Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Big Storms

Like a sign of the apocalypse (probably because I'm leaving tomorrow), upstate NY received a beating today from three or four major super cell storm systems. I had the pleasure of sitting in a car through one and then later being trapped by flooded streets. It must have rained at least 2 inches in less than an hour and at one point I had to backtrack to get around a flooded road. Reports of golf ball size hail came from around the north country and tornado warnings were in effect for the entire day. Pretty cool to see some big storms!

In the flood

Here's a snapshot taken from a video that I took with my cell phone. This bolt of lighting hit only about 100 yards away. Very loud and kinda sketchy.

The fish should be pretty damn happy with the rain today, for it will definitely push the river levels up.
Tomorrow morning I'm headed west! Very stoked to get back out and work....and fish. Not sure how the Internet situation will be but I'll see what I can do for keeping the posts coming. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Approaching the End

I am rapidly approaching the end of my time here in New York and tomorrow will be my last full day here. Unfortunately, I did not fish today and my "fish every day that I'm home" streak has now ended. It lasted 11 strait days but now there is simply too much to do in too little time. I have really enjoyed my time in the East, and have landed some great fish. Tomorrow I'll be out trying to catch one more decent fish before I leave.

Cody is currently working hard in Craig and I'm excited to get back and begin work. Garret is on his way to Tennessee to fish. Chris is currently home in Vermont and seems to have landed some nice browns lately (according to Facebook), and Trevor....I don't know where he is, but I'm sure he's doing great!

I got out last night with Chris Stiles on a stretch of the Schroon River. Mega hatch of caddis coming off and we found success early with elk hairs and caddis emergers. It didn't take long for the hendricksons to come out and the fish went nuts for them.

Stay tuned for tomorrows report.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aggressive brown

I have continued fishing these past few days....

THURSDAY: Headed up to Schroon Lake with my dad to fish the afternoon and evening. Fishing was mostly slow. I was expecting to get into some smallies while fishing for pike but only managed one nice pickerel and a few small perch. Still, it was nice to get out with dad for the first time in a while. The picture files were corrupted for some reason so no pics of the fish.

FRIDAY: I met up with Jon Swartwout to fish a few streams in the Saratoga area. Always being an admirer of Jon's artwork, I was ecstatic when he surprised me with a special gift; one of his paintings.

I really couldn't believe that he gave me the painting and I will be forever grateful. Jon has inspired me to get back into painting like I did a couple of years ago. I can only hope to create such awesome paintings as he does. Thanks a bunch Jon!

Now to the fishing... Jon and I fished from mid day to around 4pm. It was probably the worst time to fish but we each moved a fish and I had one brown on. Jon also lost a huge smallmouth that snapped him off at his feet. Temps hit the low 80's while we were fishing, so slow fishing was expected.

SATURDAY: After spending the night at my grandparents, I woke early to fish a different section of the stream Jon and I had fished on Friday. I made my way upstream, hitting every seam, pool, and good looking run. Almost all the way up the section, I found the seam that held one highly aggressive brown. The fish came out of nowhere and missed my streamer on three consecutive casts. I positioned myself upstream of the fish's lie after unsuccessfully connecting with the fish. This time neither the fish or I missed. The hook set was good and the fight was on. The fish put up a real good fight and I had my hands full trying to keep the fish from getting into fast water. I finally netted the fish as it tired, took two quick photos and released it.

NY browns are just as bad-ass as MT browns

Only stung one more fish for the remaining couple of hours that I fished. Not too bad considering the water conditions are low. All I needed was the one fish and I was very happy.

Tomorrow is looking to be a native brookie day as I am trying to keep my "fish everyday that I'm home" streak alive. Only a few days until I'm headed back to Montana, so there's no reason to stop now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adirondack Brookies

Stiles and I woke early and got on the road with hopes of tying into some nice wild Adirondack native brookies. We hiked in to a remote back country stream which we have fished before. After losing our bearings in the thick disorientating woods, we finally found the section of stream that we wanted to fish. We landed fish immediately...

As we fished upstream, the hatches started to happen. We saw everything, and I mean everything; march browns, hendricksons, yellow sallies, golden drakes, and this big guy which may be a golden drake also...if you can identify this, please leave a comment...

Fishing continued to be great with elk hair caddis and caddis emergers doing the job. Stiles managed to pull 5+ fish out of a deep slot, all of them being decent sized. One of them even posed for an underwater shot after the release.

We had great day on the water and fished for more than 8 hours. It was great being back in a remote part of the Adirondacks again. I really did miss it while I was in Montana. 

Big thanks to Stiles for driving, a great day fishing, and for being a great friend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Just got off the water. Had a good evening of fishing and actually managed to land two large browns which I believe are lake run fish that have made their way down an outlet stream. The fish were far more powerful than the stockie rainbows that I caught tonight. They also had all of their fins and great colors.

How now brown trout

Tomorrow Stiles and I are headed deep into the heart of the Adirondacks in search of some big native brookies. On our last trip to this secret location, we were quite literally eaten alive by black flies. If you think you know how bad black flies can be in upstate NY, then think again.... I am now releasing to the public (you the readers) for the first time ever, two very embarrassing photos of what Stiles and I looked like when we got out of the woods on that day....the day of the worst black flies we have ever experienced.

Don't laugh to hard...It wasn't a fun thing. We still caught nice fish though. Hopefully we catch some nice fish tomorrow also. 

Gotta love the Fins

These guys are funny...too funny.


My first year of college, I think, went really well. I managed a 3.43 first semester, all while fishing almost everyday and still having a social life. Second semester was a different story....

With an overloaded schedule, my grades in some classes began to drop, especially in Organic Chemistry. Yes, o-chem to many college students is like a prison where you are exposed to vast amounts of 'useless information' by an evil college professor. Truth is, our professor was not to evil....just very very serious and the type of prof to make you think critically about everything.

My major of wildlife biology requires a C- in o-chem in order to move on to Cell and Molecular Biology. Now, its not that I was aiming for the minimum grade I could get by with. I had worked hard but struggled in the class and was in position to 'just pass'. I had done the calculations for my grade before the final and had figured out that in order to get a D+, I would have had to totally bomb the final which I was not going to let myself do so I was very happy that I apparently never had to deal with o-chem again in my life...


A few days ago, our final grades were released for spring semester. I don't think I've ever been so depressed when I saw the "D+" next to o-chem....I literally almost cried. To have to sit through torture again would be the worst.

However, I felt as though something was wrong. I had done the calculations and knew that I hadn't completely bombed the final. So I decided to call my professor who was more than happy to send me all of my scores for the semester. This morning I found the flaw: she had given me a zero for my sixth exam which I happened to get a 72 on! I called her back and told her. She was very apologetic to me and explained that the score will easily put me at a C-! My word of advice to all students...always double check your freaking scores because occasionally profs do make mistakes! Even if they believe they are perfect and don't make mistakes!

Could this day get any better now? How about a big trout...that would be the icing on the cake. Time to go fish!

P.S.- I am in now way proud that I ALMOST had to retake organic chemistry. I am usually a good student. The class was just difficult.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Dry fly fishing is pretty damn good right now on Adirondack waters. This morning I borrowed Stiles' truck and fished several different waterways. I landed a real nice bow nymphing and later experienced some great dry fly action in some small streams.

Big Fish...

Not so big fish

This evening Stiles and I hit the Schroon for some stockie fun....They were there in numbers.Tons of caddis hatching and fish rising. I found success by swinging a small soft hackle while Stiles destroyed fish with a simple elk hair caddis variation. We ended the night with over 30 fish between the two of us. It was a ton of fun and easy as catching trout can be.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good weather, good fishing, good friends

Early Saturday morning, Jon Swartwout, his buddies Jim and Chris, my brother in law Jamie, and I headed to the Minerva area to fish. The name of the game was ponds; traditional canoe carry in style in search of Adirondack brook trout. We arrived at the trail-head very early and packed up our gear. Heavy packs and three canoes would accompany us on the trip.

Chris, Jim and I reached our main target pond in a little under an hour. After waiting for Jamie and Jon to arrive for a while, it was apparent that they had stopped to fish another smaller pond along the way. We fished for a few hours and only managed a few small brookies.

We were taking a break when Jon and Jamie arrived. Jon passed his camera around, causing jaws to be dropped....

He had landed the massive brown on his new 3wt. Orvis Hydros and had fought the fish for 20+ minutes. Quite the way to break in a new rod (I'm surprised the fish didn't literally break it). We were all very amazed by the size of the fish. It was also quite a random fish considering that there is no record of browns being stoked in the pond.

We had a quick lunch and hiked to another pond close by. A few fish were landed but nothing of major size. We returned to the pond where we were camped and landed a few more smaller sized brookies. The rest of the night was enjoyed to the fullest, especially since master chef Jim cooked up some elk and venison. We ate several pounds of it and went to bed on full stomachs. 

Jon and Jamie

Home Sweet Home

In the morning, the decision was made to head back towards the cars and fish the pond where Jon had caught the brown on the way out. I ended up landing a nice brownie myself. However, it was nowhere even close to the size of Jon's fish. 

After a while we hiked out to the cars and found that it was only 10 in the morning. We drove down the road a ways and hiked into another small pond. It produced some small brookies as well. 

Overall it was a great trip. Everyone caught fish and the weather couldn't have been nicer (70's-80's and sunny). I had a great time and it was nice meeting Jim and Chris. It was also nice to see Jamie and Jon and get to fish with them again. Thanks for a great trip guys.

Photo credit: Jon and Jamie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Productive Indian

Hit the Indian river this evening with Stiles for a few hours. We fished a mile downstream first and the section we fished produced no fish. We headed right back up to the dam. There, the caddis started hatching in numbers and fish started rising. I tied on a goddard caddis (that I think I tied about 5 years ago), and had a fish take it on the first cast. Yes undie does occasionally catch fish on dry flies (Cody, Garret, Chris and Trevor).

The moment of the evening belonged to Stiles who hooked up with a nice fish half way through the evening hatch. I waded upstream to find that Stiles had hooked into a solid brown that was clearly a holdover fish from last years stocking. The pictures do the talking...

I finished with double digits of fish on the evening with most of the fish taking caddis patterns. Although Stiles had only finished with four fish, he had all the bragging rights with the beautiful brown he caught. It was redemption from last nights lost salmon.

Tomorrow I'm headed to some back country ponds with my brother in law Jamie and good friend Jon Swartwout in search of brookies. We'll be camping for the weekend. Report to follow.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stockies and Salmon

This evening I was fortunate enough to catch my fishing partner and longtime friend Chris Stiles at a time when he was free to fish. We hit our local river, the Schroon, for a few hours before dark. Lots of caddis hatching but not too many fish rising. We managed to nymph up some stockies fairly quick.

A few minutes later I heard Stiles call my name. I looked upstream and watched in drag screaming fashion as a Landlocked Salmon of probably 17 inches or more, launched itself several feet in the air. The fish took off into the faster current and Stiles was into his backing immediately. He palmed his reel to try and slow the fish but it was too late; the fish broke off the entire rig...end of story.

It was awesome to see and Stiles explained that the fish had gone air born four times. It was nice to get out on the water with Stiles again. Tomorrow morning I'm headed to the river to swing some streamers with the hope of hooking up with a big LLS.

Let the madness begin

I've been home (at my house that is), for just over 12 hours and I've already been out on the water. No time to waste with only being home for two weeks. This morning I hit up a small brookie stream that usually gives up a few natives. The water levels were about average for this time of year and the stream itself hadn't changed much, even with the record high waters from Hurricane Irene this fall.

As I had hoped, I did find some native brookies...

It felt really good to be on one of my home streams again. Yup, they're not the bigger trout you find out west, but still pretty special to me seeing as it's what I grew up with. The madness has begun here in upstate NY. Maybe I'll fish every single day that I'm here? Hitting the Schroon River this evening for some more fun!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


On Tuesday I had the opportunity to fish the Columbia River with my cousin for the afternoon. I wasn't expecting the river to be so big all the way up in BC. We couldn't cover too much water by wading.

Big Water

I did manage to land one brookie of about 10 inches. I was surprised that it was a brookie and not a bow which the Columbia is so well known for in Southern BC. The fish smashed a large black streamer which I was ripping on the deep edges of the river and actually put up a decent fight for its size. Lots of caddis hatching but no fish rising. I didn't have too much time to fish because I had to make it back across the U.S./Canadian border to Spokane for my flight on Wednesday.

Of course when I arrived in Washington DC today, I was delayed for four more hours than my original departure time. I travelled for a total of 20 hours today...pretty exhausting. However, since I am on a western sleep schedule, I do not feel tired at all (which has allowed me to write this post).

Tomorrow I'm right back to fishing for some native brookies on some streams close to my house. I'm pretty excited to fish my home waters again. It's good to be back home.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Long Week

I've had a really busy week with finals and moving my stuff out of the dorm. Procrastinating really hurt me this week but I still managed to fish a bunch. I learned a few things this week:

#1. Soccer girls like to fish.

#2. Fly Fishing relieves stress no matter what.

#3. Don't pass up water where you don't think a fish could be...

Here is what you have missed!....

Rock creek with soccer girls (Kelsey and Ciara).

Givin' the fish some love

The Clark Fork gives up a nice brownie...

Moving out of the dorms....

A little bit o' camping.

Today I traveled from Missoula to Rossland, British Columbia to visit my cousin Nick. We managed to find some native brookies today on a small stream near the U.S./Canadian border. It reminded me a lot of upstate NY. It's really beautiful up here and I think we may wet lines in the Columbia tomorrow morning (although it is one big river, even up here in Canada).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rockin' it

Yesterday I headed up Rock Creek with Kelsey to fish for a few hours. We found that Rock was in pretty good shape...Clear as always and not extremely high. It took Kels all of 1 minute to hook into her first fish of the day. What a pro!

The action continued as we took turns catching fish. Kelsey even managed to catch a small rainbow that ate both stonefly nymphs....something that I've never seen happen before. How the small bow managed to eat both nymphs at once is beyond me.

The biggest loss of the day happened when Kelsey hooked into a really decent rainbow of about 16 inches. The fish took off into some faster current and the hook pulled out. Kelsey was livid (as she would say), and her frustration turned into the need to hook into another good fish.

We kept fishing and sure enough as we stood 10 feet above a nice pool on a giant boulder, her indicator shot down and she set the hook on another decent fish. This time she fought the fish for a while. However, we were in a pretty bad position on top of the giant rock, and as we tried to climb down while fighting the fish, the hook popped out. Kelsey was furious. It was awesome to see her get so angry because of a lost fish. I have a feeling we'll be back to Rock this weekend so she can redeem herself.