Monday, April 15, 2013

Another Lousy Day in Paradise.....

"Nothing is worth more than this day" J.W. van Goethe

Of all the things I do in my life, passing on my passion for fly fishing and fly tying is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding, and yesterday was no exception.  In the morning, I taught a fly tying class at Shannon's Fly Shop, and after catching up with each other, we got down to the business of tying flies.  We tied a few trout flies appropriate for this time of the season, and while doing so, I gave them some input on how to fish each of them when on the water.  We had a great time sharing stories, busting chops and talking trout. We tied a couple of hendrickson imitations, and a grannom emerger.

Then when I came in from working in the yard after fishing, I checked my email, and there was one from one of the guys who attended the class in the morning.  He was writing to say thanks, as he had went fishing after the class and used the flies we tied.  He fished them as I had suggested, and had a great day catching trout on them.  Some as large as 18" long!  He said he wished he could have one day a week like today all year.  I hope you get your wish, Bob.

I fished as well yesterday afternoon for a few hours, hoping to hit the Hendrickson hatch on the South Branch of the Raritan River.  I arrived around 1 o'clock or so, and despite the bright sun breaking through the high, thin clouds, the air was cool from an unsteady breeze that rippled the water surface and changed the direction of many of my casts.  The river was clear and at a good level, and there were quite a few Hendricksons coming off the water, along with a few Quill Gordons, and small dark caddis (Brachycentrus lateralis).

At times there were squadrons of Hendricksons in the air and on the water, yet realtively very few trout were rising to take them.  Usually when the hatch is as heavy as it was, it brings every winter hungry trout up to feed on the surface. I could see many trout moving in the deeper water as they took the emerging nymphs.  I wanted to fish dries, so I targeted the fish that were rising to take the duns.  I fished a Hendrickson pheasant tail soft hackle right in the surface film, and took the fish that showed themselves.  Including a nice 13-14 inch wild brown trout that had quite belly on him, apparently from gorging on the hatching mayflies.  Here's a female Hendrickson dun I snatched from the air.

After working my way up through the run and taking the fish that were rising, things on the surface quieted down - the hatch started to wane, and the trout followed, preferring to stay deep.  They did continue to feed though, as evidenced by their flashing flanks as they turned and darted to take drifting nymphs.  I caught a few more fish, including a 20+ inch rainbow that almost took me into my backing twice before I got it to net.  Then I called it a day.

Here's the view of the river valley as seen from the hill as I headed back to my home just a short drive over on the other side.  Soon the dark trees will turn to bright green.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful countryside. Excellent posts. Keep them coming!