Had the chance to get out for a few hours this afternoon. The river was up quite a bit due to the heavy rains earlier in the week. Tan caddis were being blown down the river by the stiff northerly winds so I opted to fish wets. The first couple of fish were taken were a bead head pheasant tail and partridge. When the caddis started showing up, I switched over to a hare's ear wet which accounted for the rest of the fish including two strong 16" inchers (bow and brown) All told 8 were brought to the net, a nice mix of browns and bows with a handful of others left behind.
Thought I would include a brief post on the Hendrickson comparadun and wet fly that have been working really well for me this season. The flies are pretty standard except for the use of Red/Brown Caucci-Nastasi spectrumized dubbing for the body of the flies. This is a tip I picked up from Rich Strolis' catching shadows site. The dubbing appears yellowish red but turns brown when wet.
TMC 100 (#12-14)
rusty brown thread
dun micro-fibbets, split (tail)
red brown spectrumized dubbing
comparadun hair (wing)
Mustad 3906 #12 wet fly hook (3x heavy so it sinks)
I had another opportunity to fish with a friend who doesn't get out that often. I had some good information and some experience this past week on where we might be able to fish away from the heavy fishing pressure. We had a bright, warm afternoon to enjoy with only a slight breeze. We met at the first spot and where I was quickly into some quality fish. I arrived a little before and managed one on a Hendrickson spinner early in afternoon. I don't know exactly why I tried it but I did manage one rainbow and lost another when it decided to leap out of the water and toss the hook right back at me. When my friend arrived we started to see a few duns on the water so I switched over to the comparadun and managed to hook and lose my next two including what looked to be a sizable fish. Taking the hint, I sharpened the hook and the hook set held in the next fish so well that it broke me off on 4X! Did I mention how strong the fish are this year ? My friend picked up a couple in this location until things shut down around 3:30PM.
It was time to put plan B into action and we moved to another spot. We moved into the fast water at the head of a decent pool and I hooked a fish on the wet fly on the first cast. Too bad I lost him in the heavier fast water. From 4 to 5PM we had some good sport with fish taking both dries and wets. My last fish was a very healthy 16" rainbow that had several strong runs before coming to the net. Between the two of us we probably landed close to a dozen fish.
We finished out the day waiting out a spinner fall which did occur but we where not in the best position to cast to rising fish but that's how it goes sometimes. Anyway, we enjoyed watching the adults fill the sky, some in pairs mating. It is an amazing sight to see if you've never witnessed one and I was once again reminded of how beautifully complex God's creation is in ways that most people never even see or take time to notice. I am blessed to have good friends who enjoy spending a day with feet in a river somewhere and lungs full of fragrant spring air.
Yesterday and today we are getting a lot of some much needed rain. It's been a good opportunity to do some more tying for future outings.
While the Hendricksons are out and about, I concentrate less on fishing small streams and head to the big rivers. Who doesn't like fishing for big fish with big dries and the Hendricksons will get some of the bigger fish looking up. Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon with warm temps and light winds for the most part but with the water levels lower than I've ever seen them this time of year, it was a guessing game to figure where would be the best place to start. I had a friend along with me who hasn't fished in a while so I wanted to make sure we were in a good spot. In the end, I opted for a place which draws less interest and we made out really well. The "hatch" never materialized in this spot but the fish were used to looking up so we did well for most of the afternoon in some faster water. I started off the day with my best fish, a nice 16" hold-over.
The first brown of the afternoon
We took a good mix of browns and rainbows on top and on a trailing wet. By the end of the afternoon, we had brought a dozen quality fish to the net. At around 5PM we switched spots in hopes of catching a spinner fall. We were in the right spot for the spinners and they did come but there weren't many fish rising to them. My guess is that the low flows had moved the fish on to deeper sections of the river. We still managed a couple of hold out browns. When the day was over we considered ourselves fortunate to have made some good guesses considering all the variables.
The first thing you will notice about this post is that there are no pictures. As I left to head up to the Farmington River yesterday afternoon, I realized I had left the camera card at home. I figured that Murphy's Law would come into play at some point in the afternoon and that I would probably hook into a really big fish. Bottom line, never doubt Murphy's law !
I went up thinking that it might be a good idea to fish a bit upstream of where I had fished previously. Being a tailwater, the hatches move upstream over time as the water temperatures rise. Passing the spot I had fished last week there were a few guys in the water. When I reached the spot I wanted to fish, I was disappointed to find a number of cars in the pull off. When I checked out a nearby option, it was empty but with the water levels being so low I thought the fish may have moved on in search of more cover and deeper water. So I decided the best option was to head back down river to option #3 and it turned out to be a good choice. I could not see a single soul anywhere. The hatch did ocurr and some big fish were rolling on the emergers.
When I arrived there was a lot of olives on the water and fish rising. I started out with an olive comparadun and picked up a decent 14" brown. This was to be the smallest fish of the afternoon. When the Hendricksons started coming off in earnest the fish turned their attention to them. I took another fat 14" brown in some faster water on a comparadun and then a huge rainbow. The marking on my net had it at 16" in length but it was very hefty with a dark red stripe and bright cheeks. It looked more like a small steelhead. When the fish were obviously taking emergers over the duns, the Hendrickson soft-hackle I use accounted for another 16" brown. I finished the data with a 17+" copper colored hold-over brown that took the comparadun as the hatch started to wind down. I hung around til dark to see if a spinner fall materialized but all remained quite.
I've caught bigger fish but I have to say that I've never caught so many in the16"+ class in one outing - but then you'll just have to take my word for it since I don't have any photographic proof
As a Christain, this is one of my favorite weekends of the year. The bittersweet of Good Friday followed by the joy in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a high point year after year for me. To me the gospel is very good news ! I would like to take the opportunity to wish each of you and your families a blessed Easter. Below are the lyrics of a modern hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend that nicely expresses what the gospel is all about for me.
Got out a little this afternoon as well. Another blustery day out on the water. There weren't any many Hendricksons out this afternoon probably due to the wind but there were a few coming off over the later part of the afternoon. I had the pleasure of fishing with two friends Pete (TROUTI) and Ben (theleaper.blogspot.com). The banter among friends makes for an afternoon of laughs and good fun. Ben had picked up a couple fish by the time I arrived. The fishing was slow but we each managed a handful along with a decent number of long distance releases. My first fish of the day was a good size rainbow that took the hendrickson soft hackle. The soft hackle and comparadun each accounted for fish this afternoon.
Ben laid out a terrific long distance cast to pick off a very nice rainbow that was rising off a rock on the other side of the river. The fish was rising about 20 - 30 ft off the opposite bank in the background of the picture to give you some idea of the distance of the cast needed to reach it.
Later in the afternoon another fish or two were working off the same rock but the wind made it next to impossible to reach them. During a brief break in the wind, I managed to lay out a long cast in the right location and a fish rose to take the comparadun but I only managed to sting it. A few minutes later there was another brief lull and I managed another cast to the same area and finished the day with another fat rainbow.
Yes it's that time around here. I managed to get out on the water for a few hours in the afternoon with the hope that some Hendricksons would be out and about. It was a blustery day to say the least with gusts of wind that nearly took the hat off my head but there were Hendrickson's around and the fish were keyed on them. I started off with a comparadun with a soft hackle trailed off the bend. Before the hatch got going, they fish were taking the soft hackle. Once the hatch started in earnest around 2PM the comparadun was the ticket. As things wound down around 4PM I took a nice bow on the soft hackle that put up quite an aerial show to finish up the day. Two rainbows and five browns, were brought to the net with as many that were on briefly before returning home.