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Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Blog
Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2014/4/15 (77 reads)
Fly Fishing Getting started


Paflyfish is a popular spot for fly fishing anglers in the region for many good reasons. There are all sorts of great conversations and information shared in the forums on a host of different topics. We are very fortunate to have so many folks not only provide information online in the forums, but help out beginners at clinics and instructional jamborees. Also there are some darn smart anglers on the site coming from all walks of life. The site is filled with thousands of great post and threads that offer any angler any opportunity to expand their fly fishing opportunities. This section will be a dynamic page for beginners to find an index of information to get started with fly fishing. As relevant blog posts and threads are collected they will be added for quick and easy topics.

Take the Journey

Types of Trout

Trout Food
Trout Food Overview
The Mayfly Stages of Life 101
Mayfly Sex Identification 102
The Caddisflies
Stoneflies
Green Drakes: May Madness
Meet the Hendricksons

Gear
What Fly Rod and Fly Reel to get?
A Dozen Top Flies
Knots and the DBK
Trip Packing

Seasonal Information
Getting Ready For Fall Fly Fishing
Conquer the Cold: The theory of bigger being sometimes better
Try Some Winter Fly Fishing

Forums
Beginners Forum
Fly Fishing Locations
Fly Tying
Stream Reports

Additional Online Information
Fly Fishing Hatch Chart
USGS Real-Time Streamflow Data & Mobile
Troutnut.com
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2014/4/8 (257 reads)
By Brian McGeehan

The Aisen Region of Chile is located about the same distance South of the Equator as Montana is North. On a recent trip to the Coyaquie province we targeted wild browns and rainbows while fishing a remarkable diversity of fisheries including large float rivers, huge crystal clear lakes, spring creeks and wilderness mountain streams. We stayed at the Magic Waters Patagonia Lodge which is tucked away in remote valley with 5 private lakes filled with wild trophy fish.

The lodge is right on the edge of the Cerro Castillo National Reserve and the wilderness lakes and rivers within but is also within easy striking distance of the fertile spring creeks and valley rivers of the dryer pampas region. The mountain rivers are free of sediment and are gin clear with an emerald green hue. The pampas areas near the Argentine boarder are dryer and it is a similar landscape to the Dillon Montana area (without other fisherman!). I have been hosting trips to Patagonia for the last five seasons and this area blew me away in every way: amazing diversity of fishing options, big trout, few other anglers (we didn’t see any), and exclusively fishing huge dry flies. As a Montana fishing outfitter I pride myself on a nice collection of big rubber legged attractor dry flies but when I showed up to the lodge and showed Eduardo Barrueto, our host, my box he asked “do you have anything bigger?”. We spent the entire week throwing the biggest dry flies we could handle including huge size 2 beetle patterns and even larger mouse patterns.

fly fishing chile


Big dries. One of the reasons the trout in the mountains of Chile love such big dry flies is because they love to eat Cantara beetles. These massive beetles look like hummingbirds when flying and are a huge meal for a hungry trout. A size 4 or 2 Gypsy King or black Fat Albert is a good imitation and a favorite fly of the guides.

fly fishing Aisen Region


Huge lakes are abundant across Patagonia and most are filled with huge trout. In the Coyaque province lakes like Lago Azul (or Blue Lake) are filled with big browns to 30”. They still love to each dry flies and a day spent rowing along the big cliff walls throwing mouse patterns over submerged timber is a unique experience that becomes even more memorable when a 25” brown inhales the rodent imitation at the end of your fly line!

big-brown


This big 25” brown ate a mouse pattern on Lago Paloma. We spotted it lying along a cliff wall above some down timber. I had to throw the mouse pattern inches from his head to entice him into an explosive strike. Sight casting on the big lakes was one of the highlites of our trip.

rio-paloma-float-fishing


The abundance of big lakes also helps to filter sediments out of the water and the rivers that connect the lakes are always gin clear. The Rio Poloma is a special fishery that connects Lago Azul to Lago Claro. A more beautiful trout river is hard to imagine.

spring-creeks


A 45 minute drive to the east took us into the dry pampas near the Argentine boarder. We fished a beautiful unnamed spring creek on a huge private estancia. Grasshoppers were in abundance and big browns were spooky but willing to aggressively take the flies on the first cast if it was well presented.

Niriguoa mouse


This big 22” brown clobbered a size 1 mouse pattern skittered across the surface of the Rio Niriguoa – yet another private spring creek on a huge estancia. The hopper fishing was incredible in the morning on the Niriguoa – so good that after lunch I “supersized” to the mouse which brought the catch rate down to 2 or 3 fish per hour but dramatically increased the average size. All of the fish caught “mousing” were between 17-22”!

lodge


Evenings were spent back at the Magic Waters Lodge enjoying good company and delicious local seafood, beef and lamb along with a great selection of Chilean and Argentine wines.

rio-magote-horse


The Rio Magote is a wilderness river that feeds the Paloma. We spent one day riding about an hour into the back country. The Magote looks like a lot of rivers in New Zealand and we spent time both site fishing and blind casting. I fished a mouse pattern again this day and landed several nice browns topping out at 22”

paloma-brown


We spent another day on the Paloma River, but this time on the upper portion which has beautiful braided sections and great holding water. We had about 30 minutes of cloud cover so I tried a streamer and within five minutes hooked this big 23” brown that was hiding in a backwater full of downed timber. I thought for sure I snagged a log at first. That was the only 30 minutes of the entire trip that I fished anything besides big dries but it certainly paid off!

Rio-Simpson


On our last day we accessed yet another private estancia. This time are target was the famed Rio Simpson. After making our way across several ranch gates we hiked into a small canyon to target the emerald green waters at the bottom. We saw both large browns and rainbows but failed to connect with any of the big boys on this day.

Rio-Blanco


The Rio Blanco is a gorgeous mountain stream. The lodge has private access to some great water that allows for site casting to some nice sized browns and a few rainbows.

Visit the Montana Angler blog for a full Chile 2014 trip report. Brian McGeehan is a Pennsylvania native but has been guiding an outfitting in Montana and the west for 20 years. His company Montana Angler Fly Fishing specializes in both Montana fishing as well as destination travel to Patagonia.


I want to thank Brian for sharing the details of his trip as I like to hear especially about his fly fishing trips to South America. I asked to put together a report with some more photography from the trip. One my bucket list some day to get that way. - Dave
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 2014/3/31 (442 reads)

An Award Much Deserved
By Dave Weaver
For Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited and Paflyfish.com

A fine time indeed was had at the recent Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited (CVTU) Limestoner Banquet. This is CVTU’s main fundraising event each year. Like many TU chapters, CVTU relies on volunteer efforts to complete a wide range of valuable endeavors and this includes putting together an annual banquet to raise funds. Among these outstanding endeavors, CVTU is involved in land preservation, youth fly fishing outreach in the form of the Rivers Conservation and Youth Camp and Trout in the Classroom; fly fishing schools for women, US military, and disadvantaged youths as well as wounded veterans.

Dave Kile
Dave Kile and Justin Pittman


Among our recent stream improvement projects during the last year include the Phase 2 project on Big Spring as well as projects to improve habitat in The Run in Boiling Springs, as well as restoration of habitat for native trout in a recovered lake bed. Every year, CVTU juggles an array of stream improvement and outreach programs designed to raise awareness and protect cold water resources and trout habitat across hundreds of square miles in the Cumberland valley and adjacent areas – an area encompassing many of our state’s best known trout streams but also dozens of lesser known freestone and limestone trout streams. And CVTU isn’t alone. Roughly fifty chapters of TU and the State Council are all in the fight.

In CVTU’s case, not only do we run a very nice banquet with the typical array of fun items to bid or purchase, but over twenty years ago the chapter decided to include a couple awards that would be presented at the banquet to deserving recipients. These include the Limestoner Award, which is usually given to an individual who has done much to improve CVTU’s mission. Another is the Charles K. Fox Rising Trout Award, which is given to an individual who has enhanced the sport of fly fishing, especially in the state of PA. Naturally, Charlie Fox – the founder of CVTU - was the first recipient.

Dave Kile
Tom Ciannilli, Dave Kile, Maurice Chioda and Dave Weaver


If you’re a regular reader of this blog’s message board, you’re undoubtedly aware that the owner and manager of this blog, Dave Kile, was the recent recipient of the Fox award. There’s been a good deal of discussion among us this when it was announced that Dave would receive this. In any event, being the gracious gentleman that he is, Dave was flattered and genuinely surprised.

Naturally, Dave felt that his entire moderator staff deserved as much credit as he… and promptly invited all of us to the banquet. Jack was a bit too far away and indisposed, but Maurice, Tom, and I were there for a fun evening. After the usual banquet formalities, Dave received the award and made a nice speech thanking Tom, Maurice, and I. Also of note, longtime CVTU stalwart Bob Thompson received the Limestoner Award for his many years of service to the chapter. Chapter President Justin Pittman presented the awards to Bob, Dave, and several other individuals. Take some time if you care to, and join us vicariously by perusing the pics of the banquet which can be seen on the CVTU website.


Justin Pittman and Bob Thompson


As we well know, Paflyfish.com has indeed become, for many of us, our favorite place out of the water where we visit daily to touch base with old friends and fishing buddies as well as share the latest fly tying trick, debate the latest controversy, report on a fishing trip or tell a fish story…and especially help new fly fishers get their footing in the sport. This is a small but significant snapshot of the future of participation in fly fishing. Of course that’s not to say that books and traditional media and clubs will wither on the vine. To the contrary, older guys like many of us will keep them going. Nevertheless, the demographic here on Paflyfish is decidedly younger by comparison. It’s been a heckuva ride. Just speaking for myself, the banquet was especially noteworthy and special in that it brought together at once two organizations that have come to represent for me the two best organizations associated with fly fishing.

I’ll let Dave speak for himself on how he feels about Paflyfish…but I think most of us can relate to the idea of pursuing a passion. Dave started Paflyfish fifteen years ago as a hobby merging his interest in technology and fishing. Over the years, this site has evolved from a hobby to a passion for Dave and has now taken root in a way that helps the rest of us pursue our passion. This is what Dave Kile has wrought. So thanks and congratulations Dave, you deserve the Charles Fox Rising Trout Award.

Kudos also go to CVTU and all the state chapters of Trout Unlimited. Come on out sometime to your local chapter meeting and join or otherwise support TU. You’ll be glad you did. See yuh around the stream…or around the internet.

Photographs by Bill Strockbine

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2014/3/20 (651 reads)

fly rodIf you ask any fly fishing angler out there what is the best first rod and reel setup you need, you will get a different answer from everyone. Picking your second, third, or even seventh rod you will have some very specific purposes in mind and still get a lot of different answers. Your first fly rod and reel should be a good general purpose setup that will be easy to use in most any trout stream in the region.

For the love of Zeus you don't want to look like the dopey guy in the Symbicort commercial that has a crappy M*A*S*H hat, is fishing for brook trout in a creek with a large arbor saltwater 9 wt reel and 15 foot fly rod setup with a real bobber on your line. I'm not saying go spend all your 401k money, quite the opposite. Don't spend a lot, but get something that makes sense to get started with in our region to fly fish for trout.

Fly Rod
If you are just getting started, you will likely want a 5 weight (wt) 8'6" - 9' graphite, medium fast action fly rod. This is an all 'round great fly rod or beginners. I like the four piece rods as they travel better. Make sure whatever setup you get has a good rod tube to keep it protected when it is stored away or while in your vehicle. You can expect to pay about $100 or more to get started.

Fly Reel
To select a fly reel you match the weight of the fly rod to the corresponding reel. If you get a 5 wt rod then you get a 5 wt reel. Nothing fancy needed when you first get going, it's really just a spool to reel in your fly line. A line holder if you will. No need to drop a car payment just yet. Starting at around $100 will get you a good quality machined aluminum reel. While as little as $35-$70 will get you into the game with a stamped steel or synthetic line holder.

Fly Line
Be sure to complete your setup with a weight forward fly line that matches the weight of your fly rod and fly reel. Remember unlike a spinning rod and reel, the fly line is what carries your fly. So stick with the 5 wt again for your fly line and that will run you $29 - $59.

Tapered Leader and tippet
A knotless tapered leader is usually a 9' section of special mono line that connects the end of your fly line to some ~30" of tippet and then your fly. With proper casting the tapered leader and connected tippet provide a natural presentation of the fly onto the water. The different x's and lb test of the leader and tippet should be changed during the season and conditions where you fish.

A 5x trout leader is a middle of the road and good starting point in the early season. You will likely be fishing more streamers and nymphs in March and early April. When dry fly fishing on top or for smaller trout you can get to smaller 6x leader and tippet setups. You will want the presentation of the fly to be a little more delicate and the right tippet can make a huge difference. You should pick up a few leaders that will run you about $3 each and a spool of 30' 5x - 5lb test tippet is about $5. Think five's for now.

fly reelI want you to explore more of the details on these setups and ask others. Just remember when you share with someone the setup I am suggesting 99 of 100 people will say it is wrong and I am and idiot. Hopefully in 30 years you can be an idiot just like me. Check in on the forums to do some research. Get started and then modify your setup as you see fit and what works best for you. I never use knotted leaders for example only crazy people use that crap. Kidding of course...a little.

The dollar amounts I discuss are good starting points and you will do just fine. You can spend more if your budget permits or you just got a good tax return. Maybe your wife just snuck in some new cloths from Anne Taylor with the dry cleaning and it's your turn. Been married 25 years and know a lot of these tricks. Just say there was a great 50% off sale. I hear that one all the time.

So where do you buy this gear? Please look at the sponsors (Allen Fly Fishing, Trident Fly Fishing, Risen Fly, The Sporting Gentlemen and Shadow Fly Fishing) on the site that offer the gear discussed. There are plenty of great brands and choices. But, mainly because I trust them, they have a good range of products and warranties they stand behind. They are available to answers questions for you through email, on the phone or in the Shop Talk Forum. You will find many other members on the site providing feedback about their gear in Gear Talk or the Beginners Forum. If you want some more tradition conversation go to a nearby fly shop and get some answers there too.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2014/3/11 (1012 reads)
Streamers and Wooley Buggers
One of the great things about Paflyfish is the tremendous knowledge and sharing that is done especially in the forums. Tom "afishinado" Ciannilli, like many, regularly contributes to answering questions in the Beginners Forums. As the early trout season is about to get started he offered some great advice on A Dozen Top Flies. A very subjective topic, but for anglers just getting started, Tom's picks are are spot on.

Tom's selection is broken into six sinking flies for subsurface fishing and six surface dry flies. For some flies a range of sizes are important to have your fly box. The selection and success of fly and size will always depend on stream and conditions. I would suggest having more than about three of each of these to get started. Nothing worse than having a successful day with a fly and then not to have a backup if you loose it.

For any fly fishing angler starting to fill out their fly boxes these 12 types of flies will get you started on most any water for several months. You can join along with further questions in Tom's thread here in the forum.

A Dozen Top Flies by Tom "afishinado" Ciannilli
(notice I didn't say the dozen top flies...but if I had to select 12 flies, these would be in my box)

Sinking Subsurface Flies:

Wooly Bugger – Size 8 in dark olive w/ a black tail is my go-to. Having some black or white ones and a few a little smaller or bigger would be ideal. Fish anytime / anywhere – drift and/or strip.
Hares Ear Nymph – size 10 – 16 w/ and w/o beads. Natural is my favorite, but a few in olive or black would round it out. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Pheasant Tail Nymph – Size 12 – 16 w/ and w/o beads. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Green Weenie – Size 12. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
San Juan Worm – Size 12. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Soft Hackle – Size 12 – 16. Pheasant tail, Partridge and Orange, Partridge and yellow, peacock to name a few popular ones. Dead drift, swing, hang or strip. All will catch fish.


Floating flies:

Blue Wing Olive (BWO)– Size 14 – 18 (early and late season mayfly hatches)
Adams – Size 10 – 18 (for dark mayflies)
Sulphur – Size 10 – 18 (mid-season light-colored mayfly hatches)
Beetle and/or Ant – Size 14 – 18 (Spring - late summer)
Griffiths Gnat - Size 18 - 22 ( For midges - very small insects - all year round)
Elk Hair Caddis – Size 10 – 18 in Tan, Black and Green for caddis hatches and/or stonefly hatches all season.

Note:
Mayflies have an upright wing and look like sailboats on the water.
Caddis have wings shaped like a tent over their body.
Stoneflies have wings that fold flat over their bodies.






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