Posted in Fishing Youth Education

Youth Group Fishing Day on Loyalhanna Creek

Twelve students from Ligonier Valley Middle School’s Outdoor Club got to test their skills fly fishing on Thursday, May 12th, on Loyalhanna Creek. This was the culmination of their winter-long, fly-tying and coldwater conservation studies program. Mentors from Trout Unlimited’s (TU) local Forbes Trail Chapter worked with the students for several sessions during the winter teaching them to tie a variety of patterns of imitation flies…trout bugs. Thursday, they got to try out those patterns on the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the stream in Ligonier. This was a high school sanctioned field trip to give the students stream experience with a sport they have been studying as part of their Outdoor Club.  

The weather cooperated much more so than the fish unfortunately. Though most students did experience “hits” from trout over the two-hour period. Dylan A, an eighth grader actually got to yell “fish-on” while classmates and mentors cheered him on. The fish, a nice size rainbow, put up a good fight, but managed to release himself before Dylan was able to get him into the landing net. It was a pretty cool experience just the same. While TU promotes “catch and release”, we prefer it be on the angler’s terms, not that of the fish! Many of the Club students were experienced fly fishers and demonstrated their skills to the mentors. Others, while they may have fished before, were using a fly rod for the first time and welcomed instructions.

TU has worked with the Outdoor Club for many years. Mentors were excited to be able to renew their program with the learners after a two-year, pandemic hiatus. The students want to learn to tie their own flies, and to use a fly rod proficiently. “We can teach them all that. But we’re most interested in teaching them about the need to protect our coldwater streams and fisheries”, said TU mentor Bill Somogyi. “At some point, they will need to become the advocates to protect our trout waters so they and their kids will have streams like the Loyalhanna to fish.”

TU welcomes the opportunity to work with local schools and youth groups to teach coldwater conservation and fly fishing. LVMS students are fortunate that they have a premier trout stream, essentially within walking

distance of their school. They are quickly learning to be the stream’s ambassadors.

LVMS Youth Group Fishing
FTTU Mentor Milt Claney demonstrate a “roll cast” to LVMS Outdoor Club members.
LVMS Youth Group Fishing
LVMS learner, and experienced fly fisher, Dan T practices a dead drift with a nymph he hand-tied.
LVMS Youth Group Fishing
FTTU mentor Larry Myers ready with the landing net as LVMS learner Dylan A plays a nice rainbow trout.
LVMS Youth Group Fishing
Outdoor Club anglers and mentors practice social distancing while fly fishing on Loyalhanna Creek.
LVMS Youth Group Fishing
FTTU mentor Jim Litrun coaches LVMS learner Tyler Q on keeping a tight line during the drift.
Posted in Fishing Youth Education

FTTU Hosts Franklin Regional Students For Loyalhanna Creek Fishing Outing

Students Ready To Go Fishing
FRSD students geared up and receiving safety instructions and day’s itinerary.

Eleven students from Franklin Regional School District (FRSD) skipped school on Thursday, March 24th, and spent the day fly-fishing on Loyalhanna Creek. Actually, they didn’t really play hooky, and the where they fished was the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) section of the stream in Ligonier, open to fishing year-round. This was a high school sanctioned fieldtrip to give the students stream experience with a sport they have been studying and practicing (on dry land) as part of their Fly Fishing Club. This is the first year for the Club and their first fieldtrip.

Nine volunteers from the local Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) mentored the students on fly casting, presentation and matching the hatch, i.e., trying to figure out what bugs the trout were eating. The mentors took the time to counsel the students on the importance of protecting our natural resources, including coldwater fisheries. They also explained the value of practicing “catch and release” and how to release a fish safely without harming it.

Environmental Science Teacher, James Passarelli, serves as the Club’s sponsor and has been teaching the students casting techniques as well as fly tying. “I thought the help your TU members gave the kids yesterday was invaluable” noted Jim. “I saw so much improvement in the kids and their casting. Your guys are helping us to build the next generation of fly fishers and stream conservationists! If I can teach them anything in the club, it is to just be outside and enjoy the water while respecting nature. Unfortunately, the weather was much more cooperative than the trout! But it doesn’t matter if we caught fish…it was still a great day!”

TU mentor Ron Rodgers, who has grandchildren in the FRSD, was pleased to see the Chapter extending its school programs to western Westmoreland County. As with other TU members, Ron enjoys teaching his favorite sport to the younger generation and explaining why it’s so important for them to be good stewards of our trout streams. Ron worked with Jordan, a senior most of the day. “Jordan worked hard on his roll cast and had it perfected by the end of the day”, noted Ron. “While he didn’t get to land a trout, he was able to enjoy the “fish on” experience at least twice.”

TU will have another opportunity in mid-April to work with the same group of students in Linn Run State Park. There the students will learn how to do water quality testing and to collect and identify “trout bugs”, an indicator of overall stream health. The event will include a number of other activities including fly tying and casting. “We want the students to enjoy fly fishing, but it’s more important to TU to teach them to be good stewards of our trout streams”, explained TU mentor Milt Claney. “We teach the complete package!” The field trip will supplement what students are being taught as part of their Fly Fishing Club program.

On-Strream Instruction
Student fly fisher Noah practices “drift technique” with to TU mentor Tom Van Dyke
Fly Selection
TU mentor Al Moschetti shares “secret weapon” fly pattern with student angler Jasper.
Roll Cast Instruction
TU Mentor Milt Claney demonstrating the roll cast to students.
Posted in Fishing Veterans

Veterans Fishing Day

After over two years, we were finally able to get our third veterans fishing day in on October 2. This year, the event was held at the Kingston Club lake near Latrobe and was open to all veterans. We had beautiful fall weather, a chilly morning gave way to a sunny, warm afternoon. FTTU partnered with the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmen’s Club and Project Healing Waters with Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops preparing and serving the food. Lowe’s Latrobe donated the drinks. The lake was stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout by the Kingston Club and everyone was able to get into some fish. Mentors from FTTU and Project Healing Waters were on hand to net fish and provide assistance to those who needed help fishing. FTTU also provided loaner rods and reels, bait, lures, flies and other fishing tackle. All the veterans received raffle tickets and after lunch, prizes donated by FTTU and the Kingston Club were given out to both the veterans and some scouts.

For a full report and slide show, see the Community Service Page.

 


 

Posted in Events Fishing Veterans Volunteer Opportunity

Save the Date – Veterans Fishing Day 10.2.21

After an absence due to COVID in 2020, the Military Veterans Fishing Outing is back. This year, it will be held on Saturday, October 2nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmans Club in Latrobe. The event is sponsored by the Kingston Club and FTTU.

The outing is open to all active duty or veterans of the U.S. military. Participants do not need to be disabled, but 30 spots are reserved for disabled vets. The event is free but you will need to register if you would like to take part. To get registered, email us at info@forbestrailtu.org. You can also participate as a mentor or volunteer. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact us at the same email address.

Fishing will be done on the club’s lake for stocked trout and panfish. No fishing license is required and all tackle will be provided by FTTU. Volunteer mentors will be on hand to provide help for the disabled and instruction to those who would like to learn to fly fish. A grilled lunch will be served by the local Boy Scout Troop.

We have held this event in 2018 and 2019 and it has been an extremely successful and fun day. See the Community Service page for a report from 2019 and a slide show. Hope to see you there!


 

Posted in Fishing Fly Tying

Tim Cammisa Presentation

Unfortunately, the presentation on emergers put on by Tim Cammisa on Thursday, February 25 will not be available as planned, see our Facebook page for details.

FTTU Facebook


 

Posted in Fishing

Trout Season Open Now

In order to prevent opening day crowds, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has decided to open trout season early, so as of 8:00 am today, Tuesday, April 7, trout season began statewide in Pennsylvania. Size and creel limits, license requirements and normal regulations still apply. Mentored Youth Day originally scheduled for April 11 will not take place this year.

The PAF&BC will continue to stock streams this spring, but in order to prevent crowds, a stocking schedule will not be posted and the public will not be permitted to help with stocking.

Click HERE for the official announcement.

 


 

Posted in Fishing

Trout Fishing FAQ’s

In the age of COVID-19, you may have questions concerning trout fishing for the spring of 2020. The early season opener in southeastern Pennsylvania has been canceled, but the statewide opener on April 18th and Mentored Youth Day on April 11th are still on. Streams and lakes are still being stocked but the PAF&BC asks that you do not come out to help. For the official statement from the Fish Commission, click here.


 

Posted in Fishing

FTTUers Experience Steelhead Success

FTTU member Milt Claney organized a trip to the Erie tribs for some steelhead action this November.
In the bottom right photo, Milt Claney poses with the owner of Folly’s campground, the rendezvous spot for the FTTU group. Folly’s has been good to us helping with our Youth Group outings for many years.
Milt participates in a PA Fish and Boat Commission study on steelhead and meticulously records data on his catches.


 

Posted in Fishing

Steelhead Trip

It’s that time of year again! We are organizing a steelhead fishing trip for FTTU members to the Erie tribs in November.

Date: November 13-16
Rain date: November 20-23
Quality Inn Hotel, (814) 838-7647
6467 Sterrettania Rd., Fairview, PA 16415

Contact us if you plan to attend. info@forbestrailtu.org
Or, better yet, come to our steelhead themed meeting on Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00 pm at the Nimick Family Education Center.

Everyone is responsible for their own accommodations and travel. We may meet at Folly’s End Fly and Tackle Shop for BYO lunches and/or get together somewhere local for dinners.

Directions to Quality Inn: PA Turnpike west to Cranberry exit, #28. Take I-79 north toward Erie. Take exit 174 toward McKean. Turn left onto West Road for 2.1 miles to intersection. Turn right onto PA-832/ Sterrettania Road for 0.5 miles. Keep left to stay on Pa-832/ Sterrettania Road 0.6 miles to hotel on right.

Directions to Folly’s Campground: PA Turnpike west to Cranberry exit, #28. Take I-79 north toward Erie. Take exit 166 off of I-79 then make a left (west) on route 6N and drive 3 miles to intersection. Make a right (north) on route 98. Go about 4 or 5 miles and watch for a large sigh on left at entrance to Folly’s. If you cross the bridge over Elk Creek, back up to the entrance to the campground.

 


 

Posted in Fishing

Erie Tribs Access On-Line

Steelhead season is upon us and if you are planning a trip to the Lake Erie tributaries, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has an on-line tool to locate access points.
With funds from the lake Erie license stamp, the PAF&BC is always working on purchasing property or acquiring easements to improve angler access. The map tool is available  HERE.
This is the most up-to-date resource showing public access on the Lake Erie tributaries.