Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cabin Fever Expo Targets Fly Fishermen

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cabin Fever Expo Targets Fly Fishermen

Article excerpt

When fishing guides Mike Engelhardt and Jarret Kasan talk about fishing the Youghiogheny River from "top to bottom," they mean what they say. From the surface to the river bed, and from Youghiogheny River Dam to McKeesport.

Pennsylvania's 2008 River of the Year already is recognized nationwide as high-quality rainbow trout waters from Confluence to Ohiopyle. More recently, it has been building a reputation for smallmouth fishing as far north as Connellsville. At a seminar March 4 at Cabin Fever, a fly fishing expo benefiting Penn's Woods West Trout Unlimited, Engelhardt and Kasan will share what happens when they guide clients on the Yough in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

"Below the low-head dam at Connellsville we're targeting smallmouths with a bycatch of stocked trout, muskies and pike," said Engelhardt, of Laurel Highlands Guide Services. "In the spring, when the water temperature gets to 40 degrees until they start to spawn in mid-May, the pre-spawn trips are using sinking lines and subsurface flies. When the spawn ends in June, we do topwater as much as we can -a lot of poppers. Occasionally we have to go underneath for them, just to the top of the water column."

With dam releases and flooding tributaries, the Yough is notorious for wild changes in depth and flow. Engelhardt said the seminar will include tips on using U.S. Geological Survey water gauges and choosing flies that catch fish on the Pittsburgh region's "other" river. Contact Laurel Highlands Guide Services at 724-433-7151 or at laurelhighlandsguideservices.com.

The March 4 seminar is at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh in Cranberry (formerly the Sheraton at 910 Sheraton Drive) Admission is $10, with children 12 and under free. Parking also is free.

Doors open at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m. Mario Chance on smallmouth bass fishing at Presque Isle; 11 a.m. casting presentation; noon Dan Pribanic on swinging flies for steelhead; 1 p.m. Mike Engelhardt and Jarret Kasan on fishing the Youghiogheny from top to bottom; 2 p. …

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