How to become an instant expert, or: Fun with truck trout

The Salmon River in Colchester holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my dad taught me to fish for trout. It’s the first place I ever fly fished. And, it’s just about the prettiest little big river around. I used to fish it all the time; the general plan was to hit the Salmon early season, then switch to the Farmington by late spring. Gradually, the pull of the Farmington and its bigger, wild trout took over, to the point where before yesterday, I couldn’t remember the last time I fished the Salmon for trout.

The day I chose to make my triumphant return was chilly, breezy, with a mix of sun and clouds. The water was crystal clear, and running about 300cfs, which I consider to be the perfect height for that river. There was a decent caddis hatch, about a size 14-16, and some 14-16 BWOs. And, to my delight, there were piles of fish to be caught. I fished from 12:15pm-3:30pm, all within the Fly Fishing Only section. While catching trout after freshly stocked trout holds a limited interest to me, I decided I’d just go with the flow and enjoy the moments. And so I did.

I had originally planned to nymph, but then decided to try the tight line long leader micro streamer thing. I wasn’t connecting, but I figured there were trout near the bottom of the run, so I tried a little cast-and-strip, et voila! Casting that long leader with a heavy fly is a bear, but it can be done once you figure out how to wrangle the setup. I ended up catching many fish at another mark on the tight-line hop-and-drop presentation, as well as the strip. Rats! I forgot I only had 5x tippet on the rig, and a broodstock beastie surgically removed the fly. Here’s a chunky low-teens brown that gave me a fine battle for a truck fish.
Some pretty nice haloing for a non-wild char. I’d say my action was 50% browns, 30% rainbows, and the rest brookies. (The high percentage of brook trout surprised me.) I supposed a hat trick is worthy of mention, but you know, I was only a dace or a sucker or even a smallmouth away from the salami. Once I got tired of bailing fish on streamers, I decided to rig for wet fly. Unfortunately, surface activity was sporadic and limited, so no tugs were forthcoming. However, Hendrickson time is coming. Thanks to everyone who took the time to say hello. It’s great to be able to put faces and voices to screen names.