This has been an interesting summer for fishing. The weather was mostly wet and mild, with most of us agreeing that August was the only true month of summer. I think June actually had more than 20 days of rain.
The Farmington was either too high or too muddy to fish at various times, so I started exploring various lakes in the area, and developed an appreciation for kayak fishing for panfish and bass, mostly with poppers and larger flies.
Fishing with poppers falls somewhere between a dry fly and a streamer. You cast, let it sit for a few seconds and then move it a couple of inches, let it sit, and so on. The popper color doesn’t seem to really matter, but poppers with rubber legs were preferred.
Bluegills, crappie, pumpkinseeds are fun and easy enough to catch, but hooking a bass of 12″ or more is the only thing that compares to catching a trout. The hook up is sometimes explosive, and they tend to run in the other direction. Large mouths and short bodies allow them to maneuver quickly.
Over the summer I learned how to outfit and flyfish from my sit-in kayak. It now has a Scotty’s rod holder and cleats for holding a drag anchor. Instead of a vest, I place all of my equipment (flies, leader, tippet, nippers, pliers) in a clear plastic box which sits underneath my legs. A simple and spartan operation.
I also had a couple of notable trips. The first was Troutfest, held in May in Townsend, TN. It was my first time fishing in the Smoky Mountains, National Park. The fist are wild and easily spooked, but I’ll definitely go back.
The second was a September day on the Housatonic. It is larger than the Farmington, but the water was clear on the day I went. Caught 5 nice rainbows on a stonefly nymph in less than an hour. Can’t beat that.
As I watch the last of the leaves fall on the wet grass and prepare for tonight’s Halloween activities, I realize that there are still a few good days left before I’ll need to put on the neoprene waders and gloves.