Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thankfullness

The "run" in Boiling Springs PA
As we come away from the Thanksgiving holiday, I was particularly thankful this year that my wife and I could spend the holiday with our two daughters and son-in-law.  We spend much of the year apart, so a few days together was such a blessing. On Sunday afternoon it was time to drive my youngest back to school to finish up the semester.  Before returning home, I spent a couple hours on the Yellow Breeches in PA.  It was a great opportunity to be outside on warm, bright, sunny, November morning. When the weather starts to turn colder and the days grow shorter, the solitude of normally busy streams and rivers can be something very enjoyable, especially one days like these.

A small wild brown
From my experience a week earlier on "the Run", I decided to try my 6’6” fiberglass rod and shorten up my leader.  I started off the morning fishing small eggs to a group of trout holding in the shallow tail out of a gentle riffle.  I don’t often sight fish to trout but in the crystal clear, shallow water I could easily see and observe several trout.  I started off with a small zebra midge and a small foam egg.  As I watched the egg tumbling through the water, occasionally a fish would follow the egg but mostly it was being ignored.  I placed a small spit shot about 10-12 inches above the egg to see if I could keep it closer to the bottom and slow it down.  After making several adjustments to the drift, I managed to pick up the first brown of the morning.  I tried half a dozen small nymphs as a dropper but the trout weren't interested.  After being satisfied that I had worked the riffle thoroughly, I switched colors on the egg and managed one more brown.

I took a little break to talk with another angler who had done very well with scuds in another spot.  After our conversation, I decided to move on to some deeper, faster moving water.  I added another split shot and fished the egg/zebra midge combination and found three more browns that were looking for eggs as well as some brief tangles with trout that took a variety of cress bugs and pheasant tails of various sizes.




After spending most of the morning thoroughly enjoying myself, it was time to start on the drive home but it was a shame to leave on such a gorgeous day. Days like this one aren't that common in  late November, so I  was especially thankful to have the opportunity to fish over fussy PA browns and have some success.  The shorter rod and leader definitely made the fishing easier and more enjoyable.



Friday, November 24, 2017

A morning on the Yellow Breeches

It was time to pick up my daughter from college for Thanksgiving break which gave me an excuse to fish the Yellow Breeches in PA again.  The morning started bright and sunny and the air quickly warmed.  Soon the air was filled with small clouds of midges and small olives.  I decided to fish in Boiling Springs along "the run".  If you like small streams, the run is one of the most challenging small streams I've fished.  The run is small and tight and the water is very clear and shallow making it tough to approach the shallow riffles and tail outs where the fish are holding without sending the fish rocketing for cover.

A small wild brown (red adipose) that took a small olive nymph



I fished most of the morning with small nymphs and foam eggs and found a number of very pretty browns.  I did well in the heavier runs where I could approach without alarming the fish but it in shallow runs and riffles I still spooked quite a few fish.  The next time I visit, I have some more adjustments to the leader in mind so that I can effectively fish small nymphs from farther away.



  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks




Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and thanks for following along!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November days

November on the Farmington
It seems like this fall has just flown by!  It wasn't that long ago that we experiencing warm days and lots of fall color and now  we are midway through November and the winds of winter are starting to stir once again.  I spent a cool, overcast day on the Farmington River this past week. About mid-day some steady snow showers enveloped the river and the surrounding hills.  Between the overcast skies, leaves that are mostly off the trees now, and the falling snow, there was a very grey solemn cast to the day that only enhanced the solitude that was to be my experience this particular day.  I fished a number of spots and only saw one other angler all day.

A fall spawner?
The first cast I made connected with one of the prettiest rainbow trout I've caught in the river this year. From the orange belly, I am tempted to think that this was a fall spawning stocked rainbow.  I am told this does occur in some stocked rainbows. I am never overly excited by hooking up on the first cast since past experience usually indicates that the fishing will be slow for the rest of the day!  Not only did I connect on the first cast but the rainbow took a Lafontain deep pupa that I was using as a dropper.  I've fished this fly on a number of occasions and I have rarely caught fish on it.  I don't really know why I put it on other than it was fall and there were caddis around earlier.  I know plenty of people that fish this fly often and do well with it, just not me until today.

After thoroughly working the first location over pretty well, I moved on to 4 other locations without a bump.  My fifth stop was a section of the river that I explored for the first time this past summer.  Again within a few casts I had another nice rainbow again on the Lafontain caddis! I guess the rainbows were just looking for caddis pupa!  I will have a few more in my box the next time I am out!

Another rainbow on the look-out for tan caddis pupa
 I continued to work this section and found a good sized brown willing to take a foam egg that I was trailing behind the anchor nymph that I was using to keep the flies close to the bottom.  The brown was was missing a nice chunk of it's tail that I guess was the result of tangling with something a bit bigger with a round jaw.


I continued to fish hard for the rest of the afternoon without any more hookups.  Even though the fishing was slow, it was a rare pleasure to be out and enjoy the river all to myself with the snow and grey skies filling  the landscape with subdued overtones that made the day especially enjoyable.  I am sure those of you who have spent a lot of time outdoors understand and have had similar experiences.