Category Archives: Mary Kuss, PA Fly Fisher

Review of Hareline’s 10-ft. Floating Furled Leader

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

Floating Furled Leader

Floating Furled Leader

I went on a fishing trip to north-central Pennsylvania in late-September, and took the opportunity to field-test Hareline Dubbin’s 10 ft. Floating Furled Leader.

When I first began fly fishing, in the late-1960’s, knotless tapered nylon leaders were a new technology. The early ones were pretty bad; manufacturers still had not worked out effective tapers. I kept right on tying my own knotted tapered nylon leaders from scratch, as had become my habit.

Some years later, I discovered both braided-butt and furled leaders at about the same time. Having tried both types, my conclusion was that they share two major faults. When you snag your fly and have to break off, the leader stretches significantly as you pull against the snag. When the tippet finally breaks, the leader snaps back and ties itself into some very interesting knots that have to be picked out. Sometimes the tippet gets involved, and you have to remove and/or replace it to get the mess sorted. more…

A Brief Guide To Terrestrial Insects – Part 3

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

(NOTE: You can find Part 1 and Part 2 of this post here.) Many anglers don’t start fishing terrestrial patterns until early summer, once the heavy aquatic hatches of the spring season have dwindled. But terrestrials are available to the fish much earlier than that, and if no hatch is evident they can be an excellent choice, particularly on heavily fished waters. As soon as you start seeing insects in your yard and garden, you should consider fishing terrestrial patterns. They will be productive well into the fall. Because fish get so attuned to feeding on terrestrials throughout such a long season, imitations will continue to produce for a week or two after the first frosts of autumn have killed off most of the naturals.

When you don’t have any obvious clues about what terrestrial pattern to choose, take your best guess and give it a fair try. If you get some interest from the fish but no hook-ups, it’s an indication that you’re close but don’t quite have it right. You might try the same fly a size or two smaller. Make sure that your tippet is appropriate for the fly you’re using, and that it’s long enough to provide a good, drag-free presentation. If there’s no interest at all, try something completely different. It’s a good general principle in fly fishing that if what you’re doing doesn’t produce a positive result within 20 minutes or so, change something—different location, different fly, or different approach and presentation. more…

A Brief Guide To Terrestrial Insects – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

(NOTE: You can find Part 1 of this post here.) When fish are feeding selectively on floating insects, whether aquatic or terrestrial, you will see many fish rising simultaneously. Individual fish will hold near the surface. They tend to establish a feeding rhythm, coming to the surface to take an insect at regular and usually frequent intervals. This kind of behavior is a tip-off that selectivity may be going on. It’s time to wade out into a line of drift and see what’s there to trigger this activity. A pocket-size nymph seine is very helpful; surface tension makes it difficult to pluck a specimen from the water with your fingers. Being lazy, I often just put my nose a foot or so from the water for a minute or two and observe the flotsam.

Red_Ants_(1214176165)The most common situation creating selective feeding to a terrestrial insect is a mating flight of ants. Ants are colonial insects. When a colony grows to a certain size and produces an excess of queens, the surplus queens disperse to start new colonies. The worker ants are flightless, but the queens and male drones that accompany them are winged. Incredible numbers of them can wind up on the water. Sometimes it looks like someone wielded a giant pepper shaker over the stream. This phenomenon occurs most often in late-summer to early fall. Among other terrestrial insects that can be present in sufficient numbers to produce selective feeding are some species of moths, periodical cicadas, and leaf hoppers. more…