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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Where the deer trail ends

Last weekend Lisa and I headed to Pulaski, NY for the Spey Nation Spey Clave. We also wanted to take the time to explore some parts of the river in anticipation of the upcoming steelhead season (which, personally can't get here soon enough for me!)

The water is pretty low - 240cfs and very, very warm at 75F. Since the water was so warm it didn't really cool us off from the 90F temps for those couple of days. But....since the tug is the drug and steelie are such a blast the two of us decided to use the non-fishing time checking things out.

Friday we headed out and decided to wet wade while checking out the river at one particular spot that I wanted to show Lisa; I fished there with a guide a couple of years ago and wanted to go back ever since.

Down the embankment we went, following first one trail that ended up in a bunch of brush and then turning around to try again. The second trail we followed wasn't too bad; it actually looked well worn. Eventually that trail turned into a deer trail. Okay, no big deal. The last time I was there it was winter and easy to go through except for the snow and ice.....but now there was all this green leafy crap in our way.

Not only was there green leafy crap but the ground started to get a tad on the soggy side.

We kept on going since we figured if it was good enough for the deer and they were probably heading to the river for a drink, then it was good enough for us as well.

The trail got narrower and narrower and the ground started getting a bit soggy.

Then the ground got soggier enough so that one would call it a bog. The definition of a bog is:

Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins.  In general the low fertility and cool climate results in relatively slow plant growth, but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence peat accumulates. Large areas of landscape can be covered many meters deep in peat.

The brown color is important, so remember that. I tried to get the text color above to match the brown but it doesn't do it justice. Oh, and the part of it being meters deep? Yeah, important mental note there as well.

But back to the river exploration which should, by now, be a bog exploration.

We are talking about our upcoming trips (yeah, plural since one trip just doesn't cut it) and joking about what the look on Lisa's face is going to be when she lands her first steelie (so hoping I can video that!) when I say, "Where did the deer trail end??"

We looked around and sure enough the trail we had been so faitfully following had disappeared. But we knew where the river was and even though we couldn't see it we were not about to turn back. Now we were bushwacking.

The ground is getting softer and softer until I took that one step and that was when, according to Lisa, she just watched me melt into the BOG. Yup, the left foot went down and kept on going until it was just over my knee. So there I am, sunk up above my knee and the right foot just starting to go as well. I turned around to look at Lisa and said, "Look at me! I'm a midget!!"

We laughed like hell. If anyone had been watching it was quite a show, for sure.

Lisa darted around me and was pleased to say, "Look. I didn't sink!"

Then she took one step and sunk down as well. Holy crap, she tried to grab a branch to pull herself up only to have the branch break on her and she plopped backwards. By that time I had yanked my leg out by grabbing anything I could for leverage (and thank God there was no poison ivy!!). I was so stuck that at one time I felt my wading boot getting pulled off and there was no way I was going to stick my hand down there to fish it out either! Luckily both boot and leg made it up but it was only a temporary situation.

We took another couple of steps and I sunk again only this time it was my right leg.

So there we are, not looking too pretty. Sweat pouring down our faces, thorns stuck into our wading pants and both of us are covered in mud.


At this point we could see the river was close so we had two choices, keep on going or turn around and go back. 

We kept on.

When I looked down I could not tell what color my wading boots were. My wading pants were just as disgusting with BROWN BOG MUD.

When we got to the river Lisa actually sat down in it trying to get the BROWN BOG MUD off her wading pants. It didn't really work since there was a permanent brown stain left behind when she stood up and mine are still stained despite having gone through the wash when I got home.

We looked around to make sure there were no witnesses, even deer,  and then proceeded to check out the river like we had planned.

The only problem was how the hell were we going to get back? I jokingly told Lisa that we could go right back the same way we went becuase going uphill was easier. Not sure why but she didn't buy that.

So we ended up finding and then following another trail along the river and luckily there wasn't a bog in sight!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,

Finally, the heat broke and I headed up to the river. The skies were overcast as I started out at the dam pool. I put on the ol' partridge and orange with a tiny bead head and landed a couple of feisty salmon parr; boy, those little fish sure do have a BIG attitude.

Ok, dinks are fun but I wanted something more and if they are going for the bead head I was taking it off. So a quick change up and I put on the ol' orange and partridge minus the bead head.

Smack. Nice 8" bow took that one. I had to work some more and change flies to the RBF - secret weapon of the summer - and was rewarded with another bow about 12". By now the clouds had cleared away and bright sun was on the water so I headed back to the car with my faithful fishing companion.

We drove on up to see the level in the Colebrook and it is very low. The water coming into the Farmington from Mass. is so low that you could walk across the upper part of that river and pretty much not get your feet wet.

Cleo and I headed on back taking in the Still River which is pretty darn still right now; hardly a trickle doing down that little stream; makes me wonder where all the fish went?

Back to Riverton after some lunch and I thought I would try a new spot.

The Flea (aka fishing companion or Cleo)  and I headed back up river to a new spot and were lucky there were no cars parked there. We trucked on in to find that there were a couple of guys up at the head of the pool. Three were spin fishermen and one fly fisherman.

Across the river in the shade I could see some rises.

Using the RBF fly I took one cast, reached across the river and into the shade and watched a fish move for the fly.

He nailed it.

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
To cast it, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Man oh man, sometimes I do get lucky and this was one of those times. I could tell it was a fairly large fish and I really wanted to look up river and see if the guys saw it.

I almost didn't look but then I just had to....

The fly fisherman is looking down at me and I could almost see the word bubble, "What the..."
as he looked from me and then turned to the three spin fishermen and with outstreched arms look at them and then back to me.

Yeah, it doesn't happen too often but I was pretty proud of that cast!!

And the fish? A nice 14" brown on the 4wt.

Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
To cast it, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spey Nation 2012 - Pulaski, NY

I made my second trip to the spey clave in Pulaski last weekend. It was a great time. I was able to get Lisa to come along so we headed up on Thursday morning  not only for the clave but also to explore the river in anticipation of steelhead season this winter.

There were eight presentations secheduled for the day so we brought two chairs and plunked 'em down and waited. The casting presentations by Simon and Tohper were great fun to watch and very informative. I was glad that I brought along my camera for some videos because I sure can't remember all that they said; but the best part was being able to follow what they were discussing.

After the clave was over Lisa and I put on our wet wading gear and headed to the river to try out some of the methods they had demonstrated. For the next hour or so we had a great time casting and I know I can't wait to get back on the Farmy to keep practicing and fishing.

Simon Gawesworth

                                                                          Topher Browne

There was a raffle later that afternoon with the proceeds going to the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club. There were some really nice prizes that we put in for and  I ended up winning a couple of T-shirts.  Lisa, on the other hand, had a really good time at the raffle. She won a reel as well as a complete rod package from the Red Shed in Peck, Idaho.