Hoping for Hendricksons, I was on the water before noon. I chose a mark near the bottom of the Permanent TMA. Although ’tis the season, the weather has been most unseasonable; the flows higher (627cfs) and colder than I prefer; and the Hendrickson hatch non-existent. Still, there were mucho midges — signs of life — and there were trout.
I’d decided on a three-fly team of a Squirrel & Ginger on top dropper, with black tungsten beadhead Hendrickson soft-hackles in the middle and on point. The plan was to cast slightly upstream or across, and mend like crazy to help sink the rig before coming tight on the dangle. That worked well enough, although a proper hatch and active feeders (I saw only two rises during the session) would have made the catching easier. The highlight of the outing for me were the two trout I fooled using the Leisenring Lift. I don’t often use that presentation, but there are times when it is lethal. It’s an arrow any serious wet fly angler should have in their quiver.
On a whim, I drove a good ways downstream, below Collinsville, to see if there were any H-Bombs flying around. Negative. I took a couple what-the-heck-I’m-here casts, but at over 1,000cfs it’s a most decidedly wet fly-unfriendly flow. It’s supposed to remain cold this week, so we’ll see how the hatch unfolds.
Happy Monday, fellow currentseamsers. I hope everyone had a good weekend. My highlight was going 9-3 against the spread; in this crazy NFL season, I’ll take that and run. I was going to go fishing today, but decided that I had too many other pressing things to get done. Absent urgent matters, I think this is important to share: If you’re ever ambivalent about going fishing — you know, that “I feel like going fishing but I’m lazy/not sure I want to” kind of energy — make your factory default setting “Go Fishing.” You’ll be glad you did.
I see we are dangerously close to 900 email followers, and you know what that means: a fly giveaway celebration to follow! But first, we need to get there. If just ten of you got a friend to follow currentseams, we’d be having call for entries…very soon. Just sayin’!
No details yet on my appearances/classes at the 2022 Fly Fishing Shows in Marlborough and Edison, but I will of course post those here when I get them. I’m hoping to see many of you there.
And as if we didn’t have enough water in local rivers and streams, there’s a ton more rain on the way. Wait until next drought when we’re parched and praying for rain. Is it too much to ask for a happy medium?
A bit of a busman’s holiday for me yesterday as I had a busy day shooting video on a small stream. This is one of those places where there’s no easy way to get there (both driving and walking). Plus it sucks to spend so much time setting up shots that end up being unusable. But whoa! Listen to me kvetch. What a lucky man I am to have such an office. There’s a certain beauty on display in the deep woods after a rain, hills shrouded in fog, water droplets collecting on leaves, rivulets rushing down hillsides. The water was up a tad from the rain, but running clear and cold and the char were open for business. I did well with bushy dries and mini tungsten head buggers. (I’m still a little bitter that they were indifferent to my micro Wigglies.) The better fish came on streamers — no surprises there. I guess I’ll have to go back next week to get all those shots I missed…
We’re keeping the Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom ball rolling. I’ll be talking about some of the fly fishing books, old and new, that had a major impact on me, from how I fish to my general fly fishing philosophy. Autodidacts like me just can’t get enough of a good read, and I hope to turn you on to some books you might find invaluable. See you Tuesday Night!
I got a late start and had to run a few errands, so I didn’t get to the river until noon. I fished above and within the Permanent TMA. I made the decision to look for unpopular winter water, and so I had three marks all to myself. The river was up a tad from last week (400cfs) and we had a few snow showers. Observed: midges and Winter/Summer caddis, although not many of either. The method was tight line\small jig streamer. I only had one take, and I missed the fish; it was a very subtle pause, and I didn’t even get a head shake into the bargain. Wow, where did the time go? Reluctantly, I left to tend to responsibilities that were far less fun than tracking a drift through a fishy-looking run.
Many thanks to those who attended yesterday’s class, Tying The The Soft-Hackled Fly. Good group, good questions, and we made it through a few minor technical glitches in fine form. I was very pleased with the new camera for the closeup tying action — it was exponentially better than the stock cam on my Mac laptop. There will be another class, very likely on Saturday January 30th, 1pm, Tying Wingless & Winged Wet Flies. I’ll formally announce that class in a couple days. There will also be a Tuesday Night Zoom this week — check out the site tomorrow for the topic. Enjoy your Sunday — you deserve it!
Yesterday’s question of the day was, “What soft hackle can I tie that I can fish right now?” My answer was this, the last fly we tied, the Starling and Herl. Perfect for the top dropper on your nymph rig. This is a size 14; I’d go with a 16-18, and especially a size 18 2x short scud hook. It’s a great match for all the tiny bugs that are prevalent on our cold northeast rivers right now. Make your body more durable by making a herl rope; you can see that technique in my video for the Drowned Ant Soft Hackle.
Every year is different, and this year I just didn’t fish the Farmington River as much as I usually do. Part of it was my growing smallmouth obsession. Part of it was the unprecedented number of anglers on the river (thanks, Covid!). But I still managed to connect with some very respectable truttasauruses (truttasuari?). It was a good year for big trout on the Farmy, and there were dozens of reports on the UpCountry site of fish that cracked the 20″ mark. If you’re interested in targeting browns that can be measured in pounds rather than inches, I have two bits of advice. First, fish subsurface. Second, fish in low/no light conditions. And then, hang on.
The belly of the beast, an early April 2020 Farmington River Survivor Strain brown. Please take fish-friendly photos: keep your fish wet until you’re ready to shoot, and then only expose the fish to air a few seconds at a time. (Be sure to wet your hands before handling the fish.) I took this shot with my GoPro, which was set to auto shoot, so the trout was out of the water for less time than it takes you to read this sentence.