Category Archives: Mary Kuss, PA Fly Fisher

Chartreuse Magic

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

The late Lefty Kreh famously said, “If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use!” Although that may be a bit of an exaggeration, there’s no denying the impressive and sometimes uncanny effectiveness of fly patterns incorporating this eye-catching color.

I tie and use a number of partially or all-chartreuse flies, including Clouser Deep Minnows, poppers, sliders, and Woolly Buggers. However, the first chartreuse fly I tied and fished was the infamous Green Weenie. It’s rather a simple and ugly fly, and a lot of people will not admit to using it. Yet it’s been a perennial best-seller at area fly shops for many years. Something isn’t adding up.

Those who do admit to using the Weenie, often very successfully, desperately want it to be “imitating” something. Most of them will cite its supposed resemblance to an Inchworm or a caddis larva. Although both of those insects are sometimes a rather bright green, and worm-like in shape, neither is really fluorescent chartreuse in color. Nor is the Weenie a good match for either in size or proportions. The Weenie works 12 months of the year, and in a wide variety of water types, which also serves to debunk the notion that it’s matching something. My personal opinion is that the Green Weenie is a pure behavioral trigger, and doesn’t imitate anything.

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Salmon River Kings Redux

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

I recently returned from my second annual trip in pursuit of King Salmon, at the Salmon River, in Pulaski, NY. During last year’s trip I hooked many, but landed only two Kings in three days of fishing. I became familiar with their rather intimidating size and power, but never achieved any sense of control over a hooked fish. It was simply a matter of hanging on and hoping for the best.

This year, as the date of our trip approached, we’d been very excited to hear reports of charter boats on Lake Ontario marking huge schools of salmon on their sonar units. This presaged a strong run of fish up the Salmon River. Although salmon had been trickling into the river for a few weeks, the main run had clearly not started yet. The water was too warm and the river too low.

We arrived on Sunday, September 16 to find unseasonably hot and humid weather conditions. On Monday and Tuesday our activities were limited to hiking and sweating and swatting mosquitoes. Some fish were in the river; we watched them roll and porpoise and occasionally leap out of the water. They were completely disinterested in our flies. Even the spin fishermen weren’t landing any, although there were some brief encounters which seemed more likely to have involved (hopefully) unintentional snagging than legitimate hook-ups. I began to despair of having any good fishing at all. more…

Autumn Panfish

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

I have spent most of my life in a near-suburb of Philadelphia. I often feel envious of people who live full-time in areas I regard as fly fishing destinations. Not just the glamour spots like the American Mountain West. There are plenty of places right here in Pennsylvania that seem far more desirable, in terms of more fish, better scenery, and fewer humans.

However, I’ve learned over the years to appreciate what I do have here—a generally year-around fishery for a variety of species. As long as you’re not a snob about what you catch, fishing opportunities abound here in what has been colorfully described as “the armpit of Pennsylvania.” When I first told friends in my native New Jersey that I was marrying and relocating to Pennsylvania, several of them said “Oh! God’s Country!”

I said, “Not where I’m going.” But I married for the love of a man instead of my love of fishing, and here I’ve been ever since—40 years this past April. more…