Archive for IFFF

The week ahead in fly fishing: March 27, 2107

Posted in Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Trout Fishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on March 26, 2017 by stflyfisher

The traditional opener of trout fishing is less than a week away. After throwing a late winter curve ball that blanketed the Southern Tier with up to 3 feet of snow, Mother Nature’s reversal could make local creeks, streams, and rivers swollen and moving for Saturday’s opening day. Until the weekend, though temps were on the increase, it was a very gradual trend with below freezing temps at night. Cross your fingers that we don’t get to flooding conditions and retain some of that beautiful early spring snowpack.

Fly shop talk: It’s that time of the season where NY’s DEC gears up for stocking local creeks and streams with hatchery-reared brown trout. Local ponds and lakes typically receive rainbows. Hopefully flows will be reasonable given the current ground saturation, snow pack, and expectation for rain and warmer temperatures. Stocked trout are not everyone’s idea of trout fishing but they can help shake off the winter casting rust and let’s face it, feeling the tug is a nice way to start the season off. If you know someone looking to get started in the sport, early season stockies are the ticket. A simple 3 – 5 weight outfit and a basic selection of flies (stonefly nymphs, wet flies, wooly buggers and small streamers) are all that’s needed. Stocked trout typically take a fly pretty aggressively and if dead-drifting is not working, it can pay to put some movement in the fly. But don’t take stockies for granted. In his wonderful book, Trout Tactics, Joe Humphreys discusses “conditioning” of trout and how some familiar circumstances can turn trout on to feeding. He tells of a case where he was fishing a stocked stream with, as he put it,”plenty of company”. No one, even the great Joe, was having any luck. After a while, one angler threw a handful of pebbles across the stream. Guess what happened? The trout suddenly turned on to feeding. The reason? Stoked trout are conditioned to feeding from above when automatic feeders spread pellets across the holding tanks. The pebbles imitated this and triggered the trout to feed!


Early season stockie…

Here’s the fly fishing report for the week ahead:

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: The Douglaston Salmon Run reports that flows have dropped to very nice levels but the fishing seems to remain a mix.

Flows have dropped from an initial flow of 1150 all the way down to 750. Warming temps have also attracted more anglers to the run. Swinging streamers, fishing stonefly nymphs, and egg patterns have all produced. Whitakers reports that the drop in water level has helped get a few more anglers out on the water. Anglers stopping into the shop who fished the Lower Fly Zone reported landing some steelhead on a mix of nymphs and single egg patterns. Other anglers who fished the upper section of river between Altmar and Pineville reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing and float fishing with blue egg sacs. In the lower end of the river anglers who fished the DSR reported landing some steelhead while swinging flies or bottom bouncing and float fishing with egg sacs. There are steelhead also being landed at some of the smaller local tributaries.

Suggested patterns:

  • Wiggle stone in blue, peacock, chart, pink. size 10
  • Rusher nymph in blue, purple, chart. size 10
  • Steelhead hammer in black, red, blue. size 8
  • Steelhead stone in purple, red, orange. size 8
  • Sucker spawn in blue, cream, white, peach. size 8
  • Steak-n-eggs in pink, orange, chart. size 10
  • Steelhead bugger in size 8.


Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone reports that things are back to normal in the Central NY Region for this time of year.

Here’s John’s lake-by-lake report:

  • Cayuga Lake:  Fly-fishing  and casting with gear has been productive for landlocked salmon and brown trout along with occasional rainbows and lakers.  Lake trout jigging is also productive.  The water level has come up quite a bit and launching shouldn’t be a problem at most launches – at least for now!
  • Seneca Lake:  Fishing is currently fair to good for landlocked salmon and brown trout.  Very few boats were out of Watkins Glen perch fishing when we went out.
  • Keuka Lake:  Lake trout fishing should still be good here.
  • Owasco Lake:  Lake trout fishing should be good here.
  • Skaneateles Lake:  Rainbow trout, landlocked salmon and yellow perch fishing should be good here.

Fly fishing events: Here’s a summary of upcoming events:

  • It’s still not too late to sign up for the Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter of IFFF’s Fly Fishing Academy, scheduled for Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. This year marks the TT5R’s 10th anniversary for the Annual Fly Fishing Academy. The event will be held at the Campbell-Savona High School in Campbell, NY. This is a high quality fly fishing course, open to Adults and to Youth 11 yrs old and over. 
    This full day class is designed for beginner and intermediate fly fishers to develop and expand techniques and skills. The day includes three casting sessions led by a Certified Casting Instructor. Learning sessions throughout the day are taught by fly fishers with vast experience and include fly fishing strategy, knot tying, gear selection, fly selection, getting started with trout and bass, and more. Nymph, dry fly and streamer techniques are demonstrated in a full-scale model stream. Lunch and snacks are provided. No equipment is necessary. Class fee is $85 for Adults (ages 16 and over); $40 for Youth (ages 11-15, accompanied by a registered Adult). TTFR Members are also eligible for a $10 discount. Space is limited and filled last year, so you are encouraged to register early. Prepaid registration is required by Fri., March 31st. Contact Steve Harris 607-377-4956 or Kirk Klingensmith 607-346-7189
  • The Eastern Waters Council of IFFF, parent organization of the BC Flyfishers and Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter, is having a contest to bring in new members, called “Giving the Gift Of Membership”. The contest is to encourage current members to buy an IFFF membership as a gift to a fly fishing friend, fishing buddy, or family member. You will be entered in a raffle for a new Sage Rod and Reel. To enter the contest, call Kat Mulqueen (406-222-9369 X106) at IFFF headquarters, tell her you are from the BCFF chapter or TTFR chapter, Eastern Waters Council and that you want to participate in the Giving the Gift of Membership. You will need to provide the giftee name, address and email and pay for their membership. There is also a prize for the club that brings in the most new members. You will be helping your buddy, your Club and the IFFF, and you will be eligible to win an awesome new rod and reel! The contest ends May 1st.

The week ahead weather: WBNG’s week-ahead weather forecast is as follows:

Rain showers will continue rolling through the Southern Tier in waves for the next few days, and some fog or low clouds are also possible with a very moist atmosphere. Rainfall and snow melt may cause low-end moderate flooding at some locations. The chance of moderate flooding has decreased in the past 24 hours. However, there is still the chance of low-end moderate flooding come the first half of the week. There is no indication of any major impacts from flooding after these rain showers, and any flooding similar to the 2011 flood is out of the question. The seasonable temperatures we’ve had over the weekend will continue and even warm into the mid-50s through next week. High pressure then slides into our area come the second half of the week, keeping skies mainly clear and keeping temperatures above average to wrap up the work week.



The Fly Fishing Academy – priming anglers for spring…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , on March 25, 2017 by stflyfisher

The date of April 1st is a great motivator for most anglers in New York. These days it’s less functionally significant for the fly fisher – many trout waters, for example, are open all year under special regulations – but for the bait fishers and those who keep what they catch, the date remains a true season opener. Still, April 1st just rings well on a few fronts – tradition, the potential for spring-like weather, and lastly, a true opening for the year in fishing on most waters and for most species.

In step with the opening of the spring fishing season, the Twin Tiers Five Rivers (TT5R) chapter of IFFF offers its Fly Fishing Academy. Before delving into the particulars of this event, I’ll provide a history to its past, courtesy of current chapter President, Kirk Klingensmith.

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TT5R chapter President Kirk Klingensmith uses a unique floor map of a trout stream to demonstrate presentation techniques to trout at the TT5R Fly Fishing Academy.

The TT5R was chartered as an IFFF chapter in 2000. The chapter started its first year with a mission focus on education, teaching fly fishing by holding a casting seminar. Three years later, the event took on a form closer to Ithaca Fishing Day where many in the public were welcomed to try the sport through fly tying, casting, knot tying, and other fly fishing skills. These early events featured a very popular catch and release trout pond for youth and introduced fly fishing to an estimated 200-300 per year. Though the revised format introduced a lot of people to the sport, TT5R leadership did not feel the approach was providing attendees enough detailed knowledge to retain their interest in the sport over the long term.

In 2006, the chapter decided to revise the event format to that of a full day fishing school. Kirk Klingensmith, current President of the chapter, led the organization of the first “Academy” as well as developing the curriculumn. Initial staff included Joe and Carol Cambridge (Joe still teaches at the Academy) and Dave Rothrock. Both Dave and Joe have written for Fly Fisherman magazine and are known nationally.

This year will be the chapter’s 10th year of the Academy format. Unlike the original events, the Fly Fishing Academy is now more student-focused with a limited class size of 25-32 students per year. TT5R leadership has found that students pick up the sport more effectively through this format. The Academy has introduced or advanced fly fishing for over 300 people in this way.

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Fly Fishing Academy graduates, eager to hit the water…

The TT5R staff currently includes Chas Elliott, IFFF Certified Casting Instructor. Chas trained for over 2 years to achieve this casting certification. Three others on staff have been formally trained in casting instruction. Teaching staff includes fly fishers with well over 100 years of combined experience. Over the years, Kirk Klingensmith estimates TT5R has introduced fly fishing to 1,500-2,000 people.

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Casting instruction is a major component of the curriculum of TT5R’s Fly Fishing Academy.

This year the Fly Fishing Academy will be held on Saturday, April 8, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Campbell-Savona High School in Campbell, NY. It’s open to adults and to youth, 11 yrs old and over. The class provides beginner fly fishers with the basic knowledge and skills to get started, and will help those familiar with the sport onto a fast track to improvement. Classroom topics include fly fishing equipment and its use, fly types and their usage, knot tying, reading water, basic entomology, fishing dry flies, streamers, and nymphs, and how to properly catch and release fish. Most importantly, students will get a chance to develop fly casting skills through three sessions throughout the day. Students can bring and learn on their own equipment but are welcome to use the club’s equipment. More than 15 members and fly fishing experts will be staffing the school this year. Kirk Klingensmith is the Lead Instructor for the Academy and Chas Elliott will lead the fly casting staff.

Class fee is $85 for Adults (ages 16 and over); $40 for Youth (ages 11-15, accompanied by a registered Adult). TTFR Members are also eligible for a $10 discount. Space is limited and the class filled quickly last year, so early registration is encouraged. Also this year is filling even faster. If considering enrollment, get your reservations in soon. Do not miss your chance to attend this excellent school to start or advance your skills. Prepaid registration is required by Fri., March 31st. Contact Steve Harris at 607-377-4956 or by email at or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 or by email at