Well, I this morning had my first ever face-plant while fishing. Glad that’s over. It was so worth it.
I awoke at 2:45 am to make a PB&J, chug some coffee and hit the road for the Farmington. I’ve not seen that pretty gal in some time, and with news of Tricos in the air, I wanted to give it a go.
I arrived at the river around 5:30 am after a pit-stop and the obligatory visit to Dunkin’ Donuts–and, was the second angler there. Over the next few hours, it became quite a large crowd. Tricos do that to sane people. They make anglers riled up. Last summer, I remember a 21-fish morning, with the water low and ideal for dry flies. A drought can do that, as well as a hot summer.
Thankfully, I was onto fish pretty quick. This one wasn’t huge, but it made me smile and smile. The skunk was off.
The Trico hatch and spinner fall were different today from last year. Not that robust. Maybe I’m catching the tail end of the progression up the river. It’s fine either way. I’m just glad to be on the water.
There were plenty of bugs all around. Wow, were they tiny.
My #20 Drowned Trico Spinner looked huge in comparison and was a different color. I must remember to think about making some grey Tricos next year.
And, the fish were really selective. I saw two other anglers, each with one fish on at some point, but others were getting blanked. Maybe my homemade Harvey Slackline Leader helped?
Next up was a complete face-plant into the river. I didn’t realize there was a rock behind me, and I turned and dropped down to do a quick push up. I suppose it is inevitable, given all the time I spend on the water. So, my fly fishing Baptism has finally happened.
After a bit, the surface activity stopped. I switched spots a few times and did some tightlining. I immediately found some larger fish. The biggest was this one, which taped at 14″. The yellow elastomer behind the left eye means this is a Survivor Strain fish stocked in 2016.
So, no biggies, but I’m amazed how tightlining produces and helps me meet larger trout.
If you fish, I find that September-ish is the toughest non-winter month for me. My suggestion is to fish small. I landed eight fish from the 16-ish takes I witnessed (much human error!). Nearly all the fish landed came on really small flies, from sizes 20 to 26. I stomach-pumped one fish. All I saw were tiny critters.
Conditions will improve once the brookies start spawning, and the autumn stocking takes place.
For me, it was worth the drive and the dousing. Haven’t fished at all this August, and it was good to be back on the water.