'My fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power" - Robert Traver
I love Black Friday because I suspect, along with Thanksgiving merriment,that it does keep the number of anglers down somewhat. A morning with an air temperature of 35 degrees and a water temperature of 38 will do the same thing and that was Friday morning on the Millers. The flow was an inviting 190 cfs which is perfect for fishing Erving Center and I still had Mop Flies on the brain so off I went.
I've done a complete 180 on this fly. From a POS to Perfect Imitation is my opinion. It is the perfect hellgrammite and leech imitation and will be a standard with me on the Millers (a big hellgrammite river) going forward. I tie it in somber, natural colors (gray body, dark brown back and head). None of that day glow nonsense for me. I'll throw that neon stuff into the SWJ, squirmy wormy junk draw!! Which begs the question: Why do the detractors of the Mop still fish that other stuff that doesn't represent ANYTHING on this planet let alone a trout stream???
Get a gray car wash mop at Walmart ($6.00), a size 8 scud hook (use scud hooks for this fly. They give the fly more action instead of the less lively longer shank hooks), some brown or black marabou for the thorax and a brown or black sharpie and you are in business.
How did I do? I took 3 good bows in an hour and a half. One was over 20 inches and when he hit I actually thought I was snagged. I was about to throw a rollcast to dislodge the fly when the "snag" began to swim off! I don't like throwing weight with bamboo so my old TFO 4wt got called into action. At one point I didn't think the rod could stand the strain of that fish in mid current but after a few minutes he was in the net!
The Brookies are still at it on the Swift but I think the "run" may have peaked. It will NOT be over in a week as some say but will continue into mid December just like last the last few years. The rainbows will be going nowhere. Squeeze the last few hours out of your 2016 license and get out there!
Good news on the equipment front. Vermont has lifted it's ban on felt soled boots and for good reason. The ban was enacted to stop the spread of Didymo, the noxious diatom that was supposed to befoul our rivers. Well, it appears that didymo has been everywhere FOREVER (it's native) and has gone into the occasional bloom stage due to climate change and not to felt soles. (10 years ago an aquatic biologist told me the same thing. He was certainly a minority opinion back then!)
I like felt but changed over to studs which I don't think live up to expectations. Let's hope that the other states lift the felt ban.