I headed down to the river after work Friday for some much needed fly-fishing. I drove past a feeder and there were plenty of guys fishing on this bright 58 degree day, so I decided to try the river out. I didn't know at the time but the water was flowing at 890 cfs and the temperature was 58 degrees. It was already 5pm when I was trekking up the trail and I was questioning why I was even bothering with this stream early season. I have been at it for 6 years now and have had NO SUCCESS early season, usually due to high water. So I biked about 2 miles up set the bike on a tree and headed toward the stream.
As I approached the water I noticed a few splashy rises at the far bank. Then a few heads sipping something in a back eddie. I took a peak up in the sky and saw caddis, mayflies, and Grannom's swarming above. Once I was in the water I realized I was in the middle of a full on Quill Gordon Hatch! I quickly tied on a #14 Catskill Imitation and went to work. One.....Two......Three in the first 5 minutes! All fish were at least 12 inches long with tremendous girth. It didn't stop there, for the next hour and twenty five minutes the action was just as productive as 19.....yep 19 fish fell to my imitation! I haven't caught 19 fish on a dry fly in the river in 6 years let alone 1 night! Everything came together that night and produced the best dry fly fishing I have ever had on the river. The Quill Gordon numbers on the water was extremely impressive. I don't think anyone can usually fish the river this time of year because of high water flows. But guess what? It has a tremendous Hendrickson hatch if you can hit it right, look out. Those 19 fish were all over 12 inches and beefy, and they were not very hard to fool.
I called the reserves in Friday night and we met on the stream in the same location I had success on the prior evening. The weather was overcast with light drizzle. The water temperature was a bit cooler, 52 degrees and the water level was dropping instead of rising, the flow was 925 cfs. Andy and Billy each landed 5 or so fish by the time we arrived at 4:30pm. Andy was picking up fish......BIG FISH on a #14 Blue Copper John and Billy was catching rising fish on a #14 Royal Wulff. Mindy, Mike and I landed another 5 fish between the 3 of us that night, all on dry flies execpt the 1 fish I landed on a White Wooly Bugger. The Quill Gordon never hatched......not sure if I caught the last day of it on Friday or if Andy and Billy missed it and it hatched earlier in the day. Either way I had two of the most productive fly-fishing days on the River and it felt good. This river has kicked my ass the last 6 years, it feels good to get some revenge once in awhile.