Fly Selection

In this week's blog, Cathy talks to us about Fly Selection- what to use & when.  Good advice whether you're new at fly fishing or a seasoned angler.  It's a QR video code excerpt from Cathy's "Fly-Fishing Handbook" which you can find in our store.



Also, a quick reminder about our Kids Fishing photo contest.  We're still accepting entries until June 25th and you can see the details here.  We're off to a great start; thank you to everyone that has submitted so far.  We've enjoyed seeing your photos come in!


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New Fly Boxes & Updated Trip Schedule

VID 5130We've received several requests to sell our imprinted fly boxes that we use for our selections. These boxes are lightweight, foam-lined, with a transparent lid. Perfect to put in a pack or shirt pocket when you want to go light.

Sizes include Medium (4-1/2 x 6), and Large (5 x 8). Medium is imprinted with a rainbow trout. Large with either a brown trout or a bonefish (your choice).

Medium $10.00 each      Large $12.00 each

Go to our WEBSITE to place your order.


We also wanted to share our Updated Trip Schedule in case you were thinking of planning your next fishing trip.  See our Hosted Trips page for more information.

June 21-28 — Holbox, Mexico (tarpon, snook, etc.)
July 24-Aug. 3 — Kenektok River, Alaska (trout, salmon)
Aug. 16-30 — Bighorn River, Montana (trout)
Sept. 10-21 — Tsimane, Bolivia (dorado)
Oct. 11-20 — Pyrenees, Spain (trout)
Nov. 30-Dec. 7 — Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)
Jan. 8-18 — Coyhaique Lodge, Chile (trout)
Feb. 2-17 — South Island, New Zealand (trout)
Feb. 27- Mar. 9 — Tres Valles, Argentina (trout)
Mar. 9-21 — San Martin area, Argentina (trout)
May — Saltwater, Mexico, TBA
June — Isla Holbox, Mexico, TBA
July 23-Aug.16 — East Africa Safari
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Father's Day Ideas

Last chance to be prepared for Father's Day & summer fishing with these popular fly patterns. And we'll pay the postage.

1827 BECK IMAGE 2014-1

Cathy's Super Beetle Hi-Viz Wing Selection. You asked, we listened. We've added a red hi-viz wing on our super beetles so you can find them easily in the foam line and amongst the bubbles. This great summer selection includes a dozen beetles, 4 each size, 8/10/12. Boxed. $21.95




Comparadun Favorites. This selection includes patterns for the major hatches; Paralep. Blue Quill (16), Hendrickson (14), March Brown(12), Sulphur (16), Lt. Cahill (14) & Slate Drake (12). These are eastern patterns but are effective both in the east and the west. 18 flies, 3 each pattern. Boxed $32.95


 Free Shipping on orders over $50 until June 15- use coupon code "Fathersday" at checkout.  Click here to visit our store. 

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Need Saltwater Flies?



We've just added a couple new additions to our saltwater flies in our website store. For skinny water we have the Sili Skinny bonefish fly and a Super Gotcha for the bigger bones on the west side of Andros. Take a Look.

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New Products from Hareline Dubbing

Hareline is the USA Distributor for Omnispool Products  -  Click here to see all their new products


Omnispool Switchbox Kit
The Omnispool Switchbox makes your life a lot easier when you need to change, clean, organize, or just mess around with your fly lines! Smartly designed to interlock together to store different fly lines when they are not on the reel, they also have a cleaning pad that attaches to the front of the Omni Spool. Lines are buffed, cleaned stored or fished in seconds! A video tutorial is up and running on our Youtube channel, take a look at what these Omni Spools can do. You will not be disappointed! In stock and ready for your customers.
OKIT- Complete Switchbox Kit OSB - Switchbox

OLC - LinCarebox OCH - Extra Crank Handle


Hareline Amadou Dryers
Not to be confused with Xanadu--you younger guys can Google that-- There are two sizes and styles of Dryers: Foam covers, and "Rich Corinthian Leather" covers--again young people will need to use Google. Bring us your soggy, slimed, waterlogged flies, and Voila! Those dries are ready for the next round of drifts. The Hareline Amadou Pad is the perfect size to display smartly on the vest and works just as hard at sopping up those sad soaked dryfly patterns to present to those selective feeding spotted devils. Handy leather strap included at no cost.
SLA - Small Leather Amadou Dryer SFA - Small Foam Amadou Dryer

LLA - Large Leather Amadou Dryer LFA - Large Foam Amadou Dryer

AP - Amadou Patch


New J:son Short Shank Dry Fly Hooks
Better than Lefsa! The designs of these hooks are awesome! J:son's Ultimate Dry Fly Hook not only have an oversized eye, very handy, but matches with perfect proportion those realistic bugs we are tying using J:son products, also very handy. Wide gapped and micro barbed to keep'em pinned and released with ease, and a straight eye that keeps everything looking good. The Ultimate Short Shank Dry Fly Hook has all the qualities with less shank. Extended bodied flies have the perfect place to call home. Every bug, in any size you need to tie, has an Ultimate Hook matched to fit your pattern.
JUD - J:son Ultimate Dry Fly Hook available sizes 6-20

JSS - J:son Short Shank Ultimate Dry Fly Hook available sizes 8-24


Glue Sticks and New High Temp Gun are Back
After numerous consumer and dealer requests, we have added the top six selling colors of our mini glue sticks back into our lineup. We have also added a new high temp gun to go with them.
STK - 53 Champagne, 54 Chartreuse, 60 Clear, 99 Dark Roe, 271 Orange Roe, 272 Oregon Cheese, 289 Pink Lady and 327 Salmon


Tapered Slip Strike Indicators
The season is in full swing, boats, float tubes, and pontoon boats are getting word from the lakes-"Get out...Go Fishing!" These Slip Strike Indicators are made for those l-o-n-g leaders you need in lake fishing or deep rivers. No matter the length of the leader these slip indicators hold firm during casting and retrieving until the hook is set. The design of these indicators then release and slide down the leader letting you bring the fish to the net instead of 15 or 20 feet from it. What a concept!! The Slip Strike Indicators are tapered for less wind resistance. They are available in 3 sizes and 5 different colors to choose from. Also there are multi-colored packs available in all sizes.
TIS - Small 3/4" Tapered Slip Indicator TISC - 5 Color Combo pack Small 3/4"

TIM - Medium 7/8" Tapered Slip Indicator TIMC - 5 Color Combo pack Medium 7/8"

TILS - Large 1" Tapered Slip Indicator TILC - 5 Color Combo pack Large 1"

All three sizes available in the folowing colors

127 FL Chartreuse, 137 Fl Orange, 138 Fl Pink, 139 Fl Red and 142 Fl Yellow


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Trout Tips & Tricks

With trout season here, I thought a clip on when to change flies and how to choose the right pattern might be helpful. Cathy's video clip from her "From First Cast to Double Haul" video is very appropriate. We hope you enjoy it.

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Trout Season Opens Soon

b2ap3_thumbnail_0772-Cathy-Becks-Super-Beetle_002_blg.jpgWith trout season just around the corner (April 13) here in Pennsylvania, we thought it might be a good time to let you know about a tying video that we posted to YouTube this week, Cathy Beck's Super Beetle. This beetle is a fun, inexpensive pattern to tie and you'll be surprised at how well it works.

As soon as the weather warms up, terrestrials will become active and this is a great pattern to tease up fish. It floats well, is easy to tie, and is a great fly to trail a nymph behind. We've used it for trout all over the world and ib2ap3_thumbnail_blog_0000_superbugger001v_006.jpgt never fails. 

The Super Bugger is another great eary-to-tie pattern to use when the water is cold, high, or off color. It's a good search-type streamer and it pushes a lot of water so it gets the attention of the fish even when they may not see it. Both of these patterns are also available for purchase from our store. We tie the Super Bugger in tan, black and olive.

Our water here at home looks very good. We haven't had any extremely high water this spring and now that the weather is warming up, we should have good spring hatches. If you haven't fished our private water on Fishing Creek, you might want to consider a day with one of our guides. We think our freestone water is pretty special and we think you will too. Check out the details and then give us a call to arrange a date. Wherever you are, if you're in trout country, we hope you have a great season!

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Cathy's Fleeing Crab in Field & Stream

Cathy's Fleeing Crab with a natural

The coolest thing happened. Kirk Deeter has included my Fleeing Crab in his recent article in Field & Stream of his favorite patterns for trout and bass. It's an interesting list, be sure to take a look. You can check it out on our web site too under Merchandise. Thanks Kirk!
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Different Fly Types

I've been asked by a couple of new fly fishermen to talk about dry flies, wet flies, and streamers. What makes it a certain type of fly, dry, wet, etc., how to tell what it is and when to use it.

Let me start by saying there have been volumes written about this very subject and what you read here will be a very basic abbreviated version. People have spent entire lifetimes on this subject and it's an area that as a fly fisherman, you'll never stop learning about.

Aquatic insects spend most of their life underwater. The fly fisherman will use imitations of these insects to fool the fish. some of these flies float and some sink depending on the stage of life the fly is imitating and the fish are feeding on at the time.

Mayflies have three stages; egg, nymph, adult  (dun) and spinner. Mayfly eggs lay in the bottom of the stream. Over the course of a few weeks the eggs hatch into nymphs. The nymphs live under rocks or in the silt on the bottom of the stream for nearly a year. At the right time, often in the spring, the nymphs emerge, shedding their shucks and change into adults (or duns).

The duns leave the water and fly into the leaves alongside the stream where they molt and return in usually a day or two as spinners. The female spinners lay eggs on the water and then fall to the water and die.  All mayfly duns have upright wings when riding on the water.

Spinners have airplane-type wings that lie flat on the water when dead or dying. Nymphs, emergers (the emerging nymph), duns, and spinners are all food for the trout. There are more than 700 different mayflies in North America in various sizes and colors. Fishermen and fish eagerly await their arrival each year.

Caddisflies are aquatic insects found in nearly all trout streams. They have four stages to their life cycle; egg, larva, pupa and adult. Female caddis lay eggs in clusters which hatch into larvae in two to four weeks. The larvae live underwater for nearly a year, part of this time in a case or shuck that they've made out of grit, sand, and bits of dead leaves. The larvae will enter a cocoon and become a pupa. After a couple weeks the pupa emerges just below the surface as adults.

These adults fly to the bushes and mate. The females return to the water to lay their eggs. Adults may live for awhile, but will eventually die after mating. Caddisflies look like small moths. They have antenna but no tail and are found in various shades of gray, tan, brown, olive, and black. Fish feed on all stages and flies are tied to imitate these stages.

Stoneflies prefer rocky fast moving, clear streams. Nymphs have two tails and two sets of wing pads. Stoneflies cling and crawl about on the stream bottom and feed on leaves, slime, and sometimes other insects. When it's time to emerge stoneflies crawl out onto dry land. After hatching they fly to bushes where they live from a few days to a few weeks. They mate here and the female returns to the water to deposit the eggs. Some stoneflies grow to 3 and 4 inches in length. Mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies do not bit. We can handle them without worry to get a closer look.

Midges include the tiniest of insects and some that bit including mosquitoes and gnats. Midges have 3 stages; larva, pupa, and adult. Active year-round, they are sometimes the only insects available to the fish. Midges migrate and at times are in the surface film by the thousands. Not all midges are tiny buy most are. Midges are sometimes called the anglers curse because of their small size.

Terrestrials are a fun category of insects to imitate because it includes crickets, ants, grasshoppers, beetles, and all the land born insects. Terrestrials are fun to look at in your box, fun to fish with as they are often easy to see and fun to tie if you make our own flies. Many of these insects are around from the time the ground thaws to when it freezes again in the fall and often the fish are not as selective when fish terrestrials.

Flies On and In the Water

This illustration shows how various flies behave on or in the water. Dry flies float or rest on the surface. Examples would be adult aquatic insects (mayflies, caddisflies, etc.), terrestrials like grasshoppers and beetles and attractor flies like a Royal Wulff or an Adams. To keep the fly floating, use fly floatant.

Emergers rest just under the surface. Often when a fish takes an emerger it looks like he took a dry fly because he breaks the surface with his dorsal fin. If there is no tell tale bubble, he probably took an emerger. Emergers are often fished behind a dry fly as a dropper or trailer. The dry fly acts like a strike indicator and lets us know when the fish has eaten the emerger.

Nymphs, larva and pupa drift through the water with the current speed to imitate insects doing the same. Sometimes we 'twitch' the nymph to make it look alive. The fish will often take the fly as it swings around below us at the end of the drift. Some anglers like to trail these flies behind a dry fly with a section of monofilament or use a strike indicator. To make the fly sink, use split shot.

Streamers are fished underwater, sometimes deep, and retrieved or made to swim through the water. They imitate minnows, leeches, and crayfish and other things that the fish will eat. The fish will chase after the streamer – not wanting it to get away. Because the line is kept tight by retrieving, when the fish hits it will feel like a bump or smack often surprising the angler. To make the fly sink, use split shot. Sometimes they are tied so that the hook rides upside down and doesn't get snagged on the bottom of the stream.

For more examples of flies that imitate insects, take a look at the Umpqua Feather Merchants web site. That's where the examples above came from and it is incredible the number of fly patterns that are available to imitate the different insects, crustaceans, and smaller fish that big fish feed on! www.umpqua.com
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What's This Blog About

I've been wrestling for weeks now with what to do about the blog. What I've decided is that it should be a place to talk about lots of things - photography, fly fishing, fly casting, fly fishing travel & lodges, flies, and everything that goes along with these subjects. We're trying to figure out how to do this while maintaining some semblance of identity, organization & easy navigation. We may not get it right the first time, but we hope that you'll be patient with us. We want it to be your go-to place for connecting, community, and conversation. We'll do our best and look forward to hearing from you with suggestions, comments, and critiques. Please visit often and comment often. Let us know how to make it better as we go along. Cathy & Barry

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