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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/03/2020 (40 reads)
After careful deliberation, and in following the latest guidance from national, state and local authorities, we are sad to announce that the Paflyfish Spring Jamboree will not take place the weekend of May 15-17, 2020. We greatly appreciate your understanding as our actions are always in the best interest of our fly fishing community.

We may consider some sort of Fall Jamboree, but we will have to evaluate that at a later date.

As of March 26, 2020, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) holds to the following statement regarding fishing in Pennsylvania- "In Pennsylvania, fishing is a year-round activity with many species of fish to enjoy, including bass, panfish, musky, walleye, catfish, trout in select waters, and many more. Fishing is often a solitary activity and is currently acceptable per the guidelines issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if social distancing guidelines are followed."

Please keep up with current announcements and changes of these guidelines at https://www.fishandboat.com/

As of April 2, 2020, the Seven Mountains Campground is still open and operating. If you wish to make any cancellations, please contact them promptly about your reservation. They do have certain policies about cancellations and you will need to communicate with Seven Mountains Campground to discuss a refund or credit for a future date. I spoke with the new owners and they are very understanding of today's current situation. But, don't wait if you are changing your plans.

You can reach Seven Mountains Campground at (814) 364-1910 or https://www.sevenmountainscampground.com/

Please take care, be safe and follow all government guidelines during these times for health of everyone.

Please follow up in the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/29/2020 (79 reads)
HARRISBURG, Pa (March 26) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) knows that anglers and boaters are ethically minded, passionate outdoor enthusiasts who might have some questions about how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting their favorite activities this spring.

As we continue to face the challenges of this rapidly shifting situation including travel restrictions, business and facility closures, and the desire to find safe and beneficial recreational activities, the PFBC is providing answers to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Many detailed answers to questions about the upcoming trout season can also be answered by reviewing the PFBC news release issued on March 16, 2020.

Still have questions? Stay informed through official PFBC information updates posted on www.fishandboat.com and our official social media channels. We welcome your call at (717)705-7800 or email at RA-BE@pa.gov.

Please practice social distancing while fishing and boating.

Frequently Asked Questions:

May I still fish?

Yes! In Pennsylvania, fishing is a year-round activity with many species of fish to enjoy, including bass, panfish, musky, walleye, catfish, trout in select waters, and many more. Fishing is often a solitary activity and is currently acceptable per the guidelines issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if social distancing guidelines are followed.

Are there any changes to trout season?

Yes.If you plan to fish for stocked trout, be aware that the PFBC is operating under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season. Under this revised plan, a single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a single Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18. As a result of these changes, separate, earlier regional mentored youth and opening days will not occur this year in the 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York. Anglers in these areas should revise their plans as necessary to adjust to the statewide schedule.

What should I do to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus while fishing?

When bank fishing or wading, please keep a distance of at least 6 feet between you and the nearest angler. A good rule of thumb is that if you can turn your rod perpendicular on all sides of you without hitting anyone, that is a safe distance.

• If fishing with a child or children, advise them to not wander into the personal space of other anglers.

• Refrain from carpooling. Sharing a vehicle with others could put you at risk.

• Avoid crowds. If you arrive at your fishing spot and it's crowded, find another location.

• Avoid sharing fishing gear with anyone. Each angler is advised to have their own fishing gear (bait, bait container, waders, gloves, hand towels, clippers, pliers, or other personal items).

• Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; to clean your gear well after using it; and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after fishing.

• If you are fishing at a state or local park, the restrooms may be closed to protect staff and visitors. Use the bathroom before you visit or dispose of waste properly. Carry out any trash, since there are limited staff at these facilities.

• Purchase your fishing license online at www.fishandboat.com.

• Continue to follow the guidance from the CDC below:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.

• Clean surfaces frequently.

• Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.

Is the Regional Trout Opener still happening in 18 southeastern counties?

No. The PFBC is operating under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season. Under this revised plan, a single Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Why did we consolidate the Regional Opening Day and Statewide Opening Day?

To best protect the public and our staff from the spread of COVID-19, we consolidated the Regional and Statewide Opening Days. Opening days are the busiest fishing days of the year. We made the decision to consolidate the openers to the later date in order to reduce fishing pressure, provide more time and space to reduce the chance of anglers spreading or coming into contact with COVID-19, and to allow our staff more time to stock trout.

Is Mentored Youth Trout Day still happening?

A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, 2020. The earlier Regional Mentored Youth Trout Day will not occur this year.

Are you still stocking fish? May I help?

The PFBC is still stocking fish! But to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the public is not permitted to help stock fish at this time. For the sake of your and our staff's health, we respectfully ask that you not attend stockings this year. The 2020 trout stocking is being conducted on an accelerated schedule. These changes will not result in any reduction in the approximately 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked statewide in 2020. To complete trout stocking operations without the assistance of the public, the PFBC has modified stocking methods for this year. Many PFBC staff are being reassigned from their normal work duties to assist with stocking fish into lakes and streams. In some cases, pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking events to increase the efficiency of stocking trips.

Why aren't we updating the stocking schedule online immediately after stocking?

Our focus is on stocking the fish as quickly and efficiently as we can. We will update the online stocking schedule in advance of the April 11 Mentored Youth Trout Day and April 18 Opening Day.

Where may I fish?

Some trout waters managed under special regulations are open to year-round fishing. For instance, the PFBC's Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters are managed under Artificial Lures Only and Catch-and-Release regulations and feature high concentrations of trophy-sized trout. You can also fish for other species like bass, panfish, or catfish at a creek or lake that is not stocked with trout. There are lots of great options out there! Check out the PFBC's online list of Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters by navigating to www.fishandboat.com, clicking on the "Locate" tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then clicking on "Best Fishing Waters" in the drop-down list. Pennsylvania state park waterbodies are also still open to fishing, as long as the waterbody is not stocked with trout. If the state park waterbody is designated as Open to Year-Round Fishing per the PFBC Fishing Regulations and is stocked with trout, anglers may fish it, but must immediately release any trout caught. Remember that the facilities at the 121 state parks and 20 state forests will be closed until April 30. The public will continue to be able to access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas at state parks for passive and dispersed recreation. Please be sure to adhere to the latest travel guidance from the Governor's Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Please refer to the Regulations Summary Book on www.fishandboat.com for more information on creels and other regulations.

The store where I buy my fishing license is closed. How do I get a fishing license?

Buy it online using the FishBoatPA smartphone app or on a computer at www.fishandboat.com.

Do I still need a fishing license?

Yes. During this unprecedented time, anglers and boaters will be able to display their fishing license digitally on a phone or other mobile device, and they will be able to provide electronic receipts for the purchases of launch permits, fishing licenses, and boat registrations as proof of purchase. Fishing licenses and permits, launch permits, and boat registration renewals can be purchased online by using the FishBoatPA app or at www.fishandboat.com. If approached by a Waterways Conservation Officer in the field, an angler or boater can provide a digital image or receipt of their fishing license, and a digital receipt from their launch permit or boat registration as proof of purchase. Of course, you may display your fishing license on your hat or vest as you always have. We expect many anglers will continue to display their licenses and encourage them to do so.

How are fishing license dollars reinvested in Pennsylvania?

The PFBC is a user-funded agency and relies on fishing license revenues to fund the services and programs it provides to anglers – like the hatchery-raised trout that are being stocked across Pennsylvania at an unprecedented rate this spring. Thank you for expressing your support for fishing in the Commonwealth through the purchase of a license that is your ticket to fun and relaxation all year long.

How do I report suspected fishing violations, including poaching before trout season starts?

Call the tip line at 1-855-FISH-KIL (1-855-347-4545).

Reminder: Wear your lifejacket!

If you fish from a boat or go boating without fishing, please remember to wear your life jacket! Everyone is required to wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) during the cold weather months from November 1st through April 30th while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak.

Still have questions?

Again, we welcome your call at 717-705-7800 or email at RA-BE@pa.gov and will get back to you as soon as possible. Your cooperation is essential in helping the PFBC provide safe and memorable fishing experiences in the midst of many unexpected events happening this spring. By following the guidelines listed above, which are meant to optimize public health and safety while fishing, we hope that you are able to get out along a stream or lake this spring and enjoy the many benefits of fishing and being outdoors.

Media Contact:

Mike Parker
Communications Director
(717)705-7806

(717)585-3076 mobile
michparker@pa.gov


Published by Tom C. [afishinado] on 03/27/2020 (3026 reads)
Many times the rising fish you see in the winter are taking midges. I’ve done well in the winter fishing midges on warmer afternoons. It’s great covering rising fish fish in the winter since I become tired of dredging the bottom, doing the chuck-and-chance-it to unseen fish. I could never stand watching fish rise in front of me without giving them a try.
Dave Weaver Midges

Tying Midges

Midges are not hard to tie. I use a small sized emerger hook which is a wide gape 2x short curved hook. For dries, just add a thread body and a few fibers for wings or a wisp of dubbing for pupa:

Hook: Emerger hook size 20-28

Body: Thread (black, cream, brown, white, olive) to match naturals. I always try to catch a few insects with my net before I select a fly. If I can't capture a natural, I'll usually try black first.

Wing: 8-12 CDC fibers, or Z-lon, or Antron yarn.

I like to use 6/0 or 8/0 thread for the body depending on the brand of thread and the size of the fly. The body should remain thin like the natural.

Start the thread on the shank behind the eye and wrap it back to the bend. Spin the bobbin to wind the thread tightly by spinning and wrap the thread back to just behind the eye. The tightly wound thread gives a segmented appearance and makes it easier to wrap. On a size smaller fly hook, one pass back and forth is enough to build the body. On larger flies several passes may be needed.

I tie off the heavier thread with finer 12/0 thread to finish the fly. Cut 8-12 CDC fibers (Z-lon or Antron yarn also work) and tie in on top of the hook shank and trim the wing fibers slightly shorter than the body and whip finish. That’s it!...a thread body with some wisps of CDC or yarn for the wing. On larger sized midges I sometimes use a little dubbing the same color as the body to finish off the head.

Don’t make the wings too heavy – sparse fibers look more natural to suggest wings, and adds just enough buoyancy to float the fly in the film like the naturals.

For midge pupa, do the same thread body as above, except instead of wings dub in a small wisp of light colored dubbing fur near the head of the fly or trim a small clump of CDC at the head.

Fishing Midges


With a size 28 fly, I may go down to a 7X tippet, not so much because of visibility of the tippet by the fish, more for getting a good drift. Heavier tippet tends to drag such a small fly around in the water.

Use a fairly long and soft tippet and try to cast some s-curves and slack in your line and tippet to avoid drag. Also, be sure not to cast your leader over the fish. Try to reach mend or curve cast it so the fish see the fly and not your line. Getting a drag-free drift is the key to fooling the fish.

I grease my line down to 1’ or so of the fly and watch the tippet for strikes. If I have problems seeing the tippet, I put a pinch of strike putty on the tippet knot for visibility. When you line moves a little on the take, just tighten up and the battle is on.

After covering a few fish and believing I have gotten some good drifts over them, I will often change over to a pupa pattern that rides in the film. At times they are feeding on pupae.

The hardest part of fishing is often trying not to spook the fish. Careful casting and wading (if you must get into the water) is most important. When fishing to rising fish, I often ease into a casting position and wait until the fish resume rising. Just slow down and try to stay low, and take as few false casts as possible.

In the winter fish are often found rising in the long, slow pools. If there's a deeper bank with rising fish I'll often cross over in the shallow riff below the pool and slowly wade across to deeper bank. Casting from the shallow side will often expose you to the trout, and laying all your line out over the entire width of stream to reach the opposite bank often causes issues trying to get a good drift, especially when trying to dead-drift tiny flies.

After crossing over and most times putting all the rising fish down, I sit along the bank next to a tree or any cover I can find. I proceed to pull out my Wawa shortie and Wawa chocolate milk and began to feast. By the time I am finished, the fish resume rising and I began to target one fish at time. Don’t worry, it’s not just a Philly thing, for those in western and central PA, the strategy works, but not quite as well with Sheetz MTO hoagies and drinks.

Tying and fishing midges is not really that hard. I look forward to it every winter when I tire of nymphing.

Give it a try and good luck. Follow in the forum here.

Artwork by Dave Weaver
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/17/2020 (253 reads)
PFBC Announces Consolidated Statewide Schedule and More - March 2020
PFBC ANNOUNCES CONSOLIDATED STATEWIDE SCHEDULE FOR TROUT SEASON, BEGINS ACCELERATED STOCKING OPERATIONS, ADDS MORE CONVENIENT ONLINE LICENSE PURCHASE AND DISPLAY OPTIONS

HARRISBURG, Pa (March 16) – Amid concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced several changes to the 2020 trout season intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing.

These changes, effective immediately, include consolidating the 2020 trout season schedule into a single, statewide schedule for all Pennsylvania counties; accelerating trout stocking operations and limiting volunteer participation; and adding more convenient ways to purchase fishing licenses online and display proof of a fishing license and boating documents on a digital device.

"Thank you to the anglers and boaters of Pennsylvania for their understanding as we all experience these changes together," said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. "While our calendars may start to look a little different, one thing we can count on is that there will be a trout season and there will still be plenty of fish out there to enjoy. Working under unprecedented circumstances, our staff is committed to providing the quality fishing experience that we all expect."

Statewide Mentored Youth Program and Opening Day


The PFBC will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season. Under this revised plan, a single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18.

As a result of these changes, separate, earlier regional mentored youth and opening days will no longer occur in the 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. Anglers in these areas should revise their plans as necessary to adjust to the statewide schedule.

These changes, made by the PFBC under direction provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, are intended to reduce large gatherings of people and the number of anglers traveling into the regional area (18 southeastern counties), which is already heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Accelerated Trout Stocking Operations and Volunteer Participation

2020 trout stocking will be conducted on an accelerated schedule, and volunteers will not be permitted to assist with stocking activities.

"We realize that many of our stocking volunteers look forward to helping us, but we must take these necessary precautions to ensure public safety during this vital period," said Schaeffer. "Just as we've counted on our volunteers for decades to help us stock trout, we're counting on them now to play it safe and stay home. We appreciate their service throughout the years, and we hope that we can invite them back to join us again very soon."

To complete trout stocking operations without the assistance of the public, the PFBC will modify stocking methods for this year. Many PFBC staff are being reassigned from their normal work duties to assist with stocking fish into lakes and streams. In some cases, pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking events to increase the efficiency of stocking trips. Initially, stockings will be prioritized to deliver trout to regions of the Commonwealth that are predicted to be affected most severely by COVID-19 that could result in restrictions on travel.

Moving forward this season, trout stockings will be announced upon their completion, rather than in advance on the FishBoatPA mobile app and PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com). The change in stocking procedures will not result in any reduction in the approximately 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked statewide in 2020, and stocking will occur seven days a week until further notice.

"This change in our stocking approach is necessary to fulfill a critical mission of our agency and our obligation to anglers," added Rick Kauffman, PFBC District 8 Commissioner. "We're trying to get as many fish in the water as possible as quickly as possible while we still have the best access to waterways and available staff. While our methods may be different this season, people will have the same opportunity to get outdoors and fish, which has proven benefits to our physical and mental health."

More Convenient Ways to Purchase and Display Your Fishing License, Launch Permits and Boat Registrations

To reduce unnecessary travel and social contact amid health concerns, anglers and boaters will be able to display their fishing license, launch permit, or boat registration renewal digitally on a phone or other mobile device as proof of possession.

This change will allow customers who may be unable to, or feel uncomfortable visiting a store to purchase a fishing license, launch permit, or boat registration renewal to make the purchase using the FishBoatPA app or computer through The Outdoor Shop (www.pa.wildlifelicense.com ) and not have to possess a printed copy of the document. Upon purchase of a fishing license, a .pdf file containing an image of your license is provided via email. Similarly, with each boating related transaction, customers will receive a digital receipt that serves a temporary permit or registration valid for immediate use. Eventually, customers will receive validation decals and registration cards in the mail from the PFBC, which can take several weeks.

If approached by a Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) in the field, the angler or boater would only have to produce the digital image of the license, permit or registration on their phone or mobile device. A digital copy of the .pdf, photo, or screenshot of your fishing license, launch permit or boat registration on your phone or mobile device will all be accepted as proof of possession.


Mike Parker
Communications Director
(717)705-7806

(717)585-3076 mobile
michparker@pa.gov

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/12/2020 (270 reads)
By Matthew Lourdeau

Minor league baseball is all about fun. Sure, the players are doing everything they can to succeed at the lower levels of professional baseball with the hopes of getting to the majors. But while they’re giving it their all on the field, there is a whole lot more going on around them. T-shirt cannons, “bring your dog” nights, and appearances from B-list celebrities draw crowds that include die-hard fans and families looking for a night out.

casting across


If you are an angler who lives around Altoona, Pennsylvania, the draw to come to watch the Curve this June might be their new look. For one weekend, the Altoona Curve will become the Altoona Brookies. Complete with new jerseys, hats, and more, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to celebrate the state fish of PA.

Brook trout are beautiful fish. Fly fishers and conventional anglers alike seek after them. However, their relatively diminutive size and bright colors eliminate them from consideration for something like the mascot of an NFL team. But minor league baseball? It is a perfect fit. In a league where Trash Pandas, Yard Goats, and Sod Poodles play all season, a weekend of Brookies is more than okay.

As is the case for many minor league promotions, “Brookie Weekend” will benefit a nonprofit. Currently, the Curve has announced that a jersey auction will help the American Rescue Workers, a nonprofit that fights hunger and homelessness. Trout fishing is certainly a way to generate interest in a cause in the keystone state. Pennsylvania has the highest stream density of any state in the country. It just so happens that many of those streams are occupied by trout for most of the year. The outdoors in general, and trout fishing in specific, is woven into the fabric of Pennsylvania.

In a culture like that, embroidering a leaping trout on the front of a ball cap just makes sense. And, of course, it is a lot of fun.

Matthew Lourdeau runs Casting Across, a website and podcast that explore the people, places, and things that go into the pursuit of fish. Originally from the MidAtlantic, he currently lives in New England where he’s only a short cast from mountain brookies and seacoast stripers.




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