Saturday, November 12, 2016

Naugatuck Report - November 11 & 12, 2016 - Tactical Changes

This healthy male found a Cascade tube fly in a sea of leaves.

     In the past, I've said I don't necessarily post about my guided trips. However, I've been guiding way more than fishing lately, so posting about the trips is the only way I can generate these reports (for the time being). Our low water woes continue, but they are countered by consistent action (also for the time being). Up until the past two trips, the Mickey Finn was getting the job done. As the water dropped, so did the size of the Mickey Finns. It pays to be adaptable, because things took and abrupt turn the past two days.

     November 11 was a warm, sunny day. It was also windy as hell. I mean, really windy. The leaves fell in full force. I started the day with a small Mickey Finn, as per usual, but I quickly realized it wasn't going to work out. First of all, it hooked too many leaves. Also, it wasn't going to be seen with all of that mess in the water. I switched to my "leafless" Ally's Shrimp tube fly. That solved both problems. It wasn't long before the angler had a salmon in the net. Next time we changed flies, we tried a similarly sized Cascade tube fly. In short order, he did it again, landing his second fish of the morning. Then he did it again, landing the fish pictured above, also on the Cascade tube.

     When leaves litter the water, the low water/small fly thing seems to go out the window. The best decision was to give the salmon something they could see and feel. Luckily for us, they hit the flies hard enough to stay hooked up.

Ally's Shrimp tube fly w/"leaf guards"

     The wind died down today (11/12). The temperature dropped quite a bit, too. At least the leaves weren't bad. I suspected the salmon would be sulking, so I rigged up an extra rod with a 3.9 ips sinking Versileader. We tried the Mickey Finn first but, like yesterday, the salmon weren't having it. Plan B was to drag a Grape marabou tube fly through their lies. The fly was fished low and extremely slowly. I usually want a fish to chase, but I didn't think it would happen today, so we would settle for pissing them off. The plan worked, hooking two salmon. Unfortunately, the takes were very subtle and the hooksets were too precarious to hold. Despite that, two hooked is a good day. 

     The moral of the story seems to be, "What worked last week might not work this week." Also, "What worked yesterday might not work today." Observe the salmon's patterns over the course of multiple seasons and you'll be able to alter your game plan in a pinch. Keeping a journal helps. I'm about to update mine right now. 

Marabou tube flies 

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