Thursday, March 19, 2015

Muddy Mudskipper

The Muddy Mudskipper

"The highlight of the day came on my hike back to the truck. I decided to focus on fishing streamers on my return journey. I chose a large sculpin with the idea of going big or going home. I was rewarded with one of my largest fish from this stretch of water. Along a slow deep pocket, I bounced the weighted fly along the bottom before coming tight to something that had some weight to it. After a few tense moments I landed the beautiful brown for a few quick photos before sending her on her way." -From Solo in January of 2011. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cape Town Trout

We've been living in Tanzania for three years, and have saved a long break for a trip to Cape Town that we finally cashed in a few weeks ago. Last summer on our road trip through southern Africa, we met some Capetonians in Zambia and hit it off over mutual interests, including fly fishing. They crashed with us for a few days in Dar es Salaam towards the end of their journey, and they repaid the favor by generously hosting us in the city for an entire week.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Variations of a Classic

The Al's Rat...

I found myself stream side gearing up for something I had not done in a very long time, fly fish for trout on my home waters. I happened to be on one of the lesser known limestone streams of my youth  that flows through the middle of one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania. It is and has been home to a thriving population of wild brown trout despite the bad hand they've been dealt over the years. After catching a few wild browns, I saw a beauty of rainbow hiding in some slack water along the roots of a willow. The micro pheasant tail that caught my browns, was steadfastly refused by the big bow. Just like in the old days, I reached for my midge box and picked out a classic Lehigh Valley pattern. An Al's Rat. I sight fished the pattern downstream to the 18" inch fish and picked him up on my first cast. The Al's Rat might be the most simplistic fly pattern I have ever used while simultaneously being the most productive. Over the years, I have fished the original and a few variations of it successfully everywhere I have gone. It is a pattern that should be in every fly box, especially on streams where midges are a predominant food source.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Steelhead Gathering

Got chrome?

A steelhead gathering was conceived in the Fall to spend a few days fishing with some friends whom I have not fished with in quite sometime. Ben had just switched jobs and didn't have to work a weekend for the first time in my living memory. My other buddy Dan moved to Miami last year to take up a job with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and never got to truly use his first two hander for steelhead. Another friend Eric, fished with us last year with a single hand rod and left the river wondering "what if". Upon realizing he could come on this trip, he immediately dropped a $1,000 on a brand new spey rod, reel, and line. Joined by two new converts and Ben it was a swing or go home type of time...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Holiday Steel

A holiday well spent...

With Christmas in the rearview mirror, Adam and I escaped north to swing for some steelhead. We were intent on landing some silver before ringing in the New Year. Over the course of three days, we experienced several types of weather but all resulted in some fish...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Fish of 2014


2014 was another fine year for TRIW and our friends. A lot of nice fish were caught and some of them were downright beautiful. The year brought big time stripers with Tyler Nonn of Tidewater Charters, cobia with Kyle Sawyer and Ben Sheppard, tigerfish on the Zambezi, and Adam's first year guiding in Alaska. I held down the home front with the typical trout, carp, steelhead routine. If you happened to fish with us this past year, thanks for all the memories and cheers to 2015!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My 2014 Alaska Guide Season: The Aftershock

© Barry & Cathy Beck (

As some of you know, I spent my summer guiding and fishing at Reel Action Fly Fishing's Alaska Lodge located on the Kanektok River. I had an incredible time and I'm looking forward to the 2015 season. Since being back, I wanted my first post to be a special one... So instead of sifting through thousands of photos from Alaska I thought I would start with the photos I began taking  within moments of stepping off the plane...

Friday, December 12, 2014


Colors of GL steel...

With the thought of several fishless days on my mind, I eagerly anticipated a day when everything would come together. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long because of an extended weekend. Adam had a few days off from guiding and we were able to reconvene for our first steelhead action together in almost a year. The last time we swung the river together, it produced one of our best days of fishing. This particular trip did not disappoint and we were able to find quite a few willing participants...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Stinger Missile Fly

Steel on the stinger missile...

During a winter storm in 2009, I concocted a fly for one of my first sessions ever swinging for steelhead. At the time, I was learning on a switch rod with a 510 Airflo Skagit Compact and I was tying and throwing some seriously heavy stuff. Needless to say, it was not pretty. On a late November outing, Adam and I did really well for ourselves. My fly was able to pick up my first ever fish on a legit two hander setup. The brown pictured below crushed it in a very fast section of water and I was hooked. The fly became my "go to" pattern for the next few years as I learned the ways of the skagit. I started calling it the "stinger missile," and it has still accounted for more steelhead from the Salmon River than almost all my other flies.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Money in the Bank

A Mid-November Winter Wonderland

A planned retreat brought my girlfriend and I to the shores of Lake Ontario. We met up with some friends to stay at a lakehouse and fish the Salmon River for a few days. Faced with the first lake effect snows and plunging polar temperatures we had our work cut out for us, but our trials and tribulations were money in the bank for future steelhead trips…