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As we move into the winter months we're starting to get pretty busy now. Fly fishing show dates have been all lined up and looks like I'll be attending eight great shows for 2020. Come over to the website show page and check out the shows and there locations. Between Wet Fly Waterguides and Sky Blue Outfitters guide trip days have been filling up quickly for the 2020 season. It seems every year anglers are calling earlier for there preferred dates for guide trips. Check out our guide trips at (www.wetflywaterguides.com) and (www.skyblueoutfitters.com). At this time we still have a few open dates for the early part of the season, May and June. So if your interested in booking a guided trip with us give us a call or shoot us an email and we'll get you on the calendar for a great trip.
At this time of the year like all other fly anglers its time for tying flies and getting your gear prepared for the up coming season. Luckily for me I got an early jump on tying trout flies and leaders and now I'll be spending more time at the vice tying largemouth and pike flies for this summer off the boat. Last year was a great year for fly fishing on the lakes with those big flies and we're looking forward to getting back out there again this summer. It looks like 2021 will be the year that we'll be introducing a few new guide trips during the summer months throwing big flies to bass and pike. Stay tuned for more details on these guide trips.
On January 24,25,26 myself and four of the other guides from Sky Blue Outfitters attended the Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ. Definitely the biggest show of all of the shows we attend. This year we had two tying tables and one outfitter table at the show and all three tables were busy for the three days we were there. Its always a good time speaking to all the anglers on the other side of the table and talking flies and fishing. Also had great time catching up with some of the tiers and vendors and meeting a few new ones.
One of the highlights of the show for me was spending some time in the evenings with with Ed Jaworowski who was staying at the same hotel that we were staying at. Ed hung out with us for dinner and a few drinks after the show. For some that might not know Ed, he is one of the best casting instructors in the world and was Lefty Kreh's best friend. Ed shared some awesome stories of him and Lefty fishing all over the world.
The best moment was Sunday morning before the show opened, Ed came over to my tying table and invited me over to the casting pond for a private casting lesson and man what a lesson it was. What he was doing with that fly line and rod was something I'll never forget and I couldn't thank him enough for that lesson. He also brought me over an autographed copy of his casting dvd The Complete Cast and told me to practice. Again it was a great time at the biggest fly fishing show on the east coast.
This is the month were I am busting a$$ getting everything ready to go for the up and coming season. I just heard that Punxsutawney Phil said that an early spring is on its way, I am sure all us anglers are ready for that. There are no shows on my calendar for this month so it'll be back at the fly tying vice banging out more big streamers for the lake and tying a few flies for my bucket list trip to Labrador in July. Yes, Labrador I will be helping hosting this trip with fellow guide from Sky Blue Outfitters Rick Nyles. More to follow on this trip.
There was one event that I did attend on Saturday February 1st. It was at the Neshannock TU Chapters Cabin Fever event. This chapter is located up in Mercer, PA. I was invited to do my presentation on basic equipment and tactics to wet fly fishing. Before my presentation chapter president Jeff Kreis gave a presentation on last years chapter activities. I am always amazed at how much work TU chapters throughout our state do for conservation and clean cold water and this chapter is no different. Some of the stream improvement there doing in there area is amazing.
This event was very well attended by members and the public and I met and talk to quite a few of them after my presentation. A big thanks from me goes out to Treasure Carol Jochman for preparing a great lunch for the event, she even sent me home with a doggy bag of her delicious chicken salad.
As we come into March things are starting to come together. Definitely thinking of getting on the water at this point. The flows have been pretty good for February but just couldn't make it out. Just finished up I don't know how many nights at the fly tying vice turning out some big flies for the lake this summer. It's amazing how long it takes to crank one of those flies out. I can see now why the good streamer tiers get twenty to thirty dollars for there creations, god knows they deserve it. Hopefully none of mine will be snagged up in the trees or anchored at the bottom of the lake. Here's a few that were added to the box for this season.
March is also the month for most of the fly fishing shows, so I'll be on the road a good bit. There will be a show every weekend this month. Starting on Sunday March 1st I'll be heading down to Cranberry, PA for the Penn's Woods West Cabin Fever Show. Always a great show and not a far drive from my home. I will be attending a total of eight shows in 2020. Here are some pic's of the shows. As of March 10th the Maryland Show and Central Pennsylvania Show have been canceled due to the virus.
With the virus hitting all across the country and all types of events being cancelled, the fly fishing industry is no exception. Just heard that the Central Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Show on March 21st has been cancelled. So we'll be looking forward to the show next year. We're all not quite sure what's going to happen with our guide trips in the next few months. Wet Fly Waterguides is prepared to move any guide trips into the fall or next year or refund deposits for 2020 guided trips, but at this time we are not cancelling any trips. At present time Central Pennsylvania and North Central Peensylvania has no reported cases that we are a where of. Hopefully health officials will get a major handle on this and we all can get on doing the things we like to do.
On a lighter note. On Saturday March 14th I was able to get out and fish the Little J on my own. Weather was great, temperature around forty eight at mid afternoon. The water was a little on the low side and very clear for this time of the year. Couldn't believe it I seen only one angler all day.
On this trip I decided to step over to the dark side and fish nothing but streamers and leave the wet flies at home. Yes, I said streamers. After having a pretty successful trip last fall on streamers I thought of trying it again this spring, and I wasn't disappointed.
This is a method in fly fishing that I never pursued and I definitely am missing out on this game. The eat is as hard as fishing wet flies if not harder. And the quality of fish to hand is remarkable, not many small fish eating those flies. So looks like I'll be doing a little more homework on the streamer game.
Last week I had the pleasure of doing a podcast on wet fly fishing for Bugs & Beards, which is hosted by Shawn Holsinger and Pat Smith of East Freedom, PA. This is the second podcast I've have had the pleasure of doing over the last couple of years. What a great way to reaching out to anglers all over to discuss different subjects in the fly fishing world. Give them a listen.
Shawn also has a fly tying Youtube channel where he does step by step fly tying and hosts other tiers tying there patterns. Along with all those irons in the fire, Shawn and his dad Ron own Holsinger's Fly Shop in East Freedom, PA. If your in the area pay the shop a visit, they are a very well stocked shop. They can also give you some great information on the area streams and how there fishing. Thanks for having me over guys and looking forward to coming down in the future and shooting some tying videos of my wet flies with you.
FINALLY....... After two years of tying big flies almost every night during the winter months. And getting out on the lakes in the summer and fall, it has finally payed off getting my biggest pike to date in the boat. I knew it was only a matter of time and god knows I have put the time in. Of coarse if you want to be successful at anything you have to pay your dues.
So on March 22nd with temperatures in the mid thirties and partly sunny skies at noon. My son and I traveled to one of the lakes we had been fly fishing on for the last couple of years. To be honest I thought the conditions were down right terrible, but we all know that's when the game can change completely in your favor. The lake was a little off color from rains a couple of day before, but still fishable. We was only on the water about a half an hour when this guy decided to eat my five inch perch pattern. If you don't think that gets your blood pumping, nothing will.
As of today Wet Fly Waterguides will be SUSPENDING all guide trips and presentations for the month of April. The word came down from the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Here's the email I received from them.
"The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has received clarification from the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office regarding the classification of charter boat and fishing guide operations. The Governor’s Office has determined that charter boat and fishing guide operations (whether conducted by boat or on foot) DO NOT meet the definition of a life-sustaining business. Such operations are classified as a recreational industry and continued operation of such businesses is not permitted under the Governor’s Order of March 19, 2020. Operators may be subject to enforcement procedures if found out of compliance with that Order".
We know as of this date social distancing will still be in effect through the month of April. Lets all abide by the order and hope and pray that the virus will be under control soon. You still are aloud to get out and fish, but keep your distance from you fellow anglers.
As far as myself I am getting out on the water as much as possible. My work schedule has changed drastically. Groups of us are working off shifts with three days on then three days off. So my off days are on the water or tying flies. Of coarse the last couple of days here in central PA it has been raining and the Little J is blowed out.
My last trip out was on March 26th. Weather was in the sixties by mid afternoon with party sunny skies. Water on the Little J was running around 850cfs and that's just a little higher then I like it. The clarity was pretty good, but the wading was tough at least for me. Seen a few tan caddis's and black stone flies. Knowing the conditions before I left the house, I knew it was going to be a chucking streamers day. Spent the day fishing those areas that I fish early in the spring and they all produced some fish. I think I 'am liking this streamer game. I can tell you one thing, you'll know it at the end of the day that you have been chucking and stripping meat flies all day. I'll be back out once the waters drop down to a good flow.