Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A BIG Weekend

Last Thursday Sarah and I traveled back to CT where we lived for 4 months while she searched for a church.  We spent an extended weekend there and had friends and family coming in to see her ordination.  Friday I had one task and that was to bring pastor Kim (our pastor from GA) from the airport to her hotel room.  Once I delivered her to the hotel I had a few hours to relax before I met up with her, Sarah and another friend for dinner.

So I hit Housatonic River Outfitters to talk cfs's, clarity, and bugs with the guy who works there.  He was helpful and gave my options to me like this: "If you want solitude stay around here and fish the Housatonic, and if you want a great chance at catching fish drive to the Farmington".  Then we got to talking about stocking, water temps and catch and release.  As I walked to my truck I made my mind up that I would go for solitude tonight.

I fished the Housatonic and did not see another soul, but still had a good time.  Once I was on the water I spent some time relaxing.  I finally made a cast only to miss a hook set.  The rest of the night I could not find another fish, but I made up my mind that the next day I would get up early and hit the Farmington.

According to the plan I got up on Saturday and drove the 45 minutes to an hour to the river.  As I pulled up I understood why the guy at the fly shop said to come here.  The current was moving very slow compared to the Housatonic and the water was gin clear.  With these great early season conditions and the fact that it was Saturday, there was a person in every hole.  It was my good fortune to find a space to fish.  So with my new 3wt rod I tied a bead head prince nymph dropped off the back of a AZ Wonderings Hopper.  It is very early in the season for a hopper but the spot had a fast under current and I wanted to make sure the indicator fly stayed up.

 It had been a while since I fished a swift hole like this, so it took me a couple casts to get my wits about me.  Once I had the feel of the new rod and the idea of where I should be drifting my rig, I stared hitting my spots and making good drifts.  Then I made a cast a little further into this current and the hopper disappeared and I instinctively set the hook.  Almost instantly knew I should have used my 5wt.  My poor new 3wt rod was bent in a U shape and the fish was glued to the bottom.  This trout fought hard to pull up stream and then tuned down and I had to chase.  As the trout pulled down stream it was taking line from my rod and I was looking for slow current to guide it to .  I finally found a pool and guided the trout into it.

Once it did not have the current to help take line, I started to make up ground on the fish.  I brought the trout to my feet twice and both times it shot out and ran toward the current again.  Both times I stopped it before it could drag me further down stream.  Finally I backed myself to the shore and found a mud bar to guide the fish onto.  As I got it close I realized that it was a big brown and two things dawned on me - first I should have used a 5wt and second I should have had my net with me.

Since I had played this fish so long I did not want to spend a lot of time taking pictures because I did not want to stress it anymore then I had already.  I drug the big brown onto the mud bar, and knelt down next to it.  As I removed the prince nymph from the big guys' top jaw I looked it over and knew my day was done.  I laid the fish down next to my rod so I could get a shot of how long it was, and then gently took it into the current and let this beauty swim away.  The fish was not phased at all, because it returned to the fast stuff and just did not show signs of stress which made me just as happy as the catch did.

It had been at least 5 years since I have caught a trout like this.  I was over joyed about it and I was a mess for the rest of the day.  Basically nothing could take me off the high horse I was riding, I remember saying 'it does not matter I caught a huge fish today!' as my answer to almost any question asked of me.  Now that I have caught a big fish my juices are flowing fast and heavy and all I want to do is catch fish.  So with that fact stated I need to get a MA fishing license.  Until I get a new license I will not be fishing so my mission is to have a license by this time next week.



  1. Great post. A beautiful brown. The Farmington is a fine fishery.

  2. Thanks Brk Trk, and the farmington is a very nice fishery.

  3. Bruce,
    This is an amazing trout. I'm sad we never got to head to the Georgia mountains while you lived in Atlanta to fish. But who knows what the future holds. I'm really excited about this next phase in your lives.


  4. Bruce-
    I have been meaning to try fly fishing for years. It suits my personality more than the typical shoulder to shoulder trout fishing here in Myerstown on the Tulpy. Reading your post made me wish I was there too. Congrats on catching that beauty. I'll fish vicariously through you for awhile. :)

  5. Tim, I want to visit sometime this summer maybe I will bring some gear and we can hit the hooch. Also thinks for the kind words about the future, we miss you and your family. We know you'll do good things as well.

    John, it's good to see your world has finally thawed out, and your starting to fish from shore instead of from the water.

    Sean, I agree with ya if I didn't know you, but just met ya I'd say you were a fly fisherman. Maybe when I come home this summer I'll take you out fishing, if you let me see you roast, and maybe let me go home with some coffee!!!!