With the past two weekends consisting on bad weather, a successful youth turkey and a holiday I haven't had much time on the water to chase trout so the outlook for this past weekend was sunny but wet and I don't mean wet with rain.
I spent most of Saturday working around the house and getting chores done instead of Turkey hunting. I know, what was I thinking, right. Stuff had to get done and seeing I had already planned on fishing all day Sunday Saturday was get stuff done day. I did get stuff done and still managed a few hours that evening on the water over at the Willimantic River TMA but there was no sign of life at all. Few bugs and few signs of fish. I finally connected after switching over from nymphing to using my trusted woolly bugger but I ended up losing a nice fish. and then proceeded to miss two more and called it an evening.
Sunday morning I was up early and off to the bait shop to pick up a few offerings to use at a fishing derby and then to pick up my brother and my nephew. We started out at a fish and game club's derby in Colchester, CT where we spent a few hours fighting the tangles that come with a large crowd around a small pond and managing to catch a few fish in between, well two trout a bass and 2 blue gill to be exact. We visited with some friends, had a few burgers and then packed it up and headed off to the Salmon River TMA for some catch and release fishing.
The Salmon River offers up some great water for all types of fishing and produces some nice hatches for those toting the long rods. The weather was just incredible with clear skies, bright sun and temps in the 60s with a light wind. I planned on using the fly rod and doing some euro nymphing while my brother and nephew would start out using trout magnets and bait if necessary. While I was still at the car gearing up, my nephew decided to get the jump on me headed down to a big rock and started casting and on the 3rd cast he hooked into a nice brook trout. I had the only net and I didn't want to let his first Salmon River trout get away so I ran down and netted his fish for him. We tried to take some pictures of the fish before releasing him but as we found out this day my nephew has a hard time holding on to a wiggly trout and his first Salmon River trout was gone in a splash. No problem, he picked up the rod and was right back at it.
I finally got all rigged up and headed to a small pocket just above my nephew and brother and it wasn't long before I hooked into a trout and the count was tied up at one a piece. We went back and forth each catching a fish before I jumped up by two trout and then the gloves came off. My nephew quickly realized he had no chance at out fishing me from the bank so my brother gave him the okay and in the water in went - no waders just his clothes. Game on he said. My brother was a little smarter and grabbed my other pair of waders before joining his son in the water. Once my nephew got in the water he was able to reach a few of the hiding holes that were just out of reach from him on the rock and he began banging fish again. And once again we tried taking some fish pictures but they just kept slipping out of his grip and back into the drink. Looks like trying to get the hero shot of my nephew holding a fish was going to take extra hands or a net.
We started seeing some Hendricksons coming off and the fish turned on a little bit and I picked up 3 quick fish and missing a few which was burning my nephews butt so he moved into my spot and took over but not before I put another on the fly rod and then handed him my 10' greys streamflex to fight a nice brookie. He was over the top with excitement and almost reeled the dang fish right up through the guides but we got him in the net and I was bound and determined to get a picture of him holding this fish and we did. With four hands surrounding the fish there was no way he was escaping this time. Most of the fish were caught on a salmon colored trout magnet drifted under a float or on a soft hackle bead head pheasant tail nymph with a couple coming on a mealworm and a olive caddis nymph. We caught more brookies then rainbows and browns but the one brown was a nice fish that I never came to net.
We caught a few more fish including a nice brown I saw hiding near a rock before we decided it was time to dry off and pack it in for the day as my nephew had soccer practice at 5pm. On the drive home I did my best to rub it in that I out fished him but he claims I was cheating because I was using a two fly setup instead of two. I gave him credit for the argument and the dedication of jumping in the water to compete but I still out fished him and promised to give him another chance soon.
It was a great warm and sunny spring day that was perfect to share the passion and it included plenty of laughs and some cooperative fish. Can't wait for the next trip.