Houstock Saturday, April 23, 2011 Even foul weather could not spoil this event.

 

Short Beach Striper Contest

Houstock Saturday April 23, 2011.  A good amount of hearty fly anglers gathered at Short Beach in  Stratford  CT,  under the Main Pavilion #1.  They gathered there to celebrate fly fishing and all the wonderful  camaraderie that goes along with it. 

     Though a newbie to fishing stripers on the fly, I expected problems when I left my house at 6am and it was snowing with a steady 25 mph headwind!  When I arrived at Short Beach to start fishing at 8am the conditions had only worsened.  I couldn’t believe the amount of guys there that I saw gearing up to brave the torrid winds and rain.  “My hat goes off to these guys” is what I was thinking as  my mental conviction for fishing already had my body in motion tugging my waders over my hips.  Automatically my pace quickened as the rain pour down.  After rigging my rod and seriously contemplating whether these were actually fishable conditions the mainstay of anglers headed off the headwall onto the beach.  Lined up at the mouth of the river waist deep in water they appeared as only shadows as the fog settled around them.  “Its definitely a lefties wind out here” , I heard someone say.  Being a greenhorn I asked my friend Brian what in the heck that meant, exactly.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my being a left handed person was the reason that I was able to cast my line into the wind without taking a set of weighted clouser dumbbells to the skull! (*Important thing for a novice to know, pain being the main consequence for ignorance*)   

    As I peered around I notice that right handed anglers were actually having to turn around and cast, then on the last false cast fire their lines into the wind then turn around and start their retrieve.  “How Ingenious!”, I thought as I truly recognized the skills these men who fish the salt as their daily beat have acquired.  This point was merely solidified as I observed my next totally “Fishy” technique.   A nearby fisherman cast his line and immediately tucked his rod under his arm.  I thought he had to scratch his nose or something and then the magic appeared.  With rod tucked firmly under arm his hands started a double stripping motion feeding the line into his stripping basket.  I envisioned his fly flipping and darting along the bottom just as the resident baitfish must when being attacked by schools of striped bass.  I noticed several times his hands instinctively change gears creating small differences in the timing of his retrieval.  I talked with several anglers who stated that this double strip method can really make the difference in hooking up in the salt.  The faster presentation and erratic action implied on the fly can really turn on stripers and other salt water species feeding on schools of baitfish.   

     After fishing for a while I joined a few anglers observing off to the side with their backs to the wind and hands snuggled warmly in pockets.  Talking about everything from weather to politics made the harsh conditions a bit more tolerable.  As noontime rolled around the fishermen mustered at the pavilion for some warming food and fellowship.  Stories of fishing and travel flew across the table in all directions as fisherman exchanged tales and fishing knowledge as they enjoyed their lunch.  Some great prizes were raffled off including rods, reels, flies, and a tying bench.  The fishing itself at the event was poor at best with 40 anglers or so landing only 3 fish for the day, the biggest being around 21 inches.    The quality of gentlemen attending this event made a miserable day memorable!  

     I would like to thank HFFA, CT/RI, & MIANUS/TU  along with Paul Dinice for all their hard work setting this event up.  I look forward to attending next year as well.  Anyone interested in finding out more about HFFA, CT/RI, & MIANUS/TU can email Paul at pdinice@snet.net

JW

  • Look who’s Packing!!

    Sweet fish Bill!

    “Last thanksgiving I got a chance to fish Chinook salmon run in the lower Sacramento River in Ca. north of my in-laws and locked onto this brute”, said Bill in his email.  I open up this picture in the email named Packing and I definately knew who was packing after seeing that fish.  Its me packing up and moving to Sacremento California!   What a fish, I can only imagine that thing ran a time or two!    Great catch and I saw it just in time as a primer for some Steelhead Flyfishing  in Pulaski over the first of April.  Look forward to seeing you soon on the river Bill.  Tight Lines!

    JW

  • 3/25/11 Farmington Stream Report

    Date:  3/25/11

    Water flow:  Water levels have dropped this week down to a combined 1000cfs for the upper TMA.

    Visibility:  Clearing

    Water temp:  34*F – am warming to 36*F on warmer days

    Water conditions:  River is running a little high but still mostly negotiable.

    Hatches:  W/S Caddis pupae 22-24, Gray Spring Stoneflies 12-16,

    Would the "Infamous" Kahle Worm please stand up!

    Comments:  The water level has been extremely high for the past week.  I fished the Upper TMA both with streamers and nymphs with a good bit of success.  The sun provided some warmth which got the fish moving a little and feeding.  Some Go-To’s are Yellow Stonefly Nymphs 10-14, Crane fly larva 4-6, Kahle worms 4-6, small eggs or sucker spawn, W/S Caddis larvae 16-18, Pheasant Tail Nymph 16-18.  Streamers like Zonkers, Clousers, and Wooly Buggers will give a nice profile for fish to slash at.  I have received some action on some tandem streamers that I tied up for the high water flows of Spring.  Nymphing was especially good to me this week landing several nice Browns.  I will be looking for some dry fly action on W/S Caddis pupae this weekend, the waters’ warming trend should bring on some solid hatches of these critters right at daybreak or soon thereafter.  Look for this to happen especially on slower moving parts of the river.  The snow has finally removed itself from most of our local parking spots and Anglers once again will be able to find their way into most parking areas.  Good luck out there and hope to see you all on the river!

    JW

  • Farmington River TMA Expansion Hearing!

    Catching-Shadows
    Listen up, get there if you can. Let your voice be heard.

    Farmington River TMA ExpansionHearing

    Wed., March 16th
    … 6:30pm. DEP Hdqtrs
    79 Elm St. Hartford.

    Here is a pre formed letter for anyone aggreeing with the proposal to extend the TMA area along the Farmington River.  You can take the preformed letter and copy and paste it into an email sent to Mr. Foreman of the DEP whose email is in the letter.  Rich has thing Nailed with the barbless hook law as well.  Barbless hooks are much easier on the angler as well.  I took a Skalka in the thumb last year that I thank God was barbless making it much easier to extract!  Ouch! 

    Thanks Rich for the heads up!

         JW

    To: Bill Foreman       

    DEP Inland Fisheries Division       

    79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127       

    Fax#: 860-424-4070       

    william.foreman@ct.gov
               

     Dear Mr. Foreman, I am writing this letter to show my support for the proposed changes in the Farmington River Trout Management Area.  The expansion of the Trout Management Area to the bridge abutments at the tail out of the Whittemore pool, and the changes to the other areas of the river down to the Route 177 Bridge in Unionville are well thought out, and long over due. 
                However, there is one change in the proposed regulations which I DO NOT support.  All three sections of the new proposals relating to the Farmington River require that the fish be released “without avoidable injury”.  And yet the regulations requiring the use of barbless hooks has been eliminated from the proposal.  Barbless hooks allow for reduced handling and a faster release of the fish, thus reducing unwanted injury.  To eliminate this requirement makes no sense.  Barbless hooks in the Trout Management Area have been required since its inception, and to remove this provision at this time would be counter productive to releasing the fish without avoidable injury.  Please consider reinstating the barbless hook requirement in the TMA, and if you wish to standardize the regulations, make barbless hooks required for the entire section of the river in the proposal.  Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
                                                                                        Sincerely,  

  • Salmon River-Renew your vows of “Chasing Chrome” this spring!

     
       
    Salmon River, Pulaski NY-  As Spring slowly materializes the opening of the upper fly zone in Altmar will attract many anglers looking to hook into some fresh lake run fish to the Salmon River.  My recent trip last fall has me anxiuos for more!

          After the early ride from northwestern CT I feast my eyes for the first time on one of the most fantastic Great Lakes fishery along with the rising sun.  I throw my gear on and as soon as I reach the river I am greeted with the smell of  dead fish from the recent runs of  salmon.  These ghastly beast are strewn about the river with the current faintly animating their dead flesh as they stink to high heavens!  The smell doesn’t last long though, my predatory instincts override my sense of smell as I begin to assess the river.. after seeing a shadow here and a shadow there, the potential of this fishery becomes immeditately apparent (Dorothy, you are not, in Kansas anymore!).  

         Dead drifting egg patterns, small Stonefly nymphs, and Sucker Spawn type flies account for a good number of fish and when combined with a 6 or 7 weight fly rod, decent reel, and floating line, are all that is really required to get you in on the action there. 

         Weight is an important factor here and any angler should be in possession of a container of lead-free shot, to get his flies down to the bottom of the river.  No need to worry about some crazy 60-70ft presentation you think those steelhead guys might be doing.  A short upstream czech nymph cast and  deadrift presentation works well on runs where fish periodically move through and rest along current seams. 

         For many fisherman this place truly holds the “Fish of a Lifetime” and will leave most angler chomping at the bit for a return visit.  This was a great trip, I would highly recommend to any fishing fanatic that has never been there to drop what you are doing and to plan a trip to the Salmon River, Pulaski NY this spring and renew your vows of “Chasing Chrome” with back breaking rod bends, ferocious runs, and epic battles these Great Lakes trout and salmon have to offer!I anxiously wait for my next opportunity to return to the Salmon River and enjoy its great fishing.  Hope to see you soon on the river!  There are some great photos already in our Flickr’ stream located at the bottom right hand corner of our website.

    JW