Thursday, August 21, 2014

Schuylkill River - What a Week!

Well its been one hell of a week on the river. Starting with a muddy early morning float with Nick and Shane, that ended with only a couple fish. Oh yeah, and Nick with a boat side eat from a huge musky, that didn't want her picture taken. After that, it was four out of five days on the water with clients. The new Crittermite bodies have been killing it, stop in the shop and grab a pack or two, and tie some up!

I have had some great clients on the boat this week, from two gentlemen that have gone with me 12 times in the past 4 years, to a couple new faces. This week on the water has reminded me how lucky I am to be a guide, and work for such an awesome company, in a very unique area. I love this river, it will make me question why I even fish, but then it will show me some of the best fish a guy could ask for. Top that with the ability to share it with others, I couldn't ask for a better job!

OK, now to the fishing report.  We have been doing a lot of swinging flies in the fast water and  slow striping streamers in the broken and slow water. These two techniques seem to be the most productive way to get these fish moving. Hellgrammites, Zuddler Minnows, and Crayfish are really the only flies left in my box.

Last story, Shane and I decided to explore a new river in the raft, we floated the Conestoga River, really cool system. Had a few nice fish and one Toad! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Featured Fly - Taramite Hellgrammite

 It's bass season and it seems that yet again my one of my go to patterns is a Hellgrammite. I was shown this awesome Crittermite tails at Somerset last year, and finally got around to getting them in the shop. This is a fly that I came up with using the new Crittermite tails, took it out this morning and the bass loved it. This is an awesome pattern that looks just as great in the water as it does sitting on your fly tying desk.

Hook: TMC 5262 sz. 4-8
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Black or Brown 
Tail: Crittermite Tails - Black or Brown 
Body: EP Tarantula Hairy Legs Brush 0.5" - Color Varies 
Eyes: Lead Eyes sz. X-small - Med. - Black 
Legs: Spanflex sz. Med - Black or Brown 

Step 1: Slip the crittermite skin over the hook point.

Step 2: Tie on the led eyes, leaving enough space to tie in rubber legs in front of them.

Step 3: Tie in the Tarantula leg brush. Wrap the thread forward.

Step 4: Wrap the brush forward, stop about 3/4 of the way to the lead eyes. 

Step 5: Tie in rubber legs on each side. 

Step 6: Wrap the brush between the legs and in front of them.

Step 7: Invert the hook and wrap the brush over the eyes and in front of them.

Step 8: Tie in the legs or "pinchers" on the bottom of the hook.

Step 9:  Bring the skin forward, tie it in by the little tag.

Step 10: Cut off the tag.

Step 11:  Whip finish and cut off.

Step 12: Wrap thread behind the lead eyes, this will form the head of the fly.

Step 13: Whip finish and cut off.

Finished Fly:

Friday, August 15, 2014

You're going to get Roasted! - Juniaita River

Thats what I said to Andy right before an awesome smallie crushed his frog, but Ill get to that latter. I always find it interesting how friendships are made in this industry, and how close of friends you can become after one fishing trip, good or bad. Andy and I are both guides for TCO, as you all know I work out of the Reading store, and Andy owns a guide company, PA UnderCurrent Outfitters, that our State College store uses for all their trips. Andy grew up in a small town that borders the Juniata River, and is a fast driver over the mountains to Penns creek. He has always loved chasing big brown trout, but I think his guilty secret is that floating for smallmouth is his true passion. This showed throughout our trip this past weekend, with childhood stories of fishing with his dad, to his pin point accuracy of where these fish would be. The Juniata River holds some amazing fish, but because of its size and well established boat launches, it can be a very tough fishery, so if you are going to fly fish it, you better bring your A game. But trust me it will be well worth it.

Andy rowed me down the river all day, even after I demanded that I row him, he refused. Well, I wasn't having it, after a while of fishing a nice riffle with the anchor down, I moved to the back of the boat for a better angle, and Andy took the bait and headed to the front of the boat. Not before long I pulled the anchor and made him fish the rest of the way to the take out. It wasn't long before he got roasted by a sweet bass, right off the bank. Thanks again Andy for an awesome adventure.