Housy Report 10/8/19: BWOs and Truttasaurus

I fished the four marks within the Housatonic River TMA today, late morning to early afternoon, and while the action was spotty I was able to score my biggest brown of the season on a Squirrel and Ginger.

I began the day dedicated to the streamer cause, but after 45 minutes I’d only had one bump. Since there were tiny BWOs (size 18-22) and caddis (size 16) in the air, I switched over to a three-fly wet fly team. That produced one stocker rainbow. The third mark was a blank, so I returned to where I’d seen some fish rising earlier. Not really classic wet fly water but the trout were clearly on small stuff (as evidenced by the sipping rise rings) and emergers of some sort (the tell of splashy rises). I missed two before connecting with a 20″ holdover brown.

The take was gentle but unmistakable, as was the fish’s size once it realized it was hooked. Love the comfort factor of fishing with Maxima 4-pound — ain’t no trout in this river going to break that.

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It’s hard to take a beauty shot mid stream when you’re flying solo, so this is the best I could do. Still, you get some sense of this truttasaurus‘ length, and check out the ginormous tail. The mouth of my net is 17″ — this one did not slide in easy. We like that problem! Wet flies fished in the film, delivered to active feeders, continue to be a highly productive big fish method. 

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River conditions: 450cfs and rising, light stain, some leaves and pine needles, 58 degrees. And crowded for a Tuesday in October! Thanks to everyone who greeted me by name today, and as always, if you’re on the river and you see me please say hello.

 

Farmington River mini report 9/13/19: Low. Slow. (But Go.)

Gadzooks! I had not fished the Farmington since mid-July. Today’s remedy was a bounce around, state-of-the-river fact finding mission. I visited five marks from Burlington up to New Hartford, and although the water was low, it was plenty cold. So rest assured: the fish are healthy if not happy. I was dedicated to the nymphing cause today, and despite my best efforts I blanked. (Although one run I visited was on lockdown, and — surprise — the anglers there were getting into fish.) The last run had some active feeders, but I ran out of time and space and couldn’t switch over to wets. Observed: tiny BWOs, small un-IDed creamy mayflies, and some size 16-18 light-colored caddis.

Flood-like conditions in the permanent TMA after Thursday’s rain (he said sarcastically).

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It was fairly crowded for a weekday in September in very low flows, and as these conditions require what I call “real estate fishing” — location, location, location — you would be wise to have a backup plan in case your favorite run is occupied. As always, please say hi if you see me — it’s always a pleasure meeting a currentseams follower, and you never know when you might be gifted with some flies.

Today’s instant winner freebie was Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO soft hackle. Dust it up with some Frog’s Fanny, fish it like a dry, and let the trout do the rest.

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Leisenring’s Favorite Twelve Wets: Old Blue Dun

The Old Blue Dun would make a fine representation of those bigger early season BWOs we get on the Farmington. Use a darker blue dun hackle and it’s easy to imagine it as a Hendrickson. Clearly, Leisenring thought highly of this pattern. And the trout you present it to will, too.

Old Blue Dun

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Hook: Dry or wet fly, 12-14
Silk: Primrose yellow
Hackle: Blue dun hen
Tail: 2-3 glassy fibers from a rusty blue dun cock hackle
Rib: One strand yellow buttonhole twist
Body: Muskrat underfur spun on primrose yellow silk, a little of the silk showing through at the tail
Wings: Starling (optional)
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Tying Notes: We’re back to the DMC embroidery floss (#744) as our buttonhole twist substitute. Make sure you pick out the muskrat guard hair — you want the soft, dark underfur. I didn’t leave a lot of the yellow silk showing through at the tail here; I wonder if Leisenring’s intention was to craft the illusion of an egg-layer? Nonetheless, this fly will hunt.