Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brithday Fly Fishing 2014

Jessie and I with one of a few doubles on the day.

This past Friday – that would be December 5th to be exact – A few of us brave souls made an attempt at putting our angling mark on some WNY tributary trout. 

Jessie with one of many
My good friend and Wide Sky Fly Fishing guide Jessie Hollenbeck had been giving me updates from his recent outings with his clients, and boy did the fishing look amazing. I was just hoping for it to half as good.

And good it would be, even if it started off a little slow.

Conditions proved to be a bit icy at the get go. Punching weighted nymph rigs through the numerous slushburgs floating downstream needs to be mentioned here only because I want you all to know that fishing was at first rather difficult. Oh, and the ice shelves that we needed to break through just to get into position. Can’t forget those.

Below me Matt Smythe, AKA the Fishing Poet, worked a slow pool while Jessie Hollenbeck geared up on the bank. I think he was listening to Denver Miller recount a story of his first fish of the day, but I have trouble multitasking, and when I made that first cast to a group of fish I could see holding on the other side of an eddy, his voice began to fade. A few drifts later and I was into my first lake run trout of the morning. 

Over the next hour, before Matt would make his way back home, we all got bent by numerous Lake Run giants. Most of the battles were won, save only a few. And if you have spent any time on the water chasing large fish, you know all too well that some of those battles will eventually have casualties. Matt can attest to that first hand after a large brown snapped his rod a foot or so above the cork, making a four piece rod into a five.
Jessie's hen steelhead

In the next couple of hours after Matt’s departure, we all took turns at various positions in the run and the pool. 

The ice and slush that plagued us earlier was now gone. It gave way to a pulse of water that seemed to invigorate the fish. From then, until I had to leave, many many fish found the bottom of the net. At first it seemed as though it would be the day of the brown trout. But through the wave of big lake run browns Jessie and Denver managed to convince a couple of feisty steelhead to join the party.

The fish ate everything we threw at them - Egg patterns, nymphs and streamers - with egg patterns being the overwhelming preferred fly of choice by the discerning lake run trout.

In the end I headed home happy and a little sore, ready to join my family for an amazing birthday dinner.

Matt does battle with a large trout just before the snap!
A gorgeous hen brown for Matt
Denver's chews on some graphite while holding this beauty
A golden male brown trout
Denver with a nice big hen
A colored up hen ready for release
One of the larger fish for me
Another double - Denver with the fish of the day.
Thank you Jessie Hollenbeck, Denver Miller, Matt Smythe and Jim Metcalf for a memorable day of fishing and fellowship. Until next year……

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