After my salt trip with Dan on Sunday I packed up and headed up to the North Country. I met my friend and fellow guide Charlie Limpert in Poughkeepsie and we drove up to Ausable Forks to start to empty the houses which are now under contract. Sunday night was a bust and after a quick meal at Mad River Pizza we were down for the night.
On Monday morning we woke to find the above lone angler fishing below the house which made me smile. I had enjoyed many mornings fishing that same stretch or watching from the deck with coffee in hand. Now, someone else will get that chance. One sight bummed me out which was a lone rocker sitting in the once living room. We had enjoyed many fun nights there and that chair was one I refinished and rocked some of my kids to sleep in. After I walked to the lawyers office to sign the contracts we packed the truck to the gills and left for Roscoe.
After a 25 hour, or so it seemed, drive down to Poughkeepsie (where Charlie would pick up his truck and follow me to Roscoe to unpack) we pulled into Hancock and checked into The Capra Motel. It had been a long day and before we hit the rack we dined on the best sandwiches in town, made by Sam and Sonya at the Getty station. Ask anyone up there where to get a good sandwich and they'll point you in their direction.
Originally Charlie and I were going to work today but that fell through so we decided since we were up there we would float. We picked a float based on water flows and temps and arranged for the shuttle. We had some good rain yesterday afternoon and into the night and the rivers had risen a bit.
The early part of the float was in gin clear water with an occasional bug coming off and a one a done rise here and there. After we passed a tributary which always makes the river off color following a good rain the water became heavily stained on that half, and then both sides of the river.
Since I had packed light and just grabbed my gear bag without looking inside I had what I had to use. I had one 5wt reel with a sink tip line. Since the water was off color and up I decided to throw a white streamer. We dropped anchor and soon I had a couple of swipes before an absolute beauty of a brown took the fly as I retrieved it off the bank. What was great was I was able to see the whole thing. Strip, strip, pause, strip, strip, pause....and on the pause....BANG! Thankfully the fish didn't run much and came to net easily in the 53 degree water. After a few quick pics it swam away with a lot of spunk.
It was a pretty fish that we figured went 24 inches, give or take an inch. Shortly thereafter the sun peaked through and it was high bright sun and clearer waters as we got further away from the trib. We caught a handful of small trout that were 5-9 inches which are always great to see in the river. Before we rowed out we set up on a couple of real nice fish that we watched, waited on, and worked for about an hour. In the end we could only tip our hat to them as they wouldn't take our offerings, that at times had a wake since they were set up in the outside seam of mixed current water.
It was a busy three days but I am lucky I had a friend to help me and really lucky to have been able to catch such a great fish on a great river.