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Tying and Fishing Midges
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Pennsylvania Statewide Trout Fishing Opens Early ...

Published by Tom C. [afishinado] on 03/27/2020 (3190 reads)
Many times the rising fish you see in the winter are taking midges. I’ve done well in the winter fishing midges on warmer afternoons. It’s great covering rising fish fish in the winter since I become tired of dredging the bottom, doing the chuck-and-chance-it to unseen fish. I could never stand watching fish rise in front of me without giving them a try.
Dave Weaver Midges

Tying Midges

Midges are not hard to tie. I use a small sized emerger hook which is a wide gape 2x short curved hook. For dries, just add a thread body and a few fibers for wings or a wisp of dubbing for pupa:

Hook: Emerger hook size 20-28

Body: Thread (black, cream, brown, white, olive) to match naturals. I always try to catch a few insects with my net before I select a fly. If I can't capture a natural, I'll usually try black first.

Wing: 8-12 CDC fibers, or Z-lon, or Antron yarn.

I like to use 6/0 or 8/0 thread for the body depending on the brand of thread and the size of the fly. The body should remain thin like the natural.

Start the thread on the shank behind the eye and wrap it back to the bend. Spin the bobbin to wind the thread tightly by spinning and wrap the thread back to just behind the eye. The tightly wound thread gives a segmented appearance and makes it easier to wrap. On a size smaller fly hook, one pass back and forth is enough to build the body. On larger flies several passes may be needed.

I tie off the heavier thread with finer 12/0 thread to finish the fly. Cut 8-12 CDC fibers (Z-lon or Antron yarn also work) and tie in on top of the hook shank and trim the wing fibers slightly shorter than the body and whip finish. That’s it!...a thread body with some wisps of CDC or yarn for the wing. On larger sized midges I sometimes use a little dubbing the same color as the body to finish off the head.

Don’t make the wings too heavy – sparse fibers look more natural to suggest wings, and adds just enough buoyancy to float the fly in the film like the naturals.

For midge pupa, do the same thread body as above, except instead of wings dub in a small wisp of light colored dubbing fur near the head of the fly or trim a small clump of CDC at the head.

Fishing Midges


With a size 28 fly, I may go down to a 7X tippet, not so much because of visibility of the tippet by the fish, more for getting a good drift. Heavier tippet tends to drag such a small fly around in the water.

Use a fairly long and soft tippet and try to cast some s-curves and slack in your line and tippet to avoid drag. Also, be sure not to cast your leader over the fish. Try to reach mend or curve cast it so the fish see the fly and not your line. Getting a drag-free drift is the key to fooling the fish.

I grease my line down to 1’ or so of the fly and watch the tippet for strikes. If I have problems seeing the tippet, I put a pinch of strike putty on the tippet knot for visibility. When you line moves a little on the take, just tighten up and the battle is on.

After covering a few fish and believing I have gotten some good drifts over them, I will often change over to a pupa pattern that rides in the film. At times they are feeding on pupae.

The hardest part of fishing is often trying not to spook the fish. Careful casting and wading (if you must get into the water) is most important. When fishing to rising fish, I often ease into a casting position and wait until the fish resume rising. Just slow down and try to stay low, and take as few false casts as possible.

In the winter fish are often found rising in the long, slow pools. If there's a deeper bank with rising fish I'll often cross over in the shallow riff below the pool and slowly wade across to deeper bank. Casting from the shallow side will often expose you to the trout, and laying all your line out over the entire width of stream to reach the opposite bank often causes issues trying to get a good drift, especially when trying to dead-drift tiny flies.

After crossing over and most times putting all the rising fish down, I sit along the bank next to a tree or any cover I can find. I proceed to pull out my Wawa shortie and Wawa chocolate milk and began to feast. By the time I am finished, the fish resume rising and I began to target one fish at time. Don’t worry, it’s not just a Philly thing, for those in western and central PA, the strategy works, but not quite as well with Sheetz MTO hoagies and drinks.

Tying and fishing midges is not really that hard. I look forward to it every winter when I tire of nymphing.

Give it a try and good luck. Follow in the forum here.

Artwork by Dave Weaver
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/17/2020 (372 reads)
PFBC Announces Consolidated Statewide Schedule and More - March 2020
PFBC ANNOUNCES CONSOLIDATED STATEWIDE SCHEDULE FOR TROUT SEASON, BEGINS ACCELERATED STOCKING OPERATIONS, ADDS MORE CONVENIENT ONLINE LICENSE PURCHASE AND DISPLAY OPTIONS

HARRISBURG, Pa (March 16) – Amid concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced several changes to the 2020 trout season intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing.

These changes, effective immediately, include consolidating the 2020 trout season schedule into a single, statewide schedule for all Pennsylvania counties; accelerating trout stocking operations and limiting volunteer participation; and adding more convenient ways to purchase fishing licenses online and display proof of a fishing license and boating documents on a digital device.

"Thank you to the anglers and boaters of Pennsylvania for their understanding as we all experience these changes together," said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. "While our calendars may start to look a little different, one thing we can count on is that there will be a trout season and there will still be plenty of fish out there to enjoy. Working under unprecedented circumstances, our staff is committed to providing the quality fishing experience that we all expect."

Statewide Mentored Youth Program and Opening Day


The PFBC will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season. Under this revised plan, a single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18.

As a result of these changes, separate, earlier regional mentored youth and opening days will no longer occur in the 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. Anglers in these areas should revise their plans as necessary to adjust to the statewide schedule.

These changes, made by the PFBC under direction provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, are intended to reduce large gatherings of people and the number of anglers traveling into the regional area (18 southeastern counties), which is already heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Accelerated Trout Stocking Operations and Volunteer Participation

2020 trout stocking will be conducted on an accelerated schedule, and volunteers will not be permitted to assist with stocking activities.

"We realize that many of our stocking volunteers look forward to helping us, but we must take these necessary precautions to ensure public safety during this vital period," said Schaeffer. "Just as we've counted on our volunteers for decades to help us stock trout, we're counting on them now to play it safe and stay home. We appreciate their service throughout the years, and we hope that we can invite them back to join us again very soon."

To complete trout stocking operations without the assistance of the public, the PFBC will modify stocking methods for this year. Many PFBC staff are being reassigned from their normal work duties to assist with stocking fish into lakes and streams. In some cases, pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking events to increase the efficiency of stocking trips. Initially, stockings will be prioritized to deliver trout to regions of the Commonwealth that are predicted to be affected most severely by COVID-19 that could result in restrictions on travel.

Moving forward this season, trout stockings will be announced upon their completion, rather than in advance on the FishBoatPA mobile app and PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com). The change in stocking procedures will not result in any reduction in the approximately 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked statewide in 2020, and stocking will occur seven days a week until further notice.

"This change in our stocking approach is necessary to fulfill a critical mission of our agency and our obligation to anglers," added Rick Kauffman, PFBC District 8 Commissioner. "We're trying to get as many fish in the water as possible as quickly as possible while we still have the best access to waterways and available staff. While our methods may be different this season, people will have the same opportunity to get outdoors and fish, which has proven benefits to our physical and mental health."

More Convenient Ways to Purchase and Display Your Fishing License, Launch Permits and Boat Registrations

To reduce unnecessary travel and social contact amid health concerns, anglers and boaters will be able to display their fishing license, launch permit, or boat registration renewal digitally on a phone or other mobile device as proof of possession.

This change will allow customers who may be unable to, or feel uncomfortable visiting a store to purchase a fishing license, launch permit, or boat registration renewal to make the purchase using the FishBoatPA app or computer through The Outdoor Shop (www.pa.wildlifelicense.com ) and not have to possess a printed copy of the document. Upon purchase of a fishing license, a .pdf file containing an image of your license is provided via email. Similarly, with each boating related transaction, customers will receive a digital receipt that serves a temporary permit or registration valid for immediate use. Eventually, customers will receive validation decals and registration cards in the mail from the PFBC, which can take several weeks.

If approached by a Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) in the field, the angler or boater would only have to produce the digital image of the license, permit or registration on their phone or mobile device. A digital copy of the .pdf, photo, or screenshot of your fishing license, launch permit or boat registration on your phone or mobile device will all be accepted as proof of possession.


Mike Parker
Communications Director
(717)705-7806

(717)585-3076 mobile
michparker@pa.gov
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/12/2020 (369 reads)
By Matthew Lourdeau

Minor league baseball is all about fun. Sure, the players are doing everything they can to succeed at the lower levels of professional baseball with the hopes of getting to the majors. But while they’re giving it their all on the field, there is a whole lot more going on around them. T-shirt cannons, “bring your dog” nights, and appearances from B-list celebrities draw crowds that include die-hard fans and families looking for a night out.

casting across


If you are an angler who lives around Altoona, Pennsylvania, the draw to come to watch the Curve this June might be their new look. For one weekend, the Altoona Curve will become the Altoona Brookies. Complete with new jerseys, hats, and more, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to celebrate the state fish of PA.

Brook trout are beautiful fish. Fly fishers and conventional anglers alike seek after them. However, their relatively diminutive size and bright colors eliminate them from consideration for something like the mascot of an NFL team. But minor league baseball? It is a perfect fit. In a league where Trash Pandas, Yard Goats, and Sod Poodles play all season, a weekend of Brookies is more than okay.

As is the case for many minor league promotions, “Brookie Weekend” will benefit a nonprofit. Currently, the Curve has announced that a jersey auction will help the American Rescue Workers, a nonprofit that fights hunger and homelessness. Trout fishing is certainly a way to generate interest in a cause in the keystone state. Pennsylvania has the highest stream density of any state in the country. It just so happens that many of those streams are occupied by trout for most of the year. The outdoors in general, and trout fishing in specific, is woven into the fabric of Pennsylvania.

In a culture like that, embroidering a leaping trout on the front of a ball cap just makes sense. And, of course, it is a lot of fun.

Matthew Lourdeau runs Casting Across, a website and podcast that explore the people, places, and things that go into the pursuit of fish. Originally from the MidAtlantic, he currently lives in New England where he’s only a short cast from mountain brookies and seacoast stripers.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/06/2020 (708 reads)
In this episode, Coty and Steve talk with Dave Kile from Paflyfish. We talk about starting a site, choosing flies, places to fish, and much more.

Open Air Podcast Episode 68 - Paflyfish’s Dave Kile

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The Open Air Project is a podcast by Coty Soult and Steve Sunderland. The podcast is about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The vision for The Open Air project is to share with people the stories of them and their guests, all while educating everyone in the process. They feel that learning is a never-ending journey, one that they intend to share with their audience.

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Where can people find the podcast?
You can find the podcast in the links below. I think one of the coolest things is that if you own an Amazon Echo (Alexa) you can tell her to "play the latest episode of The Open Air Project on Tunein Radio" and it starts to play.

Website: http://theopenairproject.com
iTunes: The Open Air Project Coty Soult & Steve Sunderland
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Open-Air-Project-993749137422734/
Stitcher: The Open Air Project
Tunein Radio: https://tunein.com/radio/The-Open-Air-Project-p1037344/
Twitter: The Open Air Project (@openairproject) | Twitter
Instagram: Coty Soult (@theopenairproject) • Instagram photos and videos
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/28/2020 (704 reads)

2020.CPFTS.rev.pic.300dpi

The second annual Central PA Fly Fishing Show will be held Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Myers Elementary School in Bellwood, Pa. The show has expanded this year to feature more than 35 high-quality fly-fishing vendors displaying all types of great products including custom rods, handmade reels, classic tackle, guided expeditions, flies, and tying materials. The show will continue to offer a strong focus on education and introducing new people to the sport, especially kids. There will be special presentations on casting, fly tying, and rod making from some of the most talented people in the industry. The low admission fee of $8 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under, and free for 8 and under includes all seminars and presentations including youth fly tying and casting lessons.

The show venue is conveniently located at 220 Martin Street, Bellwood, just three minutes from Exit 41 (Bellwood) of I-99 north of Altoona, 30 minutes from State College, and 2 hours from Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

The show schedule is:

10:00 am on the Casting Pond
Craig Buckbee - “Mastering the Roll Cast"

10:30 am on the Casting Pond
Craig Buckbee - "Single Hand Spey Casting"

11:30 am in the Seminar Room
Bill Anderson - “The Wild Browns of the Little Juniata River - From Sewer to Class A”
 
1:00 pm in the Seminar Room  
Greg Hoover - “A Fly Fisher's Entomology”

2:30 pm on the Casting Pond
Craig Buckbee - “Secrets of the Double Haul”

3:30 pm in the Seminar Room
Josh Miller - “Euro Nymphing 101. Understanding the Basics”

For more information see the show website at www.centralpaflyfishingshow.com or like our Facebook page for updates.
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Published by Michael Lohman [GenCon] on 02/22/2020 (245 reads)
The 2020 tying jam was a great success. Jack Fields arrived at my house the night before. We took off early and headed to the nature center. They let us in at 9 and we set up. We had a great range of fly tyers from seasoned fly fishers to novice and even a couple newbies who have only been tying for a couple of months. Everyone did a great job. We all had a lot of fun. Many of us look forward to this every year. I think this year a few of the 1st timers will certainly come back next year. I especially would like to thank Jack for handling all the fly pics. As usual, he did a great job.

I would also like to thank all the folks who donated items for our raffle. Raymond Rumph and Mainstream Outfitters, Dave Weaver and the rest. With our raffle, we ended up with a very nice donation to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. I would also like to thank the good folks at the nature center for allowing us to host this great event at their facility.

I look forward to next year’s event. Thanks to all who participated and great job.

GenCon (Michael Lohman)


Trevor McNamee

Ritchi Katz

John Latschar

JF2020

Joe Sebia

Gerry Higgins (2)

Doug Bartus

Denise Bradley

Darbee Williammee (1)

Chris Mc Geehan

CDC D sulfur

Brad Janicki

Bob Pluta

Bob Frankievich
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/10/2020 (712 reads)
Some of the images and sights at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ. Plenty of Paflyfish members attending and in the booths.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/27/2020 (10308 reads)
By Alan Ritt

Ritt’s Fighting CrayfishThere are times when I just don’t feel inspired to sit down and tie more of “the same.” Whether “the same” means flies others and I have tied for years, or it means patterns I’ve conjured up and like to think of as more or less mine. The point is a change is needed.

During one of these restless periods a decade or so ago I was thinking to myself that I didn’t fish nearly enough large flies. You know, the ones regularly hanging from the jaws of those fish in the pictures of each day’s newest instant hero. Not that I felt like I should be that hero, but sometimes you just want a shot at a larger fish. Another streamer or leech pattern just wasn’t what I was craving though. I wanted something more interesting. My mind gravitated to the crayfish.

Though there were a lot of effective crayfish patterns around, I wasn’t convinced there weren’t improvements to be made. I needed a pattern that would swim, crawl or rest in a realistic posture and was snag resistant enough to fish around cover where crayfish are commonly found. The details of the trial and error are entertaining stories of their own (like the version that, though heavily weighted, floated in the surface film).

Suffice it to say I did come up with a pattern that has been extremely effective for many species of fish and in many types of water and fishing conditions. The pattern incorporates the hard shiny carapace and multitude of legs, antennae and other appendages of the natural. It has lots of movement in the water, even when not being actively manipulated. The hook not only rides up, but the posture of the fly places the hook eye down and the bend up in the water column to make it relatively snag free even without a weed guard (or fish guard as I think of them). And unlike all other crayfish patterns I’ve seen, the main arms and claws do not lay limply behind the fly as if it was dead, but are held high like a natural warding off a predator and collapse behind the fly when stripped just as a live crayfish holds them when swimming.

I’ve used this fly myself to catch trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappie, bullheads, silver salmon and bonefish. Others have told me of catching carp, walleye and pike as well. Below is the recipe, vary the color to match the crayfish in your local waters (there are many variations) and let me know how you do! My flies are available on MyFlies.com and also my own web site has patterns and information on my tying demo appearances, lessons, guide services and flies as well as my contact information below.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/20/2020 (862 reads)
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 7.06.29 AM

Forum member Andy Ranieri (Krayfish) shares his knowledge, experiences, and tips fishing the regional big waters in the latest podcast with Steve and Coty. Andy spends time talking about the Delaware and other big rivers in the region. Check it out.

Facebook-7344

The Open Air Project is a podcast by Coty Soult and Steve Sunderland. The podcast is about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The vision for The Open Air project is to share with people the stories of them and their guests, all while educating everyone in the process. They feel that learning is a never-ending journey, one that they intend to share with their audience. They enjoy we can learn, meet unique people, and make few friends along the way, we feel that we've accomplished our goals.

Website: http://theopenairproject.com
iTunes: The Open Air Project Coty Soult & Steve Sunderland
Stitcher: The Open Air Project
Tunein Radio: https://tunein.com/radio/The-Open-Air-Project-p1037344/
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/14/2020 (849 reads)
The second attempt in the last week to get on the board for 2020 turned out to be an outstanding day of fishing at Muddy Creek. Maurice hit me the night before to get out today to Muddy Creek on Monday. I quickly abandoned my plans for the Gunpowder and started packing up the SUV.

IMG_8369


We arrived at about 11:00 with temps in the mid-forties and cloud cover. The clouds stayed with us all day and temps moved up to the upper forties. Water was just a little off-color, running at 180 CFS and at about 46 degrees. It could be considered a normal winter day in SEPA.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 6.23.05 AM


Maurice pointed out what really made conditions work is the very warm weather and rain just two days before. On January 11th the water temps reached about 51. January 12th was 65 degrees with about .8 inches of rain after midnight. This raised the water temps and changed the clarity of the water to just a little off-color when we got there. The normally sluggish deep holed trout were moving around more, with a better chance of them feeding.

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We started out pretty quickly getting some hits and trout My first fish landed just before noon and Maurice followed right along or vice versa I can't recall. I pretty much stuck to fishing a black Palmer streamer all day.

The best section of the stream for me was a longer deep bending hole. After we caught a couple, I was now drifting my streamer at the end of the hole. Frist cast is a strong bump and miss, second cast strong bump and miss, third cast bump and miss and now I got a glimpse him. The fourth time, bam he came back for more and made the hook-up! A lot of fun.

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Most of my fish were pulled out from opposite bank and the fish striking on the swing. An occasional little twitch helped give the streamer some slight action.

Maurice stuck to nymphing for the day with a bead head and wet fly dropper 18” up the line hitting more of the deeper holes and runs. We did really well catching many fish for the day. We had fall stocked bows, TU holdover browns and Mo caught a wild trout to close the day. The stocked fish looked in good shape and were all 10"-14".

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I even saw a few ~#26 BWO? coming off sporadically a few times during the day. There were a couple rises at one hole. Enough excitement for me to put on a dry fly, but really it was only a Hail Mary and had no luck.

We wrapped up the day after 4:30 and made our way back up the hill to the cars talking about one of the best days we had for a January in a long time.

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