Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just the usual

Fran Better's "Usual"
I was out earlier this week for a little fishing after work.  As I drove up to the Farmington River, I was working through a mental checklist of places to try becuase it's good to have a plan B and C on heavily fished rivers like the Farmington. Spot A was a bust, too many cars, so headed to the next spot on the list which had one other angler in it and there was plenty of water for us to explore.

There were a few sulfurs around early but the river was mostly devoid of rising fish, so I did some nymphing and picked up a couple of rainbows on a Walt's worm variation which has been a rainbow magnet for me lately.  After I saw the first couple rises, I headed back to the truck and put the nymphing rod away and rigged up the dry fly rod.

I toyed around with a sulfur comparadun but after drifting it over a few rises, I decided that I would go to "the usual".  I don't know why this rough looking fly does so well at dark but it rarely fails under these conditions and this night would be no different.  I tie two variations on short-shanked hooks in size 14 and 16.  I use either hot orange or pale yellow thread.  When the fly becomes wet, the body takes on the color of the thread due to the translucent nature of the snowshoe rabbit fur dubbing. With the pale sulfurs I was seeing, I chose the yellow thread variation. There weren't a lot of rising fish until the sun had set but once it did lots of fish were actively rising and I had the most consistent dry action of the season well into the darkness.

There was a brief lull that made be think the hatch was over but the rises started picking up again.  This time the usual, which had worked so well, was being ignored.  I tried a large sulfur spinner but that wasn't the ticket either. It wasn't until I turned on my headlamp to head out that I realized what was going on.  There were huge yellow mayflies (#10/#12) all over the river, either light Cahills or Yellow drakes.  I probably would have enjoyed the encore if I had switched to one of the big usuals I carry.  That's what is so fun about fly fishing, you are always learning to be more attentive to what's going on around you!

As much as I enjoy fishing dries at dark, those beaver tail slaps right behind me still give me the creeps!

12 comments:

  1. Mark, another one of Frans fish catching creations.
    I have several Usuals in the box but seem to grab the Bomber first.
    I to would be freaked out by those beavers...man some of them are quite large.

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    1. Alan - this time of year the usual really comes into it's own when there is a decent sulfur hatch. I can't say I've ever fished a more effective sulfur pattern. Fran was quite an innovator! Not only are the beavers large, they really don't appreciate humans getting too close.

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  2. A beaver slapping it's tail in anger in broad daylight is still pretty scary!

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    1. Howard - I'll bet it is, those things are big! Most of my experience with them is around sunset and in the dark.

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  3. Mark
    A nice outing on the Farmington, flow is dropping, sulfurs hatching and fish rising to the Usual.

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  4. The Usual has always been one of my favorite flies. Nice post!

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    1. Chris - so nice to hear from you! I love fishing the usual too especially on summer evenings after the sun sets!

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  5. Mark
    Hope you guys don't have alligators near the Farmington, that would be scary!! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - no worries about alligators up here!

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  6. Sounds like a fun night on the river, Mark, and I'm glad you connected plenty. I've only fished the Farmington the one time a few weeks ago, but was darned impressed by the hatches that take place there. Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - when the bugs start coming off nicely it can be a very fine evening. I've also seen nights that nothing really happens.

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