Africa Opportunity, New Flies & Winter Fishing

1 Spot to Share in Africa

We have a unique opportunity for one lucky woman. A good friend of ours has reserved a spot on our east Africa safari this summer (July 27-Aug.12), and is hoping for another woman to join her to share the accommodation. This is the very last spot on this exceptional safari, timed for the Great Migration. Without a doubt, a trip of a lifetime. For prices, dates & details.

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The Family is Growing!

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We're adding 3 new colors to the Super Bugger Family. Always a popular streamer wherever trout and smallmouth are found, we're excited to add yellow, chartreuse, and white to our long time standards of olive, black and tan. In stock and ready to go! Go to store.


*A Winter Diehard Talks*

Our guest blog this week is from our friend and neighbor, Jared, one of the most serious fishermen we know. Enjoy.


Winter Fishing  'A Window of Opportunity'  By Staskiel

When Cathy Beck asked me to write about my experiences with winter fly fishing, it quickly drew a clear recollection of how I fell in love with fishing during what amounts to the years harshest conditions. I was a younger man at the time, still sporting skin tight neoprene waders, boots tied with lashed together laces from random tennis shoes, these were the fish bum- budget days. I recall having just recieved my tax return, so like any other American patriot, I needed to help out local business, more specifically, purchasing a new fly rod.

I remember telling the fly shop owner he must think I was crazy heading out in 18 degree weather to try my new prize out, but to my surprise, he said "No, not at all!" He sent me on my way with the bare essentials, a pat on the back,
and somehow the rest seemed to fall into place. It's like anything else in life, what seems intimidating or daunting, seems 2unenjoyable, the fishing that cold afternoon simply was anything but that. That day a friend and I had our best catch rate of our lives, it just seemed like the fish wanted to eat anything and everything.  And like most best experiences we have in fishing, when I close my eyes, I can see see those brown trout in that emerald green central PA limestone water.  DSC 6124flat

As years past, more pieces of the puzzle began to come together with regard to fishing during the winter months. Key elements are of course the usual, dress appropriately, rig for deep slow drifts, usually in more drab colored presentations, but most importantly look for that 'window' as my friends and I call it here in central PA, that is, the time of the day when trout tend to be most active. During the winter months, this often occurs during the suns peak angle, and
thus, stream temperature. There is a big misconception that fish will not eat if the water temperature is below 42F. It's my opinion, that fish catch rate seems to increase more precisely with the rate and speed  that the water warms
throughout the period of a day, not the actual ambient temperature. Pay close attention to the shallow tailouts and inlets to deeper pools, these areas can act as staging areas for very large trout to bask in the mid winter sun. Some of my largest winter trout have been taken in exceptionally shallow waters, on exceptionally sunny and cold days.

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If there is any key determining factor to lean on while winter fishing, attempt to determine your local waters best window of opportunity, once you accomplish that, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.  

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African Safari

African Safari

Our friend and client, Art Rorex, is featured in our blog today with his thoughts and favorite memories of last year's safari.  AFRICA 2015 25546

When Barry and Cathy invited me to do a photo essay on East Africa I gladly accepted. Then (in a rare lucid moment) I realized that producing such an essay is akin to explaining the meaning of life in 100 words or less -- it can be explained but to be really appreciated it must be experienced. I've been fortunate enough to have visited East Africa three times -- I don't understand it but I certainly appreciate it.

An East African safari is more than the Serengeti. Before reaching the wildlife, you must travel through the countryside. While the major cities may seem familiar the countryside is a different and interesting world. Once there, you will find the safari camps more comfortable than expected. They may look like Teddy Roosevelt's camps but Teddy didn't have hot showers and flush toilets in his tents. Since wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk the safari day will start before sunrise. Although your attention will be focused on the large animals -- especially the 'Big Five' -- one of the first things you will notice is the birds. In addition to resident birds, thousands of migratory birds pass through the region. Birds are everywhere. As time passes you will encounter a wide range of wildlife -- large and small, far and near (sometimes very near). If you are lucky you will see some of the rarest animals in Africa. If you are really lucky, you may see some of them together. One thing is certain, you will see lions. Large and small, far and near. Usually interesting; always magnificent. You may also see the migration crossing the Mara River. Over two million animals are in the migration but since it's made up of widely dispersed small groups it can be hard to witness a crossing. On my third visit we finally saw one -- about 5,000 animals crossing the Mara River within 50 feet of our truck. Unbelievable. Unforgettable.

Sooner or later all things end. Each of my photo safaris was extremely enjoyable and all too brief. Nevertheless, the memories last.


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Alaska & Africa

Reel Action, Alaska

KANEKTOK  AK 20163956We just came off an amazing week of silver salmon fishing on the Kanektok River, Alaska. A stone's throw from the Bering Sea, Reel Action Camp is strategically located as all the pacific salmon make their migration from the sea, past the lodge, to their river of birth to spawn. Our trip was perfectly timed for silvers, our favorite of the salmon, because silvers love to eat flies, jump, run line, and fight. They're big, beautiful, and brutish.

We have lots of photos, including a collection of photos from the group. Take a look and think about our 2018 departure. Same time. Same place.



Africa, July 28 - August 11, 2017
East Africa Safari & the Great Migration

As our 2017 Safari is taking shape, we still have several spaces available. Beginning with the lovely Kichwa Tembo Camp and continuing to Hemingway-esque Serengeti Under Canvas, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, and concluding with the luxuious Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, our safari encompasses the best that East Africa has to offer in the way of luxury camps, lodges, and game viewing. Timed for our best chance at seeing the annual Great Migration, one of nature's most amazing spectacles. This is going to be an incredible safari.

If you've been contemplating Africa, please review our itinerary, and give us or Kathy Schulz at Frontiers (800-245-1950), a call. This is a premier safari and we're excited about being in Africa next summer. We'd love to have you join us!


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Take the Kids Fishing & African Safari 2017

Take the Kids Fishing

 Last weekend our good friends and trip clients, Ken & Foykids, organized a weekend in the country with their grandchildren Leland and Benjamin, ages 3 and 5 and their parents. We paired them up with our grandsons, Bridger and Colter, ages 6 & 8, and what fun it was. We got all the boys fishing with fly rods at the pond for bluegills. The pond also has hybrid striped bass which I use in my casting classes but I thought the bass which average 4-5 pounds would be a bit much for the boys. The bluegills were in spawning colors and were lots of fun. They started out with bluegills but it wasn't long before one of the kids hooked into a bass, and then another, and another. Soon they were all fighting, landing, and releasing bass along with the bluegills.

It reminded me of how much fun it is to be a kid in the summer. Not a care in the world and nothing is more important than the moment. We went from fishing to visiting goats, playing in the barn, and kicking the soccer ball until the kids were exhausted. Everyone slept well that night! Thank you Ken & Foy for giving us the pleasure of being a kid again for a awhile.



2017 Safaris- Booking now

Barry and Cathy have two very exciting African safaris planned for Summer, 2017. The first (July 14-27), is a Big Cat Safari to Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This safari was featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sun, and Courant this past week. The second is to East Africa (July 28 - Aug. 11) for the annual migration, their third migration safari. Read more on the Frontiers Website here or call us for more details.

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More Africa 2015

As promised, here is more from the Becks recent trip to Africa.  Barry has been busy editing images from their safari and we are beginning to get a glimpse here in the office of how great a trip it was. The wildebeest migration with the crossing of the Mara River looks fascinating. Below are a few of my favorite images & an excerpt from Cathy's journal which I just love reading...  Enjoy.

Monday - Aug. 10. Our vehicle stayed out all day, the others came in a little bit early. We both went back to the Mara River and watched another small crossing. Again all the wildebeests made it across safely. We saw cats, lions sleeping on the rocks, and later more sleeping by a ditch. We found one hot looking cheetah laying in the shade of a bush. We drove around looking for a male lion that our driver, Mohammed, thought should be near and found him with another female but they both looked hot and tired so we decided to go to lunch. On the way we stopped to watch a big herd of wildebeests gathering on the river bank and Mohammed thought they might cross so we went to the river with about 30 other vehicles. It wasn't long, after a couple false starts, that we watched as thousands of wildebeests and one topi all crossed safely to our side. It was an amazing spectacle and lasted for more than 10 minutes with no crocs which was amazing in itself. One little straggler on the end way behind all the rest even made it safely. Everyone was cheering him on and people clapped when he finally climbed out on our side. The sheer rawness of the event made it a very moving experience as the animals were frantic to get across and once in the water they were all kicking and bawling trying to climb over the slower ones. The panic was in their eyes and it was each one for himself, a wildebeest stampede in slow motion because the water was fairly deep and chocolate. Neither us nor they knew if or when the crocs would show.

After it was all over and the animals were off in the fields they immediately started to feed on the grass. Maybe it's how they calmed down. We decided to have lunch and talked about what we had just witnessed - the great migration, the stuff we see on National Geo and Animal Planet documentaries and how lucky we are to have seen it. The migration doesn't happen all at once or all in one place. There are many crossings and often the animals will change their minds and turn back. This is the stuff that keeps us coming back again!

Artisan 1430 Users Guide

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Barry & Cathy are in Africa

Cathy & Barry have been in Africa on safari for the last 2 weeks.  Internet has been spotty for them and I've been anxiously awaiting photos.  When I got to work this morning and checked my email here's what I found....  Enjoy!

"We have had an amazing safari. Four fabulous destinations in the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Our group has seen lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, hyenas, zebras, all kinds of antelopes. We visited Maasai villages, danced with warriors, enjoyed beautiful evenings with sundowners, caught the animals at first light and adored the cheetah cubs. We say good by tomorrow to this first group. Everyone has mixed feelings about it as we've all become good friends and will miss each other. Barry and I are hoping for a total repeat of this past safari with our new group."

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From Africa to Vegas

As promised, here are a few photos from the IFTD show in Las Vegas this week.  The word from the Becks is that it has been a success & everyone seems to be enjoying themselves!   Fly fishing in Vegas-- who knew?!

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  I'm also including some photos I grabbed from Barry's computer of their recent trip to Africa.  We haven't finished editing and sorting all of his 3,000 photos, but I couldn't wait to share a few with you.  Wow! Talk about a bucket-list destination!  Barry's photos are phenomenal.  Africa is a biennial trip, so if you're thinking about a safari, plan to join us in 2015!  Enjoy!

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Where in the world are the Becks today?

Out of all the trips the Beck's take to tropical islands, remote mountain vistas and far away places, this trip is my most coveted & dreamed of.  Barry & Cathy are on their way to Africa as I type this.  They will arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport tonight in time for dinner.  I have spoken to several of our clients that have traveled with the Becks and they are always excited to tell me stories of their adventures in Africa.  It proves to be a memorable experience.

 The photos that Barry has brought home are phenomenal.  They are my go to files if I need some inspiration, or if an editor is asking for our "best" work.  Maybe I'm just biased because I have Africa envy, but these photos are amazing!   I can sit at my computer scrolling through them and almost imagine that I'm there.  However, I can't help but wonder how exhilerating and scary it must be to come so close to some of the greatest, largest, and wildest animals in the world and have only a jeep or truck between you and them... I truely cannot wait to hear this year's stories and see what Barry will capture with his camera lens this week.  In the meantime, I'll include a few photos from their last trip for you to enjoy.

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