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Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Blog
Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/14/2020 (193 reads)
The second attempt in the last week to get on the board for 2020 turned out to be an outstanding day of fishing at Muddy Creek. Maurice hit me the night before to get out today to Muddy Creek on Monday. I quickly abandoned my plans for the Gunpowder and started packing up the SUV.


We arrived at about 11:00 with temps in the mid-forties and cloud cover. The clouds stayed with us all day and temps moved up to the upper forties. Water was just a little off-color, running at 180 CFS and at about 46 degrees. It could be considered a normal winter day in SEPA.

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Maurice pointed out what really made conditions work is the very warm weather and rain just two days before. On January 11th the water temps reached about 51. January 12th was 65 degrees with about .8 inches of rain after midnight. This raised the water temps and changed the clarity of the water to just a little off-color when we got there. The normally sluggish deep holed trout were moving around more, with a better chance of them feeding.



We started out pretty quickly getting some hits and trout My first fish landed just before noon and Maurice followed right along or vice versa I can't recall. I pretty much stuck to fishing a black Palmer streamer all day.

The best section of the stream for me was a longer deep bending hole. After we caught a couple, I was now drifting my streamer at the end of the hole. Frist cast is a strong bump and miss, second cast strong bump and miss, third cast bump and miss and now I got a glimpse him. The fourth time, bam he came back for more and made the hook-up! A lot of fun.



Most of my fish were pulled out from opposite bank and the fish striking on the swing. An occasional little twitch helped give the streamer some slight action.

Maurice stuck to nymphing for the day with a bead head and wet fly dropper 18” up the line hitting more of the deeper holes and runs. We did really well catching many fish for the day. We had fall stocked bows, TU holdover browns and Mo caught a wild trout to close the day. The stocked fish looked in good shape and were all 10"-14".


I even saw a few ~#26 BWO? coming off sporadically a few times during the day. There were a couple rises at one hole. Enough excitement for me to put on a dry fly, but really it was only a Hail Mary and had no luck.

We wrapped up the day after 4:30 and made our way back up the hill to the cars talking about one of the best days we had for a January in a long time.


Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/08/2020 (240 reads)
After a busy spring and early summer of fly-fishing, or at the end of the season is a good time to give your gear a little attention. Your fly line especially could use some love during the year.

The UV rays of the sun and common chemicals can break down your fly line over time. Sunscreen and the deet in your insect repellent can easily do the most common damage. After a short time even mud, salt and dirty water can weaken the effectiveness of your line unless you periodically clean and treat them carefully.

In this video, Brian Flechsig at Mad River Outfitters offers a detailed step-by-step guide on how to clean your fly line and why you should do so!

Published by Michael Lohman [GenCon] on 01/05/2020 (308 reads)
To all PAFF members, family, and friends:
You are invited to attend and participate in the 2020 PAFF Eastern PA Fly Tying Jamboree, to be held on Saturday, February 15, from 10 AM to 5 PM. This event is being hosted by Michael Lohman GenCon . Please feel free to contact me with any questions. This event will be held at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, in Slatington, PA. Directions can be found here:

Screen Shot 2020-01-05 at 9.30.27 PM

Everyone is invited to attend and watch the demonstrations, get tips from the tyers, and have a great time. We particularly encourage beginner tyers to attend, and we'll have beginner instruction set up at a table. Details to follow.

As always, we need to recruit a team of volunteer tyers of all skill levels to participate and we ask that you register your willingness to give a demonstration by signing up in this thread. Each tyer will be given 15-20 minutes to tie and explain their chosen demo fly. Tyers will tie one at a time, proceeding around the room. Please choose a pattern that fits into one of the following categories, and list it in your signup post. Duplicates are OK, but try to pick a pattern that hasn't already been chosen.

Screen Shot 2020-01-05 at 9.31.01 PM

- Catskill style dries
- parachute style dries
- comparadun and hairwing style dries
- emergers
- imitative nymphs
- attractor nymphs
- terrestrials
- wet flies
- streamers
- "other" flies

Tying on a large hook (e.g. #12) makes it much easier for the audience to see what you are doing. It really helps if you practice your "demo" beforehand, especially to keep within the time limit. Having all the materials laid out beforehand is also good. We should be able to fit about 30 tyers into the rotation. If we have extra time, that time will be used for Q & A sessions following each demo. We request that the tyers explain techniques as they go, rather than just tying the fly, and explaining afterward. This can easily make a 5-minute tie into a 15-minute tie, so be prepared.

Things to bring:
• All Tools and materials to tie your chosen demo fly. A tying lamp and any extension cords you need - there's an ample number of outlets on the walls behind the tying tables.
• Bring any food or drinks you'd like to, but save room for dinner! We'll provide spring water on ice.

It's a good idea to get there and set up your tying gear before 10 AM. We'll have access to the hall at the LGNC at 9 AM, so please be ready to start tying at 10 AM. We'll also be holding a raffle at 5 PM of donated tying materials and flyfishing gear. Any donations to this raffle are welcome, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, as a "thank you" for allowing us to use their beautiful facility for this event.

We'll be heading over to Riverwalck's Saloon after the event for drinks and dinner. Directions to Riverwalck's Saloon can be found here: Let the hostess know you are with Paflyfish, and she'll take you to our tables.

Looking forward to a fun and educational day, meeting new PAFF members, and seeing old friends and fishing buddies! Please sign up in the forum thread here, and don't forget to list your chosen demo fly. Let the games begin!

GenCon Michael Lohman

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/02/2020 (622 reads)
By Brian McGeehan at Montana Angler Fly Fishing

On a recent hosted trip to Jurassic Lake Lodge in Argentine Patagonia I tested 5 of the 6 rods from the 6 Weight review. I chose not to take the Sage LL along as it was definitely not designed for high winds, big flies and bigger fish. Jurassic Lake is an incredibly windy place littered with giant rainbows. I considered leaving the Orvis Helios 3F behind as well, but because it was my overall favorite after casting in the park I wanted to see if any of that would transfer in Argentina.


To read part one of the 6 weight review click here: 6 Weight Fly Rod Review - Part One

I kept the fly lines consistent with the previous testing in the park. For the first five full days of fishing, I fished with one of the five rods for an entire day. This allowed me to get to know the rod over several hours of fishing. Not a completely fair comparison as some days were windier than others and different beats sometimes presented unique challenges. Fishing the river, for example, didn’t require very long casts and we were more sheltered from the wind, while another part of the lake called the Bay of Pigs usually required extra-long casts into a headwind. One thing I can say about all of the rods is I was impressed at how well they performed when landing the large and powerful fish of Jurassic Lake. Each rod had enough flex to protect tippets from breaking and hooks from straightening out while also bringing fish to the net relatively quickly.

Helios 3F
The Helios 3F was my overall favorite in the original 6 weight review that took place in the park. That being said, it did not perform as well at Jurassic. I felt like it struggled to cast larger dries beyond 30 feet and when I wanted to cast longer distances in wind I couldn’t get consistent powerful casts out. When I shared this sentiment with our Orvis rep, Jamie Lyle, he responded with “I prefer the F until I need the D. When comparing the Orvis H3F to the H3D I concur with Jamie that for most situations I prefer the feel of the F, but at Jurassic Lake the D, as well as other more powerful rods performed better.

Helios 3D
After casting this rod on the lawn at varying distances and fishing it in challenging conditions at Jurassic Lake I would feel very confident taking this rod out on the boat to throw larger dries and streamers or if there was wind predicted for the day. However, if I knew most of my casting was going to be at 30’ or less I might opt for another rod. The H3D was a joy to fish with at Jurassic and I am curious to see how this rod would perform with a streamer tip line and larger streamers out of a boat.

The Asquith was probably the most surprising when comparing my time in the park to Jurassic Lake. When casting in the park conditions were calm and wind was non-existent, while the Jurassic day was one of the windiest days of my fishing career. On the lawn I rated it as my least favorite rod and really did not enjoy the shape or feel of the grip in hand. At Jurassic Lake it fished like a champ. By the end of the trip I felt like this was one of the top performing rods in these conditions, if not the very top. I could shoot out 70’ of line in heavy winds and cast large dries with ease. I also did not notice the smaller grip at Jurassic Lake for some reason and found no issue with the grip while fishing.

Sage X
Based on the fact that the X was one of my favorites for mid to long range casts on the lawn it was easy to assume that this would also be one of my favorites at Jurassic Lake. This rod performed well at longer distances, in the wind and with larger dry flies attached. It wouldn’t be my first choice for fishing Paradise Valley Spring Creeks or the Gallatin River, but I wouldn’t hesitate to bring it along as a boat rod for some of our larger rivers. For me this rod did best at mid range, good at longer distances and not my favorite when fishing short.

Sage Igniter
Unfortunately the Igniter drew the short straw with conditions while at Jurassic. The day was one of, if not the windiest day of fishing I had ever experienced. To add to the challenge I was assigned to the Bay of Pigs for one of the half days, which is the most challenging beat to fish in heavy winds at the lodge. I struggled to lay out casts in the strong headwinds at the Bay of Pigs past 30 or so feet and most of the fish could be seen closer to 50’ out. I managed to get a few casts out, but not many. Later, I was able to fish Left of the Mouth, which is much more forgiving in the wind. It performed equally well to the top performing rods. In hindsight I should have made a point to fish the igniter again on a calmer day. If I had to guess, I would have struggled just as much, if not more with any other rod on the list in those conditions. I owe the Igniter another shot and feel like it would perform well as a boat rod chucking large streamers, big dries or a heavy nymph rig.

In the end I learned that you cannot judge a rod by the way it casts on the lawn. It is important to have a good understanding of what the intended purpose of the rod is before making a decision. And in some cases you may not fully understand how a rod will perform in specific circumstances without first hand experience. How a rod performs is not only reliant on its design and conditions, but your own personal casting style. If I can offer one piece of advice it would be to cast prospective rods in the most realistic setting possible. If you intend on using a specific rod to fish bigger flies at 40-60’ it would be a good idea to cast at those distances when you test the rod. Additionally I would suggest tying something on to the end of the line that will more realistically simulate a fly that you intend to cast. When testing a rod at a fly shop you may want to bring your own fly with the hook cut off and request that you be allowed to cast the rod with that particular fly. Not all shops may be open to this as it increases the odds of breaking or damaging the rod. What fly line you cast the rod with is also critical as different lines can dramatically affect the overall experience. Finding a local fly shop that is knowledgeable and sensitive to these differences will increase your odds of choosing the right rod and fly line that will be a good match for the intended fishing situations.

Brian McGeehan is a Pennsylvania native and has been guiding Western rivers in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado for 20 seasons. He is a licensed Montana outfitter and owner of Montana Angler Fly Fishing based in Bozeman, MT.

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/19/2019 (233 reads)
Another great video from Tim Flagler at Tightline Productions with detailed instructions for tying a Hare's Ear Wet Fly.

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