|A "slippery hook" Ally's Shrimp|
About a week ago, I played a concert at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut. Both coming and going, I said to myself, "You're going to be stuck traveling the backroads this entire fishing season." Anyone who drives through the area knows how bad I-84 is. Since the latest Waterbury construction project started, traffic has been much worse than normal. I took Rt. 68 all the way to Naugatuck for my first fishing day of this season. The I-84 traffic must be pushing people out onto the side roads, because Rt. 68 was busier than I'm used to seeing it. Oh well, it's the cost of doing business, as they say.
I got on the water around 4:00pm. It began to rain lightly around 4:30pm. Around 5:00pm, I was fishing in a bonafide deluge. I couldn't even make out the run I was fishing. The water looked like it was boiling. When water began to seep beneath my wading jacket, I figured I would head towards the car. Lightning helped me move more quickly. I drove to an overpass to pack up my gear before heading home with my tail between my legs, but something told me not take my waders off just yet.
Though I had broken down my rod, I headed to another spot. The rain was beginning to taper off a bit. There were muddy streams of water flowing into the river all over the place, but I thought a short window of opportunity might come from this mess.
The best time to be on the water is when it is falling and clearing, though a good (but brief) taking time occurs just as the river begins to rise. I managed to hit that brief period around 6:00pm. I had been fishing with small flies, but switched to an Ally's Shrimp (sz. 6), which is my favorite fly for off-color water.
A salmon grabbed my shrimp within five minutes of my arrival. Judging by all the head shaking, I guessed I had a male on the line. The salmon took off in a slow, but unstoppable run downstream. He didn't turn around until he was about 20 yards into my backing. Prior to hooking this fish, I've had only two other broodstock salmon take me into my backing. Once the fish turned around, I began to gain positive yardage. I didn't get very far before the hook pulled out.
That was the only action I had all night. It's only four hours later and the river has already doubled in flow from where it was when I hooked that fish. The taking window was very short indeed. I don't really like starting my season with a lost fish but, considering all the headaches, I'm happy with how today went.