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Hardy Zephrus Ultralite Fly Rod Review

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/09/2010 (4297 reads)
dwight landisOne of my favorite fly-fishing books is back in print after several years. Trout Streams of Pennsylvania: An Angler's Guide, 3rd edition by Dwight Landis is must have book for anyone who spends any time fly-fishing in Pennsylvania. .

Landis provides an amazing amount of detail covering the most important streams across the state. Inspired by the streams and their surrounding landscapes, he wrote this 1st edition of this Pennsylvania fly-fishing guidebook in 1991 at a time when there were very few books of it's type.

His book was one of the inspirations for and I personally pack his book with me as I trek out on my fly-fishing jaunts.

The reprinted 3rd edition (no changes) can be found at many local fly shops and online Trout Streams of Pennsylvania: An Angler's Guide, Third Edition.

An interview with Dwight on Paflyfish can be found here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/12/2010 (2815 reads)
Much like Discovery Channel's "How It's Made" Ross provides a more personal tour to show the entire process of machining and manufacturing of the Ross Reel.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/13/2010 (6101 reads)

Spirit River Flies have been posting a few “getting started” videos for beginning fly tiers over the past month. These brief eight minute YouTube videos can be found on the Spirit River Flies Channel. They cover how to tie each fly from beginner kits they sell. Seems like a great way to provide new tiers the know-how to get started with easy to learn methods for some popular flies.

The Spirit River Flies channel can be found here.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 09/23/2009 (6830 reads)
There is a hatch in my iPhone
I was looking through some pictures my friend LukeC had posted on Flickr. I really admire his photography as they are mostly beautiful pictures of bugs, fish and tying flies. All good things any angler would enjoy. He caught my attention when he posted a picture of a screen capture from an iPhone for an application called The Hatch V2.0. Anxious to learn more I download the application immediately.

The Hatch for the iPhone and iPod Touch was recently released by Cory Pratt. The application provides hatch charts for you to carry with you while on the stream and includes some photographs of insects. With the recent update there are now 33 states and 300 rivers. Six of Pennsylvania’s more popular streams have now been added including: Fishing Creek, Letort Spring, Little Lehigh, Penns Creek, Slate Run and Spruce Creek.

The application provides a very straightforward way of selecting your month, state and river to access a very thorough hatch list.

The Hatch works off line so it will function if you are using an iPod Touch too. The hatch information is relatively brief and concise. If you have Internet access, there are additional suggested imitations via a link that takes you to

There are still more insect photographs and streams to be added, but Cory admittedly is asking for comments and feedback at his website which can be found at here. Found at the" rel="external" title="">iTunes store for the price of $0.99 your can take The Hatch with you on the stream. There is a free "lite" version to try out too!

Some of LukeC’s pictures are used in The Hatch application and more of his wonderful fly-fishing photography can be found here on Flickr.
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Published by David on 08/10/2009 (7432 reads)
Product Review: Bioline Biodegradable Tippet
What an intriguing concept…Biodegradable Tippet material!!! I was actually very excited to try this Bioline tippet. It will break down within 5 years in the environment as opposed to around 600 years for mono…now, think of how many times you lost tippet and leader on snags. And think about how many fish broke the tippet at the leader knot due to a poorly tied knot. Multiply that by how many people you see on the streams doing the same thing. That is a lot of line for nature to get tangled in.

I tested the 5X line. I initially put it through some unscientific knot strength tests. I was impressed…It held up as well or ever better than the Orvis and Frog Hair that I normally use. It was a little greater in diameter, though. The Bioline tippet measures .008” in the 5X compared to .006” in the Orvis SuperStrong and Frog Hair…a difference that is even visible to the naked eye. But how would that affect the fishing?

I put the tippet through the paces in a variety of situations trying to test the limits of the tippet. I started by casting big deer hair poppers and bulky deceivers for bass on Keystone Power Dam with a 7 wt rod. I was amazed at how well it turned over the big flies. Where I normally would have fished a 2X or larger, the 5X showed no sign of being under gunned.

I fished it with dries on the Yough. It handled appropriately sized flies very well. The flies turned over easily. The tippet performed as it should all the way through the drift, as well as when executing reach casts, curve casts, and even slack line casts.

The Yough, being known for some good fishing with micro caddis and midges gave me a good opportunity to fish over some picky risers with a #20 black caddis. Obviously not a situation where you would normally use 5X, but in the name of research, I was willing to try for those fish with the Bioline. I was able to land 1 nice brownie, but the thicker diameter tippet had an obvious affect on the drift. In the past when changing to a smaller dry fly, I would occasionally forgo adding a finer tippet in lieu of getting in an extra cast or two…I would not do that with the Bioline. While it drifts an appropriately sized dry fly nicely, it does begin to affect the drift with smaller flies.

I also used the Bioline in numerous situations tossing streamers and drifting nymphs. This is where I really liked the Bioline tippet. I lose many more flies (and tippet) when fishing underneath, so the ecological advantage would naturally be increased. I lose many fish on the strike when fishing with streamers in the excitement of a vicious hit from a charging trout…the knots held fast. I was also happy to find out that the tippet was very good with abrasion resistance when bouncing nymphs off the rocks. I had some of those big Yough browns take me deep into the structure, rubbing against the rocks and gravel, plus getting clumps of seaweed attached to the tippet, and I had no problem bringing them to hand. I am excited to take some of this to Erie for steelhead this year where it has not been uncommon for me to break off 20+ times in a day.

Looking for more perspectives, the PAFF famous, and gadget guru, “Bruno” was gracious enough to fish with it several times (Yeah, like it was a real stretch to get him to take it out fishing!) He and I hit Slippery Rock on a beautiful August evening in hopes that White Flies would bring up the stream’s hard fighting smallies. We were throwing big bushy flies. I had on an Orvis tapered 7 1/2‘ 4X leader with about 1 ½ ‘ of Bioline tippet. I found that, because the 5X tippet was a slightly larger diameter than the 4X leader, I was getting twisting on the leader rather than the tippet from casting the size 10 comparadun. So even though the leader had more strength, the extra mass of the tippet, and assumed stiffness, transferred the twisting up into the leader.

An unexpected advantage was astutely noted by Bruno...that the line had a funky color as the light faded which made it easy to see. This really helped when changing flies and tying knots in low light conditions.

Biodegradable – Obviously the primary selling point for Bioline
Knot Strength – Par with the famous brands
Abrasion Resistance – Held up well against the rocks
Castability – Turned over very nicely, even when fishing large flies or making situational casts
Color – Easy on the eyes when tying knots in low light

Size – The size difference, when compared with standard tippets, is visible. There is a slight loss in performance when using smaller flies. Also a heavier leader would need to be paired with it to prevent twisting
Stiffness – With the extra diameter size comes a corresponding increase in stiffness compared to other 5X tippet I have used. While this is a detriment when fishing “long and fine" it actually helps in other aspects such as turning the fly over and preventing piling.
Cost - $9.99 per 30 yard spool – a little more than I normally spend
Longevity per cost – It has a shelf life of 5 years in its sealed package…not bad. After opened, it will hold 100% of its strength for 10-12 months. While I go through a spool of tippet in approximately that time span for my commonly used tippet sizes, the fringe sizes of tippet that I use only in certain circumstances would not be at full strength by the time I got to the end of the spools.
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Overall evaluation:
Bruno summed it up nicely when he said, “The fact that it degrades in such a short period and its performance has me sold. I keep putting it on the end of the leader- nuff said.” The Bioline performed very admirably in all but the extreme circumstances. With the very nice performance, good castability, strength, abrasion resistance, in addition to the environmentally friendly aspect of Bioline, it is a product that is well worth the investment.

Bioline can be found at -
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/22/2009 (4126 reads)
Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Hats Going Quickly - On Sale!!
There are a good number of hats left from the Jamboree. If you are interested in purchasing one Email Maurice at and we can begin the process.

We experimented with some different colors this year. We have one left that is orange(tangerine) that would be good for fishing during hunting season and even a couple pink ones for the ladies out there There is a Navy color that looks like a dark denim.

And as always the all tan and two-tone with green, blue or charcoal visor.

The normal price shipped is $20 to your door.

On Sale Now While Supplies Last for $15.00!!
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 05/02/2009 (3825 reads)
Boat Buckle Rod Bunk Deluxe
On a recent multi day trip I had a chance to see the Boat Buckle Rod Bunk Deluxe in action. This is a great way to transport up to seven rod and reel combinations in your SUV or long bed truck.

There is nothing more important and annoying than taking your rod and reel apart moving from stream to stream during a trip. The Rod Bunk Deluxe was an easy way for use to leave our gear intact and move around on our three-day trip.

It can be quickly set up and taken down as it attaches to your vehicles coat hangers. We ended up using some plastic ties on the coat hangers to secure the snap hooks. The adjustable strap fits into most all trucks and secures your gear down with Velcro straps.

Quick, easy and just darn convenient!

We found ours at Cabela’s for about $30.00.

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Published by David on 04/23/2009 (9816 reads)
Product Review: Chota STL Plus Wading Boots
With the family in tow, I was already behind on my schedule to get to the grannom hatch on the Little J. When I finally arrived, there were bugs everywhere…every fly fisherman’s dream scenario. The girls were hanging out the sunroof trying to catch as many grannoms as they could. As I got in my waders and went to grab my wading boots, I realized that my felts were no longer attached to my boots and nowhere to be found!!! Even with bugs flying all around, I was not about to wade the wide, strong “J” with a smooth hard plastic sole. So off we went to Spruce Creek Outfitters for a new pair of boots.

With the mental image of all the rising trout I should already be casting to, I made a quick decision to go with the Chota's STL Plus boots. They were expensive, but time was wasting. Back to the stream, on with the boots, and up the trail…

The first thing I realized was that these were very comfortable boots. There was a little WOW! factor when I first put them on. They were very cushy hiking up the path at Barree, but still gave very good support.

The second thing I realized was that these felts seemed to grip better than felts I’ve had in the past. Having arrived at the stream so late, I mentally debated time vs. traction (cleats come unattached and must be screwed into the “Pivot Holes”). In lieu of the added safety, I decided to forgo the addition of the cleats to get on the water quicker – wouldn’t you? The polypropylene felts more than kept me upright…even in heavy water. My only precarious situations came from me tripping over rocks rather than sliding off them. Traction will only improve with the addition of the cleats.

As the rain began to move in and the day drew to an end, I got out of the river to start the hike back to the car. Even wet, the boots were lightweight and did not retain much water. That cushioning kept the long walk comfortable, even with a three year old on my shoulders going up a steep climb. It was a good day.
I had a pair of Chota’s (STL without the “Plus”) years prior that wore well, but tried other manufactures in recent years that were cheaper…none of them lasted as long as the first pair of Chota’s and none were as comfortable. These new Chota’s initially, are more comfortable and offer better traction in the water than the old Chota pair.

Very Comfortable – “a cushy injected PU mid-sole” definitely makes these Chota’s easy to wear all day long.
Polypropylene felts –The ““Dark Grey” Polypropylene felt sole” really seemed to grab the slippery bottom of the Little J very well for me…even better than whatever regular felt is made from. What is regular felt made from, anyway?
Removable Cleats – Included with the boots. Easy to screw in – and remove (in case you are on Flybop’s driftboat) which makes them pretty versatile.
Lightweight – Light for the hike in but also did drain water quickly with the ““Micro-Screen” ports (that) allow for rapid and complete drainage while blocking out screen.”
Quicklace system – Easy to strap up, but also very easy to undo even when wet.

Leather: While I like the look of the leather, it will eventually shrink and harden with repetitive soaking / drying cycles; thus making them difficult to put on whenever they have time to dry completely. Fortunately my foot size is 8 ½, so I have always had that little extra space in my boots since they don’t come in half sizes.
Cost: More than I would have liked to spend, but should last longer.
Quicklace System – Wears out a lot quicker than a regular pair of laces (at least on my original pair of Chota’s – and these look and feel the same).

Overall evaluation:
Very comfortable, sturdy, and provides great traction in the water…that is what I want from my wading boots, and these boots provided all 3!

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