Turnabout

It is morning once again in Crooked Eddy, and a misty 62 degrees. The weather is playing a game of turnabout here in the Catskills more than a month into autumn. River temperatures have been rising fairly steadily, despite the lack of sunshine. Low flows and warm air have brought them from last week’s forties up into the fifties.

Cloudy, rainy days and warming water, fishing must have new life! Well, that seems to be the tease anyway. I went searching yesterday for an olive hatch on a perfect olive afternoon. I checked several pools that are usually worth fishing at this time of year, finding the barest handful of tiny mayflies on one of them for a brief span of time. One good fish was taking, selecting as they do the perfect spot to foil presentation of a dry fly.

He was moving up and downstream several feet within the fan of current coming off an obstruction, presumably a rock. The game presented not only required achieving a drag-free float within the confines of that current fan but determining just where in that realm he would be at that moment. Leave it to our Catskill trout to make things interesting.

I approached this hydraulic dilemma from an upstream angle, moving during the course of our engagement to make that angle ever sharper. I did get some drifts that looked quite good, though I failed miserably at predicting his random relocations. Eventually whatever morsels he was sampling disappeared (I had only seen two or three flies on the surface throughout) and he stopped feeding, never to rise again.

The fact of the matter is, the dry fly season technically continued for that one more day I ache for at this season, though I could have saved the effort of carrying my net. Despite seemingly perfect conditions, I believe that the autumn’s allotment of olive nymphs may simply have hatched by this fourth week of October, leaving the trout not already involved in procreation with nothing more to rise to.

Being a die hard, and totally unwilling to accept the impending onset of winter, I will slip into waders and rain jacket again today, joint my impregnated Thomas & Thomas Hendrickson, and seek to be humbled again.

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