Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Calendar Update

A couple updates for your off-season calendar:

The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough is coming up on January 15, 16 & 17. My guiding partner Jim Norton is on the program in the "Destination Theater" talking about Fly Fishing in NH. If you go to his pitch, be sure to introduce yourself and tell him you saw it here.
Jim is also presenting at the Nashua Public Library fishing seminars January 7 about fishing the Rangeley Maine area. He is also conducting a free Fly Tying class at the Nashua library on January 23. See the November 4 blog post below for more details.
Also, I'll be presenting at the Salem, NH public library on April 15 about Fly Fishing NH.
And Jim and I will do a show about Fly Fishing the large rivers of NH at the Pemigewasset TU chapter meeting on April 23.

If you have a friend or spouse that would like to learn how to fly fish, the first 2010 session of the Northeast Fly Fishing School will be held April 24 and 25 at Evening Sun Fly Shop in Pepperell. That class is about half full, so don't wait if you have somebody who wants to attend. (The class is also useful for intermediate fly fishers who want some hatch-matching and casting/presentation pointers.)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hatchery Pipe Tour

No I didn't decide to hit the Swift for one last time this year. I took a break from tying flies (more on that later) and strung together some video shots of the hatchery pipe area on the Swift. Those that are regulars there will probably not be too impressed, but you other folks who haven't made the pilgrimage yet might find it a little interesting. <YouTube Video>
Oh yeah, fly tying. I have been alternating between three themes: Major hatches for next spring (Alder fly and Hendrickson patterns, mostly); Florida; and Labrador streamers - yes a trip to Three Rivers Lodge is in the planning stages, so Clouser black ghosts and Mickey Finns have started to accumulate. In between I confess to tying some softhackles to use as droppers and also for an April foray to the Swift upon return from Florida. As soon as I finish the Florida flies, I hope to dig into my tackle bag and clean out the ratty looking flies from my fly boxes and started to get organized for next season. I have been mulling over some new ways to organize my fly boxes. Anybody have any special thoughts on that?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Frosting on the cake

Ok, this is REALLY it! Yesterday Stan and I made a final-final 2009 trip to the Swift River. And what a trip it was! One other car was at the gauge station parking area and there was plenty of room to fish. When we first stepped into the water it only took a couple drifts to hook-up with the first fish of the day. Once again, soft hackles were the hot flies - white, red, olive were top producers. Also got a couple on black BH zebra midge and an egg fly. A few days ago I noticed that after catching a couple fish, the fish started to shy away from the lane the indicator was drifting over. Once I saw that I switched indicators. Using a white indicator was the best, since it blended with the ubiquitous white foam. As the sun got high on the water, the fish headed to the shadows, even if it meant less than foot-deep water. It also got real crowded as the day went on. At noon we left to eat a sandwich and explore the area upstream of route 9. When we crossed the bridge we saw over a dozen cars in the parking areas and promptly made a U-turn and headed back to the relative solitude of the hatchery pipe run. After sharing some of our lunch with an enormous pit bull I dubbed Spike, we went down to the pipe run and caught a few more fish. You can see from this video of Stan landing a fish that we had plenty of company. (YouTube Video) The nice thing about the folks that fish this area is their general good manners and generosity. George and his grandson shared the area with us in the morning and we enjoyed the comradeship and general information (with a little gossip!) that was passed among the anglers. In the afternoon I found myself fishing next to Al, an extremely experienced and adept angler, with whom I shared the dam pool on the Newfound River numerous times this summer. Al has a place on Rattlesnake Island on Winnipesaukee and is a wealth of information about many rivers in the northeast.
Well, that's it for 2009. Be sure to tune in now and then for announcement of upcoming events in the New England area. Also, I'll be reporting on my winter fishing adventures in Florida starting in January. In the mean time I'll be filling my saltwater box with Clousers, Deceivers, shrimp and crab flies.
Tight Lines!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another great day on the Swift River

My buddy Dick and I hit the Swift River today. We found only one other angler fishing from the USGS gauge all the way down to Cady Lane. We took up position below the hatchery pipe in the 26F air. The water temp today was about 50F which had the fish feeding actively. Once again the best flies were small soft hackles in red or olive. We lost track of how many fish we fooled in the morning. After lunch we fished above route 9 in the FFO area. I fooled a few more in the riffle/pool just above where the bubbler arm hits the Y-pool.
I'm not going to call this bonus day my "last good day" of the year, but I suspect it is. (Although Friday weather is looking good. H-m-m-m, maybe I need to tie up some more softhackles, just in case!)
I also took some video that I posted on YouTube.