The Flow’s Beer Guide to Fly Fishing: Busch Light

The Flow’s Beer Guide to Fly Fishing: A series of blog posts about fly fishing that are in no way intended to help you catch fish. This series of blog posts will not help you cast farther, add new patterns to your fly box, or catch bigger fish than your buddies. These fly fishing beer related blog posts will add to your cooler, and increase overall angling satisfaction. Because there’s something about a day out on the water that just makes a beer taste even better. And because there’s something about a cold beer that just makes a day out on the water even better.

At any given time I’m out on the water, you could find cold Busch Light in my cooler. It’s light. It’s cheap. And I’m convinced it’s good luck, it’s a fishy beer.

A couple of my fishing buddies have come to expect a Busch Light if they are spending the day floating or fishing with me. I think some of them have come to enjoy it, and also drink it because they think it’s a fishy beer that brings good luck. Either that, or it’s the only option in my cooler.

Using advertising such as “crisp and cold as a mountain stream” probably adds to the ambience of drinking a Busch Light while fly fishing. Busch Light also featured a fly fisherman in a recent television commercial. Which again, adds to the ambience.

Busch Light seems to be a common can to find laying around rivers, but I doubt that has anything to do with fishing. Or maybe even people that don’t fly fish know that Busch Light is the appropriate choice for beer consumed on the banks of a river. But be responsible, don’t leave empties laying around.

I’ve noticed over the years that I’m not completely alone. I’ve seen other fly fisherman expressing love for Busch Light. It makes sense to me. If you are a Busch Light drinkin’ angler, cheers.

In the future, I plan to use this series of blog posts to highlight beers that are actually tied to fly fishing, or associated with fly fisherman. However, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk about my own favorite [fly fishing] beer, Busch Light.

Since this post discussed my favorite beer for fly fishing, what is your go to beer for a day on the water?

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Fly Fishing Hacks: Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon

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A 200yd spool of 6lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon.

The goal for this blog post is to uncover a fly fishing “hack” to help offset the expensive cost of fluorocarbon tippet.


The large debate on the whole nylon vs. fluorocarbon issue in tippet selection has become tradition. Personally, I feel that both styles of tippet deserve a role in the overall play, but that’s a discussion for another time.

When it comes to tippet, at the present moment, I am not exclusively sold on one single brand. If you were to dig through my vest right now, you would find around 4 to 5 different styles of tippet from different brands. I use different tippet for different applications, but that’s also a discussion for another day.

Regardless of how you feel, I think everyone can agree that fluorocarbon tippet is expensive. Even if you feel that the advantages are worth the extra penny, fluorocarbon tippet is still expensive.

The goal for this blog post is to uncover a fly fishing “hack” to help offset the expensive cost of fluorocarbon tippet. Not everyone can justify the means to spend anywhere from 10 to 20 bucks on 30 yards of fluorocarbon tippet. I can’t blame anyone for that.

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a spool of 6lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon. In 6lb test Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon is .007″ in diameter, which is the same diameter as 4x tippet. The suggested retail price of Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon is $17.50 for 250 yards. I’m sure you can do the math, that is a lot cheaper.

In the right situations, using Seaguar Red Label is an excellent way to offset the expensive cost of fluorocarbon tippet. For example, nymphing faster, not crystal clear water with average size flies for fish that are easily landed on 6lb line. For a lot of fly fisherman, that situation can pretty much sum up nymphing. I’ve been very pleased with the performance of 6lb Seaguar Red Label while fly fishing in situations that require nymphing with average size flies, heavier weight, or in faster water.

I steer away from 6lb Seaguar Red Label for streamer fishing, small flies, or other situations that require tippet sizes other than 4x. I also feel it is a little too stiff for technical trout holding in water that is very slow and clear. In those situations, the more expensive fluorocarbon tippet is worth the extra money due to it being a little more supple, a bit stronger per diameter, and available in smaller sizes.

So what does this mean? To me, it means I keep a spool of 6lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon handy to be used when necessary. I use Seaguar Red Label in addition to the other types of 4x tippet I carry, not as a replacement. Is it worth carrying 6lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon just to supplement 4x usage? Well, if you use as much 4x as I do in a year, it is.

If you think fluorocarbon tippet is always worth every extra penny, ignore this post. If you think that using spinning line as fly fishing tippet is blastphemy, then definitely ignore this post.

If you’re looking to save a couple bucks on fluorocarbon tippet, supplement some 6lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorcarbon into your 4x arsenal.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: August

Jessica Callihan showing off a beautiful brown trout. Check out Jessica’s WEBSITE to see her art. She’s awesome, and does incredible work.

Date: August 12th, 2017

Water Conditions: It’d be pretty tough to ask for better water conditions than we are seeing so far this summer. Our local area continues to receive rain at a pace that is keeping our rivers and creeks in great fishing shape. Yes, the rain created some days that were blown out, but thanks to the precipitation low, clear water conditions are being avoided. It’s nice to have extra water around for the fish, and to help keep the fishing rolling through the summer. Water temperatures are not currently a concern thanks to the cooler weather, but it never hurts to remain aware. Monitoring stream conditions on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.

Recommended Flies: Trico Size 22-24, Ant Size 12-18, Japanese Beetles 12-14, Cahill Size 16, Isonychia Size 10-12, Golden Stonefly Size 6-8, Zebra Midge Size 18-22, Red PT (Pheasant Tail) Size 18-20, Frenchie Perdigon Size 18-20,  UV Braider PT Size 16-20, Soft Hackles Size 16-20

Fishing Report:

This summer continues to be a good one for those of us fly fishing for trout in this part of the state. Not only has the fishing been productive, it’s also been very interesting due to water levels continuing to fluctuate. Thanks to water conditions that keep changing from precipitation, it’s been possible to catch fish with a variety of tactics over the last month.

The rain continues to keep the river systems full of water. We continue to receive large enough doses of rain that create brief high water conditions off and on over the last couple of weeks. During these time periods, the streamer fishing was productive and a lot of fun.

After a batch of rain, as the water continues to drop back closer to normal flows the nymphing and dry fly fishing was the way to go again. Overall, flows this summer are remaining at levels slightly higher than average for this time of the year.

Easy to love a hard fighting rainbow from the West Branch of the Delaware.

It appears that this trend of extra water is to continue since it is currently raining as I type. With another week or so of cooler day time air temperatures forecasted, the summer fishing should keep on rolling.

Normally this time of year the best hours to be on the water are in the morning. While the mornings are still fishing best, they are not the only part of the day for good fishing to be possible. Thanks to cooler weather this summer, the evenings are also fishing well as water temperatures are staying lower.

Taking full advantage of the extra water with August streamer eats.

As far as the bugs, the usual summer menu of smaller Cahills, Tricos, and Terrestrials make up a majority of what’s happening. As usual, this time of year is not the high point of hatch season, but there is a mixed bag of enough bugs around to still play the game.

It’s always great for the fish to have a wet, cool summer. It’s especially great for the fish to receive a wet, cool summer this year after the warm, dry summer last year. It’s also been a great summer for anglers. Go Fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: May

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A late night fish slurpin’ down Green Drakes.

Date: May 31st, 2017

Water Conditions: Currently a lot of the watersheds in the area are high and unfishable from rain over the past couple of days. Many of the streams will be fishable again in the next few days, if they are not already. So far this spring water conditions have been in great shape overall. We continue to receive rain which has kept water levels anything but low. While high water leaves our river systems unfishable at times, it’s also great for the fish to have the extra water. Monitoring stream flow on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.

Recommended Flies: Green Drake Size 6-10, Sulphur Size 14-16, March Brown Size 10-12, Gray Fox Size 12-14, Caddis Black/Tan Size 12-18, Isonychia Size 10-12  Frenchie Size 12-18,  Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 14-18, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 12-18, Zebra Midge Size 18-22

Fishing Report:

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Green Drake: The Big Bug of May.

May is arguably one of the best times of the year to be a fly fisherman in Pennsylvania. Spring is without a doubt the “match the hatch” season, and a majority of the big hatches take place in May.

The weather this year continues to be an irregular pattern. Air temperatures are fluctuating back and forth frequently between hot and cold. This is certainly keeping the fish on their toes, but it has also created irregular hatch patterns.

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Sulphur Size 14.

Hatches have been anything but consistent on the water that I so frequently fish. There are bugs around, but we are not experiencing as heavy numbered hatches as expected this time of year. So far this year Grannoms, Sulphurs, March Browns, Gray Foxes, Caddis, and Green Drakes have all shown tendencies of sporadically hatching through different periods of the day opposed to a few hours of heavy bug activity at one time.

One of the best parts about the river systems in our area is they have a wide range of bugs. A lot of evenings anglers have to play the game to see which bugs the fish are eating the most out of what’s being offered. In my opinion, that’s a good problem to have.

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River Meals- because even gas station macaroni salad tastes better along the water.

As usual, nymphing throughout the day tends to be the most productive method, and dry fly fishing is the excitement of the evening. With all the extra water this spring helping keep big fish out of hiding, streamer fishing has continued to work well at the right times.

While it has not been a typical year in terms of weather patterns or hatch activity, the fishing has been quite good at times. At other times it seems the fishing is slower than typical for this time of year. Every day on the river is an opportunity. Anglers that are married to their river system have a better chance of experiencing those “magic” hours of fishing.

Forget the weather, don’t try to predict what evenings will be better than others. Put your time in, and you will earn the rewards. Go Fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: April

Date: April 27th, 2017

Water Conditions: So far this spring water conditions have been in great shape. Recently, our rivers and creeks dropped to reach levels lower than normal for this time of year, but remain in good fishing shape. We are not desperate for rain, but some extra water to keep things rolling through spring would be nice. Monitoring stream flow on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.

Recommended Flies:  March Brown Size 10-12, Gray Fox Size 12-14, Tan Caddis Size 12-16, Crane Fly Size 14-18, Sulphur Size 12-14, Frenchie Size 12-16,  Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 14-18, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 12-18, Zebra Midge Size 18-22

Fishing Report:

April is an awesome time of the year to be a fly fisherman in Pennsylvania. Spring is without a doubt the “match the hatch” time of year. After a winter of fish primarily eating underneath, it’s great to see fish feeding on the surface with regularity.

Water conditions have been in great shape so far this spring, and a variety of bugs are hatching. As a result, our river systems continue to fish well.

The weather this year continues to be an irregular pattern. A very early warm snap, followed by a cold snap into early April, and now temperatures are near 80 degrees as we near the end of April. The Grannom hatch this year fell victim to irregular weather, at least on the water that I fish in our local area. It seemed as though Grannoms did not hatch in as strong of numbers as typical for our area. While the fishing was quite good at times, periods of emergence did not seem as long which limited fishing hours in the morning. Fishing the egg-laying flights during the evening also seemed less productive than normal due to the smaller number of bugs.

Not long after Grannoms disappeared Tan Caddis starting showing up on the scene. Over the last week March Browns, Gray Foxes, and Crane Flies have been hatching in numbers. Recently Sulphurs are starting to pop off, and should soon appear in full force.

One of the best parts about the river systems in our area is they are bug factories. A lot of evenings anglers have to play the game to see which bugs the fish are eating the most out of what’s being offered. In my opinion, that’s a good problem to have. Some of the best dry fly fishing days of the year are this time of the year. Go fish.

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