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Published by David on 08/10/2009 (3999 reads)
Product Review: Bioline Biodegradable Tippet
What an intriguing concept…Biodegradable Tippet material!!! I was actually very excited to try this Bioline tippet. It will break down within 5 years in the environment as opposed to around 600 years for mono…now, think of how many times you lost tippet and leader on snags. And think about how many fish broke the tippet at the leader knot due to a poorly tied knot. Multiply that by how many people you see on the streams doing the same thing. That is a lot of line for nature to get tangled in.

I tested the 5X line. I initially put it through some unscientific knot strength tests. I was impressed…It held up as well or ever better than the Orvis and Frog Hair that I normally use. It was a little greater in diameter, though. The Bioline tippet measures .008” in the 5X compared to .006” in the Orvis SuperStrong and Frog Hair…a difference that is even visible to the naked eye. But how would that affect the fishing?

I put the tippet through the paces in a variety of situations trying to test the limits of the tippet. I started by casting big deer hair poppers and bulky deceivers for bass on Keystone Power Dam with a 7 wt rod. I was amazed at how well it turned over the big flies. Where I normally would have fished a 2X or larger, the 5X showed no sign of being under gunned.

I fished it with dries on the Yough. It handled appropriately sized flies very well. The flies turned over easily. The tippet performed as it should all the way through the drift, as well as when executing reach casts, curve casts, and even slack line casts.

The Yough, being known for some good fishing with micro caddis and midges gave me a good opportunity to fish over some picky risers with a #20 black caddis. Obviously not a situation where you would normally use 5X, but in the name of research, I was willing to try for those fish with the Bioline. I was able to land 1 nice brownie, but the thicker diameter tippet had an obvious affect on the drift. In the past when changing to a smaller dry fly, I would occasionally forgo adding a finer tippet in lieu of getting in an extra cast or two…I would not do that with the Bioline. While it drifts an appropriately sized dry fly nicely, it does begin to affect the drift with smaller flies.

I also used the Bioline in numerous situations tossing streamers and drifting nymphs. This is where I really liked the Bioline tippet. I lose many more flies (and tippet) when fishing underneath, so the ecological advantage would naturally be increased. I lose many fish on the strike when fishing with streamers in the excitement of a vicious hit from a charging trout…the knots held fast. I was also happy to find out that the tippet was very good with abrasion resistance when bouncing nymphs off the rocks. I had some of those big Yough browns take me deep into the structure, rubbing against the rocks and gravel, plus getting clumps of seaweed attached to the tippet, and I had no problem bringing them to hand. I am excited to take some of this to Erie for steelhead this year where it has not been uncommon for me to break off 20+ times in a day.

Looking for more perspectives, the PAFF famous, and gadget guru, “Bruno” was gracious enough to fish with it several times (Yeah, like it was a real stretch to get him to take it out fishing!) He and I hit Slippery Rock on a beautiful August evening in hopes that White Flies would bring up the stream’s hard fighting smallies. We were throwing big bushy flies. I had on an Orvis tapered 7 1/2‘ 4X leader with about 1 ½ ‘ of Bioline tippet. I found that, because the 5X tippet was a slightly larger diameter than the 4X leader, I was getting twisting on the leader rather than the tippet from casting the size 10 comparadun. So even though the leader had more strength, the extra mass of the tippet, and assumed stiffness, transferred the twisting up into the leader.

An unexpected advantage was astutely noted by Bruno...that the line had a funky color as the light faded which made it easy to see. This really helped when changing flies and tying knots in low light conditions.

Pros:
Biodegradable – Obviously the primary selling point for Bioline
Knot Strength – Par with the famous brands
Abrasion Resistance – Held up well against the rocks
Castability – Turned over very nicely, even when fishing large flies or making situational casts
Color – Easy on the eyes when tying knots in low light

Cons:
Size – The size difference, when compared with standard tippets, is visible. There is a slight loss in performance when using smaller flies. Also a heavier leader would need to be paired with it to prevent twisting
Stiffness – With the extra diameter size comes a corresponding increase in stiffness compared to other 5X tippet I have used. While this is a detriment when fishing “long and fine" it actually helps in other aspects such as turning the fly over and preventing piling.
Cost - $9.99 per 30 yard spool – a little more than I normally spend
Longevity per cost – It has a shelf life of 5 years in its sealed package…not bad. After opened, it will hold 100% of its strength for 10-12 months. While I go through a spool of tippet in approximately that time span for my commonly used tippet sizes, the fringe sizes of tippet that I use only in certain circumstances would not be at full strength by the time I got to the end of the spools.
Resized Image

Overall evaluation:
Bruno summed it up nicely when he said, “The fact that it degrades in such a short period and its performance has me sold. I keep putting it on the end of the leader- nuff said.” The Bioline performed very admirably in all but the extreme circumstances. With the very nice performance, good castability, strength, abrasion resistance, in addition to the environmentally friendly aspect of Bioline, it is a product that is well worth the investment.

Bioline can be found at GreenTackle.com - http://www.greentackle.com/bioline-fly-fishing-tippet.html
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 08/07/2009 (927 reads)
A walk in the park is free this weekend! Everyone is invited to national parks across the country for the third of three free admission summer weekends.

All 391 national parks will offer free admission this Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16. Many park partners, including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and gift shops, will provide discounts and special promotions to sweeten the deal. Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm for more information. Fees for activities such as camping, reservations, tours, or concessions are not affected by the entrance fee waiver.

“During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of these free admittance weekends.”
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 08/04/2009 (1574 reads)
Fish & Boat Commission Awards Grants for Sinnemahoning Watershed Restoration
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced more than $1.36 million in grants to develop and implement projects that benefit fishing, boating, and aquatic resources within the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed in Cameron, Elk, Potter and McKean counties.

The funding is available through a 2007 settlement agreement with Norfolk Southern as restitution for environmental damages from a June 30, 2006, train derailment in rural Norwich Township, McKean County. The accident spilled sodium hydroxide into Big Fill Run, Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek and the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek.
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Published by Heritage-Angler on 07/24/2009 (1060 reads)
2009 SE PA Trico Summit -  August 2, 2009
All PAFF members, family, and friends are cordially invited to join us for the 2009 SE PA Trico Summit on the Little Lehigh.

This event will be held on Sunday, August 2 at 7AM.

Due to the nature of fishing the Trico spinner fall, and the desire of many members to have a "mini Jam" that they don't have to make a multi-day committment to, a central location in the state (ie. Spring Creek) was deemed impractical. Therefore, the event will be held on the banks of the Little Lehigh, providing good access to anglers from two of the three largest metropolitan areas in the state.

We'll meet in the parking lot off of Park Rd at 7AM, and there should be plenty of room for everyone to fish. The Tricos on the Little Lehigh have been providing outstanding fishing for a few weeks now, and there should be plenty of rising fish.

For those members that have never fished a Trico spinnerfall before - we'll try to pair you up with an experienced fisherman to help you out.

Waders are a good idea, but wet wading is an option (if you can stand the cold water). I'll have a case of spring water on ice in my truck, but it would be a good idea to carry some with you. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the Allentown Parkway system.

After the fishing we'll be heading out to do lunch.

No sign up required - just show up by 7AM.

DIRECTIONS -just right click twice on the parking lot and choose your option. http://bit.ly/arUKP

FOR MORE DETAILS - please follow the thread in the PAFF forum. http://bit.ly/Nf4rk

Picture by onemorecast
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 07/22/2009 (2821 reads)
Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Hats Going Quickly - On Sale!!
There are a good number of hats left from the Jamboree. If you are interested in purchasing one Email Maurice at moechi21@gmail.com and we can begin the process.

We experimented with some different colors this year. We have one left that is orange(tangerine) that would be good for fishing during hunting season and even a couple pink ones for the ladies out there There is a Navy color that looks like a dark denim.

And as always the all tan and two-tone with green, blue or charcoal visor.

The normal price shipped is $20 to your door.

On Sale Now While Supplies Last for $15.00!!
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 07/19/2009 (7395 reads)
Tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing. Only a rod, line and fly are used. Daniel W. Galhardo recently founded Tenkara USA and has attracted an avid following of people who also appreciate this style of fly-fishing that is particularly well-suited for fly-fishing small streams and backpacking.



1- Dave: Please tell me how and when you got started into tenkara.
Daniel: I have been fishing my entire life, and fly-fishing for the last 12 years. Progressively I went through phases of trying different methods of fishing, from cane pole fishing using telescopic rods and bait as a young kid in Brazil, to lure fishing, to fly-fishing, and finally tenkara. Until I discovered tenkara the complexities only grew but added little to my overall fishing experience. A couple of years ago I came across a book called“Angling in Japan”. It was published in English some 70 years ago by the Japanese Board of Tourism and described the various fishing methods practiced in Japan. Ironically, tenkara, the only traditional fly-fishing method in Japan, was the smallest chapter in the book. Having lived in China during college, and being married to Margaret, who is Japanese American, prompted me to do more in-depth research on this unique combination of Asian culture and fly-fishing. About a year ago on a visit to Japan where I stopped at every tackle shop I saw, I became personally familiar with tenkara. I was quickly sold on its simplicity and effectiveness, and, being a small-stream aficionado, found it was what I had always been looking for.

2- Dave: What was one of the most interesting or surprising things that you learned when traveling in Japan about tenkara?
Daniel: Two days before departing for our trip to Japan I learned about a region in Japan where fly-tying and rod-making are designated as official traditional crafts. In the city of Kanazawa we visited a family that has been tying flies for 20 generations – over 430 years – from the same shop. They started as needle makers and soon were making flies for Samurai to go fishing. Later I learned those rods and flies are actually for “Ayu fishing” not tenkara. Nevertheless, this was still extremely impressive. Japan has many very narrowly defined methods of fishing, and though some are very similar at a first glance they have important distinctions. Ayu fishing for example, uses flies and long telescopic rods, but is not really considered fly-fishing as casting is not required to get the fly to the fish, it’s a bit more like dapping. They also have cane-pole fishing with telescopic rods for carp, and stream fishing with telescopic rods and bait. All rods and equipment are very different and highly specialized. Among all these methods, tenkara is the only real fly-fishing.

3-Dave: Tell me what inspired you to start Tenkara USA?
Daniel: During our trip I bought a tenkara rod and started thinking of all the waters I could fish when coming back to the US. Upon our return I fished it a lot and realized it was perfect for every stream I fished, and the long rod was much more effective at fishing most of them. Holding a fly in place on the other side of a current was probably the main advantage of using such long rods. I fell in love with it, the simplicity, technique, effectiveness, not to mention history. Also, as a backpacker, I really liked its portability and the full setup is so light. I started looking around and couldn’t find other tenkara rods or much information at all. After asking myself “why?” and coming up with no good answer I decided I had to introduce tenkara to anglers in America, a pretty ambitious goal considering it’s a foreign way of fishing that does not target the biggest fish in the rivers. But, I know that not every angler is after the biggest fish, most are after the experience.

4-Dave: What makes tenkara so appealing to someone already fly fishing in the traditional [western] style?
Daniel: In May of this year, Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, one of the leading authorities in tenkara fly-fishing in Japan, came to give a presentation and demonstration in the Catskills, at an event hosted by the Catskills Fly Fishing Center and Museum. We spent a lot of time together, and the two reasons he says he likes tenkara are: 1st simplicity, 2nd it’s about focusing on your technique and presentation not the gear, and whether you catch fish or not is up to you. For what I see simplicity is drawing most people to try it, and the technique is making sure people stick with it. I would also add it’s a very effective way of fishing, and in Japan it’s commonly said that tenkara outfishes western fly-fishing 5-1. Lastly, tenkara provides the most direct connection between fisherman and fishing; though he’s not talking about tenkara, to borrow the words from angler and writer Ed Engle, "What I like most is catching a trout in the most direct way possible. My most memorable fish have been the ones where there was as little between me and the trout as possible.”

5-Dave: Tell me about the Tenkara equipment and what kind of costs should someone expect to get started.
Daniel: In tenkara there is only a rod, the line, and a fly, the essential elements of fly-fishing. Dispensing with the expensive reels, and expensive lines, which don’t really see use in small stream angling, an angler can get started with high-end tenkara gear set at $150. That is compared with approximately $400 and up for good quality western fly-fishing gear.

6-Dave: Are there special flies for tenkara or can one use traditional materials.
Daniel: Any fly will work, I personally still use elk-hair caddis on most of my fishing. However, some traditional tenkara patterns were developed to work very well with tenkara rods. The long rods give anglers a lot more control on the presentation and manipulation of flies. The reverse hackle of some tenkara fly patterns is a distinct feature that works well to give the fly a lot of “life”. In tenkara one is more concerned with presentation and “giving life” to the fly, rather than the perfect imitation of insects.

7-Dave: Is there any special amount of training or time needed to learn the tenkara style of fly fishing?
Daniel: No special training, that’s the beauty of tenkara, it is easier to do. The main thing for experienced fly-fishermen is to remind themselves to slow down a little, and shorten the casting strokes. Nevertheless, tenkara can also offer anglers something that may take a lifetime to master. There is a huge variety of casting techniques that one can learn and practice with tenkara and there’s already enough to learn about reading water and presentation to be encumbered by gear. Like Dr. Ishigaki said, it’s about the technique; and the nuances of reading water and properly presenting a fly don’t come overnight.

8-Dave: Have you seen much interest in tenkara in Pennsylvania and if so why?
Daniel: Pennsylvania is currently the 4th state with the largest number of tenkara anglers in the US, following California, Colorado, and Utah. Watching Mr. Joe Humphreys’ videos before launching Tenkara USA made me think of Pennsylvania as a natural state for tenkara fly-fishing. All the techniques and places Mr. Humphrey was showing made me constantly think, “What if Joe Humphreys had a tenkara rod in those videos?” Though counterintuitive to think of using such long rods for small streams, I have found the long rod gives you control and precision ideal for all but the brushiest streams. The shorter casting stroke, the ability to cast with a flick, or even better, the perfect tool for the “bow-and-arrow” cast that Mr. Humphrey made popular, make tenkara a very effective and versatile tool even in the Pennsylvania brush streams. And, if the streams get too brushy, then you also have the ability to shorten the rod a bit as they are telescopic.

9-Dave: Tell me where do you see the future of tenkara going?
Daniel: In these first few months in business we have seen a very large and growing following despite our “zero-marketing-budget”. I wanted to see the interest for tenkara growing in a completely organic way, where anglers learned from other anglers about its simplicity, effectiveness and other reasons to do tenkara fishing. I believe anything good is spread by word of mouth. I didn’t want ads to convince anyone to do it and have it become a fad. Tenkara is nothing new, it has been around for hundreds of years and is still practiced in Japan for a reason. It is always going to be a small-stream fly-fishing niche. But, much like Spey casting was introduced for anglers pursuing large fish in large rivers, tenkara deserves its place for anglers pursuing a different angling experience in small streams. There is a very passionate group of people that got into tenkara in the past few months and I believe may soon retire their reels; I expect that number will continue to grow with people who will find the tenkara simplicity, “refreshing”.

10-Dave: Where should people go if they want to learn more or get started with tenkara?
Daniel: Just go to your nearest or favorite stream! I believe angling is not a science that requires years of theoretical learning, or countless hours of instruction. It requires going out there and fishing. The best way is to learn 3 simple knots, go out there, and fish. Though theory and specific knowlege is interesting and will always help a bit, the industry has made angling seem difficult and intimidating by introducing a lot of complexity to it. The most difficult element of learning western fly-fishing is casting, tenkara reduces that dramatically and I hope it will make it easier to introduce more people to fly-fishing. To learn more about tenkara, one may visit our site, www.tenkarausa.com . Our site also has an active forum where members can discuss tenkara and connect with other anglers, though I’m afraid there may not be a whole lot to discuss in the long term since in the end it’s just you with a rod, line and a fly.

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Published by Heritage-Angler on 07/17/2009 (1605 reads)
PaFlyFish Casting Clinic
The PAFF Informal Casting Clinic was held on Wednesday, 7/15/09, at 3:30 PM on the banks of the Little Lehigh. This event was as much a chance to meet some fellow PAFF members as it was a casting clinic, and a good time was had by all.

As Dave Kile has pointed out before, PAFF has some really skilled anglers, and this event was further proof of this. Dave Rothrock, a certified FFF casting instructor, was kind enough to provide his impressive teaching skills to his fellow PAFF members free of charge at this event. To all who attended, I hope each of you took something with you that will improve your skill level, and enable you to catch more fish.

PAFF has grown exponentially over the years. We've come a long way from the old "continuous threads" format of the old forum, but the heart and soul of the forum is still the incredibly talented membership of this forum. Kudos to Dave Kile for providing us with such a great resource!

This event was an informal get-together to share some of the wealth of knowledge that exists on the board and with its members. As Afish stated, it was just something some of the members came up with to promote good will and camaraderie amongst our fellow board members. A common thought that was expressed throughout the evening was a sense of regret people had for not being able to attend the "official" PAFF Jamboree. Events like these provide a way for us to get together and share skills and good times without having to make a multi day commitment in time that many just can't do. Look for more of these "Mini Jams" in the future!

On a personal note, I was surprised that we didn't have any beginners attend this event. It was a perfect opportunity to get some free casting help. An even bigger surprise was the really experienced anglers that showed up - for example, Afishinado. Smart anglers take every opportunity to further their skills, and a better casting skill set is always desirable. The never ending quest to improve oneself as a flyfisherman is one of the best things about the sport IMHO.

Photographs from the afternoon

Next up - The Trico Summit! More info to follow on this.......
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 07/13/2009 (1421 reads)
The House Republican budget proposal outlined today misses the mark on the amount of state forest land available for natural gas development, and the amount of revenues that could be generated through a lease sale, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley said.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 07/06/2009 (958 reads)
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will consider authorizing several property-related matters to improve public fishing and boating access in Erie, Venango and Lebanon counties when the agency holds its summer quarterly meeting on July 13-14 at its Harrisburg office.

Among other items on the formal agenda, commissioners will consider approving a $400,000 grant to American Rivers, Inc. for the removal of Howell Dam and stream bank and habitat restoration activities along Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County. The funding comes from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to mitigate impacts associated with a reconstruction and widening project in the area.

Staff has recommended that commissioners approve three grants exceeding $100,000 as part of the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed Restoration program in Cameron, McKean, Elk and Potter counties. The grants include $240,000 to the Cameron County Conservation District; $315,400 to the McKean County Conservation District; and $114,695 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. At the conclusion of its meeting on Tuesday, the Commission will announce 21 additional grants of up to $100,000 as part of the restoration program.

Commission committees will meet beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 13, and again at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14. Formal consideration of the agenda by the full Commission will begin at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14. All committee meetings and the review of the agenda are open to the public.

A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission’s web site at http://www.fish.state.pa.us/minutes.htm .
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 06/25/2009 (2523 reads)
By Marshall Cutchin at MidCurrent.com

Two fly fishing magazines -- one Canadian and one U.S. -- have combined resources in a new streaming video site that describes itself as "the web's first and only streaming HD 1080i fly fishing video portal." Fly Max Films HD Theater already has an impressive set of large-format videos: segments on fly fishing in Stuart, Florida, Alaska fly fishing with April Vokey, and fly fishing for gar, among the 13 clips on the site. The project is co-produced by Hatches magazine and The Canadian Fly Fisher, whose Nick Pujic said in a press release yesterday, "'Not only are we more than tripling the resolution of other web videos typically found on you-tube or other such sites, but we are also offering this new technology to our clients, so they can host and stream their own HD video on their own websites."
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