Category Archives: Mary Kuss, PA Fly Fisher

On Getting Skunked

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

One of the few certainties in fly fishing is that all of us will occasionally wind up “skunked.” As experience, knowledge, and skill increase, this unpleasant experience becomes less frequent and less likely. But the possibility never goes away entirely.

It doesn’t matter how far you travel, or how much money you spend. You can always get skunked. Hiring a good guide, and being in the right place at the right time, can certainly stack the odds in your favor. But there is never any assurance of success in terms of quantity or size of fish caught. Or indeed of catching fish at all.

This brings to mind the famous line from Tom Hanks’ character in the movie A League of Their Own: “There’s no crying in baseball!” Likewise, there are no guarantees in fly fishing. more…

Winter Hands

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

Many of us do the bulk of our fly tying during the winter months when, depending on where we live, weather conditions can make fishing difficult and uncomfortable to near-impossible.  Why not tie flies instead?  That seems like a great idea, and in many ways it is.  Unfortunately, however, the indoor environment at this time of year poses significant challenges for the fly tyer.

Low humidity is the culprit, and one’s hands can become very dry, rough, and even cracked.  This causes misery even when one is not tying, but can really raise havoc at the vise.  Static electricity can cause furs, feathers and synthetic materials to adhere to the hands, clothing, and even vise and tools.  Skin spurs snag thread and materials, and dubbing becomes very difficult to control with dry fingers.  I’d like to share with you some of the tricks I’ve learned to deal with these problems. more…

The (Lady) Fly Fisher in Winter

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

All fly fishers have to deal with winter, unless they live in the tropics. I’ve spent my entire life in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where average winters are still severe enough, despite Climate Change, to make winter fishing uncomfortable and low-percentage and sometimes impossible. Even modest destination travel is not in my budget. I must amuse myself with other things during the months when cold weather, ice, and snow are the norm.

Although I tie flies the year around, I do a lot more tying in winter. During the fishing season, my tying is almost exclusively devoted to replenishing depleted stocks of workhorse fly patterns. I occasionally run into a hatch or fishing situation for which I am not prepared, and must to do some ad hoc tying to deal with it. Time spent at my tying bench during the winter is more recreational in nature. I experiment with new materials, and with fly patterns I find in magazines or on-line. I browse the books in my personal fly tying library to find new ideas or rediscover old ones I’d forgotten. more…