Wednesday, June 3, 2009

06.03.09 Went for it in the rain

Another day, another shower. After a day of dad duties and some office work I decided to head to the South Branch of the Raritan for a little evening fishing. Yesterday my trip started out heading to the Musconetcong but we abandoned it halfway there due to the rain. Well, today was more of the same. While stuck in Route 287 rush hour trafffic the heavens opened up. This time I continued west. I got there about 630 and it was raining lightly, the water was a bit up and slightly stained. Birds were swooping down over the river taking march browns and sulfurs. The fish were busy also. I tied on a new leader with a 7x tippet and put on a light cahill. After a few casts I caught a nice healthy 10' brown at the start of some fast water. While moving downstream I took the temperature of the water, 62 degrees.  One of my casts was into the trees, but I still had my fly. Fish were working steady taking duns off the water and emergers in the faster water. The next fish I got destroyed the fly, so I went with a size 18 light hendrickson emerger. That was the fly of the evening. Cross current cast, proper drift, raise the rod at the end with a slow strip. Bam after bam. The birds were busier over the riffles so I worked there for awhile but had no takes, and didn't see any fish working. As the light disappeared I headed back up to the slower, wider water. The area where I had just caught a half dozen fish was alive again. I changed flies and went with a march brown wet. Same presentation, same results. They couldn't resist once that rod tip was slowly raised. I caught a bunch more until 830, then it got dark. I lost my way for a minute and paid for it by putting it in the tree behind me and then knotting it all up pulling it free. I tried to get the knots out to no avail. I cut my 7x tippet down to about a 4x and scrambled to get another emerger on. Forget it. I couldn't see it yet alone thread it. Shame on me, I always carry a light. There was enough light to see the fish turn it up a notch but not enough to continue fishing. Anyway, nice night, glad I came. Landed about 10 fish, one maybe 13 inches, missed about a half a dozen. Another lesson learned. If you're going out on the river after 6, make sure you bring a light!