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Mousin Around
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Fly Fishing Show - Lancaster 2019
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2019 PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jam
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/22/2019 (65 reads)
In this a very cool video, witness slow-motion surface attacks on mice flies by giant Brook Trout in Labrador. Over 3 minutes of outstanding destruction and explosive surface takes! This video was captured at Three Rivers Lodge while shooting a future episode of The New Fly Fisher with Tom Rosenbauer.
Video provided by www.trophylabrador.com



For some more thoughts about Mousin, check in on the forum.
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Published by Dave Weaver [Dave_W] on 03/18/2019 (2411 reads)
While most Pennsylvania fly fishermen target river smallmouths during the summer, bass can be successfully targeted all year and the "pre-spawn" is among the best times, especially if you're after large fish. When water temps hit the mid 40s - this would usually coincide with mid March here in the southcentral part of the state - river smallies become noticeably more active and move up out of their winter hibernacula. These winter locations are usually the deepest part of a river, often the low, deep, slack water in front of dams. As bass become more active, they start to spread out a bit but still tend to eschew current.

By this time of year, they start to feed quite a bit more but, unlike summer when most of the bass lay up in front of boulders and mid river structure and aggressively hit poppers, my experience has been that pre-spawn bass are shoreline denizens. In part, this is simply due to the higher, cloudier, water conditions so often prevalent in March and April. However, this preference for specific shoreline locations makes locating pre-spawn river bass more predictable. When you catch a bass, there's usually more in the same spot. Often these are large females staging to move to eventual spawning sites later in May.

Finding these spots starts in summer. If you've got a bass river nearby, walk the bank during summer and familiarize yourself with the shape of the shoreline when the water is low and clear. Come high water, you'll know where to go. Perhaps the ideal pre-spawn location would be a point of land that projects out into the river, especially if there are large chunk rocks or boulders on it. Oftentimes there are river willows or vegetation that grow on the point in summer, but that often has water flowing thru it this time of year. If downstream from this point, there is an eddy (there almost always is) and the water is at least 3-4 feet deep, it's worth checking out. If the water in the eddy is very calm with little current or swirling action, and if there are boulders or woody debris along the shoreline of the eddy - it's a hotspot! Mouths of feeder creeks are usually good too.

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Bass stage right on the current break along shoreline eddies this time of year. A typical hot spot would look something like this diagram. Image courtesy D. Weaver


These eddies don’t have to be large. I have taken multiple fish in the upper teens over the years from a single eddy that is only about 4 feet deep, maybe twenty feet in length, and the current break is only four or five feet from the shoreline. The key is slack or very slow water swirling back. When water temps are still cold, usually under 40 degrees, bass are likely in the slack water in the deepest part of the eddy, right on the bottom. As temps move up to and over 40 degrees, the bass move out and sit right along the edge of the current break where the faster water is moving as can be seen in the accompanying diagram.

Most of the time, I like a 7 or 8WT fly rod with floating line and a 8-9' tapered leader. Don’t go lighter than 12 lb test for your leader unless you absolutely have to. I typically use 14 or 15 lb. test. Despite smallies' reputation for being jumpers, in reality big smallies, especially in colder water, are bulldogs. They fight down and dirty close to the bottom and cover. You'll need a stout tippet to keep 'em out of the woody debris and shoreline brush.

bassDuring the months from about November until April, I prefer minnow imitating flies, the estimable Clouser Minnow is always dependable. For the (usually) cloudy water this time of year, black or chartreuse/orange is tough to beat. Many gear bass anglers like a black hair jig for early spring bass. I usually keep my flies for this time of year a bit on the smaller size, typically about 3-5 inches in length.

For rigging, place a large strike indicator at the base of the leader, or maybe a foot or so down the leader from the junction with the fly line. A "thingamabobber" would likely work well. I prefer the large, split, peg type bobbers you can get at the kids' fishing section at big box stores. Roll cast this rig out; you're aiming to get the fly to drop right at the outer edge of the eddy's slack water along the current break. This is often the money spot where bass are positioned during the pre-spawn. Roll cast your rig and do a mental five or ten-count to allow your fly to sink. In effect, you're just fishing a jig under a bobber. The key is to keep your retrieve slow. The indicator will suspend your streamer in the zone. Smallies often scrutinize baits/flies very carefully, then suck 'em in and turn away. Strikes are subtle this time of year and I find a big, floating strike indicator really helps detect these subtle strikes. When that indicator budges, do a strip strike and fight the fish hard. Despite the light takes, large bass are much more catchable on flies in the early spring than summer in my opinion. Big bass see a constant barrage of tube lures, plugs, and other stuff raining down on ‘em in summer and they can get shy or nocturnal. An eighteen-inch river bass in Pennsylvania is probably ten to twelve years old and has seen it all. In the early spring, I believe trophy sized smallmouths are just more willing to feed on flies after a long winter.

While it's easy to get distracted by the prime trout fishing this time of year, don't ignore river bass. Scout out a shoreline eddy on your favorite river, watch those water temps, and then present a fly low and slow along the current break. River smallies are definitely active now and this is a great time of year to catch big fish.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/12/2019 (78 reads)
The PAFF Eastern Pa. Fly Tying Jamboree on Feb,16 was a great success!

We had lots of good tyers from all skill levels. Everyone had an excellent time and it was great to see some old friends and make some new ones. I want to thank Jack Fields for taking all our pictures. We were able to give a very nice donation to the nature center due to the generosity of the people and companies who donated the prizes for the fundraiser. We would also like to thank the good folks at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center for having us at their facility. As an added attraction yesterday, Bill Fretz demonstrated how to make furled leaders. Bill makes fine leaders and it was quite interesting to see how it is done. - Michael Lohman "GenCon"

It was great to see everyone again, wish it could be more often. Big thank you to Mike & "T" for organizing the jam, it went off without a hitch... - LV2nymph

The event was a lot of fun as usual. Thanks to all the organizers and to the tiers who took the time to share their skills with us. There's a lot of talented members on this forum and it was a lot of fun to get to know so many and get to pick their brains.
+1 to Brad's stonefly nymph skills. you'd never know you were so new to tying looking at your work and your presentation to the group.
+1 thanks to Jack Fields for taking the great pictures and for the quick posting of them. - Bociank1

A special thanks to Michael Lohman "GenCon" for leading the organization of this event. Nice job!!

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/04/2019 (392 reads)

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This weekend brings the Fly Fishing Show to Lancaster, Pa. This is the best fly fishing show in Pennsylvania you can find and a great opportunity see what the latest and greatest is going on in the industry.

For those of you that have not made the trip before it is a two day event that includes a very large exhibit floor, fly tiers, retail shops, educational programs and more. Many members from Paflyfish make their way to the show every year. If you are looking for trips, rods, reels, flies, waders any gear or tying materials this is the show to hit. There are many outstanding presentations about fly fishing techniques and locations to attend as well.

lancaster


Dates: March 9 & 10, 2019
Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 9am – 4:30pm

Location: Lancaster County Convention Center,
3 East Vine Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

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Additional Highlights include:
Learning Center: Fly Fishers International (FFI) is pleased to offer FREE fly fishing instruction at the Learning Center located on the main show floor. Basic fly-casting, fly-tying, and knots, will be taught throughout the day-every day of the Fly Fishing Show.
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival. One night only, Saturday, March 9 at 6:00pm. $15; $10 in advance.To purchase your advance.
Link to the Fly Fishing Show - Lancaster

Follow along in the forum.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/27/2019 (205 reads)
Another great video from Tightline Video here in the region. Can you find more video's on tightlinevideo YouTube channel.



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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/12/2019 (301 reads)
By Bill Kosmer at Trout Tails

I spent last weekend (Jan 25-27) at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ tying flies in the Fly Stones booth. It was a great 3 days. It is always good to see old friends and make new ones. Thank you to everyone who stopped by! Below is just a few snap shots. I wanted to get more photos, but it is amazing how busy it gets and how quickly it goes by. If you have never been to one of the shows, I encourage you to check them out. All the major gear manufactures are there with the latest products, as well as some of the most talented tiers and fishers around. There are many demonstrations and seminars throughout the weekend.


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/29/2019 (708 reads)
There are several fly fishing anglers in Pennsylvania region who are producing some regular videos on YouTube. Some are creating regular fly fishing channels and others are simply sharing some of the occasional angling experiences. A lot of credit for anyone trying to shoot good video on the stream and make an engaging YouTube post. Here are a few of the regional YouTuber's I enjoy.

Wooly Bugged is a production by Michael Evanko does a great job covering many corners of Pennsylvania and New York. A fun view when I'm stuck inside and not able to get to a stream. You can see he put's a lot of nice effort into the production of these videos.



A long time favorite for me is Tightline Video. Tim Flagler is the owner of Tightline Productions and has been producing fly fishing for many years. Looking at my old blog post, I think I shared one his early video's back in 2011 - Meet the Hendricksons. Most of Tim's production's provide some fantastic fly tying videos.



PA WOODS N WATER offers mostly longer form videos of fly fishing in the region, but offers some of his hunting trips.



Backyard Angling are videos from the brothers Dan and Doug. Their videos cover a lot of central Pa and an occasional a trip out west that look like I would enjoy tagging along!



Comments and other fly fishing YouTube anglers are being discussed in the forum.
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Published by Michael Lohman [GenCon] on 01/15/2019 (600 reads)

You are invited to attend and participate in the 2019 PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jamboree, to be held on Saturday, February 16, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

2016 Flytying Jam
Photo by Captain Hook


This event is being hosted by Michael Lohman (GenCon) and James Tyger (J55tyger88). Either of us will answer any questions regarding the event.

This event will be held at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, in Slatington, PA. Directions can be found here: http://lgnc.org/

Everyone is invited to attend and watch the demonstrations, get tips from the 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 in to 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.

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 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 afterwards. 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 10AM. We'll have access to the hall at the LGNC at 9AM, so please be ready to start tying at 10AM.

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!

For questions and to sign up follow in the forum here. Don't forget to list your chosen demo fly. Let the games begin!

GenCon
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/23/2018 (492 reads)
Having trouble Christmas shopping for the Fly Fisher in your life? Fret not! Hank's got you covered. Merry Christmas everyone! Snap It!

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/17/2018 (7100 reads)
Winter fly fishing can a be a very rewarding time to get out on the water. The most important thing to an enjoyable day of winter fly fishing is dressing for the weather. After decades of winter activities like hiking, hunting and fishing you would think I would know better, but one of my worst days fly fishing was because I forgot my wool socks. Not so smart with my cotton socks. So let's take a look at the best approach wintering up for a day of fly fishing.

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You've heard it before, but I'll say it again. Layers, layers, and more layers. The most important thing are the correct layers.

Feet
Alright Captain Obvious we know cotton socks don't work, so the best bet is a two layer approach with your feet. I first put on a thin polyester wicking sock. Overtop of the polyester sock I use a classic ragg merino wool sock. Bigger can be better, but make sure you can still get into your boots comfortably. If your socks are too thick and your feet are too tight in the boot this will not help keep you warm. What you are trying to accomplish is wicking away the perspiration from your feet with the polyester sock to the wool sock.

Legs and lower body
Again layers are the way to go. Keeping your legs and lower body warm while in the water is a non- negotiable. A few years ago I ended up getting a pair of Simms Guide Mid Pants. These pants are made of fleece and provide greater insulation than cotton. I would imagine you can get a decent pair of tapered fleece pants online that will do the trick. I like the tapered pants as they bunch up less at your ankles when you get into your boots. Often I'll wear a pair of light polyester long pants overtop of the fleece pants. A few ways to approach this but I'd avoid the cotton sweat pants.

Upper body
I generally have a three layer approach to the upper body. I use synthetic polyester base layer for wicking. I like the Under Armour mock longsleves. Offers a good base from the arms to the neck. The middle layers are your main insulators and going to keep you warm. A couple layers of fleece or wool always work for me. I found a great fleece shirt at Walmart for $10 a couple of years ago and is my goto whenever I head outside. A good down vest can work too, but you don't want too much bulk. The number of layers and type is really up to you and the temperatures you expect to encounter.

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Finally for your upper body is a good outer shell. The key is something that will keep the wind from getting to you. With the layers you have already put on, a big winter coat is not best step here. A winter windstopper shell that is water repentant is the answer. This is the place I would invest my money. I have an older Simms windstopper jacket that works great and think I spent $200 at the time. With layering this jacket works from October thru April for me. Today I would look at the Simms Bulkley Jacket ($349) or Cabela's Guidewear WindStopper Jacket (on sale for $110, but not water repentant). Specific fly fishing wading jackets are usually cut short in length and make it easier fitting into your waders. Once you are dressed and have your waders on you want warmth, but also upper body mobility too.


The other stuff
Fingerless gloves or mittens are a must. Plenty of good options made of wool, fleece and polyester. Leave the ski gloves for the slopes. Last but not least is a wool hat.

You really should try all this gear on before you go to the stream. Adding a few more layers may cause some difficulties getting onto your fly fishing boots and waders. The holidays don't help either. No sense having all the right gear if you can't fit into your waders. I enjoy my fly fishing backpack this time of year with layers I am taking off or adding on. Finally, even if you don't think you'll need it, bring an extra layer to leave in the car.

Photos by Josh Slaymaker
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