Welcome to Pocono Patterns!

The "1847 Dozen," from the 1847 edition of Isaac Walton's The Compleat Angler

Welcome to Pocono Patterns! Over the past few months, I have been conducting research on flies created specifically to fish the waters of the Pocono Mountain Region in Northeastern Pennsylvania, my home waters. The project started when I was asked to find the recipes of six flies named specifically for regions in the Poconos. I set myself to the task, fully expecting the project to be wrapped up within a week, and began my search for the recipes. The more I searched, however, the more I discovered, and my list of six flies quickly grew. I began to unearth some fascinating fly fishing history buried beneath the mountains of the Poconos as well. I felt like an archeologist who squeezed through a narrow crevice that opened into a vast cavern on the other side, a cavern overflowing with long forgotten treasure rich with relics and ripe with knowledge that illuminated the origins of how contemporary practices came to be. Now, nearly a hundred patterns and pages of fascinating history later, I feel I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of the rich fly fishing heritage that the Poconos has to offer. I’ve found sources that claim fly fishing in America originated in the Poconos, if such a claim can be made. I’ve found references dating back more than 150 years that describe flies created specifically to fish Pocono waters. I’ve even found material that arguably traces the evolution of some Pocono patterns all the way back to the very first English writings on fly fishing, back to flies described by Dame Juliana Berners in her historic work Treatyse on Fysshynge wyth an Angle written in the 1400’s. It has been, and continues to be, an enlightening journey.


Two things have become evident to me during this research project. The first is the fact that the Pocono Mountain Region has offered some very significant contributions to the history and development of fly tying and fly fishing in America. The second, sadly, is the fact that the vast majority of these contributions have been scattered and lost with the passage of time, only loosely preserved at best. As an avid, passionate fly tier, I feel a responsibility to preserve this heritage, which has led to the development of this new section of my website, “Pocono Patterns.” There is value in preserving the history of our sport and a responsibility to do so, a sentiment I feel most anglers share regardless of the waters they fish. We all benefit from the knowledge passed down by those who came before us, especially knowledge that has been integral in molding how our contemporary practices came to be. While the information I have found centers on flies created for Pocono waters, it is relevant to anglers from all regions. Indeed, parts of my research illustrate the influences and connections between the Poconos and other fisheries, both national and international. The information is relevant to all anglers, regardless of the waters they call home.


Over the next few months, I will be presenting the information I have gathered in this section of my website. Each month I will post another chapter, if you will, of my research. I will include information on the flies of each era including recipes, reproductions of the flies, and any relevant history that I discovered pertinent to that chapter. I will start with the earliest flies I found from the 1800’s and continue up to the current patterns being created by Pocono anglers today. Most importantly, I will be creating an open forum discussion board to allow visitors to continue to share information on this subject. It is my hope that, as time goes on, those of you who have additional information on fly tying and fly fishing specific to the Poconos would share that information to help create a resource for all to reference. As I stated above, I feel I have only scratched the surface of the vast amount of information that is scattered beneath the roots of the Pocono’s mountains. The creation of the “Pocono Patterns” page on my site is only the first step of a much larger, ongoing project that I hope all will be able to contribute to.

 

The "chapters" of the Pocono Pattern project will be listed in the menu links on the left side of this page.  Clicking the links will take you to that specific chapter of the project.  A new chapter will be added roughly every month.  Recipes, tying instructions, and videos can also be found by clicking the relevant links.  You can find the discussion board link listed as well.  I encourage all who have any information regarding Pocono flies or Pocono fly fishing to offer your comments on the board.  I hope you enjoy the information, and I look forward to seeing it grow with your help!