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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/10/2013 (1505 reads)
The Paflyfish Spring Jamboree is the annual spring meet-up when members from the site get together to fly fish, tie flies, camp and share a few stories. We have folks coming from Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. We have a lot of fun fishing over some of Pennsylvania's finest streams including Penns Creek, Spring Creek, Little Juniata River (Little J), Fishing Creek and plenty more in the region.

Fly Fishing Pennsylvania
Csoult and BikerFish hanging at Penns Creek

This year is no exception and members from the forum are making plans to meet the weekend of May 16-18, 2014 at Seven Mountains Campground in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. Please contact them if you would like to stay there that weekend. They have a limited number of cabins and campsites.

I am hoping to plan more activities specific to new fly fishing anglers. I am working on casting lessons, fly tying and even a few trips out on to some of the waters in the area. There are a lot of members on the site that will informally help folks out not familiar with the area. Just check the forums and don't be afraid to ask for some help.

fly fishing Penns creek
Maurice and Fishidiot on the Little J

The pavilion is rented by Paflyfish and is used as a meeting point during the weekend. Plenty of impromptu conversations, fly tying and meet-ups all take place.

Friday, May 16th
Jam attendees often start arriving throughout the day if they haven't arrived earlier in the week. Stop by after 3:00PM to help or meet others trying to get back out on the water before dark.

Saturday, May 17th
Coffee 6-9am available at the pavilion

Saturday morning we will likely arrange for some of the beginner programs.

Fire Ring at the pavilion around dark. Will will be working on some more plans like a chili cook-off and other evening activities. Quiet hours may be a factor.

Sunday, May 18th
Coffee 6-9am available at the pavilion.

In addition to the expected fly fishing opportunities; authors, fly shop owners, and other experts are usually in attendance and provide a lot of great knowledge at the evening gatherings. Follow the latest details in the forum here.

night fly fishing
Afish night fly fishing on Penns Creek

I'll run and updated post with details this spring.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/28/2013 (1677 reads)
Some great fly fishing deals can be found this time of year and several of our sponsors have provided offers for members on Paflyfish starting today. Be sure to check these deals out while the offers last.

GPS Fishing Guide to Pennsylvania
ON SALE - Thanksgiving Day thru Cyber Monday
Regular Price - $24.99
Sale Price - $12.99
Both iPhone & Android Apps are on Sale

Montana Angler Fly Fishing
Book any multi-day fishing package with Montana Angler by December 7th and receive $50 off. Package must include a minimum of 3 nights lodging. Mention Paflyfish and contact Brian at or 406.570.0453. Visit our website here.

Risen Fly
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale! Deals found here
Take 25% off on EVERYTHING with code “blackfriday” on Friday and “cybermonday” on Monday.
Win a FREE Ichthus reel
If we get a total of 25 orders on EACH DAY we will give away a FREE Ichthus reel to those who made purchases from our site those days. So there are 2 FREE reels up for grabs.
The more you spend the more entries you get to win.
Spend $1-$50 and get 1 entry
Spend $50.01-$100 and get 2 entries
Spend $100.01-$150 and get 3 entries

Shadow Fly Fishing
Deals found here
• 20% off all Shadow 5wt models + 2 free packs of hooks with your order over a $60 value on both rod models
• buy 3 packs of hooks get 3 free a $30 value
• 25 dollars off the shadow warrior 9ft 7wt

Trident Fly Fishing
Deals found here
20% off on Fly Lines, Fly Selections
15% off Sale items (for a whopping 35% off!)
15% off leaders and tippet
Some great deals include - Lamson Lightspeed for $195
There will be more deals throughout the weekend.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/25/2013 (673 reads)
Personally this year has been challenging one for me and have a lot to be thankful for. Paflyfish is always a good place for me to get myself grounded. Contributions by so many on the site make it a very successfully community.

After eighteen years, Paflyfish has a lot to be thankful for and the moderators lead in those efforts. Maurice, JackM, Fishidiot and Afishinado contribute in so many ways, most are never seen by the site. Their contributions go way beyond fixing posts, handling disputes or cleaning up a few skirmishes that ensue on occasion. They provide a lot guidance and important community direction that helps make sure things running smoothly.

There are a lot of other folks on the site that share their time to help out others learn more about fly fishing. Giving back comes in many forms including: conservation efforts, political involvement, teaching new anglers or volunteering with programs like Wounded Warriors. My friends Ron and Greg dragged me all over Northern Pennsylvania for years as I floundered figuring out what fly fishing was all about. Their patience and coaching really helped me develop an interest in the sport and is what inspired me to create the web site.

Many readily give back and contribute to the site. I really want to thank Heritage Angler for his efforts putting together the PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jamboree and PAFF Instructional Jamboree. Both of these events focus on helping new anglers learn more about the fundamentals of fly fishing. Plenty of others including: Frederick, Fishidiot, Foxgap239, The_Sasquatch and Krayfish put together a variety of jams all over the region that invite new fly fishing anglers to the sport.

I am always blown away with members like Csoult and his support of the site as he donated of the beautiful hand-made wooden rod cases at this years Spring Jam. There are plenty more examples and sorry I am not able to cover them all. Paflyfish gives back as well with support to the Youth Rivers Fly Fishing Camp in 2013 and will be supporting additional worthwhile causes next year too.

As the site has grown over the years and support by sponsors has helped keep our web presence strong and many of our activities going. We are fortunate to have Allen Fly Fishing, Harman's North Fork Cottages, Montana Angler Fly Fishing, Gogal Publishing, Trident Fly Fishing, The Sporting Gentleman, Risen Fly and Shadow Fly Fishing support the site.

I realize there are a lot of places people can spend their time. I want to thank you and those mentioned for contributing to Paflyfish.

Stay Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/18/2013 (5945 reads)

By Brian McGeehan at Montana Angler Fly Fishing

As the 2013 season winds down many of us put our fishing ambitions on pause until the thaw arrives in spring. For those folks that enjoy blending their travels with their favorite pasting, fall is also a great time to start planning a destination fishing trip for 2014. When Dave Kile asked me to put together a post for planning a Western fly fishing trip I realized it was a pretty broad task so I decided to limit the advice to my home state of Montana (although a lot of these tips can apply to other states as well). Since planning a trip where you are fishing unguided is very different than going with an outfitter part 1 focused on DIY anglers. I make my living helping anglers plan their Montana fishing trips so hopefully this post won’t come across as too much of a sales pitch, but rather a useful guide for planning a guided fishing adventure to the big sky state. Montana is a huge state and there is also a much larger diversity of types of rivers and streams than encountered in the East so teaming up with an experienced outfitter can definitely streamline your trip. Quality Montana fly fishing lodges and outfitters can offer several advantages to out of state anglers: local river knowledge and timing, float fishing access for the larger rivers, private access on ranches and assistance with lodging.

Montana Fly Fishing
Montana Fly Fishing

Most of the folks that email and call us about a trip to Montana don’t know where to begin. The first thing we try to do when someone approaches us bout a possible trip to Montana is to determine what type of trip they are looking for. I generally start by asking about fishing priorities, budget, trip duration, flexibility in dates, lodging preferences, and experience level. The dream trip for one angler can be a frustrating disaster for another so we invest a lot of time into communicating with future clients to try to come up with the best possible plan that will meet all of their expectations. Here are some tips that can help you narrow down your selections of guides and lodges and ensure that the trip you set up has the best chance of meeting your goals and being a success.

Be as specific as you can about your trip constraints
Before you begin surfing the web or contacting different outfitters and lodges take some time to think about your budget, trip length and how much flexibility you have in the time of year you come. For trip duration we think of trips in terms of number of nights and days – for example 6 nights and 5 days. It is also helpful to know if every day is spent with a guide or if some days will be either self guided or left open for other activities such as sight seeing. Even though most lodge trips are presented as packages – they can almost always be customized to modify the number of fishing days. Time of year is also important – some locations are outstanding in spring and fall but are too warm in mid summer and others are best fished in mid summer. Finally, have a rough number of your target budget excluding airfare. Remember that most trips will have some extras that are not included in the package price. These may include shuttles, guide gratuities, meals, alcohol, etc. When communicating with lodges and outfitters make sure to have them provide an estimate of both the costs paid before the trip (most guides and outfitters require full payment before arrival).

Arrange your fishing priorities
Most outfitters in Montana operate on multiple rivers and streams. Time of year also has a great impact on fishing conditions. One of the most important aspects of a successful trip with a guide is to determine what your goals are when fishing. Examples include lots of action, big fish, dry fly fishing, variety in fishing condition, all float fishing, all wade fishing, etc. There is so much variety in the fishing in that it is very helpful for an outfitter to know what you are hoping to achieve on your days on the water. For example mid June can be a great time to flat out catch lots of fish but in some areas the dry fly fishing is not great (except for the spring creeks) because of the higher flows but the nymphing and streamer fishing can be epic. Late summer and early fall can produce great dry fly fishing but it is more technical since flows are lower than early summer so it might be a terrific time for an experience angler but more challenging for a beginner.

Montana Fly Fishing
Guided Montana Fly Fishing

Select a time of year
This is a difficult topic and could really take up an entire post. Different fisheries perform better at different times of the year and how you prefer to fish also factors into the equation. Here is a down and dirty guide to different time windows:
April to Mid May – This is an incredible time for both beginners and expert anglers. There are lots of early season hatches and potential for explosive dry fly fishing. Catch rates tend to be high nymphing as well. The only caveat is that weather and river flows are very dynamic and sometimes can spoil dry fly fishing and you always need to be prepared for a late season “winter” weather event (usually still fishable if you are prepared for weather).

Mid May to mid June – Tailwaters below dams like the Bighorn, Missouri and Beaverhed are popular then and besides these fisheries most out of state anglers avoid the “run off” season. We have come to really love this window and I would make a strong argument that it might actually be the best window for high catch rates and very few anglers as long as you avoid the tailwaters. The Missoula area and Northern Montana are tough during run off with few options but the area Southwest of Montana from the Bighole to the Yellowstone Valley can be amazing with a mix of lesser known tailwaters, private ranches and spring creeks. The only catch is this is not the best time to dry fly fish – but if you want lots of action and big fish it is outstanding.

Mid June to Mid July – This is another amazing time to fish and arguably the best for the most diversity. The tailwaters are still fishing well, spring creeks are at their best with the PMD hatch and the tailwaters are clearing producing great action. This is another great time to catch aquatic hatches like PMDs, Caddis, Salmonflies, Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies (to name a few). This is also the beginning of the busy season but there are still a lot of “off the beaten path” locations that are either permitted, private or just tough spots to get to that can yield amazing fishing with few other anglers but expect to see other boats on some of the famous blue ribbon rivers you see in the books (although not really crowded by Eastern standards with a handful of exceptions). All in all this is very safe window to plan a trip with good weather and great fishing.

Mid July to Early August – Although trout on the big public rivers have seen some flies, this is still a great time to fish and also a good time to target if you really want to throw dries. Mid June to Early July can still have pretty heavy flows if it is a big snow year and you might need to toss big ugly nymphs (with exceptions like spring creeks) on those years but even on a big water year dry fly fishing is always an option by mid July. This is also a great time to wade fish smaller ranch streams and the backcountry.

August – The big blue ribbon rivers on most years start to get tougher in August – fish have just seen a lot of flies by then. They can still be good and shouldn’t be discounted but it isn’t always peak catch rates then. This is a great time to target back country streams, private ranch waters and any other areas that see less pressure. Hopper fishing is at its peak in the late summer but you just have to work harder to get away from more popular floats. When planning a trip in August definitely make sure to ask the outfitter what the options are and how much pressure are on these rivers then. If they are just planning on fishing big public waters with you every day you might ask about other options.

September – Fishing pressure drops dramatically once kids go back to school in late August. September weather is ideal and hopper fishing is still very good. Several rivers like the Lower Madison, Lower Gallatin, Upper Missouri, Jefferson and a few others that were too warm to fish successfully in the mid summer months (they are lower elevation) wake back up to produce some very good fishing to trout that haven’t seen flies in several months. Other rivers also pick back up as soon as the pressure drops off and fishing can be really good. The flows are now at base line so the fishing is a little more technical and the trout are a touch spookier so having at least some fishing experience is more important than spring and early summer.

October – This is a favorite time for our guides. Pressure is almost non existent on most waters and the fishing really gets good. Dry fly fishing can be outstanding on cloudy days over the fall baetis hatch both on big rivers and spring creeks. Huge brown trout move out of lakes and into the rivers and streams that feed them and this is probably the best time of year to catch trophy fish over 23”. Weather is generally dry and very nice in October but you do have to be prepared for the possibility of an early cold front that can push temps down.

Fly Fishing Madison River
Fly Fishing on the Madison River

Decide what type of lodging you want
Once we decide the best time of year for our guests based on fishing priorities and their available windows for a vacation we spend a lot of time reviewing lodging options with folks. Most days you are only on the water for about 8 hours or so which leaves a lot of time spent at your accommodations so planning where you will stay is a big part of your vacation.
Fishing Lodges – Lodges typically offer an all inclusive or mostly inclusive package that includes meals and rooms with a lot of character in beautiful locations along rivers. Lodges are also the most expensive way to go but many folks enjoy the idea of “fish, eat, relax”. Not all lodges are the same so you need to make sure you find the right match. Some lodges aren’t truly “fishing lodges” even if they market themselves that way so ask if all of the guests are fisherman. If you are planning a mixed trip with other activities like riding horses or touring Yellowstone a general lodge might be just right but if you are fishing every day I think it is nice to go to a lodge where all of the other guests are anglers. Also ask about the fishing variety – do you fish just one river or a variety. Finally ask about the “extras” – often shuttles, taxes, lodge gratuities, staff gratuities and sometimes alcohol can all be extra but most lodge managers can give you an estimate of those.

Hotels – Usually you can access the same fisheries from a hotel that you can from a lodge. If you have a tight budget it is hard to beat a hotel package. Hotels also give you some freedom to experience local towns and go out to different restaurants in the evening.

Vacation Rentals – There are lots of nice vacation homes and cabins that can be rented so this can be a great option if you like to prepare your own meals. Some of the nicest rentals go very early so plan to book as soon as you can (early winter at the latest) – especially if you have a big group and need a larger house.

Camping – A few outfitters offer river camping trips and there are also several outfitters that offer backcountry pack trips. The guides on river camping trips are usually the same guides that you would get on day trips – highly professional and experienced. On river camping trips your camp is moved each day while you fish and you roll into camp with everything set up and dinner already cooking. On pack trips make sure to ask about the “fishing experience” of the guides. Many pack outfitters higher younger guides and the pay is much, much less than river guides that are usually career guides. Many back country guides are young guys in their early 20s that are amazing with horses but their idea of guiding is pointing and saying “there are fish in that crick”. If you are an accomplished angler you probably don’t need to much on stream coaching but if you have some novices in your group make sure you carefully select an outfitter that has “real” fishing guides.

Fly Fishing Madison River

Book early
The quality of your guide can make a huge difference in your enjoyment level of your trip. Top guides often book their return clients a year in advance and by early winter are mostly booked for the season. There are always younger and less experienced guides open even a week in advance but to get the crème de la crème you should book as soon as you can nail down dates. Fall is a great time to plan and usually there are still good guides and lodge options even into February but for peak season dates things go very fast.

This is part 2 in the Brain's post Where to Fly Fish in Montana? Part one - A DIY Trip Guide can be found here.

Brian McGeehan is a Pennsylvania native and has been guiding Western rivers in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado for 19 seasons. He is a licensed Montana outfitter and owner of Montana Angler Fly Fishing based in Bozeman, MT.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/12/2013 (1260 reads)
I was anxious to squeeze a little more fly fishing this fall and pleaded with Maurice to give up on his leaf raking plans to join me. Both our teams in the NFL have been doing pretty poorly, so giving up honey-do's and another anticipated butt-kicking was an easy call.

Fall Fly Fishing
Fall Fly Fishing

We met up at one of our secret favorite dirty fly fishing streams in York County and made our way upstream about mid-morning. The stream was stocked last month and even in the flat water along the banks there we a few trout hanging about. A large amount of rain last month also drove a good conversation about where fish go during a flood. We both agreed it all depends of they were wild or if they were recently stock.

The bright sun was a helpful in raising the air temps up to about 57 degrees. The water was very low and gin clear at 44 degrees.

Maurice quickly uncovered a pod of trout between a stretch of rocks about 20 feet long. Finding the trout and quietly moving into position when the water is so low and clear is critical.

After a very serious discussion on red hots, weenies, bead heads, zebra midges and walt's worms we snuck in fairly close. The wind helped reduce the surface visibility and allowed us to get in without spooking the trout. One of the few times a little bit wind is helpful when you are fly fishing.

Rainbow Trout
Something from the PFBC

Maurice then did his usual thing of catching fish and I did mine thing of taking photos of him catching fish.

We made are way upstream taking our time to cautiously spot the trout and quietly approach holes along the way. Most of the trout we saw were sitting back a few feet from the rocks, not moving too much, but easily skittish if we moved in too quickly even from about 25' away. Polarized lenses were a must and even then a trained eye was helpful spotting the trout.

Wild Trout
Something a little wild

With the water being so cold and the trout were hanging on the bottom, it was really necessary to get our flies down deep. We are kept in our strike indicators about 5'- 8' off the flies with a little bit a split shot. Even in what seemed like very low water conditions many of the holes were still very deep.

Fly Fishing
Sneak Attack

We even hooked into a couple of trout at a few spots that I normally would have overlooked. Maurice is always really good about reminding me of the things that are right in front of me.

At this point in the season you never know how many days you have left to fly fish. Been a bit of challenging year for me personally, so getting some time on the water with Maurice was very much appreciated especially when he remembered to bring the beer when we got back to the trucks.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/30/2013 (2788 reads)
One of the first useful websites I found for anglers on the Internet was the USGS Water Data site. The website provides real-time streamflow conditions for over 9,000 streams and rivers across the country. Detailed information about stream discharge levels and water gage level heights are provided. The USGS has just started a beta (early release) version on the web for mobile users to get easier access to the data.

USGS Mobile Water Data

The desktop version has always been an incredibly useful trip planning tool for me before I headed out on fly fishing trips. Nothing worse than driving flippin four hours to that great mountain stream for the weekend only to find out that it blown out along with ten surrounding counties that looked like a hurricane just rolled thought the region. I use this almost every time I go fly fishing and have changed my plans by hundreds of miles based on the reliable data from this web site. Sometime those plans involve me just driving to a closer bar, but it works.

The new mobile site is pretty straight-forward to work with and can be found here: No need to install any app, just point your browser to the url and you are good to go. Right away it feels like it was designed to be navigated with you just the use of your index finger.

That is good because the other designed point for the site is for it to work with newer smart phones. A data connection and browser on your iPhone or Android based phone is really all you need. Works with my iPads and other tablets as well. The USGS does mention that it may not older devices or older browsers.

I found the mobile site is very responsive and with very detailed terrain map as the base. The graphs show a seven day view at the gauging station, which can show if the water is going up, down or staying the same. Knowledge of the stream discharge levels does help indicate if the stream is high or low.

Hope in future updates they provide some access to selective date ranges of the stream gauges like in the desktop version. Right now they are only fixed on the last seven days.

Nice new update from the USGS! The full USGS Water Data for your desktop computer can be found here.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/23/2013 (1414 reads)
This is the second half of the Big Spring Update and PFBC Meeting - here is the beginning Part 1

Stream Improvements in Section 2

I was really taken back by how good the project looked on Section 2 a few weeks ago. Much of this got rolling in the fall of 2012 when the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) outlined the agency’s habitat management plan for Big Spring Creek with Section 2. The project was finished late summer of 2013 as planned and supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Big Spring Creek

The plan was to improve 2000 feet of habitat conditions in Big Spring Creek that would favor wild brook trout. To accomplish this the project focussed on narrowing the stream bed in addition to reducing: the rate at which the creek’s waters warm as they flow downstream, the amount of water surface area exposed to solar radiation and late-afternoon dissolved oxygen. Effort was taken to include specific gravel in the steam bed that would favor the wild brook trout during the spawn.

Upon visiting Section 2 of the creek it appeared much of the last of work had recently been completed in September. Clear evidence of the stream narrowing could be seen along the creek and the stream was noticeably deeper. Some areas it appeared as if over 20 feet of stream bed was reclaimed. Grass seed and tree saplings were planted along all the new habitat areas of the stream banks.

Big Spring Watershed Association

The efforts on the project looked great. It had only been a few weeks, but already the ground netting was keeping in the soil and grass was growing. This is the same effort put in to Section 1 back in 2010 with solid results along the stream.

While I was there I meet up with several members of the Big Spring Watershed Association (BSWA) who had come out to inspect the progress of the project as well. The members of the Big Spring Watershed Association are biologists, naturalist, local citizens and anglers who all are very anxious of the success of Big Spring Creek. The small group there were all in agreement with success of Section 2 up to that point.

Big Spring Creek Public Workgroup Meeting

The last PFBC Big Spring meeting must have been a real doozy because the PFBC was really prepared to deal with this meeting in a very civil and constructive manner. I give them a lot of credit for coming back out to take on the topic and have a good plan to keep the meeting well organized. Probably the only thing crazier than a public meeting on fly fishing is having a Internet forum on the topic. But, who would be stupid enough to do that?

Dave Miko

Dave Miko, Chief of Fisheries Management, lead the workshop for the PFBC. The front end of the workshop was an update by the PFBC that reviewed the progress of Section 1 and Section 2 of the projects.

Chief Miko did a nice job explaining the forum for the workshop, expectations and goals before the 40+ participants broke into four separate groups to battle it out discuss things. Attendance was a mix of anglers, citizens, members of TU and BSWA. Once into the groups, members from the PFBC led walked thru a series of questions about the progress to date, issues and future goals.

Big Spring Creek

A lot of solid information was shared and everyone had an equal opportunity to express their opinions, concerns and suggestions going forward. I noticed the one group was a little more well behaved with the armed WCO sitting nearby...kidding. Certainly a lot of strong and divergent opinions were shared on how the stream should be managed. Some people wanted to completely remove all the rainbow trout and others to just leave things as they are...some a little heated, but nothing that wasn't in line.

No real outcomes was finalized as the workshop was intended to gather feedback from the public and share it with the commissioners. With so many different views the public is going to all have to live with some compromises, which seems a little difficult for a lot of people everywhere lately.

Again, hats off to Dave Miko and team for coming up with a constructive format to handle the topic!

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/07/2013 (1334 reads)
Part 1

I met up with Dave Weaver last Monday to check on the progress of the PFBC Phase 2 stream enhancements for Big Spring Creek in Newville, PA and to attend the PFBC meeting that evening. It was a pleasant afternoon and I enjoyed a little stream time as well around the middle fly fishing section where the project was recently completed. These projects on Big Spring have been a significant effort for many for the last several years. A lot of progress has been made in stream enhancements for wild trout within this watershed, but not without some controversy along the way.

Big Spring is a wonderful stretch of limestone fed water located in Cumberland County. There has always been a lot of attention given to the stream due to its productivity as a Class A brook trout stream, beautiful environment and rich history. The PFBC owns a good stretch on both sides of the stream, which gives them unique opportunity to manage Big Spring unlike other waters across the state.

Big Spring CreekThe stream is also tied up in a lot of controversy on how to manage the trout and waterway between anglers, landowners, scientists, guides, the Big Spring Watershed Association, Trout Unlimited, PFBC and others. Much of the issue stems from the fact that Big Spring is a highly productive limestone brook trout stream, something that there isn’t a lot of left in the state. The main bone of contention, currently, surrounds the population of non-native rainbow trout that are thriving in these waters and – in the view of some - threaten the success of the native brook trout fishery. Everyone wants brook trout to have the best opportunity to be successful in these waters. There are a lot of strong opinions on how to do this. Views range from doing nothing, to removing all the rainbow trout.

Since 2006 PFBC has worked with other organizations to take on the Big Spring Creek habitat enhancements with the goal of improving wild trout habitat, particularly for brook trout. In 2010, with funds from both the state and federal Government, Phase 1 was completed covering 2050 feet. Phase 2, which was funded with a grant from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, has now been completed, covering 2,000 feet of improvements. Part of these improvements include riparian plantings in the newly filled areas utilizing native plants. If you visit Big Spring, please watch your step as some of these plants are still small.

In large part, these efforts involve correcting some of the negative effects from the mills and dams that had a dominate role from the mid 1700's through the early 1900's on Big Spring. In both phases, construction work included narrowing the stream channel while slowing the water speed and increasing the depth and cover, through the use of log vane deflectors, enhanced riparian shelves, and improved wetlands.

Phase 2 Project and Meeting Part 2 here

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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 09/23/2013 (7542 reads)
By Dave Weaver

President of the United States and General of the Armies Dwight Eisenhower was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed a wide range of shooting and fishing pursuits. His retirement home here in Gettysburg is managed now by the National Park Service as a museum and historic site. NPS archivists and historians currently hold many of Ike and Mamie’s personal possessions in a separate storage area where they’re being conserved and catalogued. I was able recently to get access to this storage site to photograph Ike’s fly rod and some of his other fishing gear. Also on display at the farm’s reception center is a fly/spin combo rod.

Ike undoubtedly owned a good many rods and reels and some have perhaps been lost to history, held in private collections, or may be stored at Abilene. While he enjoyed all manner of fresh water fishing, Ike was particularly fond of fly fishing for trout. Local rumor has that streams around Camp David were stocked with trout whenever Ike was visiting and local anglers, upon hearing that Ike had been at camp, would flock to fish the downstream areas of these creeks and catch the remaining fish.

I’m not sure if he spent much time salt water fishing however there are three different sand spikes and a chum pot in the NPS collection. The fly rod is a Pflueger R3780 in eight foot length and made of fiberglass. The White House tag can be seen on the rod bag. The small bottle is dry fly treatment and labeled Silicote Dry Fly Dressing, copyright 1946. I’d like to believe that this fly rod and some of the other gear might have some neat stories to tell. Ike loved fishing and, with the great responsibilities he carried on his shoulders, one certainly can’t begrudge him his days on the stream.

For Eisenhower, like many of us who love fly fishing, the sport probably served as way to make a point about something else. In the next photo, Ike has just been nominated and is getting acquainted with his new VP Richard Nixon in Fraser, Colorado. The renowned historian Stephen Ambrose wryly wrote of this photo, In casting, as in politics, Eisenhower was terribly earnest in his attempts to educate Nixon, with frustrating results in both cases.

(Photo and quote courtesy Eisenhower Soldier, General of the Army, President- Elect 1890-1952 by Stephen Ambrose, p 170

Resized ImagePerhaps the most famous wartime photo of Eisenhower is just before D-day when he’s chatting with paratroopers from the 101st Airborne getting ready to jump into Normandy. For years I’ve wondered what sort of pep talk was he was giving them? Well it turns out that the tall lieutenant on the right in the photo was from Michigan and later told the story that, when he told the general where he was from, the discussion turned to – no surprise – fly fishing. The cameraman just happened to shoot the photo as Ike was demonstrating the intricacies of fly casting to his rapt audience of Soldiers. Perhaps we can hope – and I’d like to believe – that this brief focus on fly fishing, at least for a few moments, served as a brief escape for these troops from the onerous duties awaiting them over the next days.

The author would like to thank Mike Florer of the NPS for assistance with access to these artifacts. For more information on the Eisenhower National Historic Site or to plan a visit, please hit:

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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 08/28/2013 (5604 reads)
This summer the Cumberland Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited (CVTU) volunteers have completed another section in a multi-phase habitat improvement project in The Run in Boiling Springs. The first log wing deflector that was completed last summer. More recently the parking lot was finished early this summer.

The next pics depict the log vane deflector under construction and completed over the summer as well. This was about 25 yards downstream from the AT footbridge and turned a fairly flat, featureless pool with a depth of about a foot, into a much deeper section with a nice plunge pool and better flow/oxygenation. Within minutes after we completed this, I saw a couple nice trout move up under the logs.

boiling springs fly fishing

Thanks are due to the Bureau of Forestry for donating the logs and Pennsy Supply for the shot rock. Also: PFBC, Shane Gilbert, and (as always) Gleim Environmental for their time and help. It's much appreciated.

In August the ongoing project by CVTU to improve habitat in The Run continued. Two additional vane deflectors were installed just downstream with the help of the students from the Rivers Conservation and Youth Camp. In the past, many of you have supported CVTU or the youth camp with donations or flies.

If you have not fished The Run in Boiling Springs lately, drop by. It's holding fish in large numbers this summer (this has not been consistent in recent years) and fishing well, even in the hottest weather. The improvement projects have worked well and fish can be seen holding both above and below them. Just a couple nights ago I was fly fishing, I managed an very nice brown trout on my third or fourth cast in The Run.

It's been a good year for The Run as well as the Breeches itself. I think the improvements have turned out well. Drop by and check 'em out.

Special thanks for CVTU for their efforts on this conservation effort for anglers.

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