I have just returned home from a two week trip to the USA, the trip was actually centred around the Striperheads Clave but I kind of messed up the flights and ended up going a week early. Not a problem, a friend kindly offered to put me up at his house for a week (read put up with me) and fish the streams around his home in the Adriondack Mountains. Once I arrived (delayed plane meant the travel took me via NewYork itself by Amtrack train), I was greeted with the news that the area was in the middle of a drought. I saw rivers that I should have been fishing very low, down to minimum water levels with no sign of fishy life. However, a little driving around provided the news that the west branch of the Au Sable River had water.This meant a trip over to the river to check it out, and an opportunity to visit a fly store (actually two, The Mountineer and the Hungry Trout). I picked up some leader material from the first and a few bits from the second but no Snowshoe rabbit feet which I was really hoping for.
The following day I actually got to go fishing! First stop was the Saranac, near Clayburg. After yesterdays visit to the Hungry Trout I fished the suggested method of a large dry with a small nymph tied to the eye via a short length of leader. I am really going to have to apply this to the Usk when I fish it in the future. The river itself was tinged with an Iron colour which reminded me of the Usk at times (close to being peat stained). Because the river was slightly similar to the UK in Wales (rocky) I felt at ease but failed to catch. I must also point out that this river was twice as wide as the Usk. The visible bugs here were a few BWO’s and sedges but no fish were to be seen.
After a break for lunch we moved on to the West Au Sable, A little more rocky but still felt at ease due to its appearance, reminiscent of a rocky western stream in the wilds of Wales. The bit I fished was the Shadow rock pool. Unlike the Saranac, I saw more fly life but mostly of the cricket/hopper kind, I mean these hoppers were huge but mostly in the size 8 to 12 range. My friend actually suggested that I try use smaller hoppers. I used the same set up as before but changed to a size 12 Adams parachute (nothing bigger, size 10 was suggested). I actually managed to get a hit… all 3 inches of tiny bait fish and lost a decent trout. The very odd fish was also seen to rise. What made this section of river special was seeing my first Bald Eagle, getting up close to a dirty great Heron and an Osprey.