On Thursday I had the pleasure of fishing with Andrew. Andrew had asked for a wet fly lesson, and he couldn’t have picked a better day: water on the low side of medium and clear & cold, hot, sunny weather…well, maybe it could have been a little bit better on the hatch intensity scale, as we really didn’t see much aerial bug activity, nor actively feeding fish. Nonetheless, the subsurface bite was tremendous. We started off in the PTMA with a stream-side Wet Flies 101 lesson, then headed to the water. In one hour we stuck six fish (while the anglers above and below us blanked). We finished up below the PTMA and were faced with the same situation: very little bug activity and virtually no active feeders. But the bite was off the charts! I have no idea how many trout we stuck. Like many new wet fly anglers, Andrew found it challenging to let the fish set the hook. But he did a great job of casting and presentation. Awwwright, Andrew!
After our session ended, I headed downstream to meet surfcaster extraordinaire Toby Lapinski for the evening rise. The mark was basically dead at 7pm, which did not bode well — it should have been simmering with rises and the air should have been dotted with creamy mayflies. Absent any action, I headed upriver to swing a team through a snotty run, and was rewarded with 8 fish in a half hour. As with Andrew, all of the action came on the creamy mayflies. The dry fly bite finally happened at 8pm, but it was probably a 3-out-of 10 on the scale, and there was no real dusk feeding frenzy. I’d ended up in the some frog water where the majority of risers were smutting on tiny flies and spinners. Since I was feeling lazy, I didn’t bother tailoring my leader and flies to that situation; as a result, I rose only 7 trout on my size 16 Magic Fly, Usual, and sz 12 Catskills Light Cahill, sticking 2 and landing 1. But that was fine with me. Toby had similar results. This weekend cold front won’t help matters, but I expect the Sulphur hatch to build over the next week. Hopefully, before long, we’ll be in that early summer dry fly nirvana.