Winter Fishing

Winter Fishing Special

Winter fishing 0005We're having mild days, our guides are fishing, and catching fish. If this mild trend continues we'll fish straight through the winter. So, with that in mind, we're offering a Winter Special from now until March 1. Come for the afternoon, 1-4:00, 4 hours guided fishing for $175. It's the warmest part of the day and when the fish are most active. Dress warm and get outside in the fresh air. Give us a call to schedule. 570-925-2392.


Jim’s Winter Fishing Tips

And, while we’re on the subject of winter fishing, Jim, our head guide has some tips for us:
Winter Fly Fishing Tips

I have noticed in the last few years that winter fly fishing has become more popular, especially in our local area. It's always been popular in Central PA, on streams like Penn’s Creek, Spring Creek and other limestone streams. And I’m also seeing a lot of articles in fly fishing magazines, photos and stories on social media on winter fly fishing.

As with any outdoor adventure it's always good to be prepared and have some idea of what clothing to wear and other items to have on hand so it a fun and a successful day on the water. Dressing in layers is a very good way to keep warm and if the conditions warm up, you can always take a layer off. Beware though, over dressing will make you look like the Michelin Man and restrict your mobility. 

A hooded rain jacket that is wind proof and water proof is a must. A warm hat with ear muffs and a lined buff will keep your head and neck warm. Fingerless fishing gloves help to keep your hands from freezing. I just found a pair of Simms fingerless gloves that have a pouch on the wrist for a disposable hand warmer packet.  Guides 1841

If you live close by, putting your waders and boots on at home is a lot easier and warmer than booting up on the stream. If there is snow on the ground be sure to use rubber bottom soles with cleats. Snow will cling to the felt soles making it very difficult to walk.

One problem with winter fishing on colder days is that ice will form in the guides of your fly rod. Solution? I like to use Stanley's Ice off or Pam Cooking spray. It will work for a while. If ice still forms in the guides, try dipping the rod in the water and swoosh it around, the ice will thaw. But, unfortunately, the guides will ice up again. It's just part of winter fishing. A mono rig will shed water quicker than a thicker fly line. So when I'm fishing in air temperatures in the 20's I will Euro nymph with a Mono Rig. (That’s an article for another time…)

A list of other things to bring along:

• Polarized Sunglasses
• Hand warmers
• Water, thermos of coffee and some snacks
• Towel – attached to your waders or vest to wipe off your wets hand after releasing a fish
• Change of clothes – just in case – it's a long ride home when you’re soaking wet and cold
These items are good things to have in your car all year round and you might be surprised how often you will thank yourself.

Now you are set with equipment, let’s talked about what hatches you could see and what flies usually work best.

Insects in the winter? Absolutely! Especially on nice sunny blue bird days it's not uncommon to see BWO's, early black stoneflies, caddis and small midges. If the sun warms up the water even a degree or two, you could see some rising fish and have some dry fly fishing.

Winter nymph fishing is usually the name of the game and having nymphs of the above hatches is always a good idea. A rule of the thumb for winter fishing is to use small flies in hook sizes 16 to 22. But rules are made to be broken and myths abound in the fly fishing world so don’t be afraid to experiment.

A few days ago I caught several trout on a size 10 Sexy Walt’s Worm and dead drifting a Cathy's Super Bugger has been the hot flies this month so far. Be prepared for anything and think outside the box. Oh, and don’t forget the incredible edible egg. Are you old enough to remember that in a TV commercial about eggs? Trout know what we know. Eggs are high in protein and a great winter diet for the trout.

Jim 1860Best to time be on the water is from around 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m . It's usually the warmest part of the day and the most productive part of a winter day. It’s a good idea not to fish alone on cold winter days and having a buddy along can just add to the fun.

The idea of winter fly fishing is really hard for some anglers to grasp. It is a different mind set. But once you grasp it and are comfortable with fighting the elements it can be very rewarding. I'm not just out there to enjoy the beauty of a winter day. If that was the case I would just take a walk in the woods. I fish to catch fish and love the challenge that winter fishing brings and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from bringing a few trout to the net.

If you’ve never fished in the winter I like to encourage you do so. Hope some of the tips I mentioned will help you to enjoy these days on the water. I am happy to answer any question you might have. Click at the top of the blog to view it online and the comments box will appear. We love hearing from our readers.

  Patagonia Puff Pants

pat tuff pantsAnd still thinking about winter fishing, if you are looking for a layer that will keep you warm under your waders, check out Patagonia's Tough Puff Pants (#82005). Made from the same stretchy, durable fabric as the puff hoody, they are so warm you'll wear them as pants after fishing. For more information check them out at Patagonia.com.


Continue reading
134 Hits

Guides Advice, Conservationist of the Year, & Photographing Fish

 Guide's Advice

It just so happened that our three guides – Jim, Tom & Brad, were here a few days back and Barry asked them a couple of questions about their most valuable gear. What do they never leave home without when guiding. Here are their answers:

 Conservationist of the Year

conservationistWe are very pleased and excited to announce that friend and Commissioner at Large for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Charles Charlesworth, has been chosen at 2021 Conservationist of the Year. It would be hard to find another person (although we know they are out there) who has been more committed or has worked harder than Charlie in protecting, preserving, rehabilitating streams and promoting fly fishing. Take a look at what he has done for the Lackawanna River. Pretty impressive. Congratulations Charlie!



Photographing Fish

We have drives full of stories that we have written for various publications over the years. Actually some are still stored in boxes of floppy disks, cds and DVDs, and some are so old we don't have the devices to access them. But, that's a problem for another day. As you know, the flies and some of the terminal tackle changes over the years, leaders get thinner and stronger, fly patterns come and go, as do gadgets. But the thing that doesn't change is the quarry – the fish. Over the next few months we will be republishing a few of the short stories from days gone by. Here's our first one Photographing Fish originally in Field & Stream, 2010. Photos in the album are a mix of good, funny and unplanned.

 We handle fish almost on a daily basis as either guide, trip host, or fishing photographer. So, when our friend and editor Doug Olander asked for a few suggestions on releasing fish after we take a photo we thought we might begin with talking about handling the fish.

There are some toothy critters out there and when we decide to photograph these, there are some things to think about. A big barracuda is the first fish that comes to mind. Sharks can be a dangerous handful and even a small jack crevalle can give a nasty wound if handled improperly. Heck, we can get a sore hand for a couple of days by getting poked with the dorsal fin of a harmless panfish! These potentially hazardous situations can be the result of getting our hands too close to a mouthful of teeth (as in barracuda), or coming in contact with a sharp spine or gill plate (jack or snook), or an actual intended bite (shark). Cathy once grabbed a decaying sockeye salmon for a photo in Alaska and managed to get her fingers inside its mouth. It took a month of antibiotics to finally rid her hands of infection caused by bacteria in the rotting process. Be careful where you put your hands. Often on big fish a boca grip is the safest way to handle them for a photograph.

0377 LIMAY RIVER 2017 After catching the fish, how we handle it for the photographs is critical to its survival after being released. Nothing is set in cement here as there are so many variables, but there are a couple things to keep in mind. If the fish is taxed from being played too long it will take longer to revive and even then he may not survive. If he has put up a hard fight and is obviously played out, we’ll often help revive and release him using the method described below without chancing a photograph. We don’t believe any photograph is worth killing the fish.

This is the system we use whenever we photograph fish. The longer we hold a fish out of the water the better the odds are of it not surviving the event. If the fish is in good shape one of us will compose the photo while the other is safely holding the fish under water either gently cradling it or using a net. The person in charge of the fish can be getting it into the correct position for the photograph before lifting it when the photographer gives the word. If the head of the fish is gently cradled in one hand while gripping just ahead of the tail with the other hand, you’ll see plenty of the fish in the photograph and have a comfortable hold on the fish. For big, slippery fish a fishing glove or even a sun glove will help grip the tail. Make sure the glove is wet to protect the fish.

We work with Nikon digital cameras so we take our first picture of the angler holding the fish underwater and then check our composition and light in the monitor of the camera. If we like it we do a one-two-three count, the fish is lifted out of the water, the angler smiles, and the photographer fires three quick shots and the fish goes back underwater.

If the images look good in the monitor, it’s time to release the fish. We’re still holding the fish with a firm grip just ahead of the tail keeping it in an upright position in the water. If it’s not anxious to go we slowly move it back and forth facing into the current making the gills work. Make sure the fish is in clean water where turtle grass, sand, or mud can't foul the gills. If it’s exhausted or bleeding there may be predator fish in the area waiting for a chance to get at him. If it starts to turn sideways or upside down it’s in trouble, rescue it and repeat the revival process. It may take some patience when you want to get back to fishing but if it’s a fish worthy of a picture, it's always worth ensuring it’s survival.

Click here to see the album of photos

Continue reading
73 Hits

Happy New Year!


Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!  We'll be back next week with our first blog of 2021!

Continue reading
41 Hits

Christmas Greetings


We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy, Covid-free 2021. Like the rest of the world, we anxiously await the time when we can freely move around the world again and do believe it is near. With that hope in mind, we share some thoughts from Mollie & Mike Fitzgerald & the Frontiers Team:

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous

“Climb the mountain so that you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ~ David McCullough

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” ~ Anonymous

“Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” ~ Mark Twain

 Heart Melting Christmas Ads

We came across this YouTube clip of The Best Most Touching Christmas Adverts That Will Melt Your Heart. Bet you can't watch just one....enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Warning: Patagonia Scam

We all know this stuff happens and want to alert you to a scam that is making the rounds on Facebook. Don't fall for this too-good-to-be-true sale supposedly from Patagonia Clothing Company. It is a scam. It's from Pataonlinemall.buzz, NOT Patagonia Clothing Company.  Screen Shot 2020 12 22 at 2.57.50 PM

Follow this link from Patagonia to learn more.


Continue reading
75 Hits

Gift Certificates, November Song, & Last of the Season?

winter ornaments backdrop banner13910599

9 Shopping Days Left Until Christmas!

Gift Certificates

christmasgiftNeed a last minute gift idea? Our gift certificates can be used for our online store, fly purchases, guiding, or any of our instructional programs. Certificates are available in any amount starting at $25 and will be emailed and can be printed by the purchaser.


 November Song

“Some days unfold slowly. Listen carefully and you may catch the rhythm.....

We enjoy Bob Romano's writing and think that at this unusually crazy time of year november song(even in normal years), taking a couple minutes to drift back with Bob to a November day and a more pleasant place and peace of mind. It's healthy for the soul. Enjoy the short story. If you enjoy this, you may like his blog too. Thank you Bob Romano and MidCurrent.


Last of the Season?

Maybe not. Yes, there is a blizzard on it's way to us later today, but fishing has been good right up until now and if the weather man is correct, we are to have a relatively mild winter. There's a good chance that we'll have some nice days and you can be sure that our guides Jim, Tom and Brad will be itching to be on the water. These shots are from last week. If you want or need a day on the water and we get a break in the weather, get your long johns out and give us a shout.

Mark Bremmer

 Art Hower 0016

Continue reading
74 Hits

Look at this Fish!, Christmas Gifts, & Looking Ahead


Look at This Fish!!

Matt West 3381While some of us were trying to do Christmas shopping online and in mask, a regular guiding client, Matt West, decided to brave the cold and get in a late season fishing day with Barry. As Barry was getting dressed that morning he mentioned that he must be crazy. It was cold and a breeze was kicking up. He piled on base layers, top layers, down, wool, and anything else that he could get inside his waders. I remember thinking that they are both crazy!

As the day unfolded, the wind died and the sun came out. I can't say that it was balmy, but bearable. They were catching a few fish when about an hour from quitting time Matt hooked into this beautiful 30” brown. Where he came from no one knows, but he's been living a good life! It was Matt's biggest fish to date and what a way to finish the day. Our season doesn't close here, and the next week looks good, so if you're up for it, our guides are anxious to find this fish again! Give us a call to set up a day.

Congratulations Matt!

GeoGalleries   geo

If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, you know that we've been busy this season with our online photo gallery. We invite you to take a look at what we're doing and the many other artists that are represented by GEOGalleries.com/barryandcathybeck.

Shes Going Fishing0731


Calendars and Flies

 Don't forget to order a 2021 Angler's Calendar, the Dirty Duo & Ug & Ug selections, and Trapper & PTs. (See last week's blog) Time is running out for Christmas. Let us know if we can help fill your stocking....or someone else's. These are great early season flies and priced right.  For Christmas 2


Looking Ahead

While the future is still somewhat uncertain, it's looking up with regards to the vaccine and late winter early spring turnaround. We're seeing an interest in fishing trips and the phone is beginning to ring again.

With that in mind, here is our 2021 schedule from March forward. As you begin to think about traveling once again, we hope you'll keep us and Frontiers in mind.


March 6-12                 San Huberto Lodge, Argentina. Trout.

March 13-20               Tres Valles Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.

March 20-27               Estancia Tecka, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.

June 21-July 4            Ireland & Scotland. Trout/A. Salmon.

July 23-Aug. 9            E. Africa Safari. Kenya & Tanzania. Game Viewing.

August 21-Sept. 5       Bighorn River, Montana. Trout.

September 14-22        E. Pyrenees, Spain. Trout.

October 16-23             Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize. Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit

Nov. 29-Dec. 4            Argentina Waters, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.

Dec. 4-11                    Tres Valles Estancia, Esquel, Argentina. Trout

Continue reading
101 Hits

Shop Small Christmas Ideas


We encourage you to embrace the Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses every day and everywhere. Please support small business this holiday season and beyond.

 Tis the Season

This is the week for Christmas ideas for yourself or others. We've put together some interesting fly selections, once again we have the 2021 Angler's Calendar, and a virtual stroll through our GeoGallery.

IMG 0109 Dirty Duo

For this double selection we've paired our Squirmies & Buggers Selection with a dozen tungsten Ug Nymphs (#8) in our best colors. You'll be ready for high cold water when the season opens in the spring with this duo. 2 Selections, 28 weighted flies, boxed. $60.  Click on the title to be directed to our store to order.



PT's & Emergers

PTS 0112For this double selection we've paired our Pheasant Tail Bead Head Selection with a dozen Trapper Tungsten Soft Hackle caddis emergers. PT's are always a favorite and with the Trapper soft hackles, you'll be ready for the hatches in the spring. 2 Selections, 24 flies(12-16), boxed $42. Click on the title to be directed to our store to order.



2021 Angler's Calendar

CAL 2021The 12"x12" Angler's Calendar is always a popular gift idea. 18-month calendar, large boxes for notes, moon phases, international holidays. By Willow Creek Press. $14.99.




Geo Gallery Tour

Just in time for Christmas.

We've put together a short video of some of our favorite images listed on Geo Galleries. Just sit back and let us show you what we're doing with prints, canvas wraps, and framed pieces.

All of the images here are available in a variety of formats and media types along with custom selections at Geogalleries.com/barryandcathybeck. Please let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy.





Continue reading
94 Hits

Updated Link: Happy Thanksgiving! Shop Small & This Week's Featured Pics


The Movement

shopsmallWe encourage you to embrace Small Business Saturday as it continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition – just one part of the larger Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses every day and everywhere. Please support small business this holiday season and beyond.


This Week's Pics

The Homestead

The Homested 2020 11 25 at 2.01.39 PMThe stories this place could tell! On a windswept Montana plain you can picture kids and old folks trudging through snow on their way to the outhouse, or struggling to beat a bit of a living out of the rock hard ground in the generations before irrigation. As they say, “those were the days....”


Last Cast

Last Cast 2020 11 25 at 12.57.46 PMWe've all had those magical days on the water that you don't want to end. So, you keep telling yourself that you really do have to start home and that you'll just make one more cast...and it leads to another and another.


We invite you to browse these photos and many others in our gallery at geogalleries.com/barryandcathybeck.

Starting at $25.

Prints, framed and ready-to-hang, and canvas wraps. Custom options available.



Continue reading
96 Hits

GeoGalleries, Last Call, & Mending your Line

This Week's Pic – GeoGalleries

We are continuing to build our presence on GeoGalleries and invite you to take a look at
geogalleries.com/barryandcathybeck where you can browse prints, canvas wraps, and framed pieces, with many options in media, format, and custom sizes. Here are the pics for this week:

 Rainbow Trout Release

Geo Rainbow Trout Release 2020 10 29 at 2.51.11 PMAn angler gently releases a fat rainbow trout back into the river to be caught and enjoyed another day. As catch and release becomes more popular, anglers everywhere are increasingly releasing their catch.


Acacia Tree Sunset

The combination of dust and fire make for incredible sunsets and it's hard to find another place on earth Geo Acacia Tree Sunset 2020 11 19 at 3.28.06 PMwhere there is more dust and fire than Africa. The vast African plains and the few trees make an impressive stage for the sun to drop behind.


 Last Call

If you subscribe to or happen to see a copy of the November/December issue of Gray's, please enjoy our photo essay with our good friend Harry Schoel from Belgium.

 Last Call 0010









Classic Pro Tip: How to Mend Your Line For a Better Drift

mendHere is an easy, quick, piece from Tom Rosenbauer and Montana guide, Molly Semenik, on mending line. These are great tips for mending and with it is a very useful 2-minute video.
Thank you Tom, Molly, & Orvis.

Continue reading
104 Hits

Fall Fishing, RIO Tips, & GeoGalleries Pick

Fall Fishing

After a long hot dry summer and early fall, we have been blessed with rain to end the drought and 0757 OCTOBER FLY FISHING beautiful fall weather to enjoy being outside. The fish are beginning their spawning rituals, water is cool and clean, and looking ahead the day time temperatures are projected to be in the 50/60's for at least the next week.

Just this afternoon we watched three whitetail bucks chase doe in the field next door and as we sat and watched, a bald eagle 709 NOV 2020 BECK IMAGEflew overhead from the pond. It was a beautiful warm fall afternoon and we couldn't help but feel fortunate to be here in this place at this moment.

Our guides have a few days available, so if you need to get out and fish, now is the time! We will have another week of it, but who knows after that. It could be a very long cold winter. Call us!

RIO's Fishing Tips  riologo2

RIO's fishing tips are short, usually less than a minute, tips that help us all and make things easier on the water or at the tying bench. You may end up asking yourself, “Why didn't I think of that?” Here is one for tying bench and at the end you'll see more tips.



This Week's Pick -- GeoGalleries

Last week we told you about our invitation to be part of GeoGalleries, an online community of artists based in San Antonio, Texas, and representing artists from around the world. We're excited to be included in the small group of photographers and here are our two picks for this week. Both pieces are available in a number of sizes as prints, framed work, and canvas. We invite you to see more by visiting https://geogalleries.com/BARRYANDCATHYBECK/.

Colorful Art Deco Street Life

GEO2020 11 04 at 6.58.45 PMSyncopated Bohemian culture comes to life on the streets and alleyways of Valprasio, Chile, like nowhere else on earth. It's a hard working port town, once known as "The Jewel of South America". Don't be in a hurry when you come to visit the colorful streets, cafes, and restaurants of this extraordinary city.




Gray Crowned Cranes

GEO 2020 11 04 at 6.56.23 PMGray Crowned Cranes are long legged birds of African grasslands and wetlands, famous for their elaborate courtship dances performed in pairs. Cranes mate for life and enjoy a varied diet by pecking on the ground or searching in the mud for frogs, lizards, seeds and grains. These cranes have inspired artists, conservationists (and photographers like ourselves) around the world, but some species are now threatened due to habitat loss.





Continue reading
108 Hits