Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Low Time Of The Year

It's that time of year. No matter how many flies you tie, no matter how many shows that you take in, no matter how many books and magazines you read it's the dark time of year for the fly fisher. Unless you are lucky enough to fish the Swift and the Farmington on occasion it is a season of longing for better times. Don't get me wrong. Fly tying in the depths of Winter can be very rewarding, a deep thought, creative process. I'm in the middle of that now!! But I would rather be fly fishing and I will be as January moves into February, the month where we first see the seasonal signs of change.

February - It's right around the corner and it's like a new relationship as an old relationship fades away. There is promise of a new beginning, a Spring that makes us all young again. It will be soon.

Fly Tying - it's been consuming but my inventories of scuds and Moby Dick Wets are now getting up to good levels. The demand for these patterns were very much appreciated in 2011. Hot Spots, for some reason, became very "hot" during the Fall. I have plenty of them too.

The Fly Fishers Guide To The Millers River - someone told me recently that it is a "classic". Hmmm....maybe not that but a very good guide to a very good river is what it is.

The above photo was taken on the "lower" Millers. This is where very few fly fishers go, even the locals. I guide on this section (and others) and WE CATCH TROUT!!

Think Hendricksons!!!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 - A Few Things To Do

Hello 2012!!! Today is January 15 and the air temperature at 10 am is 12 degrees. The Y Pool parking lot is EMPTY and all I saw at the PIPE was one shore bound bait fisher who had caught nothing. It was cold and even though I was dressed in space age layers I was glad that this was a non fishing trip. It was tooooo cold to wade and that was that. There is a limit to Winter fishing.

Winter fishing - this is the venue of the tailwater angler. The stream will not freeze over and if you can take the elements you may have success. I've been asked about Winter on the Millers. The Millers is not a tailwater and I can say after 28 seasons on that river that I can count on three or four frost bitten fingers how many Winters actually proved successful. This river, during most Winters, freezes over enough that you can see the deer tracks crossing it's most famous pools and runs. It's a common occurrence to find the stream gauges non operational because of the ICE!! One can fish around the outflow of the Orange WWTP if one likes doing that or dunk bait from shore below the dam in Orange BUT is this what we really want to do?? One may find a spot or two of fishable water but this is the season to tie flies, tie leaders and read about our sport and fish the Swift or the Farmington.

Did I say TIE LEADERS??? I gave up using standard tapered leaders for most sunken flies a year ago. Why?? The answer is that tapered leaders used on deep drifted offerings like cone head buggers, weighted nymphs or even the tiny Swift offerings fished deep are a waste of money (the cost of a tapered leader) and are not as effective as the system that I use now. To get down deep I use a 6.5 ft leader made of only two leader diameters. A 4x terminal end is made of 5 feet of 3x and 20 inches of 4x. That works well for buggers early on the Millers and the EB. A 5x terminal end is made up of the same lengths of 4x and 5x. For 6x on the Swift I use 4x and a 6x tippet.

Now, someone may ask "how do you cast that rig"?? The answer is that you don't have to really cast it. You are just placing the weighted fly on interesting water using a short line. The weighted fly will straighten out the mono and because the mono is very thin it will sink very quickly. Your fly will get into the zone quickly. I do a lot of "high sticking" on the Swift and a long, tapered leader only gets in the way. A short, thin leader gets the job done. Once surface action begins I go to a tapered leader (10 to 12ft) to catch trout.

I don't waste money on these leaders. For the 3x portion I buy a small spool of .008 diameter clear mono at any fishing store. You get 100 yards for a few bucks. In fact this diameter works well with a 5x tippet. I tie up a few of these leaders and put them in small, labeled zip lock bags. It works. Just don't try a 40 ft cast with a size 16 dry sulphur with these leaders. That's what tapered leaders are for.

Thought I'd show a photo of a Millers Stonefly from early June. THINK SPRING!!!