Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Afternoon on the Housatonic

My calendar was pretty open yesterday afternoon and it's been a while since I've had the chance to do a little fishing so I called an audible and took the afternoon off to fish a river I don't often get the chance to fish. I met a couple of neighbors who I recently learned like to fly fish.  We started at a popular pool and were surprised how many other people had the same idea!  I thought for sure the river would be pretty deserted on a Tuesday afternoon.

There wasn't much going on in the first spot.  I had a couple good bumps on the bead head pheasant tail soft hackle but no hook ups so I decided to be a bit unconventional.  I tied on an iso comparadun with an iso nymph dropper even though by all accounts the isos are done.  I managed to fool one rainbow before we decided to move away from the crowds.  Before leaving, I did spot a couple fish sipping small olives in some slack water so I decided to see if I could fool one.  I put a nice cast over a decent sized fish in some shallow water.  I could see a bulge under the fly but no take so I decided to work another fish.  With some persistence I was able to hook a brown before moving on.

Brown that took the #22 snowshoe rabbit  emerger;
notice the red elastomer behind the right eye

While there was a lot of activity at the first spot, it seemed like the rest of the river was devoid of everything but the odd photographer taking pictures of the beautiful fall colors.  We fished another section hard with little to show for the effort so I decided to go unconventional again.  I know the few risers I saw were taking olive emergers or spinners but I decided to try a caddis pupa fished dry.  After a few drifts, I hooked into another rainbow that put on quite an areal display before ending up in my net.

A handsome rainbow that took the caddis pupa

It was so nice to be out in the fall air, enjoy the sounds of the river, the colors of fall, and the company of some new friends.  Even though I had to work for the few fish caught it was a well worth the trip.   When the fishing is slow, remember to try the unconventional. You may be pleasantly surprised with the result!


10 comments:

  1. Mark
    Beautiful trout for both species---To me, the mark of a good fly fisherman is to be able to entice a trout they have seen being active to take a fly being offered by that fisherman, and you certainly qualify. I agree about the unconventional patterns, you never know what will work sometimes--congrats on getting the brown to take the size 22 snowshoe!!!thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill, definitely a sense of satisfaction over working a fish for a while and then enticing it to take

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  2. Nice job Mark, the Housy is a nice river. Haven't been there in a while, but the smallmouth bass action during the summer was tons of fun.

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    1. LQN - It's a good trout river spring and fall when the water temps are right. It is really beautiful in the fall when the leaves are turning. Kicking myself for not taking some landscape photos (even had my good camera with me)

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  3. Well done buddy.
    That's a big river, with beautiful surroundings.

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  4. Going "unconventional" is pretty easy for some of us odd duck autumn flycasters. Glad that you had an enjoyable afternoon!

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    1. Walt - sometimes on larger rivers excessive time is spent trying to "match the hatch". I find it's a good idea to try but also recognize there is a time to toss something the fish have seen a lot of previously (trigger memory) or something that they might see soon (anticipating the hatch). This approach has salvaged a near goose egg day more times than I can count

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  5. Great looking fish! You got to love when they decide to catch a little air. really gets the heart pumping especially when they have good shoulders like those.

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  6. Joel D - thanks, the first jump I didn't really get a good look, I thought it was a little dinky stockie but the next few jumps gave me a better look. Fishing was tough that day and rewarding to bring a few to the net!

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