The Rats Nest

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fly-Fishing, Solitude, New Flies And A Couple Of Milestones.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much a few hours standing in a river can clear a racing mind.  If you've been following the blog lately, you're fully aware that life has been very hectic over here as of late.  Nothing earth shattering, just the typical dialy grind of work, kids and daily obligations.  In a nutshell, the last time I managed to wet a line was somewhere around the 6th of February when I caught that nice brown on the Deerfield.
The Shanked Ice Pick, With Matching Colored Barbless Octopus Hook, Video Forthcoming

So, to finally get out on the water again was a much needed reprieve.  I started out my day with the switch rod and a spin off of my Ice Pick Streamer.  Being such a good pattern, I had to conjure up a converted prototype that would be equally as effective when fished on the swing, yet had a trailing hook built into the design.  I think I found the right blend of both, and the fish seemed to think so too.

From 10 AM till about 1 PM i stuck to my guns and swung away.  The first run I stepped into had a lot of promise, after  a few minutes I had managed 3 good pulls, but no fish to the net.  Figuring this would be a great day for swung flies as a result of my early efforts, I continued to grind it out, but with little if any success.  After about 3 hard hours of swinging, 7 pulls with no fish and a pair of numb feet, I hung up the switch rod, drove down to Rocky River Sweet Shop and got me a nice bread bowl of Beef Barley Soup and half a Roast Beef sandwich.
A Fresh Path Is Always A Good Thing
After warming my feet with the heat on full blast in my truck, and the pure gluttony that ensued, I decided to string up the ESN and go hammer out some riffles with some weighted nymphs.  Sometimes change is a good thing, and today that proved to be the case.  An untouched snowy path greeted me at my post lunch stretch of water, and I was eager to get back in the riffles and take that skunk off.  Knowing that the nymph fishing has been hot, I anticipated a good afternoon, and it didn't disappoint.

After thoroughly picking apart a usually productive run without so much as a bump, I moved on to a nearby ace in the hole.  On the second drift I managed to connect with this nice holdover brown.
Rock Candy Larva Eating Brown
I was fishing some larger nymphs for a change, just to see if my theory that some of the bigger fish would show themselves as the majority of the fish I had taken a few weeks back were on micro nymphs, however most of the fish topped out at about 17-18 inches.  Let's just say this fish was a bit bigger than those fish were, by a couple of inches that is.
Rock Candy Larva, The Hot Fly Of The Day
After thoroughly picking apart this particular run I moved on but not until  I managed a couple more nice brown's, nothing close to the size of the first guy, but pretty and fun to say the least, and once again falling to the Rock Candy Larva as well.  
On A Shimmer Stone, Those Work?
The next spot that I targeted is usually a solid producer, but today unfortunately it wasn't.  A couple of fish were caught, but nothing in the large department.  After netting and releasing this particular fish, I was asked a few questions by a member of the DEEP for an angler survey, been a while since I was asked to participate in one of those.
Shimmer Stone, The Secondary Hot Pattern Of The Day
The snow decided to roll back in, and the temperature began it's downward trek .  At one point I was fishing in a pretty solid downpour of snow, and my daylight was fading even faster than anticipated.  I opted to hit one last spot before I called it a day, and once again, I was glad that I did.  On the 3rd cast , I managed another nice holdover brown almost identical in length as the first bigger guy that I had managed earlier in the afternoon.  
Nice Brown To End The Day On
It was nice to end the day on a positive note, and a pair of browns of this stature made for a memorable day.  By the time I got back to my truck, the cold had settled in and a bite was in the air.  I was actually looking forward to getting home and in the warmth of the house, but I had a pretty good day out there to say the least, and I was virtually alone on the water, which was even better. 
Hot Fly Of The Day
On the fly front, I have been consumed by a couple of larger streamer orders.  I have slowly but surely been making a dent in both of them on a daily basis.  I have been going through Arctic Fox and Schlappen feathers like you read about lately, and I have a slew of staged Hog Snares that are 2/3rds complete, waiting on the business ends to be attached.  When they are complete, I will be sure to put a few photos, but in the meantime here is a shot of some of the staged flies.
A Pile Of Hog Snares Waiting To Be Finished
On a final note, today was my oldest daughter Tessa's 4th birthday.  It really is amazing how fast time flies, two weeks ago Nora turned 2, and we had a party to celebrate their big days over the weekend a couple of weeks back (that's the night my wife and I both got the stomach flu).  
The Birthday Girls Rocking Their Ice Cream Cake
These two girls may give my wife and I a run for our money daily, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  It seems like just yesterday they were both just born, and to think in a year Tessa will be in Kindergarten and Nora in Preschool.  Time does fly, albeit way too fast, Happy Birthday girls, sometimes I wish I could freeze time........

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