Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fishig with the kids - Part 2

Katie, Jonathan and cousin Helen fishing on 4th lake

Well…the kids are back in school and it’s been a bit busy around here with all the new schedules and changes in work, lessons, and sports, etc. But I feel as though we are starting to hit our stride and find some sense of order.

So before our glorious WNY fall tributary season starts to kick into high gear, I wanted to share some of the adventures in fly fishing I had with the kids this summer.

Katie's largemouth
Ever spring, in anticipation of the upcoming summer break, I start to mull over some ideas for fishing with the kids. I spend a great deal of time day dreaming about new locations and new fish, but in the end, reality never really lines up all that well with what I envision. But it’s all good!

Jonathan's largemouth bass
Ethan holds a rather nice rock bass
This year we spent time on Oatka creek in search of picky wild small stream trout, we threw streamers, poppers, and nymphs to bass and panfish at our local ponds and Black Creek, we fished under the dock at my parents camp at Fourth Lake, and we even found some time to cast some flies at Honeoye Lake at a family get together where Katie caught a beautiful largemouth bass all by herself.

Jonathan with a nice Black Creek largemouth
And just before the kids went back to school we hit up Black creek one more time. And it did not disappoint. The kids caught a bunch of fish and even dad got to tangle with a few. If there were ever a way to put an end to the summer fishing, to "go out on top,"

Katie and I with a big Black Creek smallie
this was as close to perfect as we could get.

The kids and I will now be regulated to a few choice times to get out and fish together. And It may not even be all of them at the same time, but that’s okay – We still have next summer!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Tricos

Some fall color along the path to the stream

If there was ever a month in the year in Western New York that could reinvigorate the outdoorsman in all of us, it has to be September. 

The mornings are noticeably cooler, we start to receive some cool fall rain, leaves start to turn, apples are now ready to be picked, hunters are preparing tree stands, and fishermen from all over the world start watching for the first reports of salmon being caught in the local tributaries. And some will drive long distances to just a few select rivers that get early runs of fish for just the chance to do battle with that first chromed out king salmon. And I don’t blame them one bit!

A #20 female trico dun
But before the fall migration of Lake Run salmon and trout get into full swing out here in Western New York, don’t forget that there is still plenty of time to take full advantage of some other equally amazing fly fishing. And don’t get me wrong either, I like those giants from the lake just like anyone else, but when you still have an opportunity to get into some fantastic dry fly fishing at your local inland trout stream, you gotta go for it!

Since the end of July, the tricos have been going strong. And even now with the weather and seasons changing, they are still out in force – And so are the trout.

A nice small stream brown taken on a #22 trico spinner
These small mayflies will start at a robust size #20 at the beginning of their hatch cycle and will gradually diminish in size until the fall where they are now a size #24-#26. So not only will it be a challenge to see the fly on the water, it will now be difficult to hook up and land fish.

Wading carefully and precise casts with long light leaders is now the name of the game. 

Even the rain can't stop the bugs...or the trout!
#24 trico spinners and their smaller companions
Fishing early in the morning with small dun patterns or emerger patterns have worked well for me in the past. And once the spinner fall gets going your standard trico spinner pattern will work just fine in a matching size or smaller.  But your cast and drift will have to be right on the money to get consistent action. I would also recommend having some small midge patterns in white and the ever popular Griffith’s Gnat or other midge cluster patterns in your box, not to mention any other small variation of ultra small dries you may want to try. The point is – it pays to throw something different at the trout even during an amazing spinner fall to differentiate your fly from all the rest. And if any of you have seen the amount of biomass that falls into our local stream during the spinner fall, you already know what I mean.

The fishing reports from all the local inland trout streams are really solid. And until we get those first few days of frost, it should remain that way.

#22 trico spinner does the trick again

A rising trout taking advantage of a spinner fall

A nicely colored up brown trout ready for fall

See you out there!