How can anyone say that they would prefer to catch trout via nymphing instead of on a dry fly? I don't know but they are out there, a generation of fish counters who like the lofty numbers that a stocking truck can create. I've heard that the Millers has been not like it was last year when buckets of bows were tossed in and everyone was an expert. Now the story has changed. It's slim pickings with the browns they say. Granted, it takes time and patience to catch that fish and a little skill that goes beyond "nymphing". A little timing and knowing the pattern of trout and insect behavior helps too.
I rigged up my 3wt at 1:45pm and fastened on a slightly weighted possum nymph and began to work it as I've always done over the decades - quartering upstream and letting it sink as it as it approached me which is the same way Theodore Gordon fished a wet fly in those Catskill waters over a 100 years ago. There were no indicators or sighters of any kind. Just a look for any hesitation in the drift of the line. I also kept an eye out for any surface activity which was sure to start.
I picked up 6 browns before the surface activity became too real to ignore. A hatch of Olives started (as expected) so on went a snowshoe BWO emerger in a #20 and then the fun really started. After the second brown a blue heron got into the act and twice tried to grab my brown as I was netting it!!! Then I watched him as he watched me. If I cast upstream he looked upstream and if the cast was quartering downstream he followed that too! He watched me cast upstream which resulted in a hookup which he then went after.
They are smarter than we think!!
I ended up with 8 browns taken on the surface and 6 below in two hours of fishing. THE MILLERS IS ALIVE WITH TROUT!!
BTW, A surface hooked trout fights harder than a bottom hooked trout. The nymph caught browns fought ok but nowhere near the the intensity of a trout near the surface who feels the hook. Just an observation.
Going forward this season I would suggest a perfect Millers trip to be from 1pm to 4pm. We will catch the evening rise!!!