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Update from the PFBC Big Spring Meeting

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/11/29 (2828 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 2011/11/20 (2977 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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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/11/14 (4444 reads)
Over the past year I have found myself spending a lot more time on the road for work. Things have been busy and these days I enjoy all business opportunities I get. While in the car I have been completely turned off by terrestrial radio and all the political blowhards on both sides of the fence stirring the pot for their own self interests. I have come across some ways to get some of my fly fishing fix with a few different podcasts during the week.

Probably the most prolific interviewer of fly fishing notables is Roger Maves. Roger's podcast "Ask About Fly Fishing" is an Internet radio show that he has been doing since about 2006. Roger has some really great interviews with some wonderful folks in the industry almost twice every month.

What I like most is hearing from a wide range of freshwater anglers, saltwater enthusiasts, biologists, fly tiers, writers, guides and photographers. With with over 130 interviews that include the likes of Eric Stroup, Gary Borger, Joe Humphreys, Jim Klug and plenty more you would enjoy. The interviews provide some in-depth and current takes on what is trending in the industry.

Roger offers the radio program online and to download for your MP3 player at his website here.

More recently I have added "The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast" hosted by Tom Rosenbauer to my iPod. Tom is currently the Marketing Director for Orvis Rod and Tackle and has been broadcasting the show since 2008. Almost every week Tom covers a topic that informs and educates beginners and experts alike.

Tom's conversation cover a range of topics like setting the hook, fall fly fishing, tippet tips, steps for getting kids into fly fishing and so much more. The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast can found on the Internet here or on iTunes.

Download some of these podcasts on you iPod or smartphone before your next road trip and enjoy some quality time on the road!





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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 2011/10/25 (4845 reads)
It is with great pride and pleasure that I have the privilege of announcing here on Paflyfish that Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited is the 2011 recipient of the Gold Trout Award. The Gold Trout Award is a national recognition to only one of about 400 national TU chapters annually.

CVTU’s efforts across the Cumberland Valley are well known and include the Rivers Conservation and Youth Camp, restoration of Big Spring Creek, land preservation and sinkhole remediation along Letort, stream improvement work on The Run, removal of old dams on Yellow Breeches, and many more outstanding endeavors many of which you’ve probably heard about.

If you’re a member of CVTU (or any TU chapter) – kudos to you for fighting the good fight. If you’re not a member, your local chapter could use your help. If you, like me, love the unique streams of the Cumberland Valley, please consider joining or supporting CVTU. We have many hands-on work projects every year and conduct a first rate fundraising banquet and appreciate donations.

I’m also proud to announce that my friend and fellow forum member Justin Pittman (JPittman) is the new President of CVTU. We’ll be in good hands.

Further down, please take a look at the press release provided courtesy of CVTU Vice President John Leonard for more information. By all means, visit the chapter website for additional information. If you have questions, you’re also welcome to PM me as well.

Detailed information and photos of the Chapter’s activities leading to the Gold Trout Award can be found on our web site - http://cvtu.homestead.com

Dave Weaver (“Fishidiot”)







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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/10/17 (2720 reads)
On September 30, 2011 Spring the Creek Canyon Cooperative Management Coalition unveiled a jointly managed environmental area of 1,800 acres in Benner Springs, Pennsylvania. The canyon is now jointly managed by Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the state Department of Corrections, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Pennsylvania State University and Benner Township. Originally closed to the pubic as a part of the Department of Corrections' Rockview State Correctional Institution is now open to hikers, hunters and anglers.

For anglers this provides access to a stretch of water from the Benner Springs Hatchery downstream to the Fly Fishermen's Paradise. The new parking lot and extended trails provide easy access to these new waters for some. Actually many would sneak in although technically off limits in the past.

The new waters on Spring Creek are a great addition to some of the finest trout waters in Pennsylvania. I really enjoyed the new stretch as I felt I was a little more removed from the population of Happy Valley. Red squirrels, hawks and the canyon take you off the road and connect you a little closer to nature.

More pictures, videos and a canyon map can be found on the PFBC dedication page here. More photographs from Dave Kile have been posted on the Paflyfish Facebook fan page here.


New parking lot



Ron Kohlman of Indiana, Pennsylvania in the Spring Creek Canyon.








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Published by Greg Yothers [albatross] on 2011/10/2 (3327 reads)
The rivers and streams of the northwest portion of the lower peninsula of Michigan are teaming with wild salmonids. Bruno and I discovered this almost by accident in October 2010 when we detoured to NW Michigan on a trip to the Salmon River in Pulaski New York after Tropical Storm Nicole blew the Salmon River out to 20,000 CFS.

Bruno called fellow board member Acristickid on his cell phone as we headed up Route 79 North from Pittsburgh and Acristickid told us to turn left when we got to Erie and head for Michigan!

The heart of the fishing near Wellston in Northwest Michigan is 8 hours driving time from Pittsburgh which compares favorably to the seven hour drive to Pulaski New York for anglers in Western Pennsylvania. We fished October 10-12 in 2010 which was a little late for the salmon in Michigan.

This year Bruno, Brian Charlie and I made our way north again. We fished September 18-21 which was close to the peak of the Chinook Run. The Coho salmon also were out to play this year. Our trip was a little early for the steelhead, they run late October to late April. Part of the appeal of fishing in Northwest Michigan is that nearly all of these fish are naturally reproducing from ancestors stocked decades ago. The spawning gravel in these rivers and streams is immaculate!

We caught a few King salmon on our own, but the best day of the trip was our day our on driftboats with guides from Schmidt Outfitters on the Manistee River. They put us over a Coho hotspot. Bruno and I hooked and landed many of these wonderful fish that really love to take a fly. We also hooked a few King salmon with the guides, but the landing of Kings was more difficult.

"We had a wonderful trip. I have to also thank the guys from Ray Schmidt Outfitters. Guide Nick Homan was awesome to spend the day with. He did a great job and provided the best river lunch I have ever had," shared Bruno.

The nature of these rivers and streams is that a lot of fallen trees litter the streambed. The fish know where these obstacles lay and seek them out to ensure their freedom. The resident trout, browns, rainbows, and brooks, can all be caught with egg patterns once the salmon start getting active on the redds. We caught some smaller trout this way, but many of the locals look forward to the opportunity to catch bigger resident and lake run trout into his manner.

The bigger rivers in this region are tough for the wading angler and a driftboat is almost a requirement. But there are smaller rivers and streams suitable for the wading angler. Bruno and I were fortunate to meet a pair of anglers from West Virginia while fishing the Betsie River. One of the anglers had a nasty tear in his neoprene waders. I was able to patch his waders with the UV adhesive I carry, which made us instant friends with this pair. They shared a shot of bourbon with us and promised us a mule trip on the Cranberry River in West Virginia. Always nice to make a new friend!

More pictures from our trip can be found here.





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/9/26 (3112 reads)
Click to see original Image in a new window
If you are looking to keep up with your fly fishing this fall there many opportunities to meet up with some fellow anglers from all corners of the region. This might even be an opportunity to try something new like steelhead, surf fly fishing or if you want just some fall stocked trout we have that too. So don't put away your flies just yet.

The gang at Paflyfish are busy planing several different jams and meetups. These are some very cool opportunities to catch up with some friends, extend the season and get some traveling in across the region.

Each of these events has a link to the event thread in the forum for more details.




Stockoberfeast - Saturday, October 15th
Fadeaway263 is organizing this opportunity to catch some fall stocked trout at Ridley Creek State Park in SE Pennsylvania. Plans are to meet up at 9:00 am in the lower left corner area of the Colonial Plantation parking lot. The PFBC helps keep the season going with some fall trout stockings. More details here.

Saltwater Jersey Jam - October 21-22
Fishidiot is teeing up the first of two Saltwater Jams this Fall at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. Current plans are to meet on Friday evening and head out early Saturday morning for some surf fishing. Fishidiot will be offering some tips and reviewing the fundamentals of surf fly fishing for those just getting started. Read more about this jam in the Announcements and Events Forum here.

3rd Annual Paflyfish Erie Steelhead JAM - November 11-13
I think Ryguyfi is so excited about this Jam he has been planning this meet-up since January. Last year there were over 30 anglers from Paflyfish that met for weekend in Erie. The fall steelhead fishing is always a unique fly fishing opportunity and if you wanted to give this a try the Annual Steelhead Jam is fun way of doing it. Most of the groups activities are centered around Folly's End Campground. Evening plans include a dinner at the Avonia Tavern when the guys are not out fishing. There are plenty of experienced folks in the forum to help figure our what to expect and what to bring along. More details and suggested travel plans are in the forum here.

Sandy Hook Salt Jam - November 13
For those how can't join the crew in October, Fredrick is organizing another saltwater fly fishing meetup on Sunday, November 13 at Sandy Hook, NJ. Some really good details about gear and some discounted fly rods in the thread here.

Paflyfish Eastern Fly Tying Mini Jam - December 17
If you are an avid tier, just getting started or looking to hang-out with some fly fishing anglers, Heritage-Angler is putting together this fly tying event the afternoon of Saturday, December 17 from 1-5. After the an afternoon of tying, Heritage-Angler will be leading the crew over to to Riverwalck's Saloon for dinner and refreshments. Check the forum here for more details.

Please share with these organizers your questions and intention on attending. It will help them and you in making these meet-ups successful. Take advantage of the Paflyfish forums to ask questions about locations, carpooling, travel plans, flies and gear to help get you going on these trips.

We really have a great community of anglers here that help put these events together and are also incredibly knowledgeable. I want to thank all the organizers for bringing these meetups together!

Just a reminder for event organizers please take advantage when announcing your events in the Announcements and Events Forum.





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/9/13 (3208 reads)
This past weeks flooding from Tropical Storm Lee left much of region devastated. The rains produced floods that rivaled the 1972 storm of storms Hurricane Agnes. Sadly, there are countless tales of significant property loss as result of flooded waterways from the Susquehanna in the Wyoming Valley to the Swatara in Lancaster County. Hoping everyone has a speedy recovery.

Clarks Creek FloodA lot of questions have been asked on the site as too what happens to the trout under such conditions?

The short answer is it depends, but for the most part fish and the aquatic life recovery reasonably well in these situations. That is not to say there won't be some short term issues. Trout and other fish instinctually know how to respond to these types of floods.

During high water fish will get into the safest flow of a a stream or river, which would typically be at the very bottom of a stream. This is where the velocity of the flow is the slowest. Rocks and other structure can provide some needed protection.

“The fish tend to hunker down,” said David Lemon, fisheries manager at the NY Department of Conservation’s Cortland office. “They get behind current breaks, in deep pools ... sit on the bottom.”

Certainly severe conditions can leave fish in some bad situations. Floods can deliver pollution and heavily silted water that can cause additional challenges. More problematic for trout is they can find themselves outside the banks of streams when the water retreats.

"Generally speaking the populations do quite well, bouncing back quickly, or never seeing a reduction. Occasionally seen, populations decline substantially and remain down for a number of years. This has usually been true only when the storm or flood has ravaged the habitat and for the long term left it much worse than before. In those cases, primarily brook trout streams, many to most of the pools were lost. The populations in those cases found a new and lower equilibrium," shares Mike Kaufmann, Fisheries Manager with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Probably the greatest threat to fish is the loss of habit during a significant flood event and not just for the fish, but the food chain as well.

While not as devastating in Pennsylvania, Hurricane Irene did pay a visit to New Jersey just before Tropical Storm Lee. Our friends over at TightLine Productions just produced a video showing how the fishing has bounced back after the hurricane and offering some hope for all us at Paflyfish. Thanks!



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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2011/9/7 (1615 reads)
I have been looking more into a trip to Alaska at some time and enjoyed this video provided Chris Maher from the Talachulitna River. The fishing looked pretty good with plenty of reported leopard rainbows, along with sockeye, king's, dolly's, & greyling.




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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 2011/8/30 (2404 reads)
Fly Fishing for Striped Bass
Rich Murphy
Wild River Press, 2007
457pp

The claim that any book is “definitive” has always caused me to dismiss the reviewers glowing claims that inevitably follow – and I’ll not use the term in this review – but Fly Fishing for Striped Bass by Rich Murphy comes close to meeting this ideal. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Rich at the Somerset show in the past and marveling at his beautiful and innovative fly patterns. When I asked him if he’d ever caught a tautog on a fly (something I’ve tried to do for years, without any luck) he responded with a tone suggesting that it was downright easy.

Looking at his crab patterns, it doesn’t surprise me that ole Mr Tog would fall for ‘em. Anyway, this book, is simply put, a pleasure to read or just peruse. Replete with color photos on every page, it’s a coffee table book that reads just as well. In its 9 chapters, FFfSB starts with an intriguing chapter that follows the migration of “Sax,” a fictional, fifty pound cow bass on her migration up the coast.

rich murphyOther chapters describe the various techniques for flats, rocks, bays, etc as well as Rich’s excellent flies and other gear. Murphy, a driven, rail thin runner and type A angler is highly intelligent and you can sense his intense focus on every page. The book can be difficult to read in a bit too many sections and sometimes it seems that Murphy tries a bit too hard by half to find a sophisticated voice, writing too many passages like this:

We know from Chapter 2 that a major physiological change happens in her eyes at sundown – the color receptors or cones on the surface of her eye’s retina retract and contrast detecting receptors, or rods are deployed in their place. This enhances her capacity to detect subtle changes in the contrast gradient of the water column around her caused by the movement of her prey or predators…My surface night patterns are configured to generate a significant and/or unusual acoustical air/water intersurface rip, and like my subsurface patterns, to develop a long and sinuous horizontal profile to as maximize their silhouette against the night sky.

If you can get past some of this wordy verbiage, however (Tom Pero admits that editing the book was a challenge), there is a tremendous amount of useful information. I particularly found his water temp charts by season to be fascinating. Murphy also covers fly fishing the coast of California for stripers, a region often overlooked in other striped bass fly fishing books. This is a big book and not cheap to buy but I’d highly recommend it, especially if you’re a bit past the stage of beginning striper angler and are looking to learn some more innovative tactics and outside conventional fishing methods.

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