Let’s Not Say Goodbye

I fished the East Branch of the Croton yesterday fully aware I wouldn’t see her for a while, maybe a long while. I hit my favorite holes and she willingly guided me to rising trout. I danced in her riffles. She knocked me on my butt at least once–a love tap to remind me that she was never a push-over. I told her I learned from the best.

Together we took a handful of rainbows, gleaming red and chrome, and a few swarthy, thick browns bespectacled in red spots. Somehow she arranged every weather condition in a single outing. The day began overcast and then a pouring thunderstorm made the river drum. In turn, an early mid-morning cahill and caddis hatch caused the trout to enter the tailouts and eagerly take my fly. As the sun came out and the weather warmed, the shadowline across the river became a great place to dead drift a parachute adams downstream which a strapping young brown happily took.

As I tied on a bugger mid-day, I took perch after perch, again a subtle reminder that the East Branch would always play hard to get with me. What a flirt.

Here are some pics from my last two forays to the Croton.

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4 thoughts on “Let’s Not Say Goodbye

  1. hey joel,
    I think i saw you on your way out on the EB the other day. I bumped into rich j and there was a little kid trying to worm fish. That is a huge bummer that you will be moving out of the area. I always looked forward to your stream reports! Not that many fly guys on westchester fishing forum. I really like your blog! Nice fish in here.

    1. hey Chris, don’t sleep on the EB, its producing quite well this summer. I can’t just tell ya the holes, not much fun in that!

      But…Here’s my tips:
      1) Walk further. The pools near the roads see alot of pressure and if you walk further, even past Phoebe Hole, you’ll get into more fish. Don’t waste your time on the Phoebe Hole rising trout, they’re incredibly selective…instead, throw a weighted bugger and slow retrieve, there are big bass and ‘bows on the bottom of that pool.
      2) Nymph the riffles. Try a double-nymph rig with a dark unadorned nymph on the top and a pheasant-tail as the dropper. Use beadheads. The browns like the dark nymphs and bows the p-tail, don’t ask me why…
      3) Stay later. Stay til 730 or…don’t start fishing til 730pm and fish til you can’t see anything…the big fish come out later. Or conversely, get there early, like 630 or 7am. You’ll be rewarded with solitude and more nature. BUT that’s for the big ones who may still be on the feed from the night before (use a nymph or streamer–like dead-drifting a bugger). The next good time is around mid-morning when the sun has warmed the water a few degrees and you get the first hatches, typically caddis this time of year or midges–try a #20 griffiths gnat).
      4) Go stealthier. The EB trout are pressured, wild, and smart. If they don’t spook don’t think they haven’t seen you, cause they have. You’ll need to use flourcarbon tippet 6 or 7x (but don’t drop it in the river cause its not biodegradable like nylon) and a longer leader, 12′ at least if you’re fishing dries, 6’ for nymphing.
      5) Ditch the indicator. Trust me on this one…and if you’re not snagging bottom and losing flies, you’re not deep enough. Use tin split-shot and add 1…if not hit add 2…if no hit add 3, if no hit after that, move one.

      Good luck and tight lines!

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