Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall sunday afternoon

One of two browns to take the #24 olive emerger

I took a quick trip to the Farmington River to get some fresh air and enjoy the warm fall day today. The fishing was generally slow, but I did manage to find some fish later in the day rising to tiny olives.  A pair of browns were were hooked using a size 24 unicorn, the pattern and recipe are shown below.  This pattern is very simple; just thread a couple fibers of emerger yarn for a tail and white foam wing to see it and keep the body in the film.

Top view of Dave Goulet's Unicorn
Side view of the Unicorn
#24 TMC 100 hook
brown sparkle emerger yarn or zelon tail
olive thread body
1mm white foam wings

Friday, September 27, 2013

Adirondacks - Day 1

We arrive at camp around 6PM, got set up and quickly settled in.  The temperature was dropping and the winds were picking up and the tent and sleeping bags were a warm refuge from what was going on outside. The wind howled all night and I was hoping for some clearing for a good day of hiking.

Rainbow over the town of Wilmington, NY the morning of day 1

Day 1 started out clear in the valleys but the cold and fog soon settled on the valleys blocking views of the High Peaks.  We opted to drive east and south to see if things would be clearer on the edges of the High Peaks.  As we drove south, we were able to get a clearer view of the mountains.

Noonmark, Dix, and Nippletop from Marcy Field; Keene, NY

Next we drove west to Newcomb, NY to view Tahawas (the Indian name for Mt Marcy which means "cloud splitter") and Indian Pass from the south.  Legend has it that the Indians came into the Adirondacks through Indian Pass to hunt but did not live in the mountains.  The distinctive structure of Wallface Mt and Indian Pass are landmarks that are easily seen from a distance.

Tahawas from Newcomb with the Autumn colors just starting to show

Mt. Wallface on the left of Indian Pass

We made one final stop in the abandoned town of Adirondac.  This town was built when iron ore was first discovered in the region in 1826.  A blast furnace was constructed of stone and operated successfully for around 30 years but eventually, the remoteness, brutal winters, and the presence of titanium dioxide in the ore which could not easily be removed with the technology of the day shut down the furnace and the town. It was in this town that Teddy Roosevelt, who was hiking on Marcy, learned of President McKinley's eminent death.  Roosevelt was rushed to Buffalo where he was sworn in as president.

McIntyre Blast furnace in Upper Works built in 1826 and still standing

Remains of the workings of the blast furnace

Red squirrels that have made a home in the walls of the blast furnace

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall in the Adirondacks

This post is a quick "teaser" of sorts. A good friend of mine and I just got back from a couple days in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.  I am really fall in love with this region of the Adirondacks and this last trip has just fueled the fever. This trip was primary a hiking trip but since we were up in Ausable country, I did manage a couple hours of fishing one afternoon. We arrived around dusk the first night to a cold front blowing through that brought temps in the low 40's and strong winds all through the evening and the next day. The next day it was raw, with temps hovering in the low 40's, overcast skies and drizzle hanging on the tops of the peaks, and lots of wind.  We spent the day driving around and doing some exploring.

Shadow Rock Pool on the Ausable River

I fished from about 4pm to 6pm around Shadow Rock on the Ausable.  Despite the tough conditions I did spot some fish rising.  I started out with an iso comparadun with an iso nymph dropper.  Within 5 minutes, I hooked a big brown that took the nymph and ran hard for the tail of the pool.  I managed to turn him before he headed downstream and out of the pool but he managed to find some jagged rocks and snag the line between them.  I tried to go after him but he managed to break the dropper off before I could get to him.  No worries since there were still rising fish working, so I focused on fishing the comparadun and hooked another nice brook trout that promptly headed for the bottom and pulled the same trick! I guess fish are smatter in the adirondacks (I think Fran Betters wrote a book by that title). Working a little upstream I managed to spot another fish poking his nose out and hooked a second brown on the comparadun that also managed to unhook himself.  It wasn't a great day for catching but I was pleased to hook a few decent fish under rough condition on a river that is very new to me.

Two huge boulders each the size of a small house!

I will be going through the 75 or so pictures I took over the last couple days and putting up a few posts of some of the amazing vistas we visited over the last few days so I hope you will stay tuned.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Use two hands !

Well today I had the chance to finally do something I wanted to do for a while, take a two handed casting lesson.  Jerry, Fred, and Mary of Spey Casting North East provided the equipment and some excellent instruction.  I can't say enough about their instruction and friendly, encouraging attitude.  They really explained the mechanics of the cast and the role of the anchor so that we when went to the water things really came together for me.

They had me doing a decent single spey, double spey, circle C, and even an upstream perry poke.  It was a blast and I was totally hooked on this method of casting.  Now all I have to do is find a rod and getting in some practice before the broodstock salmon season in CT !   

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A farewell "summer friday"

Late summer touch me nots

Yesterday was the last of the "summer Fridays" at work.  For the past several years my employer has let us work an extra hour Monday to Thursday and take a half day on Friday during the summer.  This opportunity has enabled me to fish on Friday afternoons without taking a vacation day.

Friday was cool with the temps barely making it into the 60's.  Not only was it a farewell to summer Fridays, but it was a fitting farewell to summer in general.  I love being outdoors on these cooler days and am looking forward to the coming fall.

My plan was to move around a lot, to fish big dries and Euro nymph some faster water.  At the first location, I saw a good number of isonychia coming off, which was good sign.  I fished the iso comparadun and a parachute Adams and had several brief hookups and one brook trout on the Adams.

This little guy took the Adams with abandon

It seemed like the fish were tentative with taking the dry.   I then turning the Euro rig and worked the same area.  On one of the first drifts through a nice slot, I saw the line stop.  At first it felt like I had snagged the bottom until the bottom starting heading for the opposite bank!  I think it was a large rainbow since I saw some red on the flank.  After a charging run into some shallow water the fish managed to toss the hook.  A couple more wild browns were taken on the smaller DDT dropper.

Wild brown caught on the DDT

Towards evening there were more isos coming off mixed with some white flies (#14), caddis, and olives coming off but not much interest from the fish.  I finished up the evening with the iso comparadun but again had a couple brief hooks up but nothing to the net but it was wonderful day to be outside on this final summer Friday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tale of two Adirondack brooks

Touch me not

Last week I visited my favorite Adirondack brook.  It was dry and in need of some rain.  I fished a Royal Wulff most of the afternoon and had many strikes and brief hookups but no fish wanted to come to hand for a quick photo.  It seemed like the fish were just nipping at the tail of the fly.

The following day, I headed to the other side of the mountain to fish an upstream section and found it too low to fish so I moved on to a brook I've seen before but never investigated. The difference between two brooks is pretty striking.

The brook pictured above is tanin-stained while the new brook pictured below was striking clear. There was plenty of water flowing and many very deep pools.

When I  dream of the Adriondacks, this is the picture that comes to mind

One of the deeper pools: about 3-4ft deep in the middle of the pool

 Many brook trout were hooked briefly and then off again but I did manage to bring one to hand to photograph.  I will definitely be going back to explore more of this lovely Adirondack brook

Adirondack Gold