Friday, October 23, 2009
Late Season Dry Fly Action - The East Branch
I had one day of vacation time left for this year and it was going to be today, Friday the 23rd. Actually it started at 4pm on Thursday when I found myself basking in the warm sun at the Bliss Pool on the Westfield's East Branch. The temp. was 70 degrees and ANTS were all over the water as they were a month ago. Trout were rising at a steady pace and I took three and lost a few more in the 90 minutes that I was there. It gave me a quick fix to the dry fly fever that has left me a mumbling fool on this river over the past Summer. My favorite dry fly river, the Millers, has been out of commission for most of the Summer. The Westfield has filled in nicely - very nicely!! I haven't cast a sunken fly in two months on this river!!
Ok, that's Thursday evening. Where to go on Friday?? My plan had been to hit the Swift after a few morning chores but the weatherman was talking about 1 to 2 inches of rain on Saturday. That would blow out the East Branch for a few days. Should I make another trip before the flood?? Of course.
I hit the Hemlock Pool at 11am and spent an uneventful 45 minutes trying to tempt the occasional riser in the slack water to my BWO dry. NOTHING!!! Then I began to work the fast riffles at the head of the pool. All hell broke loose!! The bows were stacked into this skinny water and were slashing at the BWO's that came down from above. I took six and lost another two.
Slant Rock Pool came next - the water was littered with olives but no fish were showing at the tail or the smooth mid section. "Maybe they're at the head of the pool just like at Hemlock" I thought. That's where they were. Another two came to the net. I will always remember NOT catching the 'bow that came up THREE CONSECUTIVE TIMES to my dry.
I finished the day at the Bliss Pool catching one and missing another. It was getting cold and the wind was picking up. The sky had the look of winter, a far cry from the balmy evening the day before.
I'm glad I made the EB my choice for the day. I may not have another day of surface action like this until next Spring. Until then the Swift will always be there.