Dry Falls and Warmwater Fly Fishing in Late November

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Sparse Grey Hackle, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Sparse Grey Hackle

    Sparse Grey Hackle Active Member

    Apr 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Syracuse, NY, USA.
    I enjoyed another great weekend fly fishing. However, 25 with no attachments and commitments allow you to do this kind of thing. I arrived at Dry Falls Saturday afternoon and fished till 8:00 PM. At this time of year, Dry Falls night fishes very well. In late February, we'll talk about night fishing in Beda, but that's a story for a different day...

    The moon was slow to rise above the NE cliffs and I fished the majority of the evening in almost complete darkness. The only light came from the abundant stars, which serve more as eye candy, than any real source of illumination. I have fished Dry Falls several times each year for the last two years. I have always found great fishing in the "parking lot" end of the lake (and these last two weekends provided no exception), and the northwest bay of the cliffs that follow it, but I never spent much time in the large western bay. I guess with the fine fishing throughout the entire lake there is no need to kick or paddle your craft to the western bay; I believe the philosophy/expression is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But, I seemed dumb that I never fished it. So, while I was waiting for the sun to fall, I crossed into the western bay with type 6 sinking line, counting to 40 or more to get my fly to the fish. Strip--strip, strip--strrrrip...wait, strip str-- Wham! A stout bodied 16" met my wet-fly with aggression, or as Steve Raymond insists in "Year of the Angler": cooperation.

    Only one other angler fished this bay that day, trolling about in a methodical way. He seemed to be moving quickly, trying to cover as much water as possible. He moved clean out the bay into the parking lot where he then went home and said, "It was an OK day at Dry Falls. The water temperature and fishing was slow, and I caught 4 fish this day. I fished deep and slow. I think that is pretty good for this time of year.."

    Well, he left and I took over. The sun was now setting and I switched to size 4 and size 8 leech patterns and switch to a type 4 line. I picked a small inlet in the western bay that just looked good. This little bay is the first piece of structure coming around the lake from the north that isn't a rockslide dropping into the lake. I SLOWLY moved and cast into this bay, which produced 8-9 nice fish to hand. The catch for this bay consisted mostly of rainbow in the range of 16-22", all stocky and stout bodied. The exceptions of course were the two brown trout that also came to hand. After exhausting this bay, I figured it would be good to fish nearer the car. You see, last year my headlamp went out and I had quite a hard time finding the car... But again, that is another story.

    By the end of the night, I had landed somewhere in the ballpark of 15 fish, 3 browns and the rest rainbow. In addition to that, I LDR'd 5 more. Yeah, the fishing is slow this time of year, whatever.. The mentality of the fish is: "Getting cold..Need calories to sustain myself for the winter..will pursue fast erratic leech (or minnow) pattern for calories.."

    On a different note, I felt like exploring the next day and spent time checking out random stillwaters in and around the Frenchman Hills wasteway near C Rd SE. I never found the lake I was looking for. What I did find is 3 shallow lakes in the midst of a battle for supremacy: Milfoil vs. the established broadleaved aquatic. The broadleaf was losing the battle in most of these lakes. Finally, after much wandering I came across a body of water which appeared to be deeper than the rest. I put on an olive crystal leech with a hint of holographic flash and counted away 23 seconds to get the type 3 "slime line" down. What could be in this lake? Strip-troll--strip, strip--bang. What do ya' know it was my very good buddy the 7" bluegill!! "Oh my God Mr. Bluegill! What the hell are you doing here?! I thought that you and the kids always take off for Florida each year until you return to us in June." The bluegill responded, "Nah, were staying this year, see for yourself." He then swam away and told his buddies to eat my offerings to make up for the hiking and exploring I put in to find this lake. Sure enough, between 12-2:30 I landed 4 more. The strangest thing was another familiar face of this summer. It was ol'bucketmouth! He must have been left behind on the bus to Florida, because I only ran into one of them.. 14" and stout with my little minnow pattern hooked solid in his lips. He wasn't as friendly as the bream, and thrashed about and hollered, "Let me go you dirty bastard!" So I did, and he called me a couple of names and slowly swam off to the depths to hang out a bunch gregarious and annoying (annoying to ol' bucketmouth) bluegill and a few carp to buddy up with until the bucketmouth crew arrives in April to spawn against the structure of the shallower waters of the lake.

    Signing off,


    Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
    (Sir Izaak Walton)