Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, September 12, 2016

Racing The Weather Sunday Morning Down At Bondsville

"I would rather cast nightcrawlers from a pier at Lake Michigan then ever, ever cast a wet fly" From Robert Traver on concerning the merits of the sunken fly

On Saturday night the weather guy on NECN said a FRONT would blow through by mid morning on Sunday with rain, high winds and some lightning. What to do on Sunday morning? Answer - beat the front and that's what I did. I was on the river down in Bondsville at 7am and not the first but the first were not in my favorite spot so things were cool!

A dozen casts with my self proclaimed "favorite dry fly for 2016" produced NOTHING and I can't believe it. The water is high and it's not my favorite flow down there but it should of done better. Then I saw it - a telltale flash just below the surface 25 ft away. Off comes the big, bushy terrestrial and on goes a size 16 BWO cdc dun BECAUSE there is something ready to hatch and the reliable BWO will get their interest. No need for a nymph. Then another subsurface flash only 15 feet away. I cast for the closer fish first and got it and then got the the further away fish a cast or three later.

Then the "guide" in me took over from the "flyfisher" in me. The "flyfisher" launched a 40 foot cast to the head of a riffle and lost a perfect rise. The "Guide" in me said "what the hell was that 40 foot cast for? Are you showing off to yourself? With all of that line and with the currents you stood NO chance hooking that fish. Move up and keep your casts 30 feet or shorter". NOTE: I don't say this to clients, only myself.

I never rose that fish again but I did catch others, all beautiful brookies in the 10 to 12 inch range. About 8 in all until I noticed that it was getting dark and the wind was blowing the drought weakened leaves into the river. I made to the vehicle as the skies opened up. I drove up to the PIPE parking lot to see a large branch blocking the road. I moved that and then saw a local guide sitting on the tailgate to wait out the storm. Out on route Rt9 there were two road blockages heading west towards Amherst.

I got home, cleaned up the yard from the blowdowns, threw down some grass seed, grilled up 20 inches of spare ribs and watched the hated Jets eat defeat.

The ribs were great!!



Bob O said...

I had to chuckle at your comments Ken. We may not have company, or like company, but that will not keep us fishermen from having a running conversation – with ourselves. Unlike Sunday’s guide, I rode out the storm at the Pipe area, and had some curious brown trout experiences despite the pump house generator’s diesel fumes. At your encouragement, I recently acquired Nemes’ The Soft Hackle Fly, tied a few and put them to the test. They passed with flying colors. One of his observations is that it’s not how large the hook is, it’s the size of the fly tied onto it. I’ve generally thought the shank of a hook is meant to be filled. I’ve reconsidered and am now thinking less may be more.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

I have a running conversation with myself most of the time. I actually like it. It keeps me honest.

Nemes book changed my fly life as a flyfisher. It shows how to fish a NYMPH as a drifting insect. It is the best!! You are right, less is more!!!!


Anonymous said...

With no tail on the BWO do you ever have a problem floating them hook point down? or is it more like an emerger? I love the simplicity of it and just tied a 1/2 dozen up, and this blog is awesome!

Millers River Flyfisher said...


First, thank you for the nice words about this blog!!

Second, I have been tying this mostly on a short shank curved hook w/o the tail aka emerger. That one in the photo was tied on a standard dry hook BUT it's tied with a shorter body so the tail end sinks aka emerger. The CDC, which is tied in as an emerging wing, really keeps the front of the fly UP and I can see it! It just works so well because most surface takes that we see are for emerging insects and not fully formed duns.

You will do well with that pattern. Most of the time I'm not fishing over surface breaking fish but they will come up for that fly!!!


tincup said...

Another tip is to tie a very small amount of sheet foam from life preservers under the dubbing in front of the cdc duck wing. And I mean a real small amount. It allows the head to float up without adding floatant. And it never sinks. very very effective as the head will always float with the tail down. Boy do I wish I lived closer to this gem of a river.

Jeff Passante said...

Curious what "your favorite fly of 2016" is?

Millers River Flyfisher said...


It's my soft hackle dry fly mentioned in a July 2016 post. It wasn't working so I tied on a stimulator but then saw the "flash" and ended up with the CDC BWO instead.


Parachute Adams said...

Finally back from a prolonged work trip. I'm sure looking forward to getting out this weekend, starting tomorrow night. I enjoy reading this blog while I am away, Ken. Keep up the good work!

Regards, Sam