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  • April 8, 2014

    The Foam Is Home To Epic Dry Fly Eats

    By Joe Cermele

    This cutthroat, hooked by my buddy and fellow blogger Tim Romano last week on Montana's Blackfoot River did not, as you can see, cooperate for a quick mug shot. But the fish isn't what's important in the photo. Take a look at the thick layer of foam behind the cutty. The trout was one of dozens dimpling through this big swath of clean, rich, frothy goodness we stumbled upon late in the day. While there is no such thing as a bad dry fly eat, I have always found that finding trout and catching them when they're sipping in the suds is a special treat that can be more challenging and rewarding than targeting rising fish in clear water. 

  • April 2, 2014

    The Elusive Blue Trout of Pennsylvania

    By Joe Cermele

    Genetically modified Palamino or Golden trout have always been a prized catch in the areas I grew up fishing in Jersey and Pennsylvania. But to be completely honest with you, they never did much for me. I never found them pretty and they weren't something I was dying to catch, though I have many comical memories of watching swarms of crazed anglers bombing a poor Palamino in a hole with every kind of bait and lure in their vests. I think the fact that the fish stick out like sore thumbs in most waters contributed to the loss of luster in my mind. However, if you dig hooking those orangey-white slobs, I've got a new quest for you: the elusive Pennsylvania blue trout.

  • February 19, 2014

    Potential World-Record Brown Trout Through The Ice

    By Joe Cermele

    Best I can tell, this video just popped up on the Interwebs yesterday. It was posted by Eric Haataja, a guide with All I know is that it was shot at Milwaukee Harbor, which is no doubt known for producing absolute slob browns. This one, per Haataja, actually measured one inch longer than the current world record. However, it appears the 39-inch beast will not be in the running, because Haataja made sure it was only out of the water for less than a minute and swam off healthy. For that I commend him. Good job all around, fellas! Talk about sending a client home happy.

  • February 11, 2014

    That Feeling You Get When You Realize You Only Brought One Wading Boot

    By Joe Cermele

    That's my buddy Nick in the photo below. Over the weekend he and I decided to make a 2-plus-hour drive west to hit a few Pennsylvania limestone spring creeks, because finding moving, fishable water that's not iced over closer to home is real chore this winter. I picked Nick up at 6 a.m. At 8:15 a.m. we pulled off a quiet country road in the hinterlands and got our first view of the gorgeous stream with its waving green watercress and little curls of rising steam. About 30 seconds later, Nick realized that only one of his wading boots made it into my truck. Cue panic. 

  • October 1, 2013

    Gear Review: Cabela's New American-Made Fly Rods And Reels

    By Joe Cermele

    In case you haven't noticed, there is a big push in certain industries—the outdoor industry in particular—to get back to producing wares in the good 'ol U.S. of A. Not long ago I found out that Cabela's was signing on for the movement with plans to introduce an American-made fly rod and reel series. Ray Zink, Cabela's Flyfishing Manager, told me the time seemed right, so the brand partnered with a small rod manufacturer based in the Pacific Northwest. The result is the American Dream rod series, and the WLz reel series, which is also produced state-side and designed by Waterworks-Lamson. I got my hands on a test combo so I could "live the dream," if you will.

  • May 1, 2013

    Stickbaits for Trout: Match Your Lure to the Size of Your River

    By Joe Cermele

  • April 26, 2013

    How To Tie The Trophy Wife Streamer

    By Joe Cermele

    Though I get all fuzzy inside when a trout sips a dry fly or slurps a nymph on the swing, I will take the crushing blow of a big brownie slamming a streamer over the more dainty stuff any day. And the bigger and uglier the streamer, the more pumped I am to throw it. That's why I'm really digging Thomas Harvey's Trophy Wife...which just so happens to be tied in this video by Brian Weiss with help from his real trophy wife. Granted, there's about $40 worth of material in this bug, but it's dead sexy and there will be some Trophy Wives in my flybox before my next visit to the river. I particularly like this tying video because of the clear, concise portrayal of each material and step. Yeah, that's it. Let's go with that. Have a great weekend.

  • December 12, 2012

    Taking A Seat to Catch Trout

    By John Merwin

    Some of my best trout fishing has always been done sitting down. That’s mostly because I try to watch a piece of water for a while before actually starting to fish. I can often do that as well sitting instead of standing. For that same reason, many of my favorite trout pools have a flat rock somewhere along the shoreline that invites sitting, relaxing, and watching attentively.

    I have at times shared such places with others. There are fond memories of sitting on a bench along Pennsylvania’s fabled Letort Spring Run, watching and waiting for trout to rise. They were Charlie Fox’s benches, which he built behind his house for trout watching. Back in the 1970s, he’d sometimes see me there and come out to sit along side, visiting while all the while watching for fish.

  • November 21, 2012

    Wanted: Your Best Small-Stream Fly Tips for a Rookie Caster

    A Guest Post by Assistant Editor Kristyn Brady

    Western Maryland may not be known as a trophy trout haven, but if you find yourself on Route-81 coming from Pennsylvania or West Virginia and itching to fish, stop in at Beaver Creek Fly Shop in Hagerstown, MD, and chat with shop owner and guide James Harris (below, showing me the ropes). I happened to be in the area last weekend and saw the opportunity to get some more fly fishing hours under my belt and possibly hook a wild brown or two in Beaver Creek—a limestoner that's known for offering year-round opportunity to flycasters. What I got was my first lesson in the challenges of a small, clear eastern creek.

    Since I first picked up a fly rod last September, the few places I've fished offered plenty of backcast room. That luxury helped me get comfortable casting pretty fast, as did the chance to take a 30-mile float on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Covering that much water forced me to cast over and over for days and to choose target spots quickly as we drifted past. But the conditions at Beaver Creek caught me off guard.

  • November 20, 2012

    If You Had to Teach Someone to Tie Flies, Which Pattern Would You Start With?

    By Joe Cermele

    There is a really good article posted on the website of the Alaska's Peninsula Clarion about tips for getting young people started in fly tying. In it, author Brian Smith interviews area flyfishermen and fly shop owners to get their pointers, a lot of which make sense. As a few examples, guide Nick Ohlrich suggests starting with flies that don't imitate something too specific, such as a flesh fly instead of stonefly nymph. Guide Lee Kuepper says beginners should start with a kit rather than get overwhelmed by choosing individual materials. It's worth a read, but it made me think of which patterns I'd start with if I had to teach someone to tie.

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