After a long spring, summer, fall of fishing, I have found my way back to the computer desk after the first real snow of the season here to update the blog. It was an incredible season with a ton of great stories and fish to talk about, but I will try to space them throughout the next couple of entries. I think I last left off with our first trip to the Farmington. We didn't get out there as much as we would've liked, but such is life. I did get to make an August trip to the Farmington with my "master" if we were speaking in Jedi terms. My uncle Pete taught me how to fly fish a long, long, long time ago in a galaxy not so far away. Since then he has moved to Florida were the trout fishing is less than spectacular to put it nicely. He was up here for a few days, and the invite went out to him to hit the water. Gladly accepting, we made the 2 hour drive west. Taking up one of my go to spots(which shall not be named) Uncle Pete wet his first fly line in 15 years. Gotta give it to him it didn't take long for him to get the casting stroke back. The up-stream mends were a totally different story. Being the closet Star Wars geek that I am, I was dying to use the "last time we met I was but the learner, now I am the Master" line and I made good on it. The river was fishing a little difficult that day so I had Uncle Pete tie on a black ant and fish the banks(usually a good bet for a hand full of fish) he had a couple of rises to it, but the set was pretty ugly. I decided to throw on my can't miss fly for that section(which will also remain nameless)and it still hasn't let me down. Fishing this certain Dry Fly on the inside seam of a slick, a beautiful Farmington Brown sipped it in. The fish was much bigger than I originally thought. This is one of those rivers where it is fished pretty heavily so the fish are very particular about fly and tippet. I usually fish 6 or 7x, and on this day I had 7x on. As I fought the fish I realized if I didn't get to walking it was going to break me off. After a few minutes, and a few attempts to net it, I called to my uncle for help(he had a bigger net) when he promptly responded true to form "if you bring that fish near me, I'm gonna cut your line" After a few joking expletives, I managed to get the fish in my net with its head and tail overflowing either end. Pictures will follow in the next entry along with updates from our trip out west!! I'm trying something different with my fly of the week by posting video tutorials on youtube just click on the link!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQMHCAiXQpU This is for my black quill soft-hackle, feel free to subscribe, Firedawg32ri. Ill be doing a couple of videos a week. As for updates, the Farmington is at 500cfs with Winter/Summer Caddis and Midge hatching daily. If you want to save your eyesight, PT's, Egg patterns, and streamers will do the trick underneath. The Wood River is a balmy 38 degrees and flowing @ 97cfs with everything fished deep and slow. Until next time!!!
Welcome to Spring!!!...As we all know this is a good thing, because it"s the start of trout season in most places. On the other hand it's a bad thing because of all the rain that brings rivers up to unfishable levels. The latter of these scenarios is what dominated our first trip of the year to Connecticut. We headed out last Sunday for 4 days of early season fishing on the Farmington, under sunny skies and seasonable temps. If I recall correctly, the Upper TMA was flowing around 1500 cfs when we arrived (about 1530 hrs), which makes fishing that area extremely difficult. So we headed a few miles north to the town of Riverton, where the river was a more friendly 300 cfs. We decided to fish Canal Pool, and what a good choice that was. I took 5 fish in the first hour we were out there( all rainbows in the 12-14" range) and both of us lost or jumped off that many each. After going to the campground to get everything set up, we went back to the same spot where we again lost a few more each, but it's worth noting that Chandra did take a very nice rainbow to ensure there would be no week long shutouts! All fish were taken on a tandem nymph rig with a BH PT anchor and San Juan Worm dropper, and all but Chandra's fish were taken on the San Juan (which makes sense because of the evening hatches coming off). Monday was a different story as the river above and below Riverton had come up a few hundred cfs over night. We tried our luck again at the same spot, with zero fish resulting. We had a CT water dept. employee tell us they were opening the dam up river shortly, raising the levels even further. So, we took a run down to the (in)famous Boneyard pool down river a ways in an attempt to beat the rising water. Once down there, seeing that we were going to be able to fish the spot for a little bit, I decided to throw on a Woolly Bugger and swing it through there, while Chandra stayed with the nymph setup. On my third cast, during the swing, I felt something that just didn't feel natural, so I gave it a quick set and my reel instantly screamed. After a few more times getting my reel smoked (just about to the backing at one point) and with outstanding team work, Chandra netted the beautiful Boneyard Brown you see below. That is the second biggest freshwater fish I've ever taken, next to a Steelhead. We immediately set Chandra up with a Woolly, to try and get her one, but she wasn't as lucky as I. That's what I attribute that fish to. The way I figure it, it was at least 99% luck and maybe 1% skill. Tuesday morning the river was raging all around. We took a drive out to the Housatonic to take a look, but that was even worse than the Farmington. We did find a spot on our way back to camp on the Still River, but no fish to speak of. We packed up Wednesday, and after a couple nights of rain the river was 2000 cfs above and 2700 cfs in the TMA. We tried the Still River again, and gave the Boneyard a last chance, but nothing. So, all in all it was a decent trip, but we are both itching to get back there at better water levels. And accordingly, with 4 days of vacation for the trip, work has eaten into my tying time so no fly for this update, but I will post something soon. As for river updates for today, The Farmington is nice at 550 cfs(reports have the river dropping significantly overnight) with Hendricksons (12-14) out in force, along with Mahogany Duns/Blue Quills (16-18), BWOs (16-20) and Winter/Summer Caddis (18-22) all productive on top. The Wood River in Arcadia is flowing through at 270 cfs with Black Quills (12-16), Caddis (14-18, Olive usually works well) and Early Stoneflies (14-16) coming off. Hendricksons, Red Quills, Grey Fox, and March Browns should all start to hatch very soon, if they haven't already. We're also expecting Mahogany Duns, Sulfur Duns, and Light Cahills in the next few weeks.
So all the Pomp and Circumstance of opening day has come and gone. It's now time to get to some real fishing. Opening weekend wasn't very productive for Chandra and I. We fished the Wood River on Saturday, with the only action for the day being a single miss on an elk hair caddis. Sunday I went back to the Wood with the same results. On a better note, the river looks to be in great condition, with clear, deep, cold water. Monday, I made the drive up to Cumberland and Lincoln to fish the Blackstone with outstanding results. A total of 5 fish were landed, 4 of those being browns between 12 and 14 inches, and a bruiser holdover rainbow around 17 inches. I also lost 4, so all in all it definitely made up for the weekend. All fish were hooked on a tandem nymph set-up, with a #16 bead head hare's ear as the anchor, and a #12 PT as the dropper about 18 inches off the anchor fly. Below are a few pictures of Monday's outing. Starting Sunday, Chandra and I will be making our first trip this spring to North-Central Connecticut to fish the Farmington River. Looks like the Winter Caddis are still around out there, but we may be coming into the Quill Gordon's and BWO's. PT's, Princes, and San Juan Worms are all doing well subsurface. Can't wait to get out there...what a great fishery that river is. So back to the Fly of the Week, now that I'll be tying quite a bit to match hatches...This week, still being early in the spring and not a ton of surface action I'll be posting the Pheasant Tail (PT) Nymph...This fly is a great all around weapon just because it can represent a number of different mayfly nymphs. Hopefully for my next post I'll have some great stories from Connecticut.
Well, my girlfriend and I have finalized plans to head west to do some fly fishing in "heaven". We will be fishing the various rivers of the West Yellowstone, MT area and the Provo River in Utah for 2 glorious weeks in late July!!! This is something I've dreamed of doing since I started fly fishing. Definitely something we'll be able to cross off our bucket lists. On more of a local note, the cold weather broke enough for me to take a couple of trips the Wood River this week. Unfortunately, no fish to speak of, but the river looks to be in great condition. It was good to get out there and scratch that itch a few more times before the season concludes at the end of the month. So in honor of our trip west, this week I'm posting the Green Drake Sparkle-Dun. From the DVD I've been watching (thank you again Dave!) the Green Drake is one of the many prolific hatches on western rivers such as the Madison, Henry Fork, the Firehole, Slough Creek, and so on. I'm also posting a few pictures I found on my phone from the Wood River, of some beautiful early fall Rainbows taken on a dry (Elk Hair Caddis if I recall correctly). Until next week.
Hook: Mustad #10 Dry Fly Hook
Thread: Black 6/0 Uni-Thread
Body: Brown Superfine Dubbing
Hackle: Hen Saddle Soft-Hackle
To start things off this week, I would like to extend a big thank you to Dave Porreca of River and Riptide Anglers. Dave does weekly tying classes that cover anything and everything you can catch in the Ocean State (and surrounding states as well). Tonight's class was spring mayflies on the Wood River (our home trout water). The way Dave teaches the class is most helpful for people of every tying skill level. We concentrated on the first hatches of the fishing season which are the False Grey Drake and the Black Quill. He explained that even though the Grey Drake come off en mass, the Black Quill which hatch in with the Drake, are the ones fish key in on (this is because the Drake crawl onto the bank and hatch from there. They then swarm above the river, but never actually land on the water until evening to lay eggs. The Black Quill will hatch at the same time, and will sit on the water and the fish love em.) We progressed through all stages of this mayfly's life cycle, tying flies to represent them. We started with the Black Quill Soft Hackle (picture above). Dave explained that this is one of the best flies to throw if the fish are being finicky. The reasoning behind this is that the soft hackle can represent various stages of the mayfly's cycle. It can be a nymph rising to the surface, an emerger, a cripple, or even a stillborn fly. It can be fished wet, dry, or you can swing it. You can tie this fly as a dubbed body, or using black turkey quills and dubbing in a thorax. We then moved on to tie mahogany Compara-Dun's. Same thing here using a dubbed or quill body. We finished the evening tying rusty spinners, which represent the final stage of life. The soft-hackle and compara-dun's were tied using #10 dry fly hooks, and the spinners using #12. So once again, thank you to Dave for the great class. I strongly recommend visiting River and Riptide Anglers if you are in the area, or the website www.riverandriptide.com if you're not. Dave has great gear, and everything you need to tie, at great prices and ships anywhere. Can't wait to fish the soft-hackles...less than two months away!!!
So this week I'm going to post two flies that I've recently tied. The first one, shown above, that fishes well just about all year, is a Bead Head Hare's Ear Nymph. I've added a little bit extra to this one.I tied in some pheasant tail and flash-a-bou to create a wing case and emerging wings. This fly worked very well for me a few weeks ago on the Wood River, considering I don't fish nymphs too often.
The one above is a fly that comes off early in the season (about April) and works well on both the Wood and Farmington Rivers. This is a Light Hendrickson Dry. If you notice I've only hackled in front of the wing, to make sure the fly doesn't sit too high in the water.
Hook: Daichi 1100 #16 Dry Fly Hook
Thread: Grey 6/0 Uni-Thread
Tail: Medium Dun Hackle fibers
Body: Cream Hareline dubbin
Wing: Natural Mallard Flank Feathers
Hackle: Metz #2 Dun Hackle
If there are any questions or comments please feel free