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

  • 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

  • Fall Flyfishing on the Farmington River 2010

    Date: 11/30/10
    Water flow: 320
    Visibility: good
    Water temp: n/a
    Water conditions: good
    Hatches: Winter/Summer Caddis 20-24, are out in good numbers in the early to mid morning. Blue Wing Olives 22-24 mid-morning and again in the afternoon. Tan Caddis 16-18 sporadic throughout the day.

    Comments: The Winter/Summer Caddis have been on the water in the early mornings bringing lots of fish to the surface to feed on them. I love this hatch and enjoy fishing it with just a couple of simple foam and CDC pupae imitations. If you don’t fish this hatch…you should! It’s longevity and potency are matched by no other hatch on the river. Most trout will be feeding on this hatch all winter long. Presentation can be tricky but if you take a moment to observe the naturals and how they act and skitter across the surface on their way to the rocks along the riverbank to finish their transformation into adult Caddis. The skittering is the important part for the angler you must make your presentation act like the natural. By observing the pupae themselves you can make a better judgment on whether to use an upstream or downstream approach. I often try both until I find which one is best suited for a particular hole or stretch of water. Don’t forget you can fish the Winter/Summer Caddis Larvae as well! Nymphing with these tiny larvae may intimidate some but these small nymphs fished in an 18 or 20 can really get it done.
         BWOlives have been coming off fairly well at the larger pools on the Farmington. Other smaller areas that I like to fish on the Farmy have seen spotty hatches of the Blue winged olives. Parachute patterns with just a thread body work well on these. I have been catching most fish on 24 BWO wet fly dropper that I have tied off the bend of my parachute dry fly. Fish tend to refuse the parachute and sip the wet fly trailing a short distance behind. On these windy fall days it can be hard to tell if trout are taking these tiny insects, many times they are taking them under the film, and masked by the ripples created on the water. Look closely and observe the shoreline for BWO’s that have been blown into the grass and vegetation along the waters edge. If these little green troopers are a no-show, or I don’t notice the trout taking them in the film, I normally switch to fishing nymphs rather quickly trying some small BWO nymphs instead.
         The fall is a great time of the year to hit these hatches which can be spectacular but remember to have a plan “B” and be prepared to fish streamers or nymphs when they are not producing. Good luck and we hope to catch you out there on the water!
    JW

  • Rain, Rain, gone away. Farmington River pick your day they all look nice through the weekend!

    Thank god for cellphones!

    Date:  10/7/10

    Water Flow:  625Cfs

    Visibility:  ok

    Water Temp:   

    Water Condition:  slightly stained 

    Access Point:  Upper TMA

    Hatches (in order of importance):

            AM: Winter/Summer Caddis 20-24 

                   BWO 20-24

                   Rusty Spinners 20-24     

      Midday:  Tan Caddis 18-20

                     Ants and Beetles 12-16

     Evening:  Isonychia 10-12

                         Tan Caddis 18-20

                         Rusty Spinners 20-24     

    Comments:  Water is running high again after the recent rains.  Not many fish have been rising in the early mornings but a few are sipping small Spinners and Winter/Summer Caddis.  I have been fishing down for them with Caddis larvae and Stonefly nymphs until I notice fish visibly rising then grabbing my dry rod and throwing small spinners or W/S Caddis.  Olives are starting to gather on the riffles in the evening.  Not many trout have been coming up for the tiny spinners.  However I have been taking lots of fish on small Pheasantail nymphs down to size 22 imitating small BWO nymphs.  A pattern that has been tearing it up out there for a good couple of months now is Aaron Jasper’s Pineapple Express.  I want to thank Aaron for his great patterns and here is the url to the video of Pineapple Express TPO fly of the Month June 2010.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdrtvM4F6l4

    JW's pineapple

     

    The fly I have pictured here is just a spinnoff of the Pineapple Express that I tie a bit differently.  This fly is mainly a small pheasantail with a rusty, yellowish dubbing mix for a thorax and a hot collar of UTC fire orange thread for the hotspot.  Stonefly 10-14 and Isonychia nymphs 10-12 have been very effective in the high water.  I like French Nymphing these patterns in current seams and along shelf water.  The rain is supposed to stop and with moderate temperatures this weekend you can count on the fishing being good as the water recedes.  Good luck to all out there this weekend.  Hook em up!

    JW

  • Some soaking rain and a little more water to wade in! For the time being that is.

    Vanesssa with a nice French Nymphed Farmington Brown!

     

    Date:  10/29/10
    Water Flow:  200 CFS
    Visibility:  clear
    Water Temp: 60°F
    Water Condition:  very low
    Access Point:  upper TMA

    Hatches (in order of importance):
         AM:  Winter/Summer Caddis 20-24, Blue Wing Olives 22-28, and tiny Rusty Spinners 20-26,
         Midday:  Tan Caddis 18-20, Black Ants 14-18, Beetles 12-16.
         Evening:  Isonychia 10-14, and Cahills 12-14, Flying Ants 16-24.

    "Shocking" the Farmington River

    Comments:  Some rain has finally come and the river has moved to a more comfortable 200Cfs putting a little bit of water over resident trout!  Winter/Summer Caddis all our still going in the early a.m. hours.  Tiny Blue Winged Olives fill the air as well.  This has been a good reliable hatch with lots of fish taking the small BWO patterns off the top and micro mayflies fished as droppers or along th stream bottom.  When the spinners start to fall the fishing has been great on very small spinner patterns down to 26.  Nothing but tails, olive thread and a little poly wing on these and your done.
    Tan Caddis have been hatching sporadically throughout the morning.  I like to fish these with a small X-Caddis tied with a CDC wing and a poly shuck.
    Midday there have been a few flying ant hatches that were just spectacular with pools of rising trout to be found for miles it seems.  Every fish in the river rolling for them. Size is crucial here and sometimes these things can be as small as a 28 or so.
    Iso’s are still getting it done in the evening with the nymphs and emergers catching many large trout, this meal being just to big to pass up.  Cahills have been spotty but I have seen them on a few occasions in some sections of the river and managed to take trout on them.
    Last week the Farmington river received it’s yearly walk from those carrying the electric sticks and wielding fish barges.  I was glad that my daughters and I had the chance again to see them shock, measure, and release many fish while carrying many other large breeders up over the bank and into the trucks off to the hatchery to spawn a new generation of healthy Farmington river Brown trout.  I must say it is heartbreaking, to see them go but I’ll wish them a safe trip and look forward to their return in the spring.  Good luck on the river, see you soon.
    JW