Saturday, March 17, 2012

Landlocked Love for the Deep Green Beauty!

My friend John from Montreal suggested we hit one of the northern New York rivers yesterday for holdover - and maybe even...dare I say it? - bright fish in from the lake.  It's a 3.5 hour drive for me, so I go up the night before and meet John at the donut store at early dark thirty.  Picked up a coffee, dropped my truck off, and headed for the first of the pools we'd fish at first light.  There was a steady rain; the temp was about 40 degrees F.

Not much going on at that first pool, so we moved on.  Water temp 38 degrees, and pushes of ice occasionally screwing things up.

Second pool's a charm!  John hooks up but the fish gets off.

He lands one a few minutes later:

John's flies make other tyers envious but the fish love them:

His fly box is a thing of beauty and shows the pride he takes in his flies.  I shoulda swiped it.  "Geez, John, I dunno, did it fall out of your jacket out in the river or something???"

I can be a good student.  John told me where to stand, how far to cast, and be ready to hang on.  That worked!

Turned out to be a fine holdover landlocked:

The Deep Green Beauty strikes again!

Breaktime was a special treat!  John brought Sopresatta that he and his family make.  Simply awesome.  I drooled so much that he finally broke down and gave me the little I left on the plate to take home!

John hooked up again and landed a fish with several lamprey scars!

They seemed to be healing well:

Just a few yards downriver, the Beauty got more love:

If these mallards knew what a master John is at tying spey flies with bronze mallard wings, they'd have left in a hurry!

Well, there you have it: my first tugs of 2012.  Thanks, John!!

(pics of me  by John, of John by me)


  1. Great early start to the season Gary!...kinda jealous here lol

    Wannafish (John)

  2. I will say this. Great photos, fish and streamers.
    But that sopresatta tops everything.

  3. I'm with Brk Trt on the sopresatta thing. Great report!

  4. Nice trip Gary. Double hander?

  5. Great report, looks the real catch was that sopresatta

  6. Double hander for John, Todd, single hander for me.

  7. What's one to say? of the romance of the early hour at the donut shop and its donuts, the long drive in the darkness, the cold and water at 36 degrees, the white beard hiding the Gary I once knew.... and now the flies those flies, those ties! In front of me. Ever a second rate fly tyer. But these are not the flies I would have used. I would stick to the flies I love. And landlocks! I have never even seen one!And now it's too late for me to fish for anything at all.
    I confess that while all these otherwise excellent stories result in released fish, I am never be reconciled to them without the one or two fish occasionally on the table where they belong.
    Catch and release is a necessary but deep, deep sadness in the world.

  8. Gordon (Anonymous, above)...I always enjoy your emails and comments. Catch and Release has been a boon to modern fisheries, but I agree, wish it weren't so. And explaining why one does it, outside of the fisheries benefit, can be difficult, at best. That's an essay for you to write, pro or con.

  9. Dear Gary
    I've written it and it's been published here and there several times. I can add only that catch and release has ended my fishing because I can no longer,at86, bend over to handle the fish.
    How does one not be anonymous? I don't intend to be. But the mechanics of your blog defeat me. This is the last time I shall allow myself to be brow-beaten by those words to "copy".
    I'm ever yr. devoted:
    Gordon Wickstrom
    The Bouldercreek Angler

  10. But...but..but Gordon, you're not anonymous anymore! Your name is on the comment, and I'm proud that you're here, on my little blog!


    P.S. I'm going to the gym for an hour every day just so I CAN bend over and release the fish, new hip and rebuilt shoulder and all. I'll come out and be your ghillie.

  11. Sweet pic's Gary


  12. Great post Gary. John is a blast to fish with. Looks like you guys did very well.



  13. Looks like one of the many pools on the Saranac I used to frequent when I was stationed at one of Uncle Sam's Flying Circus bases up on Lake Champlain. Bet you could probably play football close to that pool ; )


  14. And Ken, you'd be right about that football field!