Saturday, October 11, 2014

Naugatuck Report - October 11, 2014 - The Ol' Cat and Mouse Game


I upgraded to an Islander LX 3.6 reel for the fall.
So far, I absolutely love it. 

Rain! Just what we needed, though I wouldn't refuse even more. The river was pretty low at the beginning of the day but, again, better than it was a couple of weeks ago. Every little bit of rain helps. I was excited to get a whole day of fishing in today. It has been a while for me. Even better was the fact that we wouldn't have to worry about bright sunshine today.

I was able to visit many pools throughout the day. Some are still vacant. We need a good bump of water to move the fish around and into some of the less frequently fished pools. I got a reading of 58ºF in the water today, which isn't too bad. It's a fair bit cooler than it was at this time last year. 

I had a fair bit of action today...three salmon landed, one pricked, and one broken off on the hook set. The action started within five minutes of arriving at the first pool. My first salmon took a sz. 8 Same Thing Murray and was off to the races, making my new Islander reel sing. 

My second fish landed absolutely hammered an orange HKA Sunray/Bismo. He immediately took off on a long run directly upstream. He jumped his way back towards me, then took off on another blistering run, this time downstream. He was a real slab of a fish and he made my Islander sing even more than the first one did. 

My third fish landed was caught at the pool where I started the day. I returned several hours later. It was another "first five minutes" scenario. This fish took a sz. 8 Black Bear Red Butt. The same fly was taken by another fish later, but the fish was not hooked. I think it felt a little too much of the iron to come back, unfortunately. By the end of the day, the river was noticeably higher than it was when I started. 

This fish couldn't resist a fly fished really fast

The most interesting part of the day happened in shortly after landing my first fish. I made my way back up to the top of the run, still fishing the sz. 8 Murray. I rose a nice looking salmon, but he didn't take. I rested him and resumed casting. He rose again. Very long story, made short...that salmon and I went at it for about 90 minutes. I got him to rise 10 times, but he never took any fly. It was a series of cast, rise, rest, cast, rest, fly change, cast, rise, rest, etc., that went on seemingly forever. Wet flies, a dry fly, riffling hitch and sunk tube...you name it. Here is the list of flies and presentations that piqued the salmon's interest:

Same Thing Murray sz. 8 (two rises)
Shady Lady sz. 10
Mickey Finn sz. 6 (two rises)
Split Wing Bomber (blue/brown) sz. 6
Sunray Shadow-hitched (two rises)
Haugur (micro tube)-hitched

I even tried crossing the river to change casting angle. At some point, the fish either moved on or had enough and stopped rising. I've never had a salmon rise so many times before. After a while, I threw in the towel and moved. I figured I should rest the pool. Interestingly enough, that same pool is where I caught salmon #3 of the day. It was lying a little further upstream than the "ready riser" was. Was it the same salmon? Maybe he moved upstream a few yards? I'll never know. I was just happy to play the chess match, even if the salmon check-mated me this time around. 

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We're entering prime time and the fishing is heating up. The river is still low for my tastes, but the forecast calls for pretty consistent rain almost all week. I think the fishing will only get better as the conditions improve and the fish spread out. 

If you're interested in a fun and educational, guided broodstock salmon fishing trip, please contact me. Dates have already been booked, so act fast! 

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