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Here”s what I’ve been up to lately

 

Today-Sunday..August 23, 2015. I recently returned home from a week upta camp. It was a good trip. Work was accomplished, new fishing spots found/fished and the rain stayed away much of the time. to make up for the lack of rain the weather turned hot. I fished several spots for the very first time and did fairly well. The smaller the body of water, the better I did.  Small 150 acre ponds are far easier to fish for the first time than those of several thousand acres. Most mornings I was on the water by 07;30.  By 08:45 the surface action turned off and I began to sweat as I fished  and paddled my canoe.  Sub-surface fishing was called for  and even that slowed to a crawl  during the next two hours. Calm winds and bright hot sun  with high humidity are less than enjoyable in an open boat or canoe and I was back to my camp before noon.  Two small ponds treated me well. the first gave up a 3,5 smallie that inhaled a Beadhead Black Bunny Leech,  The second gave up a 4.1 lb  bronze back that gently sucked in a small yellow popper cast on a 5 wgt.Yell Blk dotted Bug topYell Blk dotted Bug

 

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** July Playmate of the Month is here!

Today-Friday. July 10, 2015—>. I recently returned home after spending the 4th of July “upta camp. ” During the last several trips up North i fished very little and spent most of the time working on various projects. That is about to change as most of the needed work is done and it’s time to fish and fish hard. On Sunday my good friend Dave Aguiar of Westport MA and i are heading to my camp for a week of fishing. For many years now Dave and I have gone on week long fishing trips to various locals primarily pursuing smallmouth bass. While on these trips we’ve camped at remote sites, in campgrounds and stayed in rental cabins and motels but this will be different . This time we’ll be at my camp, at home so to speak. Logistics are easy this trip as everything we need is there. Having a boat and trailer along with a canoe ready to go upta camp will make for easy travel.. All of our annual trips have always had two things in common: we ‘ve always caught many smallies and we eat very well. Despite fishing for 10 hours a day I’ve never lost an ounce of weight on our trips. This trip should be no different.and I can hardly wait.

While I was away over the July 4th holiday “Al the Guide” said the Narragansett, RI shoreline lit up. No keepers just many schoolies. Seems every time I go on a trip stripers come out of hiding with fishing exploding and it rains where I going. Al likes to see me go on trips and the people of Maine wish I stayed home..oh well.

Thursday.. July 2, 2015—>.  I recently returned home after a week “upta camp” in Maine. I’ve been to Maine twice since  I spent the first week in June fishing the Farmington river in CT.  After spending four days at home I’m heading “upta camp” once again for a few days. Reports tell of decent striper fishing. A good place to try in early July is the Narragansett  R.I. Town Beach at first light. Fishing only last until an hour after sunrise and  a little longer on cloudy days. Primary forage is small  2″ long  Sand eels.  A small sparse Ray’s Fly  does well. The same fly also works later in the year on False Albacore chasing  Bay Anchovies.

Test this is a test

Test this is a test

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** June Playmate of the Month is here!

Wednesday.. June 17, 2015—>.  I recently returned home after a week “upta camp” in Maine. I went to Maine after spending the first week in June fishing the Farmington river in CT. While I was up in Maine, Al “The Guide” was catching many decent stripers on his new fly the “Lucky Seven.”  He named it as the fly is 7 inches long and he caught seven keepers on during the week I was “upta camp.” Al sent me a pic of the fly and one of his bass. The green in the tie is a bright is a Kelly green.

Lucky sevenunnamed[2]

 

Monday.. June 1, 2015—>. I recently returned home after a week “upta camp” in Maine. Days were spent fishing exploring and working. Brookies and smallies were taken and the highlight of the trip was a nice, fat 20″ landlock on my 4/5.  I’m starting June off with a 4 day trip with my lifelong friends to the Farmington R. in CT.. We’ve rented a cabin for three nights and although the forecast looks mighty wet for the next few days a good time  for all is certain. The following week I might return to my Maine camp. Striper fishing is on hold for now  but that’s okay as it should heat up around Father’s Day and I’ll probably try it then..

 

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** May Playmate of the Month is here!

Today-Thursday..May 14 2015—>. It was sunny and 40° F at the backyard bird bath this morning. I recently  returned from my Maine camp where it was  36°F and cloudy. I spent several days up there  fishing for an hour or two fishing  each morning and working on the camp for the remainder of the day . Some days little work was done. When I’m home I’ve been trout fishing eastern Connecticut rivers.  My two lifelong friends Al “The Guide”  and Joe Adamonis  report taking many stripers in the Narragansett RI tidal waters during my absence. Nothing  big just schoolies.  Even with stripers close at hand, I’d rather be fishing and working at my Maine camp. I began fly  fishing sixty years ago with brooks, streams.rivers and ponds as my mentors and classrooms. I believe I’m returning to my roots.

 

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** April Playmate of the Month is here!

Today-Thursday..April 23, 2015—>. It was sunny and 40° F at the backyard bird bath this morning. I just returned from my Maine camp where it was  36°F and cloudy. The ponds lakes near my camp remain ice covered but they did darken quite over the past 5 days. ice out can’t be far behind .Forty miles north of my camp at Moosehead Lake in Greenville Maine , a hundred or more snow machines raced around the lake last weekend.  Moosehead has a long way to go untill ice out. Rivers and streams up there are running strong and roily, most are swollen and over their banks. Al ” The Guide’ is still chasing trout in RI and CT and I haven’t received any striper reports from him, but that should soon change.

 

Friday..April 3, 2015—>. It’s 45° F this morning  at the backyard birdbath this morning. despite showers in the forecast the warmer temps certainly are welcomed. Yesterday was a pleasant partly sunny day with temps in the upper 40s. I met up with my two lifelong friends Al “The Guide” and Joe Adamonis to checkout several Eastern Conn year round C&R fisheries.  We stopped for breakfast first where Al demanded to pay for all with hopes that this jesture  would get Joe and I  to put him on fish.

"The Guide" Scores

“The Guide” Scores

His bribe worked and we put him on many. Joe had the big one of the morning  plus many others.

 

Joe's  nice brown

Joe’s nice brown

It the trip was a very rewarding  and productive experience. There was a reason for it. As I stood on the river bank it occurred to me that between three lifelong friends we had nearly 170 years of fly fishing experiences. Not many can say that!

Joe's on again

Joe’s on again

Wednesday..April 1, 2015—>. It’s 32° F this morning  at the backyard birdbath this morning.  April is finally here after a long harsh winter. With daily temps  averaging about 10 degrees below normal I thought March would never end. Although the calendar says April it still feels like late February.  Everything is well behind schedule. Birds like Boat- tailed Grackles, Red Wing Blackbirds and Cowbirds that usually arrive in late February early March began to appear just recently.  My Snow Crocuses that usually bloom in early March have just bloomed and buds on most trees and bushes have finally begun  to swell.  The first reported catches of Stripers  taken at the West Wall  in Jerusalem, RI  and Second beach in Newport, RI  are usually out by now. However most anglers haven’t mentioned going out never mind catching fish. Most Rhode Island ponds remain ice covered . Some remain locked solid while others  are showing  some open water along the south facing shoreline. This has delayed my early season Yellow Perch fishing. Each year during the last week in March and first week in  April I traditionally dump my canoe into  a small local pond to fish for perch.  I enjoy eating perch and look forward to this annual event . This tradition is a primer for trout season that follows in another week.  It ensures that I know where my tackle is and also that I have thawed enough to remember how to fly cast and feel a slight tap of a strike. Eventually things will return to  their natural order or at least balance  out. They always do, as Mother Nature has  a way of taking care of her own as long as we don’t interfere.

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** March Playmate of the Month is here!

Today-Tuesday..March 3, 2015—>. It was 9° F this morning  at where the backyard birdbath was last seen.  Snow, snow and more snow, and after getting another 6 in  a day ago more  snow is on the way for tonight and Wed . My yard is blanketing with  3-4 ft of snow depending where you stand.  Below normal temps have ensured it stays put, so the thaw looks to be  gradual process when it finally happens. Better to thaw slowly then be quickly reduced by warm temps and rain. We don’t need flooding.

The Stayner Ducktail

The Stayner Ducktail

I enjoy tying and fishing older fly patterns and learning of their history.. Last July I posted a link to Puckerbrushflies.com for some old and often forgotten patterns along with a philosophy I totally agree with. All that glitters is not gold, but more often the old and tarnished patterns are. Patterns forgotten by all but the fish. While at the website I learned of the Stayner Ducktail, a easily tied old pattern that wasn’t often seen in Maine and could take good sized trout. Liking the way this pattern looked I made it a point to tie several up for my next trip up north.

stayner

Stayner Ducktail– Tied by Hugh Kelly

In August of last year I went on a ten day camping and fishing trip to Maine. This would be a solo trip of sorts, just me and Maddie’s memory. My plan was to camp on the banks of the Lower Magallaway River and fish for smallmouths and trout//salmon around the Umbagog and Rangely Lakes area. On most trips I often spend a day exploring to find and checkout new fishing spots. When heading out for a days fishing I want to go directly to a spot rather than drive around trying to find it. On one such day I found out how to get to the Camp 10 Bridge pool on the Upper Magallaway and also the acess and canoe launch for Little Kennebago Lake..

Little Kennabago Lake

Little Kennabago Lake

Despite having never fished either area before I was determined to break my old habits and give the Stayner Ducktail a fair chance. Leaving it on for a while rather than fishing it briefly then quickly tying on one my usually reliable patterns . By not giving up on the pattern I did take a half dozen or so brookies at each spot. No monsters but decent fish. I gave it another chance at the Little Falls area at the inlet to Cupsuptic Lake. Here it didn’t work but nothing else did either. Actually they didn’t work on trout but managed several large 18″+ Chubs. While frowned upon by many I ‘d say that Chubs fight as hard as any trout and large ones taken on a four weight will give you all you can handle.

Because of its success at two fishing spots I fished for the first time, several Stayner Ducktails will be in my arsenal from now on. So checkout the Stayner Ducktail at Puckerbrushflies.com for the recipe and tying instructions. Tie several up and remember to leave it on for a while. Give it a chance and it will take fish..

(c)

****Make  every day Earth Day–Pick up one piece of trash daily ****

*** February Playmate of the Month is here!

Today-Monday..February 16, 2015(President’s- Day)—>Snow, snow and more snow. It was-7° F at where the backyard birdbath was last seen while up at the RaysFly Camp in central Maine it was a toasty-4° F. Imagine that, I might have to head north to warm up. Despite all the snow and record cold things will soon warm up. To help thaw out attend the Bear’s Den Fly Shop 17th Annual Fly Fishing Expo this Saturday(Feb 21st)at the shop in Taunton MA. To help keep the thaw going the New England Saltwater Fishing Show is the following weekend at the Providence, RI Civic Center. Attend one or both to take the chill out!

Friday..February 6, 2015–>Up at t the Raysfly Maine Camp it was -15°F this morning, while at home the backyard bird bath registered -4° F.  On Monday of this week, in Pennsylvania . Punxsutawney  Phil emerged from his  lair in Gobbler’s Knob and predicted six more weeks of winter. Down in Georgia , his counterpart Gen Beauregard Lee forecasted that winter is practically over and spring is on its way. As much as would like to believe with Ole Beauregard Lee the weather this past week has been cold and snowy and the 10 day forecast shows more of the same.  Therefore I’m  believing that Punxsutawney Phil is spot on.

Sunday..February 1, 2015–>It’s 12 F  sunny, windy degrees at the iced over backyard bird bath this morning. February marks the mid-way point of the winter season  It also marks the time when throngs of people  gather for a super spectacle that occurs but once a year. This event gets the attention of men, women and children of all ages. They will travel from near and far to cheer for their favorite to prevail. From those fortunate enough to attend in person to those who will watch on TV at home, it is not to be missed. That’s right after a year of waiting, Ground Hog Day will be here. From those who root for winter’s end to those who cheer for another six weeks of winter,  all will be good sports and take the outcome in stride. No rioting , looting or burning  a.k.a. Celebrating will take place after the outcome is decided. Those taking part or watching the event will simple go back and  simply carry on with everyday life.

 Will winter become more entrenched or is spring just around the corner?  Fortunately  for us tomorrow is Groundhog Day and we’ll get a reliable forecast on the remaining winter  weather from  two of  nature’s best  prognosticators; Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil and  Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee. Lore has it that if they see their shadow when they emerge from their borrow  they’ll scurry back in as there’s six more weeks of winter to come but if they don’t see their shadow they may remain out for a while as an early spring is forecast. These two woodchucks have been forecasting the weather for years with at least 50% accuracy. Gen. Beauregard Lee claims to have an amazing ninety-four percent accuracy record.  They’re at least as accurate as todays TV and radio meteorologists. I’ve always trusted Ole’ Beauregard  Lee’s forecast  over that of Punxsutawney Phil for one simple reason; No self-respecting northern Groundhog would be ever be caught out of his borrow in early February as they’re still  hibernating.

If I were given a choice to attend  in person either the NFL Super Bowl or  Groundhog day in Punxsutawney, PA,   I’d have to ask why did they even offer the Super Bowl?  Myself  I’d  rather see an over fed Woodchuck with an under inflated ego then a bunch of over-paid  men with huge  over inflated egos.

Happy and Healthy 2015 to all!–Ray 

**** January Playmate of the Month is here. 

Today–Monday..January 12,  2015–>>  It’s overcast and  clear 32 º F at the icy backyard bird bath early this morning.  Forecast is for clouds with a light wintry mix/rain for the day. Many small  ponds are  iced over and thick enough for ice fishing. Slightly colder than normal temps forecast for the remainder of the week should help thicken them.

Over the weekend  I was saddened  to learn that Joe Carr, owner of Carr’s Rod n’ Gun  shop in Hope, RI had passed away.

 

Joe Carr

Arthur “Joe” Carr

.

A lifelong outdoorsman, Joe was knowledgeable fly shop owner  who maintained a small, well stocked fly shop  carrying everything you’d ever need and then some.  The expression : ‘if he doesn’t carry it, you don’t need it” surely fit Carr’s Fly Shop. Joe and his fly shop will be sorely missed by many fly fishers.

 

Here’s look back to a year ago in January

Saturday..January 11, 2014–>>   It was  46 º F  at the icy backyard  bird bath this morning.  Yesterday morning  was 25º F  and I went down to a small local pond that I  sent “Al the Guide”  and his cousin Larry to  try ice fishing. A check of the pond the day before showed a solid 5-6 in. of ice.  Being under the weather I stayed only briefly but long enough to see “The Guide” get on the bass  The action was fast with flags going up on a regular basis.

"The Guide" is on the bass

“The Guide” is on the bass

A close look at the photo will show the flag up behind Al, action was indeed fast.

 

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