Register now on! Login

Category Last published item
Fly Tying  Fly Tying
2019 PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jam

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/24/2015 (2078 reads)
Our friends over at Tightline Productions offer up a video instructions on tying Son of Sexy Walt's fly fishing opportunities. I'm a big fan of the Walt's Worm on Spring Creek in Center county and other spring feed streams Looks like a fun fly to try this winter.

  Send article

Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 09/01/2015 (2939 reads)
In a recent stream report I indicated using a "stonecat" fly. For many PA FFers, this is an unusual pattern and not typically associated with trout fishing. Local river folks who fish bait for smallies, however, are very familiar with this critter.

The term "stonecat" is actually a misnomer and refers to a madtom found in western PA. The fish we have in the Susky/Potomac watershed is actually the marginated madtom. However, local folks have always called marginated madtoms "stonecats." Afishinado will tell you that locals in his home stomping grounds around Wilkes Barre call 'em "catties." They're a popular live bait.


Marginated madtoms are a shy, mysterious, largely nocturnal little catfish and many river anglers have never seen one. Bait fishermen often get them by seining weedy riffle areas at night or carefully feeling for them under rocks with their hands. Bass eat 'em like candy and, in my opinion, really key on the image of a stonecat. I love 'em, and stonecat flies are go-to patterns for summer bass for me, especially in clear water.

The fly I was using is one of a series of flies I've designed utilizing paint and craft felt. Like many of my personal patterns, it is realistic and detailed.

A much easier stonecat pattern would be tan or light brown sculpin wool for the head, a tan fur or chenille body, and a long tail of tan marabou. Tie a dumbbell weight Clouser style under the head so the fly swims hook upward and trim the head flat. Rubber band whiskers add a nice touch. The key, however, is to keep the fly very slender and very long.

Marginated madtoms are usually 2-5" in length and have a paddle like tail with a black edge; body is usually pinkish yellow on the ventral, light brown on the flanks, and olive over the back. You want a fly that swims with lots of motion and gets deep. I tie medium and very heavy versions.

The image above is an illustration I did of marginated madtoms based on a group of specimens I caught in central PA. Note the slender body, rounded tail that blends into the body like an eel, yellow fins, and square head with short whiskers.

You can follow the comments in the forum here on Stonecats.
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/13/2015 (1780 reads)
Tightline Productions has been offer up a host of great videos over the years. Recently they added offer up video instructions on tying . You can check out their Vimeo Channel here.

Hi-Vis Coachman from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/15/2013 (2588 reads)
Our friends over at from Tightline Productions offer up a video instructions on tying up a Black Foam Beetle for summer fly fishing opportunities.

Foam Beetle from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/07/2013 (5987 reads)
By Dean Myers

It is the middle of summer, the grass is tall along the creek and there is a hatch coming off. Well, it isn’t your normal mayfly hatch that you need a 5 weight or less to fish and need a delicate presentation. It is time to fish the hopper hatches along the creek banks. Fishing with a grass hopper pattern can be a lot of fun. You don’t have to be nice and gentle and you can use it to fish for a lot of different species. If your trout waters are too warm, by all means, hit some warm water streams for bass and pan fish with a hopper. A lot of different species enjoy the tasty meal of a hopper. The other thing hopper patterns are great for is being used in a hopper-dropper rig. By all means, drop off the hook bend a second fly.

hopper Here is a pattern that I have tied for this year. A lot of people have been tying hopper patterns with foam. They are easy and they float well. Here is another option that I decided to try. The company that created the ThingAmaBobber has a new product that I really like. It is called the ThingAmaBody. It is an extremely easy product to use, looks great and floats forever. Another great thing about this product is you can make it whatever color you need it to be. It takes markers really well. So you can get really creative with how you want it to look.

When tying your hopper pattern you want to try and match the naturals. If you look at grass hoppers, it is important to see that the underside color is not always the same as the side and top color. When you are looking down on a grass hopper, remember that this is not how the fish will see it. They will be seeing the profile and color of the underside of it. Of the proportions, the head is usually about 1/3 of the body size.

Read detailed instructions here
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/07/2013 (5273 reads)
So you probably have already heard about the onslaught of cicadas coming our way on the nightly news and just about every other media source. Cicada's are just weeks away from inundating much of the east coast and more annoying news coverage to follow. Mainstream media will pull out the playbook and ultimately take it to a stupid level like encouraging some Honey Boo Boo wannabes into eating some of these Cicadoidea [latin]. By the end of the coverage, some clever reporter will talk about cicada soup or grilling them or better yet some dumb sauce to put on them.

Sorry I digress and back to trout eating cicada.

Cicada Fly Fishing trout So will this be a big deal for fly fishing? For some of parts of the region it may be. It has been 17 years since the Brood II has emerged. Generally they will be covering North Carolina thru New York. But heavily in Eastern Pennsylvania* and New Jersey.

Generally, we will not see much activity until the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees. Most records seem to indicate that this late May to early June.

"Thermal soil temperature is one of the things that trigger their emergence, along with a gentle to moderate rainfall," Greg Hoover, Senior Extension Associate Ornamental Entomologist at The Pennsylvania State University, said.

These insects emerge, mate and die all within about two to three weeks. They have no mouths and do real no damage during this final stage. Remembering former cicada brood fests, it is really just a big pain in the ass having millions of these bugs all over the place. They get into your house, car and just about anything you leave open.

For fly fishing anglers what does this mean? Well these things are insects high in protein and will likely fall in the water. No fear trout and other fish will be eating them.

Will cicadas be the only thing in their diet, probably not. Being prepared with a few tied up cicadas is probably a pretty good idea. As Tom (Afishnado) posted, "I'd have to say the cicada hatch in Central PA a few years ago was one of the best kept secrets of all time." So no doubt this year cicada fly fishing for trout, carp and bass will be important.

Cicada Fly Fishing troutLike any fish food it will always be shape, size and coloring that will be important for imitations. This things are pretty darn big at about 1 1/2 inches long. Dwight Landis (Troutbert) suggests starting with size 6 hook. Generally they are black bodied with orange accents in this Brood II. Deer hair ties similar to what you might use for bass flies are good. But as Ed Maurer (Heritage Angler) offers, "All my cicada patterns are now made with a foam body. Foam is your friend - embrace it." There is a lot of conversation on options, but I would go with Dave Weaver's (Fishidiot) tie he shares here. But it is anyone's bet!

I would be targeting bigger trout later in the day. Kind of normal trout feeding patterns. But this is a bit of crap shoot and older reports share tales of carp going crazy for these things too. If your next question is how do you cast and present this beast? Well firstly don't slam the darn thing into the pool you want to target. These things are pretty big and if done improperly you will likely scare out all the fish, herons and beavers for a 1/4 of mile, so go easy cowboy and have fun.

This is going to be interesting in a few weeks and love to hear if it is a bust or a boom?

* Additional notes on Pennsylvania cicada locations: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, and Wyoming Counties
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/31/2013 (3785 reads)
By Andy Wagner at PA Undercurrent Outfitters

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now. This fly is in no way an original. True, I gave it a name. It’s also true that I came up with the color combo through days of trial and error. But I still can’t take credit for its creation. Fly tiers are all bandits, me included. We’re petty thieves looking for any chance we can to rob another of ideas and designs. Innovation is something we rarely arrive at on our own. We pick pieces and parts out of fly patterns along the way to arrive at our own style. There are some among us who can claim to come up with these hot “new” patterns all by themselves. Honestly, I’m not that creative, so let me be the first to say that my fly patterns are stolen. Yep, I’m a thief and it feels good to confess my banditry.

The name of the fly indicates the water that inspired this streamer. Although I fish and guide the big name trout streams here in Central PA, the warm water of the Juniata River is my home. It’s where I caught my first fish and many of my most memorable fish since. Lately I’ve been daydreaming about the Juniata and smallmouth fishing in general. It might have something to do with the weather. Nothing makes a guy long for floating and wet wading a warm water river like 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

In these daydreams the weather is warm, the water is clear, and a buddy and I are floating the river. The bass are active in this little scenario of mine. They’re more than willing to eat a streamer ripped off the bank or through a mid-river bucket. We’re throwing a 1/0 Dirty Fry, and the smallies are blowing up in every likely holding lie.

This fly has been one of our most productive patterns over the last few years. Trophy bass of the Juniata are cannibalistic creatures. The sun is high, and we jockey back and forth from the rower’s seat to the front of the boat. In our boat, whether you have a hot rod or not, you’re bound for some time on the sticks. It’s the heart- thumping kind of streamer fishing we all enjoy, but as always it stays relaxed. Above the riffles and glides cigar smoke mingles with our philosophy and lies. The smell of the river is mixed with the aroma of fresh cut hay. The bass themselves are strong, fat, and sporting a lot of attitude of course. Who would dream of anything else?

Andy Wagner was born, raised, and now resides in a village conveniently located between the smallmouth of the Juniata River and the brown trout of Penns Creek. When he's not fishing, tying, or guiding he works at his barber shop for gas money.
  Send article

Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 09/26/2012 (5824 reads)
By Maurice

Resized ImageThe Fall season marks the return of shorter days, cooler nights and lower stream temperatures on our more marginal waters around the Commonwealth. Many trout waters ride the razors edge on harboring wild trout. We see lots of ATW's with wild trout during the cooler months of spring and winter. Usually these waters are rather large, their watersheds are made of many wild trout tributaries. Often the main stem which warms in Summer are believed to be transitional wild trout waters. Ones that have their wild trout leave the warmer stream during the heat of summer only to have them return in the fall to the larger water with better habitat and cover as well as forage. Or they hunker down, find thermal refuge through springs seeps, tributary mouths or deeper water. It is the fall season when I like to sample the bigger waters to see if I can scare up some of these Wild Brown Trout.The ones that made it through the tough months, the survivors.

Resized ImageIt is this type of fishing that I enjoy the most. Often no one else is fishing, the air is crisp, the water cool and clear and solitude abounds. But lets face it, the business at hand is to touch a few survivors. So I like to use a fly I know will get them to take a look and grab it. Now not just any goto fly. No, not a Green Weenie, Goodness NO! They are for old men and children! Although I have been known to use them I would prefer to fish "off the junk". My good friend and fellow board member Fritz often texts me pics at work during the week of him tearing up the York County waters with the Weenie, I kid him but it works. I am just too stubborn to use it. Its pretty clear that the success of the Weenie is largely due to the color, Chartreuse.

One of my favorite goto Fall flies on Muddy is a Yellow Stonefly nymph. So I am thinking...maybe I will tie up a few and when selecting the white rubber legs from a bass jig skirt; I wade past orange, green,chartreuse. Wait a minute, thats not a bad idea. Chartreuse legs. Yeah, like a Weenie color, but not a weenie. This might be the ticket. I mean until someone sees the pics of this fly with chartreuse legs in the trouts mouth. Ahhhh, Who Gives A Rat's Arse.

This marks the birth of the WhoGARA stonefly. Following is a tutorial for tying this simple yet effective fly. Now using it anytime but the Fall may bring scorn over you but if someone gives you a ribbing just tell them the name. WhoGARA! It catches fish. I only fished for two hours in marginal water and landed three wild browns and lost two larger ones, turned and moved several more. I am convinced that it got the attention of nearly all of the trout it drifted past.

WhoGARA Stonefly
You will see by the tutorial that details are not important.
Hook: WhoGARA big hook - #12 2xl streamer.
Thread: Olive (WhoGARA) it gets covered anyway.
Underbody: 18ga.Wire (WhoGARA - I used electric motor windings)
Tail: Brown goose biots.
Body: Yeller dubbin.
Wing case: Pheasant tail fibers.
Rib: Copper Wire, WhoGARA, it just protects the Pheasant fibers.
Legs: Chartreuse Spinner Bait Skit string.
Thorax/head: Same Yeller Dubbin.

Step 1: Put a base layer of thread on the hook to keep the wire from sliding around the hook. Don't worry about the lengths of wire being the same, remember WhoGARA.
Resized ImageResized Image

More after the break Here
  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 09/11/2012 (12888 reads)
By Dean Myers (djmyers)

fallFall and winter are times to experience some fun Blue Winged Olive hatches. The flies are going to be small but it can be exciting. When fishing during a BWO hatch you may have your best luck in moderate to slow runs and back eddies. These small flies often struggle breaking through the surface, so emerger patterns are often very successful fly patterns to use. Two of my favorite patterns to use are a Foam Biot Emerger and a CDC Cripple.

I have been tying these and other flies commercially for the last couple years for customers and fly shops. You can find out a little more about me and see these flies and other patterns that I have listed here at .

BWO CDC Cripple info
I like this pattern because of the use of CDC. I have found that you can be really creative with CDC and it fishes really well too. It creates a lot of movement and can be life giving to your fly.
Hook: Dohiku G644
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: dun antron
Body: Olive biot or Olive died peacock herl
Wing: Dun CDC
Thorax/head: small amount of dubbing

Step 1: Tie in the tail material. I like to have the tail material the length of the hook so that I can have an even body to wrap the biot or the peacock herl onto. After it is secured, move the thread to the back of the hook and cut the length of the tail to desired length.

More after the break here.

  Send article

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/02/2012 (3528 reads)
by Brian McGeehan
Guest writer for Paflyfish

As a kid growing up in Pennsylvania I dreamed of visiting the Rocky Mountain West to fish those big rivers that I saw in the fly fishing magazines. Western rivers seemed so different compared to the smaller fisheries that I spent my youth on and I was a bit intimidated when I first arrived in Montana on a summer long geology field trip sponsored by Penn State. I quickly fell in love with the massive feel of the biggest rivers and the wide open surroundings. There were definitely some new skills that I needed to develop to be successful on the bigger rivers but I found that the techniques and strategies that I had developed in Pennsylvania also worked in Montana. Some of the most talented anglers I have had a chance to guide often come from Pennsylvania and other eastern states and those fertile wild trout fisheries of the Appalachian mountains are a great training ground for some of the world's best fly fisherman. If you are an Eastern fly fisherman considering a Montana fly fishing trip you will be happy to know that your skills honed on your home rivers will put you in a great position to find success on Western waters. Here are five skills that I learned in PA that have helped me on our local Montana fisheries.

Fishing hatches
The rivers and streams in the ridge and valley province of Pennsylvania have some of the most abundant and diverse hatch sequences of any waters I have had the opportunity to visit. Few locations can compare to the overlapping series of aquatic insect emergence that happen on a single day in late May on waters like Penns Creek, Big Fishing Creek and others. Spending many a day on the fertile limestone streams of central Pennsylvania helped me to pay close attention to the different life cycles of the varied insects. I learned to differentiate between a trout feeding on duns, emergers or spinners. I also began to recognize when trout were on caddis with splashy rises verses the more delicate takes of mayfly species. I learned that trout would switch from one species (or development stage) to another during the course of an evening and that I had to be constantly aware of these changing preferences if I wanted to be successful during each stage of the hatch. These lessons have carried with me when I am fishing Western waters. Trout feeding during an intense pmd hatch on the Missouri can be just a selective as trout rising to sulphurs on the Yellow Breeches. On some freestone waters such as the Madison the hatches do not appear as intense but the same transitions from nymphs, to duns, to spinners still occur and the conditioning to always be on the watch for this frequently pays off.

Getting close
One of the best lessons that I learned as a kid was how to get close to trout and still catch them. My first experiences with a fly rod in Pennsylvania occurred on laurel choked brook trout streams in the Allegheny National Forest. Because of the thick canopy of trees long back casts were not an option and I had no choice but to sneak in close to make a cast. Western streams and rivers are much more open than their Eastern counterparts and anglers are not forced to get close. I have found that getting as close as possible to the holding water is still a great strategy. The closer you are to the fish the better the presentation will be and the faster the hook set will be. It is very easy to get caught swinging for the fences by making longer than needed casts simply because the wide open landscape permits it.

Spring creeks and tail waters
Pennsylvania is home to some of the most fertile spring fed streams in the world. These productive fisheries are home to high concentrations of healthy wild trout and abundant macro invertebrates. The glassy currents on waters like the Letort and Big Spring require stealthy approaches and carefully placed casts. When fishing these waters as a youth I learned that I needed to carefully plan out each cast before approaching a run. The angle of my position to the fish was extremely important and I began to understand that finding ways to present the fly to the fish before the leader definitely increased the chances for success. Montana is also home to some of the worlds finest spring creeks along with dam released tail water fisheries like the Bighorn, Missouri and Beaverhead that produce spring creek like conditions. My experiences on the Eastern limestone streams helped me to feel right at home when I first visited the legendary Paradise Valley spring creeks like Armstrong and Nelson.

Small streams are fun too!
Even larger Pennsylvania trout streams with the exceptions of tail waters like the Delaware and Allegheny would be considered small by Western standards. When I first moved to the West I spent most of my time on the famous blue ribbon rivers like the Madison, Yellowstone and Missouri because fishing such a massive body of water for trout was new and exciting. As time went on I began to explore the bountiful smaller fisheries that reminded me of home. One of the great things about Montana is that nearly every body of water no matter how big or small seems to hold trout in the Western half of the state. Montana also allows public access to any fishery as long as anglers remain inside of the high water mark.

How to thoroughly work a run
Although there is still plenty of water in Pennsylvania to enjoy there also a lot more people. On some waters like Penns Creek or Spring Creek during famous hatches like the Green Drake or Sulphur the influx of anglers coming for the hatch limited the amount of water available. I learned that if I was in a good run that I had better make the best of it and thoroughly work the water before moving on. Montana rivers receive much less pressure compared to the East and we have the luxury of moving a long way without worrying about being crowded by numerous other anglers (with some exception like the easily accessed wade areas on the Bighorn). Although some days covering as much water as possible is the way to go there are times when slowing down and really dialing into a run is beneficial. When I know that trout are heavily concentrated in a run I will make a few passes through it. If I am nymph fishing I often make a shallow pass with less weight and a shorter indicator to pick off the more aggressive fish first. The shallower rig allows me to detect strikes faster and get a higher percentage of hookups. Eventually I will work the run with a heavier rig and longer leader to get to fish that are in the deeper and heavier water that are not willing to move far to feed.

Brian McGeehan is the owner and outfitter of Montana Angler Fly Fishing in Bozeman, MT. He is a native of Western Pennsylvania where he spent his youth chasing trout across the Keystone state. Montana Angler Fly Fishing is also a sponsor on Paflyfish.

  Send article

RSS Feed

Site Content

Copyright 2018 by | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by