Drums Along the Mohawk: Redux

Still haven't seen the movie.

When the water is down, there's a lot of territory to explore on the delta. Not enough to truly get lost, being situated at the nexus of 3 cities, 2 major river systems, a state park, railroad, multiple automobile bridges and a DPW center, but impressively, more than enough to lose yourself and experience what nature has been able to seek the delta's refuge.

This year every visit to the islands (but 1) has resulted in at least hearing a deer. Yesterday I saw the same doe twice on opposite sides of a side channel within an hour. I've jumped rabbits, been rushed by geese, stepped on catfish, and been a homing beacon for caddis. There are secluded places, believe it or not, where you almost feel in the wilderness. All you can hear is the rushing water and wind, and if you don't strain too hard, you can't even see the buildings in the distance. Surrounded by river, shale, forest...and these;

Do you see? Do You See!?

Oh, I'm sorry, forgot the polarized lens;

For those of you who always ask how much of a difference polarized sunglasses make, how's this? Just held my sunglasses in front of the lens. While you can see the fish a little better, the big deal is turning those obscure shadows and reflections into well resolved bottom detail.

I threw everything I had at them. OK, I threw a conehead bugger and zero stealth at them. Somehow, they managed to decline. Managed plenty of smallies though, from 6 inches on up to 16. Also landed a 10" herring (well, plucked it out of a pool and tossed it on a rock...), which almost prompted me to tie one on and go hunting for bruiser bronzebacks. But, it was really just a one-fly kind of a day.

In addition to all the carp, there were nomadic pods of what first appeared to be massive bass. When I got close enough to see a little better, well, the drum were in. Everywhere. Cruising deep, holding shallow, plucking crustaceans off banks and ledges. None would take the bugger. Or even look at it.

Until I saw a tail in a shallow riffle. Had to be a smallie. Turned out to be a hungry 18" drum. Not massive by any means. Especially considering they don't put up much of a fight. But plenty to put a healthy bend in the 8 wt.

New species on the fly! Check out those colors. Talk about wild, pretty fish...who needs trout?

I've caught freshwater drum before, as a kid, but never on the fly. Interesting that they (this and the other, 14 incher I caught) didn't really fight particularly hard; they had plenty of power in reserve which they demonstrated while I was trying to unhook and release them. Guess they were just playing me.

Knock another one off the list. Now...for them pesky carps....


Flying Ties said…
Nicely done. Freshwater drum are something I've been seeking for a while now but haven't been able to find up here... especially now with the dredging.

Also, with a big pod of carp like that, you're in the game this year.
Never seen a Drum so thanks for the post...great read.
FoulHooked said…
Thanks Pike, this guy was just on the small side of average for what I was seeing yesterday. Gotta find a good place over here for snotrockets! Yet to get one of them.

FT - come on down, the water's warmed up nicely. First time I've seen them (drum) in that area, so not sure how long they'll stick around. Far as the carp, they're around, but not yet in the numbers I saw last year. Not much activity in the way of feeding yesterday either.
Flying Ties said…
I saw a drum (or some other fat tailed fish) the last time I was down tailing in the shallow water right where we walked in. Missed the hook set.

I'll have to make the trek again soon, as long as I don't have to nearly die crossing the stream again (or the water is lower so its easier).
Ward W said…
Nice polarized shot! I've been frustrated with a lot of the shots I've taken hovering over a pod of fish. Cant wait to try throwing the sunglasses in front of the lens!
FoulHooked said…
Thanks Ward! When you do it you might have to play with the angle (rotation) of the glasses to get the light right. It's surprising how well it works.

Just got my first cat on the fly down there too. Put a hell of a pull on the rod.
Ward W said…
Cats are definitely overshadowed by carp these days, but they're an aweful lot of fun too. Glad you picked one up!

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