Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Lyons is a small burg that has had better days though it seems to be coming around again. It's one of those places that is on the way to somewhere else though it may yet become a destination on its own.
The downtown has undergone a transformation and nestled in the heart of downtown is Southcreek Limited, Mike Clark's bamboo rod making venture.
Prior to visiting the shop I had not cast a bamboo rod but as I discussed rods with Mike and Kathy I began to feel like maybe I should. And Mike recommended a few rods including a Pickard 8024 which cast well once I learned to slow down my casting stroke. I left the shop with a new friend and a line and reel to match.
Last night I brought the rod out on my home waters for the first time. The Upper Farmington is running in the mid-60s up near the dam and is probably one of the only rivers fishable at this point of the summer.
The trout were in the fast water and the 5 wt bamboo rod was perfect for casting dry-dropper rigs. The only hatch going on was a #8000 mayfly so I was surprised when the fish consistently wanted the #12 Ausable Bomber and not the tiny pheasant tail nymph.
The first fish to the net was a ten inch Brookie and was followed by a number of Browns all in the bantam weight class.
As darkness began to settle into the valley I moved downstream to a long pool where larger fish are known to cruise. I spoke with a gentleman fishing the head of the pool for a bit. He was switching between #22 and #24 emergers and having modest success. That's far smaller than I care to fish so I tied on a #18 wet fly and went to work swinging a fly in the slow current.
By now it was too dark to see anything though the rises were steady all over the place. I missed two tugs on the line before I finally connected with a nice fat Brown in the 12-13" range. Having had success in total dark I was tempted to stay for a bit and see what else would come but then I recalled just how early the alarm clock goes off and turned my headlamp on and made for the car.
I'm not swearing off of graphite rods but I expect the Pickard to have a solid place in the rotation. It casts well - light enough to not make it feel like work with plenty of feedback to make the casting stroke function - and it didn't put up a fuss when I added two nymphs and a small split shot to my dropper rig.
And I really like the bend when you put something lively on the hook end.