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

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