Monday, July 22, 2013

Beautiful weather along the Millers River (Mass.)

Just before the extended heat wave we just finished here in New England, I got a chance for some mid-day fishing on the Millers River (July 12).  It had taken weeks for the river to get down to a reasonable flow because of heavy rains in June which had made it impossible to fish.  As you can see, on July 12 it was pretty awesome.

The smallies were abundant (and small).  I found fishing a foam popper behind the larger exposed rocks to be productive.  Swinging a peacock body nymph in a size 12 worked nicely too.

I'm looking forward to getting back on the river now that we can expect daily high temps to be in the 80's.  I expect the fish to be somewhat sluggish... like me.  Maybe after a day or two of this cooler weather they'll be active.  I hope some of the stocked trout made it through the warm weather.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ausable River Trip [Awesome Final Breakfast]

Final Report: Part 11 of 11

Driving back to Massachusetts is a long drive from the Lake Placid area.  Something like 5 1/2 hours. But it is not so long that we couldn't stop for a nice breakfast.  Our stop at the Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley, New York was completely arbitrary.  However, when we saw folks filing out with homemade pies and coffee buns, we knew we'd hit pay dirt.

[It will probably come to you as no surprise that my wife
recently bought me a book on food photography! See the final
four images below!!]

Those are blueberry pancakes sitting alongside the hash

We got to meet the woman who makes the homemade strawberry jelly

I don't plan to eat like this again ... well, at least until I go fishing with these guys again.  Oh, I hope it will be soon.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Ausable River Trip [A Few More Photos I Like]

Part 10 of 11

Some of these may seem to be a bit off-topic.  But I can tell you that all of these images were taken along the river's edge and while I was wearing waders and carrying a fly rod!

Next and Final Post: Awesome Final Breakfast

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ausable River Trip [Best "Big Print" Photo]

Part 9 of 11

Lake Everest on the Ausable River

While scouting out the flow downriver of the Wilmington Dam I was attracted to the view upriver from the Route 86 bridge next to where we parked.  

The dam has created a very slow moving and peaceful stretch of river called Lake Everest. It looks like it provides some relaxing fishing from a canoe.  And in fact there is a single fisherman in a blue canoe way in the distance. For us this was no more than a pretty view, because we had come to the Ausable to fish fast water for strong trout. 

I am looking forward to printing this really big!

If you like this image and want to learn more about it, I wrote a long "behind the scene" post featuring this image and some to the technical details on my photography blog here.

Additional Images around Wilmington Dam
and the Route 86 bridge.
Same Day. Same Time.

Admiring the view upriver from the bridge
Downstream from the dam there is much too much
water for wading.  We fished elsewhere that evening.

Next Post: A Few More Photos I Like

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ausable River Trip [Weighted Flies that Worked]

Part 8 of 11

When I was photographing this set of flies I noticed that all of them, except one, are beadheads. Hmmm. Interesting.

This first set includes flies that were fished like, well, woolly buggers.  This means upstream a bit, across stream, or downstream.  They can be twitched, nearly dead-drifted, or stripped like a streamer.  Lead wire would have worked for weight too, but all of these had beadheads to help get them down.  They were successful during the day and in the evening.  In fact, even when there were rising fish in the evening (to which John delivered his CDC caddis), these big fluffy high-impact flies outperformed a dry fly.

In both the olive woolly bugger above and the black one below,
a little bit of flash seemed to help attract fish.  Fly tied by Paul DiNolo

Fly tied by Paul DiNolo

Marabou Beadhead Muddler tied by Paul DiNolo

The two flies below are two versions of the One Feather Fly. I love to tie and fish this simple fly, and previously posted step-by-step directions.

Each is made from one feather from the rump area of a pheasant, quail, or partridge.  Colors vary considerably, and each fly seems to come out slightly different because each feather is slightly different.

Tied by Peter Frailey

Tied by Peter Frailey
This next set of weighted flies found their was to the bottom fly on a hopper-dropper combination.  Or, they were used as a nymph under a strike indicator.

"Hare and Herl Bugger" tied by Peter Frailey
Jim used the Hare and Herl Bugger with great success, often presenting deep and on the swing.  He had one successful night where he caught a trout on nearly every cast, or so it seemed to the rest of us, who were not as successful.

"Wonder Bug" tied by Peter Frailey
The Wonder Bug was my most used fly.  I fished it mostly about 6 feet below a  foam strike indicator.  And after I decided to give hopper-dropper fishing a try, this was my dropper.  Tying instructions are very simple.  Basically a clipped hackle woolly worm with biots for a tail.  Under the herl is 10 wraps of lead.  I posted step-by-step instructions last year on my Web site.

20-incher.  Tied by John Morrison.
These were the first samples of the 20-Incher tied by John.  They were tied on our "rainy day Tuesday".  The 20-Incher had been used on Sunday and Monday by Rob as a dropper.  But since Rob does not tie flies, it was up to John to figure out how to tie this pattern.  Thankfully, our Internet connection was good and he was able to check out a little video.  

Some king of little nymph.  Commercially tied.
This is an example of one of the many tiny nymphs Rob used, and which filled his fly boxes.  I have no idea what this one is called, but it measures only 11mm (eye to bend) and has so many ingredients tied to it that I can only imagine how difficult it is  to tie.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ausable River Trip [Surface Flies That Worked]

Very little of our fishing was for rising trout.  Mostly we fished pockets and back eddies and behind boulders.  Basically we fished everywhere we thought fish  would be holding, even if we didn't see any.  With the water flowing at near historic speed and height (for June) we usually found fish in the pockets where rocks created a break in the flow or along seams between fast and slow water.

I guess you would call our strategy "prospecting for trout".  Perhaps the most frequently used tactic was a "hopper-dropper" set up.  With a big dry fly floating on top and a weighted nymph tied to 18"-24" of tippet material tied to the bend of the dry fly hook, we felt two flies presented this way would increase our chances for a hook up.

Personally, I had never tried two-flies-at-once before, falsely thinking I would mess up my leader and spend my time in frustration.  But if you keep your casting short and maintain an open loop in your backcast, this tactic can be enjoyable.  I never once tangled my leader.  (I did get a few wind knots here and there, however.  But, hey, it was windy.)

A big Stimulator stonefly immitation with rubber legs worked
very nicely.  I think all five of us used this version or one
without legs. Tied by Paul DiNolo

Rob was a fan of this all peacock herl Stimulator

This is the traditional Stimulator.  Paul tied this one a bit smaller
than the rubber legged ones shown above.  Tied by Paul DiNolo
Jim fished the Ausable Wulff.  I think he used it alone sometimes, but 
at other times he tied a small beadhead at the end of
18" of tippet tied to the  bend of the hook.  All of Jim's are tied
on downeyes.  For this picture I only had one tied on an upturned salmon hook.

Two smaller dry flies used as searching patterns are shown below.  A number of us tie our parachutes with florescent pink posts so we can see them better.  I highly recommend the pink post for eyes that don't see as well as they used to.  I don't think the fish care one way or another.  

Paul calls this a "Hot Spot".  Use this pattern wherever and
whenever you would use an Adams. Tied by Paul DiNolo

Another concoction of Paul's.  I call it a pink post parachute caddis. I don't know
what Paul calls it.  Maybe it's a grasshopper?  Hmmm, or maybe it's a stonefly?

Tied by Paul DiNolo
In the evenings we looked for hatches to match.  Though we saw rising bugs and rising fish in a couple of flat calm spots, there really were no hatches to speak of.  John used these opportunities to use a CDC Caddis.  

The CDC Caddis is a productive pattern.  But be sure to tie a bunch
of them because once they are slimed you'll need to tie on another one.

Tied my John Morrison.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ausable River Trip [On the River]

Rob and John

Jennings Run flowing to the right and downstream.  Image taken from the property of the "Hungry Trout" resort and restaurant.

One of my favorite sub-surface flies is the Wonder Bug.
Basically a peacock herl woolly worm over 10 wraps of lead,
with 2 turkey biots for a tail and hackle clipped short
(usually shorter than seen here).

When the water was at its highest, most of our fish were caught within about 1-3 feet
of the bank,. Casting upstream with nymph or "hopper-dropper" arrangement
was the most productive.

Looking upstream from bridge.  Jenning's Run

Releasing a decent fish


Paul contemplating

Picking something big and flashy


Rob drifting a hopper-dropper combination.
The "hopper" we found most useful was a rubber legged stimulator.

One of the very few rainbows I caught.

Flume Pool

Moi. Photo by Jim

Some pretty rugged wading

Me again.  Photo by Jim

In the middle of the river, Rob is keeping his line off the water

The browns got bigger in the evening.

I don't think any of us caught anything in this nice run.

Next Post: Flies That Worked