Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Short Trip, Small Flies, and Hefty Trout

I fished for a few hours this morning with Mike Andrews. It was very cold last night, for late July atleast, and I think it had the fish in a funky mood. It took us a while to actually get any solid hookups. Mike was nymphing, I was fishing dries. He got a lot more takers than I did, no surprise, but for a while they were just mouthing his flies. Bug wise, the menu consisted mainly of small caddis and midges. I was having a hell of a hard time seeing flies that were small enough to even tempt the rising fish, but eventually I watched a fish come up and suck something down where I thought my fly should be. I gave a very light hookset, the fly was one of Mike's tiny foam caddis pupa, and felt the weight of an angry brown trout on the other end. I tend not to use small dries if I don't have to, so it had been a while since I caught a trout this nice on a sz. 20. It feels good, but I'd still rather watch a fish like that wreck a big unweighted streamer.

Mike jumped on board not much longer with a beautiful spunky rainbow that looked and acted wild. I hesitate to call some fish wild, especially with rainbows, but the force was strong with this one and there are more wild trout in this river every year....

There were clearly a bunch of fish in that pool, and I would not have minded staying since I hadn't fished it much in a few years, but it was getting crowded and my legs had begun to beg for warmer water, so we went downriver. 

Good choice? I think so! Mike caught that piggy holdover rainbow on a big pink squirmy worm! Clearly it is eating well. I caught a fish down there too, but that rainbow could have swallowed my brown no problem.

I just love that river, and Mike does too. We could have stayed there all day, but he had things to do. Actually, it probably would have just become a day of dealing with the crowds anyway. But its the early birds that stick the pigs! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Swinging Salmon Flies for Trout (and other species)

Yesterday I got a bit of an itch to practice my spey casting. Fall is not so far away, and considering how cold and wet a year we've had thus far I won't be surprised if the salmon rivers are high enough to make spey casting a preferable method; so I went out to the only really suitable water to do some practice. I'm still no expert, but by the end of the day I was feeling much better about my single spey cast and snap-t and effectively throwing long casts.

I wasn't really trying to catch fish, but I messed around with a few salmon flies so I could practice my swinging technique, since swinging isn't something  really one of my strengths. Every once in a while a fish jumped on the fly. For the most part they were small. I actually picked one up and threw it into the anchor... ouch! I felt kinda bad for that little guy.

It wasn't until  decided to swing a buck bug that I had some trout grab my fly. Show a buck bug to most fly fishers and they will mistake it for a bomber, but unlike the bomber, which is very similar appearance, bug bugs are fished wet. I had a lot of success earlier this year on buck bugs for trout but I thought it could mostly be attributed to the naivete of the freshly stocked fish. Maybe not... yesterday the buck bugs were the only flies that got hit by salmonids. The takes were really jarring, even on an 11'6" 8wt rod! 

Next time you are having a hard time figuring out how to catch pressured trout, tie up some buck bugs and give them a whirl. It might be just the ticket!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Evening on the Farmington

It's not bee a warm dry summer here, finally. The Farmington is at a great flow and perfect temperature and there are plenty of bugs hatching. How could I pass up an opportunity to fish up there for an evening? I joined a couple friends yesterday for some dry fly fishing in late afternoon until dark. The surface activity wasn't as good as it could ave been, but there were fish rising sporadically all over and there was the typical flurry of activity at last light. Fish were fooled with large Adam's, beetles, and various caddis, and I had one brown on a caddis pupa.

When we finally found some good numbers of isonychia emerging, there were indeed trout rising too them, but there were an absurd number of cedar wax wings flying around plucking the duns out of the air. It was te most bird activity I'd ever seen on the river.

After I stuck one rainbow on an iso emerger the action started to slow, so I changed to a beetle. While I wasn't paying attention a huge brown took my fly. There wasn't much I could do about it, and even worse it was a fish I'v been trying to catch for a while now. He's always somewhere in that run. Next time... maybe. 

The last light bite was funky. I'm not really sure what the fish were eating, but I did catch a couple and miss a ton on sedgehammer caddis. 

Hard to beat trout on dry flies in late July, especially in cold fast flowing water!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Multi-Species Fishing: How Many can you Catch in One Day

One day, three watersheds, 13 species of fish. 

Lepomis gibbosus

Lepomis macrochirus

Notropis hudsonius

Fundulus diaphanus

Rhinichthys atratulus

Salvelinus fontinalis

Semotilus corporalis

 Notemigonus crysoleucas

Lepomis auritus

Morone americana

Perca flavescens

Ambloplites rupestris

Micropterus salmoides
Species I saw during this day of fishing that I would not have hesitated to shoot with intent to kill: common merganser, Mergus merganser. Why? These birds litereally destroyed a whole stretch of a brook trout stream, there were dead fish littered all over the place. I swear they just kill stuff for fun.

Things  wouldn't want to shoot:

How many species have you caught in one day?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Learn Something New Every Day

Every time I go out I try to learn something new. Last night I was out catching panfish and little bass in water I have been fishing for more than 7 years. I just happened to shine my light in the rocks and I found this little guy:

7 years and I never new there were crayfish in this pond. Guess I should start throwing craws at the carp here more often.

Also, I was thinking about how many rock bass I've been catching in this watershed this year. t compares a lot to 2012. That year I was catching rock bass left and right every time I went out. Then they became kind of scarce. Just as I was thinking about that I nailed a nice one. Seems they are coming back!