Wet lines lead to tight lines.

The Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club will be holding our On the Water Fly Fishing Class this Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, on the Little Lehigh Creek. The fee is $50.00 – and includes lunch. If you are interested in attending this class, be sure to call us to reserve your spot (and your lunch) at: (215) 245-0677.

This is a fantastic class on a fantastic piece of trout water! When we begin our session on the doorstep of the Heritage Fly Shop you will be guided through instructions including how to read water (and how to fish that water based on temperature, flow rate, terrain and turbidity). You will learn how to cast under, over and around obstacles so that you can cast using weighted flies, wet flies and dry flies (and combinations that really work). This is an intensive day of fly fishing that is only interrupted by a lunch, then back to fishing.

Class participants are encouraged to bring along their rod and reel, clean waders, and to be prepared for any weather conditions as the class is held rain or shine. Remember also, because You WILL Be Fishing, a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License with a Trout Stamp is required!

webffclassll01

Fly Fishing Class on the Little Lehigh

This section of the Little Lehigh is a slice of Trout-Heaven-On-Earth offering plenty of shade, riffles, overgrowth and undercut banks – enough variety of conditions to keep you busy all day long. The park itself (part of the Allentown, PA., parks system) has ample parking and bathroom facilities. One of the nicest things about this park is that you will forget very quickly that you are within city limits.

Whether you are just starting out, or looking to gain some added experience and insight, you will find this class will meet your needs. As a bonus, Dave Bittner’s The Heritage Fly Shop is located right where our class will be held. Dave always has the latest information regarding hatches and water conditions and a well stocked assortment of gear and flies to help you catch fish… so while you are there, be sure to stop in and say hello – if you intend to fish the Little Lehigh again, Dave will be a man you want to make friends with!

The Heritage Fly Shop, and our On Water Fly Fishing Class are located at: 2643 Fish Hatchery Rd., Allentown, PA 18103 – just about 5 minutes off of either the PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (Rte. 476) or Rte. 309. We hope you can join us!

Flies of Future Past*

“We can only truly know where we are going if we know where we have been.”
-I said that.

The Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club is proud to welcome our guest speaker Scott Cesari to our April 23, 2014 (7:30 PM) meeting. Scott will be sharing his research and knowledge of the evolution of flies used in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. With some Pocono flies dating back to the mid-19th Century Scott has traced their roots back to the 1400’s! In addition to offering this historical perspective on flies Scott will share insights into the impact and contributions that Pocono Fly Fishing has made on this angling sport throughout North America. Scott’s ability to present this information of artful fly tying and practical angling in a coherent context will surely earn him recognition as an angler who moves our sport forward.

ScottCesari

Scott Cesari of Scott Cesari’s Fly Tying,         Bangor, PA.

While a relative newcomer to fly fishing (when compared to some of our more senior club members – and you know who you are) Scott has shown what can be accomplished in a short time when we set our hearts and minds to our endeavors. Scott has excelled in fly tying, winning the Pennsylvania State fly Tying Championship in 2006 and received several medals recognizing his tying skills from the Federations of Fly Fishers’ contest that same year. Scotts skills in tying realistic patterns have earned him recognition from the International Fly Tying Symposium and Show, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, and the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum and many other groups.

We hope you can join us at this meeting and bring a friend – Guests are always welcome!

Our meetings are held at the Yardley VFW Post1444 Yardley-Newtown Road, Yardley, PA 19067.

*Apologies offered for the Moody Blues pun.

Casting for Fly Fishers

April is an exciting month for the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club. The season has opened for local trout waters (and bass are now catch and release only for the duration of their breeding season). We will be holding our regular meeting later this month where, along with our guest speaker, there will no doubt be plenty of stories and photos of our early season catch. The Club will also be holding its “On-Water” fly fishing class along the banks of the Little Lehigh. More on these to come!

April marks the time of year when fly fishers buzz with activity around here – and the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club makes for a pretty good place to learn the tips, tricks, and insight of local waters to make the most of your angling season ahead.

With that in mind – I’ll be keeping this post short so I can go out and get my line in the water, but I’ll leave you first with this thought: When you find yourself elbow to elbow with other anglers please encourage them to visit our Club. Membership growth is the ONLY way we can continue to make our fine programs available, so put a few of your Club business cards in your vest and hand them out with a smile and an invitation.

Much of what the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers has to offer has been nicely summarized by one of our founding members, and Executive Director, Jerry Girard Sr. Please enjoy this brief message from Jerry, and share the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers’ message with others to help build our membership ranks.


We hope to see you at our next meeting!

Dave Allbaugh’s “Fishing The Wet Fly”

The Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club is proud to present Dave Allbaugh as our guest speaker on March 26, 2014 (7:30 PM). Dave is a master wet fly angler, guide and native son of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Johnstown, PA., Dave has availed himself of many of the finest limestone streams found throughout Central Pennsylvania and productive freestone streams of North Central Pennsylvania, and it is within these magnificent settings that Dave offers his “Wet Fly Water Guide” guide services and personalized lessons in wet fly trout fishing.

Dave Allbaugh

Dave Allbaugh with a nice late-June wet fly catch.

Fishing with wet flies is arguably one of the oldest methods recorded, and while our Pennsylvania waters have a robust history of wet fly fishing, in more recent times very few of us have actually practiced these truly classic techniques. Dave Allbaugh will bring his multi-media presentation to introduce us to a few of the more storied trout streams in the Commonwealth and provide us with a detailed discussion on equipment, flies, leaders and tactics to use – year round – for successfully fishing with wet flies.

Count this as a presentation you don’t want to miss.
We hope you will join us and Bring a Friend – Guests are always welcome!

Fly Fishing on a Budget

I recently had the pleasure to speak at length to a founding member, and Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club, Jerry Girard Sr. Jerry’s knowledge of fly fishing spans far beyond the act of angling – he is also a recognized historian of fly fishing in America and is a collector of antique fly fishing equipment and ephemera. Jerry’s interjection of these topics among his educational presentations at club meetings and classes helps to emphasize the robust history of our sport – lending the modern angler a very real sense of connection to past generations of fly fishers.

As our conversation turned to focus on the economics of fly fishing, particularly those costs associated with entering the sport, Jerry reassured that it can be done on a tight budget – though he is quick to include that fortunes large and small can also be spent. Among some angling circles today fly fishing continues to be labeled a sport for the wealthy. At one time, here in the U.S., that may have been so. Well-balanced rods with finely tuned action could only be purchased from a master craftsmen who could spend a hundred hours or more creating such a rod by hand. Rods such as these could cost a fortune and be wholly unattainable to the average working-class angler. I’m quite sure that this rooted perception has wrongly kept many people from fly fishing today. Thus, the goal of this article is to dispel the myth of fly fishing as a sport only for the wealthy and to encourage anglers who may be feeling the pinch of today’s economy that they can begin fly fishing for less than $100.00.

On the first stop on your shopping trip, particularly if you haven’t fly fished before, I strongly recommend you attend an Introduction to Fly Fishing Class – and the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers Club offers an excellent course later this month on March 22, 2014, and this is where you should spend your first $25.00 from your budget. For more information or to reserve your seat call us at: (215) 245-0677. A class such as this will provide you with the information you need to select the equipment necessary for you to reach your fly fishing goals – and as such, this article will not cover those details of what to purchase and why – those are covered in the class.

A quick online search this morning of the “big-name” outdoor sports vendors revealed that a very nice rod and reel combo (with floating weight-forward line, leader and backer) can be purchased for as little as $40.00. These are moderate action, 4-piece, graphite rods available in line weights of 5, 6 and 8 lbs. The lengths available are either 8.5 ft. or 9 ft. and come with cork handles and aluminum reel seats. The reels themselves can be switched for either right or left hand retrieval and are built with adjustable disc-drag. (Just to note: the next least expensive combo with similar features was priced at $60.00.) These modern rods are quite durable and surprisingly cast worthy… certainly well enough to provide years of angling fun.

The rod and reel combo above requires the additional purchase of a tippet or two to get started. Ranging from 3X to 6X the same vendor offered 30-yard spools for $1.88 each. Buying tippet materials by the spool is the most economical option, though you can also purchase tapered tippet-leader combinations of various lengths but you will pay a premium for the convenience of not tying your own.

Finally, the flies need to be purchased. While assortment packs are available and may seem to be the way to get a large and broad selection, I would recommend another option and this will require a visit to your local fly fishing vendor preferably one located near the waters you intend to fish. Go to the shop and introduce yourself to the proprietor who, in almost every case, will be a wealth of knowledge about the local waters, and ask them to help you select flies from these categories:

• Match the Hatch
• Attractor
• Dry or emerger
• Sinking or wet.

Fishing some combination of surface or near surface fly along with a sinking or wet fly tied onto a dropper will increase your chances for a bite. When matching the hatch, ask for guidance on selecting flies of different sizes. Depending on your selection, these flies can cost between $0.75 to $1.50 each. Consider selecting between 16 and 20 flies – with a few duplicates for those recommended as the most productive – and we’ll average the cost for simplicity here at $1.00 each. You can skip the specialty fly storage box for now and make use of something you have at home (empty prescription bottles, small candy tins, etc.). Once you get these flies home, if you are planing to release your catch, use a pair of pliers or a small file to remove the barb from the hook.

So, we’ve made a significant number of purchases to get us on the water for opening day. Let’s examine our total:

1 ea. Rod and reel with backer, line and leader = $40.00
3 ea. Tippet line = $ 5.64
1 ea. Shipping = $ 5.00
20 ea. Flies = $20.00
1 ea. Introduction to Fly Fishing Class = $25.00
Total = $95.64 (taxes not calculated)

Keep in mind, this is a bare-bones set up and a spartan example just to illustrate that you can start with nothing and build a kit and the knowledge to fly fish for under $100.00.

This, I believe, is a good starting point for budget conscious anglers – whether you are tentatively frugal entering a new sport, selecting an outfit for an angling youth (who knows what they will be into next week?), or simply in a pinch between pay days. Fly Fishing is affordable, fun, and provides a great opportunity to get close to nature, in peaceful solitude or with family and friends.

For more information about fly fishing come out to one of our monthly meetings, or better still, enroll in our Introduction to Fly Fishing Class.

We hope you join us!