Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Blog
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 10/16/2014 (6178 reads)
Fall fly fishing in the the region offers plenty of great opportunities. The cooler weather offers anglers some solitude of fly fishing while many are caught up with other fall activities. A little bit of preparation can be a rewarding opportunity for those who can make the time.
Reproduction plays an important part of the trout lifecycle during the fall months for both brook and brown trout. Brook trout, native to the US, usually begin to spawn during late September through October. Brown trout typically start spawning in October through late November. I have seen this go later too.
During the spawn coloring on the trout will intensify especially in the males. Females will often create gravel beds for the fertilized eggs called redds. It very important to be careful of these sections on streams when you see redds and not to kick them up when walking. Probably best even to leave trout overtop redds alone and give them a chance to protect the eggs.
Often the water in the fall is low and gin clear. Spotting trout on a redd is pretty easy to see as in the photo to the left. The trout will sit over top of a small group of rocks that they have knocked around and they often will have a little more cleaned up look as if someone kicked up the spot. Take a little time before marching into the stream to check on the conditions. Good advice for any day.
As the trout begin to change so does the entomology or insect life in the stream. Activity will be different from region to region, stream size, earlier summer water temperatures, and geology. The fall provides a more limited selection of insects and often anglers enjoy bringing a more modest selection of flies and imitations. Some of the more popular collections include: Slate Drakes, BWO, Caddis, midges and terrestrials. Typical nymphs and streamers are very successful smart choice as well.
I like Dave Weavers suggestions for even looking for rainbows behind the redds feeding on eggs. Some small simple egg patterns can produce some pretty good results for these rainbows. The most common color for natural trout eggs are cream, pale orange and pink.
The full and fast spring streams can take a new characteristic once September arrives. Low clear water can create a challenge for some anglers, but stealth and patience can provide many rewards.
With summer holder over trout and newly stocked trout in many streams there should be ample opportunity for solitude and fish in autumn. Check out the PaFlyFish forums and stream reports to learn more about what is happening in your area.
This year we tried something new with the annual Quill Gordon Summit-we bumped to the Fall in hopes of better fishing. I would say the move was the right thing to do. The conditions were tough in God's Country, as water was low and gin clear in most every place we went. Despite tough conditions, everyone was able to find trout and the fishing was much better than it had been when we had our summit in the Spring. Mid to late April is simply too early to have great fishing in the Potter/Tioga/Clinton area.
My dad, Sal, and I arrived at camp around 9am on Thursday after what was possibly the fastest stop in at Sandfly's shop, Big Meadow Fly Shop, in history. Camp was in good shape, and we unpacked, got the cabin's heat and plumbing up and running, and Skybay arrived around 11:30am. He didn't even unpack his car. We headed straight for the first stream of the weekend.
The hike in was beautiful. We split into 2 groups. On the first stream, there's a series of beaver ponds. My dad and I cut off the trail at the first pond and fished upstream. Skybay and Sal headed up a way to the second pond and fished downstream. I picked up a nice brownie in the first pond, but because of the low, clear conditions, that was the only trout we were able to pick up. Sal and Skybay met us halfway between the two ponds, and fishing was slow for everyone. After hiking out, we headed straight for Lyman Run. We dropped Sal off at the beaver pond just upstream of Thompson Rd, and Skbay, my dad, and myself drove further upstream and met Sal in the middle. Lyman fished a little better. The three of us all picked up some small brookies and brownies, nothing of great size. Sal picked up two absolutely beautifuly brookies out of the beaver pond and just below.
We arrived back at camp to find Artifishal sitting around the fire ring playing guitar and enjoying a quiet evening on top of Denton Hill. Bikerfish, Night Stalker, and Wetfly01 all arrived Thursday evening, and plenty of good beer and food was had.
The next day we headed south and fished the Kettle Creek watershed. We began on Cross Fork. Wetfly divided us up into 4 groups of 2, broke us off into 4 different sections of the creek with two cars between each of the two groups, and we all covered some serious water upstream. Again, conditions were low and clear, but everyone got into some nice fish. It was a good mix of brookies and brownies, and from what I understand a few nice holdover bows made their way upstream as well. After fishing Cross Fork, we headed over to Kettle. Wetfly, Skybay, Night Stalker, and Artificial fished up through Ole Bull. Dad, Sal, Biker and I fished at Oleona with two of us going downstream, and two going upstream. Fishing on Kettle was solid the whole way. Lots of good sized fish were taken.
Back at camp, we found newer board member Brutus waiting for us. He had arrived a little earlier, headed out to Genessee Fork for a bit, and had just enough time to drink half a beer before Biker, Sal, dad and I pulled in. Then the waiting began...we sat around camp waiting and waiting for the other group of guys. I'll let others in that group tell this story, needless to say it involved Skybay, the deep dark woods of Ole Bull State Park, a policeman and a speeding ticket. More beer and food flowed Friday night. DaveS also popped in for a night of food and beer on his way up to the Upper D to fish with Krayfish.
Saturday the temps were cold in the AM, so none of us were pushing to get out the door. It had rained most of the night before, so water was a bit better. Dave took off around 9am for the Upper D, the rest of us got out around 10am or maybe a bit later. Most of the guys headed down to fish the big Pine. Some fished in Gaines, others a little further up. Wetfly and I fished a smaller stream and man we got into it. Lots of brownies and brookies, all the browns were SOLID. We met up in Ansonia around 3pm. The plan was to fish the big waters all together, but Wetfly and I decided to go back to a lower section of the same stream we fished in the AM. Glad we did because we hit it good. Solid browns, all over 12", fat and buttered up, great runs and deep pools, some were taken on dries, some on my dropper, and the flows were solid on this stream. This is a stream that we will certainly focus on next year We learned of several solid stretches, and we plan on doing a similar setup like we did on Cross Fork this year.
The other guys were able to get into some trout on the big water as well. A few big fallfish, rainbows, and browns were taken. Saturday nigh ended with some epic burgers, more beer, and good times.
A few guys stopped on the way home on Sunday to fish, they'll have to give their reports. I'm particularly interested in hearing how Artificial did on a certain small stream that flows behind Coudersport.
This was by far the best fishing we've had at the NCPA summits. We have decided the first weekend in October will be the date for next year, so clear the calendars. Bow hunters, wait til the 2nd week to go out and get to this summit. The comments were made at how affordable this is. Your lodging is pretty much free (by donation to my family's hunting club), everyone brings plenty of food and beer, its an issue of getting to the cabin.
Next year's jam is officially titled the "Where's Jared Summit" because that seemed to be a common question throughout the whole weekend. Gotta love Skybay. He keeps us all entertained!
We're gathering the pictures from the weekend. There will be plenty of fish porn posted soon.
Follow more photographs and comments in the forum thread.
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 09/25/2014 (341 reads)
Todd Bowersox, of the Allegheny River Fly Fishing Company (ARFF) will be airing a new radio and podcast program this fall. Bowersox will discover all things wild in the Pennsylvania focussed in the outdoor themed broadcast. Program topics will include fly fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, music, art, and special events in the wilds of northwest Pennsylvania. Into the PAWilds will also feature local and state TU chapter efforts, a conservation minute during every show and a "tips & tricks in the weekly program.
Week 1 - October 4: Fall steelhead fishing and fly fishing on the Allegheny.
Week 2 - 10/11 - Wing Shooting / Dog Training with Stephen Witcoski
Into the PAWilds will be airing weekly on Saturdays beginning October 4th for 30 minutes at 10:00 am on 104.3 FM Kinzua Country, Warren PA and follow the program on Facebook.
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 09/17/2014 (1320 reads)
The 2nd Annual Pennsylvania Fly Casting Competition was held at the Carlisle Events Outdoor Show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds on September 6. Contestants were challenged for accuracy and distance events in several different skill categories. In the distance component, casters earned points for the length of their casts and had to place their flies within a narrow 10-feet wide lane. Accuracy casting required contestants to land their flies within 30-inch and 54-inch target rings at random ranges between 25 to 60 feet.
Derek Eberly of East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, was overall high scorer as well as champion in the Expert Division. Eberly also achieved high score in accuracy casting.
Dave "Old Lefty" Rothrock of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, earned second place in the Expert Division and also made the longest cast of the day at 100 feet. Ranking third among the Expert casters was Eric "stenonema" Richard of New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania.
Angler Division first place went to Tom Miller of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Darren Wishard of Hagerstown, Maryland, took second place among the Anglers, and Rod Cross of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was third.
Two contestants competed in the Youth Division this year. DaCota Leader of Everett, Pennsylvania, was the Youth champion. Second place went to William Sweger of Landisburg, Pennsylvania. Congratulations to these two young fly casters for competing.
The competition was organized and conducted by the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited
, the Chesapeake Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, and the Antietam Fly Anglers.
A special thanks to Chris "Artifishal" Haag (pictured above) for help getting some of the photographs and event info together for me. Photo by Ken Tidy.
Published by Dave Kile [dkile
] on 09/08/2014 (827 reads)
This is one of the more popular questions asked on Paflyfish. Truthfully the answer is bigger than the question and one worth exploring. There are hundreds of fantastic streams for all types of anglers in the region. A little homework will yield you your own personal hot spots.
Paflyfish is chocked full of maps, tips, news, stories and conversations already at you fingertips. Pennsylvania is a sizable state so starting with the Pa Trout Streams
section under the site menu is a good place to begin. There are six regions with hundreds of stocked and special regulation streams that are ideal for fly fishing. Take advantage of the maps to explore the areas you want to travel. Maryland, New Jersey and New York offer many exiting opportunities as well.
The best advice I can offer for the site is taking the time to do a little research in the forums. Stream Reports can usually yield a string of information. There are plenty of guides, trout bums, locals, scientists, and enthusiasts who hangout here. Jumping onto the site and making your first post, Where do I fish in Potter County? This approach does not build a lot of trust. Take some time to participate and then ask some good specific questions about where to fish.
A host of highly regarded authors can be found in the Fly Fishing Books
section. Some good old fashion book reading is worth some time.
A quick trek to the PFBC website
can offer an additional collection of streams and detailed regulations.
Spend some time with your local fly shop can very helpful. Becoming active with your local Trout Unlimited Chapter is a great way meet up with others and get a lot of local knowledge. They often provide a number of classes, workshops, and conservation opportunities.
With the arm chair work complete go explore the region. Some of the best places you’ll find will likely be the ones you didn’t set out for when you got started. There may not be an easy button here, but the journey is part of the catch.