We hope everyone had a great 4th of July yesterday and can enjoy this beautiful weekend coming up with family & friends! We'll be back next week!
Domenick Swentosky's Tip #43. There are two ways to recover slack after the cast: stripping in line or lifting/moving the rod tip. Here are two scenarios for consideration.
To quote Domenick, “So much of what we do out on the river comes back to the basics. It's a simple, intuitive game where all advanced techniques have their kernel in simplicity.”
As many of you know our favorite place to be in a northeastern winter is Argentina, and we try to be there as much as possible. There is nothing better than to be trout fishing in Patagonia in the fall season. It is easy to love thousands of miles of trout fishing, pristene high mountain lakes with trophy trout just waiting for a fly, miles and miles of wide open space, beautiful estancias, exceptional guides, great food and lodging, wine....well, you get the picture.
This is what our 2019 February and March schedule will be:
February 9 – 16 Estancia Laguna Verde (Jurassic Lake)
February 17 – 23 Estancia Tecka
March 16 – 23 Estancia Tres Valles
March 24 – 30 Hosteria San Huberto (Rio Malleo)
March 30 – Apr 6 Limay River Lodge
Come with us. You'll be glad you did! More details.
Ok, we know most anglers just grab whatever tippet material is handy as long as it's the right “X” but Simon tells us why understanding tippet choices can make a huge difference in our “catchability”.
It's all about sulphurs here in Pennsylvania right now. Anglers who stay on the water until dark will see incredible hatches of these mayflies along with a spattering of other summer flies. In this video from Midcurrent, Tim Flagler shows us how to tie the Bird's Nest Sulphur Emerger. Perfect timing for summer fishing.
If you're headed out on the Appalachian Trail or taking the kids camping, these are some essential items to keep in your First Aid Kit. In a recent piece for MidCurrent, Jess McGlothlin gives practical tips on what to include in your kit and why, but perhaps more importantly, how to pack it for convenience and efficiency. You can read his excellent 2-part article from the link.
Sponges, band-aids, butterfly bandages
Prep pads, moleskin
Tweezers, allergy ointment
Antibiotic cream, AfterBite
Clot material (pad)
Water purification tabs
Less drowsy Dramamine (seasickness)
Activated charcoal tabs
Gauze, tape, co-flex wrap
Leatherman or similar tool
Thank you, Jeff and MidCurrent.
Read about this family's interesting flying experience with Southwest Airlines..... it's a happy one. Good to know about this airline.
Our complements to Southwest.
Sulphurs, slate drakes, beetles, flying ants – it is summer time fishing and everyone is loving it. Trout streams all over the northeast should be in great shape and fishing well. We continue to have a wet late spring/early summer and the extra water has kept our stream, Fishing Creek, fresh and cold. It's a great year to be fishing every chance you get as some of our guests here will attest!
As we move into summer and warmer air and water temperatures, it is more important than ever to be careful when handling and releasing fish. Here is a cute tongue-in-cheek clip from Redington on just that with Bob Frankfurter and Dr. Adipose. Enjoy.
At one time or another we have all lost track of a partner, a child, a pet and the experience can be terrifying. It doesn't have to be in a remote area either, it can be at the county fair or a concert. The LynQ is ingenious, it's safe, doesn't require cell reception, and easy enough for young children to use.
Stay connected with LynQ.
Barry writes about summer fishing
Looking out of my office window, I realize that summer is coming fast. It's hard to believe that our spring fishing is nearly done. Everyone loves the early Hendricksons and we miss them already. The hatch was sporadic and the weather unstable, typical of early spring. Next was our march browns and they were early on Fishing Creek, but provided some nice dry fly action for those lucky enough to get out and catch the hatch.
What is starting now is probably our most dependable fishing in the way of insect activity. Inch worms provide exciting day time fishing, especially on warm sunny days, and evening sulphur hatches and spinner falls will last well into July. Angler's won't have to rush to the stream for the sulphurs, the flies often wait for the last bit of light to make their appearance and will continue well after dark. There will often still be flies on the water early the next morning.
Our favorite imitation for the inch worm is a black bead head sinking inch worm. Sight fish these flies whenever you can and use a strike indicator when you can't sight fish them. We like a comparadun for the adult sulphur and a poly wing for the spinner. These flies are available through our online store.
Summer is fast approaching and our summer hatches will provide some of the best fishing of the year. We hope you get out often to enjoy it. -Barry
Thoughts from Head Guide, Jim Kukorlo
Hopefully the high and fast water days are behind us and its perfect timely coming into early June where we are expecting to see some of the best hatches of the season. Water levels are dropping nicely and the next few weeks could produce some great dry fly fishing.
Dry fly fishing by far is the most favorite form of fly fishing for most fly fishermen but it can also be the most challenging. After the first few days of any hatch the trout can become very selective. There are several different dry fly patterns to chose from. The Traditional Catskill Dry Fly, Compara Duns, Thorax Style and Parachutes are the style of dry flies that I tie and fish. Its important to have all of these patterns in your fly box to use in different water conditions and when you are fishing over selective trout. Lets take a look at each of these different styles of dry flies and when they work the best.
Traditional Catskill Dry Fly: These dry flies are probably the most commonly used patterns. They have been around for a long time and have caught a lot of trout over the years.
The traditional full hackle flies ride high in the water and will float very well. If the flies are poorly tied with tails too long or hackle too long they will float unnatural in the water and can twist your leaders.
Because they float well and ride high in the water they are great to tie attractor patterns with. Flies such as the Yellow Stimulator, Adams Wulff and the Royal Wulff just to name a few. These flies work well on size 8 and 10 hooks and they are the perfect fly to use when fishing the dry fly dropper method. Which is tying a tippet off the bend of the dry fly and attaching a nymph on the end of the tippet.
Thorax Style Dry Fly: Vince Marinaro introduced this style of dry fly in his book “A Modern Dry Fly Code” many years ago. Vince revolutionize the way we tied and fish dry flies with this method.
With the wings tied in the middle of the hook and the tails split the fly has a more realistic look of a real mayfly. The hackle is tied in an X around the wing and the body extends up to the eye of the hook. When finished you can use your scissors to cut a V in the bottom of the hackle which adds to the stability of the fly. I use this pattern a lot when I'm fishing is small runs and riffles.
Its has all of the things you want in a dry fly. Realistic looking, floats well and it's been a favorite of mind for more years then I want to remember.
Compara Duns Dry Fly: When fishing over selective trout this is the pattern you want to be using. Tied with the wings in the middle of the hook along with the split tails like I use in the thorax style dry fly. This fly has a lot good features and it's my go to dry fly pattern. Be sure to use micro fibers for the tail and coastal deer hair for the wings. With no hackle on the fly the body lies on the water surface giving it a more natural look of a real mayfly. You don't need expensive necks for hackles and the compara dun is easy to tie once you master the deer hair wing. I tie most of my mayflies using compara duns and thorax style duns. Time and time again I catch more trout and have less refusal using the Compara Dun then any other dry fly pattern that I use. Easy to tie and catches fish. Sounds like a winner to me.
Parachutes Dry Fly: Another very popular and effective technique to tie dry flies and one that I don't use a lot of and maybe I should. The parachute has a more tradition catskill look except the hackle is tied around the base of the wing thus giving it a parachute look. The fly body floats in the surface much like the compara dun and gives a very good presentation of a natural mayfly. A favorite among a lot of fly fishermen.Back to why I don't use it a lot. I find that the fly can cast hard especially in larger hook sizes. I don't think the hackle has much use because it's at the bottom of the wing and doesn't really touch the water so why use it. You get the same effect with the compara dun plus the compara dun is easier and quicker to tie. I like simple and easy. As a guide I can go through a lot of flies and as much as I like tying flies I would much rather be fly fishing.
I do however tie some of my tried and true go to patterns such as the Adams and Light Cahill. Parachutes also work well to use with the dry fly drop using a small nymph trailing off the back of the dry fly. The Parachute is the perfect fly to use when tying emerger patterns. If you use a curved hook the body will ride low in the surface film giving the fly a great emerging appearance. I think I just talked myself into tying and fishing more parachutes dry flies. We all have our favorite flies and patterns that we are successful with. Don't get hung up on one style or technique of dry flies. Having options could come in handy when fishing over selective trout.
We have one room open for the Bighorn River for a part-week. August 28 – Sept. 1. 4 nights/3 days. This is trico time on the 'Horn. If you like fishing this incredible hatch, you will love the Bighorn in August. Call us or Denise at Frontiers 800-245-1950.
We have one or two rooms to fill in Spain (October 13-20) & Chile (January 12-19, 2019). Each trip offers a nice variety of trout fishing and interesting things for a non-angler to enjoy. Easy in and out with only one internal flight each way. If you enjoy fishing in spectacular mountain scenery, this one is for you.
Those of you who travel with us to the Argentina and the Bighorn River will remember Ken Cooley. Ken was a regular who often came with his wife Foy; his brother-in-law V.O., or other members of his family. Ken passed away on May 26, 2018, just a couple days shy of his 90th birthday. In Foy's words, “He left us the way he wanted to – living and celebrating every moment of life to the end, doing so with kindness and humility and selfless devotion to his family and friends.” God Bless you Ken. You will be greatly missed.
Fishing is good here despite the unstable weather. Here are a few recent images from our guides and clients. Happy faces, great fish!
No one is complaining about it being dry here this spring! Barry guided yesterday in rising water and steady rain. He pulled out a RIO 250 grain sink-tip for his friend and client, David Thiemann, and here's proof that you don't give up when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate! For video clips of their days, see our Instagram and Facebook stories.
We'd like to share an interesting web site with you. Domenick Swentosky, of https://troutbitten.com, blogs from central Pennsylvania. It's refreshing for us to find a Pennsylvania based writer when so often the pieces we share are about fishing outside our area.
Domenick's site is full of fishing information, but this week we'd like to share his Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #42 – Work into the Prime Spots (the others are good too). Thank you Domenick. Enjoy.
If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen a few photos from Mexico. We had 10 days of beautiful weather, warm and sunny, without wind. Yes, I said – without wind. 4 days at Grand Slam Fishing Lodge in Punta Allen and 4 days at Campeche Tarpon Bay. Grand Slam gave us all good shots at permit, snook, bonefish, and tarpon. Campeche delivered baby tarpon, lots of them. It was a exceptional week and we hated to see it end.
The day before we got home lightning hit our home and offices. No structural damage (thank goodness), but lots of electronic damage. Too much to go into here. We are still replacing things like our generator, servers, phones, lots of computer stuff, etc. We'll have a photo album from Mexico ready for next week. Here are a few cell shots until then.
Fall in the Eastern Pyrenees is a very special season. Mountainous wild trout streams, small tail waters, and spring creeks. Enjoy cool crisp mornings, warm afternoons, gorgeous fall color on the hill sides. Non anglers have their own private vehicle and tour guide. Monasteries, cathedrals, castles and zebra, brown and rainbows. Come along, Spain is a wonderful adventure for everyone – anglers and non anglers.
In the first few weeks of trout season we have seen Hendricksons, Blue Quills, Early Black Stones and Caddis hatches. Along with great water levels the fishing has been very good. That is, if you don't mind fishing in a snow squalls and some very windy days. With more spring like weather the water temperature is warming up and the fishing is about to get better. I'm even starting to seen a few of my favorite mayfly - The March Browns! The reason it's my favorite hatch of the year is because it offers the fly fishermen so many different and productive ways to fly fish.
On Fishing Creek we usually start seeing the March Browns around Mother's Day and continuing into the first week of June. Water temperature near the mid-50s is necessary to trigger the start of the hatch.
There are a lot of misunderstood things about the March Brown mayfly including the name itself. The name was adopted from a European mayfly that hatches in March that the early American Anglers were similar with, so they adopted the name even though our mayfly hatches in May.
In cold water you can expect to see them in late morning and early afternoon. Sizes vary from size 10 to size 12. March Brown Duns color vary from a pale yellow to a light tan. Many March Brown dry fly patterns are tied too dark to match the color we have here on Fishing Creek. The bold dark brown color on their back and legs isn't what the trout sees, but rather the light tan underbody of the mayfly.
The March Brown Dun hatch is sporadic throughout the day, which is a misconception by many fly fishermen who are excepting to see a blanket hatch that we usually see with Henderickson and other mayflies throughout the season. Seeing a heavy, steady hatch of March Browns is rare. But on occasions I have seen a steady hatch of March Browns especially on cloudy rainy days. A few years ago I woke to a rainy, dreary day and immediately decided I would not stay at work all day. By noon I finished all of the important issues and took the rest of the day off. Asked where I was going, I said fly fishing. I was quickly reminded that it was raining and I mentioned that trout don't mind water and if I was right I would have fishing stories to tell. The rain was very heavy by the time I got on the water and it was one of the best March Brown hatches I have ever fished. But don't be discouraged by the sporadic hatch because there is more to the hatch then meets the eye. Blind casting a dry fly is a very effective way to fish the March Brown hatch. I don't very often blind cast a dry fly but I will when March Browns are starting to get active. Once the hatch starts the trout are very aware of all stages of the mayfly. The nymphs are in the family of clingers and are found in riffles and fast runs. In high water the nymphs migrate from the fast water to slack areas around boulders and near the shore to hatch. Even though Duns may not be on the water the nymphs are very active swimming to these areas in preparation to emerging. Fishing a nymph or soft hackle wet fly along these areas can be very productive. The nymphs have a very wide almost flat body. I prefer a size 10 2x long hook and use the dubbing loop method for a flat body effect.
Another characteristic of the March Brown Dun is that it struggles in the surface film to hatch. Rainy cloudy days contribute to this and the trout have many opportunities to feed on them. Once the dun hatches it struggles on the water to dry it wings to take flight. When fishing the dry fly be sure to slightly twitch the fly to imitate the struggling dun. Fishing a March Brown emergers can sometimes be more productive then fishing the dry fly. A good imitation of a cripple or a struggling dun trying to hatch is a March Brown soft hackle. Fish it just below the surface. So when do you fish the dry fly, emerger or the nymph? To solve that problem I fish tandem flies, I use a thorax style dry fly with a March Brown nymph as my second fly or I use a March Brown emerger as the second or drop fly. If I'm not seeing duns on the water I will fish a weighted March Brown nymph with a strike indicator so I fish the nymph at the water depth that I want.
The March Brown seems to be the problem child of all the mayfly hatches. It's does a lot of goofy things from the nymphs stage to the adult stage. So it will be no surprise to you that in the spinner stage it's not quite like other mayflies. Like all mayflies when the dun lifts off the water it flies into the tree to molt. Like all mayflies after the female and males mate, the female will lay it eggs and both will die on the water as spent spinners. In the spinner stage the March Brown body is a medium brown color. (A Rusty Spinner is a great spinner to use) Evening arrives and you see March Brown spinners high in the air. As darkness approaches they are lower to the water and then POOF. Gone! Back up into trees to mate another night. Due to hatching in small numbers daily the spinner fall is a collection of spinners over a period of several days. March Browns like most mayflies can live for a long period of time in the spinner stage. It is believed by some that the male / female ratio has to match in numbers before they will mate. So if are lucky enough to be on the water to see a March Brown spinner fall it will produce an evening to remember.
Hope this helps you better understand the March Brown hatch and how to fish it and the many different ways to fly fish during the March Brown emergence period. It will give you some of the most exciting fishing opportunities of the season.
I attached a photo of my friend John R with a beautiful Rainbow Trout he caught last May on a March Brown Nymph. There were very few duns on the water that day but the nymph was the fly of the day.
Angling Trade News is running a survey. Vote and view the results below. 10 species are in the survey. You might be surprised.
John & Jane Marcello joined us on a recent trip to San Huberto and I asked him to write a little bit about the trip and share some of his photos with us. Below are his thoughts and you can see his photos by clicking here.
My wife and I fished the desolate and windswept Malleo River from the very elegant Hosteria San Huberto with Cathy and Barry Beck in March.
Fly fishing on the Malleo was as invigorating as I would imagine golfing at St. Andrews can be. Both storied destinations draw seasoned sportsmen and both are gloriously wild, subject to nature’s occasional reminder of the rough conditions which carved the rugged landscapes.
Strong winds and blowing rains produced more wind burns than sunburns and set the fly fishing bar a bit higher on this trip. Every good cast however was still honored with a beautiful brown or rainbow. We used a full repitoir of dries, nymphs and streamers. Large fish were in the 20 to 22 inch category and there were many of them. However, “there are monsters here” such as the kyped 28 inch brown one of our younger colleagues landed before this adventure came to an end.
Cathy and Barry are consummate hosts. The Hosteria San Huberto is comfortably elegant. Asado barbecue and Malbec are a great pair. Stories by tired fishermen at the bar following a long day never get old. The Lanin volcano sees
everything. Caracara are weird. Old guides rule. Triangular dry fly takes and explosive jumps are unforgettable. The Rio Malleo is a changeable beauty.
Altogether, a grand memory.
We've waited all winter for spring (which was very late in coming) and dry fly fishing. It was worth the wait and now we are in the peak of our Hendricksons. Here is a new take on an old favorite. Join us as Tim Flagler walks us through a new version of tying the Hendrickson. And then get out and fish, the beautiful spring hatches won't last long enough!
We hope so. Reflect on Steve Raymond's interesting take on the subject. Most of us share his sentiments and we may even pick up a copy of his latest book.
I can't tell you how many images I’ve made with a Nikon camera in a lifetime of shooting, but I will tell you that from the first frame out of my new Nikon D850 I knew that I was shooting with the best camera ever. The D850 is incredibly fast at nine frames per second with the battery grip and the En-El18b battery, and the color and clarity of the images are over the top thanks to the 46 MP CMOS sensor.
Cathy and I have just returned from a month of hosting fly fishing trips in Argentina, so I put the D850 through its paces shooting in low light to fast action situations. It’s a dream to work with this camera. We will soon take a group to Mexico where we hope to shoot jumping tarpon shots, and I look forward to also shooting action video with the D850.
We found this video on MidCurrent. It's a very thoughtful introspective look at what makes us happy in life – really happy, content....what feeds the soul. It's about 33 minutes and it took me all afternoon to view it because I kept getting pulled away from it with other things. But, what keeps coming to my simple mind is how do they pay the rent, eat, buy gas.....
I'd love to know more about these people. Who are they? Are they guides? What is their story – beyond the video? We seriously admire each of them and would love to know how they do it.
Someone out there must know these folks, they're obviously sensitive, gentle....focused people. Please give us your thoughts. Let us know what you think. Send us a sentence or two.
It's a very well done beautiful video. Makes me want to run off and pitch a tent on the river, but maybe I'll wait until summer.....
Hendricksons and Blue Quills are hatching here on Fishing Creek and the weather man promises that warmer weather is on the way. Spring is late in coming, but the stream is in great shape and fishing is good. Some warmer nights will kick our hatches into high gear and we'll soon see grannom caddis join the line-up of spring hatches.