I am a very competitive person. However, I didn’t realize that fly fishing can and will bring out intense competitiveness in me until Gonefishing showed up and fished together last week.
I like the whole serenity and calm aspect of fly fishing which is very therapeutic from everyday grinding and exact reason why I got into the experience. So I found myself wondering why mix competition into the experience which I cherish for the reason that is opposite of something I want to get away from.
And then I realized that I’ve always believed that good friends should always encourage each other to do better. I’m not sure if Gonefishing’s incredible ability to smack talk which obviously triggered my competitive sense was intentional or not, but the smack talk made me wanting to do better. For a reason which I wanted to show my closest friend that I am on my way to become a capable angler.
At the end of the trip, I was thinking that we should of fished more shoulder to shoulder talking and observing each other. Regardless, I always cherish time spent fishing with good friends and this experience will be cherished none the less.
My friend Pete (Esox Man) let me know that Mr. Robert Tomes (author of Muskie on the Fly) is coming to Harper College on Jan8th to talk. I look forward to listening & learning, perhaps getting my book signed. As a fly angler, this fish is one we must all try catching in our lifetime.
I had an opportunity to go fishing with James from Autumn Brook Angling, NJ. This is the deal, it’s close enough to the city that it’s unbelievable, yet it takes you into an environment that is fantastic wild trout waters. There’s all the normal things about Autumn Brook Angling that provides you a trip wonderful, such as highly experienced staff that knows each pocket of the river in and out, wonderful selection of flies at fair prices, but it is the attention to details – very friendly mentoring to improve your skills no matter what level you are at, the generous sharing of information, even little things like giving you a set of flies you fished that day at the end of the trip. Fly fishing tradition runs deep in the Capes family, the father who used to tie flies for Orvis when Orvis was still using master fly tiers. Check out the link, buy some flies, and book a trip with them if you are in the east coast.
James promised to show you the jackpot spots if you mention that you saw them from this site! ;-)
The day after Thanksgiving, Charles invited me out to Ken Lockwood Gorge in New Jersey. We met up about 6am and drove out to meet our guide James from Autumn Brook Angling (http://autumnbrookangling.com – I’ll write about the excellent service in a separate blog). Ken Lockwood Gorge is part of the South Branch of the Raritan River, NJ. The Gorge is a treasure, a piece of wild trout water located where it’s totally unexpected, and it deserves to be handled delicately. According to James, the gorge nurtures all kinds of insect life including mayflies, caddis, stone flies, crane flies as well as scud. These factors, combined with bountiful big boulders and deep holes, make the gorge prime real estate for rainbows, browns and brookies. Basically for fly fishermen, its paradise – close but fantastic.
Both of us have been busy with work and were pretty eager to throw around some flies. The winter winds must be taking it’s time this year, as it’s the end of November and it’s still not that cold (in New York or Chicago). That’s good, it gives us a few more trips out to fish, a sort of surprise bonus at the end of the year. We arrived at the waters earlier than scheduled, so we messed around with our Tenkara sticks while waiting for guide James. James turned out to be an excellent guide and although the fishing was somewhat slow this day, he taught us the proper skills of high sticking with nymphs (James is a nymph specialist). James is a music teacher by profession, and perhaps because of this he was an exceptional instructor. He explained what he was going to do, did it, then allowed us to try and learn it, and then continued to coach from close by. By the afternoon, it had gotten colder and windier as the radar forecasted. Somehow, I feel more ready for this winter with this new set of nymph skills.
Winter fish, prepare to meet Fish Finder & Gone Fishing…
I had a chance to “visit” the holy waters of Beaverkill with Charles the Fish Finder. Beaverkill is often called the birthplace of American fly fishing, and there is no other place that has more stories written about it. Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in New York, the Beaver Kill starts as a trickle in the high peaks region of Ulster County and flows through a beautiful valley. The Beaver Kill is joined by Willowemoc Creek at Junction Pool in the Town of Roscoe.
Over half a century ago the New York DEC had the foresight to acquire fishing easements providing public access to most of the 18 miles of the Lower Beaver Kill to its confluence with the East Branch of the Delaware River. Two No-Kill/Artificial Only Sections were created, known by fishermen as the Upper and Lower No-Kills. The Upper No-Kill is 2.4 miles of regulated fishing with such famous pools as Barnharts, Hendricksons, Horse Brook Run, Cairns and Wagon Tracks Pools. A few miles downstream starts the Lower No-Kill consisting 1.6 miles flowing through Cemetery, Horton, Acid Factory and Ben Grey “Sunoco” Pools.
I say “visit” because we only spent half a day there, and I did not end up catching any fish. Charles and I were scheduled to head out on a guided trip in a couple of days, so Charles just took the opportunity to show me around this famous river. Charles fishes this river regularly and he certainly knew all the good spots. He drove me a round to show me a few of the spots he liked to fish, and he managed to catch a few browns (on dry fly at the end of November!). We had a great lunch and drove back down to New York City, planning the details of our next spring trips back here at Beaverkill. Charles has the photos of the browns he caught on his camera.