The Rats Nest

Monday, June 24, 2013

High Water Everywhere, A Streamer Fisherman's Dream Come True

I know the sight of higher water makes the typical "majority" fly angler cringe.  Limited or no wading opportunities, trout shuffled around from their normal lies, heavier water volume, degraded clarity conditions; variables that inevitably work against the dry fly oriented angler making it easier to say F it, stay home, pop a cold one and throw a couple slabs of meat on the grille.

If you're what I call the "minority" trout fisherman, a class that I think undoubtedly I fit into these days, there's another kind of meat that is associated with how we think and fish.  Big streamers equate to meat in our rather different vocabulary.  If there is anything "Manly" in the realm of fly fishing, chucking big flies on larger than standard rods for trout is right up there with slinging bugs the size of shoes for toothy critters.

You all know that I have a propensity to fish big stuff under just about any condition I am faced, but when the rivers swell and my Hyde can get in the river, there just isn't anything better in my book.  It would be great if time was something I had in abundance.  The cards I've been dealt lately have not been the greatest in regards to finding time to fish.  Looking for a royal straight flush has pretty much been trumped by a bunch of mixed up cards from the four major suits.

Although my time wasn't front and center, there has been some really cool stuff that filled the fishing void.  Last weekend (Father's Day) the family and I were visiting the family cottages and managed to spend some time together at the shores of the pond, swimming and dunking worms.  Oh, did I say that?  No way, Rich dunking worms you ask?  Well, my little girls like to fish too, and they are both closing in on the cusp of the right age to practice casting the fly rod.  So, chucking worms is a great start, besides, fishing is fishing regardless of what you use as long as it's done ethically in my book.

Nora Watching Her Big Sister Reel In The First Of The Day
Tessa is already a pro at reeling in fish, but Nora on the other hand hadn't had her chance.  Nora, like her sister picked up on it pretty quickly, and in no time was reeling in fish just like her big sister.  To say we had a blast is an understatement. 

Nora's First Fish
In between dips in the pond, chattering teeth (mostly Nora I might add), and building sand castles, the girls alternated reeling in perch and bass.

Tessa With A Bucket
Fast forward to this weekend.  Well, I had grandiose plans to float a certain river up in the Catskills, missing the window the prior few weeks, I kept my fingers crossed that the releases would sustain and I would get a shot with a couple of friends slinging meet or bugs topside in hopes of some quality fish.

Boat Box Filled With Meat Flies
As luck would have it, the spilling subsided and the flows were gradually cut back as time inched closer to my departure.  The day I was set to leave the river was pretty much back to the standard lower flow schedule, and although you could float it, it was not what I consider optimal. 

Streamer Sticks Set.
Bagging the plans, I still managed to head out and meet my good buddy Mike on Sunday, albeit later than intended as I was struck with some stomach issues after a rather suspect dinner the night prior.  Our now tailored plan was to wade another river, even though it was downright oppressive with the heat.

The waders stayed in the truck and we both opted to wet wade, and boy were we happy we did.  We managed to pick off a handful of sporadic risers in the afternoon heat, but the hatching activity was very much nil.   There was literally nothing working on the surface until that last 1/2 hour of daylight, and then it was nothing short of bug soup and rising fish everywhere.  
One Of Several Wild Browns Caught

Once it became dark, we were both pretty tired and downright starving so we bailed and hit the pizza shop in Mike's town, pretty much the only thing open at 11 PM on a Sunday night.  The bacon and chicken special was stellar, and was washed down with a cold beer.  Because Mike had some packing to do, and I wanted to be closer to home, I got up early this morning and drove east towards home.

I didn't go all the way home however, I managed to rip streamers early with some success on my home waters, before changing over to a nice beefy dry dropper set up of a Busted Stone and DDT nymph.  The combo worked out wonderfully and brought several fish of various sizes to hand today.  It was really nice to watch fish rising to a dry fly, something that I have done very little of this year.  Could I be changing gears again?  Wishful thinking, but probably not solely, you know how I roll, but it did get me thinking of some new pattern ideas, so maybe you will all see some smaller bug oriented freshness in the months to come.

Local Fare

The book is coming along slowly but steady, I am just about finished with my third chapter.  In all actuality, I am  having a lot of fun doing this project, and as long as I continue writing a few times a week I foresee this being completed about this time next year.  Hopefully I can maintain my focus, I have a few things to wrap up this week which should free up more time to both tinker at the vise and write more in the book.  In the meantime, enjoy your summer, and great success on the water.

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