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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/10/2019 (2901 reads)
Friday, May 17th is the start of our annual gathering for the Paflyfish Spring Jamboree Weekend. This is our annual meet-up for members of the site to get together to fly fish, tie flies, camp and share a few stories. We have a lot of fun fishing over some of Pennsylvania's finest streams including the Little J, Penns Creek, Spring Creek, Fishing Creek and plenty more in the region.

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The pavilion at Seven Mountains Campground is rented by Paflyfish and is used as a meeting point during the weekend. Plenty of impromptu conversations, fly tying and meet-ups take place at the pavilion. The idea of the weekend is to provide a setting for a casual weekend of fly fishing in a great region of Pennsylvania . As with every year we will be meeting up in the evenings at the pavilion to catch up on the days fishing trips. Friday and Saturday mornings we meet for coffee and plan the day. Often plenty of opportunities for some fly tying and casting lessons being shared.

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This year we are going to make the weekend at little more informal. At this time we are not going going to be planning any special speakers or activities. There is always plenty of impromptu fly tying, casting lessons and support on where to fish. So if you are unsure about the area, do not worry there are plenty of members from the site that can help get you started. Many anglers from the site come up early or stay later after the weekend. Follow the latest details in the forum .

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Friday – May 17th - Sunday, May 19, 2018
• 7:00 am Coffee at the pavilion Saturday and Sunday mornings
• 9:00 pm Gathering after the day of fishing Friday and Saturday evening (BYOB)

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Please contact Sevens Mountain Campground directly if you would like to stay there that weekend. They have a limited number of cabins and campsites. I encourage you to make your reservations now.

Sevens Mountain Campground
101 Seven Mountains
Campground Rd.
Spring Mills, PA 16875
(814) 364-1910
(888) 468-2556
Call between 8:30-4:30 M-F

Published by Joe Dziedzina [Dizzy] on 05/06/2019 (20980 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 05/01/2019 (476 reads)
Every few years the topic comes up about what are the essential everyday carry (EDC) items you want to have while on the stream. These are not fishing items, but things you might carry for safety and are just common sense. Here are some ideas on what I carry and the waterproof sports case that I use for just this purpose.



Witz Keep It Clear Drycase (Clear)

For more ideas on first aid and everyday carry, ideas check out the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/28/2019 (15935 reads)
A mayfly hatch is the grand finale in the year long seasonal play that returns annually for trout and anglers.

MayFly StagesThis show begins the previous season with mature female mayflies, called spinners, laying their eggs on the surface of the water(video). The eggs shortly hatch into small larvae and quickly change into nymphs.

The nymph phase of the mayfly is the longest and will last just about one year. Different species of mayflies can be found in different parts of a stream. Some prefer the faster water and rocks, while others are only found at the end of pools in deep mud. During this time a nymph will grow and molt regularly. Molting is when the mayfly breaks out of it's old skin and a larger one is exposed underneath to protect it during the next growth cycle. During the final molting these leftover soft shells are referred to as shucks.

The emergence stage out of the water can be a quick and dangerous time for these transitional nymphs. Trout can find and aggressively feed on these insects that normally may be hiding or burrowing at the bottom of a stream. Once ready to leave the water the hatch begins. The emerger swims to the surface film molts their skins and expose there wings.

Green Drake Spinner aka Coffin FlyThe cloudy, grayish wings they emerge with give them there name: dun. The duns sit on top of the water and prepare its wings for flight. On top of the film of a stream they ready their wings for flight. This can take seconds or minutes depending how fast the mayfly can take flight. During this phase, mayflies often can been seen in great numbers sailing down the stream with trout striking on an easy food source. Once the dun escapes the water, it will head for the trees for several days.

While maturation occurs during this stage a dun may molt several more times until it becomes a spinner (Green Drake spinner aka Coffin Fly pictured left). As spinners they have no mouths to feed, male and female mayflies will seek each other out only to mate. The females will quickly lay her eggs back at the water starting the cycle over again.

The cycle ends when the dead and dying mayflies drop to the stream. The spent wing spinner is the one final opportunity for tout to feed on the last stage of this great yearlong production provided by the mayfly.

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!!







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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/25/2019 (3939 reads)
The Stream Reports have been an integral part of Paflyfish almost since the site began in 1995. There has been a lot of disagreement conversation about the ideas of sharing stream information. The differences dialog has been played out time and time again. Thought I would give a little of my perspective on what the Stream Reports are all about on this website.

stream reportsOne interesting fact is that Stream Reports make up only 1.6% of all the traffic on the Paflyfish. More people spend time talking about cougar sightings in the OT Forum than stream reports. Well that is a bit of an exaggeration, but not that far from the truth.

Stream Reports are a way for anglers to share objective information about their recent fly-fishing experiences in the region. Details about water conditions, weather, stream, location, hatches, fishing successes, flies used and other pertinent information can make up a successful report. A photo or two showing the stream or hatches always improves the information. Here is an example of one of my trips to a little know place called Kettle Creek in 2010. One of the benefits of a report is the opportunity it presents for a discussion of new or unique experiences. A report does not have to be clinical as much as it should be informative and fun.

Fly-fishing is about having fun, right?

So why bother sharing? This site is built on the foundation of sharing information for the improvement for all of our fly fishing opportunities. On this website we discus gear, fly-tying, conservation, meet-ups, techniques and yes I dare say it...streams. The better we are informed the better experiences we all have fly-fishing. Not Sharing (NS) of information is as detrimental to anglers as inaccessible water.

I like traveling all over the region and stream reports offer a rich data-set of real-time information from those who are actually on the stream providing first-hand information. In combination with other water data from the USGS, I can make well-informed decisions about my trips.

Wish I had the time to drive back and forth to Potter County to learn about those conditions on a regular basis. Sadly the four-hour ride limits the convenience of such scouting trips and when I do go I like to have some sense of conditions before blowing thru about $50 in gas for drive up to just hang at the Lakeview with Rick watching golf. Not that there is anything wring with that.

In my early days of fly-fishing, pre-Internet, post-clay tablet era, I spent plenty of trips standing over high water and blown-out streams looking stupid with a can of Iron City in my hand. (Now I have a Miller Lite in my hand as to look less fat, can’t shake the stupid part.) So I would then pack up my cooler, break out my DeLorme Atlas throw a dart and haul on down Route 80 for my favorite game of “let’s find the stream that isn’t blown out.”

Stream Reports help me plan for my intended destinations, but also investigate streams that are on the way or nearby. A few years ago I was heading to Penns Creek for the Jam and wanted to catch a stream along the way up. Having never been to Clarks Creek I checked a report that was posted few days before to help get a take on hatches, water quality, and general stream info. Truly enjoyed the stop as I had the whole project to myself that morning.

stream reportsSure real-time is cool, but even more important is the historic value of all this data. Understanding where and when hatches are occurring on certain streams and regions is a great record for us all to enjoy. The reports today go back for over five years, covering many states and countless streams. This will only grow over time.

Hundreds of waterways in the region are stocked with millions of trout and promoted by state agencies for the public to enjoy. (BTW most state agencies provide free maps and websites showing the detailed locations of all the stocked streams if you are even in doubt of the mystery of these locations.) The more of these common streams we share in our reports the better we have a complete picture of our fly-fishing opportunities and spread this information out.

The PFBC has identified nearly 3,600 streams as naturally reproducing wild trout streams. Most of these streams and like waters are small with fragile ecosystems. While hearing reports on these streams is encouraged, named streams and detailed locations are not required. Simply identifying the county, date and experience really can offer enough for most any angler. The delight of these jewels is the discovery.

I don't always put in a stream report and there is not obligation for anyone to do the same. However, Stream reportss while a small part of the site do offer a lot of open information for all to share and improve their fly-fishing experiences. So go find a new location and have some fun.






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