Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hendricksons part II

The season's first trout lilies

Monday afternoon I was able to take some time off and head up to the Farmington River to fish during the Hendrickson hatch.  Pete (aka TROUTI) and I had made plans to meet on the lower river and plans were made to be joined by Mike.  Mike is a local angler who had connected with me through this blog.  We have be corresponding by email for about a year and we were excited to finally able to meet face to face.

Prior to the hatch, I headed up into a boulder run to nymph the pocket water while the others worked the run at the head of the pool.  I was pleased to find rainbows holding behind the boulders and in the seams of the run.  Over the course of an hour of working through the run, I had landed three nice healthy rainbows before heading back to the others to see if the duns would start coming off.

One of three pocket water rainbows
As expected, the hatch started pretty much on time but didn’t really generate a lot of bugs like I had seen the previous week.  Nevertheless there were fish looking for duns and everyone was into fish during the hatch.  The comparadun accounted for most of the fish with the exception of a few early fish which were taken on the wet fly.  While the hatch was disappointing it was nice that everyone had some action.  As the hatch wound down, you could see spinners with egg sacks mixed in with the duns, encouraging me to stick around until dark for a potential spinner fall.

Mike and I stopped by one of my favorite little runs before I settled in to wait for a spinner fall.  I picked up another decent rainbow on the second pass through the run and then said goodbye to Mike who headed for home while I made my way to a location to wait to see what the evening would bring. 

The last rainbow of the afternoon - photo courtesy of Michael Stephens

While I was waiting to see if a spinner fall would materialize, I worked the head of the run and hooked two fish but quickly lost both in the heavy current.  As I reached the top of the run, the spinners were getting pretty thick in the air and I was feeling pretty good about waiting it out.  I sat down for a few minutes to rest and eat a sandwich while I watched the dance that was playing out high overhead.  While there were a ton of spinners in the air and on the water, the fish never really started taking them with any frequency and my spinners were ignored for the remainder of the evening.  While the lack of activity was disappointing it did provide an opportunity to get a good look at the spinners coming down the river in numbers.  Careful observation revealed that they were smaller and thinner than what I had with me so the following evening I spent some time at the bench tying something closer what I saw on the water the night before.

10 comments:

  1. I hope we can expect a video of what you tied Mark. I've never fished a spinner fall but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

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    1. Howard - thanks for the suggestion, I never considered doing a spinner video since they are really simple and quick to tie. If there is some interest from others, I could definitely do one. Fishing a spinner fall can make for a memorable evening. Some big fish come up for an easy meal in low light and it adds to the excitement when you are fishing blind to rises you can hear but can't really see.

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  2. Mark: It was a good afternoon, constant action while nymphing,ended the day with one nice rainbow on your wet fly! thanks!!

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    1. Pete - your welcome. I love seeing people fishing that thing!

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  3. When I fish spinner falls, I find the only pattern I really need is the "rusty spinner" in various sizes. It has served me well on the farmington.

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    1. John - Agreed! and sometimes a rusty spinner with a yellow ball of dubbing on the back will work really well early if there are egg layers.

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    2. Mark, that sounds like a good idea. I would modify it as follows: substitute a "ball" of Piersall's yellow silk threat for yellow dubbing. Silk thread has beautiful translucency when wet.

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  4. Mark, I have to do more of what you did. Just sit for a while and look around at what is going on. Seeing a good hatch take place is an amazing thing. Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - I have to tell myself to slow down and observe a lot. It's a good discipline and good for the soul

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