Monday, October 16, 2017

5 Tips for Better Streamer Fishing...

 
Photo: A.J. Swentosky
 by Chad Shmukler, www.hatchmag.com - Monday, Oct 20th, 2014

Once anglers achieve success with streamers, they often focus intently on fishing big flies. The reason is simple and well known: big flies catch big fish. There's also a rush that comes with streamer fishing that doesn't come with other brands of fly fishing. Streamer fishing is distinctly different than dry fly fishing and nymphing and in most respects is more dynamic and varied terrain. Unlike these other tactics where following a few basic rules can lead to consistent success, the streamer fisherman needs to approach the water with a more predatory, evaluative eye in order to produce results.
Streamer fishing is about the world of swimming prey. Whether that prey is smaller trout, baitfish such as minnows, sculpins, leeches or something else entirely -- it swims. And imitating a swimming creature requires a different skill set and approach than imitating a drifting or floating one. Beginner streamer anglers will often try to apply the rules of the dry fly and nymphing worlds to that of the streamer fishing world and end up frustrated when the results don't come.
The key is improving your streamer fishing is changing your way of thinking. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Ditch the Leader

Streamer fishing, like all other fly fishing tactics, is about control. While a long leader can be an asset to the dry fly fisherman trying to control the drag on his high-floating dun imitation, it is the bane of the the streamer fisherman. Despite this well held fact, walk into any fly shop and you'll find extruded, tapered streamer leaders topping 9 feet in length and I've found no shortage of "streamer leader" recipes that call for 4 different sizes of monofilament lines in order to create a 6-8 foot concoction or other similar nonsense.
When fishing big, swimming flies, control is about connection with the fly. A shorter leader means a better connection. Additionally, leader-shyness or leader stealth is largely a non-factor.
There's really no reason to have a leader at all, at least not what one would traditionally consider a leader. Instead, go with a straight piece of monofilament or fluorocarbon. 3 to 4 feet will do just fine. When in doubt, go shorter.
The only exception to this rule would be if you're fishing only a floating line, in which case you may need to go longer in order to get your fly to sink properly. But if you're fishing a sinking line or sinking tip -- as you most likely should be -- keep it short.

Fish to Fish

Most anglers approach streamer fishing from a covering water perspective, unlike dry fly fishing where an angler will fish to a specific rising fish or to specific lies, hoping to entice a strike. As such, they are fishing to fish, rather than just covering water. But streamer anglers should be fishing to fish as well. That's not to say that covering water isn't an effective tactic, it is to say that reading water doesn't go out the window just because you're streamer fishing. In tandem with covering water, streamer anglers should be identifying likely holding lies and delivering their flies to those positions in the water. If you're confident you've identified water that likely holds a waiting fish, it can help not only to present your fly to that position in the stream, but to present your fly to that position using a variety of tactics and from a variety of angles.

Screw Around

The stripped retrieve and the down-and-across swing are undoubtedly the most commonly employed streamer fishing tactics. And with good reason: they're incredibly effective. But swimming prey, which streamers are designed to imitate, are dynamic. Baitfish, sculpins and so on -- unlike nymphs bouncing helplessly along a stream's rocky bottom, emergers mired in the surface film and duns floating atop the current -- are largely free to do as they please. This means they may head upstream or downstream, swim feverishly to avoid predators or dart around near the bottom looking for stuff to eat. Who knows what else they might do?
The point is that there isn't any one or two methods of streamer fishing that cover your bases. There aren't three or four either. It pays big dividends to experiment -- and do so avidly -- when streamer fishing. Present your fly from different angles and at different speeds, try different retrieves and different drifts. Screw around.

Drift It

Expanding on the previous point, there are any number of ways you can experiment when streamer fishing and you'll likely be surprised at the results. Many of them use skills you've already developed in other areas of fly fishing, such as dead drifting. Dead drifting isn't just for nymphs.
Yes, streamer fishing is about swimming prey, but the predators commonly see baitfish, sculpins, leeches and so in in the water column that are either stunned from a encounter with another predator or that are simply dead. Dead or stunned prey is easy prey, and can often elicit a vigorous response from holding fish. Fast water, plunge pools and other turbulent areas in the river are great places to dry dead drifting streamers.

Pump It

One great technique that works well on trout, salmon, smallmouth bass and any other number of species is commonly referred to as the pumped or jigged retrieve. This retrieve works well at imitating baitfish, such as minnows, merrily plying the water in search of food -- unaware of and unconcerned with bigger fish interested in eating them -- but can also imitate an injured and struggling baitfish.
Some anglers employ the jigging retrieve with a rod held high, but I'll more commonly employ it with the rod held in the same position I'd typically hold it in while swinging the fly and controlling its speed in the water column. As such, I'll most often cast the fly down and across with a specific run or lie in mind, tossing in a big mend once the fly hits the water. As I the fly begins to swing into position, I'll pump my elbow upstream and back down again using a lengthy but fluid motion. I'll do this repeatedly as the fly moves through the target zone, with varied pauses in between pumps. Take care to pump the fly up and back down for the first time just prior to it entering water where you expect fish to be holding, slowing the swing speed down by introducing slack into the line and initiating your control of the jigging motion.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Project tour reminder:



Join Wildlands for a project tour and planting @ Illick's Mill on Oct. 12th.
Visit: http://www.wildlandspa.org/monocacycpt/ to register and for more info.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

We're Back!

Summer is finally winding down which means crisp mornings, apples, and our monthly meetings are back.

Join us this Tuesday, September 26th 7pm at the DAR house on 8th Ave in Bethlehem.

While we don't have an official speaker/ topic, Kristie Fatch from Wildlands Conservancy will be on hand to discuss the project at Illicks Mill and also the Monocacy Creek assessment which is being finalized.

Pizza will be available if you are hungry, and a nice selection of donated fly tying materials will be available for purchase with a donation to the Chapter.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Troutlook Post on Stocking

The Troutlook.com is a website run by Shannon White, Ph.D. Candidate Penn State UniversityShe is currently doing research on the effects of stress on Brook Trout.  From time to time she also makes comments on fisheries issues/ polices.  Here are 3 great posts about the pros/ cons of hatchery stocking of trout.

It is a 3 part series.  Check them out here:

Pros vs. Cons of Hatchery Stocking: Part 1

 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Illick's Mill Restoration Underway

Here are some great articles about the restoration at Illick's Mill:

Lehigh Valley Live

Morning Call

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Monocacy Project Tour with Wildlands 10/12



Join Wildlands for a project tour and planting @ Illick's Mill on Oct. 12th.
Visit: http://www.wildlandspa.org/monocacycpt/ to register and for more info.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

T minus 1 month...

Just a reminder that the Monocacy Chapter monthly meetings will begin in a little over 1 month (Sept. 26th).  The board is hard at work creating a program schedule that has something for everyone.  We hope you will find something that interests you.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Up coming events..

After a pretty quite summer, the event calendar is starting to get active again.  Check out:

August 19th:  MCWA AND TU Stream clean up.  Meet at the end of Old York Rd.  Bethlehem, 9am. The focus will be on the lower Monocacy in the area of Musikfest.

Aug 20th: "Life in a Trout Stream", by Don Baylor.  Cherry Run Nature Center.  Flier HERE.

Aug 26th:  Wild Trout Summit, Pleaseant Gap PA.  Info HERE

 Sept 26th:  Monocacy TU Monthly Meetings Resume.

Also:  Work at Illick's Mill has started.  Be sure to check it out. 


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ants Marching....and flying

If you aren't fishing terrestrials yet, it is a good time to start.  Cars are covered in flying ants on warm, humid mornings, and trout LOVE ants.

Pro tip : Flying ants are a good indicator for trico's! 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

StepOutdoors 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Update from "the troutlook"

Check out the latest update from "the troutlook" blog.  Interesting results in Brook Trout movements are starting to come in...

http://www.thetroutlook.com/latest-updates

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Meeting reminder

Monthly Meeting Reminder.
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Monthly Membership meeting reminder.

Join us this coming Tuesday, May 23rd for our monthly membership meeting.

This months "meeting" will be fishing the sulpher hatch on the Monocacy, and due to the large number of hotdogs left over from last months meeting, Chapter Pres Erik Broesicke will be grilling up some pre- fishing 'dogs to keep you going strong through the hatch.

Food will start at 6pm at the big pavilion in Illick's Mill Park.

If you are interested in learning how to fish the sulpher hatch, fly Fishing, trout fishing, or fishing the Monocacy Creek in general THIS IS THE MEETING YOU SHOULDN'T MISS.
Follow us on social media, send us a note or check out our website with the links below.
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

BIO Blitz @ Johnston Conservation area!

1st Annual Bio Blitz!

​Friday and Saturday April 28-29

Starting Friday morning at 5:30am to Saturday at noon. We only have 30 hours to document very living species on the estate. Can you help us?
Bird banding, electro- fishing, trail cams, stream studies and more.


We are building a team of experts, leaders, students and community members to work together to identify as much as we can on the property’s 9 ecosystems.

8 Teams:
  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Insects
  • Herpetology
  • Trees
  • Creek (Fishes and Macros)
  • Ferns/flowers/fungi
 
Event Staff:

The event will be divided into 6 hour shifts, but participants can stay longer or leave earlier if they must. 

We will be planting 100 trees!

Join us and bring your friends for this important day of exploration, community, and fun!


For more information or to volunteer contact us:
Jenna Schlener at schlenerjen@gmail.com or
Victoria Bastidas at victoriabastidas01@gmail.c
om

Thursday, April 13, 2017

KEYSTONE/TU TEENS CONSERVATION CAMP

KEYSTONE/TU TEENS CONSERVATION CAMP

FLY FISHING CAMP FOR TEENAGERS IN PENNSYLVANIA


Keystone/TUTeens Conservation Camp is one of two Fly Fishing Camps for teenagers in Pennsylvania. Keystone the latest of the camps is located in the Beautiful Wyoming Valley within the Tunkhannock Creek/Susquehanna River watersheds. The camp is open to teenagers from 14 to 18 regardless of race, creed, sex or economic status. The camp offers a cultural interaction between a maximum of 24 student campers. The camp is located on the Campus of Keystone College and is a partnership between Keystone College and the surrounding Northeast and Northcentral Chapters of Trout Unlimited. Student campers reside in the college dorms and are fed 3 squares a day in the campus cafeteria. Life seems trouble free when your studies are completed on the beautiful stream that runs through the center of the campus and your classrooms are both indoors and outdoors.
Mentor leaders and houseparents are there to guide your camper through all phases of instruction and down time. Anyone coming in contact with the campers has a Background check pursuant to Pennsylvania law. Instructors come from a broad range of backgrounds. We have three instructors from three different Universities and colleges, professional from agencies like the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, County Conservation Districts and Penn State Agricultural Extension office. Of course there are also the well informed and reliable Trout Unlimited Volunteers and Water Quality Specialist from the American Petroleum Institute.
Councilors and Campers are available for emergencies through
a single number: 570-954-5042.

For more info, check out http://www.flyfishingsummercamp.com/

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Gill lice found in PA again, this time in Rainbows.

Another discovery of gill lice, this time in stocked Rainbows, raises questions about raising fish, who is responsible and what the implications are.

Full article HERE

Gill lice were originally found last year in Brook trout that were stocked in streams in central PA.  Some of those streams have wild Brook trout which will now be infected by gill lice.

Original post HERE

Film Tour Success!

A very special "thank you" to everyone who attended the Fly Fishing Film Tour 2017.  This year was another amazing success, and we nearly sold out BOTH nights!  The support from the community for this event is truly appreciated and there is no doubt this event would not be possible without it.

The Monocacy Chapter would also like to recognize the support of our partners:


  • ArtsQuest and SteelStacks
  • Jerry Hadden, Upper Delaware River Fly Fishing Guide Service
  • Russel Parks, The Missoulian Angler
  • Wildlands Conservancy
  • Tim Flagler, Tightlines Productions
  • George Maciag
  • Lehigh River Stocking Association
  • Cabela's
  • SkyBlue Outfitters
  • Ryan Shannon

The winners of our grand prize float trip prizes are:
Upper Delaware River: Nick K. ; George V.
Montana, Nick A.

All winners have been contacted.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Film Tour Countdown!

Less than 1 week until the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour 2017 rolls into the Banko Alehouse Cinema at SteelStacks.  Tickets are selling fast and you can save $5 per ticket buy purchasing ahead of time.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.steelstacks.org/event/3965/fly-fishing-film-tour/.  

Join us starting at 6pm for Fly Tying demos, food, drink, a chance at some great raffle prizes and to share fishing stories.

Raffle items include:

Grand Prizes: 
( To be drawn at intermission 3/29)
*Note:  Drift Boats Trips include cost of float trip only. Travel, lodging, food, gratuity and any other costs not included in prize and are the responsibility of the winner.

Nightly Prizes include:
  • Cabelas’ Prestige collection fly combo,  8’6” 5wt. 4 pc. $239.00 Value
  • Aleka 10' 7WT A4-710-4 Fly Rod donated by SkyBlue Outfitters. $170 Value
  • Artwork Donated by Wildlands Conservancy
FREE door prize raffles!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

TU on the Radio March 9th 6pm


WDIY logo

This Thursday, March 9th representatives from the Monocacy Chapter of TU will be taking to the radio waves!  Tune into WDIY 88.1FM @ 6pm!  Discussion topics will include Chapter programs, conservation work in the Valley and the Fly Fishing Film Tour being shown at SteelStacks  March 28th and 29th.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Data shows urban stream restorations fall short of water quality goals

By  on November 21, 2013 http://www.fondriest.com/news
A restoration on Boone Creek at Durham Park maintains manicured vegetation that provides no shade to the over-warm stream (Photo courtesy of Kristan Cockerill)
The urge to undo the damage humans have heaped on many waterways has spurred a billion-dollar stream restoration industry with a mixed track record. Water quality across the United States has improved over the past half-century. But as a recent case study of an urban stream in North Carolina shows, restoration projects often fail to achieve water quality goals when they’re driven by good intentions but not good data.
Early stream restoration efforts were based on assumptions about what would make a stream better, said Kristan Cockerill, a water policy analyst and assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department Cultural, Gender and Global Studies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February meeting reminder

  • Join us this coming Tuesday, February 28th for our monthly membership meeting.  This month we will welcome Dr. Frank Kuserk, Louise E. Juley Professor of Biological Sciences Director, Environmental Studies & Sciences Program Moravian College.
Meetings are held at the DAR Log Cabin on 8th Ave in Bethlehem and start at 7pm.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

January meeting reminder


Monthly Membership meeting reminder.

Join us this coming Tuesday, for our monthly membership meeting.

This months meeting will feature Chapter VP Mike Recine discussing his experience fishing in Alaska.

Meetings are held at the DAR Log Cabin on 8th Ave in Bethlehem.  Meetings start at 7pm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fly Fishing Film Tour 2017!!


Fly fishing aficionados, gear up for trout season and transport yourself to some of the most exotic angling destinations on Earth as the preeminent exhibition of fly fishing cinema, the acclaimed Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T), returns to the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks!.
A sell-out in each of its first two years, the Fly Fishing Film Tour at SteelStacks has expanded in 2017 from one night to two due to popular demand. During each evening, guests will enjoy a variety of breathtakingly beautiful short films focused on amazing angling destinations around the globe. Highlights include films focused on chasing monster rainbows and Pacific salmon on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Eastern Russia; battling giant tarpon off the coast of Florida; conservation efforts to protect trout and their habitat in Idaho and Montana; and even the pursuit of the Russian Nelma, a giant predatory fish that’s never been caught on the fly. The Fly Fishing Film Tour showings at the ArtsQuest Center are the only screenings of the film tour in region; the complete list of films and trailers is available at www.flyfilmtour.com.
Guests are invited to arrive starting at 6 p.m. each evening to see fly tying demonstrations by Trout Unlimited members, talk with fellow anglers and enjoy food and beverages from the ArtsQuest Center’s Mike & Ike Bistro (not included with ticket price).
Proceeds from the Fly Fishing Film Tour benefit the Monocacy Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s habitat improvement work and coldwater conservation efforts on streams throughout the Lehigh Valley, as well as the ArtsQuest Arts Education Programming Fund, which helps to support ArtsQuest’s free music, arts and education programming for the community.
Photo Credit: Matt McCormick
SCHEDULE
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 7:30 PM 
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 7:30 PM 
VENUE INFORMATION
Banko Alehouse Cinemas
ArtsQuest Center
101 Founders Way
Bethlehem, PA 18015
610-297-7100
map & directions

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    TU team wraps up unassessed waters survey work in PA

    By Kathleen Lavelle



    As fall turns to winter, Trout Unlimited staffers take stock of the previous season’s fieldwork while starting to plan ahead for the coming year.


    For the TU team working on the Unassessed Waters Initiative headed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, 2016 was another great year.


    I lead a team that spends several months every year in search of naturally reproducing trout in streams that have never been formally surveyed. The work helps to ensure higher protection standards through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).


    Each spring the Fish and Boat Commission sends us -- and other partners working on the initiative -- a list of streams to survey. We then go afield for survey trips, using electroshock gear that temporarily stuns fish so we can scoop them up in nets and identify them.


    In 2016, TU field staff surveyed 76 streams in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River basin and 41 streams in the Delaware River basin.


    Of those, a total of 35 streams -- nearly one-third -- were found to have naturally reproducing trout and are eligible to be added to the Fish and Boat Commission’s formal Wild Trout list.



    Since 2011, TU has surveyed 555 streams for this initiative, and dozens already have been added to the wild trout list.
    Listing of a stream section as wild trout water does not determine how the water is managed. However, the biological designation is among the factors the agency considers in its management approach to specific waters. Listed wild trout streams and their adjacent wetlands qualify for more stringent environmental protection.
    Pennsylvania contains nearly 62,000 streams, but the Fish and Boat Commission staff has been able to conduct surveys on fewer than 6,000 of those waters, totalling 24,511 miles. That’s only 9 percent of the stream numbers and less than 30 percent of the stream miles that the agency is able to actively manage.
    Trout Unlimited and other partners in the effort, such as universities, are providing crucial assistance in this important effort.
    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provides funding for the Unassessed Waters Initiative. TU's work for this initiative in the Delaware River Basin is also funded by the William Penn Foundation and the Kittatinny Ridge Coalition.
    In September, the Fish and Boat Commission voted to add 99 streams to the listing. Of those, 13 had been identified by TU’s Unassessed Waters Initiative team.
    The Fish and Boat Commission will vote on another list of 99 proposed wild trout waters in January, 25 of which TU has identified.
    Even as we wrap up 2016 we are starting planning for 2017, with plans to survey many more streams, including more than 100 in the Delaware River basin alone.







    Kathleen Lavelle is the field coordinator for Trout Unlimited's Pennsylvania Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program, based in Lock Haven, Pa.

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    See what's in store for Monocacy Creek in Bethlehem

    LINK to Lehigh Valley Live.com article : http://s.lehighvalleylive.com/
    Kurt Bresswein | For lehighvalleylive.comBy Kurt Bresswein | For lehighvalleylive.com 
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on October 23, 2016 at 7:45 AM, updated October 23, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    27shares
    The Monocacy Creek in Bethlehem is a spring-fed, limestone-bed, Class A Wild Trout stream, a natural wonder in an urban area.
    But within the city's Monocacy Park north of Illick's Mill Road, rock check dams and railroad-tie banks give it an unnatural look while harming the ecology of the stream.
    Next summer, Wildlands Conservancy is undertaking an estimated $300,000 restoration of the stream from Illick's Mill Road north to just downstream from the park's pedestrian bridge over the Monocacy. The Works Progress Administration-era dam is outside the scope of the project.
    "There's so much opportunities for improvement here," said Kristie Fach, Wildlands' director of ecological restoration, during a tour of the project area Thursday.
    About 25 people took part in the tour, including members of the Trout Unlimited Monocacy Chapter who are excited about the effects the plan will have on improving fish habitat. The stream now is largely unshaded, and long flat stretches heat up the water during the summertime. 
    The stream boasts a strong wild brown trout population, and is also wildly popular with anglers after it's stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Trout Unlimited members said.
    Plans call for removing the creosote-soaked railroad ties and Gabion baskets that line the Monocacy's banks, Fach said. Infill will reduce its width by more than a foot on each side. 
    The rock check dams spanning the width will be replaced by V-shaped cross vane rock weirs that funnel the flow and create riffles, which are beneficial to fish and anglers alike. 
    It will be up to the public and city to prevent visitors from just stacking up more rocks to turn the weirs back into the rock check dams, said Fach. 
    Minsi Lake pegged for $3M dam rehabilitation
    The Lehigh Valley lake is on a Pennsylvania priority list. Work is expected to get under way next year.


    Wildlands, based in Upper Milford Township outside Emmaus, worked with Bethlehem's urban forester on selecting about 10 trees for removal due to poor health, dangerous root structures along the stream or because they may be in danger of falling in coming years. 
    Some are non-native London planetrees that resemble sycamores, and plans call for native varieties to be planted starting out at about 8 feet tall.
    "So our plans do involve removing some trees but we're going to have much more vegetation here than there currently is," Fach said.
    Swaths of wildflowers and shrubs are planned along the bank, alternating with grassy areas designed for access to the stream.
    Volunteers will be needed for the plantings, which will follow the roughly month-long steam construction scheduled in summer 2017, during what is traditionally a low-flow time for the stream. 
    The city supports the project and will look at improving parts of the asphalt path along the stream, said Jane Persa, acting director of parks and public property, and a participant in Thursday's tour.
    Funding for the project is coming from conservation and flood-remediation grants, including from Northampton County Open Space, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and state Department of Community and Economic Development.
    Designed by Langan Engineering, the restoration still requires reviews by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in addition to permits from the Northampton County Conservation District and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
    Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.