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Reflections on the Single Fly

I enjoyed participating in the Deerfield River Watershed Trout Unlimited Single Fly Tournament this past weekend with my friend, Eddie Esposito. Eddie taught me how to fish with nymphs many years ago. He taught me a lot more about other aspects of fly fishing. He is one of only a few people I know who would put in 27+ concentrated hours of fly fishing over a weekend for an event such as this one. In this tournament the angler and his/her partner strive to catch and release trout and tally their length. Each individual must select one pattern of fly for the entire two-day event. Three identical flies can be used over the course of the weekend. I enjoy the challenge of selecting a single pattern and then fishing it for two straight days. I think it teaches you a lot about fly fishing. Selection of the pattern is important for success, but once the choice is made, presentation becomes the critical factor. This weekend (particularly Saturday) the fishing was challenging because the water temperature was very warm – near 70º. Still, I managed to catch fish using several approaches. I dead-drifted my nymph both using tight-line methods and using an indicator. I hooked the majority of fish during the drift, but I also caught fish as the nymph swung toward the surface at the end of the drift. I caught a few fish on the dangle – after the nymph had swung up toward the surface and was just being suspended there in the current for a few seconds. I had a very dramatic strike on my weighted bead-head nymph as I swung it through the head of a pool like a wet fly – across and down. I had a few very subtle takes on the nymph during the retrieve – using both an intentional figure-eight hand retrieve and (without intent) just shortening the line for another cast. I tried successfully for fish at the head of the pool, at the tail of the pool and in between, in slow water as well as fast water, fishing deep and shallow. The point that I am trying to get across is that covering lots of water with varying presentations is as important if not more important than selection of the fly, even though we spend plenty of time and money on our selection of flies. An event like the Single Fly sheds a different sort of light on the search for the perfect pattern. When asked the question, “What is the best camera?”, I have heard more than one top photographer say, “The one that you have with you at the time.” So go ahead and ask me what’s my favorite fly?

Eddie walking out of the pool.
Eddie walking out of the pool.

A Tale of Two Releases

Two nights ago I was fishing a section of the river near my house and caught a rainbow on a wet fly.  The fish was on the top dropper and in the course of escaping the net managed to throw the fly, and break off the anchor fly which dropped straight down into the pool where I was standing all in a matter of seconds – video to come.  One night later (last night) I was in the same location for just a short while.  The fish would not respond to the traditional down and across presentation that had been so successful the night before, but when I switched to dead drifting with a heavier anchor fly, I connected on the first drift: Same Hendrickson wet fly as the night before but a different presentation!  I brought in an absolutely stunning mature natural reproduction rainbow.  I took one photo of the fish in the net but as son as I unhooked him he bolted before I could take another shot.  I am happy to have ‘released’ such a magnificent rainbow with minimal handling, but I wish I could have done better job capturing his dramatic coloration with the camera.

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The Hendricksons will all be here…

A fly fisher’s variation on the lyric in the Beatles’ For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.  The Hendricksons – Ephemerella subvaria – have arrived throughout the lower Deerfield.  Look for birds feasting on the prolific hatches above the river.  The trout will take them as nymphs, emerger, duns and spinners.  The action on top of the water is very exciting – it is the first substantial feeding frenzy on local waters.  I like to fish a wet fly imitation that passes as an emerger,  crippled dun, and submerged spinner.  This is one of the hatches that challenges the angler to successfully compete with the  enormous amount of naturals in and on the water.  Last night I fished for a short time with my friend, Jeff J, during the hatch on a part of the Deerfield not far from town.  I often have success dead-drifting the wet fly along with a more heavily weighted nymph as an anchor, but this was not the case last night.  When I shifted to a traditional down and across wet fly presentation I had immediate success.  Come on out and experience the thrill of the hatch!

Fish Tale Fabricators is What’s Happening!

I am very excited about launching this website to offer guiding and instruction for fly fishing the Deerfield River.  I have found peace and joy through fishing my entire life.  I am eager to share this experience with others.  There are so many dimensions to fly fishing that one can easily become lost or intimidated.  Through my instruction and guide services I endeavor to ease the novice into the art without overwhelming him or her.  I hope I can help new fishers to find excitement in exploring the many facets: from understanding habitat to matching the hatch, from casting to catch and release, from tying the fly to playing the fish…Wild DeerfieldBrownTrout

Fly Fishing Instruction and Guiding on the Deerfield River

The Deerfield River in Western Massachusetts is one of the top cold water fisheries in the Northeast.  Eric Halloran of Fish Tale Fabricators is dedicated to helping new and experienced anglers explore and value this extensive resource.  Through beginning and intermediate instruction on the water, new and novice anglers can experience joy and develop confidence in tackle and technique.  Through guided half-day and full-day trips, anglers at any level can fish for three species of trout in the considerable variety of pools, riffles and runs that the Deerfield and her tributaries have to offer.  Bring your own gear or let us supply everything you need: Through our close association with The Deerfield Fly Shop we can outfit anyone via rentals or purchases of quality gear.DeerfieldRiverBow