Friday, December 6, 2013

Naugatuck Report - December 6, 2013 - Who Needs Pink Flies?

A useless Pink Cosseboom
Hopefully, I will be proven wrong next season

When it comes to flies for broodstock Atlantic salmon, all I hear is "pink, pink, pink..." I have heard about the deadliness of pink flies for years. I tied a bunch of pink flies for today to see if all the praise is actually warranted. Some of the flies were predominantly dark with pink accents and some were bright, garish looking things. I wasn't going to fish the pink flies to the exclusion of everything else, but I figured I'd give them a fair shot in the rotation.

Other than the pink thing, I had a pretty modest goal today. I only needed to get one more salmon on the line to have hooked thirty for the fall 2013 season. One salmon hooked really isn't aiming too high, though anything can happen, be it good or bad.

I was happy to be reacquainted with my recently repaired Sage Z-Axis 11' 6wt. switch rod. I have been without my main Naugatuck salmon rod for over a month while it was at Sage HQ in Washington. We finally have a decent flow, so the two hander is a viable option once again. The water was 42ºF and the weather dreary and rainy, but relatively warm for December. I fished a floating head and a 10' intermediate polyleader with about 6' of Maxima Chameleon tippet, 12 & 15 lb. test. Given the conditions, it seemed like a faster sinking tip might be more appropriate, but I'd rather err on the side of fishing too high than too low, at least at first. Besides, if necessary, switching polyleaders or even heads is easy and takes very little time. 

In all, I fished six different pools today. Here is a brief summary of each:

Pool #1 - In my first pass through the pool, I raised a salmon on a #2 Crosfield's Black Silk (linked is the fly masterfully tied by my friend Marc LeBlanc from Moncton, New Brunswick). I couldn't convince him to come back, however. I tried the Pink Cosseboom (#2) on my second pass, but there was no interest. In my experience, the Same Thing Murray is virtually peerless when used on dark Naugatuck days. I tried a #4 Murray and hooked and landed salmon #30 in short order! My modest goal had been met early, so now I could relax a bit. Nothing else happened at Pool #1, so I moved on. 

30th hooked for the season

Pool #2 - In my opinion, this pool fishes best in low water. The water wasn't exactly high today, but it was high enough to make this a losing proposition. I didn't stay long. 

Pool #3 - This pool is new to me as of this season. It produced well for me when the water was very low and warm. I did nothing there today and moved on quickly. 

Pool #4 - Pool #4 was at the perfect level. The fishing was incredible; 5 lb. landed (#2 Murray), 8 lb. landed (German Snaelda; .5" copper tube), 6 lb. landed (German Snaelda; .5" copper tube), 6 lb. landed (Murray tube fly conversion; 1" copper), 12 lb. hooked and lost (Gold Bodied Willie Gunn; 2" copper tube)...Wow! 

Salmon #5 of the day took a ridiculous looking Same Thing Murray tube conversion on what was supposed to be my last cast in the that pool before leaving and moving upstream. The fish took on the reel-up! It wasn't elegant, but I'll take it. The best part about it was that it persuaded me to give the pool one last run, which was when I hooked and lost the 12 pounder. I lost what would have been my biggest of the season, but I still left very satisfied. 

The Same Thing Murray Tube Fly (1" copper)
I don't know what I was thinking when I tied this, but I'm glad I did

Pool #5 - On my first pass through the pool, I landed an 8 lb. salmon on the #2 Murray. This fish was quite a jumper. He seemed to be the only player in this pool today.

Pool #6 - At this point, I only needed to land one more salmon to have 30 landed on the season, a milestone that wasn't on my radar as of this morning. It was getting dark and Pool #6 was my last chance. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out.

The final tally was seven hooked and six landed. None of them took a pink fly. Other than the oddball Murray tube which, strange as it looks, is still "salmon colored," all seven fish took conventional salmon flies and tubes. Might one have nailed a Black Bear Pink Butt or the Pink Cosseboom? Maybe...I should have tried them while at Pool #4, though I'm reluctant to switch when tried and true salmon flies work as well as anything (and better than most). I guess I'm not convinced that pink is all that everyone around here makes it out to be. That said, I still haven't given it a fair shot. There's always next season, I suppose...

So that's it for me for 2013...I'm done! It was a lot of fun while it lasted. Fall 2013 on the Naugatuck was very productive for me, but it is time to move on. I'll wrap up this season in my next post and we'll see which fly wins the prize this year. Stay tuned!


  1. Pink pink pink. everytime I try to sit down and tie some flies my 3 year old daughter comes over and screams pink pink pink bug daddy! I've also tied up a few pink ones, only able to land some hungry bluegills. (With help).

    1. Ha! I thought, "what the heck am I going to do with all these pink flies?" Good to know the bluegills like 'em. Maybe we'll get lucky and land a bullhead or two on one someday...

  2. Sounds like you had an outstanding season for salmon Ben!! Nicely Done!!!

    1. I gotta get you out there sometime next season, Pete!

  3. Wow - sounds like a great day so late in the season! Nice going but why quit now?

    1. Mainly because I hate winter. If the river produced big, fresh springers, maybe I'd be more inclined to brave the elements. As it is now, they're getting pretty lethargic (most even more lethargic than usual). I caught enough to satisfy me and I did it during what I consider the best part of the season. Maybe I'll venture out again if we have a few mild days, but I think I'd be more inclined to investigate the sea run brown fishery close to home. Also, I have lots of music to work on!

    2. 'tis the season for musicians! take care


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