UPDATE: Like so many other public events, this show has been cancelled out of concerns for the public's safety. Towson University, where the show was to take place, has put a halt to all public events. Please support the vendors who were to appear at the show & plan on being there next year.
If you're going to be anywhere near the state of Maryland on Saturday March, 14th (even if you're not), make plans to attend the 2020 Maryland Fly Fishing Show. Unlike other big shows that are lead by the big companies in the fly fishing industry, the Maryland show is much more personal. However, don't think that means it's small - 'cause it's not. This paragraph from their website says it best:
"The large commercial Shows certainly have their appeal, but if you really want to experience fly fishing through the eyes of professional bamboo/graphite/glass rod builders, classic tackle dealers, national known artist and authors, regional guides not to mention our local fly shops throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania then this is a must attend event. We will have on display more than 70 vendors and booths chock-full of everything fly fishing—ALL FOR SALE AT SHOW PRICES!"
As you can see, there's plenty of something here for everyone who fly fishes. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this year, but please go & check it out. I'm betting that you'll be very glad that you did. You can find out all the details about the show on their website HERE. It would be a great way to kick off your fly fishing season this year!
Well, spring can't be too far away - the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has released their annual adult trout stocking schedule for 2020.
This year, the Commission will stock 4,600 miles of streams & 130 lakes totaling 7,083 acres!! There is a nearby place to trout fish just about anywhere you are in PA. Proudly, Pennsylvania offers some of the best fly fishing for trout in the world.
Now, I'm not the type to follow the stocking truck around ready to pounce on the trout with my flies the minute they leave the bucket, but knowing when & where the trout will be stocked can greatly enhance your time spent on the water. This is especially true for folks who are making a trip here to PA to wet a line in the hopes of catching trout, or those with very limited time to fish. I always recommend to folks visiting from out of state that they check both the weather & the stocking lists to make sure they're fishing is the best it can be.
You can look up which streams will be stocked & when on the Commission's website in an interactive list searchable by county, HERE.
Not sure what the county is where you'll be fishing? No worries, the Commission has a county guide, filled with maps & other info on their website. In addition to that you can also read all the fishing regulations & even buy your fishing license & trout stamp on their site as well. It's loaded with good, accurate information.
As the snow falls & the cold air outside sends chills, this a great time of year to tie up all your flies for next season & plan a good fishing trip - & now you'll know when & where the trout will be!!
I will frequently get approached by folks who are 'reviewers' of fly fishing equipment. I think all rod makers & producers of fly fishing equipment do. Most of the time the approach follows a pattern: an individual contacts me, explaining how they review fly fishing gear, how many followers they have on social media, how everybody in the world reads & trusts their reviews, etc. They then ask for my highest grade of bamboo fly rod to be sent to them, gratis of course, in exchange for their telling everyone how much they enjoyed my rod.
Now, I'm not opposed to this, but more often then not there is a problem. When I investigate & look into their reviews, I find they haven't actually reviewed anything - maybe one or to products at most. They don't have a large following & they haven't been at it for very long, so they don't have a reputation in the business yet.
But when Bryan Pearson of Bang For Your Buck Outdoor Reviews approached me, it was different than any other reviewer in the past. Rather than just blatantly ask for a free high-end custom bamboo fly rod, Bryan introduced himself & showed me his work & background writing reviews of all types of outdoor gear. He then invited me to take part in his operations in anyway that I wanted - i.e. he wasn't just after a free rod & it would be on his dime!!
Well that was certainly different for me! So I looked into his work & lo & behold, here was a reviewer who actually did have a large social media following. Here was a reviewer who was truly bringing a large number of different outdoor gear to people's attention in an honest & clear way. Imagine that, someone actually giving honest reviews of gear they think we should all be aware of!! I totally appreciated Bryan's honesty & professionalism. This was someone I could get on board with.
So if you're looking for different alternatives for your outdoor gear, or you want to discover some maker of a product that you might not of heard of before, check out Bang For Your Buck Outdoor Reviews. In addition to fly fishing gear, the reviews also cover camping equipment, travel advice, even artwork! Bryan pretty much covers it all. You'll even see some reviews of my stuff there as well. Be sure to follow him on facebook & be sure to check out his website, too. In these days where you're told to question every review you read, it's refreshing to see someone doing it right!!!
Jack Hargreaves was a television host in England from the middle to the late twentieth century. Some of the shows he hosted discussed 'country life', to which fishing is a part. So naturally he took his viewers fishing on many of his TV shows.
The video below is in 2 parts. In the first, Jack shows us the development through the years of the fishing rod in England. Here we can see how different materials came into, & went of fashion of, fashion for fishing rods. We can also see how the fishing reel developed along with the rods. In the second part, Jack takes us fishing with a friend & philosophies a bit on angling in general & what goes through the mind of a dedicated angler at times.
While none of this covers fly fishing specifically at all, I find very informative, entertaining, & charming. I hope you will, too. Enjoy!
It was a busy summer out there on all the rivers, streams, & lakes. Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your photos & stories with me about your summer fishing.
I learn so much from you all & get see places that are far away (to me). This summer I got see your photos from all over: from the Carolina's to Colorado; from California to Switzerland to right here indifferent places of Pennsylvania.
When I make a rod for someone, I'm usually not sure where all that rod will go. I'm always curious, as I spend a lot of time with each rod as I make them. I think of the different rods & the folks I made them for & wonder about the places they see. I'm so grateful when a rod client takes the time to share the stories & memories they make using my rods with me! It truly is a highlight of what I do.
Thank you all so much! You folks are what keeps me going everyday making rods. Through this clients become friends & my life is so much richer because of you all. To see some of the photos anglers so kindly shared with me, please take a look at the Beyond The Rod Shop page of this web site. I'd love to see & learn about your fishing adventures, so if you have any good fish tales you'd like to share, feel free to contact me.
I hope you're all getting a chance to get out there & enjoy some fall fly fishing. I was able to get out for a time last week. I've got to go back - I promised a few trout & slate drakes I'd see them again. Good luck on the water out there, folks!!
Now that we've entered the month of October, the adult trout stockings for the fall will begin here in PA. These stockings help to replenish the trout population leading into the cooler months of the year. This is a great time to go out fishing for trout. As the water temps come back down to optimal ranges for trout metabolisms, the activity will naturally increase. Here's your chance to go out & catch some of the best trout of the year!
While the PA Fish & Boat Commission will stock fish from October 1st through December, it's during the month of October where the majority of these fish will be put in. This October the PAFBC will stock more than 82,000 trout in certain sections of 91 waterways in 47 counties. These will include rainbow, brook, & brown trout.
If you want to check where & when these fall stockings are to occur, be sure to check the interactive list the Commission has on their website HERE.
And you should check it before you go out to fish. As October begins, we're experiencing a record-breaking heat wave here in PA. As a result, some trout stocking dates will be rescheduled until a later date in the month.
Fall is a fantastic time to go fishing. It's my favorite time of year to wet a line. I wish you all good luck out there on the water this autumn!!
Make plans to attend next year's Maryland Fly Fishing Show. It promises to be a really great event loaded with a lot of vendors from every aspect of fly fishing, rod makers, collectibles dealers, fly shops, & more. Guest speakers at the show will include nationally recognized fly fishing writers speaking on a variety of fly fishing & fly tying topics, & even fellow rod maker Per Brandin. It will no doubt be a very fun & educational time!
Be sure to save these dates & get ready to have a blast at the show!!
Originally published in 1955, "How to Fish from Top to Bottom" by Sid Gordon is an older book that is filled with good information that is still very useful for any angler today. The title, however, might be slightly misleading, as it's more than just a 'how-to-fish' type of book. No, it has much more important info for the angler.......
Sid Gordon was a fishing writer & a skilled angler. In addition to that, he was employed throughout his career as a fish technician for the states of Wisconsin & Michigan at different times. This job also called on him to research fishing environments in other locations as well. As a result he examined the fishing waters of many places across the United States & Canada, learning how the fish live in different types of water along the way & seeing the best methods of preserving rivers, streams, & lakes.
For those of you who are wondering more about the world of fresh water fishes & how to catch them, this is a must-read book. In it you will learn easy steps on how to judge water quality simply by knowing what to look for when you gaze at a stream or lake. You will learn how to read the water. Gordon will show you how to make stream & lake improvements - great info for any club or organization looking to make better fishing conditions. You will also learn how to take accurate water samples & how to test them to know exactly what is going on in your favorite fishing spot.
In addition to all these lessons, Gordon also gets into detail about specific types of game fish & what conditions the need for survival. Bass, pike, muskie, trout, etc are all covered in this book & you can learn what to look for when pursuing any of these species of fish.
Of course a book with a title such as this one would not be complete without some actual fishing techniques. Gordon also gives you detailed & time tested methods for catching all of the different popular game fish, covering fly fishing, spin, & bait casting as well.
The fist chapter of this book is titled "Water Can Be Read Like a Book" - & that sums up the general theme of the entire work. Fishing from a boat, on shore, wading in a stream, & for all types of fish it's all covered here in an easy to understand book. To me the really valuable information here is the water quality explanations. After reading this, I recalled different places I had fished before & some things clicked in my mind. It all made more sense to me about the conditions at certain fishing spots.
In my opinion, this is a book every angler should read, no matter where you fish, how you fish, or what you fish for. It is one of the most overlooked "important" books on fishing written in the 20th century. I believe this book is currently out of print, but good used copies can be found & purchased for very little cost, so pick up a copy for yourself. You will learn something very useful before you put the book down.
I saw this very short video & wanted to share it with you. It from the folks at National Geographic. In the video they show a generalized description of the lifespan of a mayfly. The footage is gorgeous & offers us anglers some new views of what goes on with these flies, in general. It's a gorgeous, short video that proves once again that those beautiful mayflies truly are the bottom of the food chain.
I've said it many times & I'll say it again: if you've never gone fly fishing for bass, you just don't know what you're missing. Catching bass on a fly rod is some of the most fun you can have on the water. They fight like monsters! While they're an easily accessible fish, they can sometimes be very difficult to fool. You must approach them with the same caution & carefulness that you sneak up to trout with. In fact, in the heat of summer you'll often find that bass have moved up into many of the places where the trout were earlier in the year.
During those hot, sticky evenings of summer, catching bass on a fly rod is a blast. You don't have to slow down in your fishing just because the trout have slowed down their feeding - if that's the case where you are. No, a summer spent fly fishing for bass is fantastic!
Below is a longer video from the Orvis company. It's their primer on fly fishing for bass hosted by Tom Rosenbauer. It gives very sound advice & is aimed at the fly fisher who's never tried for bass before. Check it out & give those bass a try - you'll be glad you did!!
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