Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fly of the Month – April 2017 – Lightning Bug Soft Hackle

FOM april 2017 lightningbugsofthackle squareGuest Blogger & Fly Tyer: Justin Bowman, J Stockard customer & avid fly tyer

My soft hackle lightning bug is a variation of the popular Western mayfly imitation, the lightning bug, an attractor pattern that is seriously flashy and typically tied from sizes 12 to 18. This is a great fly for high or dirty water conditions. This variation substitutes the traditional peacock thorax with FrankenFly nymph dub and a two material soft hackle collar from the original hackle or pheasant tail legs. The idea for the sparkle brush collar came from the thought, “why not add more flash to an already flashy fly?” The sparkle brush fibers (depending on the color) are thin enough to allow a fair amount of movement. Popular colors for the lightning bug are pearl, silver, gold, red, and purple. more…

Beginner’s Luck

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

The term is almost cliché, in a number of different pursuits. With far more frequency than one would expect, a rookie sometimes manages to do with apparent ease what the more experienced practitioner finds to be quite challenging. This would be frustrating enough, but often the novice rubs salt into the wound by saying something like, “I don’t see why everyone thinks this is so hard to do.” Beginner’s Luck seems to affect fishing in general, and fly fishing most of all.

The legendary Letort Spring Run, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was the setting for a classic case of Beginner’s Luck. In recent years this magnificent stream has suffered a variety of negative impacts due to development in its watershed. Even so, many large trout still reside among its deep channels and lush weed beds. The stream flows through a meadow, with boggy soil along the banks in many places. Vibrations from a careless approach will alert the big, wary trout long before you ever get a cast off. You’ll see an impressive wake streak away upstream, and curse your clumsiness. Incredibly complex currents pull your leader and fly hither and fro, making a drag-free presentation maddeningly difficult. Tall weeds snatch at your backcast. Wading is all but impossible due to a silty, sucking muddy bottom, and wading would only spook the trout anyway. The difficulty level poses a formidable challenge for any fly fisher. more…

Fly Fishing Partners

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

My Dad’s hunting, fishing and drinking beer partner was Don, a shirt tail relative that had grown up with Dad south of Edmonton, Alberta. They had both gone to school together, left high school in grade 11 to go to war together, served in the Canadian Navy, and together they saw the worst that the U-Boats could do to men and equipment while they did their best doing their job to protect allied shipping in the North Atlantic. Both of them got married at about the same time, there were four sibs in our family and 3 children in Don’s. To say that Don and Dad had a close bond would be an understatement.

Our fishing and hunting trips would start on Friday evening around the kitchen table in our home where Don, Dad and some of their other old war buddies would drink beer, smoke cigarettes or pipes and talk. I may be wrong but I think this is the way WWII vets handled PTSD. During the evening’s conversation plans would be made for Saturday’s fishing or hunting trip and we the kids would be all ears, straining to hear whether or not the kids would be coming along. As we approached our teens the answer to that question was usually a yes and we would be inducted at least for a day or two into that exclusive group of men. more…