The morning started out slowly – only an occasional fish showing at the Deerfield River Upper Catch and Release Area but the conditions were perfect – after a cool night the water temps were down, the sky was overcast and, for the time being, there was very little wind. All signs (or lack thereof) pointed to Nymphing, but the most reliable patterns did not produce anything more than a couple half-hearted takes.
Nonetheless, Justin, who is just learning fundamentals of fly fishing, was taking in a lot of instruction all at once ranging from roll casting to reach mending, drag free drifts to hand retrieve, perceiving the take to ticking rocks. Justin is an attentive listener, fast learner and great company on the river. You can check out his website here. My experience tells me the fish were full and not taking, or they were eating something not at all similar to what we were offering nor how deep we were offering it. We did get to see a female American Redstart on our walk back to parking. We moved downstream to Carbis Bend where we were visited by a mallard which flew in 15 feet from us to skim the scum in the eddy for spinners (probably the same individual that wolfed down Hendrickson Spinners there a few weeks ago). Fish activity was more evident here but still only one missed take (no pun intended). The river came up as we observed some Light Cahills coming off. We moved down to downtown Charlemont and had immediate success nymphing with and without indicators and finally swinging wet flies. Several fish were hooked and landed and that included two small rainbow trout parr. I would love to take credit for the crescendo of trout at the end of four hours of enlightening instruction, but I am certain it had much more to do with the vagaries of trout feeding rhythms, the choice of fly (Light Cahill Wet Fly dropped above GD’s Pink Panther) and the fact that the preferred mode of presentation happened to be the wet fly swing – almost an afterthought to the morning of sub-surface instruction.
Justin was very happy with the morning and I was off to Boston to provide transportation to Northampton for a couple virtuosic guitar players who are teaching and performing at Django in June. For a different kind of swing attend the DIJ concerts at the Academy of Music this Friday and Saturday.