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jared051791 05-26-2009 09:16 PM

New to fly fishing. Help please!
Hey i am just getting into fly fishing and i leave in se pa about an hour north of philly. im wondering what type of flies i should be using in the local streams to try and bring in some trout. or is it too late at this point of the year to have much luck? so far i havent really caught anything but sun fish and i have been getting out 3 to 4 times a week so im beginning to wonder where im going wrong. im also fishing some lakes for bass and wondering if a woolie bugger is the way to go or what other flies i should be trying out?
thanks a lot for the help and i cant wait to get more into this!

Davo 05-26-2009 09:21 PM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
you should ask your local fly shop what is good at the time of year. I used to live on the Philly main line and fish year round mostly. There are lots of great little streams around there. Check for guide books for PA trout streams. I used to have several of them but gave them to friends when I moved to WY. Sorry I can't recall any names. Exactly where north of Philly are you?

jared051791 05-27-2009 08:47 AM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
awesome! i live in hatfield which is right near lansdale if you are familiar with the location at all

peregrines 05-27-2009 09:48 AM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!

Davo gave you great advice. June fishing can be exceptional, but a lot of the easier less selective stocked fish may have been cleaned out, or have become more acclimated to natural food sources. There are also some major hatches that tend to be harder to imitate with some of the standards that you might already have in your fly box because of their large size (Eastern Green Drakes and Stoneflies), light colored bodies (Sulphurs and Light Cahills).

A local fly shop (as opposed to a big box store) can give you advice on flies that might be working now--- most shops will have "hatch charts" for their local streams, and will be wired into the up to minute conditions. Hatch charts are available on line too like this one for NE PA:

Hatch Chart

Not all hatches will occur on all streams--- or on all sections of streams, but the hatch chart will give you a good idea of what to expect, when the best time of day tends to be to be on the stream to catch the hatch, and what the best "stages" of the life cycle tend to be the most important. Major hatches in June in PA are Eastern Green Drakes, Sulphers, Light Cahills, various Caddis, and Yellow Stoneflies. If you're going to be fishing in June, it would be a good idea to pick up a few patterns to add to your basic fly box of standards (like Woolly Buggers and Parachute Adams that are good go to flies but may not work as well during these hatches). To actually match the hatch, although a bit more expensive than discount flies, it's always a good idea to get locally tied patterns from a shop to match local specific hatches- as opposed to flies tied in Kenya or Thailand since there can be a lot of local variation in size and color of the naturals. A hatch chart like this is good to get a sense of what might be going on, but adding info from a local shop on what hatches are actually happening, specific flies to match them, and some advice on where to try-- specific sections could really help you get into them.

A site like Fly Fishing for Trout has tons of info on different hatches, and you can look up different mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies by their common (or better, their scientific name since common names are often used for more than one actual critter) to get detailed info on where to look for them in the stream ( fast water, or slow water stretches), detailed pics of different life stages so you can recognize them on stream, and fishing tips for that particular hatch. In addition to helping you learn a lot, it will also probably make your time on the water more enjoyable when you do connect if you put some planning into it and it actually works... And if nothing else, it will give you a profound sense of awe for the whole circle of life thing and make your time on the water more enjoyable fish or no fish.

Finally, I always suggest folks hook up with a local fly fishing group like a TU Chapter Council/Chapter Search | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries

or club affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers:
Locate a Club

Joining a group will really shorten your learning curve and most are very welcoming to new folks. They typically have fly casting clinics, tying classes, group trips as well as informative meetings, and you're sure to get a ton of info that would take years to learn on your own by trial and error.

Good luck and keep at it. The more time you spend on the water the better, and if you can add some good intel before hand from local knowledge, you'll increase your chances exponentially.


A local shop can also give you more specific information on where to fish--- if you're fishing for trout but mostly catching sunfish, you may be fishing in the wrong place.

Davo 05-27-2009 07:14 PM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
Hi Jared

Yes I'm familiar with Hatfield. Dated a gal from Horsham. Not too familiar with the streams in that area, but PA is filled with thousands of creeks and streams so I'm sure there is plenty of places for you to explore.

In my previous post I mentioned guide books. I did a quick Amazon search for the one I remembered and got the some good results. Just follow this link trout streams of Pensylvania: Books
The first book I remember as being very good and detailed by sections of the state. It is called "Trout Streams of Pensylvania"

jared051791 05-29-2009 08:59 AM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
thanks a lot guys. i stopped in at the local fly shop and they told me as far as trout are concerned, they have mostly cleared out of my area so i would have to head north some which i may end up doing. however they told me the smallmouths are starting to roll in and take over. they said to go with streamers like the woolie bugger and maybe a few dry flies like a deer hair popper. im wondering if there are any other nice flies to try out for smallmouth? and it has really been raining a lot lately, is that bad for fishing? or can i still make out fine when the water is murkey the day after it has rained?

thanks for the charts mark that should be a huge help!
and davo, i actually found those books at the bookstore the other day and i have been reading up on some streams in my area. thanks for the help!


Davo 05-29-2009 09:12 AM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!

Your most welcome and have fun!!

bono 05-29-2009 01:17 PM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Home Page Jared go to this site and you can find out anything,were to fish ect. in PA, im from up by Wilkes-Barre (Glen Lyon) good fishin

peregrines 05-29-2009 02:45 PM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!
Smallmouth are a blast on a fly rod.

Any of your trout streamers should work, including buggers, muddler minnows generally size 8 and 6. And any large trout dry flies like Grasshopper patterns in the summer, Stimulators (that you can skitter around on the surface) size 12 and up. And, you won't need them for awhile, but a lot of PA streams get a HUGE White Fly Hatch in August, usually in the evening into dark-- fishing large White Wulffs size 10 or 12 can be a blast. These mayfly hatches can be a blizzard and even show up on weather radar and have cancelled night baseball games. Smallmouths can go nuts when this happens, (but keep your mouth closed or you'll be eating bugs.) Next time you pop in to your local fly shop ask about the white fly hatch, I bet they can give you some good info on where and when to expect it near you.

Some good flies that are also great on SMB to try are Clouser Minnows in Charteuse weighted with bead chain, brass or lead eyes-- bead chain easiest to cast but won't sink as fast as brass, or lead. (Lead hardest to cast but fastest sinking.) They can be a bit tricky to cast at first, and heavily weighted flies can shatter graphite if they whack it on the cast, so I'd start out with beadchain ones first. And SMB LOVE crayfish, so something that looks like one- it can be a brown over orange Clouser, brown and orange woolly bugger, or something more realistic with claws is a good to throw.

Gurglers (a foam backed fly you can fish like a popper with twitches on the surface) are also good at times and can be a little easier to cast than deer hair bass bugs (they're less wind resistant) if you have a "trout weight" rod.

Smallmouth have a lot of heart and are very aggressive-- not as picky as trout can be, so you don't have to worry about small flies and matching the hatch-- and they fight like the dickens, usually jumping all over the place. You should have a blast.


JackStraw 06-25-2009 05:22 PM

Re: New to fly fishing. Help please!

How far are you from Holland?

I REALLY NEW to fly fishing and looking to take some lessons.

What fly shop have you been going to?

The closest one I can find seems to be near the poconos or near cabelas

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