Sunday, June 27, 2010

Someone, Please Turn Down the Thermostat and Turn on the Showers

Conditions continue to be hot (today it reached 91F) and relatively rain free.  The rivers are very low and reaching the mid 70'sF everyday.  Needless to say, fishing is on hold until who knows when. So not being one to sit around, I've been spending a fair amount of time trying to hit a little white, dimpled ball straight and at pre-determined distances with the hope of putting it in a little hole in the ground.  Looks easier than it is. 

I've also been tying flies.  Here's my extended body Light Cahill/Cream Drake.  In a prior post you saw the well-chewed version.  This is the new car smelling, fresh off the vise version.  It's very effective and easy to tie.......three materials.  

And here's my Yellow Sally, complete with egg-sac.  Essentially, it's a small stimulator minus the tail and with a bright orange ball at the end of the abdomen.  I tie it with Whiting hackle that has been dyed straw.  Looks yummie, and best of all, the trout think so.  Hopefully, I can fish them a little more this summer before they all hatch and before you know it, it's Autumn.

Sharpen those hooks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Low Water + Heat = No Fishing = Bummer

Since I last checked in here, I haven't fished.  If it weren't for tying flies in the evenings for my upcoming trip to Montana, I'd be going crazy..............or should I say, crazier.  It's all relative when you're a fly fisherman.

Although there were some cool days thanks to thurderstorms, I've been in Boston up until last Friday, and then this past weekend the conditions were very poor.  They continue to be poor.  After a watery, river bank full spring that had some of the best fishing in years, the local rivers and streams have settled into summertime conditions very quickly the last two weeks.  The rivers are low, and with the daily heat and sun, they have warmed to temperatures much higher than trout can handle if they are stressed by fisherman.  So, we leave the trout alone, just as we tend to like it when we are hot and bothered by lousy weather conditons.

From now until September, it's best for the trout if we manage our fishing by water temperatures.  If the temps are over 69-70F, stay out of the water and leave them alone.

Lets hope things cool down soon.

In the meantime, I'll try to post some photos of the flies I have been tying.  Many are effective patterns for local waters as well as Montana.

Carry a thermometer, use it, and resist the temptation to fish when it tells you the trout are uncomfortable.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Couple of Evenings with the Light Cahills

The last two evenings have been a couple of the best thanks to very pleasant weather, and great hatches and spinner falls, primarily of Light Cahills (Stenonema sp.).   On Monday evening the Light Cahills were joined by Sulphurs, Isonychias, and various light and dark caddis.  A few Yellow Sallies joined the party as well.  The fish were on the Light Cahills from about 7pm until a little after 8pm, when the Cahills disappeared as quickly as they showed.  The the trout switched over to Sulphur spinners, and were still feeding well when I left the river when it got too dark for my old eyes to see.  It was one of those nights when a good, well-placed cast was rewarded with a take, and many fish came  to hand.

Last night, the Light Cahills were back and stayed until dark.  Curiously, there was only a smattering of the other insects.  It was cooler, and the front was moving in, so maybe that had something to do with it.  The fish were much less cooperative, too, but we still managed to get a few.

I used two flies over the two nights, switching from one to the other each time the one I was using at the time got too water logged from being dragged under by fish.   These two well-chewed flies have been retired.    

Both flies are tied on size 14, standard dry fly hooks.

The extended bodies are elk hair and mallard flank respectively, wings are snowshoe rabbit foot hair, and the thorax is cream rabbit fur.

Sharpen those hooks!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Promised Photos

These fish were caught before the heat enveloped the land last week.  Here is a beautiful brookie caught by Jim Holland of Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon, NJ.    It was taken on a Sulphur at dusk.

A wild brown from the South Branch of the Raritan being sent off to fight another day.

I had other pics, but they decided not to cooperate with my computer skills...............either that, or my computer skills suck.  You decide.

On another note, the heat was blown away, literally, on Sunday and the streams have cooled.  Last night we fished for the first time in over a week, and it was very good.   We had a serious light cahill spinner fall and the trout were on them like kids to candy.  I may try to hit it again tonight depending on what my bride has planned. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick Report

Besides working my butt off at the office everyday, I did manage to fish last Friday, Sunday and Monday evening. I love living within 10 minutes of a nice trout stream!!! I also tried to get out last night, but half way to the river Karen called me and I had to turn around to tend to a homeowner issue....nothing major, but it couldn't wait.

The fishing has been great this year, and of course, June is the prime month for hatches of all kind. The past few outings there have been a multitude of flies on the water - Sulphurs, Chocolate Duns, Blue-winged Olives, Light Cahills, Isonychias, March Browns, and different spinners of the aforementioned mayflies. Caddis - Cinnamon or spotted sedges, Dark gray sedges, LIttle black caddis, some hatching and some laying their eggs. And finally, Yellow stoneflies (yellow sallies), and giant brwon stoneflies.

Some nights finding the right fly to use is easy, and others, it's a night of discovery and outright frustration. Trout are finicky, not in an intelligent way, but in an intuitive way, and how they behave and feed is open to just about any theory - weather, water temps, barometric pressure, moon phase, you name it, it's been tossed around. One night we couldn't keep the trout off our sulphur imitations. The next, even though the same flies were on the water, we couldn't but a take on a sulphur imitation and instead the fish seemed to be keyed in on emerging caddis and that was the ticket that evening.

I'll post some pics this weekend.