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Thank goodness not everyone's crazy.

Posted on May 12 2020

Woke to bright sunshine and 33 degrees. By 9:00 the north wind had hit 15mph  with a promise to go higher if the bugs got going.  The predicted high was 49 and they were just about on the money (my car said 50 at one point).

A good day to go fishing?  Not if you aren't crazy.  The bright sun, strong gusty winds and a high barometer are a recipe for disaster: a dry fly fisherman's worst nightmare. Finished my chores, ate lunch, tied up half a dozen Hendricksons and set out about 12:30.

Drove around the river system (Big River, Big East and  Beaverkill up to Horton Brook) without seeing one boat, one fisherman or one bug.  Turned around and started back down toward Hancock stopping at every viewpoint to glass the water for bugs and/or risers.  I was down to the BE before I saw some apple caddis on the water. Sat for a few minutes and saw a rise, then another.  They were down a steep knotweed covered bank, but they were rising.  Suited up in what were near gale force winds and cast upstream over the fish's backs.

How'd I do?  With six inch waves, fly placement was a tad difficult but, on the other hand, it was near impossible to spook the fish. The two risers ate and one might might well be the fish of the year (a heavy 22 inch brown).  With Hendricksons joining the caddis, there were enough bugs to get fish up. Waded downstream fishing to risers (most of which were on the far side of the river and just out of reach).  Would have ended up having a very good day if four out of the last five fish I hooked hadn't come unstuck.

The bugs are hatching (even saw two march browns), the fish are feeding and it looks like it is finally going to warm up.  Plan a trip for one of the better days later this week and give the river a try.

Remember Covid-19 is a danger to all.  Buy your gas at home, bring your food and avoid contact with both local residents and other fishermen.

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