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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/08/2014 (2908 reads)
By Brian McGeehan

The Aisen Region of Chile is located about the same distance South of the Equator as Montana is North. On a recent trip to the Coyaquie province we targeted wild browns and rainbows while fishing a remarkable diversity of fisheries including large float rivers, huge crystal clear lakes, spring creeks and wilderness mountain streams. We stayed at the Magic Waters Patagonia Lodge which is tucked away in remote valley with 5 private lakes filled with wild trophy fish.

The lodge is right on the edge of the Cerro Castillo National Reserve and the wilderness lakes and rivers within but is also within easy striking distance of the fertile spring creeks and valley rivers of the dryer pampas region. The mountain rivers are free of sediment and are gin clear with an emerald green hue. The pampas areas near the Argentine boarder are dryer and it is a similar landscape to the Dillon Montana area (without other fisherman!). I have been hosting trips to Patagonia for the last five seasons and this area blew me away in every way: amazing diversity of fishing options, big trout, few other anglers (we didn’t see any), and exclusively fishing huge dry flies. As a Montana fishing outfitter I pride myself on a nice collection of big rubber legged attractor dry flies but when I showed up to the lodge and showed Eduardo Barrueto, our host, my box he asked “do you have anything bigger?”. We spent the entire week throwing the biggest dry flies we could handle including huge size 2 beetle patterns and even larger mouse patterns.

fly fishing chile


Big dries. One of the reasons the trout in the mountains of Chile love such big dry flies is because they love to eat Cantara beetles. These massive beetles look like hummingbirds when flying and are a huge meal for a hungry trout. A size 4 or 2 Gypsy King or black Fat Albert is a good imitation and a favorite fly of the guides.

fly fishing Aisen Region


Huge lakes are abundant across Patagonia and most are filled with huge trout. In the Coyaque province lakes like Lago Azul (or Blue Lake) are filled with big browns to 30”. They still love to each dry flies and a day spent rowing along the big cliff walls throwing mouse patterns over submerged timber is a unique experience that becomes even more memorable when a 25” brown inhales the rodent imitation at the end of your fly line!

big-brown


This big 25” brown ate a mouse pattern on Lago Paloma. We spotted it lying along a cliff wall above some down timber. I had to throw the mouse pattern inches from his head to entice him into an explosive strike. Sight casting on the big lakes was one of the highlites of our trip.

rio-paloma-float-fishing


The abundance of big lakes also helps to filter sediments out of the water and the rivers that connect the lakes are always gin clear. The Rio Poloma is a special fishery that connects Lago Azul to Lago Claro. A more beautiful trout river is hard to imagine.

spring-creeks


A 45 minute drive to the east took us into the dry pampas near the Argentine boarder. We fished a beautiful unnamed spring creek on a huge private estancia. Grasshoppers were in abundance and big browns were spooky but willing to aggressively take the flies on the first cast if it was well presented.

Niriguoa mouse


This big 22” brown clobbered a size 1 mouse pattern skittered across the surface of the Rio Niriguoa – yet another private spring creek on a huge estancia. The hopper fishing was incredible in the morning on the Niriguoa – so good that after lunch I “supersized” to the mouse which brought the catch rate down to 2 or 3 fish per hour but dramatically increased the average size. All of the fish caught “mousing” were between 17-22”!

lodge


Evenings were spent back at the Magic Waters Lodge enjoying good company and delicious local seafood, beef and lamb along with a great selection of Chilean and Argentine wines.

rio-magote-horse


The Rio Magote is a wilderness river that feeds the Paloma. We spent one day riding about an hour into the back country. The Magote looks like a lot of rivers in New Zealand and we spent time both site fishing and blind casting. I fished a mouse pattern again this day and landed several nice browns topping out at 22”

paloma-brown


We spent another day on the Paloma River, but this time on the upper portion which has beautiful braided sections and great holding water. We had about 30 minutes of cloud cover so I tried a streamer and within five minutes hooked this big 23” brown that was hiding in a backwater full of downed timber. I thought for sure I snagged a log at first. That was the only 30 minutes of the entire trip that I fished anything besides big dries but it certainly paid off!

Rio-Simpson


On our last day we accessed yet another private estancia. This time are target was the famed Rio Simpson. After making our way across several ranch gates we hiked into a small canyon to target the emerald green waters at the bottom. We saw both large browns and rainbows but failed to connect with any of the big boys on this day.

Rio-Blanco


The Rio Blanco is a gorgeous mountain stream. The lodge has private access to some great water that allows for site casting to some nice sized browns and a few rainbows.

Visit the Montana Angler blog for a full Chile 2014 trip report. Brian McGeehan is a Pennsylvania native but has been guiding an outfitting in Montana and the west for 20 years. His company Montana Angler Fly Fishing specializes in both Montana fishing as well as destination travel to Patagonia.


I want to thank Brian for sharing the details of his trip as I like to hear especially about his fly fishing trips to South America. I asked to put together a report with some more photography from the trip. One my bucket list some day to get that way. - Dave
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/01/2014 (8670 reads)
Fly FishingWell it has been several years in the making, but today I am proud to announce the launch of Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Magazine. The regions newest and best publication about fly fishing in Pennsylvania. Here is my upcoming interview with Field and Stream due out in May.

Bob: So Dave what made you interested in creating a new fly fishing magazine?
Dave: The world is changing and timing is everything. The market seemed ripe to deliver a monthly highly visually and comprehensive publication about fly fishing in the region. There is so much to offer outside the overly dynamic world of the Internet. For some people web browsers can be pretty daunting Bob.

Bob: So Dave who will be reading this magazine?
Dave: Probably not a lot of people at first. Once I get past the viewership issue and the distribution thing worked out it will be smooth sailing. I am confident some successful mail campaigns will really spike readership and new reader awareness.

Bob: When will that happen?
Dave: I am looking to get those cards dropped in August. Can we talk about something else?

Bob: Sure Dave so who is it targeted for?
Dave: If they get Readers Digest those are my peeps.

Bob: So Dave would you say your market is anglers who fly fish in Pennsylvania that subscribe to Readers Digest?
Dave: You got it Bob and they are really adverse to technology.

Bob: Sounds like the Amish?
Dave: Can we talk about something else?

[size=small]Bob: So Dave what can readers expect.
Dave: A lot! First off we will be providing quite a bit of high quality photography and will be encouraging our readers to send in their photos from their cell phones to participate and get engaged. The magic of the magazine will feature a lot of hot topics and timely articles on things like hatches, fly tying, and the latest cougar sightings.

Bob: Dave, cougar sightings? Why cougar sightings?
Dave: I have found that fly fisherman have a unique opportunity to observe and report on the many cougar sighting across the region. For some reason more so than any other sportsman, fly fisherman see and dwell on these wonderful predators that are found throughout the region. So we are going get our readers involved.

Bob, we will also provide stocking report on steroids.

Bob: How so?
Dave: We are going to work on even more comprehensive coverage with GPS locations over where buckets of stocked trout are dumped into a stream. This will give our readership a distinct advantage over other anglers. Think about it, what angler wouldn't want to have this for example on the Tully - 78.67554 42.09866 / 35 9" brown trout!! The value proposition is tremendous.

Bob: Dave that sounds very intriguing, but how will you be able to get that kind of data?
Dave: Working those details out now. Looking at RFID tags on trout as one option. Can we talk about something else like stream reports?

Bob: Sure what about stream reports?
Dave: Of course what would a fly fishing magazine be without stream reports? Really overlooked and certainly high value content. We will establish a new system of just in time emails from viewers and receive them just before we go to press. While Angling Reports for Trout , sent via Email about Streams or WARTLESS Reports as I like to call them will be set up for this new way of reporting on the streams in the area. Now they won't be very well curated at first, but again timing is everything. Who wouldn't want a WARTLESS Report?

Bob: Not sure about the reports but tell me more about fly tying.
Dave: Bob this is exciting and in our first issue we have something special for our readers. We are featuring regionally renown tyer Ron "Trout Dog" Kolman and his dreaded Brown Weenie. He ties a wonderful Green Weenie, but claims the brown version looks and resembles a more realistic trout pellet. Of course step by steps will be included.

Bob: What kind of lead articles will you have?
Dave: Our first feature article is called Don't Stand so Close to Me. Have you ever had someone jump into your hole and cast over you? Well this article discusses what the correct scientific distances are of acceptable stream entry when fly fishing and what you should do about it. Lets just say I am not advocating a taser, but you will have to read the article to really look at the options discussed.

Bob: What else can readers expect?
Dave: We plan on having monthly interviews with nationally renown anglers. I want to surprise everyone a little bit in the first issue, but I can say his first name is Hank. He is one of the best and brightest rising star's in fly fishing today.

Bob: So how can readers get a hold of the magazine.
Dave: Look for a mailer coming this August in the mail.
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 03/31/2014 (1763 reads)

An Award Much Deserved
By Dave Weaver
For Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited and Paflyfish.com

A fine time indeed was had at the recent Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited (CVTU) Limestoner Banquet. This is CVTU’s main fundraising event each year. Like many TU chapters, CVTU relies on volunteer efforts to complete a wide range of valuable endeavors and this includes putting together an annual banquet to raise funds. Among these outstanding endeavors, CVTU is involved in land preservation, youth fly fishing outreach in the form of the Rivers Conservation and Youth Camp and Trout in the Classroom; fly fishing schools for women, US military, and disadvantaged youths as well as wounded veterans.

Dave Kile
Dave Kile and Justin Pittman


Among our recent stream improvement projects during the last year include the Phase 2 project on Big Spring as well as projects to improve habitat in The Run in Boiling Springs, as well as restoration of habitat for native trout in a recovered lake bed. Every year, CVTU juggles an array of stream improvement and outreach programs designed to raise awareness and protect cold water resources and trout habitat across hundreds of square miles in the Cumberland valley and adjacent areas – an area encompassing many of our state’s best known trout streams but also dozens of lesser known freestone and limestone trout streams. And CVTU isn’t alone. Roughly fifty chapters of TU and the State Council are all in the fight.

In CVTU’s case, not only do we run a very nice banquet with the typical array of fun items to bid or purchase, but over twenty years ago the chapter decided to include a couple awards that would be presented at the banquet to deserving recipients. These include the Limestoner Award, which is usually given to an individual who has done much to improve CVTU’s mission. Another is the Charles K. Fox Rising Trout Award, which is given to an individual who has enhanced the sport of fly fishing, especially in the state of PA. Naturally, Charlie Fox – the founder of CVTU - was the first recipient.

Dave Kile
Tom Ciannilli, Dave Kile, Maurice Chioda and Dave Weaver


If you’re a regular reader of this blog’s message board, you’re undoubtedly aware that the owner and manager of this blog, Dave Kile, was the recent recipient of the Fox award. There’s been a good deal of discussion among us this when it was announced that Dave would receive this. In any event, being the gracious gentleman that he is, Dave was flattered and genuinely surprised.

Naturally, Dave felt that his entire moderator staff deserved as much credit as he… and promptly invited all of us to the banquet. Jack was a bit too far away and indisposed, but Maurice, Tom, and I were there for a fun evening. After the usual banquet formalities, Dave received the award and made a nice speech thanking Tom, Maurice, and I. Also of note, longtime CVTU stalwart Bob Thompson received the Limestoner Award for his many years of service to the chapter. Chapter President Justin Pittman presented the awards to Bob, Dave, and several other individuals. Take some time if you care to, and join us vicariously by perusing the pics of the banquet which can be seen on the CVTU website.


Justin Pittman and Bob Thompson


As we well know, Paflyfish.com has indeed become, for many of us, our favorite place out of the water where we visit daily to touch base with old friends and fishing buddies as well as share the latest fly tying trick, debate the latest controversy, report on a fishing trip or tell a fish story…and especially help new fly fishers get their footing in the sport. This is a small but significant snapshot of the future of participation in fly fishing. Of course that’s not to say that books and traditional media and clubs will wither on the vine. To the contrary, older guys like many of us will keep them going. Nevertheless, the demographic here on Paflyfish is decidedly younger by comparison. It’s been a heckuva ride. Just speaking for myself, the banquet was especially noteworthy and special in that it brought together at once two organizations that have come to represent for me the two best organizations associated with fly fishing.

I’ll let Dave speak for himself on how he feels about Paflyfish…but I think most of us can relate to the idea of pursuing a passion. Dave started Paflyfish fifteen years ago as a hobby merging his interest in technology and fishing. Over the years, this site has evolved from a hobby to a passion for Dave and has now taken root in a way that helps the rest of us pursue our passion. This is what Dave Kile has wrought. So thanks and congratulations Dave, you deserve the Charles Fox Rising Trout Award.

Kudos also go to CVTU and all the state chapters of Trout Unlimited. Come on out sometime to your local chapter meeting and join or otherwise support TU. You’ll be glad you did. See yuh around the stream…or around the internet.

Photographs by Bill Strockbine
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/20/2014 (7961 reads)

fly rodIf you ask any fly fishing angler out there what is the best first rod and reel setup you need, you will get a different answer from everyone. Picking your second, third, or even seventh rod you will have some very specific purposes in mind and still get a lot of different answers. Your first fly rod and reel should be a good general purpose setup that will be easy to use in most any trout stream in the region.

For the love of Zeus you don't want to look like the dopey guy in the Symbicort commercial that has a crappy M*A*S*H hat, is fishing for brook trout in a creek with a large arbor saltwater 9 wt reel and 15 foot fly rod setup with a real bobber on your line. I'm not saying go spend all your 401k money, quite the opposite. Don't spend a lot, but get something that makes sense to get started with in our region to fly fish for trout.

Fly Rod
If you are just getting started, you will likely want a 5 weight (wt) 8'6" - 9' graphite, medium fast action fly rod. This is an all 'round great fly rod or beginners. I like the four piece rods as they travel better. Make sure whatever setup you get has a good rod tube to keep it protected when it is stored away or while in your vehicle. You can expect to pay about $100 or more to get started.

Fly Reel
To select a fly reel you match the weight of the fly rod to the corresponding reel. If you get a 5 wt rod then you get a 5 wt reel. Nothing fancy needed when you first get going, it's really just a spool to reel in your fly line. A line holder if you will. No need to drop a car payment just yet. Starting at around $100 will get you a good quality machined aluminum reel. While as little as $35-$70 will get you into the game with a stamped steel or synthetic line holder.

Fly Line
Be sure to complete your setup with a weight forward fly line that matches the weight of your fly rod and fly reel. Remember unlike a spinning rod and reel, the fly line is what carries your fly. So stick with the 5 wt again for your fly line and that will run you $29 - $59.

Tapered Leader and tippet
A knotless tapered leader is usually a 9' section of special mono line that connects the end of your fly line to some ~30" of tippet and then your fly. With proper casting the tapered leader and connected tippet provide a natural presentation of the fly onto the water. The different x's and lb test of the leader and tippet should be changed during the season and conditions where you fish.

A 5x trout leader is a middle of the road and good starting point in the early season. You will likely be fishing more streamers and nymphs in March and early April. When dry fly fishing on top or for smaller trout you can get to smaller 6x leader and tippet setups. You will want the presentation of the fly to be a little more delicate and the right tippet can make a huge difference. You should pick up a few leaders that will run you about $3 each and a spool of 30' 5x - 5lb test tippet is about $5. Think five's for now.

fly reelI want you to explore more of the details on these setups and ask others. Just remember when you share with someone the setup I am suggesting 99 of 100 people will say it is wrong and I am and idiot. Hopefully in 30 years you can be an idiot just like me. Check in on the forums to do some research. Get started and then modify your setup as you see fit and what works best for you. I never use knotted leaders for example only crazy people use that crap. Kidding of course...a little.

The dollar amounts I discuss are good starting points and you will do just fine. You can spend more if your budget permits or you just got a good tax return. Maybe your wife just snuck in some new cloths from Anne Taylor with the dry cleaning and it's your turn. Been married 25 years and know a lot of these tricks. Just say there was a great 50% off sale. I hear that one all the time.

So where do you buy this gear? Please look at the sponsors (Allen Fly Fishing, Trident Fly Fishing, Risen Fly, The Sporting Gentlemen and Shadow Fly Fishing) on the site that offer the gear discussed. There are plenty of great brands and choices. But, mainly because I trust them, they have a good range of products and warranties they stand behind. They are available to answers questions for you through email, on the phone or in the Shop Talk Forum. You will find many other members on the site providing feedback about their gear in Gear Talk or the Beginners Forum. If you want some more tradition conversation go to a nearby fly shop and get some answers there too.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/06/2014 (3830 reads)
Anytime you are fly fishing over at the Swatara or Quitty in Lebanon Valley a stop to the Snitz Creek Brewery is a must after packing up your gear. Proprietors, Patrick Freer and Adam Szajda opened the brewpub in January with a little something special for all us fly fishing anglers in mind. Anyone who has thrown a dry fly will love the attraction of getting a Brown Trout Stout draft beer from a tap handle made from a fly rod and reel.

Snitz Creek Brewery Taps


The brewery goes all in with the fly fishing theme by not only taking their name from the local Snitz Creek waters, but adds a whole selection of crafted beers, food and even a logo that is a hop fly.

Snitz Creek Brewery Sampler


The Saturday afternoon I dropped in the place was already way crowded. Kim was kind enough to find me a spot to test the waters.

Snitz Creek Brewery Stout


I enjoyed a sampling of the Opening Day IPA, Brown Trout Stout, Woolly Bugger IPA and Explorer Ale. The Explorer Ale is a season ale that offers nice combination of malt and hops. I'm an ale guy so it hit the spot. The Woolly Bugger was of course a lot bolder as an IPA with big body with a dark roasted punch. The Brown Trout Stout had a great mix of some roasted flavors including chocolates. The Opening Day IPA delivered a lighter color with some tasty hops.

Snitz Creek Brewery Food


The brewpub provides a great feel as a place to stop in with friends after a busy day or have enjoyed some time in the outdoors. Plenty of room at the bar, booths or tables to hangout enjoy not only some excellent beer, but wine and food too.

Snitz Creek Brewery Bar


The menu carries that outdoor theme with Trophy Burgers, Shore Lunches and more. All authentic local food with items that include Lebanon bologna, grilled cheese and pretzel rolls. Who wouldn't want some Hook, Line and Sinker Fries!

Snitz Creek Brewery Tanks


I spent a some time talking with Charlie Hildebrand, Operations manager., who gave me a tour of the brewery and restaurant. Charlie was a great guy to speak with had a lot of good background on the brewpub. Patrick, Adam and other local partners spared no expense into the brewery with all new specialized brew tanks, gear and a kitchen that is state of the art. A really beautiful setup to go along with the fun environment.

_CDK3759


Thanks to WGmiller for for sharing the news about Snitz Creek Brewery and I look forward to getting back over for some more Explorer Ale with a Trophy Burger and Woopie pie!

Snitz Creek Brewery
7 North 9th Street
Lebanon, PA
717-450-4467
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/03/2014 (5629 reads)
One of the first signs of spring is the emergence of the little black stonefly in many streams in the East. A variety of stoneflies (Order Plecoptera) in different sizes and colors follow suit throughout the season. Stoneflies are often overlooked by many Eastern anglers as mayflies and caddis are much more prolific. They rarely show up in any great numbers and their timing is not very predictable. Still, it is an important insect to understand for both nymphing and dry fly fishing.

StoneflyIn the Western states stoneflies are held in high esteem as anglers anxiously anticipate them for their large numbers and size (Video). Generally, stoneflies are the largest of all insects that live in the water.

Like many insects, stoneflies have a successful lifecycle that dates back over 250 million years to the Permian Period and not much about them have changed.

Stoneflies have the characteristic six legs of insects, but four wings that are folded flat on top of the abdomen. Coloration is black, brown, yellow and tan. Despite 200 million years of evolution they are considered awkward fliers.

Some general lifecycle traits of all species start with the females depositing hundreds of tiny eggs over a stream that quickly find their way to the bottom among the rocks. Nymphs then grown and molt 12-36 time before leaving the water. Some species can require up to three years before they mature into adults. As nymphs they can be found under rocks feeding on algae, mosses and even other aquatic invertebrates.

While Mayflies and caddis flies emerge out of the water, most stoneflies hatch from the shore line. Each species varies, but stoneflies will swim to the banks and crawl out of the water onto rocks or plants to molt into winged adult insects. Stoneflies are regarded as more nocturnal and you will more likely see the molted shucks and not see the actual emergence. Another difference between Mayflies and Stoneflies is that many species will have mouths and can feed during the weeks they live as adults before finally mating and dying.

Seeing active stoneflies and shucks is a good sign to start fishing with a stonefly nymph or a stimulator dry fly.

To learn and discuss more about mayflies on the site head over to the Hatch and Entomology Forum. Beginners can follow along and learn more in the Beginners Forum.

A great online site to follow and get deep into the latin is Troutnut and his Aquatic Insects of our Trout Streams. A must read!! BugGuide has more details as well.





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Published by Jon [jhedge] on 02/13/2014 (4750 reads)
This past year was my first year fly fishing and most of what I've learned has come from the help of members of this forum. I've had a blast getting to know all of you and just wanted to say thank you for all the events put together and willingness to help out the newbies.

Grand Cayman Fly fishingThis January I had a family vacation scheduled to Grand Cayman. I've been there one time prior but never fly fished there. This time was gonna be different though!

After some research and talking to a few members on here I decided to book a guide early on in the trip then take what he taught me and fish on my own the rest of the time. From a members recommendation I contacted a local guide Randy Parchment. Randy was a great guide and super knowledgable and helpful. He kept in contact with me during my whole trip giving me tips on where to fish and who to purchase some local flies from. He also helped with other touristy things on the island. For our guided trip he took me to the flats of Rum point and definitely got me on some bonefish.

I wasn't able to connect on any fish that trip but not for lack of trying on both Randy and my part. With the knowledge I gained I was ready to hit the flats on my own. I mainly fished at Rum point due to the wind directions of the week. It was the calmest portion of the island and the fish were definitely there. After a few hours on my own over the next couple of days I started realizing why bonefish are referred to as the "gray ghost". They are very difficult to spot moving across the flats. Once you manage to spot them and stalk within casting distance you had to be spot on and delicate in your presentation. I busted many a group of feeding fish by casting too close or plopping my line down too hard on the water. Once that wrong move was made those fish scattered! I stuck with it though and on my third outing finally landed my first bonefish! They are every bit as powerful as people say. That fish snapped the line right out of my fingers and took off! After a few runs though he was mine.

bonefish


Throughout the trip I managed to land 4 bonefish and a few other random fish. All the bonefish were on the smaller side. I saw a few bigger ones and got one to chase my shrimp pattern but never took it. I also went out a few times for smaller tarpon in some of their salt ponds but never got lucky. I had a hit on a popper there but no hook up. I had a blast fishing for bones and look forward to the next time I can get somewhere tropical.

Grand Cayman Fly fishingFor those interested I used a TFO BVK 9ft 8wt rod and reel. It performed flawlessly for me and I was able to get some good distance out of my casts. As for flying I was able to take my rod and reel as a carry on from here to Grand Cayman. However, upon return since it is a British island the rules were different and I had to put it in my larger suitcase under the plane. If anyone wants any more info feel free to pm me. And here’s a few more pics on Facebook from the trip and follow along in the forum here.

I want to thank Jon for sharing his trip. Looked like a great time. - Dave






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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/03/2014 (2892 reads)


I got in early for the 2014 Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ. and spent some time checking out the exhibit area as all the booths were getting setup. Glad I was a tourist that afternoon as many of the vendors put a lot of work getting ready for the weekend. Hung out with Rick Nyles & Nick Raftas at Sky Blue Outfitters since they got setup early.

Fridays are the day I like running through the exhibit floor before the bigger crowds on Saturday. I made my way over to the professional fly tiers including Dave "Wetfly01" Allbaugh and Mike "firandfeather" Heck. Plenty to see from Sage, RIO, and plenty of vendors with tying materials. Always pleased to see and spend some time with Justin, AJ and Evan at the Allen Fly Fishing booth. They were busy all weekend and with a lot of folks getting into their reels and rods.

Of course a lot more guys from Paflyfish showed up on Saturday and could help but running to everyone. Another fun show and looking forward to the Fly Fishing Show - Lancaster in March.





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/16/2014 (3850 reads)
Paflyfish is a popular spot for fly fishing anglers in the region for a lot of good reasons. There are all sorts of great conversations and information shared in the forums on a host of different topics. We are very fortunate to have so many folks not only provide information online in the forums, but help out beginners at clinics and instructional jamborees. Also there are some darn smart anglers on the site coming from all walks of life.

wild brown troutI am hoping to expand on that information this spring with a new and updated series of content on the site that is targeted for beginners getting started with fly fishing. From my own experience, it took me many years to really grasp a strong understanding of the sport, let alone having any confidence that I knew what I was doing on a stream. I still question myself after 30 years, so not much has changed. After my last few years, revisiting the fundamentals of the sport would be a good lesson for me as well. I have found myself in a rut with some old habits and anxious to hone my skills again.

Specifically, I will be adding a weekly blog post to the site that will be aimed at beginners for several months. I will cover many of the fundamentals of the sport including topics on trout, streams, hatches, flies, gear and more. As we move into April and May we will cover specific techniques and strategy based on the time of year. These blog posts will be great for anyone just trying to get their head around the sport. There are plenty of great books and Internet resources for anglers to explore as well. The posts are intended to be an introduction to a topic. I will be making sure to include that information as well so folks dig a little deeper on their own. Part of the fun of the sport is the exploration.

Fly fishing getting startedI plan on updating some of the existing static content on the site as well. It has been a while since the Hatch Charts and Where to Fly Fish sections have been improved. I look forward to enhancing those sections and adding some new ones including a Fly Fishing Terminology Page. Subsequent posts in the Fly Fishing Getting Started section will be organized and likely made into their own menu on the site.

Those beginners that want to follow along can join in the conversation at the Beginners Forum. A great spot to ask any questions and get a lot of good answers. No hassles or trolls guaranteed!

I would then suggest you participate and share your success in the Stream Reports forum. This forum is as much about sharing your fly fishing success as it is sharing stream conditions around the region. We all benefit from knowing water conditions and the timing of hatches. Good chance to get some more help about what you experienced on the stream too.

Finally Beginners might want to stay up with the Events Forum. Plenty of activities and events Paflyfish and from from other organizations posted here for you to get involved with as well.

Tight Lines,

Dave








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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/08/2014 (3790 reads)
The Fly Rod Chronicles is a program I have been enjoying on the Outdoor Channel for a number of years. Curtis Fleming and crew travel the country sharing their fly fishing pursuits like no others. In early May of 2013 the show made it's way back home to West Virginia for the Harman's North Fork Invitational 2013. The event offers two-man fly fishing teams a chance to compete for first place on the North Fork of the South Branch River in West Virginia.

Fly Rod Chronicles
The Fly Rod Chronicles at the Harman's North Fork Invitational 2013


Some really top notch anglers get together for this event and Todd Harman was on me for a couple of years about getting a Paflyfish team going for the Invitational. Since Paflyfish has some pretty darn good anglers I figured it wouldn't be too hard to get a competitive team in place. With all the talent I see at a Paflyfish Jamboree I was more concerned about just fielding a team that could wake up for the first session.

As it turned out the short straws went to Shane "Sbecker" Becker and Phil "PhilC" Chadbourn to represent Team Paflyfish at the competition Shane had been to Harman's the year before, which offered him some advantage for the team. Before leaving I asked the guys to just have fun and do their best. I felt like I was sending my kids off to college and almost digressed into warning them about not getting into any trouble.

The North Fork does not support naturally reproducing trout and Todd Harman, Harman's Invitational host, makes sure the stream is always stocked with some awesome looking trout.

Not having been in any fly fishing competitions myself, I had to get familiar with how the Invitational worked. Basically, sixteen teams competed over two days during three sessions of fly fishing. Each team had two sessions on Friday and one on Saturday. Points were accrued by the total length in centimeters of trout over the three sessions. Each team was allowed to land up to seven fish during a session. The best eight teams then duked it out for one final session with the winner being selected based on those points from that last session. There was some strategy that each team needed to make with picking the section of streams or beat for the session. Higher scoring teams got the early picks on their preferred beats.

Harman's North Fork Invitational
Shane at the Harman's North Fork Invitational


The guys headed off Thursday for the weekend and I waited for snippets of emails for updates on their progress.

[Spoiler Alert]
I got a short email late on Friday of first day from Phil cautiously offering up they had a lot of fishing yet to do, but they were in first place. Phil must have figured I would think this was some sort of hoax and Shane shortly followed with an email validating that they were ahead after the first two sessions. Phil managed to land one of the biggest trout of all the competitors that first day. It was great to read their excitement and was much better news than the bail thing that was still itching in the back of my head.

A mid-day email from the duo on Saturday was a little less encouraging. Day two Team Paflyfish presented some new challenges in the third session as they were only allowed to use two flies. That morning was not as productive and they fell back to third overall. This still put them into the finals and they had the third pick of the stream beat.

I didn't hear anymore from them until much later that night. I got a text photo of a poorly lit image from Shane that had some darkened red, white and blue looking thing. My guess was they didn't do so well and moved onto some Pabst Blue Ribbons. A more detailed email arrived later sharing that the guys ended having a really good day. They offered it would have been better if they could have landed a bunch of big rainbows that they missed getting into their nets, but the final message was, "We got it"! Much to their own surprise, Shane and Phil pulled it off by taking first place at the Invitational.

Fly Fishing Competition
The Surprised Winners


"It was just awesome. We had a great time and I never thought that we would win. I just didn't want to come in last and holy cow we won the thing," said Shane. Phil added, "It was a really good time and enjoyed hanging with Curtis and crew."

Curtis later shared with me, "Phil & Shane are class-act and represented Team Paflyfish in high regards. They were a blast to hang out with and very good fly fishermen."

Catch all the fun of the weekend, including Shane and Phil of Team Paflyfish as they take on some of the best anglers from all over the country at the Harman's Invitational 2013 on the Fly Fishing Chronicles. Shows air on the Outdoor Channel starting Monday, January 13th at 11:00 am, Friday, January 17th at 7:00 am and 12:00 pm. A final program will be aired on Saturday, January 18th at 5:30 pm.

Harman's Luxury Log Cabins is a sponsor of Paflyfish. The North Fork does not support naturally reproducing trout and is stocked by Harman's along 1 3/4 miles of water providing anglers with the opportunity to fish for rainbows, browns, brookies, tiger and golden trout. A great place to relax with friends, family and for in some awesome trout fishing.

Photos provided by PhilC and Shane.








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