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Published by YoughRiverGuide on 03/20/2011 (5840 reads)
Written by Ernie Pribanic

Fly Fishing the YoughioghenyMarch is a hard month for the Western-Pennsylvania trout angler. Stricken with a surliness know only to those who have been denied the thing which they most desire for the better part of an Appalachian winter, they find themselves sitting haggardly in front of their computers, monitoring with doubtful eye the USGS gauges that correspond to their favorite spring time haunts. (At least, I do.)

People often ask me, obviously at times other than those when I’m wearing that March-spawned frustration upon my surly visage, “So what does the Youghiogheny’s foremost and most authoritative fishing guide look for before heading out to the river in the spring?” (They say that. They really do.)

Paflyfish's very own Dave Kile posited this question to me recently and asked if I might provide my answer in writing. Gracious fellow that I am, I reply thusly:

Upper Yough: (south of the Mason-Dixon, Maryland license required)

Ideal CFS for the wade-fisher is right around 300 or below. Of primary interest on this stretch of river is the four-mile catch and release area below the Brookfield Power plant. Brookfield Power releases cold water into the river here, creating a year-round fishery.

While this piece of water is a smaller version of the middle Yough below, it is still, by Eastern standards, a large piece of trout water, and you want to avoid it at higher flows.

Middle Yough: (below Youghiogheny River Lake--confusing isn’t it?)

Fly Fishing the YoughioghenyYou need to think of this stretch of river as having two sections: the dam to the Casselman River is section A, and the Casselman River to Ohiopyle is section B. Popular opinion says that section A can be waded safely at 1200 cfs or below, but this angler likes it best between 500 and 900 cfs. Check the USGS gauge at the dam for current flows.

Below the Casselman (and thanks to the Casselman), you have to check the gauge below Confluence. I won’t wade fish this piece of river unless it is at 1500 cfs or below. The determining factor is the amount of water coming north out of Maryland: if the Army Corps is running a lot of water from the dam, over 1000 cfs for instance, and you have the Casselman adding another 1000 cfs to the river, the Middle is out for all but the stout of heart.

Gear: (what to throw in you quiver)

For spring time fishing on the Yough, no matter which section you choose, I like a five and sometimes--if throwing bigger bugs--a six. If you know that you are going to be fishing streamers, a full sinking line is not a bad choice either.

As the season progresses, a nine-foot four weight can be a good choice for dry fly fishing on the Middle, and the Upper becomes perfect water for pitching dries with your favorite three or four weight.

Bugs:(hatches o’ plenty)

Ernie PribanicYou’ll find the typical spring bugs on both the Middle and the Upper, though the Upper is the buggier of the two. Midge hatches are a given on warm days throughout February and March, and if the water levels oblige, you’ll likely find fish working them in slower water and tailouts. Generally, by March, black stones, brown stones, and blue wing olives are common sights on both the Middle and the Upper River as well. Dry fly fishing is typically better on the Upper than the Middle throughout spring, though. This is generally due to water levels: when the Middle is high, you’ll have to work harder to find rising fish as most of their eating seems to get done below the surface.

On the Upper, you’ll find all the major mayfly species; while on the Middle, caddis, olives, march browns, and crane flies are what’s for dinner through April and May. Both sections have good populations of Green Drakes as well provided you find the right habitat for that particular burrower.

River Information and Guide Services:
For river information, hatch charts, or to book a guided trip on the Upper Yough and other Maryland waters, check out www.springcreekoutfitter.com.
For river reports or to book a guided float trip on the PA side, contact Ernie Pribanic or Jim DiBiase at www.laurelhighlandsguideservices.com

I want to thank Ernie for his contributions in writing this post. - Dave Kile
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/14/2011 (2697 reads)


The spring offers many anglers an alternative to trout in the rivers and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River. It is the time when shad return to spawn in the freshwater rivers from their winter feeding in the Atlantic Ocean. This migration has had terrible struggle starting early in our American history.

This story has it's beginnings going back to the late 1600's as mentioned by William Penn - "Shads are excellent fish and of the Bigness of our Carp: They are so plentiful..."

Certainly a popular and plentiful fish for commercial fisherman until 1806 when gillnets were first outlawed for many years. Sadly, this was only the beginning of many issues that plagued the shad in our region.

In the early 1800's the first dams along the Delaware were constructed and shut down shad migration past those points. As a result the access to spring spawning grounds were lost.

The Shamokin, Clarks Ferry, Duncan’s Island, Nanticoke, and Columbia dams along the Susquehanna were constructed to support the Pennsylvania canal. A dam above Newport halted the shad's migration up the Juniata during this time as well.

Once the railways took hold those dams and along the Susquehanna were removed and some shad returned. While some gains were made right behind this the effects of industrialization took it's toll on all the rivers. Coal mining, deforestation and pollution like sewage discharge was unchecked in the rivers.

Habitat, pollution and overfishing continue continued to devastate the shad populations in the rivers and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River.

With more dams added in the early 1900's like the Conowingo and Holtwood all shad migration ceased upstream on those rivers.

It not until the early 1970's that the first progress was made in utilizing fish ladders and stocking the rivers again with millions of shad eggs.

This new opportunity for anglers has been growing as the American Shad has seen a wonderful recovery especially over the past 20 years. This has been a conservative effort by organizations like the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, power companies and sportsman groups in the region.

Thanks to Van Wagner for his YouTube Video and JakesLeakyWaders for finding this video.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/08/2011 (3283 reads)




The Fly Fishing Show in Philadelphia was held the the weekend of March 5 & 6, 2011. This is the first time the show was held at the Valley Forge Convention Center and sounds like it will be part of the schedule for next year as well.

Being that is was the first year there was a little smaller with the number of vendors, booths and presenters. Chuck Furimsky, Fly Fishing Show Director, made sure there was plenty of the star power and regulars to make it a very good first year and plenty to go around for all. Joe Humphreys, Bob Clouser, Eric Stroup, Mike Heck, Bob Mead, John Collins, Shawn Davis, Anthony Giaquinto, Scott Cesari, Dave Brandt and Don Bastian to name a few

A lot of booths included TCO Fly Shops, Simms, The Evening Hatch Shop, Valley Forge TU, Main Line Fly-Tyers, Project Healing Waters, AA Outfitters Fly Shop and plenty more.

What I liked most about the show was just how well attended it was by Paflyfish members. I was into the show for than a few minutes and found Heritage Angler and LRSABecker eyeing up the hall looking for some deals. I'll let the video tell the story. More pictures are posted on the Facebook Fanpage : http://www.facebook.com/paflyfish

Nice show and looking forward to getting back to Philly next year as I am sure this will really grow!
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/24/2011 (2271 reads)


The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ was well attended by many from all over the region. Plenty of vendors filled the exhibit hall and seminars were busy as well by Saturday. Some snow on Friday morning seemed to slow up a few on the first day. I arrived to the usual filled parking lots on Friday afternoon.

I enjoyed seeing a lot of friends and members from Paflyfish. I do think many held off from going to Somerset and are waiting for the Philadelphia show in March.

There was a lot of conversation about the Philly show. It is rather close to Somerset and only six weeks away. Seemed like many vendors were planning on attending, but not all.

The results from Friday seemed encouraging for many vendors. One of the destination guides felt he would have sold all his summer trips by noon on Saturday. One of the fly shops shared that they had been doing pretty well selling boots and waders first day. I helped out first thing Saturday morning with my own boot purchase.

I enjoyed meeting Steve at Rise Fishing Company. Steve and his wife Amanda have recently started a rod company focused on designing rods that are user friendly for anglers to match their skills and fishing situations. Rise also has pledged to donate 20% of their profits to conservation efforts. It was good to see Ernie Pribanic from Laurel Highlands Guide Services in the both helping the team from Rise as well.

Meeting up with friends and getting introduced to new folks is always the best part of the show, but I especially enjoyed getting to the seminars this year. Gary Borger was my favorite with his Fishing the Film discussion. Going to try and hopefully catch George Daniels if he is presenting in Philadelphia in March.

If you are considering going to the Philadelphia show in Valley Forge it should be worth the trip. Do make time to check out a seminar if you plan on going.

Hope to add a follow up post later in the week.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/03/2011 (2054 reads)
My fifteen year old son, Greg and I went out late this afternoon to see the movie Tron Legacy. I was anxious to go with him just as soon as he asked me. It looked pretty clever I and remembered the original movie back in 1982. I was very young of course.

greg"Once again, the computer graphics were pretty good. In the movie Jeff Bridges is reunited with his son after 22 years. The plot was a little slow for me in parts. At one point I looked over at Greg with his 3D glasses and noticed a big smile on his face.

That smile reminded me of some of the times we had fun together over the past year. The first trout he landed this past year fly-fishing was one of those times we shared back in April. I had bought him some new waders. They were a little oversized, but he was a good sport about it and he was just happy to be out fishing.

At that point during the movie I felt a little bad. Not about the movie, but realized my resolutions for the upcoming year or rather the one I didn't make. I usually make about ten goals each year. The one goal I over looked was taking Greg out for some more time fly-fishing. Not that I would not have remembered to do so, It was just that I had not had put it on my list as of yet.

On the way home we talked about the movie and how much he enjoyed the special effects. We also had time to talk about fly-fishing and we have plans for a sulphur hatch this May.

I want to encourage you put a smile on someone's face this year and make plans to take someone important to you fly-fishing.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/07/2010 (2115 reads)


I couldn't help but enjoy a little fun with this catch from George Revel and Ben Paull at Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters. Thought the 45 second video was pretty clever.

The back story I heard on this was the guys went out to on a trip to the Deschutes River and caught a little of the skunk. We all know idle hands are are the devils work and these guys proved it.
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Published by Ezpickins on 10/26/2010 (3211 reads)
Resized Image

If you find yourself in the Cache la Poudre canyon area and you want to do something a little different, check out Joe Wright Creek and Joe Wright Reservoir for some grayling fishing. This past August I was fortunate enough to be in the area and I did just that. It was actually a big surprise. My fishing buddy and I had hiked into a back country lake to do some fishing for native Greenback Cuts (the bite was not on). I didn’t see a single fish, my friend managed one nice specimen though. However the trip yielded some fruit when another fisherman asked whether we had tried Joe Wright Creek and Joe Wright Reservoir for grayling yet. Well, we hadn’t. Needless to say we hiked it on down to Joe Wright Creek and, jackpot.



It was some fast and furious fishing. The grayling in the small stream rose to dries readily and you could pretty much expect a hit from every fish that you cast over. It was a lot of fun – and the novelty of catching grayling (which I had never done before) made it all that much more fun. We worked our way downstream to the reservoir and hooked up with some more fish at the inlet. There was even an occasional cut thrown in for good measure.



Joe Wright Creek flows into and out of Joe Wright Reservoir which is about 33 miles east of Walden, Colorado on CO-14. The stretch of the creek where we caught grayling is above the reservoir and it’s not very long. I wouldn’t go out of my way for the grayling, but if you’re in the area to fish the Poudre. It makes a nice little diversion.

I want to thank Ezpickins for his post. He has been a member on Paflyfish for many years. He writes on CastingAround, a blog about Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and various related topics. Wild trout are his primary quarry – but he’ll go after bass and other species from time to time. I encourage you to follow his blog here.

You can also catch him on twitter here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/14/2010 (1512 reads)
The Internet seems to have a never ending supply of material to gander at and digest. Some of my favorite fly fishing blogs should not be overlooked this summer.

tomThe Trout Underground
Tom Chandler has built his fly fishing blog around the conversation with a less than serious approach to the sport. His casual, but candid dialog really gets back to the heart of what the sport is all about. My favorite line from Tom is, "The fly fishers who have the most fun are those who approach it like they were kids." Plus I admire him because he as more people following him on Twitter than me.

AlexFat Guy Fly Fishing
The site name pretty much says it all. Alex, Kyle and Aaron all post a variety of funny topical articles about fly fishing from all over the country. Alex adds some pretty damn impressive photography. I speak very highly of the site because they make me laugh and it looks like they could probably kick my butt if I said anything differently.

chumMoldy Chum
These posts are some of the best and most pleasing to look at on the Internet. Moldy chum finds the best pictures and photographs to visualize their blog posts. More pictures and less words especially when there is a Friday Pinup involved.


Thanks guys!
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/06/2010 (3457 reads)
Adam Mizrahi caught my attention with a very intriguing fly-fishing video he put together on one of his recent trips to the Casselman River. The Casselman is beautiful trout stream that runs from Western Maryland into Pennsylvania that I have enjoyed some really nice spring caddis hatches. The five minute video really captures the fun and mood of the day Adam and his crew made their run out to Western Maryland.

Digging a little deeper I found that Adam has a YouTube site with a small collection of fly-fishing videos from some other trips he has taken. His creative edits and soundtracks add a light surreal tone to his video. Some of the other regional streams he has waded include the Gunpowder, Morgan Run and the Conewago.



When I caught up with Adam I was expecting to hear about some big production company and equipment that he has access to create his videos. I was blown away when he explained this was all done with just a couple of entry level $200 video cameras and the software program iMovie that came with his Macintosh. Really pretty remarkable stuff for a guy that when not taking time to fly-fish and shoot video on a Flip Mino runs a home remodeling business. Self taught, Adam really captures, edits and presents the essence of his days out on the stream.

In addition to these videos, he hopes to get something together so he can enter into the Annual Drake Flyfishing Video Awards.

You can catch up with Adam and see more of his videos on his YouTube site.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/02/2010 (3145 reads)
Lewis and Clark explored the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase starting in 1804. William Clark hand mapped their journey and his base map provided much of the information for the western expansion that took place during the nineteenth century.

Having concentrated my studies in digital cartography during college, Google Maps is one of my first bookmarks on my menu bar and enjoy how easy it is creating my own maps. Google Maps is an wonderful base map for me to plan vacations, photography spots and ventures in fly-fishing. It is very easy to create custom map points that allow you to add notes, links, pictures and more.

I have my own private fly-fishing map with all my fishing spots, camps, restaurants and points of interest related to fly fishing. I keep records of all the streams I like with notes on where to park, GPS locations and sections I like to frequent. This is a big time saver and keeps my fishing locations journaled in one location. I keep a wish list of streams I have yet to visit and change those map points once I finally hit those streams.
google maps

I also use this map to plan all my trips. I can figure out distances, times, food stops and best directions based on a few streams I might try and hit. Google driving directions can be pulled up then emailed or printed before I leave.

It is amazing to me what can be done with these maps and how simple it is to mange the information once you get started .

To get going log into Google and then over at Google Maps you will find a link to My Maps in the upper left hand corner below Google Maps Search. Once selected you can browse other maps or get started by creating your own. As you name you map, three new buttons appear in your new map and then you can begin by adding new map points with the middle blue icon.

Google provides several different map points that you can change or add your own. Once you select a new map point it can be moved around and positioned anywhere on your map. There are several types of text you can add in the description. Very simple and straight forward to play around with as you get started. Save and done buttons help make sure you keep the locations you are creating.

The maps are always there as you log back into Google Maps. They can be modified, printed, emailed and embedded into websites. Maps can be shared with others and even worked on together. The only real downside is you need to be connected to the Internet to get access. Newer smart phones and making it easier to get around this issue.

Your next fly-fishing trip does not have to be a Lewis and Clark expedition, but with Google Maps it will make that trip to the Yellowstone River that much easier.
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