Sunday, May 2, 2010

Housatonic River, 5.2.10

With the potential for evening thunderstorms and my in-laws due to arrive mid-afternoon, I thought it best to get out for a bit of fishing. The Housy's flows were near perfect and I could just envision fish rising across the expanse of Sand Hole.

I drove north at around 2:30 p.m. and decided to fish a stretch I'd been fishing lately above the covered bridge. I've heard others have had luck up there with some good surface action and I hadn't yet so I decided to give it a go.

On the river

The water could not have been more picturesque and two gentleman were already working a piece of water when I arrived. I wanted a spot above them and found it vacant. Unfortunately, there were no rising fish to be found. I worked a dry-dropper rig for a bit and had no luck.

With a smattering of Hendricksons about I hoped that the fish might be up closer to the riffle. Off came the dry and on went a Golden Stone and a flashback Hares Ear. Just at the foot of the riffle I picked up a nice nine-inch Brown. He definitely looked like a wild fish instead of one of the stocked fish I'd run into later. The Brown took the Hares Ear.

Wild Housy Brown
A short while later as I worked farther out into the main channel the strike indicator made a very subtle jig and upon setting the hook I got a vigorous Rainbow to play with. The fight lasted far longer than I would have expected for one of his size but with water temps near perfect he did his best to get away. The 'bow took a #14 soft hackle Lightning Bug.

Housy Rainbow

By this time the skies had begun to darken and being about a ten minute walk from the car I decided to beat a hasty retreat lest I risk a drenching rain. That said, a little drenching might have cooled me while walking in waders in eighty-five degree heat.

When I arrived back at the car I decided not to take off the waders. Something in my brain said there'd be rising fish downstream and if I just checked it out perhaps there would be a piece of water available to me.

Sure enough there were plenty of spots available in many of the popular holes along Route 7. I pulled off at one that can accommodate six or eight people. Unfortunately, there were five people fishing the spot that I had hoped to fish. I lit a cigar, sampled the single malt, and watched them for a bit.

They were all working dries to rising fish though the rises were sporadic and a tight line was infrequent. Before long the two guys working the upstream lie left the water and so I suited up.

From my perch by the road, I had seen a few fish working along the bank so I targeted them first with a cripple emerger. It was just the thing. I managed three trout quickly to hand. With no other fish rising I began to prospect about and was rewarded several times with splashy takes. A few I wasn't able to get a good hook set, a few LDR'd but a few also came to hand. It was a variety pack of Browns and Rainbows.

A presumably stocked Brown
Most of these fish looked to be stocked but they were just finicky enough to make it interesting without the pure frustration that late season, educated trout can inflict. The fish all tugged well and swam off strong. There's nothing like spring fishing!

The rumbling of distant thunder began to seem a bit closer and a few raindrops telegraphed the potential for more than a few so I decided to call it a night. All in all, a very rewarding trip to the Housy on a particularly perfect day.

Skies Clouding Over

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