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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/12/2021 (54 reads)
I was honored to participate with Rob Snowhite and his Fly Fishing Consultant Podcast for his milestone recording. I have known Rob for many years connecting at the Fly Fishing Shows. It was great getting some time to get caught up on a more extended conversation. Hope you enjoy and make sure you subscribe to Rob's podcast to get connected to a whole host of outstanding industry experts.

From Rob: The 300th episode brings us to Dave Kile and his long-running site PAFlyFish.com Dave discusses how his website went from the primitive days of the 90's internet to the modern internet and social media and how the community around fishing in Pennsylvania is strong a quarter-century later. We learn about the different geographic ranges of Pennsylvania, the famous and not-so-famous streams, some history, and more in this fun-filled episode.

Produced by Jason Reif
Brought to you by Solo Stove

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/31/2021 (125 reads)
Joe Fox of Dette Trout Flies in Roscoe, NY demonstrates how he ties a classic Catskill style Red Quill dry fly.


Visit the Tightline website: https://www.tightlinevideo.com
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Published by Swattie [Swattie87] on 03/17/2021 (3308 reads)

By Matt Yancheff ("Swattie87"- Images Courtesy Author)

I often see a common question come up early in the learning curve for anglers looking to get into small stream, wild trout angling: How do I find good streams to fish? It can be an intimidating first hurdle to overcome, but once over it, the way is open to a very rewarding angling experience. It requires some homework, often good for a cold evening in the dead of winter with your beverage of choice. You’ll swing and miss sometimes, but the home runs you hit will be well worth the strikeouts.

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Below is the method that I’ve developed and relied on, and that has led me to many good small stream days in the woods of Pennsylvania:

1. Locate via some simple Googling, the following three lists published, and regularly updated by the PFBC: 1) Natural Reproduction List. 2) Class A Wild Trout List. 3) Wilderness Trout Streams List. They contain different information, and there is some overlap between them, but it is all useful. They all indicate the county the stream is in, so you can use that to begin to narrow things down.

2. (Optional, but not necessary. Good for a beginner with this method, but the more successful you get, you’ll find you’ll rely on these less.) Purchase a couple of PA stream guide books. Dwight Landis’ is very good, and is my personal favorite, but there’s several other good options out there as well. Again, some simple Googling will head you in the right direction if you wish to purchase these. They all run about $20-$30.

3. Review the above-mentioned lists and books and locate some streams in a given area that you think interest you. Cross reference those stream’s locations with a good mapping software. Google Maps works very well for this, and of course, is free. Are the streams on publicly owned land? If not, who owns the land? What are the potential access points? Of course, it goes without saying, always be respectful of private and posted land. Toggle between topographic and satellite views. Is the stream in a remote forested area, or is it running through folks’ back yards? How big does the stream look? How steep/rough does the terrain look? State and National Forest maps are available online for more information. Kudos as well to the Pa. Game Commission as they have recently updated and published detailed maps online of every single State Game Lands tract in PA. They’re very useful for helping confirm access and parking locations for streams on SGL.

4. After your research in Steps 1-3, pick three or four potential streams in an area and head out for a day to check them out. This way you have a couple back up plans if you get to a stream and find unforeseen access problems, or another angler already there. Or if a stream just turns out to be a dud, which happens sometimes.

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5. Once you’ve fished a few of these streams and located a couple good ones, start to think about what they have in common. Take note of what you saw on the maps, and what the stream turned out to actually look like when you got there. Was it what you expected? How big was it? What was its gradient? Did it have lots plunge pools, or was it more riffles and runs? What kind of water fished best? Then look for those similar characteristics in other areas using the lists, books, and maps. You’ll find you’ll quickly become pretty good at it. Before long, you’ll start working backwards – looking at the maps first for good potential spots based on what you’ve learned, then cross referencing with the lists and books….This is when you know you’ve figured it out.

As long as you’re willing to make a bit of a drive sometimes, do a bit of homework first, and be willing to strike out once in a while, this will work, if you try it. We are very fortunate to live in a state with the amount of small, forested wild trout water Pennsylvania has. Get out there and enjoy it!
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/08/2021 (9727 reads)
One of the first signs of spring is the emergence of the little black stonefly in many streams in the East. A variety of stoneflies (Order Plecoptera) in different sizes and colors follow suit throughout the season. Stoneflies are often overlooked by many Eastern anglers as mayflies and caddis are much more prolific. They rarely show up in any great numbers and their timing is not very predictable. Still, it is an important insect to understand for both nymphing and dry fly fishing.

StoneflyIn the Western states stoneflies are held in high esteem as anglers anxiously anticipate them for their large numbers and size (Video). Generally, stoneflies are the largest of all insects that live in the water.

Like many insects, stoneflies have a successful lifecycle that dates back over 250 million years to the Permian Period and not much about them have changed.

Stoneflies have the characteristic six legs of insects, but four wings that are folded flat on top of the abdomen. Coloration is black, brown, yellow and tan. Despite 200 million years of evolution they are considered awkward fliers.

Some general lifecycle traits of all species start with the females depositing hundreds of tiny eggs over a stream that quickly find their way to the bottom among the rocks. Nymphs then grown and molt 12-36 time before leaving the water. Some species can require up to three years before they mature into adults. As nymphs they can be found under rocks feeding on algae, mosses and even other aquatic invertebrates.

While Mayflies and caddis flies emerge out of the water, most stoneflies hatch from the shore line. Each species varies, but stoneflies will swim to the banks and crawl out of the water onto rocks or plants to molt into winged adult insects. Stoneflies are regarded as more nocturnal and you will more likely see the molted shucks and not see the actual emergence. Another difference between Mayflies and Stoneflies is that many species will have mouths and can feed during the weeks they live as adults before finally mating and dying.

Seeing active stoneflies and shucks is a good sign to start fishing with a stonefly nymph or a stimulator dry fly.

To learn and discuss more about mayflies on the site head over to the Hatch and Entomology Forum. Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.

A great online site to follow and get deep into the latin is Troutnut and his Aquatic Insects of our Trout Streams. A must read!! BugGuide has more details as well.





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/01/2021 (10657 reads)
There are thousands of streams across the region where wild trout naturally reproduce as a result of ideal water conditions and the availability of food. With countless years of evolution behind them, trout have successfully learned to eat a wide variety of food sources. Even then for the trout, everything from geology to pollution influences what kind of trout food prevails in each stream. Stocked trout are no exception to this and within days when they are placed into streams instincts quickly kick in for them to key in on naturally occurring trout food.

These different types of trout foods may not only be specific to a stream, but seasonal as well. Trout are limited to what is presented to them much like many animals in the wild. Typically spring and summer offer a great abundance of food choices. Winter may only provide limited food supplies. Trout adapt to the cold water by naturally reducing their metabolisms.

Familiarity with different food sources is one of the fundamentals of successful fly fishing. Let's have an overview of these trout foods.

March Brown Mayfly
March Brown - Maccaffertium vicarium

Aquatic Insects - mayflies (Ephemeroptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera), midges (Diptera), and stoneflies (Plecoptera)
For many, fly fishing is centered around the life cycle of aquatic insects as much as it is the trout themselves. Many anglers unwittingly become pretty good entomologists in pursuit of fly fishing. These insects are a significant part of any trout's diet throughout the year. Most aquatic insects live almost 98% of their lives in the water. Trout will feed on these bugs during all times of the insect's life cycle. Most notably trout will key in on active or passing nymphs in the water. For a brief period at the end of these insects' life, they hatch from the water to mate, lay eggs and die.

For many fly fishing anglers, mayflies are the belle of the ball and can be found hatching in significant numbers from April thru July. They are found during all times of the year, but just more sporadically. Under the correct conditions, a few streams even have small occasional hatches of blue-winged olives (BWO) in the dead of winter.

Midges, stoneflies, and caddisflies are very common in streams and have similar life cycles. Specific behavior with all these insects can vary greatly beyond the living, molting, emerging, mating and dying cycle. Certain types of caddis live under rocks with little wooden stick homes protecting them, while some mayflies burrow deep in the muddy ends of pools rarely being seen until they emerge. There is a lot of diversity and behavior between these insects that should be understood.

Fish - small trout, minnows and sculpins
A wide variety of small fish can be considered part of a trout's diet. There are many types of smaller fish including young trout, darters, minnows and sculpins that are trout favorites. Habitat and water conditions influence which type of small fish patterns are the most successful.

Terrestrials- ants, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars
These are all those bugs that don't live in the water but can be found by late spring thru the fall landing in the water as trout food. About any insect that can fall off the banks or out of a tree can find itself in trouble with actively feeding trout. I have seen trout gorge themselves on caterpillars falling out of trees in June but also quietly picking off ants by the edge of a stream in September. Out west grasshoppers are all the action during late July and August.

crayfish
crayfish

Crustaceans (Crustacea)- crayfish, freshwater shrimp and scuds
While crayfish are very common, scuds and shrimp are more often found in nutrient-rich streams with abundant plant life in limestone-fed waters. Scuds and shrimp need this type of habitat to survive. In limestone streams, trout can be seen nosing into the weed beds feeding on these scuds. Crayfish can thrive pretty well in streams with just rocks and a modest bottom structure.

Mammals - mice and other small rodents.
Trout can be pretty aggressive predators. On some streams, larger trout can key in on a mouse swimming across a stream that they can easily prey on. Anglers will typically try this approach in the evening since rodents are generally nocturnal creatures.

Fish eggs
Trout and other fish deposit eggs during their spawning seasons. Trout will commonly follow up behind these spawning fish and take advantage of this opportunity to get an easy meal. Suckerfish spawn in late winter and very early spring. Rainbow trout spawn in the spring, with brook and brown trout spawning in the fall.

Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.



Online Resources
FlyFisherman - What trout eat

Other Suggested Books
Handbook Of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Foods Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them by Dave Hughes

Trout and Their Food: A Compact Guide for Fly Fishers by Dave Whitlock







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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/21/2021 (386 reads)
While I’m not a bourbon aficionado, I have been a fan of the spirits since I was in college. Typically with my friends, we would enjoy Saturday football games on TV, play cards along with a Jim Beam and ginger ale. A simpler time and less sophisticated taste, but one of my better memories.


Infinity Bourbon Decanter
Bourbon Wiskey Infinity Bottle


The more recent popular interest in bourbon has added many new distilleries, but also provides the opportunity for me to explore a lot of labels that have been around for decades.

I keep a decent collection of about ten to fifteen different bourbons on hand. Plenty of options for mixing, on the rocks, or some just for sipping neat. One of the inspirations for collecting bourbons is my friend Ed and his 62 different brands. We just counted this on Thursday night. I don’t have a bar big enough to cover that kind of hobby, but it's good to have him as a friend in many ways. I not only get to admire his stocked shelves, but I also got to do some tasting of a wide range of distillers. It’s good to have friends.

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The Nirvana of Ed's Bourbon Bar


Along with Ed’s collection, a few years ago, a trip to Louisville added to my bourbon background. Definitely worth the journey to explore the roots of the bourbon experience. The distillery tours are gaining a lot of attention and reservations are pretty much required anymore to get a tour or even a paid tasting. A designated driver is a must and helps make the experience that much easier to enjoy.

There is a lot to learn about the process of bourbon making. History has its own aura and you can see the passion for bourbon runs deep in the horse country of Kentucky. With stops at Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Old Forester you could see they all have their own stories in creating their spirits.

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Makers Mark Distilary


While on one of the tours it was mentioned about making your own blended bourbon. I had heard of the idea once before at another tasting but dismissed it as something complicated and a process only for distillers. This intrigued me and I had to find out more. As it turns out, (with the concept of a distillery blending their own spirits), you can blend the bourbons you already carry at home. So instead of a vessel of one brand, you can mix your own favorites across several labels.

A simple decanter can be used to combine some of your favorite brands into a more personal blend. If you like Knob Creek, but find the proof kind of high, which I do, you can cut it with Basil Hayden. Two excellent bourbons brought together giving you a new taste.

I prefer the randomness and ease of simply taking the last few shots out of any bottle and adding them to the decanter. It is a real blend that always changes over time and I never seem to run out. The Infinity Bottle is easy to manage. I then use the blend for mixing, cocktails, on the rocks, and some just for sipping neat. It's like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get. When all else fails, Jim Beam and ginger ale is still a great go-to when I play cards.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/10/2021 (702 reads)
George Daniel offers up three different patterns for this season's upcoming Magicicada cassinii "cicada" emergence. You will be hearing a lot more about this 17-year event and what it means for fly fishing starting sometime in May. George explains how to tie three variations of cicadas: Sunken, Low Riding, and High Riding




To keep up with George, check out his website https://www.livinonthefly.com/ .


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/02/2021 (493 reads)
Fairly often on PaFlyfish.com, a thread starts up in the forum about what’s the best camera to use while fly fishing. Many traditional cameras are often suggested and I have gone through my share of high-end to smartphone cameras while on the water. I even tried an action camera several years ago. Everyone has their requirements, but I recently have had a chance to try out the AKASO Brave 7 LE and offer some ideas on how it may be a fit for anglers. AKASO approached me about a review but did not ask for any conditions on what I could say about the product. 

Akaso


Anglers are looking for several things when it comes to using a camera on the stream. Most importantly we need something waterproof, on the small side, convenient, affordable, and fast to capture an image. With all the gear we are lugging around it can be cumbersome to add another item to our vest, bag, or hanging around our neck. All cameras offer challenges to meeting our needs and then providing easy access capturing a picture of that awesome wild brook trout we want to share with others. I know I feel like a juggler managing the net, trout, rod, camera to capture the image at just the right angle. 

I have used many different cameras and failed more than once. Some experiences are better than others. My favorite was taking a picture of a real nice brown on Penns Creek last spring with my iPhone, falling into the water while still holding the fish and dropping the phone. Nice! But I have dropped my phone in a stream before, so I’m getting pretty good at the mistake. 

The AKASO Brave 7 LE offers some nice features to consider in lieu of a traditional camera or iPhone. Functionality includes: 4k video, camera, time-lapse, slow motion, still burst, driving mode, 6 axis stabilization, smartphone remote control, and a variety of video resolutions and frame rates. 

The camera has a built-in microphone, water-resistant IPX7 (without a case to 1 meter), front screen, back touch screen, bottom thread mount, and interfaces for HDMI and USB. 

With the camera, AKASO provides a lot of extras you would have to normally purchase separately: wrist remote controller, deeper water case, two batteries, charger, USB cable, many mounts, and straps. The unit and mounts are compatible with most all GoPro mounting accessories.  

I think the last feature and the best is the price which currently is at $139 on Amazon
 ,
Compared to other higher-end action cameras in this space, it has most if not all the same features. The cons might be some aspects of the audio quality and low light compared to those higher-end brands. But for the features, accessories, and price, it’s a no brainer. 

I have included a few sample media and images below. 



There are a few ways an angler could use an action camera on the stream. If you want to capture videos while catching lots of fish, a head or chest mount might work well. The AKASO Brave 7 LE is a very viable option using the remote wrist controller. You simply start the video or take a snapshot by activating one of the buttons on the controller. This works well but will take some practice to know the direction of the camera while it may be on your head. 

The action camera can be attached to a longer zinger or lanyard to give you easy access in and out of your pocket or storage area. I kept mine around my neck and had easy access to it stuffed inside my jacket. A simple 6” tripod can be used for images shot from the bank. If you like to capture underwater images, an optional selfie stick offers another angle of view.  

Offloading images can be done wirelessly to your smartphone instantly using the AKASO GO App or directly to your computer. 

AKASO
Front Display (non-touch)


Capturing images is not a thing for everyone, but for those that do enjoy the option, I highly recommend the AKASO Brave 7 LE to consider for its affordability and flexibility. Plus I think these would make a great addition to your other activities or with a family on vacations. 

No matter what the device, you will have to put some time into learning how to operate it and some basic videography skills. But don’t be afraid to have some fun.  To learn more you can go to the official web page for the AKASO Brave 7 LE.

I have asked AKASO to help support the 25th Anniversary of Paflyfish and I will be offering a giveaway of one Brave 7 LE from AKASO to a member in the forum. This a free chance to win one of these fun action cameras. To be eligible to win, simply post in the thread AKASO Brave 7 LE Review in the Gear Talk Forum, “I’m In”. If you enter other text you will be disqualified. The thread will be locked and entries will be closed Sunday, February 21, 2021, at or near 10:00 PM. I will then draw a random number, it will be correlated to the post number and the winner will be announced on Monday, February 22, 2021. No multiple entries will be permitted and you must respond to my email with 24 hours if you win. If you do not reply by 8:00 pm February 23, 2021, another number be will drawn and the process repeated. AKASO will be directly sending you the action camera. Moderators will not be able to enter. USA residents only. Paflyfish has the right to change any and all of the rules. 
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/26/2021 (494 reads)
While winter fly fishing, I have rarely said I overdressed for a day outside. More often I wished I had been better prepared. I was fishing Muddy Creek a few winters back for the better part of the day trip with Maurice on one of our all day Lewis and Clark expeditions. The mild pleasant morning changed over to a pretty cool cloudy day. I failed to have some proper thick wool socks and it made for some pretty cold feet after a few hours in the stream. Sadly, I knew better and told myself I would let that happen again.

Ice-Fishing

Temperature, sun and wind can make huge variables when gearing for some winter fly fishing. Standing in 45 degree water can set you back pretty quickly too. You've heard it before, but I'll offer it again: layers, layers, and more layers. The most important way to keep yourself prepared is with the proper layers.

Headwear
I like wearing a ball cap for fishing because the visor helps me with my visibility while I’m looking onto the water. But I’ll always have a wool cap to switch on if I find myself cold. One of the best and fastest ways to regulated your body temperature is what you are wearing on your head. I recently found a decent billed cap with earflaps that can be pulled down. Certainly, the Elmer Fudd look has its own calling, but I’m not a slave to fashion while on the stream.

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 your feet will be constricted in your boots and make your feet cold. What you are trying to accomplish is wicking away the perspiration from your feet with the polyester sock to the wool sock.

Merino sheep.png

@Charles Esson Creative Commons
Merino sheep date back to the 12th century from Africa and were crossbred with European sheep soon thereafter. The wool they produce is generally regarded as softer, very absorbent, and has great natural order control. Most importantly, even while wet, can provide warmth and insulation better than synthetic materials. It is the preferred wool and layering for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Legs and lower body
Again layers are the way to go. Keeping your legs and lower body warm while in the water is 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 long johns. 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. 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 a synthetic polyester base layer for wicking. I like the Under Armour mock long sleeves in a variety of styles but also have found some similar synthetic products at Walmart for a lot less. This offers a good base from the arms to the neck. The middle layers are your main insulators and are going to keep you warm. Fleece or merino wool always works well for me. I found a great fleece shirt at Walmart for $10 a couple of years ago and is my go-to whenever I head outside. I also have a warmer wool sweater for colder days. Just like your feet, you are trying to wick away any moisture and still keep insulated. The number of layers and type is really up to you and the temperatures you expect to encounter.

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 the 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 over ten years ago. This one goes with me from October through May. Specific fly fishing wading jackets are usually cut short in length and thus avoid hanging into the water when you are wading. What you want is a sturdy windproof shell like the Orvis Tech Shell or Simms Freestone Wading Jacket. That thin nylon packable rain pullover probably won’t be enough. Once you are dressed and have your waders on you want warmth, but also upper body mobility too.

Streamers and Wooley Buggers

The other stuff
Fingerless gloves or mittens are a must. Plenty of good options made of wool, fleece and polyester for anglers. Leave the ski gloves for the slopes. Those HotHands Hand Warmers might be a backup option in your car or bag. Generally, if you are properly dressed and keep moving you’ll be in good shape.

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.
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Published by Al Toret [MathFish] on 01/20/2021 (381 reads)
Just sharing my newest fish carvings. Last weekend, I started 3 fish and carved them on and off throughout the week. This weekend, I painted all three. It was a nice way to spend some time inside watching the snow happen out my window.

The first trout was a brookie carving I made as a thank you gift for a friend of mine who really helped me out this past fall. I based it off of a trout I caught a few years ago. I'm happy with how it turned out and I almost wanted to keep it for myself.

The brookie that the carving is based on
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Here is the painted carving.
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Next, I decided to make a California Golden Trout. This carving is based off of photos I found online of them. I made a pinewood derby car of one of these trout, but this is my first attempt at carving the fish without wheels. This fish took my about 4 hours to paint. I told my wife that I plan to one day get out fish for these.

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Lastly, I came across a photo of an absolutely beautiful young greenback cutthroat trout that I wanted to try and carve. Here is the link to the site which has the photo. It's the second photo on the page. I didn't want to post that photo in this posting since it is copyrighted and I am not sure how that works... Greenback Cutthroat Trout Link

This is also a trout that I would like to one day make a point to get out and see in person. Here is how the greenback carving turned out.

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So I managed to squander a perfectly good weekend making these three little fish. It helps that I can't get out and fish since I'm recovering from an injury that will have me off the water for quite some time. However when I finished these three, my wife asked, "So... what's the plan for all these fish?" I decided not to answer her... I'm up to 13 little fish now in my collection and I have plans for others - but to be completely honest, I don't have a plan. They are beginning to stack up and I should probably have a plan. Oh, well...


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Follow along in the forum here.
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