WNY Fly Fishing Private Lessons

I offer private lessons for fly casting and fly tying, the cost in $60.00 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

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winter Trout Tactics

Winter Trout Tactics
written by Jason Akl

This winter season could be a fly angler's best opportunity of the year to catch a true trophy-sized trout.
Very cold water temperatures will negatively affect the feeding habits of large trout.
For many fly anglers the winter season foretells long hours behind the tying vice with little or no time spent fishing their favorite waters. This transition away from fishing is primarily due to the fact that with the shorting of sunlight light hours comes chilling breezes, snow and ice. The idea of standing out in the middle of a river with snowflakes falling and ice chunks stacking up along the shores is unbearable even for the most stubborn of anglers. With a bit of careful planning combined with warm clothing, winter can provide some excellent fly fishing action. In all actuality this winter season can be a fly angler's best opportunity of the year to catch a true trophy-sized trout. This special opportunity comes about due to the fact that the harsh weather will significantly decrease the amount of fishing pressure these rivers and fish receive. On the same note the cold weather also limits the number of aquatic insects hatching off of these fertile bodies of water, decreasing the amount of available food for hungry fish.

Winter Water Temperature

Even though you are planning on pursuing a game fish that is known to be cold blooded, water temperature is still a very important consideration for anglers. Very cold water temperatures will negatively affect the feeding habits of large trout. This cold water temperature will slow the fish's metabolism dramatically curbing the desire to eat any tasty morsel that crosses their path. In addition to this, the cold water conditions will push fish to deeper spots in the river where the best opportunity for food will be found. Fishing success in this cold water depends firmly on the depth and speed of your fly presentation. Flies need to get down deep to the fish's level quickly and stay in this strike zone for as long as possible. A good idea for fishing these frigid conditions is to start the days fishing late in the afternoon. Allowing the sun to rise high overhead will warm things up outside tremendously, making your day of fishing much more comfortable.


During this cold winter season the number of actual hatches that take place is minimal unless the winter is a mild one. More often than not the critters you will find in the stream this time of
Streamers and leech patterns are an excellent choice for fishing extremely cold waters that limit aquatic insect.
year will be in the nymph or larval stage of their respective lifecycle meaning that they can be found clinging or crawling around on the bottom of the river rocks. Using general imitation nymph-style patterns will be the most productive flies for anglers because these patterns will closely imitate many of the different types of caddis and stoneflies found on the bottom. If an angler is really not sure what types of aquatic critters are inhabiting the stream in which they are going to be fishing, then taking a few seconds to flip over a few rocks and see what is hiding below is a good place to start. Carrying a few small dry flies is another good idea when fishing these winter waters. Every now and then when the temperature spikes during the mid-afternoon, hatches will take place. Keep in mind these hatches will not be huge numbers of flies coming off the water or keep hatching for very long, so getting your fly tied on quickly and in the path of feeding fish is imperative.
Even though primarily you will be using nymph patterns, carrying a few large baitfish streamers is a good idea. Streamers and leech patterns are an excellent choice for fishing extremely cold waters that limit aquatic insect activity or if the water conditions are discolored or stained. Trout are gluttonous cannibals and have no problems eating large baitfish streamers drifted slowly though deep runs or pools in the river.


For winter fishing on small or moderate-sized lakes and rivers, a full floating line is all that is required. Floating lines are designed to present dries to fish while at the same time these lines can also be used to fish weighted nymph patterns to fish holding in deeper pools. If you come across a deep fast pool, ordinary-weighted flies will not necessarily get down to fish. Adding a little extra external weight to the fly line in the form of a splitshot should do the trick. Since winter trout can be especially spooked using long leaders coupled to light tippets will only increase your chances of hooking up with fish. Fly rod selection for winter fishing for the most part follows the same rules as summer fishing. Longer rods (8 1/2 or 9 foot) are ideal for nymphing techniques, but if the banks on the river you are planning on fishing are overgrown with trees and brush then shorter rods have to be used. Overall a 9-foot, 5-weight rod should adequately handle almost any winter situation you run into, but if you are looking to get out on larger waters that might be subject to a few gusty breezes then sizing up a weight or two is not a bad idea.

For winter fishing on small or moderate-sized lakes and rivers, a full floating line is all that is required.

Winter nymphing success depends on two general principals: getting flies down deep, and working these patterns slowly along the bottom. The normal up and across technique is used in winter-nymphing to get the flies where you want them, while appropriate line mending will keep the fly drifting downstream as natural as possible. Strikes from fish on nymphs this time of year will be very light and subtle. Using some sort of strike detection system is advised to increase your chances of setting the hook on fish. While nymphing, be adamant about fishing every pool and pocket from as many different angles as possible. Start fishing the pool from the bottom to the top, then use a downstream approach and finally finish up fishing the pool side-to-side. Winter trout can be a very weary group of fish and even though you have fished over a hole thoroughly, a simple change of flies and starting over can produce bites.

If you do not receive any action on nymphs try switching to streamer patterns like a leech or minnow imitation fished with a down and across pattern. Cast the fly to a position above the target and allow the fly to sink to the required depth before reaching the fish. On the first pass allow the streamer to drift downstream naturally and swing at the end of the drift to a position directly below the angler. This dead-drifting, tumbling motion resembles a dead or wounded minnow being swept downstream with the current while the swing motion at the end of the cast simulates the wounded minnow trying to flee danger. On the second pass, actively strip the fly against the current to try and get lackadaisical fish to react.
If you do get lucky enough to come across a midge or caddis hatch during the cold winter months chances are the bugs hatching will be small (these flies will be approximately the same size as fly patterns in the size 16 and 20 range) so be prepared. As you fish, watch the water and the surrounding environment for flies rising off the water or returning to lay eggs. These flies will be sparse and fish will sip quietly so the sooner you figure out that the hatch has begun the better odds you will have at hooking up with fish.

Winter Safety

Although the splendors of winter fly fishing can be great, the downfalls can be tragic. Slipping or falling into an ice cold river can mean more than just frost bit fingers and toes; it can be fatal. Careful observation of the weather and water you are going to be fishing is a must. Pay close attention to weather reports and never try to fish ahead of a winter front. Winter conditions can change very rapidly and you could possibly get stuck out in very cold conditions if you are not prepared for them. Rivers bottoms at this time of the year can be very soft so wade carefully and only go as deep as absolutely necessary. If you cannot figure out a safe path to reach your respective target then by passing it over is your only option. A key concept to winter fishing like all other winter sports is trying to dress appropriately for the conditions. Always dress in layers and prepare for the worst. If the weather outside happens to get warm, then simply taking a few layers off will cool you down. Try and wear fabrics that wick away moisture from the skin. All that walking will make you sweat and the drier you stay the warmer you will be. Under garments made of wicking materials such as polypropylene is a must. Wool or fleece is a good choice for fabrics and an extra hat and pair of gloves will keep you warm and comfortable so that you can fish longer.

Winter fly fishing is not meant to be just for die-hard anglers willing to wade through ice-covered rivers in the middle of a blizzard. Proper planning, dress and technique will allow even the beginner winter fly angler to be successful and turn some of those winter blues into Browns, and hopefully big ones at that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Leader and Tippets

The leader in fly fishing is tapered. It is thicker at the butt section, then at the tippet section. It is usually divided into three sections; the butt which is looped to the fly line, and is the longest portion of the leader, about 60%. The mid-section is next and its purpose is to taper down to the tippet without losing a lot of strength. The final section is the tippet; it is the actual section that is tied to the fly. It is the thinnest section; it needs to be strong, yet supple to allow for a natural drift, without alarming the fish.
Commercial leaders by and large achieve all this in one smooth product. Although there are still knotted leaders out there, by and large knotless leaders are the choice. A fly fisher does, however need to know how to attach new tippet portion to the fly line, I prefer the double surgeon’s knot, but the blood knot is also popular. Learn how to tie these knots before fighting that monster! A poorly tied knot will kill you every time!!!!!!!!!

The X factor
Now comes the fun part. Fly fishing is overflowing with numbering systems, and unfortunately leaders and tippets you have to learn. They are sized on the X numbering system. So when you hear someone say they are switching to a 6X, you now know they are talking about their tippet. The only thing you need to remember is the HIGER the X, the smaller the diameter. So when you add tippet to the leader you can match the X of the leader or go one X smaller. Leaders come in all lengths, so the industry seems to have settled on 9 feet as a good all-around length for trout to tarpon. It is a good length to handle for all levels of fly casters and will not spook fish under most circumstances.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mending Your Fly Line

Fly fishing Techniques: Mending your fly line
by Philip Monahan
illustrations by Larry Largay

The next time you look at the surface of a river, notice that the current is not uniform from bank to bank; different parts of the river move faster or slower than others. Problems arise for fly fishermen when they have to cast a cross currents of different speeds. For instance, the current near the bank is usually slower than that in the middle of the river, so if you want to cast to the opposite bank from where you're standing, your line will lie across the faster current, while your fly sits in the slower current. Because the fast current will take your fly line downstream ahead of the fly, the line will drag the fly behind it, creating a wake and ruining the dead drift. However, if you can arrange it so the line starts upstream of the fly, the fly will float naturally for as long as it takes the fly line to catch up to and then pass the fly. This is where the basic upstream mend comes in handy.
Mending Mechanics
To achieve a good upstream mend, you've got to throw a certain portion of your line upstream of your fly. (See figure 1.) But getting your line to move up and down the river is harder than it sounds; most beginners end up dragging their flies underwater during the mend. To avoid this, you must lift the part of the fly line that you want to mend off the water, leaving the unmended portion of the line on the water. There are five keys to a good mend:
1. Mend as soon as the fly touches down, before the line has time to bond to the water's surface. This will help you avoid dragging your fly under.
2. Begin the mend with your rod tip close to the surface of the water. If you have a bunch of slack hanging from your rod tip, all you'll end up moving is the slack, not the line on the water. You may have to make a couple of quick strips to pick up this slack before you mend.
3. The hinging point, where the mended line meets the unmended line, should occur at the seam between the different speed currents. If you don't mend enough line, the current will cause the line to drag the fly; if you mend too much line, you can accidentally pull your fly out of the trout's feeding lane.
4. Lift your rod tip high, even over your head, during the mend. This will allow you to pick up more line and to avoid dragging the line across the water.
5. Mend with authority. A half-hearted mend rarely moves enough line. You'll probably over-mend the first few times — accidentally throwing your fly upstream with the line — but with some practice, you'll learn just how much power is needed to move the line you want to move without disturbing the fly.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Simms Extream Waders

I have just received my Simms ExStream Bootfoot Waders with Muck® Arctic Sport™ boot (rated to 40 degrees below zero). I have been waiting for these waders for the last month and with the water temps in the high 30’s to low 40’s I can’t wait to get out and use them. Any steelhead junky, cold weather angler will enjoy how these boots keep your feet toasty warm. These waders are great fitting and easy to get in and out of. The boots with the lug sole is easy to hike in to your honey hole and are very comfortable. One pair of heavy smart wool socks is all I wear now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fishing Report 1/8/09

The small to med Erie tribs are slushy and shelf ice is forming. L.O. tribs are good shape with numbers of browns and steehead in them.

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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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