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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/16/2015 (1027 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 (4845 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 (2180 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 (1922 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 (1427 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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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/22/2015 (1587 reads)
Fly Fishing ShowThis weekend brings the Fly Fishing Show to the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. This is the best fly fishing show you can find and a great opportunity see what the latest and greatest is going on in the industry.

For those of you that have not made the trip before it is a three day event that includes a very large exhibit floor, fly tiers, retail shops, educational programs and more. Many members from Paflyfish make their way to the show every year. Here is a link to a video and recap of the show in 2014. If you are looking for trips, rods, reels, flies, waders any gear or tying materials this is the show to hit. There are many outstanding presentations about fly fishing techniques and locations to attend as well.

I enjoy going to the show to see a lot of good friends that end up there every year. Justin and team from Allen Fly Fishing can always be found at the show. Tom "afishinado" Ciannilli at the Orvis booth on Saturday. Guides and tiers from the site like Mike Heck, Dave Allbaugh, Rick Nyles & Nick Raftas are there at booths.

Details can be found on the Fly Fishing Show website.
Somerset dates: January 23-25, 2015
Show Hours
Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 9am – 4:30pm

If you can't make it this weekend there is the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster on February 28 and March 1, 2015. A little smaller venue, but a good very good show as well.
Show Hours
Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 9am – 4:30pm
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/19/2015 (3555 reads)
Winter fly fishing can be a good opportunity to get out and take a break from your fly tying bench. The opportunities are certainly a little more limited during the winter months with many streams possibly iced up. Southcentral Pennsylvania can often offer several options in in the region during the winter with spring influenced streams and wild trout.

Trout during the winter are not as active as you might normally find them in the spring and summer. Spring fed streams offer a much more consistent temperature often in the 50's year round and thus more resistant to the cold weather conditions. Some of these popular winter streams in Southcentral Pennsylvania include Yellow Breeches Creek, Big Spring Creek and LeTort. The wild trout in these streams can be incredibly challenging when the weather is warm, so have some realistic expectations for your first trip to the region.

Dave Weaver offered some solid ideas in the forums. "My usual advice to CV [Cumberland Valley] newbies is to embrace the reality that trout in these creeks are bottom feeders and live on a year round diet of scuds, sculpins, midge pupa, and cress bugs. This isn't to imply that you won't find rising fish, you can, and there are hatches as well (mainly sulphers and BWOs) but for someone used to fishing upstate or in the Catskills....it's often a big disappointment. You can fish for days (esp this time of year) and not see any surface activity around here."

Fly Fishing Getting Started - Spring Creek Winter Flies

Dave Weaver on LeTort Spring Run


I asked Southcentral Pennsylvania fly fishing guide, Mike Heck, what are his favorite flies are for wild trout on his local spring fed streams. Mike shared, "If I had only the option to carry just a few flies. Toss all boxes in my vehicle and pull out five flies. I would without a doubt carry shrimp, cress bugs, black sculpin, BWO parachute and a olive CDC midge. These fab five should be just enough to fool a trout and cover any stream condition I may encounter."

Take a little time planning before you head on a trip to any spring fed stream in the winter. Knowing where you want to go, what flies to bring and tactics to try can really make a difference. There are other streams outside the Cumberland Valley that are spring influenced and open during the year. Doing a little homework can offer a few quite locations. I would suggest looking through the forums with key words like #spring creeks, #limestone and #winter to get you started. I also recommend you get a copy of the book Spring Creek Strategies (Mike Heck, Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 2008)
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/13/2015 (1349 reads)
Tightline Productions has been offer up a host of great videos over the years. Recently they added offer up video instructions on tying . You can check out their Vimeo Channel here.

Hi-Vis Coachman from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/08/2014 (2935 reads)
For those adventurous anglers with a penchant for photography our sponsors at Montana Angler are offering a unique opportunity to join photographer Patrick Clayton at their partner lodges in either Argentina or Chile in April for the upcoming 2015 South American fishing season. Patrick is better known as the “Fish Eye Guy” and his dramatic images of wild trout and salmon in their natural environment has captured the imagination of fly fisherman and conservation groups alike.

Fish Eye Guy


Patrick’s work has been featured by Patagonia, Field and Stream, The Drake, Orvis, The Flyfish Journal, and Catch Magazine, among many others. His work has also been used extensively by conservation groups across the country including national and local Trout Unlimited chapters, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation,American Rivers, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Trout Magazine, California Trout, Western Environmental Law Center, and Western Rivers Conservancy. His photography was also featured in the movie “The Breach“, an exploration of the decline of salmon in the Northwest.

Fish Eye Guy


Patrick will be basing out of two Orvis endorsed lodges in Patagonia during the month of April, the Carrileufu River Lodge in Argentina and Magic Waters Patagonia in Chile. He will be at Magic Waters in Chile the weeks of April 4th and 11th and at Carrileufu River Lodge the weeks of April 18th and 25th . Guests can join for as short as one week or as long as two weeks - combining both countries can also be arranged by Montana Angler.

Patagonia is famous for its aquarium clear rivers and will provide the perfect backdrop for Patrick’s work. Guests on the trip will have the opportunity to see how the Fish Eye Guy captures these magical images with remote underwater cameras. Patrick will also be photographing the general landscape as well as images of fishing in action. Guests that join will receive many of Patrick’s images including photos of their own fishing in action! Patrick will also offer tips and instruction for those that want to take their own photography to the next level.

Carrileufu River Lodge

The Carrileufu River Lodge is located on the boundary of the spectacular Los Alceras National Park in Argentina. The rivers in this area are some of the most beautiful in the world. Many of the rivers drain expansive lakes the filter out the sediments which produces incredible water clarity. The Rivadavia is considered by many to be the most beautiful trout river on the planet and is just 30 minutes from the lodge in the National Park. Guests will enjoy a variety of fly fishing experiences including float trips on legendary rivers, wading spring creeks and large lakes with massive trout. There is also an option to extend the trip with a wilderness 3 day float camping trip.

South American  fly fishing


Magic Waters Patagonia Lodge

If you are looking for the ultimate fishing variety in one of the world’s most beautiful but yet lightly fished regions then look no further than the Magic Waters Patagonia Lodge in Chile. The fishing out of Magic Waters is truly spectacular – plan on fishing a different water on each day of the trip – mostly with huge dry flies! The waters include large gin clear rivers, small spring creeks, wilderness streams and dramatic glacial lakes. This smaller lodge provides a wonderful gateway into the rich Patagonian culture of Southern Chile.

Please contact Brian McGeehan if you are interested in joining this unique experience with Patrick or if you have any questions about the trip. Montana Angler offers domestic fly fishing trips in Montana and Yellowstone National Park as well as international trips to Argentina, Chile and the Bahamas.

Patrick Clayton's work can also be viewed at his website and facebook pages:


South American  fly fishing
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/01/2014 (1834 reads)
By Salmonoid

For the past eight years or so, I've managed to make it out to fish on Thanksgiving Day. I guess it has become a bit of a tradition, made possible by our decision to no longer travel during the Thanksgiving holiday. Spending a few too many hours going nowhere between New Stanton and Breezewood on the Turnpike will eventually lead one to that conclusion.

This year, I was looking forward my outing, but the forecast was calling for snow the day before, so I started to temper my expectations as the week went along. Wednesday, the snow started falling around 9AM and continued to fall for the next eleven hours. While the ground is still relatively warm, we still ended up with four or more inches, but by evening, the outside sounds were filled with constant dripping. Overnight temps were supposed to dip below freezing too, and I did not have the luxury of waiting until afternoon to fish, since Thanksgiving meal was scheduled for 1PM.

So I told my wife that I would enjoy my day anyway, just thankful that I have the ability to be out walking around in the snow. Since I've never really had stellar outings on Thanksgiving Day, and since the conditions were far from ideal (snow melt, air temperatures below freezing, water levels low, and I added crystal-clear when I arrived Thursday morning), I really wasn't expecting much.





I only managed to fish the stream I was at one other time this year, in mid-January. It must have been a temporary thaw from our Arctic blast, or I was starting to go stir-crazy and needed to get out then. As I was walking in, I noticed quite a bit more blowdown of trees and I remembered the ice storm we had. I've seen the effects of the storm on a number of streams, but had yet to venture out on this particular stream to see how it fared. A number of new deep holes had formed where woody debris created new scour patterns and a number of rock ledge holes had filled in. Hopefully, the new holes will provide protection and cover for the fish for a few years, before the woody debris is blown out in a flood event.




Anyway, things got off to a slow start, as expected. I did not even see a fish for the first forty-five minutes. But then my fortunes changed. There's a spot where a large boulder sits in the middle of the stream. Usually the stream flows equally around each side of the boulder before tumbling into a nice plunge pool at its base. But some of the winter's blowdown had effectively dammed the right side, redirecting all the flow to the left. A plucky little brown darted out from the base of the left side flow and as I lifted him out of the water, he long distance released into the plunge pool below. At the head of the boulder, I landed the first official catch of the day.




The action continued fairly consistently all morning. Each potential hole had a trout or two in it, and it never pays to overlook the pocket water, riffles and unlikely looking water in between. Some of the larger fish came from areas that I wouldn't have selected, but they are the fish, not me.




There are lots of larger boulders, which provide nice holding areas for fish. A young family watched me toy with and finally hook and land a nice little brown from this hole. He lives under the large rock on the left side.






There are big spot fish in this stream and small spot fish in this stream. Here is one of the small spotters.




And a medium spotter.




And a large spotter. With a big tail.






A half-and-half spotter (red/black).




This guy will hopefully be able to take advantage of some of the new woody debris holes, for cover. He apparently had a bout with a heron recently.










Of course, by this time in the morning, I was only about half way through the section I wanted to fish. And I was down to about half an hour to fish, so I started pool hopping. I know I passed a lot of fish by, but the last few fish I caught were special.

A log had fallen across the stream at this spot a number of years ago. The flow had originally been to the right side, but had flipped to the left side sometime in the past year.





I cast first to the right side. There still was a tiny bit of flow through the pool and at least one brown had decided to make it his home. A small black mass charged out from after the log; I thought the fish would be under the rock in the pool.



I released him and he swam back to his abode. I flipped over to the pool on the left side of the stream, where the main flow was. I missed a smaller fish on the first cast, but prospected the pool a few more times. I never figured out where this fish was holding, but it doesn't get much more buttery than this!

Still had some faint parr marks.




And that was pretty much it. I think I caught one more, but I made the decision to try and honor Thanksgiving Dinner start time and managed to make it there just fashionably late, at 1:15PM.

Turned out to be my best Thanksgiving Day outing ever, despite snow (and melt), freezing temperatures, and low, clear conditions. It was a wonderful day to be out, although I was dodging snowballs part of the day, as it warmed and the trees released their coverings. One of the more interesting things I encountered was hearing voices on the hike in. In a few seconds, I came upon two Amish guys sitting underneath a big rock, taking swigs from a Thermos. We nodded polite hellos and I went on my way. I didn't catch anything bigger than 12", but I love the variety in spots, patterns, and coloration of these freestone wild browns.

Join the conversation about this in the forum here
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