Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get the Hell Out of My Water!

So I check my blog this morning because I had a comment to last night's post, or so I thought.  Instead I find some author of a new book on fly fishing has posted an excerpt from the book and a link to his website, where you can read about him and how wonderful he is, and buy his book.

What the hell is that!?  Well, I'll tell you what it is to me.  It is like fishing a quiet pool where a pod of trout are rising, minding your own business, and occasionally catching one.  Then some guy comes along and wades in across from you and starts fishing over that same pod of feeding trout!  Not cool at all.  Go find your own fish, jackass. 

Enough said, it's deleted, gone, I won't even provide any clues to the poacher or his book.

Sharpen your hook!     

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fly Fishing, Inner Thoughts and other BS

Where to start.....I'm sitting in front of a warm, glowing fire with my Karen.  We've covered friends,  not so friends, fly fishing and writing about it, music, plans, art and what an important outlet it is, and inner thoughts (Karen's when we started dating).

Let's start with the fly fishing as that's the most important.  I fished on Sunday after teaching back-to-back fly tying classes at Shannon's.  The river was high but clear, and because the season is closed the only game in  town are the special regs areas, so there were too many folks crammed into a confined river section.  Even so, there was enough water for all of us.

The fishing was good, all of it subsurface.  A few fish rose here and there, but not with enough abandon to warrant the use of dry flies.  I managed to hammer a bunch on the usual......a brown and yellow LaFontaine sparkle emerger.  The one shown here... .....

All of them were all brook trout, and somewhat unathletic as far as trout go.

Music - All kinds of stuff, old, new and our favorite blues man, Joe Bonamassa.

Inner thoughts.......forget it, Karen ain't sharing that with me, let alone the few that read my blog....

Peace and sharpen your hooks! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

After and Before the Flood

The rivers came down enough by Friday after the deluges of the prior weekend, that after work I managed to get in an hour or so of deep water fishing.   The river was clear and high, up to your tits high, and the fish knew better than I that all I was in for was some fresh air and exercise.  There were a good number of Baetis hatching, some little-black stoneflies and midges, but nothing rising to them.  It was a beautiful night to be out, and afterwards I met Karen and Julia (little Karen if there ever was one) for dinner down the road at the brew pub.

Remember a short few weeks ago when I ventured out across this field in 2 feet of snow?  Here is was Friday evening, a little moist but otherwise free of the cold, white stuff.

Saturday was another beautiful day, but I left the rivers and the trout to themselves.   I did treat Karen to the NNJTU Annual Banquet that evening.  Good fun with lots of friends for a good cause.    

Sunday, was like a mid May day, warm, sunny and the rivers had come down enough to allow one to find the lies and holding water.  The trout cooperated, too.  The first couple of hours I walked into and fished a rarely fished section of the South Branch and was rewarded for my efforts with a few nice rainbows.  It always nice to go where there are no footprints or other signs of human life, especially early in the year. 


Later I met Jim and we fishsed for maybe an hour into dusk at another double secret location.  He took a nice holdover rainbow, and a beautiful, small wild rainbow.  Both on an RS2.  I took only one, but it was a big Rainbow, maybe 20" and 3.5 to 4 pounds.  Fat and healthy and still swimming in the run right where I released him shortly after netting him and taking a quick photo.

Here's Jim's  holdover fish.  Mine is on Jim's camera, and I'll post it when he sends it to me........don't hold your breath!  

It was a great end to a May like mid-March weekend.  Almost forgot - I took all of my fish on a #12 LaFontaine brown/yellow sparkle pupa.

Now we are in for a new flood.  It is pouring out as I write this and the forecast is for 1-2 inches of rain...the rivers are rising fast........................ 

Sharpen your hooks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Fusion fly: Where we expose our ample hindquarters to scorn and levity

Here's another one I just had to share from Singlebarbed.  In it, he manages to combine all kinds of stuff that has occurred to me over the years, but never all at the same time.  By the time I got fiinshed reading, my mind was like an M.C. Escher drawing, you know, the ones where the stairs go up and down at the same time even though they are connected at all corners,  not to mention (but I am) his symmetry drawings..............

Now there's only one thing to do, take the challenge and tie something that fits the task once I can get my head around it. Again, I wonder what the hell the trout would think, if that were possible........good thing they don't, we already have enough things to make us feel foolish, and then some.

Click here and read at your own peril:

The Fusion fly: Where we expose our ample hindquarters to scorn and levity

I'll follow this in the near future with my own version(s) of a Fusion Fly for your scorn and derision........pretend you're a trout when viewing. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day   Slainte!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lots of Water, No Fishing

Not much to write home about after a weekend of torrential rains.  We did go to a rocking St. Patrick's Day party last night - live music and great food.  This morning we went to breakfast and then cruised the local rivers.  This is Upper Rockaway Creek down the hill from my house.  Normally, a gentle freestone stream, it was quite unhappy with all the rain and snow melt it had to deal with.  That rivulet coming off the hill in the center of the photo was non-existant before Saturday.  Nothing like a good spring cleansing.

The next two are the South Branch of the Raritan River below Califon.  See that tree with the sign, I sometimes park next to that and then walk down the bank to the river.  The road was impassable from this point on.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Good Day, and Actually, Two Good Days

I fished both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend, with mixed results.  Both days were warm with bright sunshine through clear, blue skies.

Saturday was awesome.  Fished for two and a half hours in the afternoon and caught a bunch of Rainbows, one over 18 inches.  All of them fought with abandon and appeared to be very healthy.  After loosing a couple on a #18, Chimarra caddis larva, I switched to a #14 LaFontaine brown/yellow sparkle caddis pupa, and the game was on!

Sunday, I taught back to back fly tying classes at Shannon's Fly Shop, before finally getting on the water around 2PM.  I was beat after the classes and being up most of the night listening to a bunch of wound-up 9 and 10 year old girls play American Idol - my step daughter, Julia, turned 10 on Sunday.  I met up with Vinnie who had caught a nice Brown before I got there, and we fished for maybe 45 minutes before he had to get going and I was ready for a nap.  It was good to be on the water soaking up some sunshine, and I did get to watch a mink as it played among the rocks on the opposite bank.  Very cool stuff.   

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sometimes fishing is just an excuse to go somewhere else

Early Sunday afternoon Karen and I had just returned from breakfast and I heard the river whisper.

When I arrived, the air was mostly cold and gray, but being out in the quiet, snow covered landscape could not have been more invigorating.  Once I had my gear on, I crossed the ice and stone covered parking area and then climbed the short hill to the edge of the field.  That field was all that was between me and the river, and it was covered with 2 feet of freshly fallen, undisturbed snow, from two days before.  It was beautiful.

I slowly crossed the field, trudging through the snow in my waders.  A cool, moist, light breeze chilled my face and hands, and my eyes reacted with salty tears.  A noisy flock of geese flew overhead, breaking the silence, but soon were forgotten with each passing step.  The snow crunched under my felt soles, and as the trees bordering the river got closer, I forgot why I had come.  I had no thought of the rod in my hand, the pack filled with flies, tippet, snips and lip balm over my shoulder, or even that I was dressed for standing in the cold, clear river ahead.  I was unencumbered, free.

When I arrived on the river bank, the sun broke briefly through the clouds and the sounds of a nearby farmer's cattle awakened my senses.  Damn!  I wished the walk was longer.

After rigging up my rod, I descended the bank and slowly waded into the clear, cold liquid that is home to all kinds of life that cannot survive in our world.  The sun again hid behind the gray clouds as I plied the slowly flowing water with a tandem of nymphs, one smaller than the other.  With each cast, the flies on the end of my leader gently bounced along the sandy bottom, but apparently the fish had no interest in them.  Was it because I was fishing them with disinterest?  Had the walk to the river provided me with what I was really after? 

I continued to fish for an hour or so, even walking through the snow drifts along the bank to fish different runs.  I read the water, changed flies, sharpened hooks and even seined the water to catch invertebrates the trout might be feeding on.  And that's all I did.  Mentally, I didn't even try to catch anything.  I fished, and I was happy, but not because I fished.......