Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Still in the rut
There have been a few isolated T-storms, but no real relief from the drought yet. Last week I spent a day on the Ellis River and another on the Swift (MA) River. The day in Jackson was with a hiker up from NYC who wanted to do some fly fishing before hitting the trail to an AMC hut. As we all know, the Ellis, just like all the other rivers was running low, but had a water temp of 62F. I showed my client the stonefly husks on the boulders and explained that we were going to skate Stimulators to see if any of the resident trout were looking up. They were. We soon landed a couple nice rainbows and brookies. He had fly fished a couple times before, but had never skated a dry. I taught him how to work the pocket water skating a Stimulator through all the likely looking spots. I think he'll be trying that technique the next time he fishes the Catskills.
The other group was a father and two sons who wanted to learn the way of the skinny stick. Since the only other cool water was 3+ hours away, I took them to the Swift River. After going over the basics of the gear, dry land casting, knots, etc we stepped into the river for some practice with "live ammo." I always like to start beginners in an area where they can make a backcast, safely wade and be away from the crowds. That usually means a spot down river from route 9. There were a few sulphurs coming off and some fish feeding on them. We were able to capture a few flies to examine and learn how to identify it as a may fly and come up with a fly pattern to match the natural. A couple fish took a whack at their flies with no hookups. After practicing in private all morning, we moved above route 9. Surprisingly, we found plenty of places to fish over pods of rainbows. After a few fly changes, they each landed some nice fish on size 20 soft hackles and size 22 brassies. We are lucky to have these cold water resources available to fish through a hot, dry summer. Tonight I tied up some more soft hackles (even some purple ones) for my next trip to the Swift River. Still in the rut.