Hung around all day with Frequent Tyer, and delta_dog. Besides the fine company, it was a day of fun, learning, and seeing lots of old friends. As a special treat, I finally got to meet Charlie Craven in person. I'd spoken to him on the phone, and we were friends from the old VFS forum (Flyfisherman Magazine).
As a public service message, the fashion craze on feathers is over. There was LOTS of nice saddles available at better than ever prices. Time to stock up!
It was a day of multi-tasking for me, as I wanted to get donations for the PAFF Tying Jam raffle in a few weeks, and invite some local tyers to the event. I did better than expected!
The PAFF contingent of tyers did a great job of tying - their tables were pretty busy. For those that have enjoyed Eunan Hendron's intricate classic ties he posts here on PAFF, you may be wondering if he's really that good. BELIEVE IT!!! We just stood and stared in disbelief. Those that attend the tying jam are in for a real treat watching Eunan tie. He does a great job of explaining technique as he goes, and is more than willing to share his knowledge.
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So here's the official plan of events.
We will meet every morning at the pavilion at Folly's End Campground. They have been generous to us for the last 3 years and continue to do so. You can camp out there if you please, park a camper, or even call to see if they have any available place to stay. They have a fully stocked fly shop and elk creek is about 25 yards from the pavilion.
We typically meet as a large group for coffee and donuts and split up from there. Sunrise at that time of year is right around 7:00am, so if we plan to meet around 8am each day that should work out just fine.
Friday is typically a day where people filter in all day long. If you plan to attend and are unfamiliar with where to go or don't know many people from the board please let me know and I'll arrange for you to be met up there at your arrival time to be shown around and have someone to fish with. Folly's is probably the best place to go if you're unsure. There will be people there all day at the pavilion and fishing at Elk in that area.
Each evening we will converge at Avonia Tavern. Let's plan to meet there around 7pm. (Sunset is at 5) This is a great place to grab a good bite to eat and a great beer with lots of room for our group. We'll try to arrange a large table there every day so we're not waiting around like in years past.
Last but not least is a place to sleep. A bunch of people stayed at Sunset Motel last year. It's not too far away from our meeting places and very clean and inexpensive. There are many other places to stay in the area. Feel free to look around and find what you're looking for.
If you need a cell phone number or 2 let me know and I can give you mine or someone else who will be there so that we can make sure you get hooked up with the group when you arrive.
Follow more of the plans for the weekend in the forum here.
Thanks to Ryan Gouldsbarry for organizing the meet-up!
-PFBC biologists presented a ppt show describing the flow, cover, and depth changes in the section restored in 2010. The stream is now narrower, deeper, and slower, and has more non-vegetation cover and thus more "optimal" habitat for both brook and rainbow trout. The gravel used to block in the logs in this section is being used by rainbows for spawning and, in the future, smaller gravel should be used as this might reduce rainbow spawning success. Also, dissolved oxygen levels at the lower end of the FFO section and downstream into the ATW section are lower than optimal for wild trout.
-PFBC ppt show describing the electrofishing results of the section that was restored in 2010 and the sections used as control. After the 2010 restoration, brook trout numbers increased (roughly doubled) and rainbow numbers increased in the restored section by a greater margin (roughly four fold). These were the results revealed in the 2011 fish survey. The recent 2012 survey of these same sections revealed that rainbows, although still more numerous in the restored section, had declined a bit in 2011-2012. Brook trout numbers continued to rise in this section and in the upstream control section from 2011 to 2012.
-Over the entire course of the FFO section of Big Spring, as of autumn 2012, the trout population looks roughly like this: In the upper reaches - essentially the ditch down into the upper part of the restored section - now is about 60% brook trout. From the lower section of the restored area down to the bottom at Nealy Rd, rainbows are about 94% of the population.
-For the future, the PFBC management goal with respect to trout population.....is to get to a ratio of 70% brook/30% rainbow in the entire FFO section within five years (I believe this is numbers, not biomass). There are currently no plans to build a barrier and remove rainbows by electrofishing (these will be reconsidered in five years if necessary). To reduce rainbows in the next few years, it has been proposed to allow harvest in the FFO section. I wish to emphasize that this is a proposal still subject to approval by the commissioners. There is currently no change in the fishing regulations on BS. However, in the future, the FFO section may allow the harvest of several rainbows over 7 inches. This section will continue to be managed as FFO without bait or spin fishing.
This was the basic content and thrust of the meeting.
After the PFBC presentation there was considerable discussion and disagreement among the audience, mostly regarding the 'bows vs. brookies debate. I'd guess that the comments were about evenly divided between those wanting to leave the rainbows alone and those who feel they're a threat to brookies and should be removed or reduced. The meeting concluded with Arway's comments thanking the attendees and reminding us that the PFBC is still receiving comments and eager to hear your opinion on Big Spring.
Here is a PDF of the PFBC slide deck from the meeting. - Thanks just_jon
Spent some time last month at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum(CFFCM) – what a wonderful place. If you’ve never been there before, next time you’re up in the Catskills or fishing the Delaware, take some time to head over to Livingston Manor and see this museum. You won’t regret it (especially if it’s a cold or otherwise lousy day for fishing). Although I’ll confess a stubborn loyalty to the Cumberland Valley as a heritage place in the history of the sport we love….clearly the Catskills stand tall as the birthplace and historical center of modern American fly fishing. Where better to have a museum to that legacy?
The CFFCM was started about three decades ago and was the brainchild of the estimable Elsie Darbee and her longstanding desire to see a repository for the history of fly fishing. Located on the banks of the legendary Willowemoc Creek, the museum exhibits multiple display areas covering the great personages of fly fishing and their fly tying collections, and old gear (looking at these old flies and gear is striking compared to what we’re used to today). Among these fly fishing luminaries would be the Wulffs, the Dettes, and the Darbees - not to mention many other innovative fishermen, writers, fly tyers, and conservationists.
Although focused on the Catskill heritage, the CFFCM covers all areas of the sport – for example, there’s a section on the Pennsylvania club, The Fontinalis Fly Fishermen, as well as an exhibit on Japanese fly fishing, bamboo rod making, and women fly fishers from around the U.S. The museum also includes/manages the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame and new members to this august body recently included several nationally known anglers, including Pennsylvania’s own Ed Shenk.
For 2013 the CFFCM is undergoing a major expansion that will provide more space for the many events sponsored by the museum. To find out more or join and support this great organization, please hit their website at: www.cffcm.net
David "Fishidiot" Weaver is a moderator and regular contributor on Paflyfish. Folks can find more about David and his artwork at www.rodandbrush.com
from Montana Angler Fly Fishing
As a youth growing up in Pennsylvania I enjoyed reading about many of the world’s famous wild trout destinations including Alaska, Kamchatka, Montana, Patagonia and New Zealand. As an avid trout fisherman I have been very fortunate to travel to many of the world’s destination wild trout locations and eventually moved to Montana. One of my favorite destination locations to visit is central Patagonia. Most of the other famous international destinations offer incredible fly fishing but there is often one style of fishing that you experience there: think sight fishing for huge browns in New Zealand or catching huge rainbows in Alaska. Patagonia is very similar in many ways to the American Northwest and resembles a blend of coastal Washington, Montana, Wyoming. My favorite characteristic of fishing Central Patagonia is the same thing that I love most about Montana: diversity. Just like my home waters in the Big Sky state you can fish a different river or stream every day including a sampling of spring creeks, trophy stillwaters, tailwaters and freestone rivers of all shapes and sizes. Although many aspects of Central Patagonia resemble the Rockies or Pacific Northwest - the lack of pressure from anglers is dramatically less than found in the Western US. I lead hosted trips to Patagonia most years in the off season and have several friends and guides that either run lodges or guide down south. Although I feel competent to speak to my experiences in Patagonia I don’t consider myself an expert on the region and there are still many fisheries in Argentina and Chile that I personally haven’t fished so this post is not designed to be an authoritative guide but just my own personal advice and notes on my travels to the area.
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia simply refers to the southern Andes and includes both Chile and Western Argentina. Most of the classic trout fishing that you read about occurs in Northern and Central Patagonia. The far southern reaches of Patagonia are better known for sea run fisheries of huge brown trout like in Tierra del Fuego or the Rio Gallegos in Santa Cruz district. In general the Chilean side of Patagonia is much wetter and is home to some very large volume rivers. Chile looks a lot like the Cascades or Olympics in coastal Washington. Most of Argentine Patagonia is in the rain shadow of the Southern Andes and is much dryer. The scenery in Argentine Patagonia looks a lot like Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Some of the regions like Los Alerces National Park are densely forested and others offer near desert climate depending on how close to the mountains you are. In general Chile is less developed and more remote, but it also is harder to get from river to river since each valley is essentially in a rugged fjord.
Northern Patagonia on the Argentine side is the most famous for fly fishing. This region is roughly north of Bariloche and south of San Junin de los Andes and includes legendary waters like the Malleo, Traful, Limay and Chimehuin to name a few. When visiting Northern Patagonia you typically stay on one or two of the massive estancias and wade or float fish on the estancia or float one of the local rivers using public access at bridges.
Central Patagonia fishing is centered around the Argentine town of Esquel. Esquel is about a 5 hour drive south of the larger tourist town of Bariloche. The good fishing extends to the north in Los Alerces National Park, to the east with the classic multi day float on the Rio Chubut or the spring creek fishing on Arroya Pescado, The massive Rio Grande and Futaleufu (on the Chilean side) and the remote Rio Pico region about three hours south of Esquel.
Getting to Central Patagonia
If you are planning on fishing the Argentine side of Central Patagonia or the Futaleufu in Chile you should plan on flying to Esquel. Plan on spending one night in Buenos Aires upon arrival. Most flights to the capital city leave the states in the evening and arrive in Argentina in the morning. I sleep well on flights and feel pretty good upon arrival after getting 6 or 7 hours of sleeping on the plane. There is generally only one flight to Esquel each day and they only are offered 4 days a week. There are usually around 7 flights a day into Bariloche every day which is to the north but if you can design your trip around the flight schedule into Esquel it is much more convenient. Although it is sometimes possible to get to Esquel on the same day you arrive in BA I don’t recommend it. The domestic flights are at a different airport and the connections are pretty tight if you are trying to catch a cab across the city. Buenos Aires is an amazing city and is often referred to as the Paris of South America. Enjoying one or two nights in BA is always a very enjoyable part of travelling to Argentina.
If you are fishing Chile (with the exception of the Futaleufu river which is just across the border from Esquel) you generally fly into Santiago and then connect the same day to Puerto Mount. Usually the lodge that you are travelling to arranges a charter flight from that point. There aren’t really many independent guides in this area and fishing on your own isn’t realistic due to the terrain so the lodge you team up with should handle all of your logistics. Farther south in Coique there are independent guides but the public waters in that area also receive more pressure.
I have visited every country from Mexico to Columbia and both Chile and Argentina. In my travels in both Chile and Argentina I have always felt very safe. My level of “safety radar” is about the same as when travelling in Europe which is a nice perk compared to some of the Central American countries that I have travelled in where you have to be much more alert to safety concerns.
More after the break here
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m. The meeting is free and plenty of parking is available at the school, located at 45 Mount Rock Road, Newville, PA 17241.
“The purpose of the meeting is to present the agency’s habitat management plan for Big Spring Creek using funds provided by the PA Turnpike Commission as mitigation for environmental impacts associated with one of their planned construction projects in Cumberland County,” said Charlie McGarrell, the PFBC biologist leading the project. “We will describe the overall habitat project and will discuss how it will improve the overall fishery of the creek. After the presentation, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions.”
The Turnpike Commission has provided $586,000 for the habitat project, which will be located downstream of a large habitat project completed in 2010 on the creek. The project is currently in the design phase. Construction of the project is expected to begin by next summer and be completed by fall 2013.
For me details and information please visit the PFBC website.
Thanks to troubert for the notice
Well, another season has come and gone in the Catskills. What a perfect way to end it. Beautiful surroundings, food, friends and fishing. Reports leading up to our trip were very promising but it appears that we were a few days late in hitting the hot fishing.
Thursday started off by picking up Brandon's disabled boat and taking it for a short float with Josh and Nick. Quite possibly the best question of the trip came from NickR as we were leaving the car. "I don't need my rain jacket, do I?" 2 minutes after launching the boat we had a pouring rain for 30 minutes. I think it's a safe bet that he never asks that question again. :)
Some of the crew rolled in Thursday evening and we met up at the motel. I'd like to say that we formulated a plan on attack for the following day but we drank beer and did a little BS-ing.
Friday involved a trip on the lower EB. Me, Josh and new / future forum member Tom from Jersey were in one boat while DaveS and NickR put his boat to good use. The water was slightly stained and the fishing was tough but not as tough as what we experienced at the Fishes Eddy access. As we neared the slow bend in the river, we heard guys shooting semi-automatics on the hill. We were trying to guess if they were AK-47, Mini-14 or AR-15's. Just about that time, bullets began ricocheting over our heads and striking the far bank. The idiots were shooting down hill and directly at the river. We dropped to the floor of the boat and waited for a break in the shooting. I rowed like hell to get us out of there. As we looked back, we could see Dave and Nick coming into the pool. Nick was nymphing the seam as they floated. Still shaking, we met up on the near bank behind a rock bluff. Everyone seemed to be well aware of how dangerous that was except Nick. He asked if we saw the fish rising between the boats. We said "those were bullets hitting the water!". I don't even remember how the fishing was that day but was happy to make it out alive. I do remember that it was the second straight day with nearly zero bug activity. As we rounded the corner to the take out, Brandon was standing there in jeans, made a cast and yelled "fish on". After a skunkfest, he snatches one right out from in front of our boat. Pretty funny.
Saturday was met with weather that looked like it could rain us out but the clouds lifted. Fishidiot and DaveS set off for the WB to see if they could do any better that we had been doing on the EB. Dryflyguy was on the WB to see if he could keep his fish catching streak alive. I floated the EB again with Beeber and PhilC. By 2pm we had good hatches of olives, isos, hebes and caddis. The fish were up and feeding. Only one to make it to net was a smallie Phil took. We had our chances but failed to convert. Nick and his dad tried all branches and areas. They had some luck on the upper EB.
Sunday we did a very short float with Phil, Nick and Nick's dad. After the first 90 minutes it appeared that mother nature was going to hand us another dud. With the blink of an eye, the hatches began. Olives 18-26, hebes, Iso and caddis. We relentlessly pounded the pods of fish for hours. Nick’s dad hooked up on a small olive and was promptly broken off by a rainbow. I stung several and hooked one that jumped into the side of my pontoon before coming unbuttoned.
I fished less on this trip than any other but didn’t seem to mind. I was content to row the boat and get others on fish. If you categorize the quality of the trip by fish caught, it was poor. Fish or no fish, I had a blast. What a good group of guys. Once again, DaveS showed that he is the cream of the crop by catching when and where others didn’t. Fishidiot presented him with a life size painting of the Youghness Monster as well as donating a hand painted brookie for the FUDR raffle.
Below is a short video of our trip. Awesome guys, awesome place. Anyone that floated in Brandon’s boat owes him a “thank you for lending us your boat”. Please have the courtesy to shoot him a quick email at email@example.com
Also check out under “shop talk” thread for an offer from Coz at Border Water Outfitters.
The Fall season marks the return of shorter days, cooler nights and lower stream temperatures on our more marginal waters around the Commonwealth. Many trout waters ride the razors edge on harboring wild trout. We see lots of ATW's with wild trout during the cooler months of spring and winter. Usually these waters are rather large, their watersheds are made of many wild trout tributaries. Often the main stem which warms in Summer are believed to be transitional wild trout waters. Ones that have their wild trout leave the warmer stream during the heat of summer only to have them return in the fall to the larger water with better habitat and cover as well as forage. Or they hunker down, find thermal refuge through springs seeps, tributary mouths or deeper water. It is the fall season when I like to sample the bigger waters to see if I can scare up some of these Wild Brown Trout.The ones that made it through the tough months, the survivors.
It is this type of fishing that I enjoy the most. Often no one else is fishing, the air is crisp, the water cool and clear and solitude abounds. But lets face it, the business at hand is to touch a few survivors. So I like to use a fly I know will get them to take a look and grab it. Now not just any goto fly. No, not a Green Weenie, Goodness NO! They are for old men and children! Although I have been known to use them I would prefer to fish "off the junk". My good friend and fellow board member Fritz often texts me pics at work during the week of him tearing up the York County waters with the Weenie, I kid him but it works. I am just too stubborn to use it. Its pretty clear that the success of the Weenie is largely due to the color, Chartreuse.
One of my favorite goto Fall flies on Muddy is a Yellow Stonefly nymph. So I am thinking...maybe I will tie up a few and when selecting the white rubber legs from a bass jig skirt; I wade past orange, green,chartreuse. Wait a minute, thats not a bad idea. Chartreuse legs. Yeah, like a Weenie color, but not a weenie. This might be the ticket. I mean until someone sees the pics of this fly with chartreuse legs in the trouts mouth. Ahhhh, Who Gives A Rat's Arse.
This marks the birth of the WhoGARA stonefly. Following is a tutorial for tying this simple yet effective fly. Now using it anytime but the Fall may bring scorn over you but if someone gives you a ribbing just tell them the name. WhoGARA! It catches fish. I only fished for two hours in marginal water and landed three wild browns and lost two larger ones, turned and moved several more. I am convinced that it got the attention of nearly all of the trout it drifted past.
You will see by the tutorial that details are not important.
Hook: WhoGARA big hook - #12 2xl streamer.
Thread: Olive (WhoGARA) it gets covered anyway.
Underbody: 18ga.Wire (WhoGARA - I used electric motor windings)
Tail: Brown goose biots.
Body: Yeller dubbin.
Wing case: Pheasant tail fibers.
Rib: Copper Wire, WhoGARA, it just protects the Pheasant fibers.
Legs: Chartreuse Spinner Bait Skit string.
Thorax/head: Same Yeller Dubbin.
Step 1: Put a base layer of thread on the hook to keep the wire from sliding around the hook. Don't worry about the lengths of wire being the same, remember WhoGARA.
More after the break Here
The debut feature documentary film by Finback Films, LOW & CLEAR is now in-stock and available for purchase exclusively from the FINBACK FILMS website.
The trailer for LOW & CLEAR won the 2010 Drake “Movie of the Year” award and the full-length 70-minute documentary went on to premiere at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival where it won the “Audience Award.” The film continues to screen at top international film festivals including Hot Docs and True/False receiving much critical acclaim.
The DVD includes the 70-minute feature film, a behind-the-scenes documentary MAKING LOW & CLEAR, deleted scenes, and the short film NORTHWOODS.
LOW & CLEAR was filmed using a RED 4K Digital Cinema camera and the DVD features 5.1 Surround Sound.
Finback Films is currently negotiating with distributors and plans include a limited theatrical release, VOD, and online streaming on iTunes by the end of 2012. The DVD will also be available at retail locations and fly shops everywhere.