Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adirondack Brook Trout

Living so close to the famous West Branch of the Ausable River it is sometimes easy to loose track of the other fishing within a 15 minute drive of Wilmington.  Of course I fish the ponds at ice out and when the river is to high to fish.  But how about all of those small streams stretching down the mountains?  The truth is many of them offer the opportunity to catch the only true Adirondack trout the Brook trout.  Brook trout aren't known as a hard fish to fool almost any bunch of feathers tied to a hook will do the trick.  I remember my first time fishing for Brook trout in the High Peaks near Keene Valley hopping from boulder to boulder up the steep stream watching as the small pods of trout eagerly chased my bucktail streamer.  Only one or two casts in each pocket then the fish would disappear signaling the time to try the next pocket.  I don't remember catching a fish over 8 inches that day but it's impossible to forget the feeling of those fish tugging my line and how soft their skin felt in my hand compared to any other fish I had ever caught. Since that day I have had fewer great days of brook trout fishing then great days fishing for browns but every time I go hunting for brookies I get closer to the real reason I fly fish. 

Happy hunting!!
The Ausable Bomber has every characteristic of a great Brook trout dry fly unsinkable, buggy looking, durable and most importantly easy to tie!

thread: Hot orange
hook: 2x long dry fly
tail: Woodchuck 
body: Australian opossum dyed rusty orange
hackle: Brown and grizzly over entire body
wing: calf tail

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

West Branch of the Ausable River Hatch Chart

I wanted to post a hatch chart for the Ausable so I looked around online. This chart is the best one I could find. It is important to remember that any hatch chart is just an example of what to expect. I hope this helps anyone coming to my area to do some fly fishing. If you want a more precise hatch report give me a call or send me an email. I am on the water every chance I get.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cobia on the Ruff One

After a few days in the Smokies my brother and I headed to my folks house on Amelia Island Florida. It being my first time to my parents new home I was exited to see what they left the North Country for. After arriving my father and I solidified plans to fish for the next 2 days on the Gulf Coast with My Aunt and Her Husband. We would be launching the boat from Homosassa. We left early the next morning and soon after hit the water on the appropriately named boat the Ruff One.

We headed down the Homassasa River to the Gulf after about an hour cruise we located the structure Tom Chancey had marked on his GPS. It was a 4 foot pile of rocks in about 20 feet of water. This was not going to be a typical Ruff Waters outing we were not throwing flies we were using live bait and plugs. We hooked a few sharks that broke off one was a spinner shark that jumped 4 feet in the air spinning the whole time! Finally after an hour or so I hooked my first Cobia I was using a trout weight spinning rod and was in for a real fight. We managed to net the fish it measured 32 inches it weighed about 18 lbs. We fished for another hour at the rocks caught a small grouper and a blue fish then headed to a shrimp boat wreck. We put the boat in idle up current from the wreck and floated over. 5 cobia waited down current from the wreck using the sunken vessel to ambush bait fish. Tom Chancey hooked the first cobia he quickly landed the fish and released it giving me a chance to cast to the others wham the fight was on! This time I was using a heavier rod and easily landed the fish even though it was bigger then the last one. The opportunity to cast to these fish and watch them gang up on our bait was fantastic. Cobia are pure muscle and put up an excellent fight!

Fish On!

On our second day out we faced some choppy water and windy conditions. We headed for the same rocks we fished our first day out the fishing started out slowly as the seas got higher and higher. We decided to fish another half hour then head in before things got ugly. As we were getting ready to pull anchor and head out a nice cobia pounded my pin minnow and the fight was on this was my last and biggest fish of my Florida vacation (not bad).

My father and I

I will be building a Salt water fly rod for my next Cobia trip. Most of the research I have done says not to use anything lighter then a 12 wt. I guess I will be adding 12 0r 13 wt to my growing list of rod builds.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Smoky Mountains North Carolina

Just as trout season opened in the Adirondacks and after a day of fishing in the cold Ausable, Saranac and Boquet rivers. I headed south to visit my parents in Florida with my brother. Our plan was to drive south to western North Carolina as fast as possible, fish for a few days and then continue south to Florida. The fishing on the Tuckasegee or the "Tuck" was very productive. We caught 10 nice trout within an hour of wading into the river. Of course the biggest ones managed to get away.

My Brother on the Tuck

Releasing a small Rainbow

On the second day the mission was to find some nice spots farther from the road with less fishermen. We found the perfect spot. I am not gonna print its name (I wouldn't want to offend any N.C. fly fishers). It was just the kind of fishing I love, tight, steep, pocket water loaded with trout! It was an incredible day on a perfect trout stream. We didn't catch a ton of fish, but catching trout on an Ausable Bomber dry in early April sure is a special treat. I wouldn't mind visiting again next Spring.