Dark Skies Fly Fishing

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Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey

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Steelhead season of 2023 started out slow thanks to low and clear water. Fish that entered the tributaries had nowhere to go due to low flows and piled up in the lower parts of the streams where anglers relentlessly pursued them.

The Cumberland Valley is home to a number of great limestone-influenced trout streams. Among them, Yellow Breeches Creek is perhaps at the best. With good numbers of wild trout as well as being heavily stocked with rainbows, the “Breeches” is a very high quality fishery with excellent hatches.

The Hare and Copper Variant is a slight variation of the venerable Hare and Copper, which is really just a Euro nymph variation of the classic Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph. As with most patterns, contrast and natural colors make this a great fly for fish almost anywhere trout are found.

In this video, Justin Leidy catches a beautiful wild brown on one of his confidence flies, the Killer Bug. Ralph Scherder then shows how to tie this simple and effective pattern as well as a variation of this pattern that works well as a Baetis imitation.

Steelhead are known to be finicky. In this video, we show you how to tie and fish three of our favorite fly patterns that we use for 90% of the Great Lakes steelhead we catch. These patterns are simple and deadly, beginning with the Y2K.

Sometimes the trout are easy to figure out. Many times, they’re not. In this video, we spend an evening on the water and dive deep into our bag of tricks, catching fish using five different methods.

Big dry flies are a lot of fun to fish, but they can also present a few problems. In this video, we show you how to deal with line twist to make better presentations and catch more trout on big attractor dry flies.

The Royal Coachman is among the most recognizable fly patterns of all time. In this video, Ralph Scherder uses the pattern for the first time ever and quickly finds out why it’s so popular…it catches fish!

In this video, Justin Leidy discusses four ways to adjust the weight on your Euro rig. Also, and perhaps even more beneficial, he makes an on-stream adjustment and shows viewers how to work a small stream pool to catch more trout.

Join Ralph Scherder on a fishing adventure as he turns to Slate Drakes to prospect for native brook trout on this mountain stream in northcental Pennsylvania. As it turns out, Slate Drakes were on the menu, and the brookies were hungry!

The X Caddis is not only an effective caddis pattern, it also doubles as a mayfly emerges. In this video, Ralph Scherder discusses how to tie and fish this fly.

If you’re looking for a simple but deadly nymph that’s easy to tie, this video shows what has become one of Ralph’s go-to patterns and confidence flies. 

Ralph Scherder explores First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek in early September. Expecting to use hoppers, he has to change his plans when a massive baetis hatch materializes. This video includes tips for fishing both big and small flies!

Small stream smallmouth bass on the fly are fun. They’re not always huge, and most will range only 7-12 inches long, but for what they lack in size, they make up for with heart. Their aggressive personalities and ferocious strike make them prime candidates for fishing for them with streamers.

In this video, we tie up one of George Harvey’s legendary Pusher Flies. George Harvey, often referred to as the “Dean of Fly Fishing,” created the fly fishing and fly tying course at Penn State University back in 1934, where he taught thousands of students over his 40-year career. The Pusher Fly has been used to catch many big brown trout at night, including Joe Humphreys’s huge 15-pound brown that was once the state record.

Follow Dark Skies Fly Fishing contributor Justin Leidy as he explores a Class A trout stream in Cameron County, where the brookies are always hungry…usually! But this is summer, and although the trout will still readily take any fly that resembles food, they’re cautious beyond belief, and the slightest movement can spoil the whole approach.

Join Ralph Scherder as he explores the Lackawanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania. Once a dead river, the Lackawanna is now a thriving wild brown trout fishery, and definitely worth a visit if you’re traveling through the area. 

This video shows step by step how to tie the Sexy Walt and two variations, the Rainbow Dubbed Walt and the CDC Walt. It’s no secret that the Walt’s Worm is one of the deadliest nymphs ever developed. 

In this video, Dark Skies Fly Fishing contributor Justin Leidy discusses the importance of color changes in riffles and runs and how to locate the seams where fish are most likely to be feeding.

Join Ralph Scherder of Dark Skies Fly Fishing for some midsummer fishing after a rainstorm. He set out to catch a big wild brown, but he wasn’t expecting to find one quite like this!

While fishing the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of Pine Creek in the PA Grand Canyon, Ralph encounters an unexpected mayfly hatch…and lots of rising trout!

Shot on Yellow Creek in Bedford County, PA, this short, instructional video teaches the basics of Euro nymphing, including gear needed (or not needed) and a simple approach to fishing productive water.

Ever wonder how biologists survey trout streams to assess populations? This video shows the process as well as a few surprising finds along the way!

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