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Fishing Yellowstone Park: A Seasonal Primer

Published by Abide, dude...Invictus Maneo [TimRobinsin] on 11/09/2015 (1337 reads)
Part of the Lancaster crew arrived in Erie Thursday morning around 930. Elk was chocolate milk so we headed over to 16 mile. The winds were howlin and the waves were capping at 4-6ft out at the beach. We made our way up and found some fish. Jeff made contact with his first steelhead which surprised the heck out of him and promptly came unbuttoned. He was pretty stoked. RickinPa and I each landed fish and it was a good start.

steelheadFriday we met up Friday morning at Follies with FarmerDave and Mucka. Pumpkin whoopie pies were on point and we headed down stream. Mucka ran a clinic on water reading and approach. RickinPa would join in and stick a few older fish. Some chromers but not many.

We headed back to Follie's to find PatrickC's truck in the driveway so we hooked up with him. Patrick had 4 fish in that morning on lower elk so we rolled out. we went to lower Elk and found some fish. Jeff caught his first fish just as that sinking feeling of self doubt was creeping in. He landed a nice lake run brown. After that boost of confidence he picked up the example Mucka set in the morning and started putting on a show. We lost count of how many fish he hooked and landed. He was pretty much shell shocked by the end of the day. Everyone caught multiple fish in multiple spots and it was a really great day. Almost everything was fresh chrome. PatrickC was being a spot-snatcher so I had to follow behind him and pick out a few of the leftover stragglers left in his wake, that guy covers some ground, no camping out with Patrick.

Friday at the Avonia we saw Proformance, moose , art and farmerdave. unfortunately it was packed and we couldn't sit together. next time dudes!

Saturday was a zoo. Mucka, StreamerGuy, Jeff, and I explored some more remote waters higher up on elk and we were rewarded. And for a second day in a row Jeff put on a freakin clinic. dang newbies! Jeff was reading water like a seasoned pro and picked fish out of pockets that just about broke the necks of the guys standing in the deep runs. He was in the groove and it was fun and impressive to watch him working. I spent more time chasing his fish with a net than fishing. Mucka and streamerguy dropped the hammer on them too. It was a great hike back with a good mix of fresh and old fish.

we headed back down low as the creek really started to clear and drop quickly through the morning into the afternoon. We found better looking water and few more fish that afternoon when we met back up with TimB and RickinPa. Both of those guys pounded fish in the morning as fresh fish continued to move through. by saturday night the fish were shell shocked and lock jaw set in.

Sunday I had to stay in during the morning to finish some work but the guys went out and managed a few during the morning. I joined up with them in the afternoon and the creek was low and clear. Fishing was tough with only a handful of fish to hand.

As of this writing we have just driven into Lancaster. we left around 11 this morning. no fish to hand and elk is WAY back down. many guys were out yesterday and this morning. They're getting pounded. To whomever takes up the torch for next year: schedule the jam later for this very reason. it would have been a lot better if there would have been multiple high water events before this. it would have brought more fish in and spread the fish out, subsequently the people too. Think 2nd week in November.

All in all it was great to see old friends and make new ones. Jeff officially has steel-fever and is already scheming a trip to the SR so there you go, we corrupted another one! LOL.

Photograph provide by Skybay

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/02/2015 (1407 reads)
Hank teaches three bait fishermen a few of his fly fishing "methodologies" and "philosophies." What an awesome opportunity for these gentlemen to learn from the best. Snap It!

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Published by Tim Bennett [TimB] on 06/01/2015 (3468 reads)
One of the nice things about fly fishing is that it usually isn’t a “crack of dawn” affair. Most hatches happen in the afternoon or evening. You can usually sleep in a little without worrying about missing the best fishing of the day. Fly fishing for hickory shad may be an exception. I usually try to get an early start when they are running.

The guys gathered at the appointed time and we made the trip south to Maryland hoping to catch the first surge of these anadromous fish on their journey up Deer Creek to spawn. We crossed the Maryland border, and then Conowingo Dam, right on schedule and pulled into the parking lot with five minutes to spare. The liquor store was just about to open.
Jim knew the drill, but Bob was new to the shad game and raised an eyebrow. He said he had a few beers with him, enough for all three of us, and that there really was no need to stop. I told him we weren’t there to buy beer. That raised his other eyebrow.

There were three other cars in the lot, all waiting like us. We had a couple of laughs speculating what they might be there for at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning. Two young men in their twenties were anxious to get into the store and tried the door – locked. They peered in the window, looking for signs of movement but gave up and went back to their car. At 8:01 the door opened and we all filed in. One gentleman went right up to the counter to buy lottery tickets. The young men asked the clerk about fishing licenses - the store was also a Maryland fishing license agent. We headed right for the register with the mini bottles of spirits, and a stack of Plano boxes piled high. We were there to buy shad darts.

Bennett shad 1


Shad darts are wedge-shaped jig heads with a sparse bunch of calf tail or similar fur as a tail. The lead heads are painted bright colors. They are a traditional spin fishing lure that sinks quickly and has a darting action on the retrieve. We bought the smallest size the liquor store had in several different color combinations. Anything larger would be too difficult to cast with a fly rod.

Bennett shad 2


Hickory shad (Alosa mediocris) are a member of the herring family and are smaller than their relative the American shad. They typically make their spawning run in April and early May when flows and water temperature trigger the upstream migration. In 1980, Maryland placed a moratorium on the harvest of shad and implemented a restoration program that has increased the number of fish entering the streams to spawn. A catch and release fishery is allowed. A nine foot six weight rod is perfect for the hickories which range from 12-20 inches. They are strong fighters that may leap several times earning them the nickname, “poor man’s tarpon”. That may be a stretch, but they sure are fun.

So you might ask, shad darts with a fly rod? Most fly anglers fish un-weighted flies on a sink tip line for shad. We all had some small marabou streamers with us that would likely catch shad, but with weighted flies we could stick with standard floating lines. But there’s more to it than that. There’s something irreverent about using shad darts with a fly rod. I guess we could be accused of “thumbing our noses” at the perception of fly fishing as a sport for snobs. Surely, the purists would be appalled at our use of darts… from a liquor store no less! That may be partly true, but in reality the darts are pretty damn effective!

Bennett shad 3


We fish the darts casting across stream just above a likely looking run and add a few upstream mends to get the fly… uh, I mean dart, down deep. If the shad are in a biting mood, they usually hit right at the end of the swing. In this technique the fly rod is actually more effective than a spinning rod because of the ability to mend the line to put the dart right in the strike zone.

As a sea run fish, shad seem a little photo sensitive in the shallow creeks and fishing typically slows down in the middle of the day. Some anglers concentrate on morning and evening when the light is less intense. It’s still worth spending the middle of the day on the water. It will give you a chance to figure out the most productive runs as well as witness the spectacle of the spawn. There’s something really cool about standing in what looks like a classic trout stream with thousands of sea run fish swimming by your feet on their reproductive journey. You likely won’t be alone in watching the migration. Osprey, herons, and bald eagles are often spotted in or over the water.



Unusually cold temperatures and high flows through Conowingo Dam delayed and prolonged the run in Deer Creek this year, making the timing difficult to predict. Armed with our darts, we lucked out and caught the first surge of the season and did well our first day. Over the next couple of weeks, some days were great, some slow. The shad run is starting to wind down now and it looks like we’ll have to wait until next spring to continue our annual tradition of an early morning road trip to catch the shad run. Maybe we’ll see you there. Look for us in the liquor store parking lot!

Full hyperlink for MD DNR page on hickory shad:
http://dnr2.maryland.gov/Fisheries/Pa ... x?fishname=Hickory%20Shad
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/18/2015 (1685 reads)
Great video sharing some of the aquatic insects available to trout during the early season in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. A bonus for you new getting started and expanding your fly tying with some samples of the aquatic insects.

Early Season Sampler March 2015 by Tightline Productions



Big fan of all of videos by Tightline Productions and thanks to billfrech for finding this on. Follow along with the post in the forum.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/02/2015 (2205 reads)
While at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset I met up with site member Kevin "Fisherboy3" Craig when he was over at Ben Turpin's booth. After catching up a little Kevin and Ben, they shared with me a recent endeavor that Ben started helping anglers learn how to improve their fly tying skills.



Ben is an accomplished guide and rod builder covering much of New Jersey, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. He shares a lot of experience and knowledge bringing this fly tying website together.

The Whip Finish Industries website provides an opportunity for fly fishing anglers to learn through his step by step videos on how to tie some of the most important flies for the region. The videos on the site cover dozens of different types caddis, sculpins, nymphs, stone flies, scuds, midges, mayflies and other patterns.

There are plenty of free lessons and tips demonstrated by Ben for anyone to check out and get started. Ben provides a members only section with some more of the advanced flies for only $10.00 a month. Every month new patterns are added.

What really sets the site apart for many is the option to get the correct supplies like hooks and materials that are used in the video directly from the site. So whatever pattern Ben is tying in the video you can get those identical products. Also available is all the tying tools to get you started.

If you have been thinking about starting into fly tying or just looking to advance you skills check, out the Whip Finish Industries website or YouTube Channel.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/05/2014 (2469 reads)
I know I post a lot of Hank's Youtube video's, but compared to talking about wind knots they are pretty funny. So here is the trailer to Hanks' new film, "Hank Patterson's Reel Montana Adventure" and some info on how you could be the talk of your town by hosting a screening of your own.

Gonna have to look into hosting a screening for the Paflyfish Jam!

Snap It! -Hank



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Published by Andy [The_Sasquatch] on 10/07/2014 (1551 reads)
This year we tried something new with the annual Quill Gordon Summit-we bumped to the Fall in hopes of better fishing. I would say the move was the right thing to do. The conditions were tough in God's Country, as water was low and gin clear in most every place we went. Despite tough conditions, everyone was able to find trout and the fishing was much better than it had been when we had our summit in the Spring. Mid to late April is simply too early to have great fishing in the Potter/Tioga/Clinton area.

God's CountryMy dad, Sal, and I arrived at camp around 9am on Thursday after what was possibly the fastest stop in at Sandfly's shop, Big Meadow Fly Shop, in history. Camp was in good shape, and we unpacked, got the cabin's heat and plumbing up and running, and Skybay arrived around 11:30am. He didn't even unpack his car. We headed straight for the first stream of the weekend.

The hike in was beautiful. We split into 2 groups. On the first stream, there's a series of beaver ponds. My dad and I cut off the trail at the first pond and fished upstream. Skybay and Sal headed up a way to the second pond and fished downstream. I picked up a nice brownie in the first pond, but because of the low, clear conditions, that was the only trout we were able to pick up. Sal and Skybay met us halfway between the two ponds, and fishing was slow for everyone. After hiking out, we headed straight for Lyman Run. We dropped Sal off at the beaver pond just upstream of Thompson Rd, and Skbay, my dad, and myself drove further upstream and met Sal in the middle. Lyman fished a little better. The three of us all picked up some small brookies and brownies, nothing of great size. Sal picked up two absolutely beautifuly brookies out of the beaver pond and just below.

We arrived back at camp to find Artifishal sitting around the fire ring playing guitar and enjoying a quiet evening on top of Denton Hill. Bikerfish, Night Stalker, and Wetfly01 all arrived Thursday evening, and plenty of good beer and food was had.

The next day we headed south and fished the Kettle Creek watershed. We began on Cross Fork. Wetfly divided us up into 4 groups of 2, broke us off into 4 different sections of the creek with two cars between each of the two groups, and we all covered some serious water upstream. Again, conditions were low and clear, but everyone got into some nice fish. It was a good mix of brookies and brownies, and from what I understand a few nice holdover bows made their way upstream as well. After fishing Cross Fork, we headed over to Kettle. Wetfly, Skybay, Night Stalker, and Artificial fished up through Ole Bull. Dad, Sal, Biker and I fished at Oleona with two of us going downstream, and two going upstream. Fishing on Kettle was solid the whole way. Lots of good sized fish were taken.

Back at camp, we found newer board member Brutus waiting for us. He had arrived a little earlier, headed out to Genessee Fork for a bit, and had just enough time to drink half a beer before Biker, Sal, dad and I pulled in. Then the waiting began...we sat around camp waiting and waiting for the other group of guys. I'll let others in that group tell this story, needless to say it involved Skybay, the deep dark woods of Ole Bull State Park, a policeman and a speeding ticket. More beer and food flowed Friday night. DaveS also popped in for a night of food and beer on his way up to the Upper D to fish with Krayfish.

God's CountrySaturday the temps were cold in the AM, so none of us were pushing to get out the door. It had rained most of the night before, so water was a bit better. Dave took off around 9am for the Upper D, the rest of us got out around 10am or maybe a bit later. Most of the guys headed down to fish the big Pine. Some fished in Gaines, others a little further up. Wetfly and I fished a smaller stream and man we got into it. Lots of brownies and brookies, all the browns were SOLID. We met up in Ansonia around 3pm. The plan was to fish the big waters all together, but Wetfly and I decided to go back to a lower section of the same stream we fished in the AM. Glad we did because we hit it good. Solid browns, all over 12", fat and buttered up, great runs and deep pools, some were taken on dries, some on my dropper, and the flows were solid on this stream. This is a stream that we will certainly focus on next year We learned of several solid stretches, and we plan on doing a similar setup like we did on Cross Fork this year.

The other guys were able to get into some trout on the big water as well. A few big fallfish, rainbows, and browns were taken. Saturday nigh ended with some epic burgers, more beer, and good times.

A few guys stopped on the way home on Sunday to fish, they'll have to give their reports. I'm particularly interested in hearing how Artificial did on a certain small stream that flows behind Coudersport.

This was by far the best fishing we've had at the NCPA summits. We have decided the first weekend in October will be the date for next year, so clear the calendars. Bow hunters, wait til the 2nd week to go out and get to this summit. The comments were made at how affordable this is. Your lodging is pretty much free (by donation to my family's hunting club), everyone brings plenty of food and beer, its an issue of getting to the cabin.

Next year's jam is officially titled the "Where's Jared Summit" because that seemed to be a common question throughout the whole weekend. Gotta love Skybay. He keeps us all entertained!

We're gathering the pictures from the weekend. There will be plenty of fish porn posted soon.

Follow more photographs and comments in the forum thread.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 09/08/2014 (1713 reads)
This is one of the more popular questions asked on Paflyfish. Truthfully the answer is bigger than the question and one worth exploring. There are hundreds of fantastic streams for all types of anglers in the region. A little homework will yield you your own personal hot spots.

easy buttonPaflyfish is chocked full of maps, tips, news, stories and conversations already at you fingertips. Pennsylvania is a sizable state so starting with the Pa Trout Streams section under the site menu is a good place to begin. There are six regions with hundreds of stocked and special regulation streams that are ideal for fly fishing. Take advantage of the maps to explore the areas you want to travel. Maryland, New Jersey and New York offer many exiting opportunities as well.

The best advice I can offer for the site is taking the time to do a little research in the forums. Stream Reports can usually yield a string of information. There are plenty of guides, trout bums, locals, scientists, and enthusiasts who hangout here. Jumping onto the site and making your first post, Where do I fish in Potter County? This approach does not build a lot of trust. Take some time to participate and then ask some good specific questions about where to fish.

A host of highly regarded authors can be found in the Fly Fishing Books section. Some good old fashion book reading is worth some time.

A quick trek to the PFBC website can offer an additional collection of streams and detailed regulations.

Spend some time with your local fly shop can very helpful. Becoming active with your local Trout Unlimited Chapter is a great way meet up with others and get a lot of local knowledge. They often provide a number of classes, workshops, and conservation opportunities.

With the arm chair work complete go explore the region. Some of the best places you’ll find will likely be the ones you didn’t set out for when you got started. There may not be an easy button here, but the journey is part of the catch.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/28/2014 (1638 reads)
Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited ChapterThe Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter (CVTU) will be sponsoring the Second Annual Pennsylvania State Fly Casting Championship on September 6, 2014. The event will be held at the Carlisle Events Outdoor Show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds - Directions, Carlisle, PA . Our own Tim Robinson - (Right and pictured with Justin Pittman, President CVTU - Left) won the amateur division last year. CVTU will once again have a presence at the Carlisle Sports & Outdoor Show and be sure to stop over and visit their booth.

Pennsylvania State Fly Casting Championship
Combined 5-weight accuracy and distance fly casting challenge
Men’s, Women’s and Youth Categories
Adults able to compete in one of two Divisions:
•Angler (basic and intermediate casters)
•Expert (casting instructor, fly fishing guide, competitive caster)
You do not need to be a Pennsylvania resident to compete.
More conversation in the forum here.

Carlisle Sports & Outdoor Show
September, 5-7, 2014
Gate Times: Fri. 12pm-8pm • Sat. 8am-6pm • Sun. 8am-4pm
Admission: Daily Fri.- Sun $10 / Event Pass $20
The weekend will feature a wide array of interactive and hands on events for enthusiasts of all ages, a swap meet for buying and selling used gear, equipment and apparel as well as a corral that will host everything from ATV's to RV's, boats to the trucks that pull them, campers and more. In addition, there will be safety courses, seminars and much more! Whether you fly fish, hunt, fish, hike or camp they will be covering it.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/05/2014 (2012 reads)
Waiting on Penns Creek


The Paflyfish Spring Jamboree is coming up next week. This our annual meetup when members from the site get together to fly fish, tie flies, camp and share a few stories. We have a lot of fun fishing over some of Pennsylvania's finest streams including Penns Creek, Spring Creek, Little Juniata River (Little J), Fishing Creek and plenty more in the region.

The pavilion is rented by Paflyfish and is used as a meeting point during the weekend. Plenty of impromptu conversations, fly tying and meet-ups all take place. The idea of a casual weekend fly fishing in some great waters has a lot of appeal. As with every year we will be meeting up in the evenings at the pavilion to catch up. Friday and Saturday mornings we meet for coffee and plan the day. Often plenty of opportunities for some fly tying and casting lessons being shared.

fly fishing Penns creek
Maurice and Fishidiot on the Little J


In addition to the expected fly fishing opportunities; authors, fly shop owners, and other experts are usually in attendance and provide a lot of great knowledge throughout the weekend. Follow the latest details in the forum here.

Please contact Sevens Mountain Campground directly if you would like to stay there that weekend. They have a limited number of cabins and campsites. I encourage you to make your reservations now.

Sevens Mountain Campground
101 Seven Mountains
Campground Rd.
Spring Mills, PA 16875
(814) 364-1910
(888) 468-2556
Call between 8:30-4:30 M-F
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