The Return of Henry Ramsey

Join us on April 27 as the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers will feature the return of Henry Ramsey.  Henry previously wrote a book “Matching Major Eastern Hatches, New Patterns for Selective Trout”   which focuses on PA and east coast fly hatches.  His book also contains various flies for Pennsylvania and the surrounding area.    Henry also is a fly fishing guide and has fished Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and Colorado just to name the a few.


Henry, will talk about the best flies for Pennsylvania streams.  Also his experiences the places he has traveled.   Last time he had copies of his book for sale.


DVFF Meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of the month  at the Yardley VFW Post, 1440 Yardley Newtown Road.  Minutes for I-95 and Shady Brooke farms


We begin with a social time at 7:00 pm.  Followed by short business meeting then our presentation


Colorado Fly Fishing Exploits


Join us on January 27 when we host Don Baylor who will discuss his Colorado fishing adventures. Don is a local to the area and taught for 30 years at Stroudsburg High school. His knowledge is vast. In addition to being a High school teacher, Don has taught fly fishing entomology at East Stroudsburg University. Also, He has worked as a consultant for various aquatic agencies including, an organization called the Aquatic Resource Consulting. Also Don Has taught fly fishing and has been a presenter at the international Fly Tying symposium, He also teaches fly fishing on the upper Delaware.

Don is well traveled as a fly fisherman. In addition to Colorado, he has Fly fished in Alaska, Montana and Northern Quebec.

Dons Knowledge can also for found in several of the books he has written. Including “Pocono Hatches” which he will have for sale at the meeting.

In addition to his fly fishing skills, Don is an accomplished painter focusing on angling art and landscapes.


Delaware Valley Fly Fishers meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. There is social time begins at 7:00 pm. Each meeting begins at 7:30 PM, after a short business meeting, there normally is a featured guest speaker with a presentation on fly fishing.  Our meetings are held at the Yardley Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

The address is 1444 Yardley Newton Rd Yardley, Pennsylvania 19067-4044


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!

Fish Poaching with Young Anglers

As a Delaware Valley Fly Fisher, how often have you arrived at one of your favorite fishing holes only to find it occupied by unlicensed poachers, who, somehow, are able to quickly reel in lines with dozens of hooks, toss their trash into the bushes, and load their over-the-limit, undersized and out-of-season catch into their cooler and hit the highway before you can find the number for your local WCO (Waterways Conservation Officer)? If you live and fish in and around the Delaware Valley your answer is probably “more often than you’d care to remember.”

What can we do about it? Not much. Confrontation is probably not the best option. Perhaps write down their license plate and a few notes describing who and what you saw, then report it when you are safe and able. In the end – this doesn’t seem to be a very satisfying course of action so let me suggest an alternative: Become a Poacher Yourself!

Before you get your tippet in a granny knot let me explain…
Selected waters across Pennsylvania, stocked with trout, are open to fishing under special regulations on the Saturday preceding the opening day of trout season. Yes, you can fish for trout a week before most everyone else as long as you are participating in the PFBC’s 2014 Mentored Youth Fishing days. As an adult, you will need your valid fishing license and trout permit. Your “Mentored Youth” (less than 16 years of age) must possess a current “Mentored Youth Permit” or a “Voluntary Youth License.” While the “Permit” is free, I’d ask that you consider purchasing a full “Voluntary Youth License” which only costs $2.70. I recommend this because the “License” provides a great return for your investment: for each “Voluntary Youth License” sold, the PFBC receives $5.00 back in federal funding and these funds are earmarked for outreach and education programs with the goal to introduce our young people to our fine angling sports in the Commonwealth. For more information, please visit the PFBC website on the Mentored Youth Program.

Okay, so you say that you wouldn’t exactly be “poaching” these fish because you are properly licensed and permitted. Your criticism is fair enough. So here is your second option to poach fish – that is – here is a fine recipe to try with your early season catch:

Trout Poached in White Wine with Thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

1/2 stick chilled butter
1 large leek (thinly sliced and well rinsed, using the white and pale green parts)
1 med. carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 trout, boned and butterflied
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, minced
2 bay leaves, each sliced in half
1 cup of Riesling white wine.

In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and sauté the leek and carrot strips until just tender (about 5 minutes). Arrange trout, skin side down in a large roasting pan and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, black pepper and half of the thyme. Spread the leek and carrot mixture evenly over each fish and top each off with a half-tablespoon of butter (you should have about 3 tablespoons of butter reserved). Then gently poor the wine over the fish trying not to wash away the other ingredients.

Bake the trout until the center of each is just opaque, about 15 minutes. Transfer the fish and veggies onto plates and keep them warm with foil. Pour all the juices from the roasting pan into your skillet and reduce this by boiling and constant stirring to about 3/4 of a cup (about 5 minutes). Remove any remaining bay leaves. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and remaining thyme and whisk mixture until butter has melted. Pour sauce over fish and serve.

This dish is great served with some steamed asparagus and a simple baked potato.

Special Note to our friends and followers: If you do take a young person fishing on this special day we invite you to send a photo from your trip… or your dinner table!