Thursday, October 10, 2013

Naugatuck Report - October 10, 2013 - Lucky #7

The poor man's GoPro

Today's report comes from the "every cloud has a silver lining" department...

I was supposed to be fishing for big landlocked salmon this weekend, but the run hasn't materialized yet. I'm thankful for my friend John, who kept me posted so I didn't make the long drive for meager results. Still, it's disappointing...I thought my timing was going to be right on the money. Oh well...I still had a full day of fishing today, which is rare for me now. Back to the Naugy...

Conditions were good and there was a lot of action today as a result....way too much to document here and still keep the post modestly sized. The bite was on all day long. In my experience, it turns on and off throughout the day, but rarely stays good all day. Based on accounts from the spin anglers I spoke to today, a good day was had by just about everyone. I had a fantastic day, hooking seven and landing them all. In the fly department, the "big three" did all the catching today; the Same Thing Murray (#6 & #8 -1 salmon each), Mickey Finn (#6 - 2 salmon) and the orange H.M. Sunray (3 salmon). Instead of documenting all the boring details, I'll talk about the last two fish...

The first of two on a #6 Mickey Finn

After landing my fifth fish, I decided I was going to do some dry fly fishing since I really had nothing to lose. I didn't raise anything on a Bomber or a Wulff, so I decided to try a skating dry fly I saw in one of Henrik Mortensen's Patagonia seatrout fishing videos. This unusual fly is called the Titanic. I haven't tied this fly yet (satisfactorily, at least). I purchased a couple with my last order from Waters West Fly Fishing Outfitters

Titanic #6 - from Waters West Outfitters

I made my way to a likely lie and skated it away. After a half dozen casts a salmon exploded on the fly! The commotion gave me a sudden case of "buck fever" and I pulled the fly out of its mouth. No worries...the Titanic did a good job of locating a "player." The fish wouldn't come back to a dry, so I rested the fish for a little while. Eventually, I went back with the #6 Mickey Finn and sealed the deal, bringing a 4lb. salmon to hand. When I hooked this fish, it caused another salmon to jump, thereby giving away its lie. I have also seen this happen with grilse on wild salmon rivers.

After landing fish #6 and letting the water settle down a bit, I went back for the fidgety salmon #7. I went at him with a Sunray Shadow and got a pull, but couldn't get him to return. I rested him while I changed flies. Same Thing dice...and another rest. Then I rolled him on a Sugerman Shrimp, but couldn't get a take. Then a rest...change to a Shady dice. Then another rest...then I rolled him for a third time on a #10 Almost...wouldn't come back...rested him again. Black flies were getting him riled up, so I switched to a bright fly, the #6 Mickey Finn. I decided to strip it and he clobbered it on the first pass. With all the rolling, resting and fly changes, I worked him for about 30 minutes before he finally grabbed that Mickey Finn. 

Boy, was he pissed to be on the end of my line! He was the angriest salmon I've hooked this fall. He was just plain uncooperative, especially when he saw shallow water. I walked him to my usual landing spot but he was having absolutely none of it. He bolted back to the middle of the river, directly at the only other angler in the pool. I thought he was going to swim right through the angler's legs! Fortunately for me, this good samaritan was able to net my fish just about where he stood. He was as big and well conditioned a salmon as I have caught in the Naugy so far this season...I'm guessing the upper end of 6lbs and not a fin out of place. 

I've caught what I believe to be "dominant male" salmon from this exact lie in the past. I have a feeling that guy was the class bully. I've had a few decent scraps this year, but only two that have made me get serious really quickly. This was one of them. 

Lucky #7...not a bad way to end a pretty good day! 

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