Bear Treks

Hello fellow hunting and fishing aficionados, welcome to Bear Treks. This is my blog to give you useful and current reports on my own outings and information that has been sent to me from knowledgeable sportsmen that just might help you in your pursuit of fish and game.

Papa Bear Outdoors is my company based in Binghamton N.Y. I am an inventor of unique cutting edge products designed to make your precious time afield as successful as possible. This is also your link to some of the best wild trout fishing in the East if not the whole country.




Views from the Vice – Yuk Bug

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Truth be told, the Yuk Bug is a relatively new addition to my fly box. But after seeing the immense size and prolific nature of various types of stonefly insects at Papa Bear’s Outdoors a couple of seasons ago… I made sure I had plenty of the biggest buggiest, stonefly patterns available the next time I met up with Wayne to fish his beautiful property.

Nearly every rock in the 750 acres of freestone wilderness at Papa Bear’s Outdoors contains remnants of a critter that resembles these Yuk Bugs, both Golden and Black varieties.

No two flys accounted for more or larger trout for me last season than the Olive Yuk Bug shown above, tied in tandem with my own Black Tic Tac pattern which is basically a small wooly bugger made entirely of marabou and webby grizzly hackle.

Also, these nymphs/streamers are just plain fun to fish. After dead drifting the fly through a section of river, if a fish doesn’t take your presentation you can strip it in or twitch your rod tip to entice a strike. More often than not if a fish is there — they will take aggressively. Stoneflies swim toward the banks after they’ve released from their hold, and the stripping and twitching of the line creates a tremendously lifelike action on the legs of the fly, and it’s irresistible to trout.

If you’re planning a trip to PBO this spring, summer, or fall – do not leave home without a heavily weighted Yuk Bug.

Tight Lines!

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Views from the Vice – Double Bunny Streamer

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Much like the Meat Whistle posted earlier, I’ve been trying to go a lot bigger with my streamer presentations to entice all the trophy wild brown trout Papa Bear has on his property. One very popular trend I see a lot of these days is the Double Bunny streamer, which is two pieces of rabbit strip, usually Olive and White, tied together on a weighted hook to provide the ultimate action and undulation as soon as the fly hits the water.

I’ve tied several variations of this pattern up recently, not only for trout but for Smallmouth and Striped Bass and here in my local waters. And this pattern shown above is actually a slight departure from the straight Double Bunny, or for that matter Kelly Galloup’s Barely Legal streamer which uses Marabou instead of rabbit strips. I’ve added in some golden flash dub, rainbow tinsel, and some marabou around the collar. Without a doubt I have high expectations for this pattern.

Tight Lines!

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Views from the Vice – Meat Whistle

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Daydreaming about making some casts to Adirondack trophy brown trout hunkered down along the bottom of the perfect piece of pocket water got me thinking about my presentation — and Wayne’s constant advice that you CANNOT get your presentation down fast enough to get to these huge two foot wild brown trout. My new years’ resolution of sorts — use more weight. Hence the jig headed Meat Whistle streamer you see above.

The Meat Whistle is a John Barr design tied with rabbit fur, marabou, rubber legs, and I threw in some hackle fibers for good measure. It is a massive streamer that can imitate anything from a crawfish to an injured minnow… and we all know how much the 24″ browns at Papa Bear’s Outdoors like both of those things don’t we? I have lots more variations in a range of sizes lining my fly boxes for my trip north in a few months. June can’t come soon enough.

Tight Lines!

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ICE FISHING SAFETY!!!!!!!

Wow, we have has 3 people die here in the southern tier of NY this year trying to get out to ice fish. It has been so warm here that even I, the most devout of ice fishermen, have not even thought about trying it. We are fishing out of the boats and loving it. Yet after having two guys drown last week, a good friend of ours succumbed to his passion yesterday and today he is no longer with us. As I preached in my blogs last year, at first and last ice or any time for that matter,  use common sense. Have an emergency plan in your mind so that in case you do go in your brain will automatically kick in. I use a high quality spud bar for probing in front of me as I venture out. I carry a set of ice spikes around my neck. These awesome little devices have a spike, set in a handle, that allows you to push the plungers and expose the spikes. Many people whom have fallen through the ice are unable to pull them selves back onto the good ice. With a set of these you are able to stab them into the good ice and help you pull yourself back on to solid ice. I also wear an inflatable personal flotation device. I often anchor a high quality rope in good ice and around me if I am venturing out onto very sketchy ice. A friend is always nice but often it is tough to find some other dim wit willing to flirt with disaster along with you. Good hard ice will support an incredible amount of weight but springs, current, warmer ground near shore and a host of other factors can effect ice quality. First ice can be some of the fastest action of the season but it also can be one of the most deadly times for the predator, so ……… HAVE A PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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