Friday, August 25, 2017

Exploring

purple loosestrife are all over
I fish a good bit there’s no denying that fact but I do have other responsiblities and can’t fish whenever I like.  When I do have the time and opportunity, I tend to fish those spots that I know well for obvious reasons. The advantage of this strategy is that you get to know an area really well under a wide variety of conditions but there are also benefits to exploring less familiar areas.  This point was driven home by a blog post from  Domenick Swentosky over on Troutbitten entitled “Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #3 — Fish New Waters” (I highly recommend  you check out his blog regularly).  Domenick writes “ there’s an alternate reason for fishing new waters too, one that’s a little more tangible. When we fish new water, we learn new things…New water forces us to use fresh tactics, to adapt, to think and solve the riddles of a trout stream”.  I thought Domenick made a decent point and I decided would make effort to explore areas I don't know all that well more often.  I had done really well the two previous nights in a spot I have fished many times before so I was content to spend a couple hours exploring some new places.  I would probably not catch a lot of fish but would atleast see some new territory that might pay dividends in the future.

I arrived in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday in August and needless to say I was not alone.  People were out enjoying the sun whether swimming, floating down the river in an inner tube or canoeing or kayaking.  But that was all ok because my mission was to look and see the character of a new section of the river.  I traveled light with just my long nymph rod and a small box of nymphs as I was planning on covering a lot of ground.

A wild Farmington River brook trout
I started at a strong rolling riffle that ran up against some big rocks along the opposite shore.  The current looked a bit too strong to hold fish so I nymphed the edges and found a little wild brook trout within the first dozen drifts.  I love seeing wild brook trout in the Farmington, as they signal that the river is in good health.  Usually, if I find one there are others around but I didn’t find any more close by so I decided to move on.  As I waded upriver there were many good looking areas and one really nice pocket water section that was really moving along.  When the flows are lower this would be a nice area to revisit but from the other side of the river next time! Along the way I found a decent brown, and hooked another when my anchor fly snagged a thick branch and the trout snatched the dropper as it was fluttering in the current.  I managed to land the branch (it fought like a tank) but the trout had long since freed itself in the struggle.  I was a but puzzled by this heavy pull with a little throbbing here and there that made we wonder if I had hooked the fish of a lifetime until I saw the log and the fish in the water!

Later in the afternoon I saw a couple fish take something off the surface so I walked back to the truck and rigged by dry fly rod.  I could not see anything on the water that would indicate what they rose to but they weren’t interested in a iso emerger.  As I retraced by my steps back to the truck I saw another fish rise in a shallow steady riffle.  I put on an elk hair caddis but I could get it to come up again.  As I was allow the fly to finish the drift a strong rainbow grabbed it from a shallow riffle and but up a nice fight and with that I called it a day.

The last fish of the day that took the EHC in a shallow riffle

I don’t know if I learned any new tactics but I did see some areas of the river that warrant some further investigation and found a few fish along the way!

10 comments:

  1. Mark
    Nice job exploring new water! It paid off and that rainbow is a beauty! It is always interesting exploring different parts of the Farmington, as there are fish everywhere.

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  2. Mark, it is always satisfying to catch fish in unfamiliar areas. I should do more exploring myself rather than fishing the same zones like I'm prone to do in my limited time on the river. Regards, Sam

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    1. Sam - we all tend to familiar places and a reminder to explore more often is helpful

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  3. Mark, I fall into that category of "stay in one place" especially when I fish the Farmington. On the small streams I'll move quite often.
    Love that wild brookie.

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    1. Alan - It sure is nice to see those wild brook in the river!

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  4. Mark
    Another quality catch, impressed with amount of black spots on that brown---I need to master your water release trout tactic---thank for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill - just trying to keep them in the water

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  5. Mark, I agree completely. The way I see it, fishing is, almost by definition, an exploration of places and an adaptation to them. We learn by trying new water and return to the old familiar places a little bit smarter (hopefully).

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    1. Thanks Walt - I tend to go to familiar places more often especially on larger rivers but I am trying to fish some new water more.

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