Winter has now got its grip on Western Pennsylvania and at this point cabin fever will be setting in for us all at some point. I am sure everyone of us anglers will be pretty much following the same pattern of keeping busy over the next few months, tying flies, cleaning gear, planning trips. It's surprisingly for myself how busy things get when your going into one season to the next. It all gets started in October with tying flies, getting gear ready and planning for the fly fishing shows, O' yea and still doing some fishing.
As we move into the up coming months we'll be pretty busy. We just got back from the Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ. As most know this is the granddaddy of all fly fishing shows. It was an awesome time at the show for us. Got to check out some new gear, buy some tying supplies and talk to a few tying buddies and of coarse hang out with the guides from Sky Blue Outfitters. This show is the first of the season for me and four or five more shows will follow before the show season ends.
So its back to the fly tying vice to bang out a few more articulating flies for bass and pike. I'll occasionally be glancing out the window to see how much snow is falling to the ground and thinking of getting back on the water. It will be here before you know it.
Couldn't resist on taking this guy home from the show to hang on the front of our camp. It'll be chasing a few wet flies.
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The guides from Sky Blue Outfitters
As we move into the month February staying busy has not been a problem. The fly fishing show season is in full swing and our next show coming up will be the Central PA Fishing Show in Bellwood, PA Saturday February 23rd. Then to the Cabin Fever Show hosted by the Penn's Woods TU Chapter held in Cranberry, PA on Sunday March 3rd. Luckily for me both of these shows are not a far drive for me. Looking forward to attending both of these shows.
I also have been busy tying flies. I did get an early start this year with starting to tie my trout flies back in November and finished up at the end of December. Now its been at the vice every night tying articulating bass and pike flies for this summer on the lakes. I recently had the opportunity of meeting and speaking to a few anglers that specializes in these monster patterns, guys like Pat Cohen, Jake Villwock and Gunner Brammer. These guys explained to me fly design and how the flies should fish. I can now somewhat understand why these flies are so productive. Here are a few patterns that I have been working on that I think should fish pretty well in the lakes.
Looks like March is coming in like a lion and lets hope it goes out like a lamb. We just finished up three fly fishing shows and all three were pretty good. The shows pretty much cleaned me out of leaders so I'll be tying up a few of those and a few more trout flies. I also want to finish up a few more articulating bass and pike flies and I'll be ready to hit the lakes in late June. Again I got some good information at the shows from some of the guys that fish those big articulating streamers. A big thanks goes out to all of those anglers that shared there information with me.
The water on the Little J and the waters up in Potter County are flowing a little on the high side at this time with the little bit of rain and the snow melt. It should be about three or four days and they'll be in great shape. The plain is to get out a few days and get rid of some cabin fever and hopefully land a few fish.
Finally made it on the water on March 25th. The weather looked great when I left the house, but rain was coming by mid afternoon. The air temperature was around the 41 degrees. Didn't take the water temp but it definitely was on the cold side which is to be expected at this time of the year. Arrived at the Little J around 10:00am and found the river to be up a little then I like but the clarity was perfect.
Fished a number of locations and the fish were willing to hammer some wet flies. One thing that I did notice especially this early in the season is the fish didn't want to take the flies on a dead drift. This is the method I fish the flies at the beginning of the season and it produces good results, but not on this day. Usually when the water is this cold the fish wont come up and chase the flies they just want the flies drifted into them. So the game was to jig the flies on the swing and before I knew it some fish were coming to hand.
As the day wore on mother nature was telling me it was just about time to go home. In about an hour the temperature dropped almost 10 degrees and a steady cold rain mixed with a little snow started to hit the water. I would have fished through that shitty weather but with that drop in the temperature those fish just shut down and I couldn't buy a grab from a fish. All in all it was a good day and I never seen another angler on the river.
Finally a couple of decent days to get on the Little J. Weathers been anywhere in between the mid forties to the high fifties. Water still running a little high (474cfs), and the clarity is perfect. Water temperature still on the cool side. Flies on the water are BWO, black stoneflies and a few tan caddis's. Fished a number of different sections from Tyrone to the mouth. You really have to cover the water slowly and get your flies into those slow seams. Of coarse we're fishing during the weekdays and there's hardly any anglers on the water. Fish are eating small olive wets size sixteen's and size twelve dark wets to imitate the black stonefly.
Couple of other things happening. On April 5th I will be heading down to Seven Spring Mt Resort Sporting Clays Lodge for the Fly Tiers Reunion, starts at 6pm to ?? This is a small fly tying show put on by Chuck Furimsky of the Fly Fishing Show and is by invention only for the tiers. I always feel very honored to be asked to tie at this show. I have sat beside and rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in the industry and it always humbles me. This show you can definitely get up close and personal to your favorite tiers and ask lots of questions. I will also be heading down to Maryland on April 6th to do a wet fly presentation for a group of anglers. The event is organized by Ron and Nancy David at there church. I have guided Ron and Nancy a few times over the years and there good people and pretty good anglers too.