Trout fishing for stripers

Ben wanted to learn the mystical art of the floating line and traditional trout and salmon presentations for striped bass. So we braved the bluster and squalls of Jose and went exploring. We saw bunker in two of the tree locations we covered, but sadly no striped marauders. Ben did a great job with all the information I threw at him, and he’s going to be a dangerous striped bass catching machine.

Sometimes the cast is only a few feet. Ben covers a rip line where marsh grass meets flowing water.

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While I’ve gotten many requests for lessons like this, I have in the past resisted due to logistical (I don’t take people out at night) and practical (the day striper bite can be tough) considerations. Now that the seal has been broken, if this is something you’re excited about, we can try to make it happen. You’ll have to be agreeable to a shorter session (2 hours or so), the schedule of the tides (I can’t do anything to change them) and that the on-the-water lessons may not involve catching (see “day striper bite” above). Please don’t try to set something up though the comments section; rather, call or email me.

Bringing fly to fish. You too can learn the meditative art of the greased line swing. Here’s Ben throwing an upstream mend, keeping the fly broadside to the fish at the speed of the current.

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New gig Wednesday, October 4: “The Little Things” at CT Surfcasters in Madison

Short notice, but I will be presenting “The Little Things” at the October 4 meeting of the Connecticut Surfcaster Association at the Surf Club in Madison, CT.  The meeting starts at 7pm and is open to the public. For more information, visit the Surfcasters’ website.

I’m continuing to work on “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” — been hard at it today. Still waiting to hear from the Arts of the Angler in Danbury, CT and The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA, and Edison, NJ. When I have presentations and dates and times, I will share them here.

Number One Son just passed the Florida Bar, but here he is working on his drag-free drift. 

Bill Dry

 

 

2017 Farmington River Broodstock Report

The collection for the next generation of Farmington River Survivor Strain broodstock was completed on Monday. The river is now back to a normal medium height (about 240cfs in the permanent TMA). Here are some details on the collection, conducted within the permanent TMA, from Fisheries Biologist extraordinaire Neal Hagstrom:

“We captured approximately 90 brown trout that we took to the Burlington Hatchery for broodstock. The largest was a 22+inch wild male. The state facebook page has some streaming video of the fish workups (visit the CT DEEP Facebook page and scroll down to September 11 — neat stuff!). We also took 15 other smaller or injured trout for general background health checks of diseases, something we do every year.”

Some of the broodstock are Survivor Strain from this year (left red elastomer) and last year (left yellow). About half of the older fish showed no signs of spawning and were returned to the river. The DEEP looks for genetic elasticity in their broodstock combinations, so there is a broad range of sizes, Survivor Strain and wild, and of course  both sexes in the sampling.

Neal commented that while there were plenty of fine specimens, there weren’t a lot of trophy trout. This dovetails with my experience this year: an abundance of high teens browns but not a lot of true brutes. He said the fish should be returned to the river in early December, “and no, we did not take everything. There are still plenty there.”

Thanks, Neal, and thanks to the DEEP for this amazing fishery and breeding program.

We grow ’em bigger than your net. A true 20″ Survivor Strain brown (clipped adipose) taken this summer. It’s hard to photograph a fish this big by yourself, but it’s surely a most wonderful dilemma.

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Thank you SE Mass TU!

I had a lot of fun last night. What a good crowd to present to — not only did you laugh at all my jokes, you laughed a lot at all my jokes. That’s a sure way to get me to come back.

This summer I began upgrading my presentations: more video elements, animation, and better transitions. Last night was the first go of the new and improved “Little Things,” and I was very happy with the result.

Speaking of presentations, “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass” is almost done. That will make its debut at the Cape Cod Fly Rodders, Thursday, October 19, Hearth and Kettle, Rt 28, Yarmouth, MA, 6:30pm. I understand that’s a members only meeting, so if you’re a CCFR member I’ll see you there.

As soon as I hear from the DEEP, I’ll update you on the 2017 broodstock collection.

Farmington River broodstock collection update

Last night’s rain’s added too much water to the system (over 130cfs from the Still) so the broodstock collection has been rescheduled for Monday, September 11. I do not know if they will increase the dam outflow (currently 50cfs) this weekend, so check before you head out.

The collection takes place within the Permanent TMA. Yes, you can still fish, but anglers are asked to give the DEEP crews a wide berth. Quite frankly, I’d skip fishing until the water gets back to a more sporting level, but if you must go, why not volunteer to help out on the collection crew? It’s a great way to give back to the fishery, plus you get to see where the big boys and girls hang out…

If you’re interested in learning more about the Survivor Strain Program, here’s a short piece I wrote a few years ago for The Drake.  Survivor: Farmington

The trusty DEEP sampling crew in action.

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Shocking news from the Farmington

If you’re a regular reader, you should no longer be falling for that scandalous teaser headline. We’re talking about the DEEP’s annual electroshocking/sampling/broodstock collection that eventually produces those wonderful wild and Survivor Strain browns.

You may have noticed the Riverton USGS gauge dropping like a stone:

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Here’s the word from DEEP Fisheries Biologist Neal Hagstrom:

“The hope is to get the broodstock collected tomorrow if the river is low enough.  If not we will try again on Monday.  They are changing out a gate at Rainbow Dam and need the reservoir down to do the work. They are looking at refiling the reservoir on Wed late/Thursday.  The river should return to normal flows then.  Of course, hurricanes  can change everything…”

 

Kicking off the 2017/18 presentation season (and other items of interest)

It’s been a weird weather summer (we’ll take it over last year!) but I hope you got your licks in as much as I did. Housy smallmouth, some striped bass on the Cape and Block, and a ton of night fishing for big browns kept my boots wet and my body clock shattered.

I’m excited about the fall trout season, not to mention stripers and of course steelhead. Hard to believe that my presentation schedule begins next week.

“The Little Things” at SE Mass Trout Unlimited, Middleborough, MA, Tuesday, September 12 at 7pm. This is the original The Little Things presentation. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit the SEMASS Trout Unlimited website.

“The Little Things” (with a touch of Farmington River info) at The Fly Casters, Boston, MA, Thursday, October 12. The Fly Casters are a private club, but if you know a member you can wrangle an invite as a guest.

“Trout Fishing for Striped Bass” at the Cape Cod Fly Rodders, Thursday, October 19, Hearth and Kettle, Rt 28, Yarmouth, MA, 6:30pm. It’s a brand new presentation! I’m still putting it together, but the more I work on it, the more excited I’m getting about sharing it. Come learn how to apply trout and salmon fly fishing tactics to striped bass fishing — and start catching the stripers that everyone can’t catch.

Arts of the Angler Show, Saturday/Sunday November 4/5, at Ethan Allen Inn, Danbury, CT. I’m hoping to present at least one of the days. Sadly, fly tying looks like it’s not going to be possible. Details to come once we figure them out. For more information, visit the cffcm website.

The Fly Fishing Show, January 2018. No specifics yet, but I am hoping to present again in Marlborough, MA, and to add Edison, NJ to the schedule.

Articles: Look for Streamer Kings in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of American Angler. I interviewed George Daniel, Chad Johnson, and Tommy Lynch for this piece, and the result is a treasure trove of information on streamer fishing for big browns. Of course, there are several other articles in the wordsmithing pipeline. I’ll let you know about them as they near publication.

Guiding: Weekends this fall are going to be non-starters, so if you want to hit the Farmington with me, pick a weekday. The river fishes well year-round.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to say hello on the water, and of course thank you for reading and following currentseams.

Coming to a fishing club near you this fall.

TroutFishingStripers