Summer Tactics, RIO Give-Away, & Great American Outdoors Act

Summer Tactics

Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, talks to us about summer tactics for trout fishing. These are things that will help all of us become better fishermen. Let us know what you think.

Summer Time Dry Fly Tactics

Summer fly fishing is in full swing here in Pennsylvania and it's one of my favorite times of year to fly jimfish. People who know me well know that I love my nymph fishing and very seldom will they find me fishing a dry fly without rising fish or bugs on the water. Mid and late summer is the time I change tactics and do a lot of early morning dry fly fishing with crackle backs, beetles and hopper patterns. 

Everything Changes
Fly Rod – My favorite is the 9ft. 4 wt. Sage X. In still quiet pools I will sometimes use a 3wt line on my 4wt rod for a softer presentation.

Leaders & Fly Line – I use RIO 9ft 4x leader and add a 4 foot piece of 4x tippet when fishing foam hopper patterns. A lighter tippet will spin from the weight and stiffness of the hopper. Add a 2 foot section of 5x tippet when fishing crackle backs or stimulators flies. Ants, beetles and smaller flies use 6 or 7x tippet. I like to keep my leader around 14 to 16 feet long. The longer leader with help keep the trout from seeing my fly line.
RIO Elite Gold and Perception fly lines are camo green or moss green color and the only fly lines I use.

Clothing – Using natural colors that will blend into the back ground is very important when fishing in summer conditions. Outdoor clothing companies are now making camo colored hats and shirts. I have a UV long sleeve camo hoody that protects me from the sun and of course my Sage camo hat.

Stealth – Camo and natural color clothing helps to conceal you from the fish. But stealth is of the upmost importance. Moving slowly, keeping a low profile and staying out of the water as much as possible is essential to fooling wary trout.

DSC 0031Casting – Long casts are usually the name of the game this time of year. Try not to false cast much and when you do false cast don't cast over the fish. If you haven't cast from a kneeling position it would be a good idea to practice before your next fishing trip.

At some point as summer goes into August the water level can become too low and water temperature can rise where fishing would be dangerous to the trout. Carrying a thermometer and checking the water temperature is a very good idea. As a rule of thumb I don't fish once the water temperature hits near 70 degrees. Be careful releasing fish, keep them wet, and be sure they can swim out of your hand as you are releasing them.

Summer time fly fishing can offer some great dry fly fishing and I enjoy the challenge that it has to offer. Hopefully some of these tips will help you have a more enjoyable time on the water and catch a few wary trout.

 RIO's Big Give-Away

RIO30Thinking of time flying by, RIO is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Is that possible? In those 30 years, RIO has gone from a small fly line company selling fishing journals and hand-tied leaders to the world's most popular fly line, leader and tippet brand.  RIO Giveaway

To read more and to enter a chance to win a fantastic selection of RIO lines, reels, and carrying case, check out the details. 


Great American Outdoors Act

This Land is Your Land. This win is your win.

Doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on, the passage of this bill is huge. “Conservation victories do not come any bigger than this,” said Ben Bulis, President and CEO of AFFTA. “Nearly every county in every state has benefitted in some way from LWCF funds,” Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, and the list goes on. Here's 6 short paragraphs on what this bill does for everyone of us. Please take a minute to read and then thank you local congressman for listening, taking action, and making sure this landmark legislation reaches the president's desk.



Ryan and Jake Solomon came for a fly fishing lesson this week with their dad. They are among a group of many young people whom we've had the pleasure of helping get started in fly fishing this year. Getting young people started in fly fishing is one good thing that has happened as a result of the pandemic.

 DSC 0019



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Stream Report & Leisenring Spider

Stream Report

Fishing has continued to be good here in northeast PA, although it's quite different than it was just a couple weeks ago. The stream is getting low, water is clear, and fishing is technical. We live day-to-day watching the weather and hoping for rain. We're blessed with cold water and it is definitely terrestrial 101 BECK IMAGE Benton Dam 2020season – ants, beetles, inch worm, and spiders. Here are a few photos from the past week. As you can see, the Benton dam which was lined with fishermen in April is now a very popular spot with swimmers! What a difference a couple of months can make.

73 SAKURA SMITH BECK IMAGE Pete 5975   DSC 0003Cole Temple DSC 0014LeslieTemple


 Tim Flagler Ties the Leisenring Spider

Thinking about summer fishing, here's a clip from Tim Flagler on tying the Leisenring Spider. Thank you Tim and Midcurrent.

“This truly classic-looking fly is called a Leisenring Spider. I have deviated significantly from the original pattern in terms of the tying sequence and techniques, but I think the end result is fairly close to what Mr. Leisenring intended.”


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A Week of Boys & Walking the Dog

A Week of Boys

Luke, Jack, Carson, Cooper, Chase & Crosby

This has been the season for young people getting into fly fishing and this week it was about the boys. IMG 9519First up was Luke and his grandfather drove him down from Massachusetts for a lesson. From here they continued on to one of the Pocono fishing clubs for a couple days.  Then Jack and his dad came for a day of guided fishing and had a great day on Fishing Creek.

Image 1Next up was Carson, Cooper, Chase & Crosby from NYC. Their grandfather, grandmother, mom & dad, all came to watch the boys take a fly fishing lesson and the pond continued to be good to us with more bluegills and hybrid stripers for all. Good job, everyone!

Next week is starting out with a daughter, a young graduate art student in NYC, who has time this summer and wants to fish with her dad.

As terrible as Covid-19 is, it has given a lot of kids, parents, and grandparents more time together than jackever before and with it the opportunity to do fun things together. We're glad that it is fly fishing for many of them!


Walking the Dog

And while we're on the subject of young guys fishing with their dads and granddads, check out these two kids as they demonstrate with their dad how to “walk the dog” when dry fly fishing. I tried to find out who their dad is, but can't find a name. We know he is doing the video for Red's Fly Shop, so thank you to Reds, MidCurrent, and the boys in the boat (dad too).



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RIO SlickCast, The Bighorn, & Trips Update

Introducing RIO SlickCast  rio

The minds at RIO never sleep and have recently introduced the SlickCast, a radical new coating RIO Slick Linetechnology that creates the slickest, most durable fly line in history. Read what makes this possible as RIO fly lines continue to command the market! Interesting video too.

 Bighorn River, Montana

Anglers on the 'Horn are expecting the PMDs and caddis to start any day and a few fish are taking grasshoppers. As expected, the upper river is fishing best and nymphs have out-fished dries and streamers. Water is clear and cold coming out of the dam and air temperatures are warm. These conditions will jump start the summer hatches and by August when we arrive, we should have good activity on tricos, caddis, hoppers – and the tail end of the PMDs.

This is not the river of old, tBIGHORN 2016 2065here are bigger fish these days but fewer fish. The 50 fish days with many small fish seem to be over for now and it has become a much more mature river offering quality over quantity.

We have a few rooms left in our first week, August 22-29. If you're itching to get out of town, come along with us for a great week of big sky country, quality fishing, and few people. Check out the details and contact us for further information, including Covid-19 precautions.


Beck Trips Update

The coronavirus has given us a constantly changing world. When will I return to work? Will the schools open next month? When will we be able to take trips again? For those of us in the travel business, and for most everyone else, these past few months have been a nightmare – with no guarantees on what is yet to come.

It is the unknown that often brings out the best in us and people in general usually have a pretty positive outlook, so it is encouraging to see friends and clients cautiously inquiring about our travel plans in the months ahead. I can hardly keep up with our calendar changes, but at present, this is what we are hoping for the next year, but knowing that it is now always subject to change.

August 22-Sept. 5        Two weeks on the Bighorn River, Montana. Trout.
October 17-24        Turneffe Flats, Belize (rescheduled from April). Permit, tarpon, bones.
November 6-13        Eastern Pyrenees, Spain (rescheduled from September). Trout.
November 30-Dec.5        Argentina Waters Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
December 5-12         Tres Valles Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
December 12-19         Estancia Tecka, Esquel, Argentina. (rescheduled from March.) Trout.
January 7-18, 2021        Pira & Suinda Lodges, N. Argentina. Golden Dorado.
February 6-13, 2021         Laguna Verde (Jurassic), Argentina. Trout.
March 6-12, 2021         San Huberto Lodge, Argentina. Trout.
March 13-20, 2021         Tres Valles Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
March 20-27, 2021         Estancia Tecka, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
June 21-July 4 , 2021         Ireland & Scotland. Trout/A. Salmon.
July 23-Aug. 9, 2021         E. Africa Safari. Kenya & Tanzania. Game Viewing.

August 5-15, 2021          Reel Action Camp, Alaska.  Salmon, char, trout.
August 21-Sept. 5, 2021         Bighorn River, Montana. Trout.
September 14-22, 2021         E. Pyrenees, Spain. Trout.

Thanks for following us on our blog. We hope you all have a good week and we'll be back next week.



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Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you & your family a happy, safe, & healthy 4th of July!

Happy 4th Of July Greeting Card

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Smith Discount, Rita's Revenge, & Our Season

These are difficult times at best for all of us and perhaps the worst of it is that we don't know what might be on the horizon. After months of quarantining, working from home, no school, no real in-person meetings, no socializing, no this and no that, we still don't know where we're headed or when this coronavirus pandemic will end.

Barry and I have had all of our trips canceled for 6 months and are hopeful that we can resume international travel in the fall. In the meantime, August looks good for the Bighorn River, Montana, trip and like everyone else, we will be so ready to get out of town and to Montana to fish. Once we arrive in Ft. Smith (population maybe 500 in the summer) and to Kingfisher Lodge, we can all relax, unwind, enjoy the big sky country and the fresh air (about 24 hours of it a day), and put our thoughts on fly selection and what part of the river to float each day.

We hope you're getting through this summer as well as possible and that you are able to enjoy some quiet time on your favorite water. Shut off the cellphone, the 24-hour news headlines, take a big deep breath and escape this crazy world for awhile. It is true, there is healing for the body and the soul in fly fishing. We see it every day.

Thanks for following us,
Cathy & Barry


Buy new sunglasses and help your favorite shop and employee!   smith1

Shop Employee Commission Benefits Designed to Re-Engage the Retail Economy

From Smith: For over 55 years, the foundation of Smith’s success as a market leader in eyewear and helmets is greatly due to the support of its brick and mortar retailers. Shop influencers and store staff continually serve as our brand ambassadors, educating their customers on the features and benefits of the products they sell. Their knowledge and experience serves as the ultimate testimonial to the gear we choose to trust in our daily lives and wildest adventures.

In an effort to revitalize the economic health of our trusted retail partners, Smith has allocated...continue reading on


“Rita's Revenge”
by Bob Romano

A nice short story. It's nice to think that places like Charlie's and young girls like Robyn are still around. Thank you Bob and MidCurrent.

 Our Season Slows Down

 Kyle Bailey Williams 0047Our season starts to slow down for a bit at this time of year. It has been a good season and if we continue to get rain it will continue to be good. Fishing Creek is a freestone stream and that means we need rain to have good water levels throughout July and August. Our stream stays cold but the water gets low and the fishing becomes very technical. September usually brings more rain and then we are good again until usually around Halloween or a bit later. Here are some shots from recent lessons and guiding.

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Happy Father's Day!

We hope you'll take some time this weekend to celebrate all the Dads in your life!  Happy Father's Day!


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Father's Day, RIO 1 Minute Tips, and Proper Position in the Stream

Happy Father's Day to Me

Sel 9437You don't have to be a dad to take advantage of our boxed fly selections. The flies in our selections are always priced lower than when purchased individually, are the sizes you want, and are boxed and ready for your vest or pack. Dries, beetles, nymphs, streamers, the choice is yours. Check out our fly selections and don't forget – we always pay the postage on orders over $50.



RIO Make the Connection

RIO 1-Minute Tips   riologo

We've got two more 1-minute tips from RIO. A better-than-saliva way to tighten knots and a new leader for our ESN fans. Take a look!

Proper Position in the Stream

For our dry fly fishermen. We often find ourselves so comfortable with a routine that it's hard to break loose. Fishing is that way. We get used to using a handful of favorite flies, we cast the same every time, we approach every situation the same way. We know the game. You could say we're in a rut.

Here is a short video from Phil Monahan for Orvis on the position we take in the stream. It's good thought for dry fly fishing.



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Back to the Bighorn, Jim's PT Nymphs, and BWOs & Sulphur Season

Back to the Bighorn

As you can imagine, our travel calendar was wiped clean for about four months and it is slow to get started again, but we are excited to be returning to Montana in August for our two special weeks on the Bighorn River.

BIGHORN 2016 0589This destination has remained our “best-seller” for more than 30 years. We have an excellent program with Kingfisher Lodge and their guides. It's an easy, relaxing week of good fishing – drifting everyday and getting out to wade favorite runs, riffles, and pools. The Bighorn is a favorite among beginners and experienced anglers and has been our favorite western river for many years.

If you're as tired of looking at the same four walls as we are, come along for a delightful change of scenery and some great fishing. We have space available on our first week, August 22-29, and would love to have you.

Check out the details and call us or Denise Schreiber at Frontiers (800-245-1950) for more information.  BIGHORN 2016 1912



Jim's PT Nymphs

Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, talks to us this week about his PT Nymphs and his own variations on the fly. We encourage you to ask Jim questions, comment, and give us your thoughts in our Comments section (accessible when the blog is viewed from a browser). We love hearing from you!

The pleasant tail nymph certainly is one of the best all-purpose and all-season nymphs. It just looks like a bug which makes it a great imitation for many different mayflies throughout the season. No fly box should be without pheasant tail nymphs from hook size 12 to size 22.

The original pattern calls for the complete fly to be tied using the fibers of a ring neck pheasant tail and ribbed in gold wire. (At least that has always been my understanding.) It's a tried and true pattern for sure and one that I have in my fly box plus several variations that I use throughout the season. And it's a pretty simple pattern to tie even for beginner fly tiers.

The thing I like most about the PT nymph is that you can fish it so many different ways. It's a great early season nymph when fishing with an indicator, or euro nymphing, and when tied with a tungsten bead the fly will get down quickly to where the trout are in high and fast water.

It's also one of my favorite flies to use when fishing a dry fly, using it as the trailing nymph. It was very effective during the second week of the Hendrickson hatch this past spring when fished as a dropper behind my dry fly. It resembles a Hendrickson nymph and some days I caught more fish on the pheasant tail nymph than I did on the dry fly. Because of it's streamline design it's a perfect pattern for BWO and midge nymphs too, and my midge box is full of these small nymphs in sizes 18 and down.

Fishing with fellow guide, Tom Harris, on Super Bowl Sunday several years ago there was a midge hatch going on and Tom and I were fishing size 20 pheasant tail nymphs and trailing a size 20 rainbow warrior nymph. When the sun was on the water we caught trout on the rainbow warrior and when the clouds blocked the sun we caught them on the pheasant tail nymph.

If you are a fly tier, this nymph works well by spicing it up with different variations from the original pattern. Sometimes a flash of purple, red or orange does the trick to get a trout's attention. I often substitute the pheasant tail thorax with hare’s ear dubbing and really like using black ice, peacock and pheasant tail ice dubbing for the thorax. The options seem limitless.

The pheasant tail nymph has been around for a long time and has stood the test of time as one of the bestJims 1139 all-around, go-to nymphs out there. In the photo are some of the combinations I use and have had success with throughout the season.   


BWOs & Sulphur Season

Wow! It's June already. Where did spring go? Here in northeastern Pennsylvania we have had a cool, wet spring which has been good for the gardens and very good for the streams. Fishing Creek is at a perfect level, cool nights and warm days have the BWO Cornuta and Sulphurs starting to show and fishing has been good! Another first for the season is crane flies. On warm sunny afternoons there has been some very good dry fly action with these flies and they are fun to fish. Check them all out in our online fly shop. Oh, the bass came from the pond, Bailey's first fish on a fly rod!

I'll drop in a couple photos from our guides this week and you can see for yourself.

Bill Lynch 4385  Chris Berlin 4370   Kyle Bailey Williams 9395


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Cathy, the Rio Malleo & Me, Fishing is Great, & Airline Changes

Cathy, the Rio Malleo & Me

Here is a story from one of our travel clients. I think he embellished the story quite a bit with regards to his fishing partner, but the rest rings so true for a day of fishing in Patagonia – the day, the lunch, the siesta, the fishing. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to who the author is? An MFC fly box is yours if you’re the first to correctly guess. Hint: He is not in the photo but tells a good joke. Answer through the blog comments - accessible when viewed from a browser.

Cathy, the Rio Malleo and Me
– a story of a day on a river, with a person I admire, in a place I will never forget.

There are many stories about exactly how and when it came about, but most agree trout were introduced into the rivers and lakes of the Patagonia region of Argentina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since then, the pristine waters of the area have allowed the browns and rainbows to flourish and transform Patagonia into a fly fisherman’s dream destination.
Hooked from the start, I was introduced to Patagonia by my good friends Cathy and Barry Beck who host1349 RIO MALLEO 2012 fly fishing trips for Frontiers Travel out of Gibsonia, PA. Having traveled with them for several years, I noticed they always went back to Argentina – often, several times a year. So, when the next Patagonia trip was offered, I was on it.
Presidents and celebrities have fished these waters. Author and angling legend Ernie Schwiebert was a North American pioneer of Patagonia fly fishing. One of his favorite rivers was the Rio Malleo (in Argentine Spanish, the ll is pronounced like the zh sound in azure)) where he often stayed at the legendary San Huberto lodge. The lodge sits on an estancia (ranch) with over eighteen miles of private, trout filled water. The area offers arguably some of the best dry fly fishing in Argentina. And, now, I get to stay there and fish this famous river.
It was a typical Patagonia day on the Malleo. After flying from Buenos Aires the day before and having a full blown asado (Argentine BBQ/cookout) which lasted well past mid-night, we were up and on our way to the stream at a semi-reasonable hour. No one rushes in the morning either due to the remnants of the night before or the fact the hatch doesn’t usually come off till around 10 am.
It was March, so the day was a beautiful, but slightly overcast, fall day in the Southern Hemi-sphere. The fish were taking bugs off the surface regularly so everyone in our group had a great morning of fishing. We stopped around 1 PM for lunch.
2322 RIO MALLEO 2012When you are staying at San Huberto, lunch on the Rio Malleo is always an event. The teams that were split up in the morning, reunite for a shore lunch. Again, these meals are no simple affair.
Several collapsible tables are opened and set end to end by the guides. Tri-pod chairs are lined up eight to a side. Multi-colored tablecloths are layered two deep and places are set with metal plates and silverware. Wine glasses, wrapped in cloth napkins for the ride, were placed accordingly. Bottles of local red wine, Malbec, lined the center of the tables. Appetiz-ers consisted of empanadas left over from last night’s asado, smoked meats, assorted chees-es. The main course is grilled lamb, breaded veal, roasted vegetables and a fresh green salad. The food is plentiful and delicious. And, so is the wine. 2346 RIO MALLEO 2012
In true Argentine fashion, a nap after lunch was not only well deserved but necessary. Every-one found a patch of grass to lie on or a stump to lean against and dozed off. Cathy and I sat on the river bank and finished the last of a bottle of wine when something caught her eye.
After pointing me in the right direction, I saw what she saw. A pod of fish were working on the surface just below a water flow metering station (which is why the local name for this beat is “el medidor”). Just above the meter, there was a grass clearing that touched the river where the local horses came to drink.
Without speaking, Cathy and I grabbed our rods and vests and walked 50 feet upstream to the pod of rising fish. We waded into the cool, waist-deep water and, of course, I insisted Cathy take the first shot. The fish were closer to the left bank but the flow was such that the best placement of the fly was closer to the middle of the stream so it could drift into to the willow-lined bank.
To see an accomplished angler display their craft never fails to impresses me - whether an athlete or a chef. To watch someone do challenging or complicated tasks with such ease and grace always leaves me amazed. To see Cathy Beck place a fly on the water fills me with the same sense of wonder. The biggest wonder being why, after 40 years of casting a fly rod, I still look like a guy swinging a stick trying to ward off fruit bats. But, I digress.
With minimal effort and maximum grace, Cathy made the first cast. Of course, it was perfect. After two feet of drift, the dark brown, CDC, no-name fly given to us by one of the guides, was gently slurped down by a nice sized Malleo buck brown. The fish in this river are healthy and strong fighters. But, Cathy moved him easily out of the center of the stream over to the gravel bank gently but quickly. By doing so, she left the rest of the pod undisturbed.
It was my turn. The only common denominator between what Cathy just did and my effort was we were using the same fly. But, after a few casts, I had a similar result and followed her lead getting the fish away from the pod so we could continue. And we did.
This went on for an hour or more. The fish never turned off and the pod stayed in tacked. We hooked one nice fish after the other. As our friends woke from their naps, they started to line the bank and cheered us on - fish after fish. All of the trout were beautiful and every cast Cathy made was perfect. I was savoring each moment.

 Fishing is Great

 We are moving into our summer season here. Sulfurs were reported last night on the Home Pool. Rain is coming today so that means you should get out this weekend. It should be pretty special. Here are a few shots from our guides this week.
Jeff CooneyFrisch 0006  Rhian Lownder 0004    roy

Airlines to Drop Service to Many Airports

The CARES Act requires that all airlines maintain service to all U.S. Airports they served pre-COVID-19, but the DOT has begun to loosen the mandate. See which airports your preferred airline is dropping here.

 CARES Act Route Suspensions

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Family Fun, It's the Right Thing to Do, and Westward Ho!

Don't Miss this Opportunity

There is an interesting article in Angling Trade News by Editor Kirk Deeter, about the number of kids and young people who are now fishing. With no school, no sports, no hanging with friends, this is a golden opportunity to get the kids into fishing.

35 FLY FISHING IMAGEThere have been more kids taking lessons here than I can ever remember and we are loving it. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, grandsons, granddaughters, you name it. We've had entire families, parts of families, mixed families, and everyone has a good time. We're always amazed at how easily these kids grasp fly fishing. During May and most of June our pond is full of very willing bluegills and there isn't an easier fish for young kids to start out on. Here are a few shots from our pond (we have hybrid stripers too):

Our Country Life Experience is a great way to vacation together, practice social distancing, and not share space with others. Our CLE families have exclusive use of the Lodge at Raven Creek to themselves and we only take one family at a time and we've got the stream, the pond, the farm, horses, chickens, and a whole lot more. So, round up everyone and come to the country!

See  more kids photos here

It's The Right Thing To Do

 Most sports have a set of unwritten rules, generally agreed upon by those in the know. But the trouble with the unwritten rules of fly fishing is that many newcomers aren’t aware of them. So it might take seasons of error before realizing that you were pissing everyone else off while wading downstream into the upstream guys.

Thanks to Troutbitten for this great article.

Westward Ho!

 Finally, the announcement from Montana that everyone has been waiting for! 


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Fins & Feathers, Here at Home, and Reach Cast Made Easy

Fins & Feathers

GSJ 9330Pick up a copy of the May/June 2020 issue of Grays Sporting Journal. In it Barry & Cathy have a photo essay on the Ibera Wetlands in northeastern Argentina where everything is taking off – either flying or leaping, whether fowl or fish. Golden dorado have become one of the Becks new “favorites” to pursue and it's easy to see why.


Here at Home

Fishing just keeps getting better. We're seeing a lot of caddis and March Browns and the cold nights are behind us so the dry fly fishing will only get better. Get out if you can, spring fishing won't last long enough!

 Dennis 5513Mary 8366  Casey 0029 David 1112


Reach Cast Made Easy

Want to be a better fisherman? RIO's Rob Parkins explains how and why to make a reach cast easily – and in less than 4 minutes.


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Spring Fishing & Fishing a Spinner Fall


Spring Fishing

Some restrictions have been lifted and just in the nick of time since we saw our first March Browns yesterday. Water is in good shape and after next week we expect to have milder weather and better water temps. Bring on the dry fly fishing! Come on out!

This has been a week of fathers & daughters and fathers & sons. Here are a few shots.

Cerminaro 0050







 Amelia Jenkins 2020

4942 Jake Frisch2020   4926 Clayton Cooney 2020


Fish a Spinner Fall

Dave & Amelia Jensen bring us this short instructive video with a crash course on mayfly spinners. Dreaming of a warm summer evening with spinners and rising trout? It's coming. Let yourself drift away to that evening with this short, informative 5 minute clip.

Thank you Dave and Orvis.



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Sage Films, Guiding Season, & Record-Breaking Catch

Films from the Field

sagehatSometime it's good to step away from the stress of life these days for a couple minutes of pleasure. Sage thinks so too and has put together Films from the Field. These are short clips featured not just about the search for new fisheries, but the pursuit of knowledge, experience, and understanding.
Enjoy, relax, and Explore.

Guiding Season Kicks In

Several outdoor activities including guided fishing trips will resume here starting tomorrow, Friday, May 1. For now, the reopening is limited to Pennsylvania residents only, but we are hopeful that our out-of-town anglers may soon be coming to Fishing Creek (with precautions, of course). Our fishing has been 4526 BECK IMAGE 2020good with incredible blue quill and Hendrickson hatches and good water levels. Fish are hungry, our guides are ready, and hatches are happening. Let's get the season going!      



Fly Angler's catch could shatter world record for permit

Kathryn Vallilee may have broken the world record for permit on 6-pound tippet while fishing off Key West. Congratulations to Kathryn and thank you USA Today bringing us the story.


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A Cold Day to Fish and My Isolation Breaking Point

A Cold Day to Fish

IMG 9233Spring is well under way here in northeastern Pennsylvania. Although we're not seeing much guiding and out-of-town fishing because of the virus, the season is not slowing down. For weeks we've had blue quills and Hendricksons and a couple of caddis are now showing so soon we'll have clouds of caddis with March Browns. And, with warmer air temperatures coming it means more comfortable fishing for sure!

Yesterday we had a very small corporate group here and I have to say that it was strange practicing 4746 BECK IMAGE 2020social distancing while guiding, but everyone was good about it. I look back on the day and remember standing in waist deep water with my Client, Shawn. The water was so cold I couldn't feel my feet. For the three previous nights we had below freezing temperatures and there was snow melt up on the mountain. Because of this, the morning fishing had been slow but then in the afternoon blue quills and Hendricksons started popping. The hatch started about 2:00, with the blue quills first and then the Hendricksons. There were not many rising fish with the water so cold, but enough to keep us busy for a couple of hours.

4533 BECK IMAGE 2020Back at the Land Rover, I pulled off my waders and discovered that both of my feet were wet. That explains why I was so cold I was shivering! It's always good to be on the water when a hatch is on and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it. But one thing for sure, tonight I'll be patching my waders!



My Isolation Breaking Point

reddyMatt Labash, author of “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader” writes in The New York Times about being at his breaking point with this whole social distancing thing. We hope it brightens your day. Thank you Matt, MidCurrent, & NYT.



Trivia Question for You

What airport in the country has more flights leaving than JFK? Answer: Billing, Montana. I know it's crazy but it's true. Here's the story:



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Ed Shenk, Tags & Trailers, & Biostrike and Neon Wax

Ed Shenk
January 17, 1927 - April 10, 2020
ED SHENK3600Ed Shenk, a Pennsylvania icon and a man who left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing passed away peacefully last week. He was 93 years old. Barry remembers Ed fondly because as a 17 year old kid, Ed took him to Montana fishing. It was Barry’s first trip west and it cemented a life long friendship with Ed. He was a mentor, friend, and a very talented fly tier and fisherman. Read more from Fly Fisherman.


Tags and Trailers

This is a subject that we've covered before, but it is so important for us anglers to think about how the nymphs we are fishing are actually behaving in the water. It can make a huge difference in our success on the water. Domenic Swentosky is the master at writing about fishing nymphs on a long leader and in this article he makes us think about the weight andnymph of the nymphs, the length of the dropper or trailer, and when to use one over the other. Plus, if you don't already use the Uni-Knot, you may want to after reading his excellent article. Thank you Domenic.

Biostrike & Neon Wax

While we're on the subject of Tags & Trailers, Cathy has a short clip here on Biostrike and Neon Wax as effective ways to add a sighter (like a strike indicator) on nymph leaders. A sighter is preferred when anglers are fishing European nymph style, but are very useful whenever you're high-sticking nymps.

Free Neon Wax

SeasonHere's your chance to try a free tube of Skafars Neon Wax, compliments of the folks we know in Slovenia. We have it in neon chartreuse, neon red, neon yellow, neon orange, white, and black. Order our Early Season Nymph Special and we'll include a free tube. We'll send a neon color while supply lasts, starting with red, orange, and green.

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Happy Easter!



We hope you enjoy this Easter weekend!  We'll be back with a blog next week.  Stay safe & healthy!

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Keeping your Passion Alive and Squirmies & Buggers

 We hope this finds you all well and safe. I know that it's hard to think of anything except the immediate needs of our families and ourselves during these critical times, but perhaps tonight when it's quiet in the house, you'll want to put your mind on something different and we hope the following pieces by Jim and Barry will be fun for you to read. Remember, fishing season is just around the corner and it is still okay to get out and fish!

Keep Your Passion Alive By Jim Kukorlo

I retired from my real job a few years ago. On my first day of retirement I went fishing. And to rub it intJim 20190502 111935o my co-workers I sent a picture of the inside of my SUV which is set up to fish. Simply saying “My new office.”   

Though that didn't surprise anyone who knows me, I was in for a surprise when I realized that a lot of my old fishing buddies don't fish anymore. I hear them say “I used to fly fish a lot” and “I wish I still did.” My big question is why not?

Fly fishermen seem to have a lot of reasons not to fish. It's too hot or too cold. Water is too high or too low. The weather forecast is calling for rain. I live by the saying “Best time to fish is when it's raining and when it's ain’t.”

One of the most commonly asked questions that I get as a guide is, “When is the best to fish?” My answer, “Whenever you can.”

Health. Perhaps the number one reason people don’t fish, in many cases, is health. As we age, health prevents us from doing a lot of things we love to do. Some health issues we can't control, but there are some that we can.

I started noticing that spending all day on the water wasn't as easy as it was a few years ago, so I took matters into my own hands and did something about it. In January I joined the YMCA doing some cardio workouts which has given me more stamina and the weight training has strengthened my muscles for the long days on the water. Keeping healthy for me is not just to keep fly fishing but to enjoy life in general. Without good health nothing else matters.

Friends. Although a lot of my old fishing friends no longer fish, I have found a few fishermen who love Jim 0099the sport as much as I do. Fishermen have a way of finding each other as do most people who have a common interest. Friends will get you out the door and on the water even when you don't really feel like it. We keep in touch and share our fishing adventures and fish together whenever we can. That being said I have no problem fishing alone. In fact some days I prefer to fish alone. Fishing is a solitary thing for me, and I enjoy those times on the water.

What is really cool about fly fishing is that it is many different sports within the sport of fly fishing.
Fly tying. There is nothing more rewarding than catching a trout on a fly that you tied. I'm always looking for new fly patterns or tying variations of old favorites. The internet is a great way to search for new fly patterns and materials. Every winter I tie a lot of new fly patterns that I can't wait to get on the water to try out.

Entomology. Learning to identify the different mayflies, caddis and stoneflies can be a big advantage for a fly fisherman. Being able to identify the different hatches and having the right imitations in your fly box to match the hatch is what fly fishing is all about.

Casting. It’s probably the one thing that attracts a lot of people to fly fishing. It's a beautiful thing being able to cast a fly rod with ease and accuracy. Take your casting to a new level and sign up for casting lesson and you will be surprise how much you don't know. Then get out and put to practice what you learned.

Tactics. Fly fishing offers something other forms of fishing doesn't in that there are many different ways to present your fly to the trout, which allows you to fish year round in all kinds of different water conditions.

Nymph fishing alone offers exciting new techniques to catch fish. Tight lining, Euro nymphing and indicators nymphing are all great tactics in different water conditions.

Spice up your dry fly fishing by using the dry fly drop method. Simply tie a piece of tippet 12-14” off the bent of your dry fly hook with a clinch knot and attach a nymph or emerger fly to trail behind the dry fly. It's new, it's fun, and you will catch more fish.

You can spend a lifetime learning all the techniques that fly fishing has to offer and never fully understand it all.

Keeping it real. One of the best things to keeping fly fishing alive and exciting is to pass it on the our Jim 0010 2children and grandchildren. Remember that guy that said he used to fish? Well, offer to take him fishing and maybe renew his interest and you gain a fishing buddy.

Buy a new fly rod and reel. Especially if you are still fishing with the one you bought 25 or more years ago. Technology has advanced so much in fly rods and reels today, it's insane.

Fish new water or water you haven't fish in many years. I'm sure every fly fishermen has a list of streams near and far that he or she would love to fish. Pick a time and just do it.

Being a guide has been a big part of keeping my passion for fly fishing alive. I find great satisfaction in teaching someone the fine points of fly fishing or watching them catch their first trout on a fly rod. The friendships I have made over years being involved in the fly fishing world are priceless.

These are just a few ways to spice up your fly fishing to help you and I stay in the fly fishing game for a lifetime. You're welcome to share your thoughts and comments on ways that you motivate yourself to keep fly fishing a big part of your life.

   Squirmies & Buggers from Barry

0734 RUSS MILLER 2015It’s the time of year when anglers around here are looking forward to the opening of trout season. Preparing our fly boxes is part of the ritual and, of course, part of the fun. Looking at my fly boxes, I make sure that there are two patterns that I am never without — and that’s not just for the early season but anytime anywhere I am fishing for trout. My good friend, Phil Balisle, will cringe when he reads this because he’s a dry fly guy and while he sorts through his Quill Gordons and Hendrickson duns, I’ll be adding red and purple Squirmies and super buggers to my arsenal. Of course I’ll cover my bases with early season dries and nymphs too, but when you pull out the stops, the Squirmies and Buggers can save the day. Early season water temperatures are often cold and for a good part of the day the trout may sit on the bottom and that’s where we need to get our flies.  0443 RUSS MILLER 2015

Our squirmies are tied on stout hooks with tungsten beads and our super buggers have lead eyes, both designed to get the fly down quickly. Jack Gartside, always said fish where the fish are, so if they’re on the bottom then that’s where we need to be, so make sure your boxes are stocked with both patterns.


Squirmie & Bugger Selection

squirmyandbuggerTry our new Squirmie & Super Bugger Selection especially when the water is cold or after a rain when it is off-color and/or a bit high.  Here's the link to our store.

Tip – While the most popular way to fish a super bugger is by stripping it back, try dead drifting with a squirmie on a trailer about 12” behind the bugger. As the cast goes into the swing, slowly retrieve it and hesitate for a second or two at the very end (the dangle) before slowly lifting the line from the water to cast again. Often it is at this last second that the fish will decide to take the fly.  



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We're Back!

We’re Back

We’re back after skipping the blog last week. It somehow felt insensitive to talk about things we do for fun while in the current crisis. But now, almost 2 weeks into it, we seem to be adjusting to the new norm (somewhat anyway), spring is coming, stoneflies and olives are hatching, trout season is just around the corner, and well, now it feels okay to have something fun to look forward to. We hope you agree. Today’s blog is full of tips and the first one comes from Barry.

Double Whammy

698 IVAN TARIN SANCHO 2017 Sometimes it pays to think outside the box. Fishing dry droppers, a pair of soft hackles or two nymphs trailed together is quite common and often produces, but most anglers rarely think of fishing two streamers in tandem. It works and it’s a strategy that I often use especially when faced with high off-color water and when I am using a sink-tip or full sinking line. Under these conditions I want my flies down on the bottom and generally I like a slow retrieve hoping to get my flies in front of a fish. Streamers like Cathy’s Super Buggers are designed to push water and create vibrations that can alert the fish to the fly. So my go to combination is a smaller lighter colored upper fly and a black Super Bugger on the bottom.  461 IVAN TARIN SANCHO 2017

More than once I’ve found trout busting minnows near the surface and have used a two streamer combination with great success. Trout are competitive by nature, so I use a smaller minnow pattern on top and a larger streamer pattern on the bottom. I like to think that this imitates something big chasing something little. My retrieves are faster and I am generally using a floating line. Remember to strip set the hook using your line hand and not by lifting you rod tip. If you strike with your line hand and miss the fish, you have only moved the flies a short distance and there is a good chance the fish will continue the pursuit. If you set by lifting the rod tip and miss, you’ve pulled the flies away from the fish and the game is over. If you see a wake behind your fly or can see a fish chasing your fly, accelerate your retrieve speed which should encourage the fish to strike.
755 IVAN TARIN SANCHO 2017 When casting two streamers especially with a sinking or sink-tip line, it’s always best to open up your casting loop so the flies don’t tangle. It’s not quite chuck and duck, but’s it’s not far from it. The next time you’re in the mood to fish streamers give the combo a try. You might be surprised.


Cold Feet? Check out this tip:

Keeping your feet warm while wading.

How to Get a Stuck Fly Rod Apart

Beware of the Wolf

Barry & Cathy take us on a new adventure to the Parana River in Northern Argentina.  wolf


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Going Mirrorless

Going Mirrorless 

When it comes to camera questions that we field here in the office, the one that we often hear is “Have you gone mirrorless?” Well, yes and no, because we still rely on our Nikon SLRs for most of our work but for the past three months we have been shooting both a Nikon Z6 and the higher megapixel Z7. The main difference between a mirrorless camera 1595 Z6 other1and a SLR is that the light goes directly to the image sensor on the mirrorless which has an electronic view finder, whereas with an SLR the light is bounced off a reflex mirror up to the optical view finder. Mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and from our limited experience, shoot unbelievable video. It’s the video aspect that captured our attention and rightfully so.
Being able to shoot slo mo (slow motion) at 120 frames per second is so cool and the fact that with the Z series adaptor we can use all of our go to lenses makes it a no brainer. The stills that come out of the larger megapixel Z7 are as good or in some cases better than our Nikon D850. So, in short we are optimistic that the Z Nikons will always be a major player in our day to day photography.
Another question that often pops up is, “What camera bag do you use?” The perfect bag for every job just doesn’t exist, but for probably ten years we’ve used Think Tank. We’ve tried many brands of bags but have to say that the design team at Think Tank have to be serious photographers. We find the bags well designed and extremely well made. They take a real 1591 Z7 lcdbeating. If you’re looking for a camera bag, we would suggest visiting Roberts Camera. Located in Indianapolis, It’s where we buy all of our camera gear. Our contact at Roberts is Jody Grober, and as well as being a great photographer, is also a passionate fly fisherman. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 800-726-5544. Tell him Barry sent you.


0251 GOLDEN DORADO 2020  0380 GOLDEN DORADO 2020A  BIGHORN 2016 1952


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