Thursday, November 14, 2013

The versatile angler

Oak leaves trapped in the early morning ice
Today turned out to be one of those New England fall days that I love.  Moderate temperature (although it started out below freezing) and sunny skies.  I was fortunate to be able to rearrange by work calendar and take the day off.  The plan was to hit a number of different runs and fish nymphs, streamers, and maybe a dry.

As a medicinal chemist working in cancer drug discovery, I spend a fair amount of time reading how other researchers tackle interesting problems.  I pay particular attention to strategies and new technology that are used because these can sometimes be used to advantage to solve new problems.  Fishing is similar; being proficient in range of techniques allows one to be productive over a wide range of conditions. 

Barren Sycamores along the Farmington in the late morning sun

Pete (TROUTI) is one such angler.  When I first met Pete he was an excellent dry and wet fly fisherman who was at home fishing nymphs and standard streamers.  A couple of years ago Pete started learning Euro style nymphing and does quite well with it.  After seeing Pete's success, I started experimenting with it myself last year.  Before last year, I hated nymphing.  I could never really get the knack of seeing the fish take the nymph and when I did hook one by accident, I usually lost it.  It was a very frustrating experience.  Since I've been Euro nymphing, I am much more successful.  This year Pete started fishing large articulated streamers and getting proficient with this technique as well.  So today I decided I would fish a couple of the six inch articulated streamers I tied last year but never fished.

the first brown of the morning Euro nymphing

The plan was simple, start off the morning Euro nymphing a couple of runs I had in mind, spend the afternoon stripping the big stuff, and finish off the day with a tiny dry.  The weather was perfect for what I had in mind. 

A hefty rainbow taken on the DDT micro nymph

Nymphing the first run did not produce anything but the second deep run produced two nice browns and a very hefty rainbow on a #18 DDT micro nymph.  I moved locations to the first run that I thought would be a good place to break out the 7wt Bank Robber with sinking tip line and started stripping an articulated olive Muddler (two #2 hooks).  Mid way through the run a nice brown nailed the streamer and was solidly hooked on the trailing hook.  I was fun to feel the aggressive take even on the 7wt!  Walking back to the truck, I took a peek up a tiny flow of water coming into the main river.  I watched a fairly good sized brown hanging in the current for a while, content to just observe.

The first brown that nailed the articulated Muddler

Can you spot the big brown?  Look for the tail 

I moved upriver to another location and after a river side lunch in the warm sun, some quiet reflection, and a little reading.  I was so thankful to have this day to enjoy outside.  After lunch, I fished the articulated streamer rig again and another brown mauled the streamer.  I was very pleased to have landed two fish on my first attempt fishing these streamers which are larger than the small stream brook trout I love to catch.

With the sun moving lower in the afternoon sky, I decided to stop at one last location to see if I could spot any fish taking dries.  With the 4 wt rigged with 6x and a #22 olive snowshoe emerger, I walked along the river looking for any dimples.  At first there was just one but then you could see a fish here and there cruising in the flat water taking small stuff in the surface film.  I spotted one within casting distance and dropped the fly in front of the last rise I saw and let the fly slowly drift over the spot when a nice brown took the fly off the surface, the small hook took hold and the final brown of the afternoon was soon in the net.  As the sun slid below the horizon, I headed back to the car having enjoyed a wonderful day in God's amazing creation.  As I walked back to the car I chuckled at the thought of catching fish on such a wide range of fly sizes, from the articulated streamer tied with 2 #2 hooks, all the way down to the #22 olive emerger. 

The last brown of the afternoon that took the #22 olive emerger

14 comments:

  1. Well Done!! Thanks for the tip of the hat!!!!

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    1. Pete, I've learned a lot from you since we first met a few years ago, introducing me to techniques I might otherwise dismissed. thank you !

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  2. A great post mark, lots of variety to a lot if different methods, love the header by the way !

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    1. Col - Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the new look

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  3. Nov post with some beautiful trout. BTW.....is your header a pic from the Adirondacks?

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    1. Kiwi - thanks and yes that's is a picture I took up in the Adirondacks in late September as fall was just starting up there. Thought it would make a nice header for the "fall" look of the blog

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  4. Mark
    That is very unusual to run the gambit with a series of flies and land fish with each one. Kind of like achieving the grand slam in trout fishing landing all four species with different flies. Congrats on a successful day of fishing on those outstanding streams there.

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  5. That's and impressive day.
    The Farmy looks in great shape.

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  6. Brk Trt - thanks it was a wonderful day and one I will remember. Despite the low water, the Farmy still is fishing well.

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  7. Those big streamers can surprise the angler expecting to have luck with small nymphs and dry flies. Glad you found a good day to fish recently. Today was a good one for me. Amazing warmth for mid-November.

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    1. Walt, I was skeptical because of there size at first but they work although tossing big flies and sink tip lines can wear you out

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  8. Love the analogy between new technologies leading to new solutions, and fly fishing versatility. And these are real nice fish you caught.

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    1. Bruce - Thanks for stopping by and commenting

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