Wednesday, November 22, 2017

First November run with my brother

 November is already proving to be a great year for brown trout fishing in New York’s best tributaries. The fall season saw a washout of high water in NY rivers and streams. This allowed the salmon and browns to venture further inland from Lake Ontario. The female browns are holding right now over spawning redds. The water is weak coffee color and moderately high.
This week I took my brothers out in freezing weather to two different streams. Both streams offered opportunities to hook fish. Marvin lives near lake Ontario where fishing is a daily reality. Paul lives in the California desert where fishing is a fading dream.

Day 1: We started at sunrise and the ice was still on the mud puddles as we headed for the stream. Marvin, Paul and I worked some pools that normally hold fish. We saw several moving up through the current.

Is this what we came here for?
Paul caught a large creek chub. As we only had three hours to fish, we had to find fish in hurry. Never a good way to relax. But as we were leaving the stream, we came across several fish holding in the gravel areas. I used a swing pattern in the current to no avail. Nothing was attacking it. I did manage to hook up twice with a grub pattern, both times the fish bolted up stream and I lost them.

Day 2: Only Paul and I went this day and checked out a couple of areas before we settled on a familiar stream. This second stream had produced fish for me many times in the past. Each year is different in the adventures I encounter. We were seeing a half dozen or more fish holding in various places. We found a few that were not spooked by our trudging across the fast moving water. Then I hooked one and tried to hand the fly rod off to Paul, not knowing he was getting his phone ready to photograph the action. When we met rod with phone it almost knocked his phone into the water. With all the excitement happening, slack went crazy wild in my 6 wt. line. I watched as the fish had looped around and removed himself from my 12 lb. leader.  I showed Paul some different techniques to fishing under the grass banks in the current. We traded fly rods, and I left Paul to practice drifting egg patterns. I found a female holding in about three feet of water in the back end of a long deep pool. I cast upstream and watched my egg drift above her. I checked my two split shot on this 7-8 wt. rod and moved them closer to the egg pattern.  Again I tossed the egg into the current. As the split shot pulled the egg under, it still missed the target and rolled past her. I added another small shot and cast again, so she could see it. The indicator pulled under I raised my fly rod and set the hook. I yelled to Paul “fish on”. After a great four minute fight in deep water, she tired and went belly up in the shallows. Paul took a video and these photos. Thanks Paul for getting our adventure all recorded.

Fishing on opening day of Deer Hunting.
This day we took the brown home and had a nice dinner of fresh trout.
This is what we came for! 27 inch Brown Trout.

Early Salmon Run 2017

September came and went with little fishing on my part. Kim and I did manage to get out twice in the early part of October. Toward the end of the month it rained a lot. The streams near my home were blown out quite often on the weekends.

  I managed to land this Salmon, while Kim also hooked solo her first Salmon without my help.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Today is Saturday, April 1 2017, opening day of Trout in New York State. What that means is any stream that is closed to fishing during the winter months is now fair game for fishing trout. For there are tributaries of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie that are open for trout all year up to the first barrier impassable by fish. As I reviewed at my blogs, I realized that I have not fished much since opening day of 2015. The reason is I had fallen and injured my right shoulder to the point that casting a fly rod was painful. Now that my shoulder has healed, I will be retraining my arm to cast effortlessly.

This week the rain had been in the forecast for the weekend and Thursday night the rain started. It rained steady all day Friday through the night. This morning it was still sprinkling and the water-logged earthworms covered my driveway. I knew that any major river would be muddy and blown out. So I really was not expecting to even fish today. As it turned out, almost by instinct, I found myself headed toward the closest trout stream in my area. I drove past ditches and ponds overflowing their banks. I wondered if I was wasting my time. When I got to my destination I parked my truck and could see the creek was at flood stage and running with chocolate milk.

Presenting a fly in these conditions can be futile. I took some photos of the water and thought "Well I'm here now, might as well fish. So I looked at my fishing license and remembered I had purchased it in December of 2016. That was the last time I had my fly line in the water. (I still need to blog about that day) Blogging is a nice way of keeping a fishing journal and I can review the conditions like today. It's about 38-40 degrees, cloudy and dank. Several Trout Derby's are happening today so fishermen flock to those places leaving the quite streams available for those who seek secluded fishing holes like this one.

I got back into my truck and parked upstream where a small feeder creek dumped into the main stream. The water was much clearer, stained, but not muddy, almost green. This was certainly better water to fish. My thinking was the trout must know about these areas where they can go to avoid the churning torrent of gritty flood waters. I reasoned also that because of all the earthworms ascending to certain death by drowning, this would be what the trout would be feeding on. And I was right. I collected a half dozen trout worms from the parking lot and draped one over a single no.8 hook. I began drifting the worm just above where the clear water met the cloudy water of the main stream.

After about fifteen minutes I moved further up the creek. The churning water was not so violent and revealed a nice area to drift in about three feet of water. Just three passes with live bait, and this thirteen inch wild brown trout was landed. After a couple more worms were stripped from my hook. I tied on some sucker spawn and felt a few hits. Nothing more. I fished some other parts of the creek without success. I packed up my rain soaked gear and headed home feeling "This was the start of a memorable trout season."

I know a lot of fishermen were not satified with the weather today. Thinking like a fish was the key to fooling the fish today.

Have faith and the fish will hit.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A very enjoyable first day out. Fall 2015

      It was 30 degrees when I woke up this morning. The moon was still high in the sky and shining brightly over the frosted lawn of my back yard. I had not been fishing yet this fall and was not sure that this day would yield any fish. This was my chance to get out and spend time relieving the stress from my week. I got to the stream just as the sun was coming up. After donning my gear, I walked about a half mile into an area where I had caught an Atlantic salmon last year. The water was high and cloudy but much warmer than the air temp. I began casting into a large pool that allowed me to reconnect to my long distance roll cast. The dried seed filled weeds on the shore behind me prevented a back cast. So a double roll cast extended my tippet to the far side of the stream. I was using a white chenille woolly bugger that worked well on the swing. After about an hour fishing from shore with no hits, I had practiced enough. I went to the top of the pool and some other fishermen walked up into the area where I had just left. Our water movement must have spooked some fish because two well worn salmon moved upstream through a cut in the rapids. I positioned myself to cast that shoot and saw another salmon which I hooked in the dorsal. With a quick flick I let it go and it swam between my legs on its way to free water. A short time later a fourth fish moved into the run. I had two casts and it slipped back into the murky water and never showed again. I stayed there another hour without seeing any more.

    I walked downstream another quarter mile before I came upon a 20 inch brown. My third cast spooked it and goodbye, brown. It was after 10:00 when I began seeing browns in number moving upstream. I was watching two small 18 inch browns chasing each other. That's when I saw a huge brown in a fall away pool. I worked the pool with short drifts and hooked up. She put up a great fight and my line wrapped over the handle on my reel. I thought for sure she would break free, but with quick rod work, by releasing the drag, the line loosened back into position. She went a good 10 yards down stream but I held her in the pool. Then back up stream and into shallow water turned and back into the pool. Finally she got tired and turned on her side where I could take up the line and take photos. She was obviously still full of eggs and I released her with hopes she would spawn a wild brood. Two things about her stood out. The tail was large like a fan. The photos don't show it but her color was gold, almost yellow. I could not get over how perfect she looked. I have caught another that color, years ago, in the winter. If I can find the photo I'll post it. My first trout of the 2015 fall season. This 27 inch pre-spawn female. A very enjoyable first day out.
My first fish of the 2015 fall season.

This 27 inch pre-spawn female.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

East Koy Creek

There isn't much to tell about the fishing in East Koy. It's a beautiful quiet stream, that has a few bends and deadfalls that hold fish. I found it last year to be thrilling, so I went again this year to have the same experience. I spent the good part of Saturday morning walking along the banks of the lower East Koy Creek.

When I arrived at the foot path the sun was already up for about an hour. The day seemed to promise good weather even though partial cloud cover was expected. I took time to read the regulations kindly posted for my benefit.

I selected an artificial yellow stone fly lure, a size 14 long shank hook. It was about an inch long and weighted. I tied 3 feet of fresh - 3 lb tippet on my leader and secured the stone fly to it.

When I reached the stream I recognized the fishing spot where I had caught a fine trout the year before. With my first cast it fell perfectly into the foaming hole. At that moment the line tugged violently. I set the hook and it snapped the tippet in half leaving 18 inches of my 3 foot tippet.
I never did see the fish under the foam and tried without luck to persuade another fish from the hole. Then moved on knowing I would exit the creek at that spot.

My hopes were high, thinking every hole would yield a large trout. As it turned out the only fish in hand was a small brown.

Several other browns hit my fly and even one broke the water. One was on for several exciting seconds, but they all spit the hooks. They are after all considered sport fish.

When it became clear I was nearing the end of my allotted fishing time. I began taking photos of the creek bed and all it's glory.

I am thankful for the DEC and the work they are doing along this creek fighting the invasive Hogweed plants. Remnants of Hogweed kills are on the islands of this creek bed. Still more plants are rising up so be careful not to touch them.

(The giant hogweed reaches up to 12 feet tall with flowers as big as umbrellas - but it's also dangerous. It's sap can cause third degree burns and blindness. This plant is spreading across the state at an alarming rate. Officials have found 944 sites in New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation has a Hogweed Hotline (845-256-3111) for New Yorkers to call in sightings of the invasive species. Callers are asked to take photos and report site information, but should avoid touching the plant. )*

* credit HUFF POST Aug 18th 2015