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Old 05-10-2012, 07:07 PM
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Default Schooled in the Adirondacks

Hey everyone.

I've been browsing the forums for quite a while and decided I needed to get on board with the program. I have posted a bit in the fly tying forums, but this is my first official introduction.

My fly fishing success has been limited to the small trout streams on Long Island and in Missouri as well as fly fishing Florida's coasts where I lived until moving to MO for college. Needless to say I was more than humbled by the West Branch of the Ausable during a getaway weekend with my girlfriend recently, and I am wondering what I might be doing incorrectly. The water was moving WAY more quickly than what I am used to, and I was having issues with line management, but even on my most accurate and effective drifts, swings, strips, you name it, I still came back skunked.

Are there any main differences between fishing rapid, larger rivers vs trout streams? I'm not talking more weight, more mending, or higher indicators. I'm talking about uniquely specific tips you've gained in your experiences fishing rivers like the Ausable.

I look forward to hearing others' thoughts.

P.S. I can't say I was totally skunked as this is what my girlfriend surprised me with while we were out there:
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Or should we say soon-to-be fiancée???
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Schooled in the Adirondacks

Austin,

Here's a big HELLO & WELCOME to the forum from me. She is a great Girl Friend / Fiancée for knowing what to get for you. As for getting to an answer to your question; my memories of the Ausable are of a stream that can be divided into pocket water with some riverside hiking and careful wading. That was my approach, not to fish the river but to concentrate on sections and learn how to work effectively in the various currents and pockets. I may drop you a line and we can chat in the future, OK?

Welcome,

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Schooled in the Adirondacks

Welcome to the forum. I am sure others with a lot more years FF'ing under their belt will share thoughts. Meanwhile, here is what I have learned fishing medium to small sized streams. These are tenets that I adhere to when I fish such water...

1) Practice stealth..wade into the water only when absolutely required. When you do enter the water, wade very deliberately (minimize wake).
2) Slow down all movement...do not have any 'shiny or bright' colored things on or with you ...e.g. use dark or matt finished tools, reel finish etc.
3) Use a lighter line weight tackle...e.g. 5wt max. (unless you are fishing a smooth casting bamboo 6wt).
4) Keep your casts short for better line control and to avoid any drag. I have noticed that in gin clear water, even the slightest drag (I mean...really slight) spooks fish.
5) Pay attention to your terminal tackle (leader, tippet etc). Sometimes short leaders are more effective than super long ones.
6) Take the time to really research the hatch activity during the period you plan to fish
7) If you cannot locate any hatch info., start with an 'attractor' Dry-dropper system (Parachute Adams or Stimmy + a BHPT or HE or CopperJohn Nymph). In the middle of summer, a beetle or ant can also be an excellent searching pattern.
8) Hike a bit away from the typical (i.e. near the popular access points) entry points into the water
9) Hope (believe ) that there are fish in the stream
10) Since you have been FF'ing for a while, you probably know about the type of lie's trout prefer. If you require more info, listen to a few of the free Orvis podcasts. OR you can always get the same info from the multitude of literature out there.

cheers,
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Schooled in the Adirondacks

Ard: Thanks for the warm welcome and all of the advice. I can tell you that when we first walked up to some of the access points I was a little overwhelmed, so I think breaking it into smaller sections and focusing on reading those areas accurately is great advice. Feel free to contact me - I look forward to hearing from you.

mysticm: that's just the kind of stuff I was hoping someone would come forward with. Because this was my first trip up there, I was doing a lot of scouting for holes and underwater structure, and I'm sure I spooked every fish in the area. Drag was definitely an issue as I was casting to seams 35+ feet away and the water was just ripping through there. I vacillated between rods, but next time I'll stick to the 3wt.

I think it was just an entirely new ball game to me, fishing the Ausable. On my local streams, I can wade 7ft away from the wild brookies and still get them to eat on most casts... its not difficult, but can brighten my dullest days.

I bet you're absolutely correct regarding tip 8, and tip 9 has to be the best. By day 2 I was getting pretty beat down and my girlfriend would point out any stretch of river we drove by and say "I bet there are trout in there! Want to try it out?!" Talk about support.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Schooled in the Adirondacks

Austinalready got great advice from Mysticmlearn to read the water...and when you're on the bank try to locate fish under the water...after a long training you'll see fish where others don't
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by aglohm4 View Post


By day 2 I was getting pretty beat down and my girlfriend would point out any stretch of river we drove by and say "I bet there are trout in there! Want to try it out?!" Talk about support.

You've got a good woman there!
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