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  • The Double Squirrel Nymph

    Posted on September 30 2020

    17 Comments

    Posted by Jake Villwock

    The double squirrel nymph has become a staple in my trout and steelhead boxes over the past few years. This little nymph is simple, and not groundbreaking by any means, but it works and it's fun to tie. I started tying this fly about 5 years ago because I was tired of my hare’s ear nymphs not being as buggy as I wanted them to be. So, I switched over to using SLF Squirrel dubbing instead of the traditional hare’s ear dubbing. After I reached the "bugginess" I wanted I decided to make it simpler and tie it without a wing case and change the collar color to dark brown to give it some contrast. This tying style is also referred to as “tying in the round”, no wing cases or legs, just a simple nymph profile. Then I got a little wild and added two hot spots, yup TWO, and that is ultimately how this bug got its name. Double Hot spots and tied out of squirrel dubbing, the “Double Squirrel”.

  • The B-52 Bombers of Late Summer!

    Posted on August 27 2020

    35 Comments

    Posted By Neil Sunday

    While the White Fly (Ephoron leukon) steals the show in mid-August, the “Hex” hatch remains my favorite on the Yellow Breeches.
    Around August 10th each year, I start scouting our streams in the evenings looking for the Hexes (Hexagenia limbata). Their sheer size and number, and the ferocity of the strike is what draws me to this oftentimes overlooked hatch.
  • A Forgotten Essential: The Hook Hone

    Posted on July 30 2020

    1 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    In the fly fishing world, we talk a lot about gear and accessories. This includes all of the little tools and products that are designed to make our life easier. Forceps, nippers, hemostats, zingers, floatant, shot, leader straighteners, threaders, knot tools… the list goes on. Let’s face it there is a lot of stuff out there that you can hang off of your vest or pack. For many of us, there seems to be too much stuff. We get a lot of new anglers that come into the shop that ask what do I really need. We also have a number of experienced anglers looking to pare down their packs and eliminate wasteful items that take up space and make you feel overencumbered on the water. Most people are going to be sure to have their hemostats and nippers, but there is one item that I consider essential that too many anglers forget or choose to pass on. The hook hone. Having an easily accessible way to sharpen hooks on the water is extremely important and here’s why.

  • Summertime Carpin'

    Posted on July 23 2020

    14 Comments

    Posted By Neil Sunday

    Summer is here and the water temperatures are in the 70s! At this point, many anglers will resort to traveling or perhaps just enjoying tying. 

    With the current Covid 19 situation, and travel being an elevated risk, I chose to learn how to catch carp on the fly rod this Summer!

  • Quick Tie: The Foam Beetle

    Posted on July 16 2020

    7 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    As we enter the heat of terrestrial season, I thought I’d share a recipe and some tips for tying the foam beetle. It’s a simple and effective terrestrial pattern that is extremely versatile. In smaller sizes, it can imitate small beetles and large ants, and in larger sizes it can imitate beetles and any other insect that may fall in the creek. It's a fantastic summertime pattern so check it out and get on the vise!

     

  • My Two Cents On Ants, Hoppers, and Beetles.

    Posted on July 08 2020

    28 Comments

    Posted By: Neil Sunday

    As the summer heat descends upon us, I’ll look to ants, hoppers, and beetles to bring trout to the surface. My home water (The Cumberland Valley) is steeped in traditions of terrestrial development for fly fishing along the Letort Spring Run and Yellow Breeches Creek.

  • BWO Series Videos - Part III CDC Sparkle Dun

    Posted on May 20 2020

    24 Comments

     

    Posted By: Lenny Gliwa

    Part III - CDC Sparkle Dun

    When Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi first created the Comparadun style of fly tying, they forever changed dry fly fishing across the globe. These deer hair flies sat lower in the film than their Catskill style predecessors and showed the trout something new. And the trout liked new… a lot. While the original Comparadun still dominates a large portion of each of my dry fly boxes, there are a number of incredibly effective variations on this style of tying. Craig Mathews, of West Yellowstone, MT and Blue Ribbon Flies fame, made a major contribution to tying with the addition of a zelon trailing shuck, and the Sparkle Dun was born. 

  • BWO Series Videos - Part II CDC Burke Emerger

    Posted on April 29 2020

    24 Comments

    Posted By: Lenny Gliwa

    Part II - CDC Burke Emerger

    Emerger patterns come in many styles, but one of my favorite and most consistent producers has always been the CDC Burke Emerger. This simple dry fly pattern has accounted for some of the largest dry fly caught wild trout I have ever seen. I was first introduced to this style of flies by my former boss, Paul Weamer. Weamer is, in my opinion, one of the foremost authorities on technical dry fly fishing for selective trout and is arguably the best fishing entomologist in the country. The Burke emerger is a platform that I manipulate to cover a wide variety of insects. Tie it in a size 14 with a pinkish body, and you have a fantastic male Hendrickson emerger. Tie it in a size 18 with a yellow body, and you now have your Little Sulphur emerger covered. The versatility is truly amazing. 

  • BWO Series Videos and The Bug Book by Paul Weamer Book Review

    Posted on April 03 2020

    13 Comments

    Posted by: Lenny Gliwa

    Series Overview Intro

    In this new video series, I hope to teach you about the major hatches of the Eastern United States and how to select flies to best represent those bugs. The thinking with these videos is that I wanted to not only show tiers how to imitate these insects, but also to teach every angler about my thinking in approaching each hatch and how bug behavior can impact fish behavior. After working for TCO for over a decade now, I have seen what troubles most anglers in selecting flies for a given hatch and my hope is that these videos will provide some insight into my process and hopefully provide some new information to help you be more successful on the water. With that, check out the first set of videos in this group of videos, The Blue Winged Olive Series. Please let me know what you think of the videos and what else you would like to see us doing.

     

  • Fly Of The Month - Hendrickson Dry Fly

    Posted on March 25 2020

    7 Comments

    Posted by: Neil Sunday

    It’s almost April, and the trout are starting to look up. Any day now, with this warmer weather we’ve been having, Hendrickson’s will make an appearance on the surface. 

  • Tying Tips and Patterns for Euro Nymphing - Part II

    Posted on March 19 2020

    4 Comments

    Posted by: Frank Landis

    My Confidence Patterns:

    Here are a few patterns that I will fish with confidence anywhere that trout live. From the east coast to the rockies, these flies have brought me success in all seasons and under a variety of conditions. You should try and develop your own lineup of flies that you consider your go to patterns if you don't have some already. I would fish these patterns along with a few others regardless of what fishing reports and guide books might suggest. That's not to say you shouldn't factor in some local knowledge and have other options, but having patterns you know will work anywhere goes a long way in your overall success. 

  • The Yukon Territory Part II - Pike

    Posted on March 11 2020

    Posted by Chris Frangiosa

    Continuing with The Yukon Territory Part II - Pike

    …with sinking lines and weighted flies in hand, we plied the dark waters.  The flies were chosen because they looked like small defenseless grayling and after only a few retrieves with the large streamers we were onto fish.  In the next few hours we caught and released many hard earned Lake Trout.  The trout’s steel-gray and black spots were bright from being in the river all summer and the fish fought strong and hard.  More importantly we had read all the signs, realized our abilities and put ourselves in the right place to catch Lake Trout on a fly.  After climbing the steep incline, I looked back upon the now calm waters and felt a sense of triumph, an impression that we had connected with nature on a higher level that night.

  • Fly Selection, Tying Tips and Patterns for Euro Nymphing - Part I

    Posted on March 11 2020

    7 Comments

      

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    Choosing a fly pattern is widely considered one of the most important decisions we make on the river. At the same time, it is largely over complicated, especially when nymph fishing. During most scenarios, we as anglers can be just as effective with a few patterns of different sizes and weights. There is no need to attempt to imitate every possible insect and nymph that we could encounter. In fact, I find that if a wide variety of nymphs are drifting through the column, fly pattern will be one of the least important parts of the puzzle. Even when a very specific hatch is going on, matching the pre hatch nymphs does not need to be very exact. For instance, when fish are feeding on pre-emerging sulphurs, I don’t think a true “sulphur nymph” will fish too much different than a generic pheasant tail pattern of the appropriate size. At the end of the day, you could tie on a terribly tied monstrocity and with a good drift, you’ll find a fish that will eat it eventually. I don’t mean to imply that fly pattern doesn’t matter at all, but I think most of us, myself included, will over analyze fly selection more than we need to.

  • Fly Of The Month - Hank's Sleepy Madtom

    Posted on February 21 2020

    Posted By: Sam Reibman

    I tied this fly to be a really simple sculpin/madtom pattern that ties up quickly and doesn't require very many materials.  It's been used to catch both trout and smallmouth on my local waterways.
  • The Yukon Territory Part 1 - A Lake Trout Expedition

    Posted on February 12 2020

    1 Comments

    Posted By: Chris Frangiosa

    In the days leading up to our expedition I tried to picture what the Yukon held in store.  Nothing that I had imagined was even close to the beauty that is the Yukon Territory.  This area of the world holds so many wonders that on any given day you cannot possibly absorb everything around you.  The landscapes are breathtaking, the air is clean and within all of this runs river and lake systems teeming with fish.  This is the fly-fisherman’s paradise of the freshwater north, and should be considered what the Seychelle Islands are to saltwater, a Mecca to which all fisherman dream of facing.

  • Winter Dedication and Below Freezing Fortitude

    Posted on January 21 2020

    3 Comments

    Posted By: Chris Frangiosa

    If you don’t know me and just read this BLOG you may start to believe that I am a winter person.  Someone who seeks out the coldest conditions and finds ways to get there and fish. That would be completely wrong. In fact, my main focus for the past 20 years has been the tropics.  That is where I belong, where I feel most at home and the place I dream about.

  • Getting Started with Euro Nymphing Leaders

    Posted on January 14 2020

    7 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    In Euro nymphing, having an appropriate leader is going to be a huge factor in your success. If you’ve done any research online, you’ve probably found a multitude of different leader formulas. If you’re new to the technique or if you’re new to leader tying in general, it can be confusing and intimidating to sift through the information and find something that is going to work for you. There really is no “right” or “wrong” leader formula, but there are a few constants that I think are really important to being successful while Euro nymphing. I’ll discuss a few different leader materials, a few basic formulas, and options for pre-tied leaders as well. Personal preference will dictate what you end up gravitating towards, but this will be enough to get you started and provide a solid base to work from.

  • Wintertime Dry Fly Fishing - My Go-To Gear and Flies

    Posted on January 07 2020

    2 Comments

    Posted By: Tyler Pensyl

    As the weather begins to dip around freezing and the October caddis hatch is a thing of the past, the only thing on my mind: Midge Season! Most of my fishing buddies have a good laugh when I tell them that, but, for me, winter dry fly fishing provides an incredibly fun challenge.

  • TCO End of the Year Steelhead trip

    Posted on December 30 2019

    1 Comments

    Posted by: Chris Frangiosa

    This past weekend some of the TCO crew headed to upstate New York to participate in a Simms dealer camp and to do some winter Steelhead fishing.  These kinds of trips accomplish a few things. Firstly, we always come back with a further knowledge of the products we sell and also get to test plenty of gear.  Secondly, and most importantly, we have a chance to share special moments together as a family both on and off the water. The second one is most important, we are all gathered at TCO for a reason.  We all love fly fishing and the beautiful locations and moments that come from it. In fact, we all took a mo

  • Fly Lines for Euro Nymphing

    Posted on December 17 2019

    2 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    A fly line is probably one of the most, if not the most, important component of a traditional fly fishing setup. Many anglers would agree that more money spent on a line is a better use of your resources than almost any other piece of tackle. In some cases, having multiple fly lines for different applications is well worth it. For Euro nymphing, this concept changes a bit. The effectiveness of a Euro nymphing setup relies on using a very long leader that inhibits as much drag in your drift as possible. 
  • Top 10 Fishing and Outdoor Gifts for the 2019 Holiday Season

    Posted on December 09 2019

    1 Comments

    Posted By Chris Frangiosa

    Top 10 Fishing and Outdoor Christmas Gifts for the 2019 Holiday Season

    The fly fishing industry is one of creation and innovation.  There are new products coming out monthly that are always tempting for the gear nut.  Christmas is a perfect time to shop for those new and innovative items for the angler on your list.  The 10 items below represent new and exciting items for the Fall 2019 season. Happy Holidays! 

  • Euro Nymphing Reels: What Really Matters?

    Posted on November 25 2019

    4 Comments

    Posted by: Frank Landis

    Trout reels. Strike any conversation about reels and you are bound to hear the old adage that all they need to do is hold your line. For a long time, I pretty much held that conviction. To be honest, for the vast majority of situations, I still agree with the concept. As long as the reel is durable and functions every time you use it, does it really matter which reel you have? 

     

  • The Situation: “Cold Feet and the Perils of Winter Fly Fishing”

    Posted on November 18 2019

    4 Comments

    

    Posted by: Neil Sunday

    The Situation: “Cold Feet and the Perils of Winter Fly Fishing”

    The Problem: 

    The Cold weather months are upon us, and many folks just seem to stay inside and let cabin fever grow! But for the anglers that are willing to adjust to the cold water temps, many feeding fish are out there and ready to eat.

  • Outdoor Research UL Compression Sack Review

    Posted on November 09 2019

    2 Comments

    Posted by: Matt Brindle

    I’ve been backpacking for about 35 years.  For the first five, my Montgomery Ward sleeping bag was rolled and bungee corded to my pack frame.  I stuffed my next bag (a Coleman) into a $5 stuffsack procured from Kmart. For the past 20, my bag has either been stuffed in the bottom of my pack, or stuffed within a trash compactor bag in the sleeping bag compartment of my trusty Gregory Forester.

  • The Hardest Working Rods in My Quiver: Loomis IMX-Pro

    Posted on November 04 2019

    Posted by: Brendan Ruch

    As a fly shop employee there is an innate obsession with gear that sometimes gets out of control. Fly fishing is a gear sport after all. Typically when a new premium rod series is released, the shop staff will talk about what models they need to add to their rod quiver. You don’t often hear this kind of buzz around mid-priced rods. The G.Loomis IMX-Pro was announced at IFTD in 2017 and shocked the TCO Haverford staff when we got our hands on them. When we got a chance to fish these rods, it was evident that every rod in this series was designed to meet the needs of a specific style of fishing. Of course, every length and weight of a rod series is meant to serve a specific purpose, but the IMX-Pro series stands out because of how well these rods perform in their given areas.

     

  • Great Lakes Steelhead Flies with Alex Kolivras

    Posted on October 27 2019

    1 Comments

    Posted by: Frank Landis with Alex Kolivras

    As temperatures start to become brisk and the fall weather sets in here in Pennsylvania, you can be sure to see an influx of anglers come to the shop preparing to make their annual pilgrimage to the tributaries of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for Salmon and Steelhead. As part of this process, the fly tying room becomes a popular place for many of our customers. This is no surprise, as many of the most effective steelhead and salmon flies are simple and cost effective to tie yourself. 

  • Euro Nymphing Rods Explained

    Posted on October 20 2019

    25 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    One of the first things people ask here at the shop when thinking about getting into Euro Nymphing is “Can’t I just use my 9 ft 5 Weight?”. The short answer to that question is yes. You could pretty much use any trout rod to Euro nymph. In a pinch, I’ve fished Euro leaders with my fast action 9 ft 5 weight and was able to make it work and catch a bunch of fish. Despite this, myself and most others would agree that getting the right tool for the job is going to make a huge difference. 
  • The Situation: Finding Success in Low and Clear Water

    Posted on October 12 2019

    6 Comments

    Posted by: Neil Sunday

    The Problem: At the end of September, I took a road trip to Penn’s Creek located in Central Pennsylvania. When we approached the creek, we were greeted with gin-clear water and lots of exposed rocks. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but we were determined to fish. 

  • What Is Euro Nymphing?

    Posted on September 27 2019

    5 Comments

    Posted By: Frank Landis

    If you’ve stopped by a fly shop recently, watched some fly fishing videos online, or simply spend a lot of time on the water, you’ve probably heard somebody talk about Euro Nymphing, tight line nymphing, high stick nymphing, Czech nymphing, Polish Nymphing, Spanish Nymphing, French nymphing...you get the picture. But what does all of that mean? You can probably scour the internet and hear many different versions of what all of the aforementioned techniques entail, but let’s break this down simply. 

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