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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/14/2009 (1849 reads)
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Many of my first years fly fishing were spent following a few good friends around many of the notable streams in western and central Pennsylvania. Ron, Greg and a few others would take me along and were kind enough to teach me quite a bit along the way. Incursions to Spring Creek, First Fork, Yellow Creek and Oil Creek proved to be very productive. I soon became very fascinated with the sport and realized some of these guys actually knew what they were doing.

As my interest increased I would listen to them explain the importance and characteristics of hatches. Blue Winged Olives (BWO), Red Quills, Sulphurs and Green Drake were much the fan fare to a neophyte like myself. With some experience and a little book work over the winter my fly fishing prowess began to grow.

After a few years I really felt I had mastered this fly fishing thing and truly knew quite a bit about many aspects of fly fishing including hatches. That was so I thought.

One May evening I started to see a hatch take to the air on Penns Creek. With my now vast experience I confidently announced to all that a Sulphur hatch was beginning to take shape. A silence fell over the stream. That in itself was very unusual because peace was usually left back at the side of the road with quiet when I fished with this gang.

Ron then shouted over that this was not an Ephemerella dorothea hatch and wasn’t sure what was coming off the stream just yet. Now it was my turn to pause. Who da whaddity? Ron was a teacher, but it wasn’t science. Ron normally spoke in barley and hops not foreign tongues. Could it be I was I not paying attention to our secret assault plans for the evening when I was filling the cooler with ice?

Greg, the real science teacher, could see I looked a little confused and chided in that there are thousands of different types of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies in the streams and each species had there own individual Latin name.

So now my broad knowledge of twenty insect names turned out to be just a short list of common names. I knew then I would be reading some new books that upcoming winter.

Ron added that fly fisherman were lazy too. That I already knew as I glanced over at our friend Gary sitting on the side of the stream looking at the trout jumping in front of him. Some flies carried the same common name, but were not always related. The BWO’s I saw in March were not the same BWO’s that returned in May. This was some bad logic or just mean.

Ron reminded me not to think to hard about these overwhelming issues and more importantly had I put ice in the cooler before we left the camp? I confirmed the ice situation was well at hand and went back to the riffles in front of me. I noticed Gary still had not moved.

When the early spring blooms brighten things up I like to dust off a couple of my old favorite fly fishing entomology books. As I then review my Latin taxonomy of classes, orders and families I get encouraged that warmer weather will soon be here and the prepare for the spring assault on the Pennsylvania streams. Carpe Diem!

Books
Matching the Hatch: A Practical Guide to Imitation of Insects Found on Eastern and Western Trout Waters (Stoeger Sportsman's Library)
by Ernest George Schwiebert

An Angler's Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations for All North America
by Rick Hafele and Scott Roederer

The Orvis Streamside Guide to Trout Foods and Their Imitations
by Tom Rosenbauer

Online
Troutnut Website
Pa Hatch Chart

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/10/2009 (1064 reads)
Where should I fish?
This certainly has been one of the more popular questions asked at PaFlyFish.com. Truthfully the answer is bigger than the question and one worth exploring. There are hundreds of fantastic streams for all types of anglers in Pennsylvania. A little homework will yield you your own personal hot spots.

PaFlyFish.com is chocked full of maps, tips, news, stories and conversations already at you fingertips. Pennsylvania is a sizable state so starting with the Pa Trout Streams section under the site menu is a good place to begin. There are six regions with hundreds of stocked and special regulation streams that are ideal for fly fishing. Take advantage of the maps to explore the areas you want to travel.

A little searching with some of those new stream names in the forums and stream reports can usually yield a string of information. A host of highly regarded authors can be found in the Fly Fishing Books section. Some good old fashion book reading is worth some time.

A quick trek to the PFBC website can offer an additional collection of streams and detailed regulations.

Finally, time with your local fly shop and Trout Unlimited Chapter are wonderful places to meet up with others. They can provide any number of classes, workshops, and conservation opportunities.

With the arm chair work complete go explore the state. Some of the best places you’ll find will likely be the ones you didn’t set out for when you got started. There may not be an easy button here, but the journey is part of the catch.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/09/2009 (896 reads)
Fish & Boat Commission Featured on PCN Call-In Tonight
Harrisburg, PA - Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Doug Austen and Fisheries Management Chief Dave Miko will be the guests tonight on PCN’s live call-in program from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The program allows PCN viewers to speak directly with government officials and newsmakers on current issues affecting the Commonwealth.

Please check your local TV listings for the PCN channel in your area. Viewers may ask questions by dialing PCN’s toll-free number at 1-877-726-5001.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/08/2009 (1060 reads)
American Rivers made its annual announcement of Americans most endangered rivers for 2009. Rivers in Alaska, California, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin are on the list this year.

Quote:
“Our nation is at a transformational moment when it comes to rivers and clean water,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. “Water is life, yet our nation’s water infrastructure is so outdated that our clean drinking water, flood protection and river health face unprecedented threats. Our country needs the smart, cost-effective solutions for clean drinking water, flood protection and river health outlined in America’s Most Endangered Rivers that will bring us into the 21st century.”


Most notably for Pennsylvania was number seven on the list Laurel Hill Creek. Sighting excessive water withdrawal as a major threat for this wonderful western Pennsylvania stream. The full press release can be found here.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/07/2009 (2816 reads)
Hardy Rods-The Story of Hardy Bros Tackle Makers
Author: John Mowatt
For over one hundred years the House of Hardy has been known as one of the worlds finest makers of fishing tackle. Their name is synonymous with quality and excellence. They are recognised worldwide as one of the greatest names in fishing tackle.

William Hardy and his brother John James formed the Hardy Bros partnership in 1873. Initially they dealt in high quality firearms but soon changed direction. They were both avid fishermen and this love became their business. Thus was started the famous line of Hardy rods and reels.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 04/01/2009 (1158 reads)
Five tips for your first day fly fishing
Mark your gear
Easy enough to do, but often overlooked is marking your gear with a phone number. There is nothing worse than losing a flybox or leaving your vest in the brush and then driving home. Simple solution is a putting you phone number on all you gear with a Sharpie.

Practice casting
Take some time and tie a small piece of red yarn at the end of your fly line and give it a go in the backyard before you head out. This works well if this is your first time out or you have not gone out since last June. Confidence is king.

Know your knots
Practice and know when and where to use some of the basic fly knots. An Improved Clinch and Blood knots get me through many situations. Check out Grog's fishing knot index for more help.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 03/28/2009 (1014 reads)
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Wednesday the House of Representatives passed the Ominbus Public Lands Bill with a final vote of 285-140. This sweeping public-lands bill protects millions of acres of habitat for fish and wildlife. The bills passage will touch the Salmon Wilderness in southern Oregon to Wild Monongahela Wilderness in West Virginia and many more locations across the United States.

Trout Unlimited as well as many outdoor and sporting organizations lauded the news with resounding support across the country. Trout Unlimited posted a press release providing more details to anglers.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 03/21/2009 (7775 reads)
Dwight is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Trout Streams of Pennsylvania: An Angler's Guide. He currently resides in Bellefonte, in Centre County, near Spring Creek.

Dave interviewed Dwight in March, 2009.


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1 - Dave: Please tell me how and when you got started into flyfishing.

Dwight: My parents took us kids pond fishing for bluegills, beginning at a very early age. We fished with with no reels, just black nylon line wrapped around a bamboo pole, a big red & white bobber, hook and worms. I loved it, and still enjoy bluegill fishing today.

When I was about 14, two friends in the same grade in school were getting into flyfishing, and introduced me to it, and showed me the basics. They told me to buy a Fenwick fiberglass rod (this was before graphite rods). The rod cost $26, which I thought was very expensive.

The first fly I tied was a muskrat nymph, at a TU meeting where members helped beginners tie flies. A teacher at our high school started a fly fishing club, which was great. Having friends and mentors is a big plus when learning flyfishing. It’s not so easy to learn on your own.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 03/21/2009 (1700 reads)
CORRECTION - Please see the corrected press release below concerning where the new regulations apply.

Harrisburg, PA – Licensed Pennsylvania anglers fishing the Delaware River and Estuary can now harvest striped bass and hybrid striped bass from April 1 through May 31, a season which has been closed by the Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) since 1992.

Under the new regulations, adopted by the PFBC at its January quarterly meeting, anglers can harvest two striped bass per day between 20-26 inches during the two-month season. The change is the result of the successful restoration of the striped bass population along the Atlantic Coast. The regulations are designed to allow some harvest of male striped bass, while still protecting most of the spawning female striped bass. For the rest of the year, there is a 28-inch minimum length and a two fish per day creel limit.

The following seasons, sizes and creel limits apply to the Delaware River from the Pennsylvania line upstream to the Calhoun Street Bridge.

Jan. 1 - March 31 and June 1 - Dec. 31: Minimum - 28 inches, creel limit - 2 per day

April 1 through May 31: Size - 20-26 inches, creel limit - 2 per day

The PFBC reminds anglers that these regulations differ from the striped bass regulations enforced by the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife in the four months January, February, April and May.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 03/19/2009 (2981 reads)
by Woody Banks

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Fly selection can be most complex for the fly fisher during an insect hatch. During a hatch the fish feed selectively on the most abundant insect form in or on the water. To be armed with the perfect imitation, in size, form, and color, for each phase of every hatch he may encounter, the fly fisherman would need hundreds of fly patterns in dozens of sizes. One current catalog lists forty-six patterns in five sizes to imitate the phases of one mayfly's life cycle.

Mayfly color can vary considerably, even during the same hatch on the same riffle. Under different light and water conditions, a fly can take a variety of manifestations to the trout. Flies appear differently to fish on cloudy days,on bright days, under the direct light at noon, and in the low angle light of morning and evening. Fish perceive flies differently on riffles than on smooth slicks. Murky water following a rain will alter the trouts view of a fly.

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