Wednesday, September 5, 2012

TU Exit 31 Restoration Project a Winner

Last Saturday I pulled a double shift - beginner client half-day in the morning and experienced client full-day noon-to-dark.  Both were visiting NH on vacation - from Long Island NY and Arizona, respectively.  Luckily it was a pleasant day with temps in the 70s and a few clouds.  Also, there were enough fish involved to keep it interesting.  The beginner wanted a half-day lesson, so as not to be away from family all day.  We worked on casting and techniques for a while and then put the fly over a few fish.  Skating a small Stimulator drew three or four strikes without a hookup and then it all came together with a beautiful rainbow.
For the afternoon, I was going to take him to Jackson to fish the Ellis River, if the morning session turned out to be a dud.  Since we found some willing fish, no use burning daylight with a round trip over the Kanacamagus.  Since the water temp was pretty good (64F) I decided to fish the "Exit 31 Project" area.  This is one of the real NH TU success stories. Follow the link to learn more about it. (Also, has anybody fished that section lately?  Curious as to your results.)
 In any case, we fished that half-mile stretch of river in the afternoon.  Being an experienced angler, the strike-to-hookup ratio was better than the morning session.  After a late lunch we finished the day fishing a pool further upstream in Woodstock. All told, there were only three or four misses with about a dozen or more hook-ups.  From morning to night, every fish was caught on a dry - Stimulator, Elk hair caddis, or parachute ant. (Except for one on a brown softhackle dropper.) In the morning, as part of the learning process, we fished streamers and nymphs under an indicator without a strike.
Videos of both trips are found on my YouTube Channel.
PS. I am not into "spot-burning."  This report includes a lot more information than my usual reports.  I did this mainly because the Pemi below the convergence of the main stem and East Branch is a pretty large river with lots of places for the fish to hide.  Hopefully after seeing what can be done, it also might inspire others to get involved with their TU chapter and roll up their sleeves.
PPS. FYI, Still a couple spots open on the Androscoggin Special Package Trip beginning the end of this week.

Special note: The Pemigewasset TU chapter is sponsoring a Film Festival September 14-15.  Go to their website for full details.