Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diary of a Dirty-Water Salmon Fisherman

A hefty male salmon, caught today on a #4 Mickey Finn

The Connecticut broodstock Atlantic salmon fishery certainly has its share of detractors. Yes, I would much rather be chasing salar in Canada, Russia, Iceland, etc. Sadly, time, money and matrimonial duties will not allow unlimited jaunts abroad. I recently purchased Atlantic Salmon Magic by Topher Browne. Near the end of the book, Browne gives a brief summary of many of the world's most important salmon (fishing) rivers. I was struck by his introduction to Russia's Ponoi River:

"The prolific Ponoi River enjoys a sterling reputation as an exceptionally productive fishery. Few (if any) rivers match its exciting ratio of salmon to angler. If you are new to the sport of salmon fishing, there is simply no better place. It is difficult, after all, to cut your teeth in the sport when you receive two or three pulls per season on rivers closer to home. If you are an old hand, the sheer numbers of fish allow you to experiment with flies and techniques that might not see the light of day when the fish are hard to come by."

-Topher Browne (Atlantic Salmon Magic, p. 411)

The sentiments expressed in the third and fourth sentences are my main motivation to fish for these broodstock salmon. Since the Ponoi is not a viable option at the moment, I will both cut my teeth and experiment close to home, where the fishing is free and the salmon are willing to take a fly swung just below the surface. 

Grilse; #4 L.T. Special

After a (very) high water skunking last week, the past two days on the Naugatuck River have been exceptional. Yesterday, I hooked and landed three salmon and one grilse-sized fish. Today, I hooked/landed one, but it was quite large for the river. So far this season, here are the flies which have caught fish:

Butterfly (w/green & red butt) #4
L.T. Special #4
Same Thing Murray #6
Claret Shrimp #6
Mickey Finn (variation) #4

Four of these five flies are mentioned here

First of the season; #4 Butterfly

Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ransomes Elver (experimental post from new iPhone 4S)

Ransome's Elver #2, iPhone 4S photo (size reduced)

Here's a pic of an unusual streamer-type pattern tied for U.K. salmon and sea trout fishing. It is supposed to represent an elver (juvenile eel), which the salmon and trout eat while at sea. I've never heard mention of it being a particularly productive pattern, but that might have something to do with the scarcity of the materials needed to tie it. Not every tyer has easy access to jungle cock, let alone vulturine guinea fowl (used for the wing and hackle).

Once this post has been published I'll check it out on the computer. If it looks okay, I'll try more mobile posting, perhaps even stream-side. I'll try to post at least once from the upcoming CFFC&M Arts of the Angler show next month in Danbury, CT.

edits: Apostrophes don't work in the titles?? The Blogger app is definitely kind of quirky. If I use it for mobile posting, it's going to be quick and dirty. The camera on this phone is pretty impressive, though it is hard to hold still when taking a pic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bo Peep

Bo Peep, dressed on a #4 hook

Kelson's Bo Peep is a sort of derivative of Major John Popkin Traherne's Blue Boyne. A bright fly, the Bo Peep was meant to be fished on sunny days. In its time, the Bo Peep was considered a low water fly and was tied on hooks size 7 and smaller (!). I don't see why it wouldn't work in higher water and have tied it on a size 4 hook.

Bo Peep 
Tag: Silver twist (plenty)
Tail: Toucan* (three) and two small Chatterer* (back to back)
Butt: Black herl
Body: In three equal sections of silver tinsel (oval, the finest): No. 1, butted with Toucan* above and below, followed by black herl. No. 2, butted with Indian Crow* above and below, followed by black herl
Throat: (or No. 3 section)-Double Chatterer* feathers (back to back) on off and on near side
Wings: Ibis* and red Macaw in fibres, and three toppings. 

Horns: Amherst Pheasant
Head: Black herl

*subs used

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fly Box, new

A Chinese-made C&F knockoff, not yet overflowing with flies

Well, here she is in all her glory. Even though it's a phony C&F waterproof box, the insert is the genuine article! Actually, the stupid name brand  insert costs more than the box itself. The box was a $13 eBay special. The swing leaf insert was a little over $20. I think I paid roughly $35 for the used Wheatley swing leaf box. We'll see how this one fares. I am optimistic. There is still room for more flies! Let the tying of obscure patterns (that won't catch fish) resume...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fly Box, old

A classic Wheatley fly box, overflowing with flies

This Richard Wheatley box has served me well over the past two seasons. It has always felt a little crammed, however. It isn't a particularly good box for storing Butterflies. I am going to try out a C&F knockoff-style box and see how that fares. It's bulkier than the Wheatley, but the wings on the Butterflies won't get crushed and it should do a better job of holding large streamers/bucktails, as well as larger shrimp patterns. Of course, the new setup is much less elegant than the old one, so it won't be photographed surrounded by rare and expensive feathers. Seeing as how it's not even a genuine C&F box, maybe a pic on a dirty sidewalk, surrounded by pigeon feathers would be more appropriate?