Autumn Panfish

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

I have spent most of my life in a near-suburb of Philadelphia. I often feel envious of people who live full-time in areas I regard as fly fishing destinations. Not just the glamour spots like the American Mountain West. There are plenty of places right here in Pennsylvania that seem far more desirable, in terms of more fish, better scenery, and fewer humans.

However, I’ve learned over the years to appreciate what I do have here—a generally year-around fishery for a variety of species. As long as you’re not a snob about what you catch, fishing opportunities abound here in what has been colorfully described as “the armpit of Pennsylvania.” When I first told friends in my native New Jersey that I was marrying and relocating to Pennsylvania, several of them said “Oh! God’s Country!”

I said, “Not where I’m going.” But I married for the love of a man instead of my love of fishing, and here I’ve been ever since—40 years this past April.

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Day Trip Upper Big Hole

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

The Big Hole River in SW Montana has many faces. The upper reaches around Wisdom, Montana present anglers many challenges.  First of which is that it is essentially in the middle of nowhere, a long way away from even modest Montana civilization. Wisdom, named for the Wisdom River (as the Big Hole was originally named by Lewis and Clark), boasts a whopping population of 100 +/-.  At 6000 feet MSL, mornings can be frosty, even in August. The stretch from Wisdom to the access point at Fishtrap Creek, some 15 miles as the crow flies is a wide, meandering low gradient stream with lots of weed growth.  Pools and runs with any meaningful depth are few and far between. Very much unlike the canyon and cottonwood bottom reaches farther downstream. Although the upper Big Hole has healthy flows as runoff subsides, it is subject to serious dewatering for irrigation and mid-summer and fall flows can become dangerously low.

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Day Trip on the Upper Ruby River

cline upper ruby 1Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT
After weeks of big river fishing with streamers, I needed a break. So on a cool Tuesday morning in July I set off early for the headwaters of Stinking Water River (better known today as the Ruby River) in southwest Montana. The Ruby flows some 76 miles from its origins on the flanks of the Gravelly and Snowcrest Ranges to its confluence with the Beaverhead near Twin Bridges, Montana. Nestled in the valley between the two 10,000 foot mountain ranges, the main stem of the Ruby starts at a modest 6800 feet just north of the remote Centennial Valley in a lovely, willow filled meadow. Dozens of small streams flow into the Ruby near its headwaters as it grows on its journey down the Ruby valley. The Ruby got its name in 1877 for the prolific garnet finds in the valley.

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