Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last "Bonus Day?"

Sorry for the delay in posting. I had a few obligations to attend to including new grandson Patrick, born November 11. I did make a couple uneventful trips: to the Pemigewasset River (38F water b-r-r-r-r)the Farmington River in CT (no fish landed, a couple strikes on small dries) and a few hours on the Squannacook River in W. Groton (I can still smell the skunk from that trip.) And then today Dick and I went to the Swift River and we loaded up on fly fishing junk food. I don't know how many fish we fooled (I am not a fish-counter) but it was a lot. Most were caught on Shadan soft-hackles, red, size 16 and 18. (Go to the Evening Sun Fly Shop in Pepperell and ask for some tied by Charlie. I think the special dubbing wax he uses has some secret ingredient.) Dick got a hook straightened by one fish and we both had quite a few break off the 6x and 7x tippet. The water temp was a warm and toasty 51F and the fish were real active. A lot of the fish were very dark, had no hook marks and were extremely energetic when hooked. I asked one of the regulars if they were recently stocked and he told me they were "Bondsville fish" that had migrated from a few miles downriver when it started to get cold. They moved upriver until finding the perfect spot to hang out - at the mouth of the hatchery pipe.
Every time I have gone out this fall I say it will probably be the last good day of the year - until the next last good day! I think this was my last bonus day of fishing. The next fishing report I file will probably be from Florida. Can it really be just a month until I point the car south on I-95? Well, who knows, maybe just one more bonus day may be left in the 2009 calendar, we'll see.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another bonus day!

Today was another one of those bonus days - unexpectedly warm, river flows at a good level and a few bugs buzzing around. The real bonus was the two rainbows I caught this afternoon on dry flies. Stan and I arrived in Henniker around 12:30PM to fish one of our favorite rivers, the Contoocook. We saw one other fly angler sitting on a log across the river from us studying the water (and probably hoping to see some rises!) Stan and I rigged up and moved down the river to a couple spots that Stan wanted to show me. For years he and I have explored this river and developed our own favorite spots. Out of habit and necessity, I usually hit my old favorite spots. It was a treat to have Stan show me a couple new spots, along with a description of which are the best hatches and where in the pools the fish usually hang out. To that knowledge I added some of my own, such as where in the pools rainbows feed on dries on November 9! Both fish were real dark and their fins were long and flawless - no nubbins rubbed by concrete raceways. One took a size 16 BWO parachute and the other a size 16 Royal Wulff. We saw a few mayflies (probably BWO), a couple caddis and a few yellow stoneflies the size of hummingbirds. Overall, a tremendous couple hours on the water. Better than anything I could hope for until next May. A well-appreciated bonus day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mark your calendar

The Nashua Library will once again be running their Thursday night fishing seminars in January. Always a good take. Here is the announcement information:

Fishing Lectures at Nashua Public Library

Fish 2010, the Nashua Public Library's annual series of fishing lectures, begins on January 7. The Thursday-night lectures are preceded by fishing videos and fly-tying demos by members of local fishing organizations at 6 pm. Each night you attend you'll receive a free raffle ticket for prizes that will be drawn at the last lecture on January 28.

Fishing the Rangeley Region

Come hear about the waters, the flies, and the fish that make the western mountains of Maine a throwback to fishing times of old, where lakes, rivers, and ponds still hold large brook trout as well as salmon. Presented by New Hampshire guide Jim Norton.
Thursday, January 7, at 7 pm

Fishing the Merrimack River and Inshore Waters

Angling for striped bass and bluefish in the Merrimack River estuaries? Get expert advice from Captain Charlie Crue on fly and light spinning tackle as well as the best techniques, flies, and lures.
Thursday, January 14, at 7 pm

Reel People: Fishermen of Plum Island
Filmmaker James Waldron screens and discusses his one-hour documentary exploring the culture of fishing on this barrier island just off the coast of Newburyport, Mass. Meet bait throwers and fly casters, men and women, kids and octogenarians who find their excitement at the end of a piece of string.
Thursday, January 21, at 7 pm

Let’s Go Fishing: Introduction to Fly-Tying

In this workshop you’ll be introduced to the tools, materials, threads, and hooks required for fly-tying. Then, in a hands-on session, you’ll learn to tie nymph, wet, streamer, and dry flies. Tools and materials will be provided, but participants may bring their own if they have them. For adults, and children over twelve if accompanied by an adult. Enrollment is limited. To register, go to www.tinyurl.com/nplfishing after December 1.
Saturday, January 23, from 10 am to 4 pm

Fly Fishing for Bass and Salmon

Tips for fly fishing nearby and in Maine for salmon and bass—yes, bass—courtesy of the Nashua Fly Casters. Plus, learn a bit about the history and activities of this organization for local anglers.
Thursday, January 28, at 7 pm

The library is located at 2 Court Street, Nashua, NH. For more information visit www.nashualibrary.org or call Carol at (603) 589-4610.