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Update from the PFBC Big Spring Meeting

Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/12/2014 (5274 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 (1305 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 (3973 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 (4475 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 (1440 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 (983 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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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/20/2014 (2222 reads)

fly rodIf you ask any fly fishing angler out there what is the best first rod and reel setup you need, you will get a different answer from everyone. Picking your second, third, or even seventh rod you will have some very specific purposes in mind and still get a lot of different answers. Your first fly rod and reel should be a good general purpose setup that will be easy to use in most any trout stream in the region.

For the love of Zeus you don't want to look like the dopey guy in the Symbicort commercial that has a crappy M*A*S*H hat, is fishing for brook trout in a creek with a large arbor saltwater 9 wt reel and 15 foot fly rod setup with a real bobber on your line. I'm not saying go spend all your 401k money, quite the opposite. Don't spend a lot, but get something that makes sense to get started with in our region to fly fish for trout.

Fly Rod
If you are just getting started, you will likely want a 5 weight (wt) 8'6" - 9' graphite, medium fast action fly rod. This is an all 'round great fly rod or beginners. I like the four piece rods as they travel better. Make sure whatever setup you get has a good rod tube to keep it protected when it is stored away or while in your vehicle. You can expect to pay about $100 or more to get started.

Fly Reel
To select a fly reel you match the weight of the fly rod to the corresponding reel. If you get a 5 wt rod then you get a 5 wt reel. Nothing fancy needed when you first get going, it's really just a spool to reel in your fly line. A line holder if you will. No need to drop a car payment just yet. Starting at around $100 will get you a good quality machined aluminum reel. While as little as $35-$70 will get you into the game with a stamped steel or synthetic line holder.

Fly Line
Be sure to complete your setup with a weight forward fly line that matches the weight of your fly rod and fly reel. Remember unlike a spinning rod and reel, the fly line is what carries your fly. So stick with the 5 wt again for your fly line and that will run you $29 - $59.

Tapered Leader and tippet
A knotless tapered leader is usually a 9' section of special mono line that connects the end of your fly line to some ~30" of tippet and then your fly. With proper casting the tapered leader and connected tippet provide a natural presentation of the fly onto the water. The different x's and lb test of the leader and tippet should be changed during the season and conditions where you fish.

A 5x trout leader is a middle of the road and good starting point in the early season. You will likely be fishing more streamers and nymphs in March and early April. When dry fly fishing on top or for smaller trout you can get to smaller 6x leader and tippet setups. You will want the presentation of the fly to be a little more delicate and the right tippet can make a huge difference. You should pick up a few leaders that will run you about $3 each and a spool of 30' 5x - 5lb test tippet is about $5. Think five's for now.

fly reelI want you to explore more of the details on these setups and ask others. Just remember when you share with someone the setup I am suggesting 99 of 100 people will say it is wrong and I am and idiot. Hopefully in 30 years you can be an idiot just like me. Check in on the forums to do some research. Get started and then modify your setup as you see fit and what works best for you. I never use knotted leaders for example only crazy people use that crap. Kidding of course...a little.

The dollar amounts I discuss are good starting points and you will do just fine. You can spend more if your budget permits or you just got a good tax return. Maybe your wife just snuck in some new cloths from Anne Taylor with the dry cleaning and it's your turn. Been married 25 years and know a lot of these tricks. Just say there was a great 50% off sale. I hear that one all the time.

So where do you buy this gear? Please look at the sponsors (Allen Fly Fishing, Trident Fly Fishing, Risen Fly, The Sporting Gentlemen and Shadow Fly Fishing) on the site that offer the gear discussed. There are plenty of great brands and choices. But, mainly because I trust them, they have a good range of products and warranties they stand behind. They are available to answers questions for you through email, on the phone or in the Shop Talk Forum. You will find many other members on the site providing feedback about their gear in Gear Talk or the Beginners Forum. If you want some more tradition conversation go to a nearby fly shop and get some answers there too.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/11/2014 (2870 reads)
Streamers and Wooley Buggers
One of the great things about Paflyfish is the tremendous knowledge and sharing that is done especially in the forums. Tom "afishinado" Ciannilli, like many, regularly contributes to answering questions in the Beginners Forums. As the early trout season is about to get started he offered some great advice on A Dozen Top Flies. A very subjective topic, but for anglers just getting started, Tom's picks are are spot on.

Tom's selection is broken into six sinking flies for subsurface fishing and six surface dry flies. For some flies a range of sizes are important to have your fly box. The selection and success of fly and size will always depend on stream and conditions. I would suggest having more than about three of each of these to get started. Nothing worse than having a successful day with a fly and then not to have a backup if you loose it.

For any fly fishing angler starting to fill out their fly boxes these 12 types of flies will get you started on most any water for several months. You can join along with further questions in Tom's thread here in the forum.

A Dozen Top Flies by Tom "afishinado" Ciannilli
(notice I didn't say the dozen top flies...but if I had to select 12 flies, these would be in my box)

Sinking Subsurface Flies:

Wooly Bugger – Size 8 in dark olive w/ a black tail is my go-to. Having some black or white ones and a few a little smaller or bigger would be ideal. Fish anytime / anywhere – drift and/or strip.
Hares Ear Nymph – size 10 – 16 w/ and w/o beads. Natural is my favorite, but a few in olive or black would round it out. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Pheasant Tail Nymph – Size 12 – 16 w/ and w/o beads. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Green Weenie – Size 12. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
San Juan Worm – Size 12. Fish anytime / anywhere – dead drift
Soft Hackle – Size 12 – 16. Pheasant tail, Partridge and Orange, Partridge and yellow, peacock to name a few popular ones. Dead drift, swing, hang or strip. All will catch fish.


Floating flies:

Blue Wing Olive (BWO)– Size 14 – 18 (early and late season mayfly hatches)
Adams – Size 10 – 18 (for dark mayflies)
Sulphur – Size 10 – 18 (mid-season light-colored mayfly hatches)
Beetle and/or Ant – Size 14 – 18 (Spring - late summer)
Griffiths Gnat - Size 18 - 22 ( For midges - very small insects - all year round)
Elk Hair Caddis – Size 10 – 18 in Tan, Black and Green for caddis hatches and/or stonefly hatches all season.

Note:
Mayflies have an upright wing and look like sailboats on the water.
Caddis have wings shaped like a tent over their body.
Stoneflies have wings that fold flat over their bodies.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/06/2014 (1787 reads)
Anytime you are fly fishing over at the Swatara or Quitty in Lebanon Valley a stop to the Snitz Creek Brewery is a must after packing up your gear. Proprietors, Patrick Freer and Adam Szajda opened the brewpub in January with a little something special for all us fly fishing anglers in mind. Anyone who has thrown a dry fly will love the attraction of getting a Brown Trout Stout draft beer from a tap handle made from a fly rod and reel.

Snitz Creek Brewery Taps


The brewery goes all in with the fly fishing theme by not only taking their name from the local Snitz Creek waters, but adds a whole selection of crafted beers, food and even a logo that is a hop fly.

Snitz Creek Brewery Sampler


The Saturday afternoon I dropped in the place was already way crowded. Kim was kind enough to find me a spot to test the waters.

Snitz Creek Brewery Stout


I enjoyed a sampling of the Opening Day IPA, Brown Trout Stout, Woolly Bugger IPA and Explorer Ale. The Explorer Ale is a season ale that offers nice combination of malt and hops. I'm an ale guy so it hit the spot. The Woolly Bugger was of course a lot bolder as an IPA with big body with a dark roasted punch. The Brown Trout Stout had a great mix of some roasted flavors including chocolates. The Opening Day IPA delivered a lighter color with some tasty hops.

Snitz Creek Brewery Food


The brewpub provides a great feel as a place to stop in with friends after a busy day or have enjoyed some time in the outdoors. Plenty of room at the bar, booths or tables to hangout enjoy not only some excellent beer, but wine and food too.

Snitz Creek Brewery Bar


The menu carries that outdoor theme with Trophy Burgers, Shore Lunches and more. All authentic local food with items that include Lebanon bologna, grilled cheese and pretzel rolls. Who wouldn't want some Hook, Line and Sinker Fries!

Snitz Creek Brewery Tanks


I spent a some time talking with Charlie Hildebrand, Operations manager., who gave me a tour of the brewery and restaurant. Charlie was a great guy to speak with had a lot of good background on the brewpub. Patrick, Adam and other local partners spared no expense into the brewery with all new specialized brew tanks, gear and a kitchen that is state of the art. A really beautiful setup to go along with the fun environment.

_CDK3759


Thanks to WGmiller for for sharing the news about Snitz Creek Brewery and I look forward to getting back over for some more Explorer Ale with a Trophy Burger and Woopie pie!

Snitz Creek Brewery
7 North 9th Street
Lebanon, PA
717-450-4467
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/03/2014 (2455 reads)
One of the first signs of spring is the emergence of the little black stonefly in many streams in the East. A variety of stoneflies (Order Plecoptera) in different sizes and colors follow suit throughout the season. Stoneflies are often overlooked by many Eastern anglers as mayflies and caddis are much more prolific. They rarely show up in any great numbers and their timing is not very predictable. Still, it is an important insect to understand for both nymphing and dry fly fishing.

StoneflyIn the Western states stoneflies are held in high esteem as anglers anxiously anticipate them for their large numbers and size (Video). Generally, stoneflies are the largest of all insects that live in the water.

Like many insects, stoneflies have a successful lifecycle that dates back over 250 million years to the Permian Period and not much about them have changed.

Stoneflies have the characteristic six legs of insects, but four wings that are folded flat on top of the abdomen. Coloration is black, brown, yellow and tan. Despite 200 million years of evolution they are considered awkward fliers.

Some general lifecycle traits of all species start with the females depositing hundreds of tiny eggs over a stream that quickly find their way to the bottom among the rocks. Nymphs then grown and molt 12-36 time before leaving the water. Some species can require up to three years before they mature into adults. As nymphs they can be found under rocks feeding on algae, mosses and even other aquatic invertebrates.

While Mayflies and caddis flies emerge out of the water, most stoneflies hatch from the shore line. Each species varies, but stoneflies will swim to the banks and crawl out of the water onto rocks or plants to molt into winged adult insects. Stoneflies are regarded as more nocturnal and you will more likely see the molted shucks and not see the actual emergence. Another difference between Mayflies and Stoneflies is that many species will have mouths and can feed during the weeks they live as adults before finally mating and dying.

Seeing active stoneflies and shucks is a good sign to start fishing with a stonefly nymph or a stimulator dry fly.

To learn and discuss more about mayflies on the site head over to the Hatch and Entomology Forum. Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.

A great online site to follow and get deep into the latin is Troutnut and his Aquatic Insects of our Trout Streams. A must read!! BugGuide has more details as well.





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