Tenkara madness versus specks

A couple weeks back Gary from Jewett took a ride over from his northern Catskill lair to annoy fish in a different setting.

The Housatonic flow was still pretty robust at 740 cfs and the wading was challenging. I was testing out a Dragontail tenkara rod, a 13-footer, and put a few trout in the net.

Gary was fooling around with a trout spey rod and having trouble with the footing.  I suggested we adjourn to the more placid Blackberry River in North Canaan.

Which we did, and we enjoyed ourselves.

One of the spots we hit was what I call the Silty Pool, largely because it’s a pool with a sandy bottom and a lot of silt piled up on the sides.

It’s pretty thick in spots. It wouldn’t be hard to lose a boot in the muck.

In the weeks following Gary’s trek, the weather vacillated between broiling hot and downright chilly. There was a little rain, but not enough to move the needle.

The Housatonic went into smallmouth mode, with water temperatures at or nearing 68 degrees and rising.

But for some reason the Blackberry stayed cool, and I spent a few evenings offering mostly dry flies at the Silty Pool to rising rainbows.

It took a while to crack the code, and I’m still not sure I’ve nailed it.

Light Cahills, size 16-18 were the most consistent producer, followed by a blue Barr’s emerger (size 18).

These flies are also known as “specks.”

They also took their shots at a size 16 Stimulator and a size 10 Parachute Adams.

They completely ignored everything else I tossed at them.

There was one largish rainbow in particular that got to me. I hooked this fellow not once but four times. Twice with a fixed-line rod, and twice with a regular fly rod.

Only once did I get him in the approximate vicinity of the net. He busted off on the fixed-line rod, taking the flies with him, and ran wild the last time, actually taking line off the reel.

This is not standard operating procedure for the mostly put-and-take Blackberry.

I suspect this fish, and some of the others in the Silty Pool, came up from the Hous with some idea of spawning and hung around.

They did not behave like fish that were living in a tank two months ago.

What was simultaneously fun and frustrating about the experience was this:

There were innumerable bugs floating on the surface.

Why should the fish choose mine?

Mostly, they didn’t.

“Look ma, no reel!” A trout comes to the net, sort of. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

A representative rainbow from the Silty Pool. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

“Look ma, no reel!” A trout comes to the net, sort of. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

Latest News

Thru hikers linked by life on the Appalachian Trail

Riley Moriarty

Provided

Of thousands who attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, only one in four make it.

The AT, completed in 1937, runs over roughly 2,200 miles, from Springer Mountain in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine.

Keep ReadingShow less
17th Annual New England Clambake: a community feast for a cause

The clambake returns to SWSA's Satre Hill July 27 to support the Jane Lloyd Fund.

Provided

The 17th Annual Traditional New England Clambake, sponsored by NBT Bank and benefiting the Jane Lloyd Fund, is set for Saturday, July 27, transforming the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s Satre Hill into a cornucopia of mouthwatering food, live music, and community spirit.

The Jane Lloyd Fund, now in its 19th year, is administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and helps families battling cancer with day-to-day living expenses. Tanya Tedder, who serves on the fund’s small advisory board, was instrumental in the forming of the organization. After Jane Lloyd passed away in 2005 after an eight-year battle with cancer, the family asked Tedder to help start the foundation. “I was struggling myself with some loss,” said Tedder. “You know, you get in that spot, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Someone once said to me, ‘Grief is just love with no place to go.’ I was absolutely thrilled to be asked and thrilled to jump into a mission that was so meaningful for the community.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Getting to know our green neighbors

Cover of "The Light Eaters" by Zoe Schlanger.

Provided

This installment of The Ungardener was to be about soil health but I will save that topic as I am compelled to tell you about a book I finished exactly three minutes before writing this sentence. It is called “The Light Eaters.” Written by Zoe Schlanger, a journalist by background, the book relays both the cutting edge of plant science and the outdated norms that surround this science. I promise that, in reading this book, you will be fascinated by what scientists are discovering about plants which extends far beyond the notions of plant communication and commerce — the wood wide web — that soaked into our consciousnesses several years ago. You might even find, as I did, some evidence for the empathetic, heart-expanding sentiment one feels in nature.

A staff writer for the Atlantic who left her full-time job to write this book, Schlanger has travelled around the world to bring us stories from scientists and researchers that evidence sophisticated plant behavior. These findings suggest a kind of plant ‘agency’ and perhaps even a consciousness; controversial notions that some in the scientific community have not been willing or able to distill into the prevailing human-centric conceptions of intelligence.

Keep ReadingShow less