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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 04/07/2015 (1501 reads)
Centerpins Permitted on C&R FFO Areas?

Resized ImageThis past January the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Commissioners were asked to expand opportunities for anglers across the state. A New Rule Making Proposal #264 just hit the PF&BC page.

It is named the Simplification and Consolidation of Regulations.

Many of the 9 major item categories involve mundane Summary Book Changes to language, semantics on baitfish, size, lake regulations, elimination of the WBTEP program, etc. But one change in particular may be of interest to followers of this page.

In § 65.14, {C&R FFO Areas} the Commission proposes that the reference to single hooks be removed to clarify that multiple hooks are permitted. The Commission also proposes that the reference to “flyline with a maximum of 18 feet in leader material or monofilament line attached” be removed to eliminate a gray area regarding center-pinning techniques, which is becoming a popular technique to fish nymphs and utilizes a much longer leader.
To eliminate confusion and having to name or describe all prohibited lures and substances, the Commission further proposes deleting the list of prohibited items in favor of naming the permitted lures and substances only.

View the whole proposal Here.

What are your thoughts on letting Centerpinning into FFO areas? This regulation change would suggests that Centerpin fishing is fly fishing. Fly fishing it the act of delivering the terminal fly using the weight of the line and leader to carry it. Centerpinning uses the weight of terminal tackle to fling the bait upstream.

The PF&BC have literally rewritten the definition of fly fishing with this one. We feel this is an unnecessary change to the Fly Fishing Only regulation and diminishes the integrity of fly fishing as a form of fishing. We clearly need to let our voices be heard. We have been encouraged to comment on this proposal so send a comment today. Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a written letter or comment online.

...While increasing the length of the leader material to allow for Euro-nymphing is a reasonable change, eliminating Flyline from fly fishing areas is clearly a mistake and must be kept in the regulation to maintain the integrity of fly fishing.

Comment period is April 4 - May 4. Comment Here.

Letters: PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.
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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 03/30/2015 (5695 reads)
flyfishing knots

While sharing some time on the water the other day with Dave Kile (dkile) I experienced what seems to happen often during a decent hatch with some wind, you guessed it, a wind knot! Or as Lefty Kreh calls them, bad casting knots. Everyone gets them now and then especially when combining a breeze, long leaders and fine tippets. Or for the chuck and duck crowd, of which I am often a member, weight and multiple flies. So as Dave stands upstream pondering my delay to cast to a rising fish, he asks, what’s the problem Einstein? I said I have a wind knot, and it reminded me of a tip I learned many years ago.

Back in the 80’s we were on a bus trip to the Breeches from the ‘burg and there was a video on the tube for those not taking the time to sleep. Being full of interest in sponging any and all info I could at the time, one tip in the video stuck with me. Terminal knot tying efficiency. Think about it, every time we tie on a new piece of tippet, a new fly, etc., we are out of the game. It stands to reason that the faster you can tie on a fly (improved clinch knot in my case) or a new piece of tippet (double surgeons knot), the quicker you can begin flogging the water again.

The video stressed the need to get your knots down to 15 seconds each. Practice, practice, practice until you can meet that goal. This will put your fly change or tippet adjustments into under one minute if you include the spooling off tippet, picking out a new and returning the old flies. If you find yourself taking 5-10 minutes each to accomplish that task, you could likely be wasting an hour or more tying frustrating knots. Practicing on stream is KNOT efficient! (pun intended)Now it’s not a race, and I don’t suggest it to be. But it is practical to be as efficient as possible when enjoying your streamside time. Plus, when a hatch is on, the fish and bugs don’t wait until you re-tie, it goes on as scheduled, often it seems to go faster as the trouts plop, plop, plop all around you.

So do yourself a favor by following these few tips;
• Get your knots down to 15 seconds or so.
• Accept the fact your eyes are going bad and get some readers if seeing the eye is getting harder every year.
• Keep your tippet handy, I keep mine outside near my left hip where I can reach it easily.
• Keep your flys handy with few boxes so searching is not too long.
• Know your limitations and adapt.

Resized ImageThat last one may seem out of place for a seasoned fly fisher but this efficiency exercise also applies to damage control. That's right, when you booger up your line with a collapsed cast, loose loop or wind knot, bring your line in gently and assess the damage immediately. It can be tempting to just begin pulling and tugging but try to resist. Take a few seconds and loosely pull on some of the loops to see what you are dealing with. Look for loops that exit the knot and pull them back through. Often its only one or two loops that cause the whole mess. If it looks too complicated to unravel it probably is. Clip off the fly, this often makes it a much easier task because you can slip the tippet through the knot. Remember it only takes you 15 seconds to tie it back on. Just be sure when you clip it off you put it somewhere you remember like a fly patch, or other handy outside vest place. Don’t keep it in your hands or put it in your mouth. Trust me, this never ends well…soon you are chasing it down stream with your net or trying to get it out of your lip.

Lastly, If it's a total mess clip it ALL off and start over, in one minute or so you will be casting again.

Now I consider myself a pretty good untangler…in fact, my slogan is “Fly fishing is the art of tangling and untangling lines of different diameters while trying to enjoy yourself”. But it doesn’t have to be yours.

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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 03/27/2015 (1208 reads)

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is currently seeking Comments for the consideration of a proposal to add 45 streams to the list of streams with Natural Reproduction of Trout. These streams were surveyed and found to have at least two year classes of wild trout. Should the proposal be adopted the additions would be added to the PA Bulletin and subsequently receive protection from encroachment by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through permit restrictions during the fall spawning period.
The comment period ends Monday March 30, 2015. So don't delay.
Please take a few minutes to share a comment by clicking the link.
To view the entire PDF proposal click the link here.
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 03/22/2015 (1446 reads)

Part of the lore of fly fishing in Pennsylvania, and the Cumberland Valley in particular, revolves around stories of big fish, usually giant brown trout. Of course this comes as no surprise to fishermen, nevertheless stories of great fish, caught and got away, serve to set the stage for what might happen every time we visit Letort or some other famous stream. Among these famous fish stories, perhaps the best known is the story of “Old George” as recounted by famed Cumberland Valley fly fisher and fly tying innovator Ed Shenk (think “Letort Cricket” and other patterns). “Old George” was the name Ed gave to a very large trout he pursued for over a year in the upper Letort in the early 1960s. The fish dwarfed other browns in the same pool that were themselves over twenty inches. Ed carefully observed this particular fish and patterned its daily comings and goings (not surprisingly, Old George came out in the evening and returned to cover early in the morning) and described the great fish as being very light colored. He saw, hooked, and lost the fish multiple times. Finally, he caught the brown on a streamer fly in 1964. Old George taped just over 27 inches and weighed eight pounds. In a final twist in the story, Ed ShenkOld George turned out to be a female. The story of Old George went on to become part of the lore of Pennsylvania fly fishing. Ed recounts the full story of Old George in the final chapter of his book Fly Rod Trouting.

On occasion, I’ll paint portraits of specific fish caught by anglers and using an old faded color photo and Ed’s description of the fish, it was my pleasure to paint a life sized image of Old George. This painting was presented recently as a gift to Ed at the 2015 Limestoner banquet held by Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited. Ed was the guest of honor at this year’s banquet. It was a privilege to see Ed Shenk reconnect with Old George after the passing of half a century.

Photograph by Bill Strockbine
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/18/2015 (1325 reads)
Great video sharing some of the aquatic insects available to trout during the early season in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. A bonus for you new getting started and expanding your fly tying with some samples of the aquatic insects.

Early Season Sampler March 2015 by Tightline Productions

Big fan of all of videos by Tightline Productions and thanks to billfrech for finding this on. Follow along with the post in the forum.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/16/2015 (770 reads)
PFBC Rule Making Changes to Delayed Harvest Streams - Action Today
This past January the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) proposed significant rulemaking changes to the current Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) waters. The changes provide conditions for anglers to use bait and moved harvest period up to three weeks. More details

The full rule making proposal PDF.

In a recent poll on Paflyfish, 89% of anglers do not approve of these changes.

The PA Council of Trout Unlimited’s Position Statement offers similar sentiment on the issue:
"We believe that the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is applicable to what the Commission is proposing here. DHALO areas are most assuredly utilized by more than 2.2% of the licensed trout anglers in Pennsylvania, and therefore that same small percentage of our stocked trout waters needs to be preserved in their present form for those anglers who savor the opportunity to use lures or flies in an environment that sets them apart from bait fisherman.

While we strongly believe in encouraging more youth to become engaged in the sport of fishing, we don’t see this proposal as a means to engage our youth in learning about sound conservation measures in general, and more specifically about trout and the environment in which they live."

The proposed rulemaking changes remove angling opportunities for some the most passionate and dedicated citizens who enjoy the sport in the Commonwealth. Over 50 streams are in the DHALO program and include: West Valley Creek, Oil Creek, Neshannock Creek, Black Moshannon Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Pine Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Laurel Hill Creek and Tulpehocken Creek.

If these changes are passed, fundamentally the PFBC will be removing the DHALO projects as we know them today. Your voice is very important! Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a written letter or comment online here.

Be clear in commenting that you are opposed to the rulemaking changes with the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only waters.

The official comment period is from March 14, 2015 - May 13, 2014. Contact them today.

After you contact the PFBC share your comments in the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/16/2015 (3680 reads)
The Pennsylvania Board of Fish and Boat (PFBC) Commissioners proposed major changes to the existing delayed-harvest-artificial-lures-only (DHALO) stream sections when they met on January 21-22. Anglers who enjoy the special regulation waters will find trout harvested earlier and be sharing these streams with some who will be able to fish live bait year round if these changes go through January 1, 2016.

First Fork Sinnemahoning CreekThe current regulations for DHALO waters provide year-round trout fishing opportunities using only flies and artificial lures such as spinners. No bait is allowed. Anglers may harvest fish between June 15 and Labor Day with a limit of three fish a day greater than 9". Less than 96 miles of water and 55 streams make up the DHALO regulations that include stream sections on West Valley Creek, Oil Creek, Neshannock Creek, Black Moshannon Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Pine Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Laurel Hill Creek and Tulpehocken Creek.

The newly proposed rule changes by board members take the special regulation program in a very different direction. Changes for the DHALO move up the start of the delayed harvest period three weeks to the Saturday before Memorial Day. The daily limit would be set to three fish greater than 7". Bait fishing would be permitted during the new harvest period for all anglers. Finally, anglers 16 and younger would be able to fish with bait year-round.

The PFBC hopes to provide more opportunities for anglers and enhance the fishing experience with these changes. “By expanding the harvest period and allowing the use of bait, we can increase angler success while improving the use of the trout before they are lost to natural mortality in the warmer summer months,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

Pennsylvania contains over 85,000 miles of streams and rivers. The PFBC and cooperative nurseries stock over 4,100,000 trout in approximately 735 streams and numerous lakes across the state. The DHALO projects are made up of 55 streams that on average cover about 1.6 miles of water. All DHALO streams are subsections of approved trout waters open to public fishing and stocked for all anglers in the Commonwealth.

Back in 2004 then Commissioner President Samuel M. Concilla of Erie County shared his views at a board meeting about the DHALO regulations as they are established today, "I think Delayed Harvest is one of the best programs developed by the commission. It offers a lot of angling opportunities."

Over ten years later many anglers still agree and are not in favor of the proposed changes. "The new proposal is not the right approach and I don't see how harvesting more fish sooner will make fishing a better experience on these streams" shared Ron Kolman of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Many of the DHALO streams contain hold-over trout during the summer and are available for another fishing opportunity by anglers in the fall. This is important to anglers with most fall stockings having been eliminated. Anglers fishing in DHALO streams with flies and artificial lures are able to catch and release a trout multiple times. Early harvesting and bait fishing clean out a project much more quickly.

"Bait fishing mortality is greater than the use of artificial lures. Even in the Delayed Harvest period, anglers with bait will likely be killing trout through their intent to catch and release further reducing the angling opportunities for those willing to abide by the original regulation," offers Maurice Chioda of York County.

In addition, Trout Unlimited worked hard with the PFBC to establish and encourage landowners to provide access for anglers to these special project waters based on the current regulations. Will these landowners still provide the same access if the regulations are changed?

Memorial Day weekend is considered by many anglers as the top weekend for fly fishing and continues for several weeks afterwards. Pennsylvania offers some of the most premier fly fishing destinations on the east coast, which includes many of these special regulation streams. Tourists travel to the state to enjoy these unique (fly fishing) waters through the late spring and summer. With limited budgets, will tourist still want to come to streams already harvested or go to other more appealing destinations in the west or north?

Thoughts and comments can be shared in the Paflyfish forum. Directing comments to state officials is even more important.

The proposed changes will be published as a notice of proposed rulemaking in the PA Bulletin for a 60-day public comment period. If adopted on a final rulemaking, the amendments would take effect on January 1, 2016.

Interested persons are encouraged to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.

Anglers are encouraged to contact their Pennsylvania State Representatives. Written letters are best and Representatives can be found at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives website.

Update 3/16/2015
The comment period is now officially open for the proposed Amendments to Chapter 65.6, Title 58, Part II. The official comment period is from March 14 through May 13, 2015. I am very much opposed to this proposal, so is the Pennsylvania TU and 89% of the members on this site. Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a letter or online here.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/02/2015 (1617 reads)
While at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset I met up with site member Kevin "Fisherboy3" Craig when he was over at Ben Turpin's booth. After catching up a little Kevin and Ben, they shared with me a recent endeavor that Ben started helping anglers learn how to improve their fly tying skills.

Ben is an accomplished guide and rod builder covering much of New Jersey, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. He shares a lot of experience and knowledge bringing this fly tying website together.

The Whip Finish Industries website provides an opportunity for fly fishing anglers to learn through his step by step videos on how to tie some of the most important flies for the region. The videos on the site cover dozens of different types caddis, sculpins, nymphs, stone flies, scuds, midges, mayflies and other patterns.

There are plenty of free lessons and tips demonstrated by Ben for anyone to check out and get started. Ben provides a members only section with some more of the advanced flies for only $10.00 a month. Every month new patterns are added.

What really sets the site apart for many is the option to get the correct supplies like hooks and materials that are used in the video directly from the site. So whatever pattern Ben is tying in the video you can get those identical products. Also available is all the tying tools to get you started.

If you have been thinking about starting into fly tying or just looking to advance you skills check, out the Whip Finish Industries website or YouTube Channel.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/14/2015 (1486 reads)
Every year in June along the Yellow Breeches 32 young men and women get an outstanding opportunity to become better educated on the importance of cold water conservation. For those not familiar with Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp it is wonderful program supported by many expert volunteers from the fly fishing community.

Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp

A good portion of the time during camp students spend time in a classroom setting. Classes include studies of entomology, wetlands, ecology, hydrogeology, aquatic invertebrates, hydrology, watersheds, the biology of pollution, trout behavior and stream restoration. There are many sessions that take place on the stream or outside during the week.

The instructors in the program often include leading experts including many from state agencies like the PFBC, DEP and DCNR. The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited sponsors the program with help from the Cumberland Valley TU.

Every morning and evening the participants are given the opportunity to fly fish the catch and release section of Yellow Breeches where they stay for the week. June on the Yellow Breeches is an excellent time to be fishing. Lessons in casting, knot tying, fly tying and more are also part of the curriculum.

This year the program will run from June 21-26, 2015. The cost of the program for youths between the ages of 14-17 is $350. There are different ways that financial support is provided and there are several openings still available. The deadline for the early acceptance period is March 31, 2015.

Truly an exciting opportunity to learn more about conservation and enjoy fly fishing as well. To find out more please go to the website here where they also provide applications.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/04/2015 (1144 reads)
Personally one of the most difficult situations I still encounter on the stream to solve is tying together tippet and leader. Usually I need to do this in the least desirable time, like in the evening during the middle of a big hatch. Usually the scene includes a lot of trout leaping out of the water and laughing at me while a struggle with a knot I can barely see. Ughhh

To help with tying flies to your tippet Rio shares with us how to tie seven popular fly fishing knots including the clinch knot, improved clinch knot, loop knot, Homer Rhoads knot and others . They provide some easy to follow directions, laughing trout not included. I also like how the Zack and Simon explain when to use the knots and some of the advantages of each knot. I had chance to catch up with I enjoyed catching up with Simon again on the exhibit floor at Somerset Fly Fishing show.

A good video if your are looking to add or improve your fly fishing knots.

Seven knots for attaching a fly to leader/tippet material, and how to tie them from RIO Products on Vimeo.

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