It was a lot of labor on Labor Day!
My wife surprised me by giving me a last-minute hall pass to fish on the holiday. I debated until the morning of as to where to go. In fact, I decided while I was driving to hit the Deerfield.
I was pretty indifferent regarding location, as fishing for me tends to be slow in September, regardless of venue. I have a fishing journal that documents all that for me. I’ve caught the hit-or-miss ant swarm here and there, and I am an early riser, and so, try to target Tricos.
But, when there isn’t a bunch of bugs in the water, I’ve found that trout in September are tough to dupe. The September Blues.
My journal entries show that fishing really picks up in October. Maybe it is pre-spawning behavior or, at some rivers, the arrival of new stockies. The latter creates more competition for food. So, my recommendation is to skip September.
The drive to the river was beautiful. Fog covered a good chunk of the final 10 miles.
I started at Spot A, which has historically done well for me. I brought rods for both dries and tightlining and proceeded to work. A Stonefly shuck seemed like a good omen.
I threw everything I had using a variety of techniques and flies and couldn’t move a single fish. I mean, absolutely nothing. I kept at it until the sun hit the river, and I decided to move on.
I drove downriver to a new spot, bypassing a bunch of areas where cars were already parked. I didn’t want to horn in on anyone and kept driving until I saw an opening on the side of the road near a stretch of river that looked promising.
There, I again attempted my best and again emerged empty-handed. The water was a fine 65 °F. Flies that usually produced were getting blanked, there were some Midges and some small Mayflies in the air, and I saw no trout. I reeled up.
I drove to Spot C. I figured it would be my last spot for the day.
A take! The fish bounced right away. I rotated flies and worked the area as thoroughly as possible.
Another take! I had a lot of line out and a very heavy fly on. I stripped line quickly. But, the trout shook its head a few times and unceremoniously spit out the barbless hook.
At this point, I was sweating a storm. The heat and humidity were both very high. Even though I was wading deep, I could feel my energy start to ebb.
So, I put on a new fly and started to work downstream back to my car. I waded even deeper just to cool off, and I just started to quarter down the fly and let it swing at the end, taking a few steps after each cast.
Suddenly, there was a strong take, a large rainbow leapt in the air, and I was finally in business.
I was hoping with all hope that the fish would stay on. It pulled a few times, but side pressure quickly horsed it in. At last, a fish in the net!
It was a beauty. The rainbow taped at 16″. With that, it was 11 am, and I reeled up. It was a lot of driving for 4.5 hours of fishing, but I was more than happy with that one fish.
It felt good and right to call it a day.