Monday, March 13, 2017

In The Land Of Zane Grey, Rivers, and Flies

Back in the mid eighties I started hunting in the state of Pennsylvania. We primarily hunted deer but the license came with a spring turkey tag which allowed us to hunt wild turkey's. The spring season pretty much encompassed the month of May which is about as good as it can be, I mean cool mornings, which is the time of legal hunting, have to be out of the woods by 1PM, and the afternoons and evening were for the most part very comfortable. So I'm in Pennsylvania with a free afternoon-evening and nothing to do. The light came on and soon a fishing license was purchased and that opened up something to fill said time.

There was a wonderful river that flowed close to the game land I hunted, it's name is the Lackawaxen. A fairly long river and at times a big fast flowing river. The area I would normally fish was a power control river, they would generate and the flows would increase and then the river would return to normal flows. The river was stocked and I am pretty sure it also had some wild fish.


Along its banks was a fishing shop, fly shop and a place where you could get some very valuable info on what was going on. On one trip to the river I stopped in and talked to the gent in the shop. The river had been good to me as far as catching fish. I was armed with the necessary flies and pretty much thought that was all that was needed. At the time I was not tying my own flies so when he suggested I try these which he referred to as "emergers" to quote him "there the best producers here". So I purchased several of them and went about my way. Making a long story short they were indeed the finest fly production wise I ever bought. An example "make ten casts and you had three hits" usually leading to a fish. This ratio was not always the norm but it was close.


This is that fly, as I remembered it. It's tied on a slightly different hook, for I don't think these hook were available. I do remember it was a log shank hook though.




This last fly was tied on a standard dry fly hook just to show a difference from the longer shank hook.

I don't know if the shop is still in business, for the last time I was there was in 2011.







22 comments:

  1. I am so envious that fly shops like that exist still. Over here so many are been driven out of business by the internet and chain stores Cherish them.

    Andy

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    Replies
    1. Becks and Brown Trout North Yorkshire
      Thanks
      Andy there are a few holding on here locally, but face that big one on the net. There are items that you like to see, feel and check personally first and that's something you won't find online.

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  2. Gorgeous Tie Alan.. I'm going to have to do a few of those up! I agree with Beck's and Brown... You see fewer and fewer of those little shops. Sad to see them go!

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    Replies
    1. Hibernation
      Thanks
      Will I have wanted to do this post for some time. I was doing some work in the garage the other day and found a box that held the flies I originally purchased from Charlie's shop...unfortunately the flies are on some streamside bushes. These little shops need our support.

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  3. Great post. I love to hear the tales of fishing in other parts of our country. Strange to see how similar we all are! Great flies; how were you fishing them? Swinging, drifting, skating?

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    Replies
    1. dawgvet1
      Thanks
      My friend you could fish them in any way that you mentioned. I don't have a preferred method.
      This blog has anglers from all over the world, and we love that.

      Perhaps I should have a few guest post.

      Delete
  4. My old stomping grounds, Alan. The Zane Gray pool is at the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware rivers. We fly fished it for trout and American shad, in the Spring. My inlaws had a cottage at Lk Wallenpaupak (source of water for power that discharges into the Lackawaxen). We fished for walleye, at the lake with a home made spinner whose blade was cut from a colorful alum beer can called an "Indian Joe". Arguably, the only rig that caught walleye, at Lk Wallenpaupak. Thks for the memories.







    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John I've fished that pool several times, never caught a trout but one late afternoon I was overwelmed with a shad blitz. Also in back of that little shopping center, the one with the restaurant and the sports shop I caught a big smallie. There are some terrific small wild trout streams in that area.

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  5. Beautiful tie, Alan. It looks like a dark version of the Genesee Jewel. What did you use for dubbing?

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    Replies
    1. mike
      Thanks
      Mike they are similar, but I think the Genesee Jewel has a holo tinsel wrap. The dubbing is SLF squirrel in bleached ginger.

      Delete
  6. What a great fly, Alan. I have to tie up some of those! I love that picture of the old fly shop.

    Sam

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    Replies
    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam it's a fine addition to your wet fly box. Quaint little place.

      Delete
  7. Alan
    Just when I think you can't tie flies any better, you surprise us with these fantastic flies. I really like the added hackle. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill it's a pretty simple pattern but it does have a few fish catching attributes.

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  8. I'm going to try to tie a few of these to see how they work here Alan. It's sad to see so many older fly shops disappear. Luckily we still have some in Colorado.

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard we have a few here as well, and I hope they can continue to offer their service, it's more than flies.

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  9. Cool shop and cool flies Alan..

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  10. Been there.....some time ago. Beautiful area, with a lot of history. Very nicely tied pattern Alan.

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    Replies
    1. Ralph Long
      Thanks
      Ralph history a plenty. Great small streams to.

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  11. Great short story, and pictures. I would love to see the inside of that shop, it looks tiny!

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    Replies
    1. Justin Carf
      Thanks
      Justin unfortunately the owner of that shop passed on last year and the place was sold. I don't know if it will ever reopen as a fly shop again.

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