Stream Report & Leisenring Spider

Stream Report

Fishing has continued to be good here in northeast PA, although it's quite different than it was just a couple weeks ago. The stream is getting low, water is clear, and fishing is technical. We live day-to-day watching the weather and hoping for rain. We're blessed with cold water and it is definitely terrestrial 101 BECK IMAGE Benton Dam 2020season – ants, beetles, inch worm, and spiders. Here are a few photos from the past week. As you can see, the Benton dam which was lined with fishermen in April is now a very popular spot with swimmers! What a difference a couple of months can make.

73 SAKURA SMITH BECK IMAGE Pete 5975   DSC 0003Cole Temple DSC 0014LeslieTemple


 Tim Flagler Ties the Leisenring Spider

Thinking about summer fishing, here's a clip from Tim Flagler on tying the Leisenring Spider. Thank you Tim and Midcurrent.

“This truly classic-looking fly is called a Leisenring Spider. I have deviated significantly from the original pattern in terms of the tying sequence and techniques, but I think the end result is fairly close to what Mr. Leisenring intended.”



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A Week of Boys & Walking the Dog

A Week of Boys

Luke, Jack, Carson, Cooper, Chase & Crosby

This has been the season for young people getting into fly fishing and this week it was about the boys. IMG 9519First up was Luke and his grandfather drove him down from Massachusetts for a lesson. From here they continued on to one of the Pocono fishing clubs for a couple days.  Then Jack and his dad came for a day of guided fishing and had a great day on Fishing Creek.

Image 1Next up was Carson, Cooper, Chase & Crosby from NYC. Their grandfather, grandmother, mom & dad, all came to watch the boys take a fly fishing lesson and the pond continued to be good to us with more bluegills and hybrid stripers for all. Good job, everyone!

Next week is starting out with a daughter, a young graduate art student in NYC, who has time this summer and wants to fish with her dad.

As terrible as Covid-19 is, it has given a lot of kids, parents, and grandparents more time together than jackever before and with it the opportunity to do fun things together. We're glad that it is fly fishing for many of them!


Walking the Dog

And while we're on the subject of young guys fishing with their dads and granddads, check out these two kids as they demonstrate with their dad how to “walk the dog” when dry fly fishing. I tried to find out who their dad is, but can't find a name. We know he is doing the video for Red's Fly Shop, so thank you to Reds, MidCurrent, and the boys in the boat (dad too).




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RIO SlickCast, The Bighorn, & Trips Update

Introducing RIO SlickCast  rio

The minds at RIO never sleep and have recently introduced the SlickCast, a radical new coating RIO Slick Linetechnology that creates the slickest, most durable fly line in history. Read what makes this possible as RIO fly lines continue to command the market! Interesting video too.


 Bighorn River, Montana

Anglers on the 'Horn are expecting the PMDs and caddis to start any day and a few fish are taking grasshoppers. As expected, the upper river is fishing best and nymphs have out-fished dries and streamers. Water is clear and cold coming out of the dam and air temperatures are warm. These conditions will jump start the summer hatches and by August when we arrive, we should have good activity on tricos, caddis, hoppers – and the tail end of the PMDs.

This is not the river of old, tBIGHORN 2016 2065here are bigger fish these days but fewer fish. The 50 fish days with many small fish seem to be over for now and it has become a much more mature river offering quality over quantity.

We have a few rooms left in our first week, August 22-29. If you're itching to get out of town, come along with us for a great week of big sky country, quality fishing, and few people. Check out the details and contact us for further information, including Covid-19 precautions.


Beck Trips Update

The coronavirus has given us a constantly changing world. When will I return to work? Will the schools open next month? When will we be able to take trips again? For those of us in the travel business, and for most everyone else, these past few months have been a nightmare – with no guarantees on what is yet to come.

It is the unknown that often brings out the best in us and people in general usually have a pretty positive outlook, so it is encouraging to see friends and clients cautiously inquiring about our travel plans in the months ahead. I can hardly keep up with our calendar changes, but at present, this is what we are hoping for the next year, but knowing that it is now always subject to change.

August 22-Sept. 5        Two weeks on the Bighorn River, Montana. Trout.
October 17-24        Turneffe Flats, Belize (rescheduled from April). Permit, tarpon, bones.
November 6-13        Eastern Pyrenees, Spain (rescheduled from September). Trout.
November 30-Dec.5        Argentina Waters Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
December 5-12         Tres Valles Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
December 12-19         Estancia Tecka, Esquel, Argentina. (rescheduled from March.) Trout.
January 7-18, 2021        Pira & Suinda Lodges, N. Argentina. Golden Dorado.
February 6-13, 2021         Laguna Verde (Jurassic), Argentina. Trout.
March 6-12, 2021         San Huberto Lodge, Argentina. Trout.
March 13-20, 2021         Tres Valles Lodge, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
March 20-27, 2021         Estancia Tecka, Esquel, Argentina. Trout.
June 21-July 4 , 2021         Ireland & Scotland. Trout/A. Salmon.
July 23-Aug. 9, 2021         E. Africa Safari. Kenya & Tanzania. Game Viewing.

August 5-15, 2021          Reel Action Camp, Alaska.  Salmon, char, trout.
August 21-Sept. 5, 2021         Bighorn River, Montana. Trout.
September 14-22, 2021         E. Pyrenees, Spain. Trout.

Thanks for following us on our blog. We hope you all have a good week and we'll be back next week.



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Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you & your family a happy, safe, & healthy 4th of July!

Happy 4th Of July Greeting Card

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Smith Discount, Rita's Revenge, & Our Season

These are difficult times at best for all of us and perhaps the worst of it is that we don't know what might be on the horizon. After months of quarantining, working from home, no school, no real in-person meetings, no socializing, no this and no that, we still don't know where we're headed or when this coronavirus pandemic will end.

Barry and I have had all of our trips canceled for 6 months and are hopeful that we can resume international travel in the fall. In the meantime, August looks good for the Bighorn River, Montana, trip and like everyone else, we will be so ready to get out of town and to Montana to fish. Once we arrive in Ft. Smith (population maybe 500 in the summer) and to Kingfisher Lodge, we can all relax, unwind, enjoy the big sky country and the fresh air (about 24 hours of it a day), and put our thoughts on fly selection and what part of the river to float each day.

We hope you're getting through this summer as well as possible and that you are able to enjoy some quiet time on your favorite water. Shut off the cellphone, the 24-hour news headlines, take a big deep breath and escape this crazy world for awhile. It is true, there is healing for the body and the soul in fly fishing. We see it every day.

Thanks for following us,
Cathy & Barry


Buy new sunglasses and help your favorite shop and employee!   smith1

Shop Employee Commission Benefits Designed to Re-Engage the Retail Economy

From Smith: For over 55 years, the foundation of Smith’s success as a market leader in eyewear and helmets is greatly due to the support of its brick and mortar retailers. Shop influencers and store staff continually serve as our brand ambassadors, educating their customers on the features and benefits of the products they sell. Their knowledge and experience serves as the ultimate testimonial to the gear we choose to trust in our daily lives and wildest adventures.

In an effort to revitalize the economic health of our trusted retail partners, Smith has allocated...continue reading on anglingtrade.com


“Rita's Revenge”
by Bob Romano

A nice short story. It's nice to think that places like Charlie's and young girls like Robyn are still around. Thank you Bob and MidCurrent.


 Our Season Slows Down

 Kyle Bailey Williams 0047Our season starts to slow down for a bit at this time of year. It has been a good season and if we continue to get rain it will continue to be good. Fishing Creek is a freestone stream and that means we need rain to have good water levels throughout July and August. Our stream stays cold but the water gets low and the fishing becomes very technical. September usually brings more rain and then we are good again until usually around Halloween or a bit later. Here are some shots from recent lessons and guiding.

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Happy Father's Day!

We hope you'll take some time this weekend to celebrate all the Dads in your life!  Happy Father's Day!


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Father's Day, RIO 1 Minute Tips, and Proper Position in the Stream

Happy Father's Day to Me

Sel 9437You don't have to be a dad to take advantage of our boxed fly selections. The flies in our selections are always priced lower than when purchased individually, are the sizes you want, and are boxed and ready for your vest or pack. Dries, beetles, nymphs, streamers, the choice is yours. Check out our fly selections and don't forget – we always pay the postage on orders over $50.



RIO Make the Connection

RIO 1-Minute Tips   riologo

We've got two more 1-minute tips from RIO. A better-than-saliva way to tighten knots and a new leader for our ESN fans. Take a look!



Proper Position in the Stream

For our dry fly fishermen. We often find ourselves so comfortable with a routine that it's hard to break loose. Fishing is that way. We get used to using a handful of favorite flies, we cast the same every time, we approach every situation the same way. We know the game. You could say we're in a rut.

Here is a short video from Phil Monahan for Orvis on the position we take in the stream. It's good thought for dry fly fishing.



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Back to the Bighorn, Jim's PT Nymphs, and BWOs & Sulphur Season

Back to the Bighorn

As you can imagine, our travel calendar was wiped clean for about four months and it is slow to get started again, but we are excited to be returning to Montana in August for our two special weeks on the Bighorn River.

BIGHORN 2016 0589This destination has remained our “best-seller” for more than 30 years. We have an excellent program with Kingfisher Lodge and their guides. It's an easy, relaxing week of good fishing – drifting everyday and getting out to wade favorite runs, riffles, and pools. The Bighorn is a favorite among beginners and experienced anglers and has been our favorite western river for many years.

If you're as tired of looking at the same four walls as we are, come along for a delightful change of scenery and some great fishing. We have space available on our first week, August 22-29, and would love to have you.

Check out the details and call us or Denise Schreiber at Frontiers (800-245-1950) for more information.  BIGHORN 2016 1912



Jim's PT Nymphs

Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, talks to us this week about his PT Nymphs and his own variations on the fly. We encourage you to ask Jim questions, comment, and give us your thoughts in our Comments section (accessible when the blog is viewed from a browser). We love hearing from you!

The pleasant tail nymph certainly is one of the best all-purpose and all-season nymphs. It just looks like a bug which makes it a great imitation for many different mayflies throughout the season. No fly box should be without pheasant tail nymphs from hook size 12 to size 22.

The original pattern calls for the complete fly to be tied using the fibers of a ring neck pheasant tail and ribbed in gold wire. (At least that has always been my understanding.) It's a tried and true pattern for sure and one that I have in my fly box plus several variations that I use throughout the season. And it's a pretty simple pattern to tie even for beginner fly tiers.

The thing I like most about the PT nymph is that you can fish it so many different ways. It's a great early season nymph when fishing with an indicator, or euro nymphing, and when tied with a tungsten bead the fly will get down quickly to where the trout are in high and fast water.

It's also one of my favorite flies to use when fishing a dry fly, using it as the trailing nymph. It was very effective during the second week of the Hendrickson hatch this past spring when fished as a dropper behind my dry fly. It resembles a Hendrickson nymph and some days I caught more fish on the pheasant tail nymph than I did on the dry fly. Because of it's streamline design it's a perfect pattern for BWO and midge nymphs too, and my midge box is full of these small nymphs in sizes 18 and down.

Fishing with fellow guide, Tom Harris, on Super Bowl Sunday several years ago there was a midge hatch going on and Tom and I were fishing size 20 pheasant tail nymphs and trailing a size 20 rainbow warrior nymph. When the sun was on the water we caught trout on the rainbow warrior and when the clouds blocked the sun we caught them on the pheasant tail nymph.

If you are a fly tier, this nymph works well by spicing it up with different variations from the original pattern. Sometimes a flash of purple, red or orange does the trick to get a trout's attention. I often substitute the pheasant tail thorax with hare’s ear dubbing and really like using black ice, peacock and pheasant tail ice dubbing for the thorax. The options seem limitless.

The pheasant tail nymph has been around for a long time and has stood the test of time as one of the bestJims 1139 all-around, go-to nymphs out there. In the photo are some of the combinations I use and have had success with throughout the season.   


BWOs & Sulphur Season

Wow! It's June already. Where did spring go? Here in northeastern Pennsylvania we have had a cool, wet spring which has been good for the gardens and very good for the streams. Fishing Creek is at a perfect level, cool nights and warm days have the BWO Cornuta and Sulphurs starting to show and fishing has been good! Another first for the season is crane flies. On warm sunny afternoons there has been some very good dry fly action with these flies and they are fun to fish. Check them all out in our online fly shop. Oh, the bass came from the pond, Bailey's first fish on a fly rod!

I'll drop in a couple photos from our guides this week and you can see for yourself.

Bill Lynch 4385  Chris Berlin 4370   Kyle Bailey Williams 9395


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Cathy, the Rio Malleo & Me, Fishing is Great, & Airline Changes

Cathy, the Rio Malleo & Me

Here is a story from one of our travel clients. I think he embellished the story quite a bit with regards to his fishing partner, but the rest rings so true for a day of fishing in Patagonia – the day, the lunch, the siesta, the fishing. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to who the author is? An MFC fly box is yours if you’re the first to correctly guess. Hint: He is not in the photo but tells a good joke. Answer through the blog comments - accessible when viewed from a browser.

Cathy, the Rio Malleo and Me
– a story of a day on a river, with a person I admire, in a place I will never forget.

There are many stories about exactly how and when it came about, but most agree trout were introduced into the rivers and lakes of the Patagonia region of Argentina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since then, the pristine waters of the area have allowed the browns and rainbows to flourish and transform Patagonia into a fly fisherman’s dream destination.
Hooked from the start, I was introduced to Patagonia by my good friends Cathy and Barry Beck who host1349 RIO MALLEO 2012 fly fishing trips for Frontiers Travel out of Gibsonia, PA. Having traveled with them for several years, I noticed they always went back to Argentina – often, several times a year. So, when the next Patagonia trip was offered, I was on it.
Presidents and celebrities have fished these waters. Author and angling legend Ernie Schwiebert was a North American pioneer of Patagonia fly fishing. One of his favorite rivers was the Rio Malleo (in Argentine Spanish, the ll is pronounced like the zh sound in azure)) where he often stayed at the legendary San Huberto lodge. The lodge sits on an estancia (ranch) with over eighteen miles of private, trout filled water. The area offers arguably some of the best dry fly fishing in Argentina. And, now, I get to stay there and fish this famous river.
It was a typical Patagonia day on the Malleo. After flying from Buenos Aires the day before and having a full blown asado (Argentine BBQ/cookout) which lasted well past mid-night, we were up and on our way to the stream at a semi-reasonable hour. No one rushes in the morning either due to the remnants of the night before or the fact the hatch doesn’t usually come off till around 10 am.
It was March, so the day was a beautiful, but slightly overcast, fall day in the Southern Hemi-sphere. The fish were taking bugs off the surface regularly so everyone in our group had a great morning of fishing. We stopped around 1 PM for lunch.
2322 RIO MALLEO 2012When you are staying at San Huberto, lunch on the Rio Malleo is always an event. The teams that were split up in the morning, reunite for a shore lunch. Again, these meals are no simple affair.
Several collapsible tables are opened and set end to end by the guides. Tri-pod chairs are lined up eight to a side. Multi-colored tablecloths are layered two deep and places are set with metal plates and silverware. Wine glasses, wrapped in cloth napkins for the ride, were placed accordingly. Bottles of local red wine, Malbec, lined the center of the tables. Appetiz-ers consisted of empanadas left over from last night’s asado, smoked meats, assorted chees-es. The main course is grilled lamb, breaded veal, roasted vegetables and a fresh green salad. The food is plentiful and delicious. And, so is the wine. 2346 RIO MALLEO 2012
In true Argentine fashion, a nap after lunch was not only well deserved but necessary. Every-one found a patch of grass to lie on or a stump to lean against and dozed off. Cathy and I sat on the river bank and finished the last of a bottle of wine when something caught her eye.
After pointing me in the right direction, I saw what she saw. A pod of fish were working on the surface just below a water flow metering station (which is why the local name for this beat is “el medidor”). Just above the meter, there was a grass clearing that touched the river where the local horses came to drink.
Without speaking, Cathy and I grabbed our rods and vests and walked 50 feet upstream to the pod of rising fish. We waded into the cool, waist-deep water and, of course, I insisted Cathy take the first shot. The fish were closer to the left bank but the flow was such that the best placement of the fly was closer to the middle of the stream so it could drift into to the willow-lined bank.
To see an accomplished angler display their craft never fails to impresses me - whether an athlete or a chef. To watch someone do challenging or complicated tasks with such ease and grace always leaves me amazed. To see Cathy Beck place a fly on the water fills me with the same sense of wonder. The biggest wonder being why, after 40 years of casting a fly rod, I still look like a guy swinging a stick trying to ward off fruit bats. But, I digress.
With minimal effort and maximum grace, Cathy made the first cast. Of course, it was perfect. After two feet of drift, the dark brown, CDC, no-name fly given to us by one of the guides, was gently slurped down by a nice sized Malleo buck brown. The fish in this river are healthy and strong fighters. But, Cathy moved him easily out of the center of the stream over to the gravel bank gently but quickly. By doing so, she left the rest of the pod undisturbed.
It was my turn. The only common denominator between what Cathy just did and my effort was we were using the same fly. But, after a few casts, I had a similar result and followed her lead getting the fish away from the pod so we could continue. And we did.
This went on for an hour or more. The fish never turned off and the pod stayed in tacked. We hooked one nice fish after the other. As our friends woke from their naps, they started to line the bank and cheered us on - fish after fish. All of the trout were beautiful and every cast Cathy made was perfect. I was savoring each moment.

 Fishing is Great

 We are moving into our summer season here. Sulfurs were reported last night on the Home Pool. Rain is coming today so that means you should get out this weekend. It should be pretty special. Here are a few shots from our guides this week.
Jeff CooneyFrisch 0006  Rhian Lownder 0004    roy

Airlines to Drop Service to Many Airports

The CARES Act requires that all airlines maintain service to all U.S. Airports they served pre-COVID-19, but the DOT has begun to loosen the mandate. See which airports your preferred airline is dropping here.


 CARES Act Route Suspensions

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Family Fun, It's the Right Thing to Do, and Westward Ho!

Don't Miss this Opportunity

There is an interesting article in Angling Trade News by Editor Kirk Deeter, about the number of kids and young people who are now fishing. With no school, no sports, no hanging with friends, this is a golden opportunity to get the kids into fishing.

35 FLY FISHING IMAGEThere have been more kids taking lessons here than I can ever remember and we are loving it. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, grandsons, granddaughters, you name it. We've had entire families, parts of families, mixed families, and everyone has a good time. We're always amazed at how easily these kids grasp fly fishing. During May and most of June our pond is full of very willing bluegills and there isn't an easier fish for young kids to start out on. Here are a few shots from our pond (we have hybrid stripers too):

Our Country Life Experience is a great way to vacation together, practice social distancing, and not share space with others. Our CLE families have exclusive use of the Lodge at Raven Creek to themselves and we only take one family at a time and we've got the stream, the pond, the farm, horses, chickens, and a whole lot more. So, round up everyone and come to the country!

See  more kids photos here

It's The Right Thing To Do

 Most sports have a set of unwritten rules, generally agreed upon by those in the know. But the trouble with the unwritten rules of fly fishing is that many newcomers aren’t aware of them. So it might take seasons of error before realizing that you were pissing everyone else off while wading downstream into the upstream guys.

Thanks to Troutbitten for this great article.


Westward Ho!

 Finally, the announcement from Montana that everyone has been waiting for!



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