Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Decided to head below the Trestle for the AM session and to also check out the river from last year’s floods. Surprisingly, I had the whole flat to myself for most of the morning. A few trees/branches were down that I didn’t remember from last year, but they didn’t seem to be a problem for swinging some flies. The only problem was I forget to put a few skaters in my box!!
Fished around Pineville the next morning and I was surprised about the lack of a crowd in the area I selected. There were two other guys there that I met on Friday as well as a driftboat in the head of the run, but there was plenty of room down below them. I asked them if I could hop below them and work my way down and they said, “Sure!! Go for it!!”
Jessica decided to head to the 2A area in the morning so I did the same. I got the Compactor before her and it was empty so I put the 6.1 ips polyleader back on. This time a purple Mahogan was tied on and put to work. Confidence in place, I began at the head and worked my way down.
After breakfast in the room, we thought that 2A would be a good place to for the morning session. My Dad and Dave hit the north side and went upstream. I stayed on the south side to head up to the compactor. Loren was rigging up with a client for the day so we shared some water and I stayed out of their way. I asked Loren if it was okay if I skated some flies through the very tailout and he said, “Sure, no problem.” I skated an orange foam back fly for a good hour and worked the tailout hard. It wasn’t to be so I headed up to the head of the run since Loren and his client were about halfway down the run. With the low flow I opted for 3.9 ips poly leader and tied on a non-descript purple and blue soft hackle spider like fly. No takers for either of us, so I decided to hit the fast water below the compactor and keep working my way downstream. I fished through the pockets in the riffles and got to an area I like that always looks promising. I’ve seen other methods take steelhead out this area, but I have never had success there. Regardless of past attempts I always get excited when I’m in “good water,” even if it isn’t the best for swinging flies. Laid out a cast and let a nice belly form in the line and the fly began to swing through the top of the run. The sun was at my back and I was watching the end of the fly line when I see a flash of silver in the area where my fly would be swimming. Then I feel the thump, so I let go of the loop, the line comes tight and a hot little dime bright chromer jumps and thrashes around the riffles!! She was just big enough to take a little drag, so she tired out quickly and I landed her mid stream. The barbless hook came out easily and she was on her way. After that I headed downstream of the 2a bridge and worked that whole run and the run below the island, but no more hookups. All in all an awesome morning and the weather was great….to good for this time of year. I met up with Dad and Dave and we headed back for lunch. For the evening session I decided to head to the Trestle area and fish all the way down to the Refrigerator and see if the floods had changed anything. I started in the slow water up above and Dad and Dave headed down to the riffles. Not much was happening there in the low flow and a bunch of people showed up so I went downstream and hopped in above Dad and Dave. I went through once with a married wing fly known as “Twilight,” which is a Mark Waslick pattern found in John Shewey’s book. About halfway down the run I checked the fly to see what it looked like and the darn wing had pulled out but the roof was still on. Damnit!! Might as well finish out stretch with it anyway. Just above the bend the fly hit the water and started swinging, had a nice tug and did a no no…..i set the hook instead of dropping the loop. I had the fish on for a few seconds, but it ran right at me and I couldn’t keep the line tight so the hook came free. DOH!! Oh well that’s how it goes sometimes when I’m not focused.
We started at the Pineville area and fished a nice set of riffles all morning. I went down through first with a no name married wing I tied. It was a nice crisp morning with plenty of sun and the pinkish colored fly looked great in the water….at least to me anyway. I had one quick pluck but couldn’t get a solid take. .
We started at Pineville again and fished the same riffles we did the previous morning. I figured, what the heck, and fished the same married wing that I started with yesterday as well. About 45 minutes later As I was working my way downstream, I saw some branches move in the woods on the far side of the river. I didn’t see anything so I kept casting and working my way downstream.
We all went down to Douglaston in the morning with the hopes of fresh chrome but it was not to be. I forgot how depressing the low flow was when down at that section of river. That’s just my opinion though. People everywhere didn’t help. I counted 18 people in the meadows alone with another 10 above and below that run. Heck, if I want to fish in a crowd I’ll head to Altmar. So that’s what I did!! I made it back to the DSR lot at 9:30, hopped in my pollution machine and headed to the land of dark horses to do a little reconnaissance to see how the river changed from last year. Even though I didn’t hook anything that morning it was nice to be able to fish the tailout of the schoolhouse and the tailout of the wires. I saw plenty of fish hooked and the atmosphere was rather cool, with a large group being guided. Mission accomplished, time for lunch. I met up with Dad and Dave and they had left the DSR as well due to the crowds and lack of push in the flow. They had gone to 2A bridge, but didn’t hook up with anything, although they did see a few hook ups. We all decided to head to the Pineville area for our last evening of fishing. It was a good choice because it seemed the fish were fairly active and some fresher fish were moving through as well. It was a little crowded up top so I headed downstream to the next run and found some room. The guys across stream were hooking up consistently floating beads, sacs, and flies, but I couldn’t get a touch. I switched flies and sizes of flies a couple of times but no tugs for me. It was about an hour before we had to head back to the truck, so I went back up to where Dad and Dave were. Dave had lost 2 steelhead with his single handed rod and nymphs and my Dad didn’t get touched swinging. I hopped in above Dave and put on my cheater fly….tungsten conehead purple Swarn-a-Bugger with a pink bead in front of it that was not pegged. I had on a 3.9 ips polyleader and the combo worked pretty good. A bit ugly to cast and turnover with a mid belly line, but it worked.