When local rivers are running high and dirty, some unsafe to wade and others only marginally suitable for throwing big streamers, it’s nice to have another option. Moreover, when the short resident trout season ends at the end of September and the only fishing left is migratory species near the mouths of rivers and some warm water fishing, it’s great to have somewhere to turn.
To this effect, I decided to try something new this year. The trout ponds at Glen Haffy’s Fly Fishing Club offer some excellent stocked Rainbow Trout fishing for about 8 months out of the year. As an added benefit, they also enjoy a healthy population of native Brook Trout that enter one of the ponds from a small spring creek. The ponds are nestled within hundreds of acres of conservation land and offer excellent fishing in a truly serene atmosphere.
Early morning view from one of Glen Haffy’s trout ponds
Earlier this season, I purchased a new 6 weight Sage VXP, with the intent of using it for Bass and large streamer fishing for Trout. After having used it only a couple of times, it was part of an unfortunate incident involving a car window. Though it seemed unscathed at the time, it snapped in half while casting large streamers on the Grand the next day.
Distraught, I phoned Sage and explained the situation. They instructed me to ship the damaged sections to their Warranty/Repair department in Washington. I would be responsible for the shipping cost, along with a $50 US handling and return shipping fee. When all was said and done, I was out about $80. Worse yet, the season was just getting started and I would have to wait almost 2 months for the repair to be completed and shipped back to me, since this is the busiest time of year for rod repairs.
September is always a month of mixed feelings for me. It’s easily my favourite time of year to be on the river, with the cooling temperatures, colourful scenery and hungry trout. Unfortunately, it also brings much shorter days and the end of open season for most fly fishing in Ontario.
I spent my Labour Day with a bit of a change in scenery, opting to fish the Brook Trout water above the Cataract on the Credit. I’m usually hesitant to give specifics about where I fish, for good reasons. However, I think in some cases, secrecy and tight lips can lead to lack of awareness about issues. This is water that has been in a state of decline for the last decade or so and only more recently are these issues coming into the foreground. There are definitely still healthy Brook Trout here, but in much smaller numbers and generally in smaller sizes as well, especially at the more easily accessible locations. Catch & Release and barbless hooks are more important than ever here.
I fished a long stretch of this section Monday and caught mostly tiny brookies, in the 4″ range. This is water that, not many years ago, was teeming with brookies in the 8-10″ range, some larger. It wasn’t until I made my way much further downstream, around dusk, that a fairly thick hatch of some (unidentified) large mayflies got things going. I assume the bugs were either Isonychia or Hexagenia atrocaudata (Late Hex). I tied on the largest fly I had in my box, a size #8 Robert’s Drake. I cast it upstream into the corner of a back eddy where a large amount of foam was accumulating and this fish smashed it as it hit the water.
A nice Brook Trout taken on a large drake at dusk