Check out this great video from Wild Steelheaders United here.
Brian DiSabatino checked in with us on facebook and shared this wonderful steelhead he caught on salmon and chartreuse egg patterns. Brian said, "Thanks for the gear!" Have any great pictures of fish you would like to share? Message us and we will post them. Thank you for sharing Brian!
Here is a great video about how the Ska-opper came to be. Informative for everybody, all of the guys in the Smallmouth tying class should check this out. Make sure you stick around for the "Live Action" at the end. it is Awesome!
Well, it is with a heavy heart and a big sigh that I packed all of my wet wading gear away for the year. I am not saying that the Smallmouth game is done, in fact this could be one of the best times of the year to land a big ole' bronze back as they try to pack on the pounds for winter. What happens is as I see all the beautiful pictures that get mailed and text to me it doesn't take much for the Trout bug to bite me and then it is game on...
All of our southeastern PA rivers have received a heavy dose of fish in the last 2 weeks. With the WCFF stocking and the state stocking all of the branches of the White Clay are chock full of fish. There is a mixture of fresh stockies, stocked fish that have been in there for a few weeks, and a few hold overs for sure. Buggers, Weenies, and worms will always bring fish to hand. My guess would be that some of the fish that have been in there for a while have switched to more natural food sources, and the deadly tandem of a Copper John and a Zebra midge should produce well. if you prefer to fish on top Midge patterns such as Griffiths Gnat would be in the game, and I am sure some of the fish would would be willing to eat a well placed attractor dry such as the Thunder Dome, Purple Para Wolf, Stimulator, and Royal Wolf. We still haven't had a frost yet, at least not at my house, so Hoppers and Crickets should still be in the game.
Rat Squad member One Boot Ed sent me this fine picture of a good brown he stuck on the middle branch last week.
Dr Jim Reamer was up on the West Branch of the Octoraro the other day. The good news was there are "many many" fish in the river. The problem is they had a bad case of lock jaw the day he was up. Jim reported all of the fish seemed to be huddled together at the bottom of the deepest holes. Jim was fishing on top all day and found the fish UN-willing to take his hoppers or caddis imitations. His good friend and angling partner had a better time nymphing up a few fish. I am sure as the fish get acclimated to their new surroundings they will be more willing to and and this means we could have good fishing on the west branch for quite some time.
I received some great pics from Rat Squad member Rick Bender this week. Rick is as much an artist with the camera as he is with a fly rod. Great pics. Rick. Thank you for sharing.
The reports from the Salmon River we have received other the last week are that the Salmon bite had eased off. There are a lot of Salmon on the beds and the Steelhead are behind the salmon waiting for eggs.
In the Salt the Beaches are still full of 2 to 3 pound Bluefish. Small Stripers are still in, and Roosevelt inlet may get the nod. Rat Squad member Bill O'Connor believes he hooked a Spec at the inlet last week. The hook pulled before he landed it, but he he was confident it was a Spec.
Fall is the a great time of year to get out and fish. We hope to see all of you out on the river.
Rain brings with cooler air temps and cooler water temps. Most of the southeastern PA trout streams got a healthy dose of fish this week. Many anglers have been having good days on the middle branch of the White Clay. Shop friend and good customer Jessie Reyes, lives in Florida and is an accomplished salt water fisherman. Jessie is up here for work and has been spending some time on the Trout rivers in our area. He sent a few pictures across the wire, one of which i believe was the first Trout he has ever landed. The second pic was a solid fish that looked to be in the 16" to 17" class. Great job dude! keep stopping in and we will make an eastern fly fisher out of you yet!
Jessie also shot a video of himself landing a fish with the Go Pro cam you see on his chest. I am trying to get the link to the video so I can put it up on the blog. It is way cool!!!!
It will take a while for the fish to acclimate themselves to their newly acquired residence and for the "wild" instincts of the Trout to kick in. Until then attractors like the Green Weenie, the San Juan worm in red, pink, chartreuse, and purple, and buggers of all colors should get the job done. If you prefer to fish on top any version of the Elk Hair Caddis with a tan body would be a good choice, as well as Stimulaters, Thunder dome's, and any big bushy attractor dry should bring fish up. It is definitely getting cooler, but we have not had a frost yet. Plenty of Crickets and Hoppers are still around as well as ants, so don't forget your terrestrial box for the next week or two. The shop is fully stocked on all of these patterns, stop in and we can set you up.
Another friend of the shop Bob Flanagan was in yesterday with a report from Pulaski. Bob, along with may others, has been spending a fair amount of time up north chasing salmon. The reports are the run is still on strong and Bob said he landed about 40 salmon a day over the course of a 3 and a half day trip with about half a dozen fish over 30# and three over 40#. With the amount of egg yarn, and Estaz going out the door I would say egg patterns are the ticket. As soon as I get a few pictures from Bob I will get them up here, they are too good not to share.
The Delaware and Jersey beaches are still giving up a fair numbers of Bluefish in the 2 to 4 pound range with a few Stripers mixed in. Joe Gallagher said he had good Bluefish last Sunday at IBSP with a 2 pounder being the norm. The "man in the striped pajamas" should be following close behind the Blues...stay tuned.
It is a great time of year to be out, there is a nip in the air, The leaves are changing, and the fish are willing. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Get out and fish!
With this Echo Practice rod you can practice all of your single hand casting and with the new Spey adapter you can work on your two handed skills as well. Inside or out, single or Spey casts, this is a must have fly fishermen of all skill levels.
The Ska-opper is a simple, yet very effective Gurgler type fly. Below I have posted a video that features Scott Howell, the star of Skagit Master 2. In the 10 minute video Scott explains the origin of the fly, how they came up with the name and at the end it shows him putting it to task on the water. Originally developed as a Pac Northwest Steelhead fly. We at the shop have have been using it with great success on Smallmouth this entire summer. Because we are not dealing with the same current flows here in Delaware we have modified the body matl. and changed from spun deer hair to Estaz. This makes the fly much faster to tie and allows for color change of the body. The flies pictured have flash in the tail as well as rubber legs. I believe the rubber legs make a difference, as well as the flash, but this fly can be tied with only 3 materials; Marabou, Estaz, and Foam.
Spend a few minutes tying a few of these up and fish them, I will bet after the first strike you will be as addicted to Ska-opper fishing as we are, and yes for those of you wondering I am going to give these flies a shot over some trout as well as Stripers this fall.
Hook; TMC 8089, TMC 811S, or Mustad 3366
Tail; Marabou blood quill tied over a few strands of Krystal flash
Body; Estaz or Cactus chenille
Top; 2mm foam or 1/8" Evazote
For Smallmouth I seem to prefer the brown / root beer color combo, but have caught fish on white / pearl, yellow / yellow and black. A size 10 8089 (currently on back order) or a #2 3366 hook fit in well with the Smallmouth, but hook size can be adjusted accordingly.
As a added tip try hanging a small Nymph or Crayfish off of the bend of the Ska-opper. The popping will get their attention and when they see the dropper they may be more inclined to bite it. We call this the "Dinner Bell" set up.
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