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2014 Pennsylvania State Fly Casting Championship

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/30/2011 (2728 reads)
trout seasonFor 18 counties across southeastern Pennsylvania the opening day for trout begins on April 2. This is a time honored event for many and signals the beginning of spring and the official start to the fishing season. Usually, this is a good day for me to clean the garage or do my hair. Although I am not a big fan of the crowds, It is a great opportunity for the masses to get out and hit the many approved trout waters.

The 18 counties open April 2 include: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York.

Opening day for the rest of Pennsylvania begins on April 2 (correction April 16). This provides a sort of double-header in April and encourages me to then clean the basement or give the dog a bath.

New York actually sneaks in opening day on Friday, April 1. New Jersey has their opening day on April 9. Maryland has a staggered opening depending on the stream.

So let the games begin!

Photograph provided by Afishinado
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/10/2010 (1628 reads)
erieSeveral years ago at the Annual Paflyfish Jamboree David Weaver was kind enough to donate one of the his original pieces of fly fishing artwork to the site. David spent considerable time during the weekend and created a wonderful brook trout painting that was just truly magnificent.

David donated another piece this past year which lead too many inquires about his work during the weekend.

On a recent trip with David we got to discussing the many talented members of the site and he asked if he could do something again for Paflyfish. David has taken time to share his talents and create another piece of fly fishing artwork.

On a limited basis, Paflyfish will be offering for sale some original fly fishing artwork by forum member David Weaver (“Fishidiot”). Currently available is a brook trout painting shown here. This piece is acrylic on board, framed with triple matting, and comes with a shadow box Grey Ghost fly tied by David. The total size of the frame is about 15x19 inches.

This is a one-of-a-kind original and no prints have been made. The price is $380 which includes sales tax (for PA residents) and shipping costs. If you’re interested in this artwork, please feel free to send a PM to either “Fishidiot” or “Dkile.” A portion of the proceeds will help support and maintain the Paflyfish site.

For more information about David’s art and his thoughts on how it relates to fly fishing here.
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Published by Ryan Gouldsbarry [ryguyfi] on 12/06/2010 (1227 reads)
erieOn November 12th through the 14th paflyfish.com had it’s 2nd annual Steelhead JAM in Erie, PA. There were close to 30 board members that attended from at least 4 states. The fishing was not all that great, but tossing some line with those who chat on the board daily is always well worth any trip.

I showed up on Friday morning at 7am at Folly’s End Campground. Folly’s has been very generous the past 2 years in letting us use their facilities. They have a fully stocked fly shop, and very friendly management which is always a plus. I was visited by no one at 7am so I decided to gear up and head downstream to one of my favorite runs. As I walk the stream, I realize there aren’t many fish in the typical holes, this became a common theme throughout the weekend.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/15/2010 (1083 reads)
erieRyguyfi will post the detailed update this week. I wanted to share a brief trip report to get the week started. Fishidiot and I made our way up to the Steelhead Jam on Friday morning. Nothing like some Sheetz coffee and a Tastycake cupcake to help start a fishing trip. I am used to taking most of my trips alone so having some company for the six hour ride was most welcomed.

We made a brief stop at an unnamed wild brook trout stream in Centre County. I didn't even have my gear on and Fishidiot already had a trout.

We arrived in Erie late Friday afternoon. Again I will let ryguyfi provide the details, but in general the weather was nice, the water was low, and the fishing was slow.

erieAs always it was a great opportunity to meet up with over 25 Paflyfish members during the weekend. We had frequent chances to get together at Folly's Campground or at dinner during the weekend.

Fishidiot and I had enough of the Erie skunk on Sunday and headed towards Spring Creek. Very nice afternoon with some time at Fisherman's Paradise. Still many fish on the redds spawning along the banks.

Fun weekend to get caught up with everyone. Thanks to ryguyfi for putting this together. The guys at Leland provided some of their Red Truck fly rods to try out. It was nice to have Fishidiot as my navigator.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/01/2010 (2434 reads)
There has been a lot of interest in a variety of Paflyfish swag since we ran out of hats a few months ago. Maurice took care of our last order and a big thanks to him for championing that cause over the last year.

Paflyfish MugI have found a online store that provides us a lot of different logo products including mugs, steins, hats and more. I have started with a few of the more requested products and will add based on requests. Let me know your feedback.

A special thanks to David Weaver (Fishidiot) for donating one of his fantastic pieces of art work for the coffee mugs. It features the new Paflyfish logo on one side and his beautiful trout on the other side.

The Paflyfish Zazzle store can be found here.

I will have to admit the prices are a little high, but I don't want anyone to have sticker shock. They charge a little more than some places, but mostly because they make these item one at a time. Discounts for bulk orders which I highly encourage. 10% of every order goes to help support the site.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/13/2010 (2298 reads)
Warm Water Mini JAM August 7, 2010
Combined canoe/kayak float and wading trip on the Juniata River.
Thompsontown to Millerstown, PA.
Video provided by Skybay

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/03/2010 (1270 reads)
Attention PAFF Team WWI (warm water insurgents Let's get together for some warm water FFing. On Sat, 7 Aug we'll team up for a float/wade trip on the Juniata River - target smallmouth bass and muskellunge. I think a mini Jam in August ought to fit in between the trico Jam and presumably a steel Jam in the fall (so many Jams - so little time).

This will be a combined float and wading trip. If you have a canoe, johnboat, or kayak by all means consider bringing it. When we get the group together we'll see if there are additional spaces in boats and how to pair up. Those without boat opportunities will have ample wading opportunities at both the start or end points of the float (or anywhere else they care to fish on the river).

We'll meet at the PFBC boatramp at Thompsontown at noontime and float downriver to Millerstown, about 5 miles and finish the day at dusk. Big WW rivers in PA usually fish best in the evenings during high summer. If you're new to bass fishing I'd be happy to provide some tips and check your rigging at the boatramp when we link up as well as suggest some locations if you wish to drive up or downriver and wade.

If you've never fished it, the Juniata is a very scenic river with nothing more than Class I riffles that might require a bit of dragging if the water is low in the area we're fishing. Wade fishing is easy although I recommend felt soles or cleats (skip the cleats if you hope to fish from a boat). The river is roughly about 100 yards wide with an average depth of about 1 foot dropping to several feet in some of the deeper holes. The bottom is mostly cobble and ledge rock with river grass islands. Thompsontown is off RT 22/322 between State College and Harrisburg. (Note: the PFBC boat ramps require that canoes/kayaks be registered or have a launch permit sticker - and of course don't forget a PFD and an extra if you've got one).

You can fish with trout tackle but I'd recommend a 7 or 8WT rod (or bigger if you want to target muskies specifically). Poppers and Wooly Buggers will cover most of the bases. The SMB population in this part of the J is somewhat lower than the glory days back in the 1990s but it's still good with good numbers of big fish over 15 inches.

More details on the forum: http://bit.ly/cbuhGT
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/20/2010 (1600 reads)
Last October I received an interesting email from someone in Hollywood. I took notice to this as I don't get many emails from Tinsel Town as most of my posse is right coast based.

Could it be they were looking to shoot a River Runs through It II and the wanted a young fresh face to help consult? Man I would love to go out west again. Maybe they were coming East to shoot the Bridges of Lancaster County with Clint Eastwood as he fished Donegal Creek and needed someone to guide the man with no name around? Big fan of Clint movies. All very novel ideas, but my youth and talent are more likely found in faded pictures than than on the credits of some blockbuster movie.

Interestingly, they did want my approval for the use of the of the Paflyfish website in a scene for an action movie. Makes sense to me because what can be riveting than a sulphur hatch on a stream or a spot burn debate in the forum?

As it turns out director Simon West is shooting The Mechanic which is based on the old 1972 version of the movie by the same name with Charles Bronson. Jason Statham and Donald Sutherland are in this new action-thriller centered on an assassin and his apprentice.

Somehow during the movie they will be chasing some bad guy, probably someone who spot burned a stream, and wind up doing research on Paflyfish to track this guy down.

I honestly think the chances of the website being mentioned or shown in the movie are as remote as me fishing with Clint Eastwood, but it sounds fun. And who knows this may just be some new marketing stunt for movie companies to approach hundreds of blogs and websites teasing they with fame for a blog post like this.

Movie due in December 2010. See you on the cutting from floor!

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Published by Heritage-Angler on 06/28/2010 (982 reads)
All PAFF members, family, and friends are cordially invited to join us for the 2010 SE PA Trico Mini-Jam on the Little Lehigh.

This event will be held on Sunday, July 4 at 7AM.

Due to the nature of fishing the Trico spinner fall, and the desire of many members to have a "mini Jam" that they don't have to make a multi-day committment to, a central location in the state (ie. Spring Creek) was deemed impractical. Therefore, the event will be held on the banks of the Little Lehigh, providing good access to anglers from two of the three largest metropolitan areas in the state.

We'll meet in the parking lot off of Park Rd at 7AM, and there should be plenty of room for everyone to fish. Weather is always a crap shoot, but we could use the rain that this event seems to bring on.

For those members that have never fished a Trico spinnerfall before - we'll try to pair you up with an experienced fisherman to help you out.

Waders are a good idea, but wet wading is an option (if you can stand the cold water). I'll have a case of spring water on ice in my truck, but it would be a good idea to carry some with you. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the Allentown Parkway system.

After the fishing and inevitable BS session, we'll be heading out to do lunch, and BS some more. The early start time should allow attendees to still get home in time for their Independence Day picnics.

No sign up required - just show up by 7AM.

Forum post and directions: http://www.paflyfish.com/modules/newb ... p?topic_id=14178&forum=11
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 06/22/2010 (2033 reads)
Continued from Part 1

Some years prior to this bloody drama, likely in the summer of 1853, railroad workers on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad gathered some smallmouth bass from somewhere in the fish’s native range in the Ohio River basin. According to some accounts, these fish were placed in water buckets near Pittsburgh, taken eastward by train, and eventually released in the upper Potomac near Cumberland, several dozen miles upriver from Harper’s Ferry.

rusty spinnerToday such introduction of non-native species, frowned on as it is, wouldn’t be considered beneficial and the new invaders would likely be targeted for eradication, much as the “snakehead” fish are targeted today in the lower, tidal reaches of the river where they have been illegally introduced in recent years. In the Nineteenth Century, however, a different ethic prevailed and in the case of smallmouth bass the long term results have been positive. Like the striped bass, the range of the smallmouth followed the expansion of the railroads and we fly rodders are better off for it. Although relatively slow growers (an eighteen inch river smallie is typically eight to twelve years old in this part of the country) the newly introduced bass spread rapidly through the Potomac River system, finding the habitat much to their liking.

The State of Maryland actually owns the entire width of the Potomac River but in the Harper’s Ferry area, license reciprocity is in effect and you can use a Maryland license along the Virginia and West Virginia shores. While drift boat fishing is popular in this area and some excellent local guides can show you a great day, I like wade fishing with a fly rod. The habitat around Harper’s Ferry is ideal for the foot bound angler, although finding parking areas can be difficult in the immediate area around town. The National Park Service has a shuttle into Harper’s Ferry for a few dollars, well worth it to see the old town. Another National Park, C&O Canal, borders much of the Maryland shore and a foot path follows the river allowing for good access to hikers and bicyclists. Be careful on the steep bank along the canal, especially if you’re sensitive to poison ivy. The summer months are best for the wading angler due to consistent lower flows although there are a lot of folks tubing and rafting the river below the town when the weather is hot. Most of the “rubber hatch” is off the river in the prime fishing hours of morning and evening and, in any case, the river is big enough that there’s room for everybody during mid-day. Fall is great too with beautiful scenery and cooler temps put the bass on the feed and they’re very aggressive.

Boulder and ledge rock dominates the Potomac and Shenandoah River channels where they cut through the narrow mountain passes creating an enticing diversity of riffles, pools, pocket water, and runs. I wouldn’t consider wading here without felt soles and a wading staff. The smallies are everywhere. During the summer season the wading fly fisherman can effectively target smallmouths virtually anywhere in the river with boulders or rocky cover being prime locations. Larger bass frequently hold in the cushion of water in front of larger boulders. A popper or deer hair surface fly will often get hammered in front of boulders or ledge rock running perpendicular to the current. Gear needn’t be complicated: in addition to the felt soles and wading staff, a chest pack or vest and 7WT fly rod with floating line does the trick. In the cooler months you’ll need chest waders. I like to keep a camera in a zip-loc bag.

rusty spinnerPotomac River bass usually aren’t selective and run-of-the-mill flies should cover the bases. Poppers in yellow and white are dependable and I like dark colored nymphs roughly an inch long with rubber legs for dead drifting under a large strike indicator. Crayfish patterns work well dead drifted too. Clouser Minnows and Woolly Buggers in various colors should round out your fly box.

While there have been reports in recent years of bass in the Potomac showing “intersex” abnormalities, likely from sewage effluent, I have never personally seen a sickly fish in the this river, an observation I can’t make for other rivers in the mid-Atlantic region. The bass are healthy and usually fat off the abundant forage which includes schools of shiners as well as crayfish, madtoms, juvenile catfish, and sunnies. The riffle areas have some very large hellgrammites. During evenings in summer there is also a white fly hatch that can bring up good numbers of fish too.

While a fly fishermen has a shot at trophy sized fish, most Potomac smallies average under a foot in length. The 2005 year class was particularly strong and these bass now comprise a large segment of the population. Recent years have seen very good spawning, especially in 2007, ensuring good bass fishing for the next decade. I consider a fifteen inch fly caught river smallmouth a trophy but bigger fish are there and savvy local bait fishermen take bass over 20 inches and four pounds around Harper’s Ferry every year. My hope is that Maryland will, sometime in the future, extend the catch and release regulations that currently exist upriver, further downstream to Harper’s Ferry to protect these large, very old spawners.

In recent years, another fish from the smallmouth’s original range has taken up residence in the Potomac around Harper’s Ferry: the muskellunge. While rarely targeted by fly fishermen, muskies are common in deeper pools and near feeder creeks and will take a streamer, especially during the colder months of the year. Although Maryland has stocked tiger muskies, how the pure strain fish got in the Potomac is something of a mystery but they are spawning and the river has become a first class musky river. Channel cats, walleyes, rock bass, and redbreast sunfish round out the fly fishermen’s quarry and can save those rare days when the bass aren’t cooperative.

rusty spinnerWith John Brown captured, many Southerners felt that the old crusader would meet a swift and ignominious hanging. Yet, with time, many Northerners came to see the man as the living embodiment of the struggle against slavery and his impending execution a martyrdom. Ralph Waldo Emerson described him in Christ like terms. Frederick Douglas compared his own anti-slavery activities to Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry as being a mere “candle” compared to the “burning sun.” Brown’s dignity and unapologetic commitment to his cause was unwavering during his captivity and when he was led to the gallows in nearby Charles Town on December 2nd he held his head high with pride, steadfast in his belief that he’d done God’s work. Church bells rang across the North that day – an ominous toll to Southerners that their differences with the rest of the country were irreconcilable.

Hours before his death, Brown issued his now legendary, and ultimately prescient, prediction that “the sins of this guilty land can never be purged but with blood.” A year later, Abraham Lincoln was elected. John Brown’s raid had been another step toward war, maybe the most important one in steeling the resolve of Americans to dispense with compromise and regard their neighbor as irredeemable. Had John Brown been a fisherman, he might have gone to Harper’s Ferry for a different pursuit.

Prominent Southerners attended the execution and when the deed was done the pro-slavery crowd broke up and folks headed home, unable to know the impending catastrophe the country would soon be embroiled in. They rode off in carriages and trains and as they passed the river, rumbling over the bridge in a cloud of dust, down in the river below, in the cushion of water in front of a giant boulder, was a smallmouth bass. All muscle, fin, and scale, the predator carefully scrutinized the surface and water column to his front, watching… and ready.
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