Hanging with the guys from Upper St Clair Fly Fishing Club

This past week KG and I spent an evening with our old friends at the Upper St Clair Fly Fishing Club in Pittsburgh’s south hills.  We chatted with them about soft hackles, streamers and some of our favorite blue lines in western Maryland.  For the guys that were there and for those who couldn’t be there, below are the patterns we tied and the quick video we showed.

Partridge and Olive


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Expedition Fairfax Stone: Part 1

North Branch  012

What’s around the next bend in the river?  What’s over the next hill?  These questions plague us anglers.  The prospects of new water with prolific hatches, large trout and little pressure are the primary reasons why we choose to leave our loved and learned favorite waters and beats.  This past saturday lured by the the remote spot on a map and anecdotes of good fishing I ventured to an area of Western Maryland.  Initially this began as a search for more brookie water, but after research, it has become an historical expedition of sorts, to fish up to the source of the Potomac river.  It’ll take several trips to get there.

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Summer Gives Way to Fall

It creeps in one night through an open window while you’re trying to sleep and wakes you up shivering at 3am reaching for another blanket.  It happens again the next night and finally on the third you close the window before bed time.  It slowly corrodes the green leaves on the trees into a tabby of reds, oranges, yellows and browns.  It steals a few minutes of sunlight every morning and a few more in the evening.  You blink right after labor day, look at your calendar which now says October, and you realize, it’s Autumn.

After a few minutes of regret for the things you missed out on over the summer, you pivot to the gifts of the fall.  Pumpkin flavored everything, Octoberfest Beer, girls in sweaters, skirts and tall boots, and best of all, crisp mornings on the water.

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This trip was for the “Brother”

Adam, Ryan, Steve-O and myself made our way down to the home waters to search for our beloved trout and the Honey Badger.  Thankfully, we found them residing in the normal places at least the trout that is.  This  trip was for our good friend Gene.  We lost Gene about a week ago and without any of us saying or discussing to do a fly fishing trip, it just worked out and fell into place that the clan was able to go fish.  We started off the day by Steve-O picking KG up at 6:15 and meeting Ryan and Adam at Krispy Kreme drive thru at 6:30, great meeting place.  Adam needed a round of some type of coffee to wake his ass up.  Once the wake-up juice was bought from the dread-lock white chick we made our way down to Garrett County.

We landed onto the Lower Savage first to find that Adam was the star of the show.  Steve-O and I filmed until we had footage of Adam setting the hook and landing a Rainbow for the first time on POWERBAIT at the Lower Savage.  Just kidding, Adam was using a size 18 Dry and that is what he hooked the fish on.  He was very persistent on this fish because he missed it two times earlier.  That was Adam’s first but I also had a first as well.  My earlier post I mentioned that the next fish I catch would be for our good friend Gene.  I was fishing a wired stone on a section that I have fished a lot and as I was drifting my rig down through the hole I felt a tap and then a hook up.  It was the first fish of the year for Maryland and wouldn’t you know it, a native brook trout.  Surprising this fish would have been for Gene as well as the first Brook trout I ever caught out of the Lower Savage.  I like to think that it was a meant to be type of situation and the more that I think about it, I am convinced that it is.

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New Water

Every now then you need to stop and think about why adventure is so important to fly fishing.  All of us at B.C.I can agree that the adventure is finding or discovering new water that held different species of fish, mainly trout.  Don’t get me wrong it’s always an adventure when you travel somewhere for a trip or for the day to fly fish, but the adventure is something new, when you are on water you never fished.  If you stop and think about it, when you decide to fish somewhere new you first had to read or hear about it.  Secondly, you have to find out the rules and regulations of that water.  Thirdly, you need to know when and how to get there.  Lastly, when you get there this is when your adventure begins.

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Not so Savage of a Winter

So, this winter has been very forgiving to say the least.  It only sucked if you’re really into skiing or ice fishing, however it has been very generous to fishing.  Ryan was off, I was off, KG was in Amish country, Adam and Greg had to work.  Sorry boys, but Ryan and I couldn’t pass up a saturday in February with a forecasted high in the 50’s for western Maryland.  This was going to be the first BCI trip of the year, Ryan and I were stoked!

We met in a Wally World parking lot at 6:30am to load Ryan’s gear into La Poderosa before heading south below the Mason Dixon line.  Early season trips tend to start with incredible optimism yet end with, “well, it’s just nice to get out there.”  Saturday, the optimism was met and exceeded.

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In the past few weeks of fly tying I decided to experiment with the Fish Skulls on some older productive patterns. As you can see from above, they add serious realizm to just about any baitfish pattern. If you have already tried them out, you probably already know this. If not, you should definitely try them out. The sizing on the packaging is a little crazy, so here is my suggestion. First of all, the choice of hook size and gap. Small heads would be nice on a size 8 or 6, 4-5x streamer hook. The small/medium heads works nice for 6 or 4, 4-5x streamer hook. Medium heads are perfect for 4 or 2, 4-5x streamer hook. Large heads…well I would say a 2 or 1, 4-5x streamer hook or I would use these on a wide gap, short shank, saltwater hook for saltwter applications. With all of these hooks in mind, go with a wider gap or round bend hook. The sculpin helmets are still in exploration, due to hook gap issues.