Monthly Archives: August 2017

Warmwater Hatches

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

Brandywine Creek

The concept of “hatch-matching” dominates modern fly fishing for trout. This is largely thanks to the late Ernest Schwiebert, who coined the term in his seminal book Matching the Hatch, first published in 1955. Other, earlier authors had touched on the subject, but not in quite the same way or under the same circumstances. Fly fishing in the United States was in the midst of a sort of “dark ages” in the 1950’s, as the popularity of spin fishing spread like wildfire. When the “fly fishing renaissance” got under way in the late 1960’s there were very few books available on the subject. Schwiebert’s little book was quickly resurrected and went through numerous reprints over the years (my own volume, circa 1972, was the seventh printing).

Historically, warmwater fly fishers have rarely taken an interest in hatch matching. A notable exception occurred in the 1980’s, when a Texan by the name of Jack Ellis launched a fervent crusade to lure warmwater fly fishers away from “the yellow popper.” Ellis published a newsletter, advocating a hatch-matching approach to fishing for bass and panfish. He argued that warmwater species were worthy of the same level of respect and even reverence that fly anglers accorded to trout. more…

Observations from the West Branch of the Delaware

Guest Blogger: Brian Sausner

I may not be a great fly fisherman but I’m pretty sure I know a few, and I’m definitely sure I try to talk less and listen more when they talk shop. On a recent trip with some solid guys a few words of wisdom stuck with me. I have rounded up a few observations from a visit to the selective West Branch of the Delaware and its outstanding dry fly water to share with the blog readers. I have always been a guy who will quit a fish after a certain amount of refusals and fly changing. Saying to myself “I don’t have it” or find fault with my presentation or the circumstances impacting it. This guy was a preaching the opposite and had the on water chops that made me listen. He said never leave a rising fish. Don’t assume that there will be more fish working later or the conditions will improve as you move up or down stream. This same gentleman preached letting the fly drag or sink after its drifted feeling that some fish follow it back and take it at the instance where drag begins in fear of losing the meal. The drag free drift is my personal religion more often than not but I do agree that the half drowned dun can be a great fly for fickle fish.

Another solid fisherman and fly tier stocked up heavy on emerger hooks when we got rained off the river and had a fly shop day. He spoke highly of his affection for the BWO emerger as a pattern for selective trout and stated that he ties mostly emergers these days anyway. I have also been moving to more and more emergers and flies with trailing shucks in place of tails. I had my best luck on a hair wing emerger pattern even when the duns were on the water. I confess that the BWO is a fly that I keep stocked but seldom go to in times of failure. As a fly tier I found it useful and semi inspiring when I got a chance to look at what the other fisherman had brought to the stream in their fly boxes. The trip rained out for the second half but I added a few ideas to my tying arsenal. I was glad that people stuck around the cabin despite the bad conditions, maybe it’s not always best to run home to chores and work when talking around the fire is all that the trip has left to offer.

Uncommon Knowledge, Part 4

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part 3 presented info on origins and diversity, notoriety, and a few odd points of diet, that we might capitalize on such knowledge. Part 4 discusses some interesting information on coexisting with other species, trout intelligence, a couple of curious fishing trivia points, and hatchery fish.

Sharing the Water

Trout and other species such as grayling or whitefish occupy subtly different habitat niches. Thus they can readily co-exist in the same water. They may both eat common food items, but that does not necessarily mean they are competing with each other across the board. If the water can sustain the combined population, they can share it. Throwing “trash” species up on the bank is neither necessary nor effective. Indeed, species sharing “balanced” water become symbiotic in that their absence would negatively affect the other species. more…