Monday, May 9, 2011

Nice article from Angler's Covey


I like to fish upstream from the blanket hatch (maybe a mile or two). My favorite patterns are as follows:
Elk hair caddis tan size 14, 16
Lawsons spent caddis tan size 16
Olive stimulator size 16
Lawson's E-Z caddis tan size 14, 16
Puterbaugh's foam caddis black  14, 16

Borieal's caddis pupa 14,16
Sparkle pupa tan or olive 14,16
Barr's Graphic caddis olive  16

Fish on sunny warm days. Stay upstream of the main hatch. Fish the subsurface flies early until you start to see rising fish...pretty simple.

For the more selective caddis risers, I like Lawson's spent caddis. Late in the day I like an egg layer pattern or an orange stimulator (Kingery's egg layer, or the Mother's Day caddis are great egg layer patterns).

You can fish the dry attention to the end of the drift when the subsurface fly starts to rise in the water column.  Some days there are tons of bugs on the water, but very few fish rising.  Obviously fish the pupa patterns when this occurs. Or sometimes I like to fish a big dry like an Amy's Ant in olive size 14 or 12 and drop a pupa off of the big them a porterhouse steak! It might bring them up!

On cooler cloudy days don't forget about the baetis! The Ark is a very underrated BWO river. Some of my best dry fly fishing days have been on the Arkansas during a baetis hatch. Fish Neils BWO size 18 or 20 to risers. If no rising fish are present I like to nymph with a Murphy's flashy grub (size 14) trailed with a mercury RS2 size 18. I concentrate on the fast water.  Usually you can see fish flashing in the fast riffles when they are on baetis nymphs preceding a hatch....this is where the Mercury RS2 hammers fish!

Steve Gossage

Sunday, May 8, 2011

a Pennsylvania Meadow with onlookers....

Crossing the fence in a Pennsylvania Meadow...

It's a long ride, over a bumpy road, twisting and turning through dense forest along a country stream.  I can hear my gear tossing about in the trunk, but I know it is not far now.  There, ahead, a wide meadow opens up, with tall hardwoods reaching to the sky on either side.  An old wooden fence, all wood, lines the lane, but there is an opening just ahead.

When I spoke with the fly shop owner in town, he told me not to worry, that the landowners allowed fishermen to cross over their land to wave their sticks over the small swift streams here.  It's unusual to me, coming from an area of the country where you had to have specific permission to fish, not carte blanche to cross the fence.  It's spring, and the meadow is layered with spring flowers, yellow, blue, red, all reaching to the sky for the sun's nourishment.  I'm careful to not mash the flowers, stepping on just green as I cross to the stream.  Once there, I survey the situation.  To my left is a small dam over the stream, maybe made by a beaver, maybe just there from rains, but blocking enough water for a pool.  Below the dam, a few rocks in the water, just before a slight turn to the left, then a long run to a riffle.  What a spot...and I just saw some circles on the water, giving away the presence of a trout.

I've brought my short 4wt. today, but I'm using 5 wt. line, because I like the way the heavier line loads the 4 wt. rod and makes it easy to cast.  I'm tying on an adams, a size 14, just because.  No hatch apparent, but its a good start.  Staying low, I sneak up on the stream, for there are no woods behind me to hide me.  I make a short cast about 6 feet or so upstream from where I last saw the circles, and as the fly floats down, sure enough, a small rainbow sips the fly from the film...a short play, the net, and the fish is mine.  I take the customary picture, thank the fish and God for the connection, and slip the little fish into the cool stream.  I love the springtime, and the experience it brings.  
...keep the rod bent...

Sunday, May 1, 2011