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Update from the PFBC Big Spring Meeting

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/11/2014 (457 reads)
The next time you go fly fishing and bring along $10,000 worth of photo gear here are a few tips to capture some images on the water. Well I don't encourage anyone to spend that kind of money for your photo gear, it would take away from all the money you should spend on fly fishing rods, but there are a few good tips in the video. Many of you do run around, wisely I might add, with some waterproof point and shoots while you fish. Adorama is a very good online camera store out of NYC. They also offer plenty of educational videos about photography on the YouTubes. It's not often you find many tips on fly fishing photo techniques. Worth a look if you would like to drool over some high end gear too.



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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/07/2014 (1582 reads)



Just when the trout season slows down in Pennsylvania, Hank Patterson returns with some important pointers on nymph fishing. So get off the vice and and kick back for another episode of The Reel Adventures With Fly Fishing Expert Hank Patterson.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/23/2014 (1319 reads)


This past April Chris Spangler from Slinger Fly Rods posted an early flight of his Phantom DJI Drone Quadcopter over Young Woman's Creek.. He has been braving his drone (that's what I 'm going to call it) over the Pennsylvania streams and waters for just over six months. His latest video takes us over Kettle Creek in Pennsylvania. I nice six minute run over the creek with anglers fly fishing.

"Part of me was worried that it would be too difficult to operate and devastating to crash and ruin. Add in the GoPro Hero 3 and it made me even more nervous. The learning curve believe it or not was very slim. It's very basic in its functions. If you have ever played video games in your life you can operate this machine from day one with minimal instruction", shared Chris.

Heberly from Paflyfish and kids were part of the fun while Chris flew the Phantom over Kettle Creek.

A lot of news and controversy with drones as of late. The US Park Service has banned them from US Parks for example. I hope Chris can share more of these great images of these fly fishing waters in the region. I for one enjoy the images.

You can learn more about Chris and Slinger Fly Rods where has also guides here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/02/2014 (4497 reads)
Green Drake

Recently going through my mayfly photographs I found a nice set of pictures from the Paflyfish Spring Jam in 2010. The Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata ) hatch was in full swing that year and photographs of these mayflies was easy and plentiful. Most of the weekend was overcast and rain as normally forecasted for the Spring Jam. Emergers (subimigo) and spinners (imago) were not so much active during the day, but lined the sides of the streams in the hundred's of thousands. I am always torn between fishing and photography on days like this but glad put down my fly rod for a while and captured a lot of great shots.

With so many mayflies and photos it was easy to get so nice shots of the Green Drake spinners, which are referred to as Coffin Flies because of their white extended body. I wanted to demonstrate the differences between spinner (imago) male and female. These two Coffin Flies attached show these differences. Most notably the male has longer extended fore legs and claspers at the rear of the body. Females as seen do not have these body characteristics.

Male (left photo)
Long fore legs
Rear claspers or forceps at rear of body
Eyes on a male tend to be larger

Female (right photo)
Short fore leg
Forceps do not exist
Smaller flatter eyes






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Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/12/2014 (4932 reads)
The Sulphurs are here!
With the best hatch of the season fast approaching, I thought it might be helpful for some of the “Newbie’s” to post a few words on the Sulphur Hatch to get them off to a flying start this month… so if anyone has anything to add in the way of tips, tricks, details, etc. PLEASE feel free to chime in!

The months of May and June here in southeastern PA bring forth the greatest event of the fly-fishing season… the SULPHUR HATCH. These yellowish mayflies are actually made up of three (3) different mayfly species; Ephemerella rotunda, E. invaria, and E. dorothea. Most streams in SEPA hold all three (3) species which can be good AND bad. It’s good because it extends the sulphur hatch from 1st/2nd week of May through much of June (most seasons)… and it’s bad because there are subtleties that the fish notice and key on (sometimes) and if the angler does not adjust, he (or she) could be in for a long evening. The good news though, is that the “bad” is well within your control.

First a quick overview of the three (3) players, in order of emergence;
Ephemerella rotunda: Duns have a medium yellow body color with slight “olive cast” to them… the largest of the three by a hair, could be as large as a size 12 hook size, but a size 14 will do (a true “tweener”)… often hatch out of very swift water (just below riffles)… hatching usually begins around Mother’s Day and lasts 2-3 weeks… hatch most often in late afternoons (4-6 pm)

Ephemerella invaria: Duns have a yellowish/orange body color … best imitated with a size 14 hook… often hatch out of slightly slower flows than rotunda’s… hatching usually begins around 3rd week in May peaking around Memorial Day (slowing down in June)… hatch most often in early evenings (6-7 pm)

Ephemerella dorothea: Duns have a pale yellow body color … best imitated with a size 16 hook (sometimes 18)… often hatch out of slower pools… hatching usually begins in last week of May and lasting well into June… hatch most often in evenings (7-8:30 pm), sometimes right at dusk in a quick “blizzard” of activity.

Believe it or not, there are other “yellow” mayflies hatching during these same times as well, but those listed above make up the Sulphur Hatch as most anglers know it. As you can see there are differences between the three and it will save your sanity to have the proper sizes/colors to cover the gamut. At the very least I would carry size 14 dry fly’s in sulphur yellow to cover the rotunda/invaria and size 16 pale yellow imitations to cover the dorothea (some anglers use a Light Cahill for this). To compound the mayhem, in addition to the over-lapping hatch activity, trout will often key on a certain “stage” of emergence from drifting nymphs, to struggling emergers, to floating duns… and just when you think you have THAT all figured out, there could be spent spinners on the water as well!

If you show up to the stream in the mid afternoon and no fish are rising and no insects are on the water (or in the air)… you could be in for some fast action by tying on a Pheasant-tail nymph (size 14-16) and fishing the riffles and runs. Prior to emergence these nymphs will fill the water column as they struggle to reach the surface. Trout will be gorging on them and you will often see flashes in the stream as fish slash from side-to-side engulfing drifting nymphs by the mouthful.

Once a good supply of duns are on the surface the trout will come up for them and the real fun begins with dry flies… fish staging in faster water will be easier targets as they have precious little time to inspect your offering. Trout holding in slower pools will be a bit tougher, but may be larger and you should still dupe them easily with a stealthy “down & across” approach. If the fish refuse your floating dry, try tying an emerger pattern or weightless nymph about 6” off the back of the dry. This will take fish that are targeting these hapless naturals. Some of you may have heard people say that the trout are easier to catch at the beginning of the sulphur hatch but get smarter as the weeks wear on? These are the guys that don’t adjust to the dorothea activity and are missing out big time. The difference in a size 16 or 14 hook may not sound like much, but place the fly’s next to each other and you will see why the trout key on one or the other. Just pay attention to what is on the water and you’ll be OK.

The last piece of the puzzle is the spinnerfall. Again, this can be as frustrating or as rewarding as you want to make it. Personally I take my largest “dry fly caught” trout every season during the spinnerfall. It’s an easy meal and one that large trout rarely pass up. As you survey the stream take notice of the presence of any swarms of “dancing” mayflies over the riffles. These will be egg-laden females preparing to drop their cargo into the drink before dying and dropping in themselves. The males in all likelihood have already fallen, spent from mating activity. During sulphur season this activity most often takes place during the early evening if not right at dark (maybe early morning if air temp’s are too high for mating flights). These mating swarms start out high above the stream surface and if you happen to notice flocks of insect-eating birds (swallows, swifts, nighthawks… maybe bats) high above, you can be pretty sure that a spinnerfall is about an hour away. Sounds complicated but it is surprisingly simple… for this activity I carry just one fly—The Rusty Spinner—in sizes 14-18. Look for subtle risers, often times near the tail ends of pools, just “dimpling’ the surface and float your imitation right down into the waiting jaws of a heavy brown. If rising fish continue to ignore your floating dun, tie on a Rusty Spinner and 9 out of 10 times you will be surprised at the response.

Always keep in mind that ANY and ALL of the above described activities could be going on… sometimes simultaneously! Just be observant, let the trout tell you what they want, and you will enjoy your cigar and cold beverage a LOT more back at the parking area… this I promise.

*NOTE* The referenced taxon above is a bit outdated as the society of entomologists (or whoever they are) have decided that E. invaria and E. rotunda are now the same species (E. invaria)… also they have added a second dorothea to E. dorothea (E. dorothea dorothea). This info is strictly for the angler’s that are over-obsessed with details (like ME for example)… the trout still eat them the same as they always have.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/05/2014 (1197 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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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 04/23/2014 (3790 reads)
flyfishing knots

While sharing some time on the water the other day with Dave Kile (dkile) I experienced what seems to happen often during a decent hatch with some wind, you guessed it, a wind knot! Or as Lefty Kreh calls them, bad casting knots. Everyone gets them now and then especially when combining a breeze, long leaders and fine tippets. Or for the chuck and duck crowd, of which I am often a member, weight and multiple flies. So as Dave stands upstream pondering my delay to cast to a rising fish, he asks, what’s the problem Einstein? I said I have a wind knot, and it reminded me of a tip I learned many years ago.

Back in the 80’s we were on a bus trip to the Breeches from the ‘burg and there was a video on the tube for those not taking the time to sleep. Being full of interest in sponging any and all info I could at the time, one tip in the video stuck with me. Terminal knot tying efficiency. Think about it, every time we tie on a new piece of tippet, a new fly, etc., we are out of the game. It stands to reason that the faster you can tie on a fly (improved clinch knot in my case) or a new piece of tippet (double surgeons knot), the quicker you can begin flogging the water again.

The video stressed the need to get your knots down to 15 seconds each. Practice, practice, practice until you can meet that goal. This will put your fly change or tippet adjustments into under one minute if you include the spooling off tippet, picking out a new and returning the old flies. If you find yourself taking 5-10 minutes each to accomplish that task, you could likely be wasting an hour or more tying frustrating knots. Practicing on stream is KNOT efficient! (pun intended)Now it’s not a race, and I don’t suggest it to be. But it is practical to be as efficient as possible when enjoying your streamside time. Plus, when a hatch is on, the fish and bugs don’t wait until you re-tie, it goes on as scheduled, often it seems to go faster as the trouts plop, plop, plop all around you.

So do yourself a favor by following these few tips;
• Get your knots down to 15 seconds or so.
• Accept the fact your eyes are going bad and get some readers if seeing the eye is getting harder every year.
• Keep your tippet handy, I keep mine outside near my left hip where I can reach it easily.
• Keep your flys handy with few boxes so searching is not too long.
• Know your limitations and adapt.

Resized ImageThat last one may seem out of place for a seasoned fly fisher but this efficiency exercise also applies to damage control. That's right, when you booger up your line with a collapsed cast, loose loop or wind knot, bring your line in gently and assess the damage immediately. It can be tempting to just begin pulling and tugging but try to resist. Take a few seconds and loosely pull on some of the loops to see what you are dealing with. Look for loops that exit the knot and pull them back through. Often its only one or two loops that cause the whole mess. If it looks too complicated to unravel it probably is. Clip off the fly, this often makes it a much easier task because you can slip the tippet through the knot. Remember it only takes you 15 seconds to tie it back on. Just be sure when you clip it off you put it somewhere you remember like a fly patch, or other handy outside vest place. Don’t keep it in your hands or put it in your mouth. Trust me, this never ends well…soon you are chasing it down stream with your net or trying to get it out of your lip.

Lastly, If it's a total mess clip it ALL off and start over, in one minute or so you will be casting again.

Now I consider myself a pretty good untangler…in fact, my slogan is “Fly fishing is the art of tangling and untangling lines of different diameters while trying to enjoy yourself”. But it doesn’t have to be yours.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/15/2014 (3428 reads)
Fly Fishing Getting started


Paflyfish is a popular spot for fly fishing anglers in the region for many good reasons. There are all sorts of great conversations and information shared in the forums on a host of different topics. We are very fortunate to have so many folks not only provide information online in the forums, but help out beginners at clinics and instructional jamborees. Also there are some darn smart anglers on the site coming from all walks of life. The site is filled with thousands of great post and threads that offer any angler any opportunity to expand their fly fishing opportunities. This section will be a dynamic page for beginners to find an index of information to get started with fly fishing. As relevant blog posts and threads are collected they will be added for quick and easy topics.

Take the Journey

Types of Trout

Trout Food
Trout Food Overview
The Mayfly Stages of Life 101
Mayfly Sex Identification 102
The Caddisflies
Stoneflies
Green Drakes: May Madness
Meet the Hendricksons

Gear
What Fly Rod and Fly Reel to get?
A Dozen Top Flies
Knots and the DBK
Trip Packing

Seasonal Information
Getting Ready For Fall Fly Fishing
Conquer the Cold: The theory of bigger being sometimes better
Try Some Winter Fly Fishing

Forums
Beginners Forum
Fly Fishing Locations
Fly Tying
Stream Reports

Additional Online Information
Fly Fishing Hatch Chart
USGS Real-Time Streamflow Data & Mobile
Troutnut.com
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/08/2014 (1313 reads)
By Brian McGeehan

The Aisen Region of Chile is located about the same distance South of the Equator as Montana is North. On a recent trip to the Coyaquie province we targeted wild browns and rainbows while fishing a remarkable diversity of fisheries including large float rivers, huge crystal clear lakes, spring creeks and wilderness mountain streams. We stayed at the Magic Waters Patagonia Lodge which is tucked away in remote valley with 5 private lakes filled with wild trophy fish.

The lodge is right on the edge of the Cerro Castillo National Reserve and the wilderness lakes and rivers within but is also within easy striking distance of the fertile spring creeks and valley rivers of the dryer pampas region. The mountain rivers are free of sediment and are gin clear with an emerald green hue. The pampas areas near the Argentine boarder are dryer and it is a similar landscape to the Dillon Montana area (without other fisherman!). I have been hosting trips to Patagonia for the last five seasons and this area blew me away in every way: amazing diversity of fishing options, big trout, few other anglers (we didn’t see any), and exclusively fishing huge dry flies. As a Montana fishing outfitter I pride myself on a nice collection of big rubber legged attractor dry flies but when I showed up to the lodge and showed Eduardo Barrueto, our host, my box he asked “do you have anything bigger?”. We spent the entire week throwing the biggest dry flies we could handle including huge size 2 beetle patterns and even larger mouse patterns.

fly fishing chile


Big dries. One of the reasons the trout in the mountains of Chile love such big dry flies is because they love to eat Cantara beetles. These massive beetles look like hummingbirds when flying and are a huge meal for a hungry trout. A size 4 or 2 Gypsy King or black Fat Albert is a good imitation and a favorite fly of the guides.

fly fishing Aisen Region


Huge lakes are abundant across Patagonia and most are filled with huge trout. In the Coyaque province lakes like Lago Azul (or Blue Lake) are filled with big browns to 30”. They still love to each dry flies and a day spent rowing along the big cliff walls throwing mouse patterns over submerged timber is a unique experience that becomes even more memorable when a 25” brown inhales the rodent imitation at the end of your fly line!

big-brown


This big 25” brown ate a mouse pattern on Lago Paloma. We spotted it lying along a cliff wall above some down timber. I had to throw the mouse pattern inches from his head to entice him into an explosive strike. Sight casting on the big lakes was one of the highlites of our trip.

rio-paloma-float-fishing


The abundance of big lakes also helps to filter sediments out of the water and the rivers that connect the lakes are always gin clear. The Rio Poloma is a special fishery that connects Lago Azul to Lago Claro. A more beautiful trout river is hard to imagine.

spring-creeks


A 45 minute drive to the east took us into the dry pampas near the Argentine boarder. We fished a beautiful unnamed spring creek on a huge private estancia. Grasshoppers were in abundance and big browns were spooky but willing to aggressively take the flies on the first cast if it was well presented.

Niriguoa mouse


This big 22” brown clobbered a size 1 mouse pattern skittered across the surface of the Rio Niriguoa – yet another private spring creek on a huge estancia. The hopper fishing was incredible in the morning on the Niriguoa – so good that after lunch I “supersized” to the mouse which brought the catch rate down to 2 or 3 fish per hour but dramatically increased the average size. All of the fish caught “mousing” were between 17-22”!

lodge


Evenings were spent back at the Magic Waters Lodge enjoying good company and delicious local seafood, beef and lamb along with a great selection of Chilean and Argentine wines.

rio-magote-horse


The Rio Magote is a wilderness river that feeds the Paloma. We spent one day riding about an hour into the back country. The Magote looks like a lot of rivers in New Zealand and we spent time both site fishing and blind casting. I fished a mouse pattern again this day and landed several nice browns topping out at 22”

paloma-brown


We spent another day on the Paloma River, but this time on the upper portion which has beautiful braided sections and great holding water. We had about 30 minutes of cloud cover so I tried a streamer and within five minutes hooked this big 23” brown that was hiding in a backwater full of downed timber. I thought for sure I snagged a log at first. That was the only 30 minutes of the entire trip that I fished anything besides big dries but it certainly paid off!

Rio-Simpson


On our last day we accessed yet another private estancia. This time are target was the famed Rio Simpson. After making our way across several ranch gates we hiked into a small canyon to target the emerald green waters at the bottom. We saw both large browns and rainbows but failed to connect with any of the big boys on this day.

Rio-Blanco


The Rio Blanco is a gorgeous mountain stream. The lodge has private access to some great water that allows for site casting to some nice sized browns and a few rainbows.

Visit the Montana Angler blog for a full Chile 2014 trip report. Brian McGeehan is a Pennsylvania native but has been guiding an outfitting in Montana and the west for 20 years. His company Montana Angler Fly Fishing specializes in both Montana fishing as well as destination travel to Patagonia.


I want to thank Brian for sharing the details of his trip as I like to hear especially about his fly fishing trips to South America. I asked to put together a report with some more photography from the trip. One my bucket list some day to get that way. - Dave
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 03/31/2014 (911 reads)

An Award Much Deserved
By Dave Weaver
For Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited and Paflyfish.com

A fine time indeed was had at the recent Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited (CVTU) Limestoner Banquet. This is CVTU’s main fundraising event each year. Like many TU chapters, CVTU relies on volunteer efforts to complete a wide range of valuable endeavors and this includes putting together an annual banquet to raise funds. Among these outstanding endeavors, CVTU is involved in land preservation, youth fly fishing outreach in the form of the Rivers Conservation and Youth Camp and Trout in the Classroom; fly fishing schools for women, US military, and disadvantaged youths as well as wounded veterans.

Dave Kile
Dave Kile and Justin Pittman


Among our recent stream improvement projects during the last year include the Phase 2 project on Big Spring as well as projects to improve habitat in The Run in Boiling Springs, as well as restoration of habitat for native trout in a recovered lake bed. Every year, CVTU juggles an array of stream improvement and outreach programs designed to raise awareness and protect cold water resources and trout habitat across hundreds of square miles in the Cumberland valley and adjacent areas – an area encompassing many of our state’s best known trout streams but also dozens of lesser known freestone and limestone trout streams. And CVTU isn’t alone. Roughly fifty chapters of TU and the State Council are all in the fight.

In CVTU’s case, not only do we run a very nice banquet with the typical array of fun items to bid or purchase, but over twenty years ago the chapter decided to include a couple awards that would be presented at the banquet to deserving recipients. These include the Limestoner Award, which is usually given to an individual who has done much to improve CVTU’s mission. Another is the Charles K. Fox Rising Trout Award, which is given to an individual who has enhanced the sport of fly fishing, especially in the state of PA. Naturally, Charlie Fox – the founder of CVTU - was the first recipient.

Dave Kile
Tom Ciannilli, Dave Kile, Maurice Chioda and Dave Weaver


If you’re a regular reader of this blog’s message board, you’re undoubtedly aware that the owner and manager of this blog, Dave Kile, was the recent recipient of the Fox award. There’s been a good deal of discussion among us this when it was announced that Dave would receive this. In any event, being the gracious gentleman that he is, Dave was flattered and genuinely surprised.

Naturally, Dave felt that his entire moderator staff deserved as much credit as he… and promptly invited all of us to the banquet. Jack was a bit too far away and indisposed, but Maurice, Tom, and I were there for a fun evening. After the usual banquet formalities, Dave received the award and made a nice speech thanking Tom, Maurice, and I. Also of note, longtime CVTU stalwart Bob Thompson received the Limestoner Award for his many years of service to the chapter. Chapter President Justin Pittman presented the awards to Bob, Dave, and several other individuals. Take some time if you care to, and join us vicariously by perusing the pics of the banquet which can be seen on the CVTU website.


Justin Pittman and Bob Thompson


As we well know, Paflyfish.com has indeed become, for many of us, our favorite place out of the water where we visit daily to touch base with old friends and fishing buddies as well as share the latest fly tying trick, debate the latest controversy, report on a fishing trip or tell a fish story…and especially help new fly fishers get their footing in the sport. This is a small but significant snapshot of the future of participation in fly fishing. Of course that’s not to say that books and traditional media and clubs will wither on the vine. To the contrary, older guys like many of us will keep them going. Nevertheless, the demographic here on Paflyfish is decidedly younger by comparison. It’s been a heckuva ride. Just speaking for myself, the banquet was especially noteworthy and special in that it brought together at once two organizations that have come to represent for me the two best organizations associated with fly fishing.

I’ll let Dave speak for himself on how he feels about Paflyfish…but I think most of us can relate to the idea of pursuing a passion. Dave started Paflyfish fifteen years ago as a hobby merging his interest in technology and fishing. Over the years, this site has evolved from a hobby to a passion for Dave and has now taken root in a way that helps the rest of us pursue our passion. This is what Dave Kile has wrought. So thanks and congratulations Dave, you deserve the Charles Fox Rising Trout Award.

Kudos also go to CVTU and all the state chapters of Trout Unlimited. Come on out sometime to your local chapter meeting and join or otherwise support TU. You’ll be glad you did. See yuh around the stream…or around the internet.

Photographs by Bill Strockbine
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