share with people the stories of them and their guests, all while educating everyone in the process. They feel that learning is a never-ending journey, one that they intend to share with their audience. They enjoy we can learn, meet unique people, and make few friends along the way, we feel that we've accomplished our goals.

Website: http://theopenairproject.com
iTunes: The Open Air Project Coty Soult & Steve Sunderland
Stitcher: The Open Air Project
Tunein Radio: https://tunein.com/radio/The-Open-Air-Project-p1037344/

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/14/2020 (317 reads)
The second attempt in the last week to get on the board for 2020 turned out to be an outstanding day of fishing at Muddy Creek. Maurice hit me the night before to get out today to Muddy Creek on Monday. I quickly abandoned my plans for the Gunpowder and started packing up the SUV.

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We arrived at about 11:00 with temps in the mid-forties and cloud cover. The clouds stayed with us all day and temps moved up to the upper forties. Water was just a little off-color, running at 180 CFS and at about 46 degrees. It could be considered a normal winter day in SEPA.

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Maurice pointed out what really made conditions work is the very warm weather and rain just two days before. On January 11th the water temps reached about 51. January 12th was 65 degrees with about .8 inches of rain after midnight. This raised the water temps and changed the clarity of the water to just a little off-color when we got there. The normally sluggish deep holed trout were moving around more, with a better chance of them feeding.

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We started out pretty quickly getting some hits and trout My first fish landed just before noon and Maurice followed right along or vice versa I can't recall. I pretty much stuck to fishing a black Palmer streamer all day.

The best section of the stream for me was a longer deep bending hole. After we caught a couple, I was now drifting my streamer at the end of the hole. Frist cast is a strong bump and miss, second cast strong bump and miss, third cast bump and miss and now I got a glimpse him. The fourth time, bam he came back for more and made the hook-up! A lot of fun.

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Most of my fish were pulled out from opposite bank and the fish striking on the swing. An occasional little twitch helped give the streamer some slight action.

Maurice stuck to nymphing for the day with a bead head and wet fly dropper 18” up the line hitting more of the deeper holes and runs. We did really well catching many fish for the day. We had fall stocked bows, TU holdover browns and Mo caught a wild trout to close the day. The stocked fish looked in good shape and were all 10"-14".

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I even saw a few ~#26 BWO? coming off sporadically a few times during the day. There were a couple rises at one hole. Enough excitement for me to put on a dry fly, but really it was only a Hail Mary and had no luck.

We wrapped up the day after 4:30 and made our way back up the hill to the cars talking about one of the best days we had for a January in a long time.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/08/2020 (354 reads)
After a busy spring and early summer of fly-fishing, or at the end of the season is a good time to give your gear a little attention. Your fly line especially could use some love during the year.

The UV rays of the sun and common chemicals can break down your fly line over time. Sunscreen and the deet in your insect repellent can easily do the most common damage. After a short time even mud, salt and dirty water can weaken the effectiveness of your line unless you periodically clean and treat them carefully.

In this video, Brian Flechsig at Mad River Outfitters offers a detailed step-by-step guide on how to clean your fly line and why you should do so!


Published by Michael Lohman [GenCon] on 01/05/2020 (428 reads)
To all PAFF members, family, and friends:
You are invited to attend and participate in the 2020 PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jamboree, to be held on Saturday, February 15, from 10 AM to 5 PM. This event is being hosted by Michael Lohman GenCon . Please feel free to contact me with any questions. This event will be held at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, in Slatington, PA. Directions can be found here: http://lgnc.org/.

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Everyone is invited to attend and watch the demonstrations, get tips from the tyers, and have a great time. We particularly encourage beginner tyers to attend, and we'll have beginner instruction set up at a table. Details to follow.

As always, we need to recruit a team of volunteer tyers of all skill levels to participate and we ask that you register your willingness to give a demonstration by signing up in this thread. Each tyer will be given 15-20 minutes to tie and explain their chosen demo fly. Tyers will tie one at a time, proceeding around the room. Please choose a pattern that fits into one of the following categories, and list it in your signup post. Duplicates are OK, but try to pick a pattern that hasn't already been chosen.

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Categories:
- Catskill style dries
- parachute style dries
- comparadun and hairwing style dries
- emergers
- imitative nymphs
- attractor nymphs
- terrestrials
- wet flies
- streamers
- "other" flies

Tying on a large hook (e.g. #12) makes it much easier for the audience to see what you are doing. It really helps if you practice your "demo" beforehand, especially to keep within the time limit. Having all the materials laid out beforehand is also good. We should be able to fit about 30 tyers into the rotation. If we have extra time, that time will be used for Q & A sessions following each demo. We request that the tyers explain techniques as they go, rather than just tying the fly, and explaining afterward. This can easily make a 5-minute tie into a 15-minute tie, so be prepared.

Things to bring:
• All Tools and materials to tie your chosen demo fly. A tying lamp and any extension cords you need - there's an ample number of outlets on the walls behind the tying tables.
• Bring any food or drinks you'd like to, but save room for dinner! We'll provide spring water on ice.

It's a good idea to get there and set up your tying gear before 10 AM. We'll have access to the hall at the LGNC at 9 AM, so please be ready to start tying at 10 AM. We'll also be holding a raffle at 5 PM of donated tying materials and flyfishing gear. Any donations to this raffle are welcome, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, as a "thank you" for allowing us to use their beautiful facility for this event.

We'll be heading over to Riverwalck's Saloon after the event for drinks and dinner. Directions to Riverwalck's Saloon can be found here: http://riverwalcksaloon.com/ Let the hostess know you are with Paflyfish, and she'll take you to our tables.

Looking forward to a fun and educational day, meeting new PAFF members, and seeing old friends and fishing buddies! Please sign up in the forum thread here, and don't forget to list your chosen demo fly. Let the games begin!

GenCon Michael Lohman




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