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.
Fall and winter are times to experience some fun Blue Winged Olive hatches. The flies are going to be small but it can be exciting. When fishing during a BWO hatch you may have your best luck in moderate to slow runs and back eddies. These small flies often struggle breaking through the surface, so emerger patterns are often very successful fly patterns to use. Two of my favorite patterns to use are a Foam Biot Emerger and a CDC Cripple.
I have been tying these and other flies commercially for the last couple years for customers and fly shops. You can find out a little more about me and see these flies and other patterns that I have listed here at Myflies.com .
BWO CDC Cripple info
I like this pattern because of the use of CDC. I have found that you can be really creative with CDC and it fishes really well too. It creates a lot of movement and can be life giving to your fly.
Hook: Dohiku G644
Thread: Olive 8/0
Tail: dun antron
Body: Olive biot or Olive died peacock herl
Wing: Dun CDC
Thorax/head: small amount of dubbing
Step 1: Tie in the tail material. I like to have the tail material the length of the hook so that I can have an even body to wrap the biot or the peacock herl onto. After it is secured, move the thread to the back of the hook and cut the length of the tail to desired length.
More after the break here.
My least favorite knot is the Damn Blood Knot (DBK) among it’s many names I have given it and the least offensive I can put in the blog. I have tied more Improved Clinch Knots, but have spent more time with the DBK. Used for joining two similar sized lines it provides a strong low profile knot for attaching tippet. Being all thumbs, the DBK is for someone with more fingers. So I am not sure why I ever got started using the DBK. I would normally blame my friend Ron for that kind of pain, but since he just sent me about six-dozen flies he is the smartest guy I know right!
Beginning with our reel the Arbor Knot is the best way to secure your backing line to the reel. The Albright Knot is most commonly used to secure your backing line to the fly line. Connecting your fly line to leader the Nail Knot provides strong low profile knot between the two different size materials. Now we are at the back to the DBK when joining the leader and tippet. At this point you can also use a Surgeons Knot, which is also good when joining different size monofilaments.
Which brings us back to attaching our fly to the tippet and our Improved Clinch Knot. The Improved Clinch Knot is fast and secure especially for smaller flies. For a little more security the Trilene Knots could be good for larger streamers.
The best site to learn how to tie all the fun up is Animated Knots by Grog™. All the knots on his site are shown in an easy to learn step by step visualization.
Tyler Hughen, Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jabonski of Finback Films have taken on a fly fishing film project and looking for some help to complete the project. Their letter below shares their plans. More details about the project can be found on Kickstarter.
As many of you know Low & Clear has been a labor of love that’s been a long time in coming to fruition. It has always been a very personal project, and one we’ve had a hard time letting go of creatively.
The good news is, the film is done and we want to share it, however, there are significant costs associated with releasing a film of this caliber, and we are flat broke. Up to this point we have self funded the shooting, editing, music composition, sound mix and professional color correction that has allowed us to produce the HDCAM that has been screening at film festivals.
Moving forward, we have set our goal for exactly what we need to release and self-distribute the film on DVD and Itunes.
We want to be as transparent as possible, here’s what we need the money for:
MUSIC LICENSING: $11,500. [This is far and away our biggest fundraising challenge. The film is filled with original score by Doug Major, but there are a handful of songs that we cannot live without. These licensing fees are what we have to pay to the recording artists to use their songs.]
DVD AUTHORING: $1,150
DOLBY 5.1 SURROUND MIX: $1000 [Sounds great, but also a requisite for acceptance to iTunes streaming.]
DVD GRAPHIC DESIGN: $250
iTUNES HD FILE PREP AND SUBMISSION FEE: $1,600
If you’re unfamiliar with Kickstarter–HERE’S HOW IT WORKS. If you choose to pledge an amount–a hold is put on your card with Amazon for that amount. If our target goal is reached by the end of the 30 day campaign, your card will be charged and your reward will be shipped. If we don’t hit our goal, nobody’s card will be charged, and the project will not be funded. Basically it’s all or nothing!
We’ve brought the film a long way – we premiered at SXSW, where we won an Audience Award and the film continues to screen at prestigious film festivals around the world including Hot Docs, Camden International, True/False, Dallas International, and Telluride MountainFilm, and upcoming film festivals we’ll be announcing soon.
People from all walks of life have been connecting with Low & Clear, and some nice reviews can be found here, here and here.
Our biggest goal is to get DVD’s out asap to the fans that have been patiently waiting. If our kickstarter campaign is successful, Low and Clear will be widely available–but reserving a copy now will put the first print run in your hands. Needless to say, the support is more than appreciated. We’ve poured our heart and souls into making this film, funded it by selling cars and maxing out credit cards, and with your help we hope to share this film with as many folks as possible.
Thanks for your time,
Recommended rod for SMB would be a 9’ 6wt or 7 wt, but a little lighter or heavier rod will do the job. For flies, bring plenty of buggers, clousers, and streamers, as well as poppers and sliders for on top.
Meet up at the Park & Ride lot in the Pittston area at 10am. We’ll likely fish ‘til dark. The meet-up lot is conveniently located at the junction of both Rt 81 (Pittson exit #175) and the PA Turnpike – NE Extension (Wyoming Valley exit #115) for easy access for members in all corners of PA. A Google Map is included below.
Come one, come all. It should be a blast. To learn more abou that trip check out the forum thread here.
photo by PSUFishMenace