Didn't have as much time to fish as had hoped. Heat hung in the air by the time I arrived at the Paulinskill shortly after 10:30 a.m., but water temperature surely hadn't risen over 70. Trout had proven to be plentiful in this stretch. But last year at the end of July we observed more smallmouth bass than trout. Today I saw three smallmouths, one of them about 16 inches, and committed myself to trout with the little time I had.
Still a novice with a fly rod, my casting certainly has improved, but missing three trout strikes shows I am not a straight line to the fish yet. I began with a stonefly nymph and quickly reasoned that the trout, swimming in mid-column, might take a subtle wet fly, but not a bead head. So I tied on a size 18 ant pattern and did manage to catch an average-size brown trout in addition to getting those other visible strikes, the colors of this trout very striking. I quickly released it, rather than taking a photograph, because I feared its getting lactic acid poisoning.
Then I went on my way to Mohican Outdoor Center to retrieve my son, Matt. He opted out of fly fishing in advance, expecting to be tired. But as you can see by the photographs, we had quite an afternoon up in the mountains.
Swimming, by the way, was best. Catfish Lake has 80-foot depths and I felt if I could have swam underwater down into them, I would have. No, it wasn't rapture of the deep, because that is in fact an objective condition in just such a way, but water is salvation. And the Atlantic brine is full of salt, as I recall.