Guess who caught his first trout of the year and first ever on a fly rod. Well if you guessed me, you’d be the April fool. I need more instruction! I had such a bad day out there. Whoever says a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work should come swimming with me in frigid water. 😬 But actually I still was glad to have time away from the house. I don’t get out much.
After I dried off this morning I tried a few other creeks. Black Creek in Esopus changed it’s name to white creek I believe. There was no way I was ready to fish those rapids. I drove by the Wallkill River and it was flooded along with the pumpkin farmer’s field. There was no use there either. I remember about ten years ago that farm got flooded during harvest and people were catching pumpkins with fishing nets. (I know that has nothing to do with my day. I just saw it as funny and sad at the same time.)
So I went back to Rondout were I was this morning. I had neoprene waders on this time and the water wasn’t nearly as cold. In fact it wasn’t bad at all. I was there about 30 minutes this time when my so called service dog Sadie decided to come in the water with me. As soon as she realized how cold it was she took off running toward the truck. I was parked on a busy road, so I got scared and called her back. She came but was shivering so bad that I had to get her into the truck and call it a day. There’s a lot of time between now and October when season ends. I’m not giving up.
It’s April 1st and here in New York that means it’s the first day of trout season. I was up at 4:30am but I didn’t make it on the road until 6:00. (I still haven’t taken my medication but my wife doesn’t read my blog. 😬) I decided to head over Minnewaska Mountain to the Rondout reservoir and creek for the day. It’s about an hour trip. When I got to the lake part of the reservoir at around 7:00 it was already shoulder to shoulder with people so I decided to go to the creek.
I parked my truck at the first pull-off and there was only one other car there. I walked down to the water and there was a nice deep pool with good flow in and out for plenty of oxygen. I decided to fish it for a while because why wade in recently thawed water if you can catch fish from the bank?
I am new to fly fishing still. I’ve been learning through Project Healing Waters as most of you know. So I didn’t know what fly to use. William from Eastern Trophies told me to use a CK Clawdad. I thought it’d be a little big since most people up here have told me to use little flies, like nymphs and small worms etc. But it would be nice to catch a big brown trout and the Rondout is known for them. I convinced myself that there were no bugs anywhere near hatching in that ice cold water so I’d try other things.
The first thing I tried was a small gold and silver streamer. I have always had luck with the classic silver and red spoon when fishing with a spinning rod so this seemed to be a good idea. After fishing it for a while with no luck, I gave in and used the clawdad. As I was bringing it in the first time, it got snagged on the bottom. I worked my way into the water to get it back and even with to layers on underneath my waders, I wished I wore the neoprene. It was deep, but I was able to get close enough to get it unsnagged and I walk back to the bank. I tried it again a few more times but then snagged again and it was too deep to retreave. I snapped my line and it was time for a new piece of tippet. I tied that on and decided to try a worm. After a while, I was moving down stream (but still casting into the same pool) I decided to try a nymph on the bottom just in case. I cast a few times into a hole near a big rock and then stepped onto the rock when I had no luck. I took about ten more casts to different parts of the pool and decided to head down stream. I carefully stepped off the rock but not as careful as I should have. Less than two hours into my fishing season and this April Fool fell in the frigid water.
One thing I did learn from it though is that the belt around your waste is necessary. I was always told so, but I saw quickly how it saved me from being weighed down. I was drenched and like a fool, I had no dry clothes. I took my jacket and heavy shirt off and got the heat going in my truck. I wringed the water out of my t-shirt the best I could and though my pants were wet, it was through wicking from my coat. The belt was on tight enough that the waders kept my lower legs and socks dry.
So I’m at home right now writing to you. This fly fishing thing is supposed to be therapy. Well so far laughing at myself has been the best medicine. I do enjoy my time in the quiet. I am going back out today after I thaw and eat something. This time I will wear the neoprene, and try not to go so deep…lol
If anyone has advice on what flies are good here in Ulster and Sullivan Counties, please share some advice to this April Fool of a vet. I’d do anything to get my first trout on a fly line today!