It had been three weeks since making our way north to the tributaries of the Great Lakes, our longest siesta of the fall season. A last second decision had us staying home for Thanksgiving rather than abandoning our families for fish. Thursday night, our stomachs full, we set sail to Western New York for our first foray there in 2011. Our best success on tributaries usually comes here and this mini-trip didn't disappoint as we landed more fish in three days than our combined total swinging flies on the Salmon river over the course of several trips. Mind you, there is a big difference in swinging flies vs. dead drifting nymphs and eggs.
Late November is an interesting time on the tributaries, especially in New York. You have a complete mixed bag of fish. You have spawning and post-spawn brown trout. The majority of the brown trout are in a post-spawn faze where they are pretty aggressive to the fly or are dropping back. Over the course of three days, we caught mainly brown trout. Only two still had their eggs. You also have your steelhead and rainbows, some of which are fresh, and others that have been in the tribs for a few months. Getting in the way, are the salmon. They are on there last legs and tend to not get out of the way of a fly. That, or they end up taking your fly. Then your faced with the choice of landing a frankenfish, or simply breaking the fly off. Adam had a half dead salmon crush a streamer while stripping it back in to cast again.
On this particular day, we were just happy to be back in the saddle. I can't remember the last time we were on a fishing trip and didn't take many pictures. Usually, we help each other land fish and take pictures of the catch. This time we were by ourselves content with just catching fish. It felt good catching steelhead and brown trout, landing them, and simply releasing them back to the water without trying to get a good picture. I also can't remember the last time I didn't take pictures of scenery, wildlife, or people doing crazy things. I think it boils down to the fishing being really good.
Here are some of the few.