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Update from the PFBC Big Spring Meeting

Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 03/05/2012 (1847 reads)
This article is another in Dave Weaver’s on going “Casting through History” series. His previous article in this series was John Brown’s Bass.

Ed KochOver the years many of you, if you’ve visited Yellow Breeches Anglers in Boiling Springs, have probably gazed at one particular dusty old mounted brown trout. When I was a kid, I’d look at this fish and think that it wasn’t the best taxidermy job. If you’re a Cumberland Valley regular or otherwise familiar with the writings of Charlie Fox and others, you’re probably aware of the story behind this fish. If not, we’ll re-tell the story behind this dusty old trophy…..a veritable sacred relic of Pennsylvania fishing history.

Ed Koch is part of Pennsylvania’s unique fly fishing heritage. His book Fishing the Midge is a classic and, like many of the writings of his generation, is always worth a re-read. Ed was also the long time owner of the Yellow Breeches fly shop. Many of you may remember chatting with Ed in the shop. This was Ed’s great trophy, caught from Letort Spring Run in August 1962. Charlie Fox recollects the story in his classic, This Wonderful World of Trout: Ed had hooked the fish three times previously. Finally, he saw the giant again and, after several casts, the big brown rose and ate a Letort Cricket, a popular deer hair dry fly. After a tough, twenty five minute fight in the weeds, the fish came to the net: 27 and a half inches and over nine pounds. Fox describes Koch’s trembling hands when the fish was weighed and photographed. Shortly later, the Fish Commission announced that this was the largest brown trout ever caught in Pennsylvania on a dry fly. Does this fish still hold this distinction today? I don’t know - perhaps. I think every fly fisherman dreams of that fish of a lifetime; a fish that takes perseverance and effort to finally catch.

Ed KochThis was Ed Koch’s fish of a lifetime and he had it displayed in his fly shop where it still hangs today. In the future, this famous fish from the golden era of Cumberland Valley fly fishing will likely be part of the collection of the Pennsylvania Museum of Fly Fishing where it will continue to remind us that a fish of a lifetime is out there…. waiting for us to make that perfect cast.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Museum of Fly Fishing


Excerpts and black and white photo above from:
This Wonderful World of Trout, by Charles K. Fox
Rockville Center NY: Freshet Press, pp 172-178






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/19/2012 (1342 reads)

A Dance for Steelhead from Matthew Grant on Vimeo.




Adam Kryder, Lucas Carroll & Matt Smythe are in production of a winter fly fishing film called "No Off-Season". The guys have put together a BTS show reel as they are shooting this winter. I had a chance to catch up with the guys at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset and enjoyed hearing more about the project. You can follow more on the Raw Water Productions blog.

I am looking forward to more updates from the guys.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/13/2012 (2278 reads)
The Stream Reports have been an integral part of Paflyfish almost since the site began in 1995. There has been a lot of disagreement conversation about the ideas of sharing stream information. The differences dialog has been played out time and time again. Thought I would give a little of my perspective what the Stream Reports are all about on this website.

stream reportsOne interesting fact is that Stream Reports make up only 1.6% of all the traffic on the Paflyfish. More people spend time talking about cougar sightings in the OT Forum than stream reports. Well that is a bit of an exaggeration, but not that far from the truth.

Stream Reports are a way for anglers to share objective information about their recent fly-fishing experiences in the region. Details about water conditions, weather, stream, location, hatches, fishing successes, flies used and other pertinent information can make up a successful report. A photo or two showing the stream or hatches always improves the information. Here is an example of one of my trips to a little know place called Kettle Creek in 2010. One of the benefits of a report is the opportunity for a discussion for new or unique experiences. A report does not have to be clinical as much as it should informative and fun.

Fly-fishing is about fun?

So why bother sharing? This site is built on the foundation of sharing information for the improvement for all our fly fishing opportunities. On this website we discus gear, fly-tying, conservation, meet-ups, techniques and yes I dare say it...streams. The better we are informed the better experiences we all have fly-fishing. Not Sharing (NS) of information is as detrimental to anglers as inaccessible water.

I like traveling all over the region and stream reports offer a rich data-set of real-time information from those who are actually on the stream providing first-hand information. In combination with other water data from the USGS, I can make well-informed decisions about my trips.

Wish I had the time to drive back and forth to Potter County to learn about those conditions on a regular basis. Sadly the four-hour ride limits the convenience of such scouting trips and when I do go I liked to have some sense of conditions before blowing thru about $50 in gas for drive up to just hang at the Lakeview with Rick watching golf. Not that there is anything wring with that.

In my early days of fly-fishing, pre-Internet, post-clay tablet area, I spent plenty of trips standing over high water and blown-out streams looking stupid with a can of Iron City in my hand. (Now I have a Miller Lite in my hand as to look less fat, can’t shake the stupid part.) So I would then pack up my cooler, break out my DeLorme Atlas throw a dart and haul on down Route 80 for my favorite game of “let’s find the stream that isn’t blown out.”

Stream Reports help me plan for my intended destinations, but also investigate streams that are on the way or nearby. A few years ago I was heading to Penns Creek for the Jam and wanted to catch a stream along the way up. Having never been to Clarks Creek I checked a report that was posted few days before to help get a take on hatches, water quality, and general stream info. Truly enjoyed the stop as I had the whole project to myself that morning.

stream reportsSure real-time is cool, but even more important is the historic value of all this data. Understanding where and when hatches are occurring on certain streams and regions is a great record for us all to enjoy. The reports today go back for over five years, covering many states and countless streams. This will only grow over time.

Hundreds of waterways in the region are stocked with millions of trout and promoted by state agencies for the public to enjoy. (BTW most state agencies provide free maps and websites showing the detailed locations of all the stocked streams if you are even in doubt of the mystery of these locations.) The more of these common streams we share in our reports the better we have a complete picture of our fly-fishing opportunities and spread this information out.

The PFBC has identified nearly 3,600 streams as naturally reproducing wild trout streams. Most of these streams and like waters are small with fragile ecosystems. While hearing reports on these streams is encouraged, named streams and detailed locations are not required. Simply identifying the county, date and experience really can offer enough for most any angler. The delight of these jewels is the discovery.

I don't always put in a stream report and there is not obligation for anyone to do the same. Streams while a small part of the site do offer a lot of open information for all to share and improve their fly-fishing experiences. So go find a new location and have some fun.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/31/2012 (5723 reads)
Green DrakeOne of the most intriguing things for me about Paflyfish was the early meet ups that took place. Early on I considered the Internet to be an informative, but faceless place. I soon realized that many took advantage of the site to get together for many of their fly fishing trips.

I was contacted at one point in the early years by Maurice and other members of the board that there was a number of people getting together for a Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Jamboree in the spring and did I want to attend. I was pretty shocked by the idea. Well over the years the jamboree has continued and grown. To the point now that I wouldn't even call it an exclusive Pennsylvania event with people coming from Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. Some photo's over the years are here.

We have a lot of fun fishing over some of Pennsylvania's finest streams. If the Green Drakes are on many head over to Penns Creek, but the Little J, Spruce, Fishing and Spring Creek all offer a lot of fun in May. In some years it has rained, well every year, and there are many alternatives to the bigger named streams as well.

This year is no exception and members on the forum are making plans to meet the weekend of May 18-20, 2012 at Seven Mountains Campground in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. Please contact them if you would like to stay there that weekend.

Friday, May 18th
Jam attendees often start arriving throughout the day if they haven't arrived earlier in the week. We don't have use of the pavilion until 300 PM on Friday, when some Jamboree attendees will be pitching in to set up the pavilion for a convenient central location for meeting and events. Stop by after 3:00PM to help or meet others trying to get back out on the water.

Friday evening our guest speaker will be author and Paflyfish member Dwight "Troutbert" Landis. Dwight is best known for his book, Trout Streams of Pennsylvania: An Angler's Guide and shared an interview with me a few years ago that can be found here. Dwight will be speaking about Spring Creek starting at 10:00 PM

Saturday, May 19th
Coffee 6-9am available at the pavilion

Fire Ring at the pavilion around dark

Live Entertainment! - Last year we tried to create The PAFF Band (under the impromptu choreography of JackM) to crank out some great tunes for all to enjoy. as it turned out, I didn't make decent arrangements and instead we enjoyed the improvisation of several of our members, including the inimitable Shakey. If we could get him and the rest of the gang to come and volunteer, we'll do it all over again this time. If you'd like to join the band or just put in a solo performance, just bring your instrument and/or voice and let 'er rip. Quiet hours may be a factor. If we get all the sites booked for Seven Mountains, perhaps they'll extend them for us.

Sunday, May 20th
Coffee 6-9am available at the pavilion.

This is a new location, but still puts us right in the middle of some of the best fly fishing in the state. Streams like Penns Creek, Spring Creek, Spruce Creek, Little Juanita and Fishing Creek are all within an hour of the campground.

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 at the evening gathers. Follow the latest details in the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/30/2012 (2398 reads)


When winter brings it's frosty cold grip, it is the time of year that I start lamenting for my days fishing on the Little J and other streams. Well not the crappy days when I miss like 40 fish and only catch 3, the really good days when I get like 40 or 60 all on the same fly and never have to move. Not sure what day that was, but I remember it like it was yesterday or dream maybe.

Well it has not been so cold, but my dreams of fly fishing certainly get better when I get to share them with friends. I usually find the winter Fly Fishing Shows are a great place for some winter meet-ups.

I made my way this past weekend to Somerset, NJ for the The Fly Fishing Show. This years show seemed to have a lot more vendors and attendees. Can't tell if it was the better weather or the slightly improving economy, but none the less it was pretty busy on Friday, too.

We all go to the shows for different reasons. Mine is to meet up with people I seem to spend more time with exchanging emails, forum posts and tweets rather than actually sharing a beer. For me the expectations of finding a deal are just not what the show is about.

The exhibit hall was filled with many of the usuals, but several new faces as well. One of my first stops was to check in with Mike Heck and get the early show report. He was pretty busy with folks stopping by and then heading over to the Stackpole Publishers booth.

Justin and team from Allen Fly Fishing were at the show for the first time. It was good to catch up with the guys on Friday night discussing everything from musky fishing to photography and even plans on an upcoming trip out East for them this spring.

I jumped into a real good seminar with John Miller from West Branch Angler. Excellent rundown on what to expect on the East and West Branches of the Delaware. More importantly, what a motivator to hit the Upper Delaware this year and join Krayfish and the guys for the summer Catskills Jam.

George Daniel shared some insights at his workshop on Central Pennsylvania Streams that was very well attended. I have been spending a lot more time in and around State College lately and reading George's book, Dynamic Nymphing this winter. So I was glad to catch up with him and figure out some time to hit Spring Creek this year.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone who will be attending the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster next month.

I want to thank my friend Keith for keeping us schedule during the show. We just need to get something scheduled this spring for a trip to the Little J and see if we can find one of those good days I seem to dream about.

Check out the forum for more personal insights from other Paflyfish members.






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/16/2012 (3620 reads)
By Gaeron Friedrichs (gaeronf)

stoneflyAs we all know, winter is here. To me, it sure doesn’t feel like it. There’s no snow at all. But since its winter, it’s time to go to the winter flies. When someone says winter flies, I typically think big stoneflies, or little midges. Here I’m going to show you a pattern I developed. The Goldilocks Stonefly is a golden stonefly representation. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a winter fly, it can be used year round, but it is a super effective fly in the winter. It incorporates some great realistic and attractive aspects. For example, the use of rubber legs and Australian Possum give the fly superior movement. Typically you want stones to be super heavy. I use a tungsten bead on this fly, along with a great deal of lead (or lead free) wire. This is due to the fact that the abdomen, legs, and thorax is all natural material. As some of you may or may not know some natural furs, like hare’s ear and possum, will decrease the sink rate of a fly. That’s why we balance the fly out with the extreme weighting. Like I said before, the rubber legs (used for tails and antennae) will give the fly great movement, and the fly will breathe great with all the natural materials. The back will give the fly a little contrast and flash, and the thick rib gives a distinct ribbing. The hook I love to use is a Skalka Streamer hook. This hook is super strong, and has a ridiculous point. So first, let’s look at the exact recipe:

Goldilocks Stone
Hook-Skalka Streamer Hook size 6
Bead-Matching Gold Tungsten Bead
Additional Weight-A large portion of lead wraps. Used here is .025. Be as liberal or as stingy as you wish
Thread-Golden Stonefly colored Danville’s Flat Waxed Nylon
Tails and Antennae-Gold or yellow rubber legs. Round or square doesn’t matter. Barring optional.
Rib-Brown, Copper, or Amber colored MEDIUM UTC wire
Abdomen-Australian Possum/Icelandic Sheep Golden Stone Blend
Abdomen Cover-1 strand of wide Mylar tinsel
Thorax- Australian Possum/Icelandic Sheep Golden Stone Blend
Thorax Cover-2 strands of wide Mylar tinsel
Additional Materials-Brown and Black Sharpie

Read detailed instructions here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/21/2011 (1354 reads)
The 2011 PAFF Eastern PA Tying Jam was held at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. This event was unique, in that there were 19 demo tiers that were given 10 minutes each to explain and tie a fly pattern of their choice.

There was also a table set up for beginner tiers. The beginners were instructed in some basic techniques, and had the opportunity to tie green weenies, foam beetles, and also the flies from the demo tiers that provided kits.

Tying flies "in the spotlight" was new to many of these tiers, and while most were nervous, none needed to be so. All of the demo tiers handled their presentations with a lot of skill and style.

My intention in setting this event up was to allow each tier to showcase their skills, share their techniques, and learn tips and tricks from each other. Judging from the response here, and the smiles on their faces, I'd have to say this event was a huge success.

Please keep in mind - I just arranged a place for this to happen. The members that attended provided the magic that ensued. The skills, spirit, and enthusiasm on display at this event was remarkable. Gatherings like this foster goodwill, and promote comaraderie amongst the members of this forum, and all guests.

I'd like to thank all the guys that helped with this event - it couldn't have happened without you. Your generosity was truely impressive.

Special thanks go to the guys from Hokendauqua TU for running the beginner's instruction, especially tony300wby of this forum. One classy guy, and one of the best tiers I've ever met.

I'd also like to give a shout out to Glenn McConnell, owner of McConnell's Country Store/Fly Shop. He donated several hundred dollars of swag for the raffle. His shop has become the gold standard of fly shops in Northcentral PA.

Here's the pictures that I have so far from the event - feel free to send me any pictures you may have of this event, and I'll add them in.

H.A.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/12/2011 (4380 reads)
Fly tying swaps are one of those pretty cool outcomes of Paflyfish that I never anticipated when the site was started many years ago. Sadly, I can barely tie my boots let alone a Blue Winged Olive CDC Cripple.

blue winged oliveSo when I see others putting together #14 caddis pupae with ice dubbing I get a little envious. I think my eyesight is getting worse by the second and probably won't even be able to see my AARP card when it comes in next year, so staring down a #24 hook and tying up a midge I might as well be changing the radiator in my wife's car. I am much better at computers, I can at least enlarge the font on the screen.

For those not familiar with the swaps that happen in the Fly Tying forum they are an often random proposal suggested by the members of the forum on a specific theme of flies for a swap. Over the past year there have been several swaps including: Holiday, BWO, Beginner, Meat Box, Sulphur, Steelhead and Midge to name a few.

People then sign up in the thread and share ideas about what fly they want to tie. A participant in the swap then completes enough of their flies to share with others in the swap and sends them off to the swap organizer. Fly tying recipes are included to keep each other educated on the ties being shared. They are then organized and mailed back out to the group.

Kudos for those who have organized these swaps over the years. I can only imagine they are like herding cats at times. Flyfishermanj has been in the center of several of these swaps over the last year. He recently shared a few dozen flies with me including a March Brown Varient by flytyingfred and a Snow Shoe Sulphur Emerger from Boss_Steb. All these fine flies masterfully tied.

Flyfishermanj explained that he enjoyed seeing ties and techniques from others. He now has added some of those patterns from others to his own fly box. The swaps work well with an influx of new tiers participating with the regulars.

FreguentTyer also shared with me the flies from the BWO Swap this past fall. It was loaded with CDC split wings, comparduns, loopwing emergers and several other attractive patterns.

Some upcoming swaps will be the annual PAFF Swap and a possible Drake Swap too. The Drake sounds good as that is a fly I can easily see. You can check the swaps and other conversations about fly tying in the forum.





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/29/2011 (2941 reads)
green drake Photography is a great passion for many anglers. Everything from fish porn to some really exceptional stream photos show up on Paflyfish. I spend a third of my time fly fishing with a DSLR hanging around my neck..

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) once again is holding their annual photo contest. There are three judged categories with prizes to boot. The category “Anglers and Boaters” invites photographers to participate with submissions showing themselves and family members on the water. “Waterway Scenics” invites inspiring environmental images of your favorite Pennsylvania stream or lake. The category “Reptiles and Amphibians” encourages photographers to capture a moment when they might see a frog, toad, snake, turtle, or salamander in their native habitat.

The PFBC annual photography contest has recently extended its deadline for entries to December 31. Past winners have seen their works featured in Commission publications such as Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazine and enlarged as visuals for PFBC sportshow exhibits.

To obtain an entry form, complete with contest rules and past winning entries, visit http://fishandboat.com/anglerboater/photocontest/00photo.htm
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/20/2011 (3696 reads)
by Guest: George Daniel

There are no absolutes in fly fishing and that’s why I refer to this approach as a theory. While this “theory” produces good results, there will be times you will have to adjust your way of thinking as there are no absolutes in fly fishing. What I’m referring to is trying to get inside the mind of a wintertime feeding trout. Think about it, wintertime is a period when these cold blooded critter’s feeding habits slow down as water temperatures drop. In many river systems, trout begin to drop back into the slower moving bodies of water in an effort to expend less energy. Although their metabolisms may slow down, feeding is still on their mind and the wintertime can be the right time for the angler to venture out to the river. Often the most popular sections are void of anglers and I’ve had several days where the action would rival a May sulphur hatch. A wintertime feeding trout may not always mirror its springtime foraging behavior, but trout still need to eat and a larger presentation may be the ticket. Sometimes all trout need is a little encouragement so I often call upon larger patterns to create that desire.

winter troutBy larger, I’m referring to nymph patterns as large as #4 and small as a #10. Yes that big-even on spring and limestone streams. Think about this, trout feel sluggish and less motivated to continuously chase small food items down during these cold winter months. Instead, it seems logical that trout would be willing to spend less energy chasing down larger food items. Move less and obtain more calories! Large stonefly, caddis, egg and worm patterns are my usual wintertime suspects. Nymphing is normally my first choice as I can slowly present the flies. Streamer tactics also work well but only when trout are feeling up to the chase. The idea is to present a pattern that can fulfill a trout’s hunger with only one energy surge. In many ways, this relates to human wintertime eating behaviors.

During the warmer months I find myself constantly snacking throughout the day-mostly due to my high level of physical activity (Fishing, playing with my kids, my daily workout regiment and so on). However, I snack far less during the colder winter months as I expend less physical energy (less daylight=less playtime). This theory also plays out well for me when targeting trout during extreme cold weather conditions. Trout may indeed feed less during the winter but I believe they become more opportunistic foragers. Many of the live bait fishers I stay in contact with have their greatest results fishing larger baits (sculpins, night crawlers, and live crayfish) in the slower moving waters during the winter months.

The moral of the story is you still need to be dynamic-change when necessary but don’t be afraid to present larger than average patterns during the wintertime. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.


George DanielsGeorge Daniel is assistant manager at TCO Fly Shop, in State College, PA. He travels the country conducting fly-fishing clinics for various groups and organizations. George is a former member and current Head Coach of Fly Fishing Team USA. Some of his accomplishments include being a two time national fly fishing champion, won The Fly Fishing Masters, and ranked as high as fifth in the World along with other competitive achievements. George is currently working on his first book with Stackpole Book and will be available January 2012. The title of the book will be “Dynamic Nymphing.” He lives near Lamar, Pennsylvania. If you want to keep up with George in the Internet you can follow him on his Facebook page here.





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