This is the time of year when you’re reminded that the remaining comfortable fishing days are few, and you better get out and enjoy them while you can. During my drive to the river, I heard on the radio that the number of daylight hours in CT is now less than 12, and falling.
The temperatures have dropped by about 10 degrees in the past week. With the daily highs only reaching the low 70’s, it makes for some very cold water and enjoyable fishing.
Both the Housatonic and the Farmington are fishing nicely, and there are many new reports touting the quality of fish caught. This post is no exception.
Yesterday afternoon I met up with a friend on the Housatonic. We stuck to an area that we knew held both rainbows and browns, and on occasion produced some nice smallmouth as well.
Thanks in part to the state’s stocking program, I picked up a number of rainbows and browns. Although I don’t think all of these came from a truck, I’m guessing most did. The mix of caught fish was about 75% browns, 25% rainbows. The browns looked really good, but the rainbows had some of the scrape marks associated with stocked fish.
While I would like to say that I took most of these on dries, the truth is I watched a number of dry fly anglers walk away frustrated while I continued to catch fish on a nymph rig. I did pick up a couple on a Usual, but they really wanted small BWO emergers. We just couldn’t go small enough to satisfy them.
The browns were especially aggressive, and I found that my nymphs were in shreds after 2 or 3 hook ups.
Another noticeable difference was that the most of the fish were caught in the early afternoon – not the evening. Usually the fishing picks up around dusk. While we did see quite a few fish sipping emergers, they were not as active or aggressive compared to the early afternoon.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the markings on the fish in these pics vary dramatically, proving that some of the best fall colors are not always on the foliage.
Hope you’re finding time to get out and enjoy some fall fishing and the colors that come with it. Enjoy!
This was the third year that I attended CFFM’s Summerfest. It’s always a great day and a good time to get out and meet new and old friends. This year I wandered the grounds with Walt and Leighanne of Rivertop Rambles, and met up with my friends from Ridge and Valley TU, based in northwest NJ.
The main field is usually filled with booths and vendors, and there are a few planned activities throughout the day. There’s always a casting competition, which I was told draws participants from as far away as Japan.
If you’re lucky you might get a few pointers from Joan Wulff.
Each year there is something new to see. This year there have been significant additions to the bamboo rod building shop, located below the Wulff Art Gallery. If you’re interested in learning to build your own bamboo rod, the museum offers classes.
I am not a bamboo rod builder, but I was told that this Everett Garrison rod building bench is a key acquisition, highly valued and very popular with those who come to the rod building classes. There were also some great vintage bamboo rods on display as well.
The grill seemed to be a popular place as well.
This year we also stopped for a beer tasting and presentation on brook trout in the Wulff Gallery.
I always find something new in the gallery. This year it was the stained-glass panels that hung in many of the windows. If you’re interested, they’re available for sale.
Last year Walt and I got out afterwards for a nice evening of fishing. This year we had an interesting situation. The Beaverkill was too warm to safely fish, with water temps in the mid 70’s. In contrast, the Delaware was much too cold, with a thermometer reading of 43 degrees. We attempted the Delaware for about an hour before packing it in and heading home.
As a parting gift, Walt gave me a copy of his book, River’s Edge, A Fly-Fishing Realm, available from Wood Thrush Books. I’ve just started it, but the book is described as “a celebration of trout streams in northern Pennsylvania an upstate New York, as well as the landscape through which they pass.”
This area is steeped in trout fishing history, and I’m interested in learning more about these streams, so it sounds very intriguing. To get your copy, connect with Walt through Rivertop Rambles, find it on Amazon or contact Wood Thrush Books.
If you have a day to spend up in the Catskills, CFFM’s Summerfest is definitely worth it. Enjoy!
As most of you know, I’ve recently started learning how to tie my own flies. In the past, I’ve referred to fly tying as a hobby for people with talent. By definition this would exclude me. That said, the opportunity to learn presented itself and I decided to give it a try.
In essence, I’m allowing my fly fishing sickness to metastasize. I’ve already built several rods, and as soon as 3-D printing technology allows, I’ll probably spin my own line (or not). I’ve also been experimenting with poppers made from bottle corks, a convenient excuse for trying new wines.
I’ve tied nymphs, streamers and bass bugs, but really enjoy working with dry flies. I’m learning the art of building the body, adding wings, tail and tying in the hackle. I look at chicken feathers and deer hair in a new light.
Recently I found a great peacock caddis recipe. The fly looked like what I’ve used in the past. I’m a caddis fan, but I truly like the peacock caddis, especially in smaller sizes.
With help from friends in my fly tying group, I assembled all the necessary materials and tied a few in size 18. My hackle sizing skills could use some work, but with an appropriate trimming they reasonably resembled the one in the video. Sort of.
Today I stood (or crouched) in a small stream holding a fiberglass rod that I built and cast one of my peacock caddis to a hungry wild brown trout. He promptly hammered it and ran towards me, making catch and release much easier.
It’s a great experience to land a fish on a fly you tied. Even if you don’t tie, this is a great time of year to get out and fish with dries. Enjoy!
This is one of our on-location shoots, the recent jamboree and annual open house at Angler’s Den in Pawling, NY.
It was a great day and a well-attended event, despite a blast of snow from Mother Nature. We learned a lot about Angler’s Den, the history of the shop (It’s located in an old bank building) and saw some great fly tiers at work. It was great to meet the Angler’s Den team and a fun shoot. Enjoy!