Monday, September 20, 2010

Farmington River, 9.19

Ann had been nursing a cold this weekend and needed to get out so we took a drive up to the Farmington. I brought along both the camera and a basic fishing kit (hippers/rod & reel/lanyard). If the light was good I hoped to get some practice with the camera. If not, perhaps a wee bit of fishing.

Even though it was very overcast on the drive up, we arrived with some sun poking through the clouds imparting a late afternoon glow to the river scene. The clouds were parted for about fifteen minutes but then they just washed back in giving way to the flat, dull gray light that just doesn't do the majestic river any justice.

So, out came the rod and on went the hippers. Having only a brief time on the water I grabbed a small fly box from my bag and threw on the lanyard.

As I approached the water three ladies and a guide were coming off the water. The guide recommended a small ant. I had several with me so I was confident that I'd be able to get some action going. Of course, when I got to the water I realized that I had picked up the wrong small fly box. I had spinners, a couple of emergers and some small nymphs. Pressed for time I decided to fish with what I had in hand. 

Ann walked our Lab for a bit while I got about thirty minutes of casting practice. Before she departed she pointed out a Bald Eagle as it swooped low through the valley and perched on a tree towards the tail of the pool. It's hard to believe that when I was a kid DDT had so ravaged the population of raptors that an Eagle was something that I didn't think I'd see in my lifetime. Now they're almost a common sight in the Farmington Valley. They're a real testament to how people can get together and protect and conserve those things that are important to us.

The fish were doing a porpoising rise so I chose an emerger with a small PT dropper. On the second or third cast I got solid whack at the emerger and managed a nice fourteen inch wild Brown to the net. I had hooked him in the base of the pectoral fin so either my hookset was late or he veered off at the last moment. Either way, it was a very pretty fish.

I cast a couple more times to the splashy rises that were growing more frequent but got no interest in either the emerger or the dropper. I then switched to a caddis puppa with the same PT nymph off the hook bend. That got me two fish on but both dropped off after a short while. Ann returned and as the light began to fall the water got more crowded so I called it a day.

This is perfect weather to fish. The evenings are becoming crisp and while the days are shorter the fishing is good. I enjoy spring fishing, especially after a long winter, but late summer and fall fishing have a special charm all their own. Perhaps it's the urgency to get in some time on the water before the weather closes in.  Maybe it's just that I like wearing sweaters. Regardless, fall is a special time.

Working downstream

Before the hatch

On my Fly Tying Bench: The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference

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