HATCHES & RISES ONLINE MAGAZINE
VOLUME 6, NUMBER 5
Voices from the River: One big, angry fish pg 6
SPEAKER SERIES November Meeting: RISEN FLY FISHING
Topic: Salmon & Trout Fishing the Great Lakes & Alaska
December Meeting: JOSH MILLER
Topic: Fly Fishing Competition – 2017 World Youth Fly Fishing Competitions in Slovenia
PWWTU.ORG pwwtu.org November/December 2017
Hatches & Rises 1
President’s Message PRESIDENT’S BEAT Dale Fogg PENN’S WOODS WEST
s I am writing this I am reflecting on a Steelhead trip that I have just returned from. The weather this fall has been beautiful, unless you are a steelheader. The water levels in Erie are at an all-time low this fall and much rain is needed. None the less, we had a great time. I was finally able to get my father out to chase some chrome. As John Snow would say “Winter is Coming”. And with the colder weather in winter the steelheading gets better and our chapter heats up! We have a lot of events to look forward to this winter. The monthly meetings are booked with some great speakers, Bar Flies is doing great and meeting the 4th Monday of the month. The women’s initiative has monthly gatherings that have been a huge success as well. The Great Fly Sale is once again in January, don’t forget to tie some extra bugs and donate to the chapter for this fundraising event. Cabin Fever is booked for Sunday March 4, 2018 and we are back at the Doubletree by Hilton this year. This is the same place that used to be called the “Sheraton”, but has changed ownership and is now the Doubletree. We are excited to be able to go back to the larger space, and will need some additional volunteers for the event to help it run smoothly. Please reach out to me if you want to help at Cabin Fever. On a personal note, I had the opportunity to buy an old wooden drift boat recently, so I jumped at the chance. It was a Monday night, the first Bar Flies event of the year and I didn’t want to miss it, but had to grab this boat before someone else did. So I called a neighbor with a pickup and asked him if he wouldn’t mind helping me out. I neglected to tell him that the boat was 2 ½ hours south in rural WV. I was very glad that I had him with me as we got closer to the address, and night time drew near, the area became a little sketchy and it was nice to not be alone as we pulled into the long gravel driveway to meet “Paul”. The boat was nice enough, a little rough in places, but the price was right and I knew that I could make the boat mine with some repairs and upgrades over the winter. So, we loaded the boat in the back of the GMC and headed north. It was quite an adventure! I will be sharing some of the work being done on the boat in upcoming articles in the H&R. I look forward to seeing everybody at the upcoming events. All the best, DALE FOGG, PWTTU President PS- If anyone has a drift boat anchor they are looking to sell, let me know.
President* Dale Fogg 724-759-1002 Vice President* Open Treasurer* Walt Reineman 412-963-2824 Secretary* Earl Morgan 412-486-8558 Hatches & Rises Editors Charles Cantella and Joe Birch Conservation Director* Tom Walsh 412-486-5356 Program Coordinator* Christian Shane 412-916-2979 Communications Director* Open Women’s Outreach Chair Jodie Minor Nora Cline firstname.lastname@example.org Member Director Charles Buffington 412-388-1666 BarFlies Coordinator: Ron Milavec 412-835-6107 *Also serving on Board of Directors
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An Entirely Synthetic Fish:
How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson
f you are the type of fisher who simply wants to cast a line to hungry fish and fell the tug but you really aren’t all that interested in the story of how that fish got there, then this book probably isn’t for you. But if you are the kind of person who wonders about such things as: how did we get spring run, and fall run steelhead coming out of the Great Lakes? Why so many more rainbow trout are stocked then either brown trout or brook trout? And what exactly happened on the Green River that changed the course of fisheries management? Stocking vs wild? How did alpine lakes get trout? These questions, and many more are thoroughly researched (as evidenced by the substantial footnotes at the back of the book) and presented as an engrossing read that keeps the reader’s attention. From the first hatchery established, down through whirling disease, touching on “no stocking” policies, and why stocked fish and wild fish don’t always coexist very well, Dr. Halverson (he’s got a PhD from Yale) addressed these issues, plus many more. This fascinating book will answer questions you didn’t know you had. It won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2010, and rightfully so. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, educational and engrossing without slipping into “textbook mode”, I can’t say enough good things about An Entirely Synthetic Fish. I highly recommend you add this to your must read list. You can purchase this book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B0038LB4N0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 -Charles Cantella
Fly of the Month Erie Golden Stonefly Tied by Ken Crawford
Hook – Diachi 1270 (3XL) or 2220 (4XL) – sizes 6,8,10 Head – Nymph Head, stonefly, gold, medium – or – Brite Bead 5/32 in, gold Thread – 8/0 Light Cahill Tails – Goose Biots, Golden Stone Abdomen – Hollow Tubing, standard – yellow and brown Wing Case – Mottled Oak Turkey Quill Thorax – Estaz, Crustacean Tan Legs – Round Rubber legs, medium, tan or brown Email us your creation. We will review all submissions and publish the editor’s choice each issue. Please include your Name, Fly name, all materials used and a photo. Email Charles Cantella at email@example.com pwwtu.org November/December 2017 Hatches & Rises 3
One More Cast By Christian A. Shane
Fly Fishing LEGO City
ollowing my son’s Lego-themed birthday party, I sat on the living room floor among 4,000 pieces with 12 cities to build, as he elected me Lego Mayor. While assembling the Fire Station, my mind wandered off to the fly fishing weekend my friends (without kids) would enjoy as I deciphered these step-by-step instructions. Since I couldn’t fish it in person, daydreams of the ultimate “Fly Fishing Lego City” crept into my brain. I could hear the commercial… “Did you ever want to get out on the water and you just don’t have the time? Are the rivers too crowded for you? Are you just a lazy angler? Well, now you can assemble the Fly Fishing LEGO City!” I’d start with a large tail water dam, crystal clear blue and green water bricks snaking their way through my pristine fly fishing town. From Colorado evergreens to Utah canyons to Montana boulders to Pennsylvania woods to Alaska mountains, this city is built to fish. In the first hole would float a Lego ClackaCraft (Stickers also available in Hyde, Ro, & StealthCraft), decked in
aluminum plated Legos and the Yeti cooler, placed within arm’s reach of my Lego guide, Boomer. He sits at the plastic wooden oars wearing sunglasses, a buff snapped on his yellow head, a plaid shirt and sandals. Wearing a bright orange life vest, his minifigure client stands in the back of the boat with his fly line wrapped around the Lego anchor (Dammit, he’s tangled on it again?!?) Right up in the bow sits Rusty, the plastic one-piece Chocolate lab. Lego fly rods are carefully stacked throughout the boat along with crushed Lego beer cans, koozies, and water bottles (WARNING: Small Pieces Are a Choking hazard). A lone fly fisherman in a belly boat (Instructions Included) floats a little further downstream. His rod bent over with a molded monster rainbow on his line. He nonchalantly clutches his rounded hands on the net as he’s done this catch and release thing before. Downstream, gray and black bricks dot the river, creating perfect riffle runs. On one of the larger boulders perches a Lego woman sunbathing. Better yet, there are two Lego women sunbathing with interchangeable torsos and bikini upper halves. Don’t let them fool you, their 5-weights are stashed away, just waiting for the pool below to cool off after they just took matching continued to P-8
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Water Safety By John Arway
The Last Cast Editor’s Note: This article by John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director, clearly articulates the drastic budget-cutting steps the Fish and Boat Commission will have to take if Senate Bill 30 granting the Commission the authority to increase fishing license fees is not passed by the Pennsylvania House of representatives. This Bill has no impact on the current budget deliberations because fishermen (not the PA General Fund) pay for the privilege of fishing in our Commonwealth.
ennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) law enforcement staff recently provided critical assistance in several water-rescue events, including one on the Susquehanna River near Lancaster in which hundreds of individuals launched a variety of floatable devices during high water. Most of these individuals were not wearing life jackets and many had to be rescued after being unable to navigate the high waters. Other incidents involved kayakers and individuals on a pontoon boat in Erie’s Presque Isle Bay on a day when the National Weather Service issued a small-craft advisory warning boaters of waves between 3-5 feet. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, thanks in to the actions of PFBC waterways conservation officers (WCO) and first responders like fire departments and water-rescue teams. These incidents and our agency response are reminders about the importance of the public service we provide to not just Pennsylvania anglers and boaters but to all Commonwealth citizens. The PFBC, for example, trains local fire departments and water-rescue groups to ensure that they can respond to emergencies like the one on the Susquehanna. However, these and other critical services are in danger of being cut or reduced if the House of Representatives fails to pass Senate Bill 30, which would grant the PFBC the ability to initiate the first fishing license increase since 2005.
The Senate overwhelming passed the bill in March by a 47-2 vote. But the bill has yet to be voted out of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. The PFBC is funded primarily by angler and boater revenues and receives no General Fund money. Our plan to keep spending below revenues has allowed us to provide the same level of goods and services the public expects without major programmatic cuts. We have cut spending in large part by reducing staff from a high of 432 to 370. At the same time, the value of a fishing license adjusted for inflation has dropped to about $16.25, while fish production costs have climbed dramatically. The true cost of today’s fishing license adjusted for inflation would be $37.18. At $21.90, today’s license value is a real bargain for PA anglers!
These incidents and our agency response are reminders about the importance of the public service we provide to not just Pennsylvania anglers and boaters but to all Commonwealth citizens. However, this fiscal year, annual operating and personnel costs are projected to exceed annual revenues. Without a revenue increase, the PFBC must plan to significantly cut programs by fiscal year 2018–19 to meet balanced budget objectives and avoid insolvency. The Bureau of Law Enforcement has 15 vacancies with 10 open field districts as we enter the heart of the fishing and boating season. With 23 officers eligible to retire - and nearly as many more in the next three years - that number will continue to grow, and customer service, public safety, continued to P-8 pwwtu.org November/December 2017 Hatches & Rises 5
Tight Lines By Mark Taylor
Voices from the River: One big, angry fish
y brother is five years my junior but that didn’t stop us from being competitive as kids, especially once he transformed from a skinny grade schooler to a surly teen. Our tiny shared bedroom was the site of epic Nerf hoops battles, dart games and wrestling matches. When I pitched BP to his youth baseball team I always threw a few at him just to keep him honest, and he countered with plenty of liners back at me. For whatever reason we tended to be more cooperative during our fishing adventures, which were many. We worked as a team, a trend that strengthened after I moved East and he stayed home in Oregon.
A couple more hours passed. I lost count of the fish I had caught. The sun was setting when, on what was probably Greg’s 500th cast of the day, a nice smallmouth blew up on the Spook. It wasn’t a giant, maybe 4 pounds. But it was by far the biggest fish of the day. And Greg had a satisfied look on his face. “Totally worth it,” he said. I think back to that day often during my trout forays, which recently have tended toward the “looking for one big, angry fish” approach. Little flies can and do fool big trout. But we all know that most big fish don’t get big by eating tiny bugs.
So, it actually pained me to be crushing him on a smallmouth bass outing on Virginia’s James River one afternoon a few summers back when he was out for a visit.
They get big by eating the aquatic versions of double bacon cheeseburgers with extra mayo. Big forage fish. Crayfish. Little trout.
I was throwing my normal array of soft plastics and crankbaits, and fly rod poppers and smallish streamers, and was connecting with lots of fish.
Big flies can also trigger reaction strikes that are more about anger than hunger.
Greg had recently been enjoying some good action on big Zara Spook topwater plugs back in Oregon. He figured if it worked on western smallmouths it would work on eastern smallmouths. Except it didn’t. As my fish count approached 20, he remained skunked. “You should try a Senko,” I urged, reference a popular soft plastic lure that was working well that day.
Fishing with bulky and/or heavy flies can be a lot of work, a fact that Kelly Galloup and Bob Linsenman don’t sugar-coat in their excellent book “Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout.” But the fishing part isn’t the hard part. The hard part is having to the patience to stick with it. If you’re going to go after one big, angry fish, you can’t bail and start fishing for small, friendly fish.
“Nope,” he said.
You have to clench your jaw and keep chunking the meat knowing that there’s a pretty good chance you’ll catch nothing.
“How about this Sneaky Pete?” I implored, holding out the fly rod.
If you don’t buckle, it’s gonna happen. Maybe not that day. But eventually.
“Nope,” he said.
And it’s going to be totally worth it.
He was getting frustrated, but he wasn’t giving in.
Mark Taylor is Trout Unlimited’s eastern communications director. He lives in Roanoke, Va., not far from the Jackson River and Smith River tailwaters, which hold some some nice wild rainbow and brown trout, a few of which Taylor has actually caught.
“I’m looking for one big, angry fish,” he said, clenching his jaw chucking his giant plug toward the bank. I could only shake my head.
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Raffle Update Fall is here, and that means Christmas isn’t too far behind. Looking for a great Christmas gift for your fishing buddy? Consider buying one of our raffle tickets. They are $10, and we keep adding prizes throughout the year. Currently we have an awesome, original painting from this year’s Meet the Artist, Ryan Keene http://www.RAKart.net. Ryan has also donated a print for our raffle (See photo inset). Both paintings are framed and ready to adorn your home. We also have a 9’, 8wt, 4 piece ITB rod with case from http://www. risenfly.com, and a copy of A Fly Rod of Your Own signed by both author John Gierach http://www.simonandschuster. com/authors/John-Gierach/1497721 and cover artist Bob White http://www.bobwhitestudio.com.
Tickets will be available at all monthly Penn’s Woods West TU meetings (see any of the board members) or contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Chapter meets on the second Monday of each month September through June – Meetings start at 7pm at Grazie, 100 Village Club, Wexford, PA 15090 The drawing will be at our April 9,2018 meeting and winner need not be present to win (which makes it a great gift for non-members as well). With only a limited number of tickets available, get yours before they are gone! Side Note: If you own a shop or service and would like to donate something to our raffle, please contact me. Thank you! -Charles Cantella
Tickets will be available at all monthly Penn’s Woods West TU meetings (see any of the board members) or contact me via email, email@example.com.
www.pwwtu.org pwwtu.org November/December 2017 Hatches & Rises 7
One More Cast SHANE, continued from P-4
big browns on Lego cicadas. On no, here comes the Rubber Hatch! Five rafts (Accompanied by children, paddles, and water guns) supplement the Fly Fishing City, but feel free to construct them way downstream in the warmer water to splash all they want. The Lego Fly Shop (Sold Separately) sits up on the hill overlooking the river. A plastic stained glass cutthroat hangs over its doors while a trout bum sits on a rocking chair reading a mini issue of The Drake. Inside the shop is the Lego fly bin, filled with flies such as Wulff-legos and Emerga-legos (Can’t locate the rest of these damn pieces to fill each bin, but they should be around here somewhere.) Next to the fly shop is the bar, complete with recycled old Western flapping doors on plastic hinges. Be sure to also assemble the Guide Row kit (Overturned drift boats, trailers, and matching grills included) close by, as the guides of Fly City are the heroes there. At the take-out, Lego boats remain to hook a few plastic trout before they pull out. Lego-anglers in waders and
smoking cigars stand around sharing their stories of the brick monsters that got away while they impatiently wait while one boat ties up the entire ramp. Below the take-out, just a few tents are scattered on land. Some guides on their day off are fishing the “B” section of Lego Fly City for that chance at a hog. Suddenly, all the Fly Fishing City townspeople and anglers turn their attention to the dam. The walls begin to crack, shake, and crumble, and the canyon walls begin to fall! The Fly Fishing City comes crumbling down!!! “Wake up, daddy!” my son calls out. “Wake up! Aleia is smashing the Fire Station!!!” I open my eyes to my two-year-old daughter demolishing our city creations like Godzilla. Her mischievous yet innocent smile reminds me that in a few short years, I’ll be creating her Princess Fairy Castle City (Complete with dragons, knights, and a working drawbridge). Hmmm, I wonder if there are fish in the moat? Christian Shane is Program Coordinator for PWWTU.
ARWAY, continued from P-5
and resource protection will continue to diminish. With a revenue increase, we will immediately request authorization from the Governor’s Office to run a new school of officers. Fish production accounts for the other largest portion of spending. We stock about 3.2 million adult trout each year and up to 40 million warmwater and coolwater fish, including Walleyes, Muskies, and Catfish. Without a revenue increase, we must consider proposals to cut $2 million, $3 million and $4 million from the budget. A $2 million reduction would close one trout hatchery and eliminate 200,000 adult stocked trout from 248 stream sections and eliminate the stocking of 28,000 trout in 18 lakes. Also, we would close one warmwater/coolwater hatchery, the American Shad hatchery and severely reduce services in the Cooperative Nursery Unit. A $3 million reduction would close a second trout hatchery and eliminate another 240,000 stocked trout. A $4 million reduction would eliminate a second warmwater/coolwater hatchery and thousands of warmwater stockings.
In total, we would cut stocked trout production in streams and lakes by 440,000 fish, or about 14%. These are cuts we must make if we are to remain responsible stewards of our Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and the funding provided by anglers and boaters – our customers. This plan will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at the July 10-11 business meeting if it appears the agency will not be receiving a fee increase for the 2018 license year. With a fee increase, we will continue producing and stocking fish at the rate that anglers, local communities and businesses have come to expect as part of Pennsylvania’s $1.2 billion fishing-related economy. In our business, it is said that the time has come to fish or cut bait – to act or not act. In the General Assembly, it is said that the time has come to call the question. In our last cast for support, we urge all Pennsylvanians who fish or boat to contact their representatives in the House and demand a vote on Senate Bill 30. John Arway is Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
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