Monday, July 15, 2013

Slow to middling fishing....

Well, I did manage to get out last Friday afternoon / early evening for some fishing. The temperature had dropped some but more importantly the humidity also dropped. It finally felt pretty decent to be outside.

I spent a nice quiet evening on a pretty stretch of the river and waited to see what was going on. It was, to say the least, very quiet.

Slow to middling.

It was so slow I could have counted the number of flies on one hand.

However,unlike the last time I was able to get out, this time the fish did start to pop up now and then which is always good. They were just starting to get cranked up when the switch turned and they shut off.

Slow to middling.

Cripes, what a weird summer this is turning out to be.

But since I was out I kept plugging along. I tied on one of the purple and starling wet flies and was blessed when a fairly good sized brookie snacked on that. I had to wait a bit before I got another one on and that time it was a rainbow.

I hung out by myself until dark and then headed home, feeling somewhat refreshed by the cooler temps and lower humidity.

That was it for Friday.

Saturday the weather was starting to change again and not for the best. It would seem that the heat and humidity were making another run for us. So late in the afternoon a group of us headed to a different spot on the river where the water was nice and cold.

Again, the insect activity was slow to middling. We didn't see more than two or three fish break the surface and we stayed there pretty late. For the first time I saw a water moccasin and for a small snake he sure had an attitude.

I hate snakes.

I was just getting ready to walk into the river when there he was, right at my feet. That guy may have been about 2 feet long but in my reality world that sucker was 10' long and nasty.

It doesn't matter how long (or short) he was since he made me stop dead in my tracks. He stared at me with his tongue flicking in and out and you could tell what his thought bubble was, "Go ahead! Make my day!!"

I hate snakes (did I mention that already?!) and this is the third snake so far this year. Shoot, there was one snake the other weekend that I got so close to I must have scared it because the darn thing shot up and out into the water in an instant. I don't know, nor do I care to know, what kind it was. It hit the water and headed downstream. But this one from Sat. was holding his ground and I graciously gave him all the room he needed.

So once I decided that the coast was clear of snakes I headed out into one part of the pool and tied on another wet fly. It took a while but eventually I had a really nice rainbow on.

Sunday we headed out but the temperature was starting to crawl back up into the 90's again. This time we did manage to see some, not a lot, but some bug activity. The cedar waxwings were diving on the water as soon as they could for a bite to eat. I was mesmerized by how close to the water they could get and barely dab at it and head back up to the trees. Those birds are really fun to watch.

The fishing wasn't too bad early in the morning but as the temperature closed in on the 90's (again) and the humidity picked up the fishing bottomed out.

I had planned on staying until after sun set but by 4pm I was toast. Literally.

It was my turn to be slow to middling.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When there's too much thunder and lightning and tornaodes...tie flies!!

So far the summer can be summed up in a couple of words


HUMID - lows of 76F and dew point 72F. 

THUNDERSTORMS - enough so that the house shakes

LIGHTNING - oh yeah, it is popping all over

TORANDOES - three the other week, one just yesterday

FLASH FLOODS - my all time favorite. River runs high, starts to get to normal and then runs high again.

One of the best quotes to date is:

"This has been a horrible fishing season for me. The only seasons I've had worse than this one were ones I didn't go fishing at all. I have high hopes it will turn around for me in the fall, but maybe I'm being foolishly optimistic."

When I read the above I just couldn't help but laugh. It has been tough. Last time I was out I was wet wading at night and still sweating. The water seems too warm too early this summer. So.... I am hanging out in the ol' fly tying room doing up some wet flies. Here is a small sample of what I have been doing.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Full figure flies

Whew. It's a hot one today ladies and gentlemen. The current temperature is 94F and the "real feel" is 100F. Yuck. 

I call these my "full figure" flies. These won't lie down flat in the water because of the bump of dubbing at the front of the fly. I have used that same kind of bump when making my steelie flies so why not for some trout flies? I used a streamer hook and attached some 30# stren that I use to attach a #4 stinger hook. Cut off the streamer hook and voila - aren't they lovely?

I prepare the streamer hooks by adding the bump of dubbing on first. Add a drop of super glue to the dubbing and let it dry. The bump is what keeps the profile of the fly when in the water.

I covered the shank of the streamer hook with either dubbing and wire or some silver braid up to the back of the dubbing bump.

Then in front of the bump I added schlappen followed by some tinsel flash. With the above fly I didn't add flash I added dyed peacock hurl. Some of the flies have another layer of schlappen before I added some blood marabou for the outermost layer. 

Here are some others....

For this one I used minnow back fringe instead of the tinsel flash.

The stren keeps the fish from shaking off since they cannot get the leverage they need to rid themselves of the fly. I plan on using these with my Mystic switch tomorrow evening.

July 4th. and dive bombing blood suckers

Spent yesterday with Rob and Cleo fishing. Our trip started up in Massachusetts where the Farmington River runs into the Colebrook Reservoir. The water was a decent level but man oh man, it was h-o-t.
I rigged up the Mystic 4wt. switch and one of my leaders; only I took off the 30# butt section. Why? I left the intermediate poly-leader on and it is next to impossible to cast with that heavy butt section. The next time I am out I am going to take the poly-leader off and use the entire leader/tippet that I make.

I found some nice shade to cast and swing flies through and worked on that for a while. Since I was wet wading I eventually ended up kneeling down in the river as I tried to keep cool. I am sure that must have looked "strange" but hey, it worked. I was still able to reach all the water I wanted to and keep cool at the same time. 

After working that part of the river for a while we moved on down to the Still River. With all the rain we have had it had a pretty good flow rate as well. We fished that for a spell as well. Didn't see any fish and no hits.

We moved on down to the Farmington at Church Pool because we found a friend of ours fishing under the bridge. Jerry was using his Sage TCX 5wt.. and 330 Scandi. Since there were too many people splashing and swimming and having a grand ol' time for their holiday we headed down the back side of Church and fished down to the wood shop. It was nice and shady and while the river was a bit high through there it wasn't too bad. However, what was bad were the mosquitoes. Holy smokes, Batman. 

Those dive bombing blood sucking monsters were everywhere and they were not shy. We had some pretty good action though this stretch of water and by this time I had switched to the Mystic 9',  4wt. Reaper. That is a nice rod and has a pretty good snap to it. We found some browns but the water was on the warm side. It has been a very strange year for fishing the Farmington and right now it is not one of my best. So much water that it floods some days and then tapers off only to flood again. Right now the rains have held off so perhaps the flow rate will stabilize.

Cleo was a sport getting in and out of the car and standing in the water trying to cool off. She even found some mud to lay in and take a long nap. She probably thought we were all crazy but I can tell you that despite the heat and humidity we still had a good time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Online magazine -- Swing The Fly!!

Just saw this in the Salmon River Spey news. Looks like a great on-line magazine that is FREE and you can't beat that. Take a look at the website below and enjoy.

Swing The fly