WNY Fly Fishing Private Lessons

I offer private lessons for fly casting and fly tying, the cost in $50.00 per student for two hours for casting, equipment, knots and general fly fishing and $40.00 per student for fly tying; I supply all materials for the tying class. You must bring your own vise and tools. E mail me at jimguida@hotmail.com

About Me

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I have been teaching fly fishing for about 25 years now and have made some great friends along the way, I also am a Umpqua Signature fly designer and a Pro Staffer for Scientific Anglers and Ross Reels

Flies For Sale

My Patterns are as follows: Guida's Mirrored Minnows $2.50 ea, Guida's White Lighting/Black Thunder $2.00 ea, Guida's Emerald Shiners $2.00 ea, Hairballs, sucker spawn, single eggs $.75 ea all orders must be in Qty's of 5's or 10's per style
e-mail orders to jimguida@hotmail.com

WNY Fly Fishing Trout Camps

We offer Trout Camps in the spring for inland trout. The classes are one day and cover casting, fly selection, and reading the water. We provide lunch, guides, flies/leaders/tippet, rods and reels if needed, you must bring waders and wading boots, sunglasses. This is the best way to start out fly fishing and learn from some of the best instructors in WNY.

Cost is $250.00 per person $350.00 per two
Please call Brian Slavinski for group rates

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WNY Fly Fishing - Czech Nymphing by Dell Neighbours

Czech Nymphing: Dell Neighbours Talks Tactics & Rigging with G&G

Louis Cahill Photography
Czech nymphing can put fish in the net when other methods fall short. Photo Louis Cahill
For a while now, we’ve been getting requests from G&G readers about writing a Czech nymphing post. It’s a subject we’ve wanted to tackle on the blog for a while now, but  neither Louis or I specialize in Czech nymphing. Furthermore, we’re not the kind of guys that write about fly fishing topics that we’re not experienced with. When we find ourselves in this position, we go out and talk with the professionals who are, gather the information, and then bring it back to you. Dell Neighbours, head fly fishing guide for Reel Job Fishing, is highly competent in Czech nymphing, and he’s volunteered to talk with us today about Czech nymphing tactics and his rigging recommendations.

Czech it Out! 

I often have clients ask me about my fishing style when I mention I normally don’t use strike indicators when I’m nymph fishing. Currently, there seems to be a growing interest with indicator-free nymphing for trout, so I was pretty excited when Kent asked me to write a post for the G&G readers about Czech nymphing. There’s many different styles and tactics out there for catching trout without strike indicators, but the primary method that comes to mind for most fly fishermen, is Czech nymphing. When you strip away everything to the bare bones, Czech nymphing is very similar to the traditional American tactic of high-sticking with nymphs. The only real difference lies in the rig setup and you don’t use a floating strike indicator.
First, let’s talk about the type of fly rod I prefer to use when I’m Czech nymphing. I find that long and light fly rods work the best, with my favorite Czech nymphing rod being the Echo Shadow PE, 10  1/2′ 3wt. You can Czech nymph with any length rod, but it’s definitely easier to manage the rig with a longer than average fly rod. The main reason longer fly rods are preferred, is because the normal leader setup you fish with when Czech nymphing, is generally much longer than your traditional 9′ tapered nylon or fluorocarbon leaders. I’ve experimented with lots of variations in Czech leader setups over the years, but there’s one that I keep coming back to because it’s simple, and it allows me to fish multiple styles with the same leader setup.
czech rig
Czech Nymphing Leader
I start with a nine foot, 0X tapered leader, then I attach 20 inches of 2X high-vis mono (I prefer Umpqua Indicator Tippet), followed by three to six feet of 4X fluorocarbon tippet. The sections are tied together using a triple surgeons knot, but you can also use a blood upqua-indicator-tippetknot. Feel free to play around with the leader formula (lengths and sizes), but I find this setup works exceptional well for me on all sizes of trout water. If you’ll be fishing a shorter fly rod, you might find it easier to use a 7.5′ 0X leader instead, and shorten up the high-vis section of mono a little.
If you review the leader diagram above, you’ll see that the high-vis mono section (called the “sighter”) is used for detecting strikes and replaces the floating strike indicator found in traditional nymph rigs.
Czech Nymphing Tippet & Fly Setup
At the tippet end, I use a lot of different combinations as far as fly placement goes. It is preferable in most situations to use two flies in the Czech nymphing rig, one heavy anchor fly (attached at the end of the tippet), and one slightly smaller or lighter fly above, tied off the tippet tag of a triple surgeons or blood knot. Flies can be attached several different ways as well, but I prefer mine to be tied on tags approximately 20 inches apart. Some anglers may prefer to tie off to the hook bend, and that’s perfectly fine. Lastly, many anglers utilize tippet rings at the end of the high-vis mono and at the tippet section of the leader to tie on the nymphs. This lengthens the life of the rig, makes it faster to change out flies or re-rig when you break off.

Where I Czech Nymph Most

It’s best to look at Czech nymphing as a niche way to fly fish with nymphs. It’s suited best for specific water types. I use it only when the right opportunity presents itself, and most of the time it’s when I’m fly fishing mid-thigh to waist deep riffles and plunge pools. I’m not saying you can’t use it in other water types, but I find that this is where Czech nymphing is most effective. One of the reasons for targeting this type of water without an indicator, is that the water speed on the surface and the water speed where the fish are hanging out (often very close to the bottom), are quite different. Trout often sit on the bottom of the river or stream in these places, where the current is slowed significantly by friction from the irregular riverbed and other underwater cover. When you fish a traditional indicator rig in this type of water, a lot of the time, it’s extremely difficult to keep the fast water on the surface from grabbing and pulling on the indicator during the drift. The drag created causes your flies to speed up and rise in the water column, and a lot of the time you’ll find that your flies never make it down to where the trout are holding.
With a Czech nymphing rig, the long leader allows you to keep everything out of the water except for the tippet section of the leader during the drift, and the small diameter of the fluorocarbon tippet allows your flies to sink into the strike zone very quickly. In laymen terms, you’re able to almost completely eliminate the drag that plague the strike indicator and thick butt section of the leader it’s attached to. And since you don’t have any drag, it’s much easier to keep your flies moving slower and drifting more natural in the current. Trout are more likely to eat artificial flies if they’re moving the same speed as the naturals in the current.
I typically start out with my anchor fly on the bottom of the rig, and more times than not, it’s a size 10 hares ear variation with a 4mm tungsten bead. My second fly (tied on the tag, 20″ above) most often is a size 16 pheasant tail variation, with a tungsten bead (2.4-3.2mm). If I’m fishing a knee deep riffle or run, I will usually run the anchor up top with the smaller fly trailing on the bottom of the rig (This setup helps to keep the rig from snagging). Play around with different combinations, because experimenting catches fish!

Czech Nymphing Technique

Now that we’ve covered the rig and I’ve laid out the basics of why and where you should Czech nymph, let’s talk about the technique. Czech nymphing is basically short casts and short drifts right under the rod tip. The good thing about fishing the previously mentioned water types, is they allow you to get a little closer to the trout without spooking them. Most of the time you’ll want to position yourself perpendicular to the water your Czech nymphing, and you should keep in mind, that most of your presentations will be less than 15 feet upstream (anymore and you’ll find it hard to manage your rig properly). You should only have a foot or so of fly line out the end of the rod tip during your presentation and drift, sometimes none at all. Bring your rod tip up and your flies to the surface, like you’re going to roll cast, and lob the flies upstream. Now that your flies are in the water, lift the rod tip until your high-vis mono sighter is six inches off the water, then you’ll want to begin slightly leading your flies through the drift with your rod tip. The line between your rod tip and the sighter should be fairly straight, and the rod tip should be tracking just in front of the sighter. Bare in mind, this is going to take some getting used to, if you’ve never Czech nymphed before. With some practice, it will become very fluid and second nature to you.
During the drift, keep a close eye on the sighter, and if it twitches, straightens or stops, set the hook. Because you’ll have a pretty tight connection with the Czech nymphing leader, lots of times you’ll actually feel the fish eat your flies (bump, bump, bump). When my drift is about to come to an end, as my flies begin to swing, I like to give the rod a little wrist snap backwards (it’s like a short hook set), which helps me from missing those last second bites that you often get when your picking up your rig to make another presentation. Once, you’ve performed the wrist snap, raise your rod tip and rig to the surface, and send your flies upstream for another drift. Grid the water off, fish the water closest to you first, and every half dozen drifts move your drift closer to the opposite bank. Try to cover every inch of the run, because sometimes in this type of water, trout have very small feeding lanes and won’t move very far to feed.
I hope some of you will give this technique a try. If you put in some time and experiment with it, I think you’ll find it a pretty satisfying way to nymph fish, and I promise you’ll connect with trout that would otherwise still be sitting on the bottom.
Dell Neighbours shows off a perfect place to try Czech nymphing.

Czech Nymping Q & A

What’s your favorite style hook you like to fish when you’re Czech nymphing?
I like to use Hanak Czech Nymph hooks made by Umpqua. They’re used heavily in competition fly fishing, hook gaps are good size, barbless and have super sharp hook points. A lot of times I’ll use jig hooks like the Umpqua C400BL for my anchor flies because they give a little more up and down action with the fly in the water, and they snag on the bottom a little less. Lastly, the Umpqua TMC 2499SP-BL is a great curved short shank hook that I tie all kinds of wet flies with. It’s 2x heavy, 3X wide, and has a razor sharp point. There’s lots of great hooks out there for Czech nymphing, but these specific hook recommendations have served me well over the years.
Do you suggest building the Czech nymphing leader with 100% fluorcarbon?
I really don’t think there’s a need to use fluorocarbon for the entire leader, because the tippet section of the leader is really the only part of the leader in the water, and that’s the only place I use fluorocarbon in my Czech nymphing rig.
How would you modify your Czech nymphing rig if you wanted to fly fish shallower pocket water?
When I do find myself Czech nymphing this type of water, I’ll usually go with a single fly, and shorten the tippet section of the leader from six feet to three feet. In situations where I’ve got lots of conflicting currents, I think a single fly can sometimes provide me a better drift because with two flies, they can get pulled in different directions at times. One fly is also easier to keep from getting snagged up. I’ll also lighten the weight of my fly as well when I’m Czech nymphing shallower water.
What’s a couple common mistakes you see first time Czech nympher doing on the water?
They have too much slack in their line during the drift or they try to make too long of presentations, with their flies drifting too far away from them. You really want the majority of your rig floating under your rod tip during the drift to maximize your ability to stay in constant contact with your flies.
If the fish don’t seem to be eating on the dead drift, what tips would you give an angler?
I would try jigging the flies a little during the drift and using a Leisenring lift at the end of thedrift.
Does this Czech nymphing leader help you in spooky fish situations?
Yes, for starters it’s significantly longer than your average size tapered trout leader. This helps you present your flies with much more stealth, because your fly line doesn’t really ever come into play (only have a foot or two of fly line out the rod tip when your fishing). Lastly, for those extra spooky, flat water situations, you can tie on a dry fly (also can add a tiny nymph dropper) and my Czech nymphing leader is capable of laying out extremely delicate presentations out to 30 feet with no problems.
Would you consider your personal Czech nymphing rig to be more like a hybrid euro nymphing rig?
Yes, it’s length makes it sort of a cross between a traditional Czech nymphing rig and a French nymphing rig. French nymph rigs are about twice as long.
What’s a few of your favorite Czech nymphing patterns?
Hares ear variation, frenchie, and surveyor are a few of my go-to patterns. I of course use lots of other fly patterns, but day in and day out, these three produce consistently. I also substitute the dubbing colors in the patterns, specifically the hotspots at the thorax. Some color variations work better at different times of the year.
haresear2 frenchie surveyor

Sunday, January 18, 2015

WNY Fly Fishing - Slick Ideas

Jeff told me about a slick way to secure the trout beads on your line, the guides up in Alaska told him to tie a nail knot with 20lb test on your leader, cut the bottom tag end off and leave the top tag on to stop the bead from sliding over it. I have used this method and it works very well, if you don't want to use the beads anymore just slide it up next to the indy and you are ready.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WNY Fly Fishing - Angler Diary Program - Genesee River 2014

Summary of the 2014 Genesee River Angler Diary Program

Scott Cornett and James Zanett


Region 9 – Allegany

January, 2015

From March through October 2014, Region 9 Fisheries staff conducted an angler diary program on the Genesee River. The diary program covered the entire river in Region 9 from the Pennsylvania state line downstream to the Livingston County line in Letchworth State Park. The river is managed as a stocked trout fishery from the PA line downstream to Belmont and this is where almost all of the trips reported by angler diarists occurred. The river also has a substantial population of smallmouth bass throughout its length. This diary program also collected information on that part of the fishery. The diary program is a particularly important way DEC obtains information on the quality of the fishery in a river the size of the Genesee. Its large size and deep pools preclude us from being able to adequately sample it with our stream electrofishing equipment. Diary programs have also been used on the river in 1988, 1989, 1993 and 2010. However, the 1993 diary program only covered the 2.5 mile long catch and release section.

In 2014, 96 persons originally signed up to keep a diary. Nineteen diaries were eventually returned with usable trip information. However, those 19 diaries did report a substantial number of trips made (237) and hours fished (749). The 19 diaries actually report trips from substantially more than 19 anglers as many entries covered the trips of more than one angler. As expected, the majority of diarist trips were made by anglers targeting trout (84%) and occurred in the months of April, May and June (61% of total trips). A total of 450 yearling brown trout (91% released), 179 two-year-old and older brown trout (80% released), 120 rainbow trout (90% released), 13 brook trout (92% released) and 222 smallmouth bass (all released) were reportedly caught by the diarists. Brown and rainbow trout are stocked by DEC, while brook trout are stocked in the Pennsylvania portion of the river and likely move downstream into the New York portion of the river. Only three trout were reportedly caught on trips targeting bass and only three bass were reportedly caught on trips targeting trout.

The combined average catch rate for brown trout and rainbow trout of 1.17 fish/hour, for angler trips targeting trout, was well above the management objective of 0.5 fish/hour (one fish caught every two hours of fishing) (Table 1). However, it is important to keep in mind that diarists tend to be more skilled than the average angler, thus we would expect their catch rates to be above the average angler’s on this stream.
Table 1. Angler diarist catch and catch rates (fish/hour) for brown trout, rainbow trout and smallmouth bass in the 2014 angler diary program on the Genesee River. *Includes all brown trout >12 inches.
Total number caught Catch rate
Yearling Brown Trout 449 0.70
*Two-year-old and older Brown Trout* 177 0.28
Rainbow Trout 120 0.19
Combined all trout 746 1.17
Smallmouth Bass 222 2.01

release section, Section 3 spanned from Rt 417 in Wellsville to Route 86 (below Belmont), Section 4 covered from Route 86 to Portageville and Section 5 extended from Portageville to the Livingston County line (Letchworth State Park). Trout fishing trips occurred in sections 1-3 and 5, with the majority of the trips (60%) taking place in Section 1. Diarist’s average catch rates for brown and rainbow trout combined, by section, varied from a low of 0.71 fish/hour in Section 2 to a high of 2.14 fish/hour in Section 3 (Table 2). Section 3 also had the highest catch rate for trout in the 2010 diary program. Although there was a large range of catch rates between sections, none of these differences were statistically significant. Only Sections 1-3 are stocked with trout, thus it was somewhat surprising to have trout caught in Section 5. While water temperatures should be limiting for trout in this section of the river, the area below the three water falls in Letchworth State Park would have high oxygen concentrations, allowing for trout survival. It is unknown if these trout moved downstream from the stocked portions of the Genesee or whether they migrated down other stocked streams like East Koy Creek, draining into the Genesee River. Table 2. Number of angler trips and angler diarist catch rates (fish/hour) for brown trout and rainbow trout for anglers targeting trout, by section fished, in the 2014 angler diary program on the Genesee River.
Section Number of trips (% of total) Brown trout catch rate Rainbow trout catch rate Combined
catch rate
1 118 (60%) 0.97 0.25 1.22
2 43 (22%) 0.60 0.11 0.71
3 32 (16%) 2.09 0.05 2.14
4 0 0 0 0
5 4 (2%) 1.11 0 1.11

Although rainbow trout are only stocked in the river upstream of Wellsville (Sections 1 and 2) (brown trout are stocked in Sections 1-3), anglers did catch rainbow trout in Section 3 (Table 2). This indicates that some stocked rainbow trout are moving downstream into Section 3. Catch rates for rainbow trout were considerably higher in Section 3 in 2010 than they were in 2014.

A considerable number of large-sized brown and rainbow trout (>18 inches) were reported by diarists in 2014, indicating there may be some stocked trout overwintering at least one or two years in the river. Surplus breeder trout are stocked in the fall by DEC, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks large brown and rainbow trout upstream in the spring, thus it is difficult to determine what proportion of the larger trout are actually holding over in the Genesee River. The largest brown trout reported in 2014 was 24 inches and the largest rainbow trout was 18 inches.
When we examine diarist use by month, we see as expected, the majority (61%) of the angler trips occurred during the months of April, May and June (Figure 2). Angler diarist combined catch rates for brown and rainbow trout by month ranged from a low of 0.42 fish/hour in March to a high of 2.34 fish/hour in August. However, there was considerable variation and statistically, only March’s catch rate differed (Table 3).

Figure 2. Angler diarist trips, by month for the 2014 angler diary program on the Genesee River.









Percent of total trips
Table 3. Number of angler trips and angler diarist catch rates (fish/hour) for brown trout and rainbow trout, for anglers targeting trout, by month, in the 2014 angler diary program on the Genesee River.
Month Number of trips (% of total) Brown trout catch rate Rainbow trout catch rate Combined
catch rate
March 8 (4%) 0.42 0 0.42
April 18 (9%) 1.27 0.15 1.42
May 42 (21%) 0.61 0.22 0.83
June 62 (31%) 1.07 0.17 1.24
July 25 (13%) 0.97 0.14 1.11
August 12 (6%) 1.96 0.38 2.34
September 15 (8%) 1.13 0.06 1.19
October 15 (8%) 1.59 0.63 2.22

Table 4. Number of angler hours and angler diarist catch rates (fish/hour) for all trout, in the catch and release section, for the 1993, 2010 and 2014 angler diary programs on the Genesee River.
Year Number of hours fishing Catch rate
1993 800 1.51
2010 141 1.63
2014 178 0.71

Sunday, January 11, 2015

WNY Fly Fishing Stream Report 1/11/2015

No news to report other than the deep freeze has got us good for now. The only options that are open to fishing now is Burt, Oak and the Niagara river.

Monday, January 5, 2015

WNY Fly Fishing Stream Report 1/5/2015

Shelf ice and cold temps are going to slow us down now, but you can still find open water with fish in it.

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Peacock Emerger Step by Step by Jim Guida

WNY Hatch Chart

Name Size Dates
Stoneflies 10-18 April - September
B.W.O 18-22 April - September
Hendrickson 12-14 April - May
Black Caddis 16-18 March - May
Caddis 14-18 April - September
March Brown 10-12 May - June
Grey Fox 12-14 May - June
Sulpher 14-18 May - June
P.M.D. 16-20 May - June
Lt. Cahill 14-16 June - July
Green Drake 8-10 May - June
Isonchia 12-14 June - August
Yellow Stonefly 12-14 June - September
Hexagina 6-8 June - July
Trico 20-24 July - September

Ants 16-22 June - September
Beetles 12-16 June - September
Flying Ants 16-18 June - September
Hoppers 10-12 August
Crickets 10-12 August

USGS Height Gage

USGS Height Gage

Flow Rate Guide

Oatka Creek
2.60 – 2.80 low water flows·
2.80 – 3.00 moderate flows·
3.00 – 3.20 good fishing flow·
3.20 – 3.40 starting to rise·
3.40 – 3.60 High Water

Genesee River near Wellsville
100 – 200cfs Summer Flows Low water
200 – 300cfs Summer Flows Good Water
300 – 400cfs Spring Flows Fishable·
400 – 500cfs Spring Flows High Water·
650cfs + Stay Home

Cattaraugus Creek

Cattaraugus in Fall
100 – 250cfs Low Water Flow·
250 – 400cfs Good Fishing Flow·
400 – 650cfs Fishable Flow·
650 – 800cfs High Water Flow·
800 – 1000cfs Very High Water Flow·
1000 – 1200cfs Stay Home Tie Flies

Cattaraugus in Spring

100 – 250cfs Low Water Flow·
250 – 400cfs Good Fishing Flow·
400 – 650cfs Normal Fishing Flow·
650 – 800cfs High Water Flow·
800 – 1000cfs Very High Water Flow·
1000 – 1200cfs + Stay Home Tie Flies


Mirrored Minnow

Mirrored Minnow

Rainbow Runner

Rainbow Runner

Emilee's Spey

Emilee's Spey

Thunder Creek Minnow

Thunder Creek Minnow

Simple Sculpin

Simple Sculpin



Rabbit Leech

Rabbit Leech

Hare's Ear Wet

Hare's Ear Wet

Peacock Emerger

Peacock Emerger

Sulpher Emerger

Sulpher Emerger

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