Friday, June 30, 2017

A summer afternoon

A survivor strain brown (yellow
elastomer behind the right eye) 
I spent this summer afternoon on the Farmington River.  I figured that now that summer is here, I would spend the afternoon nymphing the shady pocket water.  My hunch paid off as browns and rainbows were found in many of the shallow pockets.

Near the end of the afternoon, I found a stretch of promising water and quickly hooked three nice rainbows.  The sulfurs were just starting to come off in numbers when the skies got dark and I could hear rumbling in the distance.  At that point, I packed up and headed back to the truck and checked the radar and decided it was time to head home.  It wasn't long before the lightening was flashing and the rain was pouring down as strong line of storms moved through as they do on summer afternoons...


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It's been quite around here for a reason

Father and  daughter
Yes it's been quiet around here at least on the fishing front and there are good reasons.  For most of the month of May were getting ready for a big day in our family, the marriage of our oldest daughter.  She enjoys the outdoors and we have had many adventures together over the years, camping, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing so it was no big surprise that she wanted to be married outdoors.   We had the event at a friends barn and had a wonderful day weather wise at a fanastic location and everything went as well as we could wish.  By the end of the day we were all pretty tired.

On Father's day, my youngest daughter and I went for hike along a favorite small stream.  The last time I fished this stream there were caterpillars everywhere.  Unfortunately, they were gypsy moth caterpillars.  We were amazed at how much of the forest they had destroyed in just a few weeks. The ground was covered with half eaten leaves.  The hillside in the picture below normally would be a lush green but all that the moths left were few half eaten leaves, tree trunks, and limbs.  It was really a sad sight to see.

The arbor I built from Adirondack birch

Last week we were away in the Adirondacks doing some long overdue spring clean up on my mother-in-law's place.  The Adirondacks have been getting a healthy dose of rain all spring and the lakes and streams were quite full.  Needless to say the grass has been growing like crazy so it took a good bit of effort to get things back under control again.  I did take a couple hour break one afternoon to check out a mountain stream.  It was as high and unruly as I have ever seen it in late June and it was tough getting a fly down to where the fish were probably hiding.  I did manage one brook trout to hand but it took a heavy Ausable ugly to coax it out of it's sheltered hiding place.

The firs Adirondack brook trout of the season
With the streams too high to fish, I turned to taking a canoe out in the nearby lake at dusk to fish poppers for smallmouth.  I am not much of a lake or bass fisherman but I do know a few spots that have some underwater structure that will hold bass in the summer.  The first night out I caught plenty of small smallmouth and rock bass to make it fun.

The next night when I canoe to those same spots things were pretty quiet.  I did catch a decent smallmouth on a foam popper so I switch to a small popper with a #14 hook thinking a smaller fly might get some more attention.  As I was working my way back through and area that usually holds fish, something came up and slammed the popper hard and then dove deep and stayed deep.  From the way I was getting towed around in the canoe, I knew this fish was going to be a good one so I didn't try to force the issue, especially with such a small hook that could easily bend.  When I finally got the fish up to the canoe, I was quite surprised to see a hefty largemouth bass on the end of the line, I guess it was roughly around 5lbs.

So that's what I've been up to lately.  I expect things will settle down some now and hopefully I can get back to trout fishing soon.

Adirondack Serenity

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fishing with friends?

After a line of thunderstorms worked through our area, I headed out to fish a small stream. I met a blue heron as I walked along the stream.  When I would approach the stream, it would move off and I would find it in the next area upstream.  I guess it has fished this stream before because it seemed to stop at all my usual spots! 

I suspect the fish were on alert from it's presence since it wasn't until I moved upstream ahead of it before I started finding fish.  I ended up fishing a foam ant and a mini muddler since the brook was up and a bit off-color from the recent showers.

Now that everything is growing, the small streams are getting less open.  If you want to fish these tiny waterways, you are going to have to figure out a way to get a fly into tight spaces like the one to the right.  But if you can get a fly to drift in the right channel you will often be rewarded.

The rewards