Thursday, October 9, 2014

Little Things

Articulated streamers designed to imitate large meals are all the rage lately especially with the crowd that likes large fish. I suppose that includes most of us, though once you try casting those beasts you might reconsider. That is, until a large trout slams the thing, then it's all worthwhile.

The reality is that most of us spend a lot of time casting more modest flies to trout of the more common variety. This time of year the game gets smaller and smaller as we move into midge and olive season. A buddy recently wrote me about a pending fishing trip. The advice was that we'd start at size #18 flies and work our way down until we found the sweet spot probably around #22 or less.

Since we're only seeing small flies hatching, it's not a big leap to assume that's all that's in the water column. And while it might be true that these smaller bugs are the majority of the fauna all those bugs that hatch in warmer months have to be live somewhere off peak. It's no surprise that they're living underfoot.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Casting Distance


On one of the less storied stretches of the Housatonic River there's a long riffle that pauses twice creating two very fishy places. I've fished this spot regularly over the past few years. While these spots are no great secret, they attract far less traffic for a variety of reasons. First, they're relatively harder to access than other spots. The well worn paths go upstream and downstream. Second, during most water levels they look relatively featureless with little obvious opportunity for holding water. Finally, the folks who fish it keep mum about it.

On Saturday the water was low. I expected some exposed riffle based upon the gage reading but what greeted me when I got there was a surprising lack of water. I was still thirty feet from damp ground and the main current was on the far bank. A short ways upstream an angler sat high and dry upon a boulder that was normally under water. He was just at the edge of the first good spot so I walked upstream over the dried cobble to the second pool.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strip mining for bass


As an angler it's easy to get down on the coal industry. What they've done to water and air quality over the centuries is a crime. The industry continues to enjoy the protection of both parties at all levels of government. I suppose that's because we like what happens when we throw a light switch but there's clearly room for improvement in how things get done. Of course, in every cloud there is a silver lining and I may have found one in coal.

West Virginia is the place I most associate with coal mining. I'm not sure why that is. I was going to blame it on A Coal Miner's Daughter but it turns out Loretta Lynn is from Kentucky. It also turns out West Virginia isn't at the top of the list. Wyoming produces more than three times the coal of West Virginia; 388 million tons in 2013 down from 457 million tons in 2008

Indiana is also in the top ten. As America has sought energy independence all manner of taxpayer funded incentives have been lavished on the industry. As a result, Indiana's coal production has increased over the past few years reaching an all time high in 2013 at 39 million tons.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Endless Limited Choices

Like you, I have too many fly boxes. This could mean I carry too many flies but I doubt it. In fact, I probably have just enough of a selection to always have the right fly. My primary challenge is to recall a specific
fly's existence at the right moment and then find the damned thing.

Most of the fly boxes I own are the new type with foam slots. While they're easier to use than the old style boxes, they invite chaos. I can put nymphs next to dries and midges next to Hendricksons. If you were to look at my "streamer" box you would also find a dozen bass poppers, some damsel fly nymphs and a couple of big honking dry flies among classic and contemporary streamers. Strangely, you would not find a half dozen purple woolly buggers tied last month that should be here but are living in sin elsewhere.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.









Thursday, September 4, 2014

Broken Dial

It's small fly time on northeast tailwaters. On the Farmington River folks are fishing the trico hatch. A well tied imitation makes a #20 fly seem like a battleship and 6x look like an anchor chain. I like a brown thread body with a tuft of dun colored CDC and a #24 hook. It's one of the rare times I fish 7x. I'd fish 8x if I had any.

One of the nice things about tailwater hatches is that, despite all the variables that affect any natural process, they're pretty reliable. The hatches line up to fill the angling year. The fish seem as attuned as the anglers and I've spent many evenings fishing a single pattern. Once you're dialed in, you're set. Mostly.

Freestones, untethered to regular, temperate flows, can throw you more curves. Sure, they have the epic hatches that arrive like clockwork every year -- Hendricksons, March Browns, Alders, Cahills, White Flies, Isos -- but mixed in between and among are all manner of chaos. You can always count on some sort of caddis buzzing about, any number of small stones, midges, and BWOs. And, of course, the main events always overlap. It can make tying something on the tippet a total crapshoot.

You can read the rest of this article at Hatch Magazine.

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I'm doing some writing over on Hatch Magazine each week (or so). Stop over there to read my complete articles and more from other great writers.