Monday, November 2, 2015

Naugatuck Report - November 1, 2015 - The Big Payback

The only non-Mickey Finn salmon of the day

I owed a friend a big debt. Last spring, Sonny helped me get started fly fishing for American shad. I had a very good spring and caught many shad. Since my normal springtime sea run trout fishing was a bust, I was grateful to have shad fishing there to take its place. I promised Sonny I would reciprocate this fall when the salmon fishing was hot.

I warned Sonny that, unlike shad fishing, salmon fishing is a low numbers game. It's often a lot of work for brief moments of intense excitement. I made sure I stressed that it is not unusual to get skunked, especially when new to this type of fly fishing. Sonny didn't need my warning today, however.

It was a overcast day, ideal for salmon fishing. The temperature climbed into the upper 50s and the water temp rose by one degree (52ºF). The water has fallen to an acceptable level, one that is just about the minimum needed to fish with a two handed rod (175 cfs). I was happy to be able to use a switch rod again. I was even happier when I got on the board early, landing a salmon within a few minutes on a sz. 6 Same Thing Murray. Sonny turned up shortly after and we gave the pool a shot, albeit fruitless.

Sometimes the smaller ones fight harder than the big ones

We moved to another good pool and came up empty handed. We decided to get back in the car and try a third pool. The water was just right and the fish were really "on." A pass through with my Murray yielded nothing, but Sonny hooked up quickly on a sz. 4 Mickey Finn. He lost the fish moments after its first jump. I got out of the run and made my way back to the top of the pool. Sonny was on again! He landed the second fish on his little switch rod, which started its life as a single handed rod. It was his very first Atlantic salmon!

I figured I should tie on a sz. 4 Mickey Finn, seeing how well it was working for Sonny. Before I could get back to the top of the run, Sonny hooked up again! Crazy!! He lost this fish, unfortunately. I was cracking up. The luck on this guy!

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally got my Mickey Finn in the water Within a few minutes, I was tight to a salmon. This fish wasn't a jumper like Sonny's salmon were. This fish was a runner. It was a white knuckle fight. The salmon ran right past a rock, one which past salmon have successfully used against me. I thought it was over for me but, luckily, the salmon ran past the rock and jumped next to the far bank. Meanwhile, I was running as fast as I could downstream in order to get the fish away from the rock. My scrambling paid off and I was able to steer the crazed salmon into the open water and eventually land it.

Ol' faithful does it again

I went back to the top of the run. On the way up, Sonny yelled that he had rolled yet another salmon. I was giving him the instruction to wait and rest the fish for a moment when he cast again and the salmon took. This fish put on quite an aerial display. Sonny was hootin' and hollerin' with every leap. It was the biggest fish of the day. Sonny fought the salmon like a pro and I netted the fish for him. He was elated and I was very happy for him!

Sonny with his leaper

Hooking up just once is a good day of salmon fishing around here. Going two-for-four on one's first day of salmon fishing is incredible. I told Sonny he should just give up now, because it probably won't get much better than that. My two salmon hooked and landed, a more "normal" result, was my only action. I was perfectly content with my pair. More importantly, I was happy for my friend and was glad I could return the favor...in spades!

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