Monday, November 18, 2013

Bradfield Boys Fishing Trip 2013

Jonathan poses with Grandpa B and his catch

After a little bit of a hiatus the Bradfield boys are back on the stream!

A little encouragement from Dad at our last family gathering prompted me to get the ball rolling on a 2013 fly fishing trip. The plan was to gather everyone together for a fall fly fishing excursion on one of Western New York’s tributaries to Lake Ontario in search of lake run trout and salmon.

With a few phone calls and an adjustment to work schedules, Saturday November 9th was the day to make it happen.

Uncle Andy does battle with a Chinook salmon
In the month leading up to the 9th I worked hard at repairing gear, tying flies and following reports from other fellow anglers who frequent the Western New York tributaries. And yes….even getting a personal up close view of a certain stream before we headed out all together was a necessary part of the preparation. My only concerns were water conditions and angler traffic. Not enough water would mean little to no new fish movement, and intense angler pressure would most likely leave us with little room to fish my favorite sections of stream and plenty of worked over fish.

The morning of our fishing excursion started off a bit chaotic as I had inadvertently left the keys in the van overnight in the on position after filling up an air mattress. This left us scrambling to jumpstart the van instead of getting on the road early. And while Uncle Andy and grandpa left to drive around for a bit, Jonathan and I finished gathering up the rest of the gear.

Andy's first fish landed
The frustration I felt slowly began to dissipate as we got closer to the stream, and I began to secretly hope for a great day of catching large fish from the lake.

Today I was planning on being the ‘guide.’ And with three generations of Bradfield’s now descending upon one of my favorite local tributaries, I couldn’t wait for all three to hook up with their first fish.

The good feeling I was trying to nurture after the morning of chaos took another hit when we approached the pull off area and counted at least ten cars. But after looking downstream from the bridge, and seeing no other anglers, we decided to stay put and give it our best effort.

Andy's second fish landed
The plan seemed to pay off as we found fish not too far downstream. I set everyone up with fly rod and fly, and with a little instruction they got to work on casting to a few fish.

After a little while of making adjustments and working through different parts of the stream, the boys started to hook a few fish. We were even able to put a few fish in the net before we left for lunch. All in all, it was a great start to our day.

The afternoon session had us work through a different upstream section of the same stream, and this time we found no other anglers.
Jonathan does battle with a nice Chinook hen

We took our time and walked downstream looking for fish and enjoying the company of family. We saw some trout and salmon along this stretch and took ample time to present flies to them. Again the boys did a wonderful job and were able to hook up a few times with some salmon. And as we walked back up to the car to get ready to leave for the day, I stopped at a few likely spots to try and find a fish for myself. And on that ‘last cast of the day’ I finally hooked and landed my first fish….a rather large lake run brown.

Fish landed
What a wonderful day we had. Fishing was good, and everyone brought a fish to hand. But the best part for me was spending some quality time with my Dad, brother and my oldest son.

Last fish of the day!

Thanks for all the memories guys….see you soon.

In fact.....Andy suggested the Deleware river next year.....sounds good to me!