The Rats Nest

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 8,9,10. Some Highlights, Pictures And Other Updates.....

Our Ride at days end.
Housatonic Float With Paul and Glenn 05/08/11.

 Well, much to the chagrin of my wife, I guided this Mother's Day.  Trust me, I felt really really bad about it, and I owe her big time.  I am very much indebted to her, she is a saint for putting up with my obsession.  Enough of the small talk, lets get down to business.   So Paul gets the email to meet at Cellar hole and I arrive to find Glenn all geared up and ready to go.  After about a half hour the phone rings and it's Paul and he informs us he's at Garbage Hole wondering where we were.  Glenn and I laugh and tell him to drive south, all in the meanwhile digging up the email and confirming Paul's mishap.  No worries, he got some razzing for the day, but he made up for it as the day progressed.

One of several by Paul
So Glenn and Paul booked a float trip with me about 2 years ago.  As a result of some lower flows, last minute unexpected obligations and a slew of other snafu's so to speak, this trip was one I was really looking forward to, as were Paul and Glenn.  I've known Paul for a while, we are both on the Board for the F.R.A.A., so it was a pleasure to float a familiar face with a friend of his.  I elected to cover a smaller stretch methodically, rather than go the full 6 miles from Push-em up to the Park, I elected to do the Mud pit to Cellar Hole.  Hoping for some bugs, we were unfortunately disappointed, however, the fish didn't seem to care. 

Glenn with one of his better bows
Glenn and Paul tore fish up as the day progressed.  As the sun became covered by clouds, the fish turned on and tan Classified Caddis Pupa fished under an indicator dead drift, or swung and lifted seemed to do the trick.  Passing from riffle to run we consistently picked fish up on Zoo Cougars, Mike's Red Rockets and Ice Picks.  The fishing wasn't red hot, but we had pockets of hot fishing.  The highlight of the day was more around the shenanigans in the boat.  Glenn is quite the character, and he had some pretty good observations about fishing and the many relations to sex.  I'll keep it G rated, and will elaborate on this at a later date, but I will say this, he's definitely on to something.  

Paul's Tank Bronze back
As we rounded out the day, we managed our fair share of bows, browns and small mouth, with the high percentage going to the rainbow.  For all the fish taken on streamers we managed to have an equal if not greater amount that slashed, chased or stung our streamers without ever feeling the business end of the hook.  After many laughs, some good fishing and eats we got off the river after a good 10 hour day.  We stayed out later at my request, to make up for the 2 year wait for this day.  Paul and Glenn were both happy we did, and it was a great trip to start the week.

Part II.  05/09/11 Farmington Wade Trip with Eric And Chuck.

A really robust football
The next day brought me a pair of diehards who were driving up from the city, and we touched base earlier in the week, and from what Eric told me, they were both eager to hit some of our waters up here in Connecticut.  So, Eric and Chuck roll into town from New York City, and we hit it off right from the start.  These two guys have the fishing bug bad, and when I first witnessed Chuck's beat up GMC pickup with a custom built rod loft loaded up with two rods constructed by Eric, I knew these guys meant business.   Eric forewarned me that Chuck may not be the prettiest of casters (not true), but he is an absolute fish magnet and would most likely catch the most and the largest of the day.  Well, lets just say Eric knows his buddy well, as Chuck didn't disappoint, the first fish of the day was a 20+ inch breeder at the head of a more notable riffle.  

Eric In Full Concentration

As the morning wore on the fishing continued at an alarming pace.  We never moved from the same piece of water.  From 8 AM till lunch it was ridiculous fishing.  Now granted, there are a slew of new river inhabitants, and they made up the bulk of our catch, but we did manage a few nice holdover browns in the mix too. 

The highlight of the day was coaching Eric through a really nice dry fly scenario with a gorgeous holdover brown who was sporadically garbage feeding on Hendrickson emergers and duns. 

Eric's Double
With the right positioning and cast, Eric managed to the plant the hook in the maw of a beautiful butter belly just shy of 19 inches.  It really is the pinnacle of guiding when you work as a team and come out on top in a situation like that, something I just can't get enough of.   The early morning double he managed was greatly overshadowed by this great team effort. 

The afternoon started a little slower, but quickly picked up where we had left off as a result of the  Hendrickson's hatching in good numbers.  The Soft Hackle Hendrickson in tandem or with a rusty colored hares ear were the only two flies needed aside from the emerger for the surface feeding fish.  We ended the day fishing 2 holes, and a great number of fish to the net, and two guys very happy with their  results. 

Eric's holdover Emerger Eating Butter Belly
 To say the day was a success was an understatement, the weather was good, the bugs came in good numbers and the fish were more than cooperative.  Who couldn't have  asked for anything more. 

Chuck hooked up.
 The first of two days went down as a wow day for Eric and Chuck.  Eric was very impressed in how effective fishing nymphs can be when done correctly.  Figuring it would be hard to top our efforts, we broke for the evening and discussed our logistics for tomorrows float and parted ways.  Aside from the fishing, these two guys had some great stories to tell, they both went to Mongolia last year in search of Taimen,  and the trip sounded like quite the adventure.  I can't even begin to do justice to the story, but in short, Chuck nearly met his demise in the bush after eating some sort of Mongolian Lamb concoction.  After the feast, he was specifically instructed not to drink any water.  Well, disregarding the instructions Chuck ended up in a fetal position in camp for a few days and from what Eric explained, the natives said most people don't survive to tell the story. 

Eric Locked, a familiar site all day

 Not only were Chuck and Eric full of stories of fishing and laughter, they were great fisherman to boot. 

Part III.  05/10/11 Floating The Housy, Part II of the Eric and Chuck Show.

Hoping to have nearly half the success we had the day prior, we figured on an early start as the boys needed to make the trek back to the city that night.

Chuck with a fat bow
One of Eric's better bows
   So we met early, and floated the river without seeing another boat all day.  The sun was high and the fish were a bit wary.  The boys fished hard, and never waived the white flag or threw in the towel, streamer fishing and throwing sinking lines all day.  In all the years that I have guided, I can honestly say with 100% degree of certainty that I have never experienced two guys who slung flies on sinking lines all day like these two did.  We had intermittent pockets of chasers and tail nippers all day, with a fair amount of fish in the net, mostly comprised of rainbows.  All fish with the exception of a few small mouth appeared to be all recent additions to the river.  The hot flies for the day were go figure, as if you wouldn't know,  Zoo Cougars cone head Madonna's and Ice Picks all in shades of yellow.

As you can tell from the pictures it was quite the beach day, the sun never gave us any reprieve, and the fishing was a bit tougher as a result of it.  We didn't see many caddis at all on our float, but I heard through the grapevine that in the evening they were everywhere, and one fish that was caught from a friend of ours was literally regurgitating green pupa, that's a good sign.  Well we broke mid day for lunch, right on the shores of Pine Pool under the shade of a nearby tree. 

The view from our lunchtime perch
With the wind picking up, the sun very bright and high, and no bugs to speak of, we were hard pressed to find any surface activity, seemingly Chuck coaxed a few fish into eating his streamer on the surface.  Although the weather was nice, it wasn't what I would call ideal trout conditions.  We muscled through and made a day of it.  I really enjoyed our two days together and look forward to hearing from these two great guys again. 

The New Gunslinger
On another note, Chuck broke in a new stick for me on this trip.  If you know me well, like my fly tying problem, I have a streamer rod fetish, and am always picking up a new one every other season it seems.  I have been overly impressed with the Scott S4s saltwater series rods, owning both the 8 and 9 weights which I use for big flies for Pike or on the shores of New England in pursuit of Striped Bass.  Being overly impressed with both rods, I figured I'd try my hand at the 6 weight.  Personally, I like a faster action rod  when slinging integrated lines and big streamers.  I will say this, the 6 is an absolute rocket launcher and a delight to cast.  I will do a complete write up on this rod along with the Hatch reel seated on it as well.  I can't say that I've owned a nicer more enjoyable combo to fish, so stay tuned for more on these two great tools at seasons end....

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