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YOUTH CAMP FLIES - THANK YOU

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Published by Dave Weaver [Dave_W] on 06/14/2021 (16 reads)

To the fly tiers of PAFF, a hearty thank you for your efforts in supporting the Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp. I had put in a request for fly donations (original thread) and many of you donated your time and materials to produce some excellent flies. The camp director, upon receiving the flies, was very appreciative, calling them a "game changer," as donations were lower this year. The students will be meeting soon on the Yellow Breeches and will put the flies to good use. The youth camp was conceived by Jack Beck of Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited who pondered why America had all sorts of youth camps for various sports and other activities, but not cold water conservation. Today, the CVTU youth camp sets the standard for a variety of similarly themed youth camps and puts teenagers in hands-on activities including building stream improvement structures, fly tying and macro-invertebrate study. In the mornings and evenings, the students get to apply what they learned by fly fishing on Yellow Breeches.

Thanks,
Dave_W

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/02/2021 (208 reads)
This past January made it very difficult to plan a few weeks out let alone several months. The normal Spring May Jamboree was officially put on hold again. Unofficially, the Sulphurs, March Browns and Green Drakes would still be hatching.

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Many of the usual crew made it up for the weekend and stayed at Seven Mountains Campground. The weather was great and we were able to enjoy a couple of good nights of catching up, listening to music, and even enjoying some of the pizzas from Bruno’s oven. Plenty of music from Shakey and Turkey added to the evenings.

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Saturday morning turned into an impromptu casting clinic with Derek helping a few new and experienced anglers with some techniques. Which came in handy for our fly fishing during the weekend.

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Back to the fly fishing. On the first evening of the Unofficial Jam, Afishinado and I went over to the Little J with the anticipation of an evening Sulphur hatch. We made an important dinner stop at the Spruce Creek Tavern for some burgers, beers and fries before hitting the water. A great joint to hit if you are in the area.

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Afishinado picked slower and softer water to fish. I stuck to some faster ripples for the evening. I got into a few bringing up many fish in the faster water at about 6:30. It got slow at about 7:30 and then when the Sulphur hatch hit we did very well.

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Saturday most of the crew made their way to Penns Creek and Tunnel Road. A slow day, but plenty of Sulphurs and spinners in the evening. Unfortunately, the evening was as challenging as the day even with all the bugs. Our first day on Penns proved again to be a bit of mystery.

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On Sunday Maurice and I left the Jam and made our way downstream towards Millmont for several extra days on Penns. Once downstream it was a pleasant surprise to find Coffin Flies galore and some Green Drakes around the stream. So naturally, we settled into our new place and found our way to Class A for some Brookie fishing. A fun diversion from the big water and we got into a few nice trout.

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We tried to make a go of it at Glen Iron to find more Coffin Flies, but no Green Drakes hatching. A quiet night for me, but Sulphurs upstream for Maurice and some fish. We were 100 yards apart and we had completely different experiences. We got back to our place to find our place covered in Coffin Flies along the banks. The street light tracked thousands. We had so many Green Drakes and spinners in our place we found them in the kitchen, shower, and bedrooms for days.

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Things improved for me Monday night with the Sulphur hatch around Weikert. The Green Drakes had a big hatch occur about 10:00 am that morning. Which we missed so we really didn’t see any Monday night.

Tuesday we moved upstream and finally find a good location of some steady Green Drakes. I think I must have missed almost 18 fish with a Green Drake pattern. We did get a few. It seemed like the steady risers were the biggest fish. That evening I did okay with my B-52 Rusty Spinners during the evening bug fest that started at about 8:15.

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Penns Creek really sucks me in with the trout and beautiful setting. It was fun to hang out with Maurice and find some new places. I caught one of my better wild browns on drake at almost 20”. Penns is not easy on the legs with all those greased bowling balls on the stream bed. It can really beat you up and to think when I was younger I would run around there without a wading staff? Another great trip, as I caught more than I normally do on Penns, but she is a tough mother.

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In a lot of ways, it was one of my best trips out in many years. Seeing everyone again was great. Making time for a six-day trip makes a huge difference in your approach to fishing and where you go. Looking forward to next year when we can get back on track for a normal 2022 Spring Jamboree!
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Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/10/2021 (24744 reads)
The Sulphurs are here!
With the best hatch of the season fast approaching, I thought it might be helpful for some of the “Newbie’s” to post a few words on the Sulphur Hatch to get them off to a flying start this month… so if anyone has anything to add in the way of tips, tricks, details, etc. PLEASE feel free to chime in!

The months of May and June here in southeastern PA bring forth the greatest event of the fly-fishing season… the SULPHUR HATCH. These yellowish mayflies are actually made up of three (3) different mayfly species; Ephemerella rotunda, E. invaria, and E. dorothea. Most streams in SEPA hold all three (3) species which can be good AND bad. It’s good because it extends the sulphur hatch from 1st/2nd week of May through much of June (most seasons)… and it’s bad because there are subtleties that the fish notice and key on (sometimes) and if the angler does not adjust, he (or she) could be in for a long evening. The good news though, is that the “bad” is well within your control.

First a quick overview of the three (3) players, in order of emergence;
Ephemerella rotunda: Duns have a medium yellow body color with slight “olive cast” to them… the largest of the three by a hair, could be as large as a size 12 hook size, but a size 14 will do (a true “tweener”)… often hatch out of very swift water (just below riffles)… hatching usually begins around Mother’s Day and lasts 2-3 weeks… hatch most often in late afternoons (4-6 pm)

Ephemerella invaria: Duns have a yellowish/orange body color … best imitated with a size 14 hook… often hatch out of slightly slower flows than rotunda’s… hatching usually begins around 3rd week in May peaking around Memorial Day (slowing down in June)… hatch most often in early evenings (6-7 pm)

Ephemerella dorothea: Duns have a pale yellow body color … best imitated with a size 16 hook (sometimes 18)… often hatch out of slower pools… hatching usually begins in last week of May and lasting well into June… hatch most often in evenings (7-8:30 pm), sometimes right at dusk in a quick “blizzard” of activity.

Believe it or not, there are other “yellow” mayflies hatching during these same times as well, but those listed above make up the Sulphur Hatch as most anglers know it. As you can see there are differences between the three and it will save your sanity to have the proper sizes/colors to cover the gamut. At the very least I would carry size 14 dry fly’s in sulphur yellow to cover the rotunda/invaria and size 16 pale yellow imitations to cover the dorothea (some anglers use a Light Cahill for this). To compound the mayhem, in addition to the over-lapping hatch activity, trout will often key on a certain “stage” of emergence from drifting nymphs, to struggling emergers, to floating duns… and just when you think you have THAT all figured out, there could be spent spinners on the water as well!

If you show up to the stream in the mid afternoon and no fish are rising and no insects are on the water (or in the air)… you could be in for some fast action by tying on a Pheasant-tail nymph (size 14-16) and fishing the riffles and runs. Prior to emergence these nymphs will fill the water column as they struggle to reach the surface. Trout will be gorging on them and you will often see flashes in the stream as fish slash from side-to-side engulfing drifting nymphs by the mouthful.

Once a good supply of duns are on the surface the trout will come up for them and the real fun begins with dry flies… fish staging in faster water will be easier targets as they have precious little time to inspect your offering. Trout holding in slower pools will be a bit tougher, but may be larger and you should still dupe them easily with a stealthy “down & across” approach. If the fish refuse your floating dry, try tying an emerger pattern or weightless nymph about 6” off the back of the dry. This will take fish that are targeting these hapless naturals. Some of you may have heard people say that the trout are easier to catch at the beginning of the sulphur hatch but get smarter as the weeks wear on? These are the guys that don’t adjust to the dorothea activity and are missing out big time. The difference in a size 16 or 14 hook may not sound like much, but place the fly’s next to each other and you will see why the trout key on one or the other. Just pay attention to what is on the water and you’ll be OK.

The last piece of the puzzle is the spinnerfall. Again, this can be as frustrating or as rewarding as you want to make it. Personally I take my largest “dry fly caught” trout every season during the spinnerfall. It’s an easy meal and one that large trout rarely pass up. As you survey the stream take notice of the presence of any swarms of “dancing” mayflies over the riffles. These will be egg-laden females preparing to drop their cargo into the drink before dying and dropping in themselves. The males in all likelihood have already fallen, spent from mating activity. During sulphur season this activity most often takes place during the early evening if not right at dark (maybe early morning if air temp’s are too high for mating flights). These mating swarms start out high above the stream surface and if you happen to notice flocks of insect-eating birds (swallows, swifts, nighthawks… maybe bats) high above, you can be pretty sure that a spinnerfall is about an hour away. Sounds complicated but it is surprisingly simple… for this activity I carry just one fly—The Rusty Spinner—in sizes 14-18. Look for subtle risers, often times near the tail ends of pools, just “dimpling’ the surface and float your imitation right down into the waiting jaws of a heavy brown. If rising fish continue to ignore your floating dun, tie on a Rusty Spinner and 9 out of 10 times you will be surprised at the response.

Always keep in mind that ANY and ALL of the above described activities could be going on… sometimes simultaneously! Just be observant, let the trout tell you what they want, and you will enjoy your cigar and cold beverage a LOT more back at the parking area… this I promise.

*NOTE* The referenced taxon above is a bit outdated as the society of entomologists (or whoever they are) have decided that E. invaria and E. rotunda are now the same species (E. invaria)… also they have added a second dorothea to E. dorothea (E. dorothea dorothea). This info is strictly for the angler’s that are over-obsessed with details (like ME for example)… the trout still eat them the same as they always have.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/19/2021 (508 reads)
This year more than ever I have been very anxious to get away to spend some dedicated days fly fishing. My winter cabin fever fueled with some Covid sequestering added to my desire to escape. An invitation from Rick Nyles to join him and some others to Central Pennsylvania in early April was the ticket. 

As we got closer I would nervously eye up the ten-day weather forecast and bring up the USGS gauges to calculate the water levels for the trip. Everything was shaping up to have ideal conditions, which is rarely the case for April.  

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More importantly, Rick was including a few guys I have known for many years but had not yet had a chance to share any time on the water. Dave “Wetfly” Allbaugh and I had just done a presentation together in March, Dave “Oldlefty” Rothrock catch up at the Paflyfish Jams, Shane “sbecker” Becker, William Kosmer and Ray Herbine were all part of the crew at different times during the week.  

I left early on Wednesday making my way up to Keystone Project along the way for early evening fishing. Several previous warm days and sunny weather fueled some early Hendricksons coming off the water that night. Not a lot of risers, but I switched over to rusty brown spinner and enticed several up and made a few things come together. 

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Navigating my way past the onslaught of Amish buggies lite-up on the road, I made my way to the farmhouse Rick had arranged. A really beautiful place in Centre County along a fishing creek. 

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Thursday Rick, Shane and I made our way to Penns Creek. We were pretty optimistic about some topwater fishing. Water levels were at about 450 CFS and the water temperature was at ~60 degrees. We very shortly found some Hendricksons coming off and some risers responding. The morning worked out pretty well, but once the mid-day sun hit things got pretty quiet. We worked the stream pretty hard but eventually called it quits. 

Dinners on fly fishing trips are usually late and quick, since we left the stream a little early we took the time to enjoy some crab cakes that I brought up from Maryland. Not your normal Central Pennsylvania entree, but much appreciated with some bourbon and beers after being on the stream. 

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We attacked Spring Creek on Friday. Dave Rothrock joined in for the assault and was pleased to find very few anglers on much of the stream. Cloudy conditions offered some BWO hatches and sporadic risers. Shane and Dave did well with nymphs, but pretty slow on top.  

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After some lunch and finding some provisions of cinnamon sticky buns in Milesburg, Dave Rothrock and I went upstream. I had a great time as he was pointing some casting tips and using his drop shot nymph rig. I had fun and did well with that for a while. As we moved further upstream a nice BWO hatch occurred with some risers. I felt obligated to switch up to some topwater and landed a few. Never as many as you think you should.

We returned to the farmhouse for more libations and fly fishing stories. Probably one of the more fun things I enjoy is hearing about everyone's experiences from Pennsylvania, Montana, and Canada. I do miss traveling right now and hearing all those fun stories encourages hopefully get out next year. Mousing in Labrador for brook trout is one I have to try. 

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Dave Allbaugh


Saturday we were in full force to hit some more streams. We had seen a few already and got a few texts about grannoms in the area, but driving in over one of the streams the windshield got pummeled with caddisflies. We got to our first stop and saw more caddies than I think any of us can recall that morning. It was like a river of insects flowing upstream. Not a lot of risers, but I did manage to find some along the banks. 

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The caddis continued even when we went over to Spring Creek. Dave, Dave, and I found few more good spots during the day with waves of caddis and responding trout at different times. I plugged away headhunting with my grannom green egg sack imitation that seemed pretty popular all day. 

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We wrapped the trip up with another good evening just hanging in the kitchen eating some homemade onion rings. Kudos to Ray and finding some more drinks to discuss the blizzard of caddis. It was a great trip to get away, but more importantly, get on the water with some friends. Nothing beats getting outdoors, catching some fish, and sharing a few bourbons with friends to close out a day.  

A special thanks to Rick Nyles, Dave Allbaugh, Dave Rothrock, and the guys at Sky Blue Outfitters for their awesome hospitality for the trip. Great fun and fun and fishing. 
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Published by Swattie [Swattie87] on 03/17/2021 (3671 reads)

By Matt Yancheff ("Swattie87"- Images Courtesy Author)

I often see a common question come up early in the learning curve for anglers looking to get into small stream, wild trout angling: How do I find good streams to fish? It can be an intimidating first hurdle to overcome, but once over it, the way is open to a very rewarding angling experience. It requires some homework, often good for a cold evening in the dead of winter with your beverage of choice. You’ll swing and miss sometimes, but the home runs you hit will be well worth the strikeouts.

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Below is the method that I’ve developed and relied on, and that has led me to many good small stream days in the woods of Pennsylvania:

1. Locate via some simple Googling, the following three lists published, and regularly updated by the PFBC: 1) Natural Reproduction List. 2) Class A Wild Trout List. 3) Wilderness Trout Streams List. They contain different information, and there is some overlap between them, but it is all useful. They all indicate the county the stream is in, so you can use that to begin to narrow things down.

2. (Optional, but not necessary. Good for a beginner with this method, but the more successful you get, you’ll find you’ll rely on these less.) Purchase a couple of PA stream guide books. Dwight Landis’ is very good, and is my personal favorite, but there’s several other good options out there as well. Again, some simple Googling will head you in the right direction if you wish to purchase these. They all run about $20-$30.

3. Review the above-mentioned lists and books and locate some streams in a given area that you think interest you. Cross reference those stream’s locations with a good mapping software. Google Maps works very well for this, and of course, is free. Are the streams on publicly owned land? If not, who owns the land? What are the potential access points? Of course, it goes without saying, always be respectful of private and posted land. Toggle between topographic and satellite views. Is the stream in a remote forested area, or is it running through folks’ back yards? How big does the stream look? How steep/rough does the terrain look? State and National Forest maps are available online for more information. Kudos as well to the Pa. Game Commission as they have recently updated and published detailed maps online of every single State Game Lands tract in PA. They’re very useful for helping confirm access and parking locations for streams on SGL.

4. After your research in Steps 1-3, pick three or four potential streams in an area and head out for a day to check them out. This way you have a couple back up plans if you get to a stream and find unforeseen access problems, or another angler already there. Or if a stream just turns out to be a dud, which happens sometimes.

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5. Once you’ve fished a few of these streams and located a couple good ones, start to think about what they have in common. Take note of what you saw on the maps, and what the stream turned out to actually look like when you got there. Was it what you expected? How big was it? What was its gradient? Did it have lots plunge pools, or was it more riffles and runs? What kind of water fished best? Then look for those similar characteristics in other areas using the lists, books, and maps. You’ll find you’ll quickly become pretty good at it. Before long, you’ll start working backwards – looking at the maps first for good potential spots based on what you’ve learned, then cross referencing with the lists and books….This is when you know you’ve figured it out.

As long as you’re willing to make a bit of a drive sometimes, do a bit of homework first, and be willing to strike out once in a while, this will work, if you try it. We are very fortunate to live in a state with the amount of small, forested wild trout water Pennsylvania has. Get out there and enjoy it!
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/21/2021 (450 reads)
While I’m not a bourbon aficionado, I have been a fan of the spirits since I was in college. Typically with my friends, we would enjoy Saturday football games on TV, play cards along with a Jim Beam and ginger ale. A simpler time and less sophisticated taste, but one of my better memories.


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The more recent popular interest in bourbon has added many new distilleries, but also provides the opportunity for me to explore a lot of labels that have been around for decades.

I keep a decent collection of about ten to fifteen different bourbons on hand. Plenty of options for mixing, on the rocks, or some just for sipping neat. One of the inspirations for collecting bourbons is my friend Ed and his 62 different brands. We just counted this on Thursday night. I don’t have a bar big enough to cover that kind of hobby, but it's good to have him as a friend in many ways. I not only get to admire his stocked shelves, but I also got to do some tasting of a wide range of distillers. It’s good to have friends.

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The Nirvana of Ed's Bourbon Bar


Along with Ed’s collection, a few years ago, a trip to Louisville added to my bourbon background. Definitely worth the journey to explore the roots of the bourbon experience. The distillery tours are gaining a lot of attention and reservations are pretty much required anymore to get a tour or even a paid tasting. A designated driver is a must and helps make the experience that much easier to enjoy.

There is a lot to learn about the process of bourbon making. History has its own aura and you can see the passion for bourbon runs deep in the horse country of Kentucky. With stops at Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Old Forester you could see they all have their own stories in creating their spirits.

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Makers Mark Distilary


While on one of the tours it was mentioned about making your own blended bourbon. I had heard of the idea once before at another tasting but dismissed it as something complicated and a process only for distillers. This intrigued me and I had to find out more. As it turns out, (with the concept of a distillery blending their own spirits), you can blend the bourbons you already carry at home. So instead of a vessel of one brand, you can mix your own favorites across several labels.

A simple decanter can be used to combine some of your favorite brands into a more personal blend. If you like Knob Creek, but find the proof kind of high, which I do, you can cut it with Basil Hayden. Two excellent bourbons brought together giving you a new taste.

I prefer the randomness and ease of simply taking the last few shots out of any bottle and adding them to the decanter. It is a real blend that always changes over time and I never seem to run out. The Infinity Bottle is easy to manage. I then use the blend for mixing, cocktails, on the rocks, and some just for sipping neat. It's like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get. When all else fails, Jim Beam and ginger ale is still a great go-to when I play cards.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/10/2021 (1131 reads)
George Daniel offers up three different patterns for this season's upcoming Magicicada cassinii "cicada" emergence. You will be hearing a lot more about this 17-year event and what it means for fly fishing starting sometime in May. George explains how to tie three variations of cicadas: Sunken, Low Riding, and High Riding




To keep up with George, check out his website https://www.livinonthefly.com/ .


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/02/2021 (579 reads)
Fairly often on PaFlyfish.com, a thread starts up in the forum about what’s the best camera to use while fly fishing. Many traditional cameras are often suggested and I have gone through my share of high-end to smartphone cameras while on the water. I even tried an action camera several years ago. Everyone has their requirements, but I recently have had a chance to try out the AKASO Brave 7 LE and offer some ideas on how it may be a fit for anglers. AKASO approached me about a review but did not ask for any conditions on what I could say about the product. 

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Anglers are looking for several things when it comes to using a camera on the stream. Most importantly we need something waterproof, on the small side, convenient, affordable, and fast to capture an image. With all the gear we are lugging around it can be cumbersome to add another item to our vest, bag, or hanging around our neck. All cameras offer challenges to meeting our needs and then providing easy access capturing a picture of that awesome wild brook trout we want to share with others. I know I feel like a juggler managing the net, trout, rod, camera to capture the image at just the right angle. 

I have used many different cameras and failed more than once. Some experiences are better than others. My favorite was taking a picture of a real nice brown on Penns Creek last spring with my iPhone, falling into the water while still holding the fish and dropping the phone. Nice! But I have dropped my phone in a stream before, so I’m getting pretty good at the mistake. 

The AKASO Brave 7 LE offers some nice features to consider in lieu of a traditional camera or iPhone. Functionality includes: 4k video, camera, time-lapse, slow motion, still burst, driving mode, 6 axis stabilization, smartphone remote control, and a variety of video resolutions and frame rates. 

The camera has a built-in microphone, water-resistant IPX7 (without a case to 1 meter), front screen, back touch screen, bottom thread mount, and interfaces for HDMI and USB. 

With the camera, AKASO provides a lot of extras you would have to normally purchase separately: wrist remote controller, deeper water case, two batteries, charger, USB cable, many mounts, and straps. The unit and mounts are compatible with most all GoPro mounting accessories.  

I think the last feature and the best is the price which currently is at $139 on Amazon
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Compared to other higher-end action cameras in this space, it has most if not all the same features. The cons might be some aspects of the audio quality and low light compared to those higher-end brands. But for the features, accessories, and price, it’s a no brainer. 

I have included a few sample media and images below. 



There are a few ways an angler could use an action camera on the stream. If you want to capture videos while catching lots of fish, a head or chest mount might work well. The AKASO Brave 7 LE is a very viable option using the remote wrist controller. You simply start the video or take a snapshot by activating one of the buttons on the controller. This works well but will take some practice to know the direction of the camera while it may be on your head. 

The action camera can be attached to a longer zinger or lanyard to give you easy access in and out of your pocket or storage area. I kept mine around my neck and had easy access to it stuffed inside my jacket. A simple 6” tripod can be used for images shot from the bank. If you like to capture underwater images, an optional selfie stick offers another angle of view.  

Offloading images can be done wirelessly to your smartphone instantly using the AKASO GO App or directly to your computer. 

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Capturing images is not a thing for everyone, but for those that do enjoy the option, I highly recommend the AKASO Brave 7 LE to consider for its affordability and flexibility. Plus I think these would make a great addition to your other activities or with a family on vacations. 

No matter what the device, you will have to put some time into learning how to operate it and some basic videography skills. But don’t be afraid to have some fun.  To learn more you can go to the official web page for the AKASO Brave 7 LE.

I have asked AKASO to help support the 25th Anniversary of Paflyfish and I will be offering a giveaway of one Brave 7 LE from AKASO to a member in the forum. This a free chance to win one of these fun action cameras. To be eligible to win, simply post in the thread AKASO Brave 7 LE Review in the Gear Talk Forum, “I’m In”. If you enter other text you will be disqualified. The thread will be locked and entries will be closed Sunday, February 21, 2021, at or near 10:00 PM. I will then draw a random number, it will be correlated to the post number and the winner will be announced on Monday, February 22, 2021. No multiple entries will be permitted and you must respond to my email with 24 hours if you win. If you do not reply by 8:00 pm February 23, 2021, another number be will drawn and the process repeated. AKASO will be directly sending you the action camera. Moderators will not be able to enter. USA residents only. Paflyfish has the right to change any and all of the rules. 
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/26/2021 (552 reads)
While winter fly fishing, I have rarely said I overdressed for a day outside. More often I wished I had been better prepared. I was fishing Muddy Creek a few winters back for the better part of the day trip with Maurice on one of our all day Lewis and Clark expeditions. The mild pleasant morning changed over to a pretty cool cloudy day. I failed to have some proper thick wool socks and it made for some pretty cold feet after a few hours in the stream. Sadly, I knew better and told myself I would let that happen again.

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Temperature, sun and wind can make huge variables when gearing for some winter fly fishing. Standing in 45 degree water can set you back pretty quickly too. You've heard it before, but I'll offer it again: layers, layers, and more layers. The most important way to keep yourself prepared is with the proper layers.

Headwear
I like wearing a ball cap for fishing because the visor helps me with my visibility while I’m looking onto the water. But I’ll always have a wool cap to switch on if I find myself cold. One of the best and fastest ways to regulated your body temperature is what you are wearing on your head. I recently found a decent billed cap with earflaps that can be pulled down. Certainly, the Elmer Fudd look has its own calling, but I’m not a slave to fashion while on the stream.

Feet
Alright Captain Obvious we know cotton socks don't work, so the best bet is a two-layer approach with your feet. I first put on a thin polyester wicking sock. Overtop of the polyester sock I use a classic ragg merino wool sock. Bigger can be better, but make sure you can still get into your boots comfortably. If your socks are too thick and your feet are too tight your feet will be constricted in your boots and make your feet cold. What you are trying to accomplish is wicking away the perspiration from your feet with the polyester sock to the wool sock.

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@Charles Esson Creative Commons
Merino sheep date back to the 12th century from Africa and were crossbred with European sheep soon thereafter. The wool they produce is generally regarded as softer, very absorbent, and has great natural order control. Most importantly, even while wet, can provide warmth and insulation better than synthetic materials. It is the preferred wool and layering for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Legs and lower body
Again layers are the way to go. Keeping your legs and lower body warm while in the water is non-negotiable. A few years ago I ended up getting a pair of Simms Guide Mid Pants. These pants are made of fleece and provide greater insulation than cotton long johns. I would imagine you can get a decent pair of tapered fleece pants online that will do the trick. I like the tapered pants as they bunch up less at your ankles when you get into your boots. A few ways to approach this but I'd avoid the cotton sweat pants.

Upper body
I generally have a three-layer approach to the upper body. I use a synthetic polyester base layer for wicking. I like the Under Armour mock long sleeves in a variety of styles but also have found some similar synthetic products at Walmart for a lot less. This offers a good base from the arms to the neck. The middle layers are your main insulators and are going to keep you warm. Fleece or merino wool always works well for me. I found a great fleece shirt at Walmart for $10 a couple of years ago and is my go-to whenever I head outside. I also have a warmer wool sweater for colder days. Just like your feet, you are trying to wick away any moisture and still keep insulated. The number of layers and type is really up to you and the temperatures you expect to encounter.

Finally for your upper body is a good outer shell. The key is something that will keep the wind from getting to you. With the layers you have already put on, a big winter coat is not the best step here.

A winter windstopper shell that is water repentant is the answer. This is the place I would invest my money. I have an older Simms windstopper jacket that works great and think I spent $200 over ten years ago. This one goes with me from October through May. Specific fly fishing wading jackets are usually cut short in length and thus avoid hanging into the water when you are wading. What you want is a sturdy windproof shell like the Orvis Tech Shell or Simms Freestone Wading Jacket. That thin nylon packable rain pullover probably won’t be enough. Once you are dressed and have your waders on you want warmth, but also upper body mobility too.

Streamers and Wooley Buggers

The other stuff
Fingerless gloves or mittens are a must. Plenty of good options made of wool, fleece and polyester for anglers. Leave the ski gloves for the slopes. Those HotHands Hand Warmers might be a backup option in your car or bag. Generally, if you are properly dressed and keep moving you’ll be in good shape.

You really should try all this gear on before you go to the stream. Adding a few more layers may cause some difficulties getting onto your fly fishing boots and waders. The holidays don't help either. No sense having all the right gear if you can't fit into your waders. I enjoy my fly fishing backpack this time of year with layers I am taking off or adding on. Finally, even if you don't think you'll need it, bring an extra layer to leave in the car.
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Published by Al Toret [MathFish] on 01/20/2021 (415 reads)
Just sharing my newest fish carvings. Last weekend, I started 3 fish and carved them on and off throughout the week. This weekend, I painted all three. It was a nice way to spend some time inside watching the snow happen out my window.

The first trout was a brookie carving I made as a thank you gift for a friend of mine who really helped me out this past fall. I based it off of a trout I caught a few years ago. I'm happy with how it turned out and I almost wanted to keep it for myself.

The brookie that the carving is based on
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Here is the painted carving.
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Next, I decided to make a California Golden Trout. This carving is based off of photos I found online of them. I made a pinewood derby car of one of these trout, but this is my first attempt at carving the fish without wheels. This fish took my about 4 hours to paint. I told my wife that I plan to one day get out fish for these.

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Lastly, I came across a photo of an absolutely beautiful young greenback cutthroat trout that I wanted to try and carve. Here is the link to the site which has the photo. It's the second photo on the page. I didn't want to post that photo in this posting since it is copyrighted and I am not sure how that works... Greenback Cutthroat Trout Link

This is also a trout that I would like to one day make a point to get out and see in person. Here is how the greenback carving turned out.

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So I managed to squander a perfectly good weekend making these three little fish. It helps that I can't get out and fish since I'm recovering from an injury that will have me off the water for quite some time. However when I finished these three, my wife asked, "So... what's the plan for all these fish?" I decided not to answer her... I'm up to 13 little fish now in my collection and I have plans for others - but to be completely honest, I don't have a plan. They are beginning to stack up and I should probably have a plan. Oh, well...


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Follow along in the forum here.
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