Register now on! Login

Category Last published item
Allegheny Native And Their Fly Fishing Passion
Fly Fishing  Fly Fishing
Going to be a Dental Floss Tycoon a Montana Trip ...
Edit category Product Review Product Review
Hardy Zephrus Ultralite Fly Rod Review
Multi Species in the Autumn Transition Zone
A Knotty Approach to Time on the Water.
Interviews  Interviews
Interview with Justin Pittman of Precision Fly ...
Conservation  Conservation
Macroinvertebrate Survey Through the Seasons
Fly Tying  Fly Tying
Woolly Bugger Euro Jig from Tightline Video
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission  Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Pennsylvania Statewide Trout Fishing Opens Early ...

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/10/2021 (172 reads)
There are several fun Pennsylvania fly fishing channels on YouTube, but the guys on Allegheny Native have done a great job sharing some fantastic cinematic images of their angling journeys. Their videos stand out with locations they fish and quality of production. They are hitting plenty of out of the way streams for wild brookies and brown trout. The videos really make you feel like you are part of the scene, if not just wanting to be there with the guys.

Nate Burkhart generally shares the stream with his brother in law, Joel Snedden, for their trips. Originally, they got started with Caleb Stasko and provided much of the video experience to get started with the Allegheny Native Channel. Caleb has now moved to Montana but shared enough with Nate that is production quality is outstanding. You can see the enthusiasm while on the stream, but in the care taken making a video.

A fun watch especially when thinking about the upcoming fly fishing season. You can find their channel here.
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/03/2021 (389 reads)
The Early Days

I think the Grateful Dead said it best, “What a long, strange trip it's been.” While it’s only been 25 years, it has been a very strange trip.

December 1995 was when I first started up an old desktop Macintosh computer and turned it into a web server running a program called Webstar. The website was only capable of serving up a few pages of HTML code and GIF files for the 67 Pennsylvania county fishing maps that were on the site. The Netscape web browser was the latest thing for anyone that had dial-up access to the World Wide Web. At the time there was no Google, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) website or much of anything else for that matter.


I think the first month online in December of 1995 the site was overwhelmed with 200 hits. The fact anyone found the site and looked at a few pages was fascinating in itself.

The concept to create the site was more of a personal desire to share the locations online of many of the streams I had found across the state in my early days of fly fishing. There were many fine books written sharing great detail on the topic, but I wanted to experiment with my own effort of creating something more visual online. The early online maps were very crude with some limited information about roads and streams. Nothing anyone could print off and use as navigation, more of a high-level thing if you wanted to simply explore an area and then you had to get out your Delorme Atlas to plan your trip.


My early fly fishing experiences were spent running around the state with my friends Ron Kolman and Greg Sipos. The two of them took the time to show me where and how to fly fish. They helped me with casting, fly line setup, stream reading and most importantly relaxing after the day to reflect on what was and wasn’t working. Fortunately, we did a lot of reflecting at places like the Wharton Inn and Tannery in Potter County. It soon became pretty clear that while I didn’t know as much as others about fly fishing the website could be a way for me to give back to the sport and hopefully help others.

To my surprise what I thought I was helping others really helped me even more.

Each month I would spend time after work adding content and enhancing the site with my newly learned HTML proficiency. HTML isn’t that difficult and I wasn’t very proficient. I somehow found a way to get PFBC news releases and started posting them on the home page. I even starting writing personal fishing reports and stories. Kinda like an early blog thing.

I just continued to crank more content onto the site like PFBC license and regulation information. Somehow found some early stocking reports and posted them in the spring of 1997. Soon after I added hatch charts, including weather links and tips. There were a lot of late evenings spent working on the site, but I recall it being a lot of fun considering I was just winging it.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.29.48 PM

What I didn’t plan for was getting so many emails. People would send me their trout pictures and I would then post them on the new photos page. I started getting questions and I would do my best with the answers. Other people would share tips and add them all to the Question and Answers section.

Along the way, I still had the server under my desk at work and it would shut down quite often. I am embarrassed to say it was down for several days at a time on occasion. People would email and ask what was going on. I think Maurice would even call, "Hey man you know the server is down again." I would restart it and get back to work.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 5.57.45 PM

I’m not sure where it came from, but it seemed to me there could be great value for anglers to share details of their fly fishing trips and stream reports. This was the next part of the site that really started to changes things. I went to work creating a database that could interface the site for users to enter and search the new stream reports section. At the same time, I shortly released the earliest version of a forum called the Message Board. I knew there were a lot of smart people out there who were able to help answer the many questions I was getting in my emails.

With the creation of the Message Board and Stream Reports, it provides live interaction with people on the site. This also created many new surprises and activity that was never expected.

Up Next
Part 2 - The Stage is Set
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/15/2020 (199 reads)
Human beings are flocking to the great outdoors in record numbers. Many are camping or fishing for the first time ever. Some have forgotten how much they love the great indoors. It's quite the conundrum. #(hashpound)killedtodeath
  Send article

Published by Alex Ciocca [drakeking412] on 12/08/2020 (531 reads)
By Alex Ciocca

With the long winter season coming up ahead of us combined with virus restrictions many of us will be experiencing a little more cabin fever than usual this year. Rather than give in to the seasonal drag this is the time to really bolster that dry fly box and do all your typical winter activities. To help breathe some life into your yearly winter routine I’ve compiled a list of some challenges and activities to help get you through the cold season and defeat cabin fever.

1. Try New Tying Goals
While tying is the standard winter activity, maybe this is the year to change it up a little bit. The box expansion will in turn change up your selection while fishing and you just might find that new confidence pattern you’ve been looking for! The challenge is as follows: Tie 3 new patterns of each respective style (streamer, dry, nymph, etc.). This is the time to experiment and try some of the newer patterns coming from our younger tiers or some of the more out-of-the-box streamer patterns that seem to be invented every day! A couple of really awesome sources for new patterns with material lists and instructions are Fly Fish Food and their YouTube channel, AvidMax, and for streamers, Kelly Galloup is the guy. Instagram also has some extremely talented tiers that are always willing to lend a hand and have some wonderful videos too. Some of my favorites are SvendDiesel, Lucas Utrera, and hopperjuan_fly_fishing.

Photograph and "Scud" by Dave Weaver

This is also the time to challenge yourself to pick up or master some tying skills you may be lacking such as spinning deer hair, Catskill-style dry fly wings, or nailing that perfect tapered nymph body. The list is really endless and I promise that it will pay off in the long run (especially if you’re constantly sacrificing to the bottom gods).

Lastly, spin up a box for your favorite charity with a selection of your best producers. A couple of great ones to support are Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery. Both do great work and continue to every year with the help of generous people like you!

2. Develop an Organization System
After a long fishing season, most of our houses and tying rooms look like a tropical storm rolled through last week and it probably smells like it too. Use the wintertime to develop a new organization system that might help you keep things straight during the season, at the bench or in the gear room and maybe even make your significant other happy in the process.

At the bench try using lock-top boxes available from most sporting goods stores or online retailers. The dividers can be “welded” in with a low temp solder iron and be sure to wash before with warm water and a dish detergent to remove the oils. Another great solution is using bead containers from the craft store which in turn can then be organized into standup shelf storage bins, large or small with labels too. The days of double buying or searching frantically for that one material will be over.

In the gear room shelving is an absolute must. Ensure that the shelving is sturdy and on one end you can install some hooks to hang your miscellaneous bags and wading gear. Not only will this help to keep the gear room tidy and easily accessible but it can help to extend the life of your gear as well.

In-the-box organization will save valuable time on the stream and help to keep you fishing, not digging through bags and boxes searching. Organization by specific insect works well when fishing to hatches and if you’re getting into the new Euro tight line craze then organize that box by hook size and weight rather than insect type. Personally, I like to carry a streamer box, double-sided dries, and a single-sided nymph on a typical day of fishing so consider those the “working boxes”. Other boxes can then be set up for specifics like mousing or hopper/dropper. Putting labels or stickers on the outside is a great visual indicator for those late nights or early mornings. Also, don’t forget to put your phone number on your box somewhere, it just might save you a lot of time and money one day!

Dave Kile has a post on organizing your flies

3. Clean Your Gear
While we all might do a spot clean from time to time, use this downtime to really get in there and scrub out last season's grime. Packs and vests should be emptied of all gear and washed/cleaned as well as let to air out any river funk that they might have gained. Fly lines and reels should be treated as if they were just fished in saltwater and stripped and cleaned all the while ensuring there are no kinks, loops, cuts, or abrasions to your line, leader, or connections. This will guarantee you a clean, fresh spool for the next season and don’t forget to keep your drag dialed back when storing. Rods should be wiped down with light soap and warm water solution removing any mud and ensuring your ferrules, guides, and cork are all in good condition as well. Give your waders and boots a good wash also and then hang them in a cool dry place to store. All of these tips will help to lengthen the life of your gear and keep you smelling halfway decent next season too.

4. Research New Watersheds
Another great way to dream of the next season and the wonderful fish to be caught is to research new watersheds and try to begin mapping out the next season. There are many wonderful tools available for use like the PFBC ArcGIS trout maps which can show Class A, natural reproduction, special regulation, and stocked streams as well as the percentage of land that is public. This map coupled with Google maps can be an extremely powerful tool to show you new areas in our beautiful state that you have yet to explore which will hold gorgeous trout as well! These maps can also be printed out at any scale so you can highlight them and make field maps for when you do end up going out into the wild. Another great source of information is the trout location literature written over the years such as “Keystone Fly Fishing” or “Trout Streams of Pennsylvania”. These two books alone coupled with the previously mentioned maps can help nail down where and when you want to fish next season. In some cases, they can even tell you what hatch you’ll be fishing to and who will be answering on the other end of the line. Another challenge is to research 5 new streams or watersheds that you want to fish with one of them being out of state. Exploring new watersheds can be a boom or bust scenario but half of the fun in fly fishing is the exploration and the things you find along the way!

5. Pick Up a Creative Hobby
This winter may be the year to pick up a new creative hobby like painting or photography. You could even tie it into fly fishing if you want. Some wonderful ideas to get you started are wood carvings, woodworking, starting a sketchbook, or maybe let out your inner Bob Ross. Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and enjoying yourself in the process is essential!

Resized Image
Wood Carved Trout by Member MathFish

6. Compile a Photo Book
Most of us take hundreds if not thousands of pictures over the course of the season ranging from memorable fish to gorgeous landscapes, and that funny picture you took of your fishing buddy at camp. Whether you choose to make a physical or digital book is up to you but compiling the photos with the date, location, and some memorable information will make for even better memories down the road. One of my favorite December activities is to look through all of the year’s albums and find the “Top 10” fish of the year. It’s always a nice flashback to that camping trip or the feeling you had landing that fish and somehow every year a friend makes the list with a photo of them landing their first fish. Do yourself a favor and print those ten photos out and keep them at your desk or toolbox and every time you see them you’ll smile!

7. Practice Casting Mechanics
Winter isn’t always harsh and on the days when it’s tolerable out but there’s no time to make it to a stream head outdoors and practice casting mechanics or casting accuracy. Practice makes perfect and if you get out a couple of days over winter to bust the rust off here and there you will notice the difference. On the days where it’s impossible to make it outdoors, a great exercise is a short-range bow and arrow casting practice. Set up multiple small food storage containers at varying distances and positions in the basement or garage. Make sure you have a couple with the difficulty factor turned up a notch (think overhanging obstructions, strange angle or positioning, etc.). The final challenge is over the season if able try and learn a new cast. Whether it be the bow and arrow, the reach, or any of the mid to upper level casts this is another skill set that will prove very useful next season and potentially net you that fish you’ve been looking for.

Hopefully, this list helped give you some fresh ideas for this winter or maybe got the creative juices of your own flowing. I know I’ll be trying to keep as busy as possible and spring will be here before we know it!

You can continue the conversation in the forum here.
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/30/2020 (451 reads)
Made it to Big Spring Creek for a nice day on the stream with Derek Eberly. It was mostly cloudy and we had a high air temperature of about 52 degrees. There was a break in clouds with some sun peeking through at about 1:00 pm. A nice day to be out.


The water was gin clear and the trout could see us a mile away as we moved up the stream. A normal day on Big Spring Creek. We did obviously try to be stealthy about it, but it was rather difficult.

We did see some sporadic #22 BWO starting mid-day and then it turn into a pretty good hatch by about 1:00. The trout started rising and we switched over to dry flies to see if we could have any luck. I was able to get close to a few trout by crawling along the bank through the weeds but could get any takers.


The best luck for the day was a dry-dropper setup with a cress bug into the little pools. We did get a few dinks which for Big Spring Creek is a good day.

  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/15/2020 (379 reads)
Our friends at Trident Fly Fishing offer some ideas on which style of wading boots fits your angling style?

Trident Fly Fishing is a long time sponsor and supporter of Paflyfish. If you are looking for some bootings or any other gear, please go check out the fantastic site with all you fly fishing needs.
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/02/2020 (394 reads)
Detailed instructions for tying a Woolly Bugger Euro Jig.

Subscribe to all our videos:
Visit our website:
  Send article

Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 10/23/2020 (7532 reads)
flyfishing knots

While sharing some time on the water the other day with Dave Kile (dkile) I experienced what seems to happen often during a decent hatch with some wind, you guessed it, a wind knot! Or as Lefty Kreh calls them, bad casting knots. Everyone gets them now and then especially when combining a breeze, long leaders and fine tippets. Or for the chuck and duck crowd, of which I am often a member, weight and multiple flies. So as Dave stands upstream pondering my delay to cast to a rising fish, he asks, what’s the problem Einstein? I said I have a wind knot, and it reminded me of a tip I learned many years ago.

Back in the 80’s we were on a bus trip to the Breeches from the ‘burg and there was a video on the tube for those not taking the time to sleep. Being full of interest in sponging any and all info I could at the time, one tip in the video stuck with me. Terminal knot tying efficiency. Think about it, every time we tie on a new piece of tippet, a new fly, etc., we are out of the game. It stands to reason that the faster you can tie on a fly (improved clinch knot in my case) or a new piece of tippet (double surgeons knot), the quicker you can begin flogging the water again.

The video stressed the need to get your knots down to 15 seconds each. Practice, practice, practice until you can meet that goal. This will put your fly change or tippet adjustments into under one minute if you include the spooling off tippet, picking out a new and returning the old flies. If you find yourself taking 5-10 minutes each to accomplish that task, you could likely be wasting an hour or more tying frustrating knots. Practicing on stream is KNOT efficient! (pun intended)Now it’s not a race, and I don’t suggest it to be. But it is practical to be as efficient as possible when enjoying your streamside time. Plus, when a hatch is on, the fish and bugs don’t wait until you re-tie, it goes on as scheduled, often it seems to go faster as the trouts plop, plop, plop all around you.

So do yourself a favor by following these few tips;
• Get your knots down to 15 seconds or so.
• Accept the fact your eyes are going bad and get some readers if seeing the eye is getting harder every year.
• Keep your tippet handy, I keep mine outside near my left hip where I can reach it easily.
• Keep your flys handy with few boxes so searching is not too long.
• Know your limitations and adapt.

Resized ImageThat last one may seem out of place for a seasoned fly fisher but this efficiency exercise also applies to damage control. That's right, when you booger up your line with a collapsed cast, loose loop or wind knot, bring your line in gently and assess the damage immediately. It can be tempting to just begin pulling and tugging but try to resist. Take a few seconds and loosely pull on some of the loops to see what you are dealing with. Look for loops that exit the knot and pull them back through. Often its only one or two loops that cause the whole mess. If it looks too complicated to unravel it probably is. Clip off the fly, this often makes it a much easier task because you can slip the tippet through the knot. Remember it only takes you 15 seconds to tie it back on. Just be sure when you clip it off you put it somewhere you remember like a fly patch, or other handy outside vest place. Don’t keep it in your hands or put it in your mouth. Trust me, this never ends well…soon you are chasing it down stream with your net or trying to get it out of your lip.

Lastly, If it's a total mess clip it ALL off and start over, in one minute or so you will be casting again.

Now I consider myself a pretty good untangler…in fact, my slogan is “Fly fishing is the art of tangling and untangling lines of different diameters while trying to enjoy yourself”. But it doesn’t have to be yours.

  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/07/2020 (36849 reads)
fall fly fishing

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.fall fly fishing

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.

  Send article

Published by Dave Weaver [Dave_W] on 09/11/2020 (4283 reads)

Below Ramcat Run (acrylic on canvas)
article and images by
Dave Weaver (Dave_W)

Large Pennsylvania streams and rivers in October and November can provide an interesting grab bag of fish that might munch our flies, and big weedless streamers are the way to go. For many Pennsylvania fly fishermen, October and November are months when they return to stream trout fishing, if they ever left. In particular, years such as this one magnify this effect as we have spent what seems like many months waiting for rain and cooler temperatures and are especially eager to get back out for trout. Some fly fishers gave the river bass game a go-round during summer, but soon are back on trout streams as the days get shorter and colder. Few die hard fly fishers stick with bass by late October. Try checking out a mid- sized or larger bass river in late October: a fly fisher is a rare sight.

Spin fishers, by contrast, know that late autumn fishes well on the big rivers. Bass are still active and walleyes, pike, and muskies are on the prowl. In addition, many of the larger streams and mid-sized rivers have transient populations of large, wild brown trout in the “transition zone” – that is to say the lower reaches of what normally passes for trout water (or where it is stocked) that transitions into a warm water fishery. These fish drop back downriver during the autumn, or migrate out into rivers from colder tributaries. To be sure, these trout are hard to find, cagy, often nocturnal even in colder periods, and are a specialized game. Nevertheless, they are part of the mix. Some very large browns fall to spin guys fishing tubes and swimming plugs for bass and walleyes during the colder months here in Pennsylvania every year.

autumn01Chances are, there are some big rivers near you that you might consider fly fishing in the coming weeks. Larger tailrace rivers such as the Delaware, Potomac, Lehigh, Youghiogheny, or Allegheny have trout in their upper reaches, but gradually these rivers transition to warm water species downriver and are associated with smallmouth bass, walleyes, and muskellunge. With colder temps in autumn, large trout will sometimes migrate downriver into these areas associated with warm water fishes.

Larger trout streams or “creeks” such as the Little Juniata, Frankstown Branch, Raystown Branch, Swatara, Mahoning, Clarion, Schuylkill, Tionesta, Shermans, Conodoguinet, Penns, Pine, Shenango, and other similar streams all are popular for both bass and trout. Moreover, about half of these creeks have muskies or tiger muskies. Smaller waterways such as these are prime spots to target bass, trout, and even muskies in late autumn. Even the West Branch Susquehanna is coming to be associated with stocked trout in its upper reaches these days in addition to its much-improved (now superb) warm water fishery downstream.

On waters such as these during the late autumn colder temps and shortening days put big river smallmouth bass in an aggressive mood. Big browns, and muskies are on the prowl as well and they’re not looking for a size 18 dry fly, they want a meal! Chubs, fallfish, shad, suckers, big sculpins, madtoms, and shiners are on the menu and these baitfishes have had a season to grow and are large, typically several inches in length and often much larger. This is the time of year to throw big streamers with at least a six-weight rod. Oftentimes, an eight- weight is better. A floating line works fine although if you’re working deeper rivers with current, a sinking line will get you in the strike zone.

autumn03Any large streamer can work, but I like articulated doubles using soft materials and deer hair. Clip the hair in a large spun head that pushes water. Deer hair can make a fly more buoyant and wind resistant, but such sparse, spun deer heads also produce a fly that has a nice side to side, erratic swimming pattern when stripped and stopped. This side to side swimming pattern is deadly. Generally, for this game I like flies in the four to seven-inch range or larger if you’re hoping to target toothy critters. Twenty-inch brown trout, or smallies in the mid-teens, are fish that can easily inhale and swallow six-inch prey species. I like double hook flies since trout and muskies often seem to seize the fly mid body and often need a trail hook for solid hook-ups. Bass, by contrast, only need a single hook at the front of the fly for good hook up ratio as bass are head hunters. Colors are a matter of preference, but the old wisdom about “dark day, dark fly” holds true in my opinion. Black and chartreuse is tough to beat in stained water.

A major challenge to this season is leaves and weed break-up. In late September, many rivers see a break-up of grass beds and this results in a lot of junk in the water column. By early October, much of the weed break-up is done, but leaves start to foul the water column by mid-month. By late October, leaves can make fishing nearly impossible in some places, especially on windy days. To contend with this, you will want a fly tied weedless so as to pull through the leaves. The flies depicted here are examples of typical streamers I’d reach for on autumn rivers. The key is a decent weed guard design. I prefer mono loops tied in at the hook eye, as can be seen. For larger patterns such as these, fifty pound mono works best. I generally put a weed guard only at the lead hook and not the trail hook. You’ll still catch some leaves, but weed guards will at least allow you to fish fairly effectively where conventional flies would immediately foul. Experiment and find a design that works for you – just keep the fly at least four inches long. Bigger is better.

October and November are great months for fly fishermen in Pennsylvania. Target the transition zone on larger creeks and rivers and you will have a genuine shot at multi-species if you throw big streamers. To be sure, smallmouth bass will be your most likely catch, but large brown trout and muskellunge are out there too. Just the other day, I was wading a favorite pool on a mid-sized creek and could see a brown trout, a three-foot-long muskie, and several smallies in the mid-teens. . . all within casting range. Catching all three species in a day would be uncommon in my experience, but the possibility exists if you’re at the right time and place. So, tie up some big weedless streamers and get out on a big creek or river this fall. The trout guys will be nowhere in sight and many of the summer bass fishing regulars are sitting in a tree stand. You’ll probably see few anglers. Double haul that big streamer out, strip it back through the leaves, and hold on when you see that big swirl or feel that pull. You may even have to fight the fish to surface before you’ll even know what chomped your fly. A motivating experience during a great time of year!
  Send article

RSS Feed

Site Content
USGS Water Levels <Click Map>
What Will Happen To Fishing License Sales In 2021?
Increase over 2020 45% (28)
Same as 2020 27% (17)
Decrease from 2020 26% (16)
The poll closed at 2021/1/15 8:03

Copyright 2021 by | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by