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Published by Dave Weaver [Dave_W] on 06/14/2021 (19 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 (210 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 Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/01/2021 (67653 reads)
Green Drake

Recently going through my mayfly photographs I found a nice set of pictures from the Paflyfish Spring Jam in 2010. The Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata ) hatch was in full swing that year and photographs of these mayflies were easy and plentiful. Most of the weekend was overcast and rain as normally forecasted for the Spring Jam. Emergers (subimago) and spinners (imago) were not so much active during the day but lined the sides of the streams in the hundreds of thousands. I am always torn between fishing and photography on days like this but glad to put down my fly rod for a while and captured a lot of great shots.

With so many mayflies and photos, it was easy to get so nice shots of the Green Drake spinners, which are referred to as Coffin Flies because of their white extended body. I wanted to demonstrate the differences between spinner (imago) male and female. These two Coffin Flies attached show these differences. Most notably the male has longer extended forelegs and claspers at the rear of the body. Females as seen do not have these body characteristics.

Male (left photo)
Long forelegs
Rear claspers or forceps at the rear of the body
Eyes on a male tend to be larger

Female (right photo)
Short foreleg
Forceps do not exist
Smaller flatter eyes







Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/10/2021 (24749 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.

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/19/2021 (509 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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