The morning’s weather forecast predicted chilly temps., high water and rain. Sounds perfect to me. It was time to tinker with new ideas from two-time national champion George Daniel.
There’s something truly special about a New England autumn, and all the more so when you’re out fly fishing. Crowds have ameliorated, the weather can be challenging, and the fish are more eager after a languid and hot summer.
I headed to the Farmington with anticipation. George was right: Tinkering keeps fly fishing fresh and fun (post on his clinic here). I was pumped to fish some new fly variants and beta-test my new-and-thin Euronymphing leaders. Would “thin to win” work? Is it all hype or is there substance? I also had some split shot with me and wanted to try a drop-shot approach that George recommended.
I wanted to focus on the permanent TMA section, which has not been stocked since spring and offers the chance to catch some wily brown trout. I figure that was a great way to pressure-test the new approaches. Find some wild or Survivor Strain browns, if I can.
I arrived at dawn and was glad to cross paths with @d_throw. He too was at George’s clinic and was about to work with the new ideas from George.
Maybe it was the new Euronymphing leader, but I was onto fish pretty quick. Also, having a partially-white Euro sighter really helped me see my leader in the low-light conditions.
My second trout was the fish of the day, a fierce beast that taped at 17″ and featured a nice paddle. It took one of my new flies.
With that done, I started to tinker with a drop-shot rig. I’m still new at it and will blog about it once I have logged more river-miles. But, at the right water, the technique worked well.
Most fun was that the thin Euronymphing leader was amazing. I intentionally started fishing at a stretch I know well to see how the new leader would do. I later visited the most pressured areas of the river and used both both drop-shots and the standard Euro approach with tungsten nymphs.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a better autumn outing at the well-trodden areas. The rig was extremely sensitive, and soft takes were easy to spot. It made me wonder how many hits I’ve missed with my regular-and-more-heavy Euronymphing leader.
I ended the day by throwing a Euro dry-dropper. Fish were rising to take Isonychia, BWOs and Caddis. It was great to see healthy and active trout, rising to take a fly. A fun way to end the outing.
Even though I went 12-for-15, it wasn’t about volume or the chance to see some good fish. It was about trying something new and putting a new approach to the test at highly-pressured water.
It was a fun day, a fulfilling day. Hope you’re enjoying the fall weather.
Thanks for the pointers, George!