October 13 – Friday- Connetquot –
I met Ed Kelleher at the Barns along with Joe Mikulas. I recognized some of the others but not all. Mostly guys from Idle Hour Fly Fishers. A Fellow came along and said “I have read some of your books.” I thanked him and, naturally, this started my day off on a very positive note. Everyone headed to the upstream beats by the hatchery.
Chuck and I usually go to this event together. This year he couldn’t make it but gave me some tips about fishing Beat 4 by the newly reopened Mill with tiny nymphs to catch large trout. I tied up a few the night before and found a leader packet I had purchased in Spruce Creek some years back. It has two droppers and a terminal fly . Not something I would usually choose to do – fishing 3 flies that is. I manage to tangle up one often enough.
I put the leader on the Neuner 7 footer although I would have done better to put it on a 9 foot rod (and fished the bamboo rod dry). I tied on the flies, unweighted on top and weighted at the end. In the middle a little larger nymph out of my box.
I had the lower beats all to myself. Chuck had advised a 12 foot, 6x leader and size 22 flies but even a 20 is just too small for me to deal with. I tied mine on a curved hook in 16 and 18 with red flash under clear Monofil and a peacock hurl head, a bead on some.
I caught a few and noticed some rises. I didn’t want to re-rig this rod for a dry so I took a break and picked up the GLoomis 4 wt. at the car, strung it up and tied on a dry. Two rods! First time I have ever done this when not on a boat but the situation allowed for it.
They consistently took the lowest nymph although several times they hit the top one. I thought they were hitting the strike indicator but it was the top fly as it drifted in the film immediately after the cast. Didn’t hook any of these but did have a multiple fish day – all on the nymphs. Only one took the middle fly. I switched to the GLoomis and put on a burnt orange Usual hitting a beautiful brookie of some size and in full fall colors – but he broke me off and took my fly – one tied by Betters himself (Nuts!).
No giants this day but that may have required a size 20-22 and a 12 foot, 6x leader, as Chuck suggested.
I was having such a nice time, even with the need to constantly look over my shoulder before casting as there were so many park goers who were walking, running and strolling by, that I was late for lunch. I walked to the clubhouse in my hip boots, which were clean and dry. Gil was there and I asked if it was okay to wear waders to lunch. His look was one of shock. “No waders in here for 200 years and we are not starting now.” I went to the car and changed.
Lunch was delicious as usual (the butternut squash soup is worth the trip) and I got to chat with some of the folks. Rita and Jerry who are being honored at the Friends of Connetquot Banquet this year were there. Rita always provides a home-made cake. We talked and the Journal came up. I mentioned that I had purchased an ad – that is when she said “Are you the Tom of Tom’s Fishing Stories?” Yup. That’s me. We got to know each other and it turns out we have some mutual friends and acquaintances. They are horse people and started the carriage riding at the park. Nice folks.
I gave Ed some books to use as raffle prizes.
It was a delightful day.
For more information on Friends of Connetquot click here
You may also be interested in the recently published book One Little River written by R. G. Giffin.