Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pond fishing with the boys!

Katie has been going to her summer gymnastics camp this week so....This morning I took my two boys to the local pond for a little dry fly fishing. We took two four weight fly rods and rigged them up with 4x tippet and #12 stimulators. It was great to see them both casting a fly. And even better to watch them catch fish. The best part, besides catching fish, was them watching the fish come up to the surface to take the fly. A shadow would appear below the fly and then in an instant it would dissapear in a swirl. My oldest son Jonathan was doing very well and caught many sunfish all by himself. And even my 3 year old hooked up once by himself.

This kind of fly fishing is perfect for kids! They don't need to cast well or try and get the right drift to catch fish. For the most part just getting the fly in or on the water will get a strike. And this is important because they won't get frustrated or bored becuase they aren't catching fish. They even let their Dad catch a few!!

It is also nice because you don't need a lot of equipment. Just a few fly rods, flies, pliers and a camera. You're good to go! Ho yeah...and some snacks and drinks! You can't forget those. can not replace the time that you spend with your kids. You may have to untangle some lines and keep them from falling in the water. And you don't often get to fly fish yourself very much. But, it is worth it! They get to be successful at catching a fish on a fly. How cool is that!
Tight lines!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Irondequoit steel!

After a very busy week of unpacking from a family reunion, getting ready for Katies birthday party this past weekend, and missing out on a invitation to the West Canada......I needed to wet a line!!!!!

Late last week my family and I met some friends from our church at Irondequoit creek for some fishing and a picnic. While the kids played and the wives talked, Dan and I rigged our rods. You guys remember Dan!

I had met Dan a number of years ago at church. And while we talked the topic of fishing came up. I told him I was a fly fisherman and that he should come out with me sometime and give it a try. Well, it's now 6 years later and we have been out a number of times since then. He know owns three fly rods and has ventured out by himself a few times. With success I might add!

The creek was high and off color with only about 10 inches or so of visability. We tied on larger darker flies under indicators and began drifting closer to the stream bank and seams where the fast water met slow pockets or shallow gravel bars in the stream.

After a little effort and lots of adjusting I finally hooked up on a small fish that quickly came out of the water and shook the fly. I thought it might have been a small rainbow. But the state only stocks them in the spring to imprint them so they will hopefully return in a few years as a steelhead. The next fish I actually landed. And it was a rainbow/steelhead. I examined the fish to see if there were any deformaties or fins clipped. There were none! Was this a wild naturally reproduced steelhead? My next fish was also a small rainbow. And now I am really getting excited. Not that the fish are big(they are only about 6 to 8 inches long). But becuase the steelhead that enter Irondequoit may be successfully naturalIy reproducing. Now I will have to make a call to the DEC to see what they might say. But just knowing that the potential is there for a stream to produce wild fish is something to get excited about.

My last fish of the morning was not like the others. It barely moved when I hooked it. And when it did move, it just shook a few times and then came up to the surface and rolled. It did not have the silver sides of the first three rainbows. It had a golden shine to it....a brown trout! But it was not to be, as a few more head shakes popped the fly out.

Dan meanwhile had walked down to where I was and started fishing close to me. I then put him in the run I was fishing in the hopes that he would find some success in the high water. It took him a while to get the drift right but when he did he seemed to get a pull down here and there. But no fish!

We then all met up for a quick lunch and some good conversation. But we didn't have the time to go back down to the stream and get Dan into some trout. That will have to wait for another day. But he did finally get to fish his nice new 5 weight fly rod.

It was good to get out with Dan. Especially since he missed our 3rd annual Fly Fishing trip this spring. But he did say he was ready to go for a fall trip. Anyone interested?

All the fish I hooked were fooled by a #12 beadhead peacock woolly bugger.

Monday, July 20, 2009

FW Midge and other Ideas

Back from the PA trip! Everything went well...lots of fun! Saw some trout in the little stream that ran through the campground and park. Including one trout that was pushing 15 or 16 inches.

Anyway I wanted to share a couple of things with you now that I am back. First is a midge pattern that I have been playing around with for little while now. It's design is probably nothing new. But, I have been trying to get a good floating emerger pattern that will be durable and not sink. Even with constant abuse from the fish. In the past I have tied small #20 midge emerger patterns with snow shoe hare's foot for a little wing. This seemed to work pretty well. The only catch was, after every fish you needed to apply dry fly floatant. The act of applying floatant to a fly after every fish is nothing new. I have been doing it for many many years. The only set back to this(for me) is when there are trout rising everywhere taking emergers and you have to spend that extra time applying floatant instead of casting to fish. I finally saw a photo of a small mayfly pattern that showed a small bit of foam for a little wing. And that prompted me to try that for the midge pattern. This solves the problem of having to take a time-out to dry your fly before casting to the next trout. I know this sounds a little crazy. But for me, time on the water is precious! And I want to take full advantage of it. That means that if I can find a way to have my fly on or in the water for longer, I will do it! Of course it may not always translate into more fish caught. But for me it is worth the effort. I am, and so far to this date, have always been a sucker for simple, durable, well thought out fly patterns that catch fish!!!!

So....I will include a photo of the pattern here. And the recipe too!

  1. Hook - #18 through #24 Curved scud of choice
  2. Thread - Brown (or color of choice)
  3. Rib - Gold small Ultra wire ( or color of choice)
  4. Wing - white foam cut from a thin sheet bought at the craft store
  5. Thorax - black super fine (or color of choice)

Other colors that would work are a tan or cream version, white, red, and of course black.

I also have some ideas that you may want to try while trico fishing. We all know that trico fishing can be challenging. Fishing small flies to weary trout is not everyone's cup of tea. I must admit that I have trouble seeing my size #20 or #22 fly from time to time. So if I do lose sight of the fly, I try and guage the distance of my leader. And when a trout rises in the vacinity of where I think my fly is, I raise my rod to set the hook. So far this has worked really well. But another great idea is to tie on a #16 or #18 ant, beetle or other dry fly pattern(caddis) with a little hi-vis yarn wing. Then tie a 12" to 20" section of 6x tippet off the bend of that fly, and attach your small trico pattern. This will give you something close to your trico pattern to focus on that you can actually see. And when a fish rises near that hi-vi pattern....raise the rod tip to set the hook. You may even find that the trout may take the larger pattern too!! Fishing a two fly rig like this will require some carefull planning. You will have to open up your cast a little to get a larger loop so you don't tangle the flies. And making several casts on the side of the stream where there are no fish would be a good idea. This will allow you to see the two flies drift and see how they look on the water. When you get the hang of casting the two flies, get in position and make your cast to rising fish. Be sure to leave your cast a little short so the the bigger hi-vis lead fly is just off to one side of the fish or above or below the fish. This will allow the small trico pattern to be right on point and in front of fish. This is why you pick a spot off to the side of the stream to practice your casting!!!!

Tight lines.....and have fun!