Trout Bum of the Week IX: PJ Daley

PJ Daley in the manager and head guide of the Orvis shop at the Wisp Resort in western Maryland, where fishes all the region’s famous rivers–the Youghiogheny, the Savage, the Castleman, and the North Branch of the Potomac. He also enjoys chasing wild brook trout, rainbows, and browns on some of the smaller streams in the area…but he’s certainly not saying which ones.

His favorite time is midsummer, when you can find him on the lower Savage casting terrestrials, sulphurs, and yellow sallies to wild browns and brookies.”Fishing the Savage correctly and getting a dead drift is where a good guide is invaluable,” PJ says. “Presentation is everything here. I love guiding on the lower Savage mid-summer.”


We asked PJ a series of questions about his favorite sport, and here are his replies:

When did you start fly fishing? I’ve been fly fishing since I was 7 years old, so that makes it about 31 years now.

What’s your favorite water? My favorite piece of water is the lower Savage River in western Maryland. I have fished a lot of places around the world, and it is one of the top peices of water you will find anywhere on this planet.

What’s your favorite fly rod quarry? Wild brown trout on the lower Savage are my favorite fish to chase because they are dry-fly pigs, and the pocket-water fishing is super fun and challenging.

Most your most memorable fly-fishing moment? My most memorable moment is backpacking New Zealand for three months and sight-fishing for monster brown trout in many of its rivers.

Most your most forgettable fly-fishing moment? My most forgettable moment would be when I hooked my younger brother through the lip with a bass popper when we were little. Dad was out of town and my mom had to deal with it.


PJ Daley 2
PJ Daley with a fine western Maryland rainbow trout. 


What do you love most about fly fishing? The thing I love the most about fly fishing is sight-fishing to big fish. It’s a lot of fun when you can see a 20-inch fish, and you have to make one good presentation.

What’s your favorite piece of gear? My favorite piece of gear would be my 9-foot  4-weight Orvis Helios because it feels so good to fish with. It’s the nastiest rod I own, and I own a lot of them.

What’s your next dream destination? My next dream destination would be going to Chile and fishing for big browns there. I’ve heard all the stories, and I have to get there in the near future.

Remember: Leave a comment below, and you could win a Jackson Cowboy Shirt from our new Trout Bum Collection. We’ll pick a new winner at random on Thursday, June 9!

3 thoughts on “Trout Bum of the Week IX: PJ Daley”

  1. I was referred to PJ by Darrell Ferdock. I would like to set up fishing trip with PJ the week end of August 3rd. Please contact me at the above email or at 443-871-3293. Thanks.

    1. I would like to schedule a fishing trip with PJ. Please contact me at the above email or at 443-871-3293. Thanks

  2. Hello PJ. Can a person float the section of the North Branch from the Blue Hole down to where the Savage comes in with a western wooden “drift boat?” You are right about the lower Savage though I do struggle with my footing. Nice article.

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