Friday, April 29, 2011

Farmington Trip #1

         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.

Until next time, Get out and Fish!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opening Weekend

          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.

    Until next time, Good Fishing!!

                                                                 Pheasant Tail Nymph
                                                          Thread: 8/0 Dark Brown Uni-Thread
Hook: #12 Daichi 1100 Dry Fly
                                                         Tail: Pheasant Tail fibers
                Body: Pheasant Tail fibers wrapped forward
                                                         Rib: UTC small copper wire
                                                         Abdomen: Peacock Herl
                                                         Wing and Wing Casing: Pheasant Tail fibers