Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I attract rain clouds

It's official. When I go to a big river, a dark cloud follows me. I'm not speaking metaphorically here. It's an actual, dark cloud. Full of Rain. Which drops on my head.

Let's review the facts:
  1. Trip to the Housy two weeks ago. Tremendous volumes of rain.
  2. Trip to the Farmy on Saturday evening. Tremendous volumes of rain.
Looks like a trend. Hopefully, one that won't long survive.

Short story on fishing this past weekend: Rain, higher water, low visibility, slow fishing.

I didn't really want to fish the Farmington but I sort of felt obligated in some way. I hadn't been up there all year as the Housatonic was getting my big river attention. Perhaps it's because of this one particular pool on the Housy that I've sorta fallen for and which treats me well each visit. Fishing elsewhere just doesn't feel right. But the Farmy is a beautiful stream and the fishing reports have been good so I decided to give it a try.

I rarely get to fish when I want to, but instead fish when I can (yeah, I've used this excuse before). Saturday clearly wasn't ideal from a weather or mojo perspective (more excuses) but the chores were done and the family indulged me.

There were few folks on the river. That's a sure sign that either they've all been raptured (who am I kidding, they're fisherpeople, they'd sell their souls just for more time on the water) or they knew better than I that the evening conditions looked grim.

The two guys in the parking lot ahead of me walked down to the river without their rain gear. I chuckled to myself. Are they looking at the same sky as me? Threatening is an understatement. I wouldn't have blamed a guy for taking a tornado shelter down to the stream with him. As I arrived at the water's edge and pulled up my hood against the torrent, they reeled in and headed in the opposite direction. Which left more water for me.

The water in this section usually has some bumps and pockets but Saturday evening it was smooth and flowing slickly between the banks. I didn't get a reading on the USGS site before I left, it wouldn't have deterred me, but my guess was somewhere north of 800 cfs on a section that fishes well at about half that (see how I worked in yet another excuse). And the water was coming up. And visibility was right around a foot and a half. (Two more. Masterful!)

That meant nymphing and hitting the banks and shelves pretty hard.

With an Arturo Fuente well lit I went to work. The fishing was non-existent for the first hour so I worked quickly up the run working the likely seams, structure and even banging a few to the bank behind me. By the time I got to the fishiest water near the head of this run the only piscatorial accomplishment I had made was finding a pod of Salmon parr likely stocked by taxpayers. From a fishing perspective, they're a nuisance species in this water but all have to be released unharmed. And so they were. Those bazillions spent on parr stocking would be a whole lot more effective if they removed a few of the dams.

I skipped up to the run above the next riffle after a few drifts through the fast water. Above I managed two Browns in the less than a foot range pretty quickly. Both came to a BH Rubber-Legged Hare's Ear. As I moved to fish a seam up near the head of the pool the rain shifted from torrent to biblical.

Now my spidey sense hasn't tingled this much since I found that Sasquatch print and I could just imagine lightning and tornadoes hiding in a rain squall such as this. So me and my portable lightning rod made for the bank and sat for a bit waiting for the deluge to subside.

Half an hour and a few sips of highland nectar later the rain eased back down a torrential level. So I went back to work.

I decided to swing wets working back downstream to the car. Swinging wets has a nice tempo to it and it's easy fishing. I had a few follows and one where I begged the fish to strike but they were just toying with me. I even tried adding a second wet fly to the rig in hopes of enticing more interest but all I ended up with were some tangles.

By the time I got to the path to the car the rain had waned a bit but the skies were darkening with the passing of the day and it was time to go. I would have liked another tug on the line but there was enough fish in the fishing that I didn't feel cheated. At least not too much.


  1. Well look at it this way, it can't rain all the time and the fish spends his whole life wet! Tight lines.

  2. Love the vid. You look like you have totally lost your shit, which I realize is just a truism.

  3. Thx Jon. Yeah, If I had a second cigar at that point maybe it wouldn't have been so bad but I hadn't thought to dig one out.