Thursday, March 27, 2014


I got tipped off about this event from one of my buddies and OG Instagram fly tier Addison Berry.

Ironfly is similar to Iron Chef, but you get certain fly tying materials instead of food, and there is much more rowdiness.

Iron Fly PA - 4/21 7pm-????
Al's Pizza and Pub
409 N. Enola Road
Enola PA 17025

The beer  selection looks great, and sounds like it's going to be a blast. Ironfly was started by a crazy group of guys who somehow got the crazy idea to ink themselves with really bad tattoos in support of fly fishing. Head on over to Pig Farm Ink to find out more, and check out there videos, and recently upgraded web store with some sweet gear.

Check the video and be prepared to get bitchin'. See ya there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Plunge Pools and Spooky Fish

I always love fishing a new stream for the first time. We were staying at some resort in the Pocono Mountains for my son's birthday, and I decided to venture up half a day early and hit a small mountain stream. I scouted out a few on Google maps, asked for some advice from the locals on the PA Fly Fish forum, and found quite a few options. I chose one that I was told could be tough, but contained a good amount of wild browns and if you hiked enough, a solid brookie population. I stayed up tying some generic dries, a few mini-hoppers, and some small size 10 tungsten head buggers for the trip.

I asked my sister-in-law's boyfriend to join me on the trip. We arrived at Stream X at 7:00am, just after first light. My first impression was that I couldn't believe how much snow was still on the ground. We were only an hour and a half north of home where it has all but melted, but there was still anywhere from a few inches to a few feet depending on where you walked.

As we hiked down the hill side flanked by Mountain Laurel, I was blown away by the beauty of the stream. It was small;  slowly creeping down from the mountain, with lots of small plunge pools and downed branches all over. It was the perfect habitat for wild fish.

He opted to stay downstream, while I hiked a few miles upstream. It was still early, and we saw very little fish movement, until you got within 10 feet of a small pool and spooked them all. I learned quickly that I had to make long upstream casts to a few pools far above me to get any chance of fish. After some trial, error, and lost flies, I picked up a few very small wild browns. I'm talking like fingerling small. Then it was beer time.

I hoofed it back down after about 3 hours and found Dan fishing some water below a bridge. We headed back upstream and he picked up what would turn out to be the biggest fish I saw all day.

This was was challenging, but we did have moderate success. I'm definitely going to hit it up again once the hatches start coming off.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gear Review - Risen Fly ITB 9 ft 5 weight Rod

I've been on good terms with the Risen Fly crew for a while now. I've been using their Ichthus reel nonstop for over a year now and I've fallen in love with it. You absolutely can't beat it for the price, and their fly line is great as well.

When I was offered the chance to test out a prototype of their new ITB rod line, I jumped on the opportunity. When it arrived, I was quite impressed. Nice real seat, sweet cork, solid guides, and I loved the dark rust color. It even came with a printed rod sleeve, and an embroidered tube.

I loved the fact that it was a 4 piece rod which is great for someone who always keeps a stick in their car because you never know when you'll find some new water, or a spare 20 minutes to wet a line. Here are the specs from the Risen website.

  • High module graphite blank in a bold burnt orange color and brown/orange wrappings 
  •  Mid flex, fast action 
  •  4 sections with the length and weight of rod marked on the end of each section to avoid confusion and alignment dots 
  •  High quality 2 toned cork Steel snakes and guides with hook keeper Machined reel seat with wooden insert 
  •  Triangle rod tube to prevent the rod from rolling around 
  •  4 section rod sock 
  •  Backed by Risen Fly's lifetime warranty!
My initial run with this rod was the night I received it. I wound up battling a 10 lb carp for a long time and the rod held up like a champion. It had a solid backbone and allowed me to guide that beast into the net. Truth be told, I REALLY tried to put this thing to work on this fish. I had an extreme bend in this rod and it stood it's ground with no problems.

I've fished it probably 15-20 times since then, and I do really enjoy it. The solid backbone on this rod and fast action really allows you to get your nymphs out with accuracy, and you can whip big streamers with ease. You can feel takes fairly easy as well.

One thing though is that I think this rod felt more like a 5/6 or a solid 6 weight than a 5. Maybe it's just that I'm used to fishing 3 weights and glass now. I dunno. It felt a bit overpowered for throwing size 20 dry flies, which is my favorite thing to do. This is the only reason I wouldn't make this my all purpose rod. I did have quite a few days of landing fish on the surface with it during midge hatches though.

Besides that, I'd highly recommend it. If nymphing and chucking meat is your deal, this is the perfect all around rod that won't break the bank. These rods will be released in April and will retail for $140. There are a few returned from other testers that are available now on his site for only $98! That, my friends, is a steal.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Not a bad Saturday

I had two options today. Drive over an hour south and fish a clear stream for rising fish and deal with a ton of people or drive half an hour and fish a stream that might be running a little high but would still have a lot of people. I opted for the latter, and once again I found myself at the Little Lehigh in ripping water conditions.

I sat up Friday night whipping up some Hi-Vis BWO Parachutes that I unfortunately didn't get to use.

I opted for a bugger and picked up a small brown. Then nothing. For a long time. It sucked. Frustration sank in. Then another fisherman told me to try a caddis larva.


We finally found a winner. Picked up a few ugly stocked rainbows before heading off for a quick bite to eat.

I was informed that the PAFLYFISH Newbie Jam was starting at 2pm on the stream so I wound up heading back to the stream and chatting with some familiar faces. Picked up another fish on a tungsten nymph and watched my good buddy Becker slay fish with his fancy snagging competition nymphing tactics. It was great to see him getting his son on some fish.

After that, it was home to install chair rail. Managed to land 4 fish, have a few beers, and get the whole foyer and hallway done by dark. WIN.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Brony

6.5 inches of tooth critter goodness. Yak hair, EP fibers, Marabou, CDL feathers, rubber legs, flash, laser dub, and big ass hooks.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring is right around the corner

I can't wait to toss this bad boy in a few months.