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A day on the River: Casting for Skaneateles Creek wild trout

OPINION

JW Trout on Skaneateles Creek

JW Trout on Skaneateles Creek

After viewing the creek for about 10 minutes my search was rewarded. There was a slight disturbance of the water as the flow enters the main pool. The creek was more at normal flow or slightly below normal.

Skaneateles Creek can be very clear at times, which makes the fishing more difficult. Clear water makes for skittish fish, and necessitates a stealthy approach and soft cast presentations. A pleasant surprise was the Sulfur May Fly hatch that was occurring. A view upstream showed a spurt of water caused by another trout taking a fly as it floated on the stream surface. Here at the bridge, there were two more fish feeding on dry flies (duns).

The stream is noted for being narrower and brush/tree lined which makes for difficult casting. A shorter fly rod is recommended because of these tight conditions. A seven-foot, seven-and-a-half-foot or an eight-foot fly rod should work well. The choice for the days fishing was a seven-foot, six-inch four-weight rod that should minimize the tree and brush hook-ups but not eliminate them.

A few casts to the rising trout did not produce a take of the fly. More distance was needed to cover the rising trout with a drag free presentation of a No. 14 sulfur dry fly. The next presentation landed ideally three feet above the trout and in the trout’s feeding lane — the take was aggressive. The trout put up a tussle but was quickly landed.

The surprise was in the discovery that the trout was a 13-inch wild brown trout, which would make it three years-old. Hatchery-raised two-year-old trout will be about 15 inches. The growth rate in the wild is slower due to the level of food available and seasonal water conditions. The food supply of a hatchery trout is daily no matter what the seasonal time period.

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