Monday, May 31, 2010

There's a lot to see when you go fishing

An interest in photography is teachng me to keep my eyes open for the next good "capture".  But not everyone would agree that taking a camera with you when fishing is a good idea. I remember one Internet friend, a professional photographer, saying he didn't take a camera while fishing because if he were armed with both a flyrod and a camera he wouldn't be good at using either one.

I think he is right, but I don't mind trying to do both, even if means compromise. Yes, perhaps I have missed a strike or two while trying to locate the sound of a hawk, or while thinking about whether those rhododendrons in the woods are wild. On more than one occasion I have put down my flyrod to photograph a wild flower or dragonfly.

Today was such a day.  While fishing for trout in the Souhegan River, I decided to stop and photograph (see images below) a few wildflowers along the river bank and the "cotton" seeds coming off the cottonwood trees which sometime fill the air with what looks like summer snow.  Back in the water, a real treat was looking down at my feet just in time to avoid 'ol Mr. Snapper who was completely stationary under water waiting for fish or mallard duck to swim past.

Since my primary purpose for being in the Souhegan with waders and a flyrod was to catch fish, I was pleased to catch a few!  I brought "to hand" three healthy brown trout on a dry fly in a serious section of the river.  Below are a few pictures that tell this part of the story. (The dry fly is not too pretty, but it worked!  The chartreuse calf-tail wing is for my eyes)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Green dragonflies hatching along the river

I took Friday to go fishing on the Miller's River in central Massachusetts.  The smallies are becoming a bit more active and I caught a bunch especially behind exposed boulders.  I also managed to land four rainbows, all on the simple beadhead shown below, while casting upstream under a foam strike-indicator.  Coming back down-river I swung and stripped a number of bugger style flies and only picked up one smallie with this tactic.

It was a warm sunny day and the green dragonflies were flitting around in the grass on the two small islands in the middle of the river.  This brought my attention to the water's edge, and in one three-foot section I saw a half-dozen or so dragonflies simultaneously emerging from their nymphal skins.  Here are a few images:

The fly I used is a simple fly.  Other than the hook and beadhead the only ingredient is one pheasant rump feather! Smaller ones can be tied with a rump feather from a quail or partridge.  On my skins, the quail feathers are slightly larger than those on the partridge.  This gives me three sizes of these fluffy beadheads: 8, 10, 12 usually tied on 2xl hooks. I hope to show a step-by-step sequence soon, as this is the sub-surface fly I've used the most over the last few seasons. 

Without the tail this fly it is about the same size as dragonfly nymphs. With the tail it is very close in size to stonefly nymphs.  Below are pictures of the fly I used Friday, first wet and then after it dried on the car dashboard.