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Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania

Joan Matsui Fly Fisher Travel Writer

On the Water in Northeastern Pennsylvania

A Fly-Fishing Journal by Joan Matsui Travel Writer

Fly-Fishing in Pennsylvania is a weekly summer journal that highlights my most recent efforts to learn to fly fish.

Fly fishing became one of my all-time favorite hobbies about eight years ago after my brother died. He was an avid fisherman and fly fishing brought me comfort and helped with the grieving process. Is my brother making fun of me and criticizing my cast? I’m sure he is.

The most successful anglers I know told me that fly fishing is a life-long learning process. Fly-Fishing Weekly brings you a mix of the best-of and not-so-good days on the water.

Patience is as important as skill. Fly-fishing in Pennsylvania sheds a positive light on the sport. Follow my journey here every week during the summer for tales from the water.

Several years ago, I met a seasoned angler, Jim, while I was wading in the Delaware River. Jim has fished since he was a child. I whined a bit to him that day. Afterward, I was embarrassed because I know not everyone catches fish every time but I needed to let go of my negative emotions so I could move on to a more positive attitude. Letting go was one way to remove my mental barriers.

I didn’t catch anything today, I told him.

His reply, “There are weeks when I don’t catch a fish. It’s not always a particular technique that dictates if you catch a fish. Water temperature and water level play a major role in whether the fish are biting or not. And of course, you also need to consider the fly you’re using.”

He’s correct, at least as far as I can tell. Overall, my technique has immensely improved thanks to practice, an Orvis Fly-Fishing 101 class, and guidance from my fishing friends. Almost eight years into fly fishing, I can roll cast and select a fly that’s somewhat palatable to the fish. That’s a definite improvement.

Hot summer days are problematic. Wading in cool water is a fisher’s delight but the trout, notably a cold water species don’t agree.

The last time I was out on the water – yesterday – fish were rising but unfortunately, did not take any of the flies I threw out. I began with a small nymph and three to four minutes later, I discovered my hook was caught on an underwater branch or it was stuck to the side of a rock. After breaking the line free, I noticed my fly was gone.

When in doubt, I resort to my favorite flies, an elk-hair caddis pattern or a blue-winged olive. Woolly Buggers are an option but they tend to plop, rather than quietly land on the water. I’m working on casting streamers.

Joan Matsui Fly Fisher Travel Writer
Spring is my favorite time of year to fly fish for trout. This day was a combined fly fishing and photography trip.

Two weeks ago, I brought my oldest son along on a two-hour evening trip to the Lackawanna River, a tributary to the mighty Susquehanna River. The water level had dropped significantly from last week but fishing conditions were nearly perfect. NO FISH!

Typically, by the end of June, the water temperature rises as the rainy days of June disappear. Fly fishing in Pennsylvania is challenging to say the least. Here we are in July, the hottest and most humid month of the year in Northeastern Pennsylvania, with a jump in our air temps to 85 to 90 degrees for several days at a time.

Joan Matsui Travel Writer Fly Fishing
The pensive look while hoping at least one trout would take the fly. Northeastern Pennsylvania has some outstanding streams and rivers.

Today, my friend Amy and I met along the Lackawanna River. Amy arrived about an hour before me and had already moved upstream from where we planned to meet. She caught three or four fish in an hour but by 10 a.m., the sun was bright and only a few shaded areas remained along the banks. We were optimistic we’d see some fish rise and we did but again, they weren’t interested in our flies. Once Amy and I commence with fishing, we don’t want to stop.

We ended our afternoon perhaps a bit discouraged but the diehard angler never completely gives in to frustration. After all, there are six more days this week.

Fly fishing in Pennsylvania is as much about learning where to fish as it is about technique. Plan your trip with this guide to Pennsylvania waterways. Find the best places to fly fish.

Happy fishing to you!

Learn to fly fish with Orvis Fly-Fishing 101 certified instructors.

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Fly-Fishing Family Story

  • By
  • March 8, 2019
  • Sticky
Down By The River

An Interview With Andrew Weiner, Author

When is the best time to teach your children and grandchildren to fly fish?

Fly-Fishing Family Story answers this question – ANYTIME your child expresses an interest.

Read my interview with Andrew Weiner, the author of “DOWN BY THE RIVER, A Family Fly Fishing Story.” Andrew crafted the perfect Young Reader tale about one family’s fly-fishing trip.

“Art,” the main character watches and listens as trout dart by in the riverbed as his mother, perhaps, unknowingly, demonstrates her perfect cast. Meanwhile, Grandpa tells stories about fishing and family that enhance an already perfect day.

DOWN BY THE RIVER CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK ANDREW WEINER
Andrew Weiner learned to fish at a very young age. His life-long love of fishing eventually led him to author “DOWN BY THE RIVER: A Family Fly Fishing Story.”
A few weeks ago, Andrew reached out to me to introduce his book “DOWN BY THE RIVER: A Family Fly Fishing Story.”

What led him to create DOWN BY THE RIVER? He explains in our interview.

How closely do the characters relate to your evolution as an angler?

They don’t specifically. I grew up in NY originally, and we would take family vacations to Maine, staying in a cabin at The Five Kezar Lakes in North Waterford. We would fish every day as a family–my dad, mom, and two sisters. It wasn’t fly fishing. When we moved to California my father and I continued fishing–deep-sea fishing and some lake fishing, and then eventually some stream fishing as well. I didn’t start fly fishing until probably the early ’90s, and though I continued fishing with my dad until a few years ago, until about two years before he died in 2017, we only fly fished together once. The story evolved from when I first started writing it 15 years ago, where it was a boy who wanted to go fish with his parents, to a story about fishing with his mom and grandfather. Part of what has generated so much support for the book is the mother being such an important part of the story as an angler. Orvis’s #5050onthewater movement coincided with the lead up to publication. Women fly anglers, particularly on Instagram, have been huge fans and promoters of the book.

What led you to tell this particular story?

It was a combination of things. Part of it is my love of fly fishing, part of it is my love for children’s books. I’ve worked in publishing since 1977, and even four years prior when I worked at the local public library during my last two years of high school. I also felt that there was an opportunity to engage kids in the sport and the outdoors and conservation through the story. The story evolved from what I described above, but it was my editor Susan Van Metre who helped craft it into a publishable story. Funny story–today is International Women’s Day, and last year I posted a photo of myself with my two sisters in a boat in Maine. I mentioned where we were and Susan saw the post, and it ends up that it’s where she goes fishing with her family now. It was meant to be.

To what extent is this sport a part of your life?

I am passionate about the sport and the places it takes me. Basically, all of my vacations for the last 20 years or so have either been fully focused on fly fishing or have at least had a small opportunity to fish. It has been interesting to reach out via Instagram and Linkedin to the fly fishing community. After years of being part of the publishing community, it’s been rewarding to become a member of the fly fishing world, known and appreciated by many folks because of the book and my commitment to the sport and conservation.

What do you hope young readers will learn from your book?

Several things. First is the joy of actually fishing and catching a fish. Second is how wonderful it is to share the activity with family and loved ones. The third is the value of the places where we fish and the importance of preserving those places across the generations. My ex-wife’s sister-in-law is a teacher and she shared the book with her second-grade class, and then they all did a project answering her questions about the book. One question was what is the lesson of the book, or what they most got out of it, and so many of them talked about Art not giving up after he didn’t catch a fish right away, so I guess that’s something kids will learn from the book, too.

Did you know the book would follow a particular format/plan?

I did have a clear view of the format of the book as a picture book, and even did a version of the text with suggested illustrations. Susan told me I should just let April Chu (I was so lucky she agreed to do the book) have her way with the illustrations, and the fact is it came out almost exactly as I’d anticipated. I did always plan to have the informational backmatter. It’s something that is common in Abrams kids picture books that adds value and depth. The flies on the endpapers grew from the original concept. I gave April 24 critical flies, but she got so engaged that she ended up with almost 80 unique flies in the front and back.

Author "Down By The River"Andrew Weiner
Andrew Weiner holding “Down By The River” in At City Lights bookstore

What role does conservation play in your life and how can we teach children to responsibly enjoy our natural resources?

I’m deeply committed to conservation. These are very difficult times with so many critical environmental regulations being obliterated. I think kids being in the outdoors is vital to the conservation and environmental movements, and I’m heartened by how many are already active. I support a couple of dozen environmental organizations myself. It’s one of the most important issues for me. Bottom line–getting kids into nature will make them stewards themselves.

Author "Down By The River"Andrew Weiner
“Down By The River” author Andrew Weiner

Author Bio

Andrew Weiner is a longtime publishing professional and an avid fly-fisher. He lives in Albany, California.

Buy a Copy – Down By the River

 

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Wallaroo!

  • By
  • November 27, 2017
Wallaroo Hat review joan matsui travel writer
Wallaroo Hat review joan matsui travel writer
I received compliments galore when I wore my hat to a recent National Park Service birthday celebration at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton Pennsylvania.

An Australian Secret

 

Brimming with Sun Protection

What more can I say about my Wallaroo hat but I love you?

 

Never before have I worn a hat that has solicited so many compliments. Total strangers took notice the day I wore it to a train excursion in my hometown. I’m smitten with my Wallaroo “Victoria” style.

Wallaroo founders, Stephanie Carter and Lenya Shore, gave birth to the Wallaroo Hat Company in 1999 with their idea to bring the Australian secret of sun protection to the United States. Their broad-brimmed hats are both practical and trendy.

The soft texture, versatile pattern, and comfortable fit make this hat the ideal travel companion and a welcome addition to my wardrobe. An inconspicuous ribbon that tucks under the brim allows you to adjust the fit so you won’t need to hang onto your hat at the beach or on a windy day.

Victoria adapts to a variety of activities from fly fishing to an afternoon stroll on the beach. While I was on a travel assignment in August, I pulled my hat out of a beach bag that was full of towels, electronics, and a change of clothes. There was not a wrinkle or bump and my Wallaroo was ready to wear.

In 2013, Wallaroo Hat Company joined the Certified B Corporation and more than 2,100 globally recognized companies that have invested significant time and effort to meet the stringent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Corp members use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Our mission is to help eliminate the threat of skin cancer through information and prevention. The fight against skin cancer is one that concerns everybody, everywhere. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past three decades, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. ~Carter and Shore (via Wallaroohats.com)

From the moment you place a Wallaroo hat on your head, you’ll know why Carter and Shore’s business has thrived for 18 years.

Buy a Wallaroo Hat on Amazon.

See the full catalog at Wallaroo’s catalog at wallaroohats.com.


DISCLOSURE:

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

 

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Eye Protection to Suit Your Every Mood

  • By
  • September 20, 2017

Sunglasses for your adventurous spirit

Sunglass Warehouse

This post is sponsored by Sunglass Warehouse.

Has anyone seen my SUNGLASSES?

Maybe they’re in my car or in my handbag.

The last pair of expensive designer sunglasses I purchased did not come home with me after playing a few sets of tennis. I left them on a bench near the tennis court and I experienced buyer’s regret for at least a few weeks after losing them.

Forget the expensive designer eyewear if you’re prone to breaking or losing your sunglasses.

Sunglass Warehouse review by Joan Mead-Matsui
Sunglass Warehouse has a fantastic selection of sunglasses to suit your every mood and activity. You can buy your next pair of Retro Sunglasses for less than $20

Sunglass Warehouse offers a variety of styles and frames that can be worn for all of your activities from hiking and cycling to fly fishing. Your options are to buy sunglasses at affordable prices with no worries if you happen to lose or break them, or obsess about your designer frames when you should focus on your activity and have fun.

What if your sunglasses fall off your head into the water while you’re fly fishing or on a canoe or kayak trip? Will you dive into the water to retrieve your glasses? I hope not.

Sunglasses are not only accessories. They also protect our eyes from UV damage and Polarized lenses improve visibility for activities like fly fishing. Each of the five pairs I’ve sampled has withstood the test of time, after countless hours on the water.

Sunglass Warehouse has hundreds of styles of sunglasses that are priced at $20 or less. If you prefer round, square, oblong, Aviator, textured, black, blue or brown, you’ll find what you’re looking for at www.sunglasswarehouse.com. Click to shop sunglass warehouse BEST SELLERS. 

The site is easy to navigate and filters allow you to find your ideal pair from among Sunglass Warehouse (SW) Exclusives, Festival Shades, Brow Bars, Flat Lenses, Matte Metals, Retro Classics, Bold Shades, Colored Lenses, Cut-Out Shades, and Rose Gold.


DISCLOSURE:

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

 

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Hydrate in Style

  • By
  • September 18, 2017
Product Review Joan Matsui Travel Writer

Green’s Your Colour Inc.

Triple Insulated Bottle

Designed and Tested in Canada
Product Review Joan Matsui Travel Writer
Green’s Your Colour Inc.

With countless water bottles on the market that promise to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, how do you narrow down the selections?

Green’s Your Colour Inc. is “tastefully” number one on my list. Whatever beverage you choose to fill this outstanding vessel comes out at the perfect temperature with absolutely no aftertaste.

I have two bottles I carry along with me while fly fishing. One dedicated to hot liquids and the alternate is filled with chilled water or tea. The 17-oz./500 ML “Jammin’ Jade” insulated bottle is my all-time favorite. In fact, after I purchase a second bottle, I’ll ditch my old orange one and drink exclusively from a “Green’s Your Colour Inc.” bottles.

Jammin’ Jade keeps cold for 36 hours and hot for eight hours, although I’ve had mine beside me indoors and outdoors and my coffee was hot for at least 10 to 12 hours. The bottle is 18/8 stainless steel, BPA and Phthalate free, leak and sweat proof, with no plastic inner liner and non-leaching.

But best of all (in my opinion), the tea and ice strainers that are included with each bottle, are IDEAL for transporting your favorite herbal drink or ice cold water. One strainer is designed to keep the drinking spout free of ice or fruit and the second is used as a tea infuser to strain your tea leaves, herbal blends, and tea bags.

Green’s Your Colour Inc. can be used for coffee, tea, water, juice, pop, soup, and yes, alcohol. (Maybe a Margarita or Egg Nog, depending on your preference.)

Looking for herbal beverage suggestions? Try Tazo Herbal Tea  or Bigelow Herbal Teas.

Be sure to check out deals and order information at greensyourcolour.com.

 

 

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Fly-Fishing Gear

  • By
  • April 22, 2017
  • Sticky
Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes free

Shop Great Deals on Orvis Products

Durable Fishing Gear Made to Last

Fly-fishing gear by Orvis is designed to endure for years. Prepare for next year’s opening day now and stock up on supplies and equipment you need. Orvis products are manufactured with quality craftsmanship but you can’t beat the exceptional customer service. 

The Orvis Company affiliate program allows me to endorse products I use and trust. Check out Orvis’ Orvis

Orvis Embraces Conservation Efforts

I understand and appreciate the great strides conservationists make every day. Orvis remains at the top of the ongoing efforts to clean up our waterways and protect them from future contamination.

During my media trip to Orvis’ flagship store and factory in Manchester, VT, I received personalized training in all-things fly-fishing related with an emphasis on conservation efforts. 

Shop the online clearance room for holiday gifts and items you can use to stay warm and dry while you fish.

Orvis

Build Your Foundation

Learn to Fly Fish with the Orvis Pros (or find an instructor near you)

Find a fly-fishing class at your local Orvis retail store or sign up for classes offered by other organizations like Trout Unlimited or your state’s fish and boat commission. That is to say, learn proper casting techniques so you can fully appreciate my new hobby and catch fish. After that, get out on the water and practice, practice, practice!

Giving Back

Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits every year to protect nature, support communities, and advance canine health and well-being. Proceeds are estimated to be $14 million in more than 25 years.

Get Outdoors and Challenge Yourself

Learn Something New EVERY DAY

Fly fishing is a sport that takes years to master through continuous trial and error. The more time you devote to education and practice, the more likely you’ll grow your skills. Devote time to practice and learning about trout and other species’ habits. That means hours and hours of casting and time on the water until you’re in sync with your equipment.

Recreation Therapy! Venture outdoors.

Each hour you spend fishing, walking your dog, and hiking positively impacts your overall mental and physical health. Strive for 60 or more minutes per day of your own personal free time.

As a result, the more you engage in outdoor activities, the less likely you’ll worry or stress. Think of outdoor recreation as a therapy session for whatever ails you.

Meanwhile, practice responsible fishing and conservation and adhere to rules and regulations in place to protect fish and their natural habitats.

A Personal Note – Share Your Love!

Fly-fishing gear is a perfect gift for family and friends. Loved ones are more likely to join you if they have the equipment. Find the balance between work and play and pass that along to someone you love.

A few years ago, I bought my youngest an Encounter rod and reel combo. He wasn’t overly enthusiastic about learning to fish but it’s my pleasure to share my love for the outdoors. Consequently, we occasionally get out on the water together. 

The Orvis factory tour was a treat. We saw firsthand how fly-fishing gear is made.
During my Orvis factory tour, an employee works diligently to put the finishing touches on fly rods.
Take a break and browse the selection of merchandise. Save on shipping costs.

Save $25 off orders of $50 and Free Shipping on orders of $150+. Limited Time. Exclusions Apply. Use Code: JUST4YOU

I purchased my first Orvis Clearwater fly rod and reel combo in 2012 and it travels with me everywhere I go. Who knows when you’ll get the bug to fish?

Outstanding Warranty

Face the fact we all damage our fly-fishing equipment at some point. My first break happened when I tripped on a rock while fishing in the Delaware River. Fly rods and reels can also be damaged from improper use. The Orvis guarantee is incredible. You can read more about warranties here or contact your local Orvis retail store

Fly-Fishing Gear includes the most popular flies to use.
Do you know the most popular flies? Certified instructors give detailed information during Orvis Fly-Fishing 101 classes

Resources’ Wrap-Up

Learn fly fishing basics at a free Orvis Fly Fishing 101 course and locate a store near you by following this link. http://www.orvis.com/s/free-fly-fishing-lessons/8249?dir_id=22592&group_id=27370&cat_id=50215 

You’re also one step closer to catching a trophy trout, bass or panfish when you fish with the pros. Check out Orvis’ fly fishing and hosted trips. http://www.orvis.com/s/orvis-group-trips/9672?dir_id=22592&group_id=22958&cat_id=14007

Check out other Orvis’ products and services. They run the gamut from fly fishing to outdoor gear. Follow this link to shop Orvis’ Clearance Room.

banner
Waders? Are you petite or tall? Do you have a difficult time finding waders that fit? Check out Orvis’ Salmon River Fly-Fishing.


DISCLOSURE:

The links on this page are affiliate links. I  earn a small commission if you make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I trust Orvis’ products and link to their products based on their helpful and useful nature.  

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