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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/19/2021 (287 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. 

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/12/2021 (141 reads)
I was honored to participate with Rob Snowhite and his Fly Fishing Consultant Podcast for his milestone recording. I have known Rob for many years connecting at the Fly Fishing Shows. It was great getting some time to get caught up on a more extended conversation. Hope you enjoy and make sure you subscribe to Rob's podcast to get connected to a whole host of outstanding industry experts.

From Rob: The 300th episode brings us to Dave Kile and his long-running site PAFlyFish.com Dave discusses how his website went from the primitive days of the 90's internet to the modern internet and social media and how the community around fishing in Pennsylvania is strong a quarter-century later. We learn about the different geographic ranges of Pennsylvania, the famous and not-so-famous streams, some history, and more in this fun-filled episode.

Produced by Jason Reif
Brought to you by Solo Stove


Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/31/2021 (220 reads)
Joe Fox of Dette Trout Flies in Roscoe, NY demonstrates how he ties a classic Catskill style Red Quill dry fly.


Visit the Tightline website: https://www.tightlinevideo.com

Published by Swattie [Swattie87] on 03/17/2021 (3459 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 03/08/2021 (9847 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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