I want to give a big shout out to everyone who packed the room yesterday for my “Wet Flies 101” presentation at the CFFA Expo. How wonderful to see every seat filled, and SRO in the back. Excellent Q&A session afterwards, great job everyone! I saw plenty of old friends, and made some new ones. (Thanks to Henry, who’s all of 10 years old, for trading soft-hackles with me. Gonna get a big one on that fly.) I’m grateful to the CFFA for inviting me, and for that delicious lunch. If your fly fishing club is looking to book a speaker, my late winter thru spring is fairly open, as is the fall. You know where to find me.
A little break from Tyers’ Row. Gone wet fly fishin’ talkin’.
I guided Mina yesterday — a cool, dreary day for most of it. We headed to the permanent TMA and for the first hour we had the place all to ourselves. Mina wanted to delve into the black arts of wet fly fishing. Water was a little higher than I like for wets (440cfs — they’ve since (of course) dropped the flow — and it was cold! 45 degrees made for some chilly legs and feet. Bug activity was also low — some micro midges and a couple caddis, and no H-bombs, at least not while we were there. We covered lots of water before we found some customers. A couple bumps, a couple dropped fish, and a couple to net, but that was more action than I saw elsewhere. Ya done good, Mina, under some tough conditions.
Mina is a thoughtful angler who came armed with loads of questions and a strong desire to learn. Here she is, acing a pop quiz. I have to give props to my last two clients. Both Mina and Vicky were confident waders who weren’t afraid to venture into some more challenging water to get their flies in front of fish. Sometimes the angler that covers more water is the angler who catches more fish.
We used a bead head soft hackle of Mina’s creation on point to help get the flies down in the higher flows. This guy (who’s beginning to sport a kype) took that fly on the dead drift. Note the cool cirrus cloud effect on the surface.
First, Happy Easter!
Next, a few late mini reports. Last week they bumped up the flow from the Hogsback dam. I fished the Farmington below and in the permanent TMA on Thursday. The results were poor: I hit five spots and found fish that wanted to eat in only one of them. Could have been a combination of higher water, cold water, high pressure, or just not my day. But when I guided Joe and Wayne on Friday, the fishing wasn’t any better. The weather was glorious and there was plenty of hatch activity, but we had a tough day. Both Joe and Wayne fished well and hard — in the end, the river won. We’re already looking forward to the re-match.
Third cast on Thursday. And that was it.
Good Friday is my traditional striper outing in honor of the greatest fisherman ever, Simon Peter. The Bass-O-Matic was humming along at full tilt — fishing partner Bob Griswold and I caught dozens and dozens of stripers. If you’re a glass is half full kind of person, the good news was that these 14″ fish represent a strong local showing of the class of 2015. There were a few low 2o-inchers in the mix to keep things interesting. The bite shut down at dusk, and we called it a good striper thumb day.
Representing the Class of 2015, Mr. I-Can’t-Keep-Away-From-Your-Fly. Very aggressive feeders, and legions of them. Where’s my five weight?
Many thanks to the New York City Trout Unlimited chapter for hosting me last night. We got off to a fine start with a cheeseburger, fries and Shackmeister Ale at the Shake Shack at Grand Central. As you have no doubt read here before, a fed presenter is a happy presenter. Then, a short two-blocks-and-change walk to the Orvis store in Manhattan. How convenient.
Dim the lights and we’ll get this party started (photo courtesy of Rob Ceccarini).
The presentation’s formal title is “The West Branch: Southern New England’s Blue Ribbon Trout Stream.” But we like to keep things fun and loose, so there’s very little formality other than talking about what magically pops up on the screen. It’s always gratifying to have a strong turnout, and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to listen, talk to me, and ask questions.
Now, all this Farmington River business has got me in the mood for some fishing. Maybe later this week.
Reminder: My next appearance is tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 8, at the CFFA Tyers’ Roundtable, 7pm at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse, East Hartford, CT. Hope to see you there.
I had to get out to the river this morning to shoot some video for an upcoming presentation. There’s not nearly as much snow as there was a few weeks ago, but it is still fairly substantial north of Pleasant Valley. Some of the parking lot/dirt road entrances remain impassable. Water was running about 400cfs, clear, and 39 degrees in the upper TMA. Very little hatch activity. Very little angler activity, although our good friends at UpCountry looked to be doing a booming business. I didn’t do much fishing, but I managed to toss some streamers into three different spots for a few minutes. Nothing. So goes it. Here’s to a warming trend and mayflies with three tails. Soon, please.
And that’s it in a nutshell.
The deadline for the Appropriations Sub-Committee addressing the DEEP budget which includes Kensington Hatchery is this Wednesday April 1st. If any of the committee members represent your town, you are encouraged to phone or email them directly, even if you have already submitted testimony to the entire committee. Please see the link below for Sub-Committee members and phone or email them if you live in a town they represent. The hatchery must survive this step in the process if it is to remain alive. Ask your friends in these towns to also contact their reps.
Here is a link to the list and contact information on flyaddict: http://www.flyaddict.com/forums/showthread.php?10694-Critical-Hatchery-vote-scheduled-for-next-week
A little help, please?
I was forwarded this a few minutes ago. These are the words of Bruce J. Rich, President, CT Fly Fisherman’s Association:
“The deadline for submitting testimony regarding the Public Hearing on DEEP’s budget is Monday March 2, 2015. Note that “testimony” does not mean you wish to speak. Testimony can be in written form only and sent via email to (SC’s words: please cut and paste this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the Subject Line write: Testimony to Appropriations Comm. for the March 2, 2015 Public Hearing on Hatchery Funding
Note that the committee prefers to receive email testimony as an attachment to the email, preferably in pdf form (although MS Word form should suffice).
Attached is my updated testimony in pdf form which you may use all, or part of, in your message. Just be sure to replace my name & address with your own. Note that your message can be very short, but it’s important at this time to get as many people as possible writing to support keeping Kensington Hatchery operational.
Don’t squawk later, get busy now.”
“My great, great grandaddy came from the Kensington Hatchery.”