TRR photos by Tony Bonavist

An evening with Cinnamon Caddis and other adventures

I almost didn’t go fishing today. First, there was a luncheon in Rhinebeck; then I had to walk the dog, load the car and get gas. My negative side complains, “It’s a long drive, the water’s been high, the hatches are off, I’ll get home late and be by myself.” It is not good to be alone, late at night, in the boonies of Delaware County... But my positive side says, “Don’t listen to that! The weather is fine today; cool and rain tomorrow. And who knows what will happen with releases from Pepacton Reservoir?”

The positive side wins.

I head off, arriving about 4:30 p.m. to find no cars at a favorite pool. Drive in, park and walk to the river. There are a few trout rising. I decide to suit up. A van pulls in and two anglers get out and walk to the river. I remove my waders and drive off; I’m not a fan of company on the river. So, it’s off to another spot. I park, take a look, and see a fisherman, but he is leaving. Bravo!

  There is a stiff breeze over the water, with a few caddis and mayfly spinners in the air. Trout are chasing emergers.

All too quickly, it’s seven o’clock. There is still some wind, a few pale evening duns are hatching and, between gusts, more caddis in the air. By now, I’ve had a few half-hearted rises from the little guys. I begin to wonder if there will be enough flies to bring trout to the surface, and I decide if there is no serious activity by 7:45, I’ll leave.

The wind finally dies. Suddenly, there are hundreds of buff, egg-laying caddis over the river. Soon they drop, floating on the water, and the fish really start to rise. I have a few 14 caddis; I tie a light-colored one to my tippet and cast to the nearest trout that appears to have some size. It takes immediately, and after a nice tussle, it is returned to the river.

This feeding spree continues, and by the time I quit, five nice browns have taken the little fly. The fish are still feeding as I make my way to the car. It is 8:30. In those 45 minutes, I’ve had more action than during all previous trips. On nights like this, the trout are as easy as bluegills, a nice change from all the hatch-less, fish-less days. Now I’m glad I stuck it out, reminding myself how often persistence pays off and how often the guys are advised to fish late. I’m a little smug as I reach the car, feeling glad that I made the trip and waited for dusk to create it’s magic.

Once the rod is cased, my waders off and loaded, I grab a sandwich and start the car. There is a mud puddle on the driver’s side, which I pay little attention too, and begin a K turn. The front wheels begin to spin—I’m stuck in the puddle! I get out and rock the car back and forth several times, but it’s no use. Fortunately, the cell phone works. I call John, explain my situation, and he is on the way. In about 20 minutes there are lights, and the clatter of John’s diesel invades the night. We hook a chain to the front bumper and the car is out. I’m not so smug now. I thank John and head home.

The end of a perfect day… Well, almost perfect.


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