Ever find yourself having an epic fishing trip. I've had two in the last 10 days. Last week I realized I may not get out for a week or so, so I hit the local wild trout stream. Using a Rojo Hot Butt I found trout so willing to rise. Every run, pool, riffle, and cut... the brookies were fired up to dart up and grab that fly. I love the picture below. Wish it had been in focus, but the trout's amazing color comes through, and some how, the motion just adds to it...
This guy was just such a chubby fish for a stream born trout I had to take a pic. He's a little football - and, there's been no air let out of this one (sorry, had to use that analogy - rough day for a Pat's fan)...
Rosemary worked both weekend day's on long 12 hour shifts. So the kids and I went out to see "Mia" (grammy) and Grampy both days.
They had a total blast making baking soda and vinegar volcano's. We ended up using a whole liter of vinegar becuase they kept wanting to do another volcano :)!
Rosemary just about kicked me out of the house last night (for some fishing - all is good :)). Reports from friends catching brown after brown on a local C and R river were enticing, so I headed out. Fished a few usual spots and got a few... then found a little spot where a feeder stream caused the water to be about 5 degrees cooler than the main river. There must have been, well, had to be a hundred fish in that little slot of cool water...
And these beautiful browns... and at least 30, but honestly, I'd bet 50+ of their buddies came to net or hand.
The weird thing, is that normally on this river I find myself fishing size 8-16 flies - and mostly 10-14's. Streamers some times are 1-2-3-4's. In short, it's a big fly river for me historically. I kept seeing fish rise, but between smut on the surface from pollen and foam, I couldnt fish a dry without fowling. Several (15 maybe) took a LaFontaine sparkle pupa... but for some reason, I decided to try a #20 black nymph with a red wing case I discovered this winter on Tightline Productions site. The fly is called Higa's S.O.S: https://vimeo.com/channels/patterns/121154795. It's simple... and has a new happy place in my box... because for the next couple hours, that little fly caught fish after fish after fish. It was amazing! Probably in the top 2 or 3 days on the fly for me. The first was like 25 years ago and using a super basic caddis pupa (green dubbed body and black dubbed head on a #14) and then the next about 10-15 years ago on a dark cahill wet fly. Maybe one other day, literally the day I graduated high school, was in there too actually - and that was a streamer made with white and blue fibers from a dusting tool my mom had! But this was epic. It was fish after fish after fish. It would slow a little, and I'd shift, start fishing a little more off the stream mouth and bang - back to it. when that spot faded, I'd shift back and BANG back to it. This went on for about 2-2.5hrs... Then, just as my friend Scott showed up with a colleague named Chris, things quieted down and only a few more came to hand. But Chris caught his first ever brown which was really fun to see.
Here's the spot. The picture of the river about 3 up was taken standing in the same spot. The gravel you see in the pic above is a sandbar caused by the feeder brook with cool water. I just rotated about 90 degrees left to get the pretty down stream pic of the whole river. I stood about 10 feet across the gravel in the main river so I had a low profile and most fish were coming from the stretch seen in this photo. It was amazing. I actually feel a little bad, like I was "catching fish in a barrel"...
Probably wont have a day like that for another 10-15 years... But man... Amazing!
It's been a fun week. Monday I managed to get a turkey. Fun hunt where the birds came in a direction they "were not supposed to"... basically they went to the right, to get around an obstacle vs the left I thought they would take as they came to the call. That meant I had a stone wall blocking, and had to channel my best inner hen to get them past the stone wall. It worked and the four of us enjoyed one of natures true treats: Wild Turkey marinaded in Drew's Italian dressing 24hrs and grilled on open flame... YUMMY!
The bird not only tasted/tastes great... his feathers are going to lead to some nice flies too :)
Getting to that point when caddis and mayfly hatches start popping like crazy, so I've got a little vice time in making some rather generic emerger's...
but also some soft hackles in caddis green silk (ahhh), some bead head caddis larva and some super simple Sawyer's Killer Bugs. If your not familiar with the latter, it's a fly created by the same Sawyer who created the pheasant tail nymph. It's tied as the original PT nymph was - with wire rather than thread. The killer bug though is just wool yarn 2-3X wrapped up the shank. The dark is just funky bit's of thread in the wool yarn. The fly is tied in at the back via a whip finish - which is a little tricky to do with wire! That said, it's a super simple fly that seems to work well enough you kind of wonder why you ever tie things that are complicated :)... Any way, I'm looking forward to getting out with a few of these.
Today's a good one. Still have plenty of writing to do for work... But, started the day at 4AM in my home town chasing turkeys. Called in 2 toms and a hen, but the hen picked me off as I tried to move and her alarm put's turned the toms around before a good shot could be made. No worries, I turned around to this view of the hills rolling into the Quabbin Reservoir. The pic doesn't do it justice. What a start.
Come home, get some work done, and hit a local river for lunch. Well, local stream. Probably the best known of the local wild trout streams I fish due to the work of TU on it... but what a day. Started with a royal wulff and missed a few... put on a little orange butt caddis and hello - almost every cast brought a strike. And these fish were literally jumping out of the water on the take, it was awesome.
I'd called a local friend, and he'd got there shortly after me, and was quickly into fish like mad as well on a similar fly, and his Tenkara rod.
You can see the little orange butt I put on these caddis. Not sure why I started doing it, but it does seem to add a little extra trigger for wild fish.
After enough fish, the caddis just wouldnt float outside the calmest sections of water... So on went a trusty old #16 stimulator. And the trout didnt stop, they just kept on coming to the fly with reckless abandon.
They were chubby too. My friend noted that a few he caught were so full of little caddis larva that they were literally spewing them as he lifted them from the water. Making up for a LONG winter I guess :)
I fished only about 30 yds further up stream from here. Then headed back. Time to get back to work... but a great, invigorating lunch break for sure!