|Peace, Snow & Skunk|
It was a pleasant change from the previous day that opened warm and "leaden" (Jonny's poetic words) and proceeded to get cold and "friggin' wet" (my words).
Jonny and I were fishing in Pulaski (pronounced "Pull-ass-sky" for those of you not in the know), New York hoping to mess with the Spring Steel. Early Thursday morning we visited Whitakers to gather some intel. The prognosticators and hangers-on at the shop postulated that the abnormally warm weather caused Spring Steel to be weeks early and perhaps we were too late.
|I caught a bigger one on Friday|
but it slipped the hook.
|In an odd twist, Stoneflies had|
picked this carcass clean. I made
that up. Jonny picked it clean. I
made that up too.
After wings and pizza and two cold beers we were slightly restored and wandered into Fat Nancy's for some cigars and more intel. Without prompting, we got the low down on where the fish weren't. Not surprisingly, that's exactly where we had fished all day - Sportsmans, Trout Brook, etc. I can hear T.J. cackling as we speak.
Apparently some of these lower river runs are too shallow to hold at the flow levels we fished and we should have been fishing elsewhere, with lighter tippet and more weight. We bought cigars. And lighter tippet. And for free, we got a tip on where elsewhere was. We crashed early wondering if our feeble bodies would be restored enough in the morning to one again face the river and its paucity of fish type things.
Friday was sunny. Not blue sky sunny, but there were hints of blue sky and enough holes in the gloom that we were lead to falsely believe that, while colder, the day's weather would be more forgiving.
|A place where no fish were caught|
On the way to this water we passed two pools that we had fished successfully in the past. They were devoid of other aspirants and as such appealed greatly to our misguided judgment. We suited up and headed to the water.
The fishing was just that for a couple of hours. Fly changes were routine. Split shot were added at an alarming pace. Leaders were lengthened. And still the fish remained unimpressed.
|Shit you take pictures of|
when you're not catching
I struggled to maintain a tight line and had to strip line and flee as the fish swam towards me. Soon enough the run started and the line swirling near my feet began to disappear. The fish rolled at the surface and looked silver and of the appropriate size that makes one feel that something is now being accomplished. Such feelings are then dashed by the parting of the leader and a Sweater Nymph™ remained with the Steel.
The only satisfying action we got in the morning was a cup of coffee made through the miracle of the JetBoil. When I'm not catching anything, there's nothing like a good cup of coffee to go with the voice of T.J. Brayshaw ringing in my ears.
The early afternoon was a repeat though with the mood enhancement that can only be found from gently falling snow. I hooked the fish on the far seam of the run so we decided that instead of spending time casting long distance to the far seam's holding water we'd cross the river and make the far seam the near seam. It didn't help.
|Jonny trying to reach the far seam. Twelve foot of leader. Thirteen Split. Chuck. Duck.|
|Yeah, I'm happy. Satisfied and happy.|
One of the tips that we picked up at Whitakers on Thursday morning was a technique referred to as Sweater Nymphing. I hooked all my fish on Friday using this new technique. I'll share some of the Sweater Nymphing System secrets that I used to good effect at some point in the future. To whet your appetite, here's an excerpt:
"I'd used all the normal "go-to" flies that you find drifting in Pulaski's waters -- eggs, stoneflies, bedazzled hornswogglers -- but the Sweater Nymph Technique was new, exciting, and devastatingly effective. In the words of it's inventor, Archibald Lechansky, 'The Sweater Nymph has all the Steel attracting power of fuchsia egg sack tinged with the sad regret of fashion seasons gone by. Horny Steelhead really can't resist.'"More on Sweater Nymphing in the future.
|Prayers went unanswered|