Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter tonic

Fresh fallen snow
I love fishing in the winter. Why? Well, I don't rightly know.
What I can tell you is that it frees my spirit and allows me the time and peace to gather my thoughts, my senses. This is my winter tonic.

My buddy Lisa giving it a swing.

I don't know how these form but they are wicked cool to look at.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 part 2

This was Saturday when the wind was a-blowing and a-going. So much wind; but the Sage Z-axiz 8 wt. handled very well. We crossed the river multiple times as our guide took us to one side and then the other side and then back again. Thank goodness he knew where he was going or you could also look at it that he didn't have a clue and just wanted to see how many times we would cross! Either way we had a pretty good day of it. The hits we got came early in the morning and after that it was painfully slow or I should say non-existant.

Disclaimer - sad to say that I had a slight relapse and went to using a single hand rod with an egg pattern and high sticked it. I was very happy to see the indicator go under and quickly set the hook and landed this night steelie. After this I went back to the two handed rod.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spey flies and steelies

Well, we made our annual Thanksgiving trip to Pulaski this year. Last time with guide Loren Williams who accomplished what he probably thought was the impossible - he got Rob into fish on both days and for the first time ever Rob landed fish on both days! Yee-haw. Rob was dead drifting egg patterns and I was swinging. As you can see, Rob had all the luck on this trip. He hooked up 10 times and landed four fish. Friday was just beautiful with temps in the 50's and some sun. Friday night a cold front moved in and so did the wind. I used the T&T 11'7", 7wt. with 454 Skagit Short and she worked like a charm. I could (and did) cast all day with it. This rod makes casting so easy!
But.....we headed out despite the conditions and while the wind was gusting close to 25mph (if not more) we still made a day of it. I took out the 8wt. for Sat. and while it did pretty good there were some casts that occurred at the same time as a wind gust and all I could do was watch the d-loop just get pushed up river! Ha! How ridiculously fun!! We were lucky that no snow or rain added to the day's events.

Perfect spot for lunch!!

Well, we met today  for some fly tying. Jerry showed us how to do some spey flies which I really enjoyed.
Think I will use these on my next trip to the Salmon River. Pretty much the same fly but tied with different feathers; pheasant rump, silver pheasant, and some golden pheasant. This sure is fun.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Two days on the river before Sandy Arrives!

Here we go again! It is deja vu all over. Last year it was the October snowstorm that did us in and who would have thunk that one year later another storm would be taking aim at us. But it is true, Sandy is on her way and from the looks of it she is going to have her way with us.
I don't know about most folk but my storm preparations include fishing before all hell breaks loose. To be honest, there wasn't much preparation that needed to be taken care of since we have a small supply of batteries, flashlights, candles and a double burner camp stove and propane tank from last year. All I needed to get was some soup, chili, ice and that was it - mission accomplished.
So Sat. and Sun. was spent with my buds on the river trying out some new tube flies while enjoying a very productive leaf hatch.

Lisa getting ready to tie one on.

Oh look, more leaves. 

Lisa with her catch of the day.

Both days were cloudy. Sat. there wasn't much of a wind but Sunday there was a steady breeze that kicked up. Still, you can't beat spending time on the river with friends.

This yellow/black bunny strip tube fly wiggles like mad in the water. Tied by Jerry Jahn, of Spey Casting North East, these flies sure look good and they were the experiment of the weekend. As a matter of fact, they all wiggle like mad in the water! Add some sparkly stuff to them and they really look interesting. I had a nice brookie just smash the black/yellow one.

Here are some more examples of flies by Jerry. My mission today, since school is cancelled, it to tie up some of my own and hope they come out half as good as Jerry's.

Hopefully I can get some done before we lose power in this neck of the woods. Power outages have already been reported down along the shore so I am sure it is just a matter of time before we lose it here in W. Hartford.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kuddos to Kittery Trading Post

A couple weeks ago I purchased a new Sage 12'6" 5wt. two handed Z-axis from Kittery Trading Post. Hey, the price (almost 50% off) was right; how could I not? Last Sunday I was going to try out the rod to see which lines fit us best when ....

I grabbed the next piece to put on the butt section and ....

it did not fit! Oh the horror!! Someone from the factory had taken the 5wt. butt section and then included the 6wt. upper pieces.

I called Kittery Trading Post (KTP) to find out that they had one left at the store for an exchange. Instead of waiting to complete the exchange through the mail my husband and I decided to make the trip to Kittery. Truth be told, we had  not been to KTP before so it seemed like a good idea.

On Monday, we arrived at the fishing department and met Phred (no, his name is not misspelled). Phred could not believe what happened and he felt absolutely awful about it. Paul, the store manager came looking for me and he was also very attentive at seeing the snafu was taken quickly taken care of.

Long story short; the customer service that I experienced was outstanding. I have never had a store manager come and look for me to make sure that everything worked out right; they went above and beyond.

You can bet that my husband and I will visit KTP again.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aug. 19th. Farmington River Temps.

It would appear that the water temps. are starting a much needed cooling trend. The Farmy was approximately 70cfs this morning and the still was approximatley 30cfs.

I used the same method as my previous posting. I even visited the same locations as my previous post; the only thing different was the time of day.

Still no fishing for me, however, I will be out on the river practicing my skagit casting!

wt = water temp.
at = air temp.

Still River @ USGS monitor @ 9:15 am         wt = 66F           at = 61F

Dam Pool @ 9:25am                                        wt = 62F           at = 62F

Long Pool above Beaver Hole @ 9:35am       wt = 62F            at = 62F

Hogback Rd. pool @ 9:42am                          wt = 62F            at = 62F

Just below Riverton bridge @ 9:50am            wt = 60F            at = 62F

Pipeline just above ballpark @ 9:56am          wt = 64F            at = 62F

Church Pool @ 10:07am                                wt = 64F            at = 67F

Greenwoods @ 10:16am                               wt = 66F             at = 67F

Monday, August 13, 2012

Aug. 13 water temps. on the Farmy

I headed up the Farmington today - all the way to Massachusetts where it enters the Colebrook Reservoir.  The dam release this morning was 57cfs and there was 44cfs reported from the Still.

Usually this part of the river is deep and holds fish.

As I continued on down it did not get any better. More grass growing than water!

 And as I got closer to the Colebrook Damn I noticed the old highway bridge starting to poke up from the water. I did not see this bridge the last time I drove up here which was two weeks ago.

Here is the Colebrook Dam in the background. No boats in the water which I would imagine is because the water level is too far below the boat ramp.

Then I continued to the Still River and stopped at the USGS monitor station. This morning the Still was 44cfs and at 11:15 am I took a water temperature (wt) of 72F and the air temperature (at) was 76F. I taped my thermometer on a stick so that it was approximately 3" above river bottom and used that for the readings today. I also walked out to the deepest part of each stop (which wasn't too far) to take the temperature. The water at each stop was above my knees.

At the Hogback Dam pool I  wt was 62F   at was 76F  @11:40am

At a pool above the Beaver Hole (.4 mile down river)  wt was 64F    at was 77F   @12:00pm

At the Hogback Road pool   wt was 65F    at was 77   @12:10pm

At Riverton Bridge    wt was 66F    at was 77F   @12:20pm

At the Gas Pipeline, which is just above the baseball field and after the still dumps into the Farmy
the wt was 72F   at was 79   @ 12:30pm

At Church Pool   wt was 72F    at was 79F   @ 12:45pm

At Greenwoods   wt was 74F    at was 79F   @  12:55pm

At the Riverton Bridge - same location as last river report.

At Whittemore's Pool - same location as last week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aug. and still no relief from heat on the Farmy

I drove up the river the on Wednesday this week.The first two pictures are from the bridge in Riverton; I have never seen the river this low. Right now we are approximately 7" below normal rainfall for the year. People have spoken of water temperatures in the mid 70's as well as dead trout. 

I saw a couple of kids "tubing". They weren't really tubing since they were out of their tubes and pulling the tube behind them as they walked down the center of the river. I realize that some people still fish in the early morning or evening, which is their decision and one I respect. Me? I just can't do it, the fish are under too much stress with 80cfs and the warm temperatures. The days here have continued to be very warm with highs in the upper 80's to low 90's and the nights have "cooled" down to 75F, these changes in temperature do not, in my opinion, allow the fish time to recover. pass away the time I am tying some wet flies and thinking about starting on some steelhead flies as well. 

These two are Whittemore's Pool. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What looks good?

How 'bout some Silver Doctor tube flies? Learned this from Jerry the other day when he gave Lisa one; she landed some really, really nice browns with this.

3/4" tube
red, blue, yellow schlappen
red tag
silver wrap
mallard for wings

Monday, July 30, 2012

Praying for Rain

Ok, so for two days I had to stay off the river. Why? Thunder storms and lightning and not necessarily in that order. Tuesday I headed up early afternoon got a couple of hits but then the wind picked up and so did the clouds; those big storm clouds in the picture above were a warning of things to come! But I tried some more until a piece of the coating on my running line fell off - ok, someone is telling me to head on home and so I did!

So Wed. and Thur. last week were no fishing days because of the weather and most particularly the thunderstorms and lightning. Wed., the conditions were just about right for a chance of a tornado to roll through, but as it was only a very severe thunderstorm cam on by. Thursday was more of the same and since I really have an aversion for lightning I did not head out.

Saturday was another epic warning from the weather watchers for "high winds, thunder storms". So early Sat. morning I headed out early to try my luck before any storm activity rolled in. As luck would have it, I was out but the fish were no where to be found. By Sat. afternoon the lightning was cracking, the skies were very ominous and then it rained. It rained hard for over an hour and by that time the river was turning chocolate and rising from the 1.8" of rainfall. Still not enough to make up for the almost 5" defecit we have in the area.

Sunday Rob and I headed up early. The river had come down and bit and was still dirty, but we had decided to fish farther up river and closer to the damn release. We ended up meeting up with Fred, Jerry, Lisa and Stark and fished the afternoon. It was better weather with a few light showers but no lightning! Lisa was killin' 'em with a Silver Doctor tube fly that Jerry gave. She got the Farmington Grand Slam - brookie, bows and browns. The browns she landed were all really big fish too.

So I was headed up today but last checked the flow rate and the release from the damn is now 117cfs and I just can't bring myself to do it. I just hope it doesn't stay that low for too long. If it does I will take the fishing and put that on the back burner and just do some practice casting while checking out new parts of the river.

Looks like today is a good fly tying kinda day. Think I will try some tube flies while praying for rain.

Earlier in the week I landed this bow with a march brown wet. Ended up getting three more that morning.

Jerry Jahn tied up this aluminum tube fly and I used it yesterday. A 12" bow smacked this thing and he smacked it HARD.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ok, who did it?

Who made the weather Gods mad? Two days now of thunderstorms has put an end to my daily fishing trips. Bummer.....will try again tomorrow. So much for my "big streak!" ha!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How many days...

I got to wondering today about how many days in a row can I get out and go fishing?

I was out last Wed., as well as Thursday and Friday.

Saturday and Sunday were two epic days of fishing.

So today I decided to head out between thunderstorms, or so I thought and only  managed about 90 minutes worth before thunder was too close for comfort. I am a BIG chicken when it comes to lightning. There was one afternoon (several years ago) when I was trying to high tail it out to the car and there was another angler on the trail in front of me. I kindly requested that he either step off to the side or he could have size 8 Korker boot prints up one side and down the other becuause I was on a mission to get the hell out and fast. He was very kind and stepped off to the side!

So currently I am at 6 days and and about 15 fish landed.

Guess I will keep it a game and see what happens tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A pretty good day of it

Lisa and I spent most of the day on the Farmy today. It was so nice to have 73F for a change with clear blue skies and very little wind.

Lisa had a really good day landing three bows; each one bigger than the last. Unfortunately, I left the camera in the car and missed the first bow.

The second one I also missed because I was sharing some flies with another angler who was below us.

The third, and biggest for her today I had the camera out and ready to go when the fish flopped and disappeared. I told her to grab the line and get it back in but she had unhooked it!

Here fishy, fishy.

This was the first brown I landed today he was way out there and I just let that fly work its way on down to where I saw him sipping some caddis. I landed another later on just as big and then a rainbow. Fishing has been pretty good this year; bigger fish too.

This was the fly that worked some magic for us. Size 12 with CDC wing and partridge beard.

Some really pretty berries along the river bank.