The Home River News

Every time I feel that I’ve neglected my home river this year, I pinch myself and say, hold on. Typically, I don’t get to fish the main stem of the Genesee in New York ’til late May or June because I’m busy on the headwaters and the PA streams till then.  This year, whenever I’ve made a periodic check, the river has been flowing high and muddy or there were other OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA circumstances barring my entry there.

Yesterday we enjoyed a rare day of summer beauty in the region, with sunshine and atmospheric clarity, so I decided to look at the river early in the evening– just in time for that “rare day” to become suddenly overcast and showery. Go figure.

Maybe the shift to darkness helped the fishing, maybe not. The flow remained high and turbid from recent rains, and I knew I wouldn’t be wading around much in that water, so I focused on a favorite pool and riffle and got to work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASmall mayflies, plus some larger Cahill and Yellow Drake varieties, were coming off sporadically, and the cedar waxwings had a buffet offering from their high perches along the bank. I love the way they swoop down and make an effortless catch of mayfly or caddis somewhere over my head.

I began with a Light Cahill dry fly trailing a soft-hackle dropper underneath it. The trout preferred the dry fly. When I switched the flies to a single offering, a Yellow Drake comparadun tied for me by Bob Stanton, the fun began.

I caught a lot of standard brownies on that fly, and lost a dogger that rose near the far bank and didn’t want to venture any closer to me than it had to. It was probably in the 15 to 18-inch range.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So it’s mid-July, and the summer prospect for the Genesee looks better than it usually does at this point. The cool night temperatures have helped. My water temperature was 62 degrees, not bad for a late day on the Genny. With luck, the rains will ease a little and the daytime air temps will stay in the comfort zone.

I hope that your own home water, wherever it is, has a similar prospect, with the promise of good fishing and exploration ahead.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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13 Responses to The Home River News

  1. Bob Stanton says:

    Who’s this Bob guy you’re talking’ about? Did some fishing today for the first time in about 3 weeks.Went to a small stream that has wild brook trout enhancement regulations on it. Caught about 20 little brookies, none more than 6 or 7 inches, but all healthy and feisty, on a bomber with a beadhead dropper. It’s funny, only a small percentage took the nymph…I guess small stream trout are so used to terrestrial food sources that they’re biased or conditioned to pluck something off the top. One good thing about all the rain we’ve had is that it’s kept an ample amount of cold water between the banks (sometimes over them, too), good news for fish and fisherman.

    • Bob’s the Fly Guy, Bob. You probably know him better than anyone else. Glad you got out there and educated all those brookies today. Yeah it’s funny how the fish will key in on a certain strata of the stream in preference for another, at any given time of the year. I too am finding that they’re watching the top right now. Not so long ago, however, they preferred the beadhead’s level.
      Tonight I fished the W. Branch Genny in PA and had my best fishing since the Kettle just before Memorial Day. The stream was in great condition and the wild browns really tore it up for an Ausable Wulff dry fly in the fast water. Caught a whole bunch of pretty trout.

  2. markw says:

    Love watching the cedar waxwings, my favorite bird. I just the the colors on them. Spent my college years looking across the valley at the Genesee. Didn’t realize it was a decent trout river back then.

  3. Mark, Yes the cedar waxwing is a beauty. There’s quite a few of them here in summer. I take it you attended Houghton College. The river, downstream at that point is too warm for trout, but the smallmouth fishing is good. Nearby is Wiscoy Creek, a wonderful wild trout stream that enters the Genny.

  4. Fishing for bream and shellcracker has been epic on the Apalachicola this year. We had plenty of water over the past year, which revitalized the whole system. At this point in the summer, everyone has eaten all the fish they can hold and have plenty in the freezer. It’s a sure sign of a good year when everyone — including me — is out flailing around with a fly rod and releasing most or all we catch.

  5. Beautiful River, someday I’ll have to venture that far downstream on it. Good to hear its fishing well.

    • The Genny’s a nice one, Ryan. Even better, as of 2 nights ago, is the West Branch Genesee. The wild browns were fun with a dry fly. Will try again today, and hope the water volume stays up.

  6. Alan says:

    Good to see your waters are doing well.
    My small streams have been doing the same. Those few warm days we’ve had are nothing like years past. Lets hope it holds

  7. The Cahill is one dry pattern I haven’t tried on our local tailrace here. The go to dries here are the Adams, Gnats, and Caddis, I will give the Cahill a try. Beautiful water you were fishing along with some colorful browns. I am impressed with your blog and have added it to roll. Thanks for sharing

  8. Thank you for the comment, Bill, and for adding RR to the roll. Yes, the Cahill should be an effective pattern for you, especially if you have any light-colored mayflies coming off this summer. It’s a standard around here, like those other patterns you mention.

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