1. Fish all day. Until the mornings get really cold. Cooler temperatures combined with trout bulking up for the winter make productive fishing all day. Take advantage of it because the feeding window becomes smaller and smaller as winter sets in.
2. Long leaders for wary trout. Most often water flows will be at their lowest through the autumn months. This means that you will need to make longer casts with finer tippets. Six and seven X rule the day for dry fly fishing. Nymphing quiet waters will require long tippets too.
3. Soft bobbers. Nymphing is always a good tactic; it just requires some tweaking for fall conditions. Use a curly-q, or one of my favorites New Zealand wool indicators.
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• Base leader never affected by tippet changes
• Tippet rings stronger than knots
• Enables transition from widely varying diameters
• Will float if greased
Traditionally, fishing leaders end with a final section called tippet. This final portion is where the fly is tied to the end. Tippet serves many purposes beyond just a final piece of leader material that fits through the hook eye. For example, it makes for a smooth transfer of energy transmitted from the fly line, leader butt, and finally to the fly. Also, it serves as a means for creating slack to offer drag free presentations. These two primary examples demonstrate the critical role that tippet serves. Continue reading Tippet ring, oh tippet ring how I love thee→
Nymphing rules to live by:
– On bottom
– Detect strike
– Right speed
– Best fly
To catch trout successfully using a nymph you must adhere to the above rules. Much of this is solved by using the correct leader combined with the appropriate tactic. My first lesson came from reading Joe Humprey’s “Trout Tactics” where he explains that a “flat leader” is the ultimate leader for nymph fishing.
Does this mean using a four pound test length of leader is all we need for nymphing? Yes, actually that is correct. In fact this or some variation is what I use for high-sticking, and Czech nymphing. This approach works fine when you have enough weight to reach your casting distance and get down to the strike zone effectively. Getting down is often solved by adding weight to the leader in the form of split shot or using a heavier fly. Where this fails is when heavier weight cannot be utilized. Maybe you are following FIPs Mouche competitive rules, or cannot add an a heavier weighted fly, or believe split shot is not an effective nymphing tactic. Maybe the flat leader is not turned-over easily. Continue reading The important role of a fly fishing leader for nymph fishing→
Stormy Kromer The Rancher Cap
The Rancher is a seriously warm cap for seriously cold conditions – over four times warmer than the Original. Made premium wool/nylon blend, then lined with 200 gram Thinsulate® to ramp up the heat. To that add two extra inches of fleece-filled comfort on the earband, creating the mother of all head protection systems.
If you ever tried casting large wind resistant flies using a typical trout fly line taper you probably found it difficult. Some of the reason has to do with how the fly line itself is shaped. Fly line shape is called its taper. It is how the diameter of the fly line changes from end to end.
Point – The portion of fly line in front of the front taper approximately six inches often including a welded loop made at the factory.
There’s nothing more frustrating than guides that get constantly clogged with ice; keep them clear with Stanley’s Ice Off Paste from Loon. The non-toxic paste can be applied to your guides and line to prevent icing, so you can actually make some casts when winter midges start to hatch.
I have broken fishing rods by trying to get the stuck sections apart. Breakage is usually due to bending and over stressing the sections. The easiest remedy is to have a buddy help you pull it apart. This is accomplished by each person placing one hand on opposing sections and their other hand on the sections closest to them. Next, have only one participant pull while the other holds steady. This approach helps even the pressure and reduce stress on the rod sections. Continue reading How to get stuck fishing rods sections apart.→
420HC Stainless Steel: An improved, high-carbon (HC) form of 420 stainless steel that works well with high production tooling. 420HC’s strength is optimized in Leatherman multi-tools by heat treatment.
6061-T6 Hard-Anodized Aluminum: A heat treatable, aero-grade aluminum alloy that is extremely durable yet lightweight. 6061-T6 is used on handle scales in Leatherman multi-tools to reduce weight without losing strength.
For most fly fishing trouters, mayfly fishing is the foundation of our game but from a strictly numbers point of view the caddis fly is much more abundant on most trout waters. They are hardy warriors that can withstand pollution better the most mayflies. If you asked me years ago I would have said Caddis flies were useless. Because I was repeatedly getting beat up on the famed Pine Creek, in north central Pennsylvnia. There I was watching thousands of egg laying caddis in the air while throwing my arm off with an Elk Hair pattern without even a nibble. Then while dazing off, my elk hair skittered below me on the surface. Blasto!! Fish on! Continue reading Caddis flies, top shelf insects for fly fishing→
What’s the most effective method of fly fishing for trout? Nymph fishing. So I have done a lot of it and will continue to do so. If you are strictly after numbers of fish caught then nymph fishing trumps all. Of course this is a generalization and one should always choose the best tactic for the conditions at hand. But most often nymph fishing is more productive, even during a hatch with rising trout. Continue reading Wet fly fishing: What’s old is new again.→
Been toying around trying to improve the gold Stren style sight indicator that I have been using for years. Basically what the improvement consists of is using a blood knot coated with day-glo nail polish for visibility. This has kind of evolved. First I improved it by leaving small tags from the knot rather than clipping them neatly. This helped but in certain light they were still hard to see. Also it would pick-up debris even as much as I tried to keep it out the water. Next I added a small drop of day-glo colored nail polish which really helped. Finally I have added a coat of UV goo, like Loon or Clear Cure Goo. Continue reading Handy sighter indicator for fly fishing for trout→
For many the spring season starts with going to their favorite water to try and catch a few recently stocked fish. I have written about this in the past a few times. I have many great memories of opening days with my friends and I believe it’s a nice way to learn the game.
Often beginning fly anglers have difficulty putting together a fly box for opening day trout season but unless you are specifically looking to fish over hatches you only need a handful of productive patterns to get you through the day. These are some of the best flies for fishing in Pennsylvania.
Pheasant Tail Nymph (size 16 – 12)
Originated by Frank Sawyer the Pheasant Tail nymph has evolved since he first developed the pattern without using tying thread. Now many patterns incorporate a beadhead and hot spot. This pattern is typically fished near the bottom but floating version work extremely well during a hatch. Buy your Pheasant Tail Nymphs here >>
Prince Nymph (size 16 – 10)
The materials used for the Prince Nymph make it one of the all-time best flies to represent many aquatic insects. Peacock herl represents everything from a cased caddis to bubbles being released during emergence. The tail and body shape suggest a stonefly. The contrasting color used for the biot wing case helps attract fish in a naturally shaped manner. Buy your Prince Nymphs here >>
Maybe a little extreme but chasing the largest Brown Trout known in North America, if not the world, is something I must do. I have caught many trout, a few large Trout, but nothing like what lurks in the shadows of the White river. It is considered a hub for trophy chasers and streamer junkies alike. These beasts do not blink at a mayfly imitations heck not even four inch streamers. No these are the alpha predators, the One, the Master of their liar. Unicorns you ask? Well you don’t get many shots at these beasts even in the best conditions, some go years without witnessing one – but they do exist. This is one of the very reasons they have survived and grown so large. Continue reading In search of Unicorns: Fly fishing the White River Arkansas→
1. Sleep in. During winter there is no reason for hitting your favorite stream at the crack of dawn; unless a cold front is moving in. Typically the warmest part of the day is mid-day to early afternoon.
2. Say no to cotton. Outdoorsy types have a little saying “Cotton Kills”. This is due to it’s poor insulating properties. Contrastingly, wool maintains over ninety percent of its (your) heat when wet. I love the stuff and nothing trumps wool but it is heavy. Try synthetics such as fleece, polypropylene, or some other high-tech lightweight insulating material. Feathers are lightweight but keep in mind that feather down jackets are great for warmth but not very good when wet so leave them home unless there are no chances of getting wet (Hypothermia). Look for great deals at Patagonia, Campsaver, and REI.
3. Fish one handed. Try to fish without too much line handling because it causes ice build-up on your guides and freezes your hands. This is fairly easy if you are nymph fishing. Do this by fishing with a manageable length of line and leader; very much like Tenkara fishing. You’re still going to need gloves. I go fingerless when I can but for brutal days I love my Simms ProDry gloves.
We recently fished Meadow Run located in Ohiopyle Pennsylvania. A classic mountain stream, Meadow Run offering the angler an opportunity to catch trout in the beautiful Laurel Highlands. Afterwards check out the charming town of Ohiopyle – it’s got something for anglers and non-anglers alike. More information about Meadow Run
If you spend any time researching insects used for fly fishing you’ll soon discover Entomologist Greg Hoover. I have used his co-authored book Great Rivers – Great Hatches for many years. Greg recently made a presentation at International Angler located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I had the privilege to talk with him about fly fishing, and entomology. I hope you find our conversation as informative and enjoyable as I did.
We recently visited International Angler located in Pittsburgh to talk with Greg Hoover and we will be posting our full-length interview very soon.
The guys at International Angler are the real deal. As a complete full-service shop they have something for the beginning and expert angler alike. IA also offers a large variety of angling travel opportunities year-round. Stop by and say hello I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
This month is our crew at PAFLYGUIDE.COM visits Yellow Creek in Bedford Pennsylvania.
It’s winter so I went to my go-to nymphing tactics. In this video, I show you the two nymph rigs used and how to set them up.
This month our crew at PAFLYGUIDE.COM visits Yellow Creek in Bedford Pennsylvania.
Bedford Pennsylvania is a charming town filled with nice shops and something for everyone. For us it’s definitely fly fishing. Just outside of town is a sweet little gem named Yellow Creek.
I show that you can catch fish in the dead of winter but it takes a little work. Hopefully this video will warm your hearts and spur you to go have some winter fun.
Patagonia the popular clothing company has been making great products for many years. Their roots begin with Yvon Chionard.
Many folks don’t even know who Yvon Chionard is; and if they do it’s probably because of Patagonia the clothing company. Funny thing is he never really wanted to start a business he just wanted to climb mountains and needed a way to fund his expeditions. So he did what any creative forward thinking person does he starting making and selling something. Continue reading We are Proud to Welcome Patagonia as an Affiliate→
As with many things in life practical experience trumps anything you can devise on paper. I love my Williams and Joseph Confluence chest pack for fly fishing, but it has a few weak functional design elements. I found the mesh divider to be inadequate, my items kept slipping underneath and onto the foam fly keeper deck. Next, I didn’t like the way I had to angle my hand and wrist to place and retrieve flies onto the foam. Also I think the gaps in the foam are unnecessary; maybe one row but not over the entire foam panel. Most of all I didn’t like the net holder cable which is placed in the middle of the back pack. This position made my net hang too low and also allowed it to slide from side-to-side. So I made a few hacks to improve functionality. Continue reading Tweak your Williams and Joseph Confluence Chest Pack→
PA FLY GUIDE | Your Guide to Pennsylvania Fly Fishing