Two of a Kind

I wrote last time after a mediocre outing on how fly fishing can be unpredictable: some days are great, some are meh, and most are in-between.

Well, today was pretty darn good!

I fished a half day, rising early and hitting the river as soon as I could. Immediately, I could see the river had changed: there were many more midges, some caddis were popping, and mayflies I wouldn’t dare to identify were abuzz and about.

I started with some dries and then opted to do the Euro Dry-Dropper technique. Flows were more on the low side, the water was clear, and a glorious sunny day was in store. I find that the Euro Dry-Dropper approach is great for stealth. There isn’t thick fly line slapping around, and you can keep all of your line above the water.

I saw some fish rise or flash when my flies drifted above them, and I decided to switch to plain tightlining with very lightly-weighted flies. After some fly rotations, I found the fish were keyed on light-yellow patterns, such as the Sulphur Nymph and assorted caddis emergers. Floating the sighter was the way to go, and I tried to minimize my wading, sticking to the bank or the very edge of the river, moving slowly the whole time.

I found some smaller fish and got a nice brown that taped at 18″.

At that point a father-son team appeared and fished below me. I gave a friendly wave, as I like to see families out on the water. They were fishing fly gear and with the biggest white bobber I have ever seen.

Soon, I saw the floated sighter pause again and set the hook. It was a strong fish, and I had strong suspicion it was foul-hooked. So, I played it quickly, but it was a touch-and-go proposition. The Diamondback Ideal Nymph 2-wt. is a beast of a rod: very sensitive, a strong backbone, and is just fun to cast. Hats off to Joe Goodspeed for another great rod design!

The fish was not foul-hooked, and it’s a testament to how strong big browns can be. The fish taped at 17.5″ and had the most amazing red spots.

The father fishing below me quickly reeled up and moved, as I took some snaps and released the fish. Perhaps it was coincidence, but I didn’t think so. The two high-holed me without saying anything, and they were standing about 30′ above me.

Honestly, I was pretty annoyed. Sometimes I try to tell people: “Hey! You’re fishing awfully close, don’t you think?” But I stayed silent. They were fishing the top part of run I was targeting, floating their big white bobber down towards me. I just kept fishing.

After not getting any takes, they eventually moved on. I stepped up-river a bit and then got some fish. Honestly, it felt great, as I quietly seethed.

I moved on to another spot, and quite a few fish were willing to eat, both with the Euro Dry Dropper and with floating the sighter. For fun, I switched out my flies and tried other patterns. Nothing. When I put back on the other light-yellow nymphs, it was game on again.

By noon, I was pretty tired. Euronymphing can produce huge numbers, but I wasn’t feeling the need to do that. I felt lucky enough to see two nice browns, a nice pair, two of a kind.

On my way to the second spot, I chatted a bit with the kid in the parking area, and he was very nice. Their crew was from New Jersey and Rhode Island and was ending a multi-day trip. They didn’t catch anything that morning, and I wished him luck with the rest of the day. I’m glad I didn’t see anything to them to ruin their last day.

For lunch, I went to a country store and crossed paths with Zach St. Amand. It’s always great to see him. He’s an incredible guide and the nicest guy, too. Book a session with him. I did years ago, and it completely changed how I fish and totally upped my game.

I hope you have some great Memorial Day plans. May we always remember the brave soldiers who gave up everything for the rest of us!

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2 thoughts on “Two of a Kind

  1. Nice report. I need to get down there soon to swing some wets and stock up on some gear for Labrador! Been trying Quabbin with minimal results.
    It is amazing how close people will move in to fish! I can tolerate one good cast distance, but would never move closer than two or three personally.

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