Sunday, October 24, 2010

Walking by the water

Walked by the Housy today with Ann and Ripley. It was a trail that I'd not been on before but one that was rumored to have some pretty water. That rumor I can confirm. The water looked very trouty though in this locale the stream looses a bit of it's riffle-run-pool structure and becomes a broader, hard-to-read (at least for me) expanse of water.

I fished a bit as we walked though there was not so much as a hint of a trout to be had. Of course, there were ample consolations for the lack of trout. There was deeper conversation than our normal transient lives afford. I watched a goofy, four year old lab finally begin to figure out that water ain't so bad. I smoked a fine cigar and had a nip of the Highlands' best while admiring Autumn's splendor.

Fall in New England. Simply, splendid.

Faith and Fly Fishing

We often use spiritual terms to discuss our past-time (hobby seems like the wrong word) and an excellent article by Sarah Rossiter which contemplates the parallels of spirituality and fishing. Her article brings forward this particularly poignant quote from the past.
"… You must not fish for covetousness or to save money, but principally for your solace and to promote the health of your body and specially of your soul. For when you go fishing you will not want others with you as they will distract you. And then you may serve God with devotion in effectively saying your customary prayers."
— "A Treatyse of Fysshynge With An Angle" by Dame Juliana Berners, 1496
Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keep the water where it belongs

The waters of our state are abused in all manner of ways by everyone from the divine (Lord, would it have killed you to send us a little rain this summer) to the mundane.

Comstock Brook one mile downstream of the water company. Upstream it flows robustly.

Unlike the west where a majority of the water goes to big interests -- agriculture, power, flood control -- in the east it just gets used up a bucketful at a time. Despite the economic climate, pressure continues on our small river habitat as housing developments, golf courses and other human endeavors tap into our surface and ground water.

The State of Connecticut is working diligently to revise its stream flow regulations in this important area though slowly but surely water companies and business interests are using the excuse of the poor economic environment as a reason to slow or halt action in this area.

If you live in CT, get involved. Write your reps to move the ball in the correct direction.

A must read report from Trout Unlimited: The Future of Water In New England

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fishing Report from the state looks good.

10/21 CT DEP Report

This weekend has some potential!

I love fall fishing. I love this time of the year. Aggressive fish ready to spawn. Sweaters. No sweating. Foliage. Enough water in the rivers. The last hurrah before the gray of winter descends.

This weekend looks like it will be a fine one to be on the water. The Housy's flows are damn near perfect.

800-900 cfs is thesweet spot.
The weather forecast for up north is near perfect. A little cloudy weather on Sunday may bring out the BWOs. Otherwise, some nymphing and swinging bright streamers on a sinking line are in order. Where are my WD40s?

Sunday looks promising!
Some many piscatorial possibilities. Of course, between me and the trout there's the run to the dry cleaners, cleaning the bathrooms, nagging the boys to clean their bedrooms and I can't see the driveway or lawn because of all the fallen leaves. Much to do (including a wine tasting at Ross' on Saturday) but perhaps at the end of the weekend there will be some line wetting and, the fish gods willing, some tugging on the line.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Farm Pond

The old farm pond down the road is starting to put on its Autumnal finest. The water is back up after a dry summer, the hatches of insects are winding down and the pageantry of autumn is appearing along its banks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yeah, I've been fishing. For skunk.

I've been insanely busy with family, work, TU . And some other things non-fishing related. But I have been fishing.

Two weeks. Two trips. Five hours of fishing. Three flies lost. One hipper boot punctured. Zero fish landed.

This all started two weeks ago with a hike (fisherman know it as a scouting trip) with my beloved spouse. That hike allowed me to admire some low water, take some photographs, and actually see trout scurrying for the little cover that was present. Which planted the seed for a fishing trip.

Low Flow. Bones of the River.

Fast forward to a week or so ago. Rains put water into the rivers and the siren's song of water running over rocks called. Out I went. The water was still a bit high and stained but I just couldn't resist. Large, flashy flies were the order of the day. No strikes were to be had on the dry but a dropper managed a few tugs on the line just not enough of a tug to get something to the net. Not the desired outcome but it was a joy to be standing in moving water again.
Same spot after two days of rain.

This past weekend I fished the lower Trout Management Area on the Housy. I've fished that water once before and didn't see, hear, or smell a trout much less catch one. Sunday evening was a repeat of that feat. I know the water is well stocked but based upon the stream-side detritus it also appears well poached. That, combined with the low water, probably has led to the paucity of fish. That or just a plain lack of skill and/or luck.

Pretty River. If only there were trout.

Regardless, it was nice to be on the water with a cigar and a flask of scotch. Really pretty evening. The bonus was seeing water surging along the stream bed after a summer of trickles.

Do these waders make me look fat?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review (of sorts): The Alaska Chronicles

Back in 2007, Miles Nolte, under the handle "Gaper" posted his experience as a second year fly fishing guide in Alaska on The Drake's forum. That collection of stories, thoughts and rants has now been compiled into a book, The Alaska Chronicles.

I've always been interested in the idea of being a fly fishing guide though I appreciate the reality is far different than any fantasy one might have about the profession. Long days. Idiot "sports". Uncooperative fish. Broken equipment. Annoying co-workers.

Of course, the view from the office is generally more inspiring that the one most of us have every day.

The book is a great read and well worth the purchase price. I think I got through it in a day so it's definitely in the "quick read" category.

I would have liked this booked better if he had supplemented his original writings about "what he did today" with some inside facts about the trade. For example, does he have to bring his own rods and reels or does the lodge supply that? How'd he train for this line of work? That sort of stuff gives some context to the brutal grind that he documents so well in the book.

Anyway, I recommend you get a copy.

On my bookshelf: The Alaska Chronicles: An Unwashed View of Life, Work, and Fly Fishing

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dog bites flies?

"Dog bites man." Not a story. "Man bites Dog", well that's news. "Dog bites flies!" That's a recipe for a huge bill at the veterinarian.

Dog bites flies!