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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/12/2009 (1216 reads)
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Pennsylvania’s state park system is one of four finalists for the 2009 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, acting Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources John Quigley said today.

“We have spectacular natural assets in our state park system -- the darkest night-time skies east of the Mississippi; the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon; the largest known bat colony in the state and largest elk herd in the Northeast; and Pennsylvania’s seashore on Lake Erie,” Quigley said. “Beyond what we are blessed with, we have been very innovative in Pennsylvania in our efforts to draw people into our parks in new ways, and connect them to nature through outdoor recreation.”

The Gold Medal Award is given by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association. The winner will be announced by at the NRPA annual meeting in Utah in October. The other finalists are the state park systems in Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina.

The award honors excellence in long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development and professional development.

Pennsylvania has 117 state parks and three conservation areas. The system’s nearly 300,000 acres and 1,800 full- and part-time employees play host to more than 35 million visitors each year.

Some of DCNR’s new and innovative state park programs include:

* The Get Outdoors PA program that offers hundreds of activities annually for people to learn about outdoor recreation such as kayaking, fishing and hiking, and learn about how we protect our natural resources, their role and why they should care.
* To increase exposure to natural experiences for kids in urban areas, the Bureau of State Parks teamed up with city parks and recreation programs and youth organizations to create the Adventure Camp program—summer camp program for teens. More than 150 kids attended camp in 8 metropolitan areas last summer.
* DCNR launched a Green parks initiative in 2007 to address climate change and energy consumption in our parks, both in words and action. The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of our parks by 20 percent over the next 5 years.
* Construction is underway on the system’s first nature inn at Bald Eagle State Park, to expand overnight accommodations and attract new visitors.

“We see ourselves not only as land protectors and recreation providers, but also as a model of best practices, conservation advocates, and educators of our future stewards,” Quigley said.

For more information about Pennsylvania state parks, visit the DCNR Web site at www.dcnr.state.pa.us. For more information about the Gold Medal program, go to www.nrpa.org/awards.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/11/2009 (879 reads)
Free Weekends in the National Parks
America’s Fun Ideas – the national parks – gets even better this summer with three fee-free weekends at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.

Mark your calendars for fee-free weekends this summer:

* June 20-21, 2009 (Father’s Day weekend)
* July 18-19, 2009
* August 15-16, 2009

And to make the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors on this summer’s fee free weekends with the their own special offers.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 05/26/2009 (2096 reads)
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The USA Youth Fly Fishing Team held a successful National tryout and clinic on Fishing Creek at the Sieg Conference Center in Lamar, PA. on May 8 through the 10th with 33 kids in attendance from across the United States.

The members of the traveling team are:
Weston Reynolds, Harrisonburg, VA
Danny Marino, West Cornwall, CT
Matt Rose, Largo, FL
Zach Bearden, Gore, OK
Spenser Miller, Lewistown, PA
Will Travis, Dana Pt., CA
Noah Thompson, Austin, TX
Stephen Salwocki, Danville, PA

The Rest of the Team are:
Robbie Wirth, Moraga, CA
Cody Burgdoff, Lafayette, CO
Peter Sheetz, Mt. Joy, PA
Owen Welch, Lewistown, PA
Kyle Winey, Mifflintown, PA
Nick Denardo, McMurray, PA
Austen Randecker, Mill Hall, PA

Team USA Announces August Tryouts in Montana for the 2010 Team.
The USA Youth Flyfishing Team, Inc will hold the second tryout on the Stillwater River in Montana, August 7, 8, and 9. This will be the first of two tryouts for the 2010 team.


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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 05/08/2009 (1040 reads)
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Many of us catch and release our fish. Photography is the one way we can return home with those sporting memories. There are so many good quality waterproof digital cameras today and there is no reason you can’t keep one accessible with you while on the stream. A few tips can really help show off that time on the water.

Read Your Manual
Learn your camera and read the manual. Your camera won’t make you a photographer, but has many settings that can help improve your pictures. Learn to move your settings out of the automatic mode and try some of the portrait, landscape or other programs depending on your subject. These settings offer many qualities that improve the lighting and focus of your pictures based on specific conditions.

Check The Lighting
The time and temperature of the light can play a key role in your photography. The early morning and evening light is often regarded as the best time for photography and referred to as the “golden hours.” The sunlight during these times is softer and does not provide the harsh contrast of mid-day shadows. When you are taking a picture of a friend at noon with that ball cap try adding the flash to fill in those shadows.

Have A Subject
We are talking about fly fishing so that includes people, water and fish. If you can get two or more of those subjects in your picture you off to a good start. A picture of a trout in the mud, next to your foot does have all three qualities, but is not going to land your photograph on a trout stamp. When taking a picture of a stream include an angler in action. Also, try moving your subject to one side of the picture or even adjusting your angle of view.

Be Sure To Focus
Nobody should have to question if that was a brown or brook trout in you pictures. Take advantage of the sensors in your camera that allow you to auto focus you shots. Most cameras visualize a solid dot when you are in focus. Keep the camera steady and on subject to capture that sharp image.

Get Closer
Just remember less feet and more face. There are many different subjects that you take pictures of while you are fly fishing. Just move in a little closer to capture the detail of the trout with that BWO fly you tied last winter.

Try these tips to improve those photographs while out on the stream.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 05/08/2009 (3082 reads)
Tom Skerritt, who starred in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It," returns to fly-fishing as the narrator of "Rivers of a Lost Coast." The documentary explores the rise and fall of fly-fishing in California from its inception at the turn of the 20th century to the 1980s, when salmon and steelhead began disappearing from the state's waterways.

The film is being shown in limited venues across the west and is still undetermined if it will be released out East just yet.

Here is the trailer.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/21/2009 (1016 reads)
John Gooderham gives a short fly-fishing lesson on a section of LeTort Spring, one of the 13 Pennsylvania Designated Scenic Rivers.




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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/14/2009 (1442 reads)
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Many of my first years fly fishing were spent following a few good friends around many of the notable streams in western and central Pennsylvania. Ron, Greg and a few others would take me along and were kind enough to teach me quite a bit along the way. Incursions to Spring Creek, First Fork, Yellow Creek and Oil Creek proved to be very productive. I soon became very fascinated with the sport and realized some of these guys actually knew what they were doing.

As my interest increased I would listen to them explain the importance and characteristics of hatches. Blue Winged Olives (BWO), Red Quills, Sulphurs and Green Drake were much the fan fare to a neophyte like myself. With some experience and a little book work over the winter my fly fishing prowess began to grow.

After a few years I really felt I had mastered this fly fishing thing and truly knew quite a bit about many aspects of fly fishing including hatches. That was so I thought.

One May evening I started to see a hatch take to the air on Penns Creek. With my now vast experience I confidently announced to all that a Sulphur hatch was beginning to take shape. A silence fell over the stream. That in itself was very unusual because peace was usually left back at the side of the road with quiet when I fished with this gang.

Ron then shouted over that this was not an Ephemerella dorothea hatch and wasn’t sure what was coming off the stream just yet. Now it was my turn to pause. Who da whaddity? Ron was a teacher, but it wasn’t science. Ron normally spoke in barley and hops not foreign tongues. Could it be I was I not paying attention to our secret assault plans for the evening when I was filling the cooler with ice?

Greg, the real science teacher, could see I looked a little confused and chided in that there are thousands of different types of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies in the streams and each species had there own individual Latin name.

So now my broad knowledge of twenty insect names turned out to be just a short list of common names. I knew then I would be reading some new books that upcoming winter.

Ron added that fly fisherman were lazy too. That I already knew as I glanced over at our friend Gary sitting on the side of the stream looking at the trout jumping in front of him. Some flies carried the same common name, but were not always related. The BWO’s I saw in March were not the same BWO’s that returned in May. This was some bad logic or just mean.

Ron reminded me not to think to hard about these overwhelming issues and more importantly had I put ice in the cooler before we left the camp? I confirmed the ice situation was well at hand and went back to the riffles in front of me. I noticed Gary still had not moved.

When the early spring blooms brighten things up I like to dust off a couple of my old favorite fly fishing entomology books. As I then review my Latin taxonomy of classes, orders and families I get encouraged that warmer weather will soon be here and the prepare for the spring assault on the Pennsylvania streams. Carpe Diem!

Books
Matching the Hatch: A Practical Guide to Imitation of Insects Found on Eastern and Western Trout Waters (Stoeger Sportsman's Library)
by Ernest George Schwiebert

An Angler's Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations for All North America
by Rick Hafele and Scott Roederer

The Orvis Streamside Guide to Trout Foods and Their Imitations
by Tom Rosenbauer

Online
Troutnut Website
Pa Hatch Chart

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/07/2009 (2532 reads)
Hardy Rods-The Story of Hardy Bros Tackle Makers
Author: John Mowatt
For over one hundred years the House of Hardy has been known as one of the worlds finest makers of fishing tackle. Their name is synonymous with quality and excellence. They are recognised worldwide as one of the greatest names in fishing tackle.

William Hardy and his brother John James formed the Hardy Bros partnership in 1873. Initially they dealt in high quality firearms but soon changed direction. They were both avid fishermen and this love became their business. Thus was started the famous line of Hardy rods and reels.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/01/2009 (1095 reads)
Five tips for your first day fly fishing
Mark your gear
Easy enough to do, but often overlooked is marking your gear with a phone number. There is nothing worse than losing a flybox or leaving your vest in the brush and then driving home. Simple solution is a putting you phone number on all you gear with a Sharpie.

Practice casting
Take some time and tie a small piece of red yarn at the end of your fly line and give it a go in the backyard before you head out. This works well if this is your first time out or you have not gone out since last June. Confidence is king.

Know your knots
Practice and know when and where to use some of the basic fly knots. An Improved Clinch and Blood knots get me through many situations. Check out Grog's fishing knot index for more help.

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Published by Dave on 03/09/2009 (1867 reads)
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There are several new waterproof cameras that have been announced and released recently. Digital cameras have been making significant advances and anglers are taking advantage of those new features. Most notably waterproof features that protect cameras and even provide add new functionality over older models.

Canon launched the PowerShot D10, its first waterproof digital compact. It touts to be waterproof up to 30 feet, freeze proof up to -10 degrees, shockproof when dropped from a height of just over three feet. The Canon camera provides a 12.1MegaPixal sensor; 3x optical zoom, 2.5" LCD, Smart Auto Mode, Blink Detection, movies and Face Self-timer. It uses a rechargeable Li-ion battery. Canon claims to have an underwater scene mode that would be fun to try out. The street price is $329.

The Fujifilm Z33WP is design and styled more for the younger set the feature that works for angler is the waterproof capabilities to 10 feet. Fujifilm likes the style and size as its big difference. Fujifilm offers many nice features that include: movies, underwater scenes, 10 Megapixel sensor, and Li-ion battery. The suggested street price is $199.

These cameras offer a lot for the price. Both cameras provide JPEG pictures, but not any RAW format options. Anyone looking for a new waterproof camera should look into these new offerings.

Thanks to Nittspike for the topic.

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