Thursday, June 18, 2020

Variable Fly Design for Carping the Column

From CarpPro Magazine Issue 3 (Click)

Fly-fishing for carp in deep, stillwaters has presented a unique set of challenges for my friends and I over the years. Conventional carp flies and strategies wouldn’t work for us so we had to forge ahead on an entirely different set of ideas. Most of the credit for this innovation has to go to Adam Hope, who has spent more time doing this than anyone I know.  His original “Damsel” fly was able to crack the proverbial code that afforded us success on our difficult home waters. The Damsel fly featured certain characteristics that could be replicated in other patterns. This breakthrough allowed us to develop a series of interchangeable variables that achieve different sink rates for carping the water column. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Evening turns to night...

The last of the day's light faded on the horizon as the sky slowly morphed through the color spectrum from blue to yellow and then orange to purple. On the river's surface, the trout's interest in the evening's sulphur hatch also began to wane. The rises that were once steady were now sporadic with activity moving from the head of the run to the tailout of the pool. The hope of a strong emergence that would bring the largest trout in the river to the surface never truly materialized. A few trout were fooled and many more were not. Such is the game at the end of a hatch cycle when the fish have seen a season worth of patterns and presentations from all manner of skill level. In the moment, I was content to sit, watch, listen, and breathe. Out of sight, out of body, out of mind. Darkness slowly took over the river as the air temperature dropped significantly from the intense heat of the afternoon. Fireflies dotted the tree line and resembled yellow beacons moving over the body of water. Looking up, stars began to dot the night sky and several bats zig zagged across the sky picking off all manner of bugs using echolocation. It was a perfect night that was just getting started...

Monday, June 8, 2020

Slate Drakes

The beginning of June is a unique time to be fly fishing for trout in Pennsylvania. The official start of summer is only a few days away and water temperatures are questionable. When the thermometer reads 65 degrees, it makes me one wonder if what I'm doing is morally right by the trout. When it reaches 68 degrees, it officially becomes time to shut it down. A long hot day can cause the temperatures to balloon as the sun heats the rocks and the water. A few cold nights in a row and all of sudden the water temperatures are back in prime territory. In this zone, slate drakes are emerging and mark the end of my trout season on PA's freestone streams. At this point, the large majority of streams are already unfishable due to the aforementioned water temperatures but there are a few that remain colder, especially the further you move north. Late afternoons can produce some emergences of the big bugs and some spectacular dry fly fishing. Just make sure to carry a thermometer...