Fly fishermen looking to fish the no-kill zone in Deposit, NY on the evening of June 26th, may have been in for a surprise. The DEC access adjacent to the Gentlemans Clubhouse on the West Branch of the Delaware River was packed with cars and a large group of anglers crowded the river’s banks as a solitary fly fisherman plied his trade. That angler was Joe Goodspeed, a product manager for Cortland Line Company, who graciously volunteered his time on a beautiful evening to show the BC Flyfishers (BCFF) chapter of IFFF a thing or two about nymphing. After gathering chapter members for a round of picture-taking, Goodspeed was soon challenged to hook a trout before the group of eager fly fishermen. He made no promises but soon delivered. The event started with general chapter news from President Nick DiNunzio, including announcements on an upcoming fundraiser, more ‘on-the-water’ fishing events, and recognition of Life members of IFFF. After these announcements, Joe talked briefly about his tackle and rig - a 4 weight Cortland; a Cortland Competition Nymph fly rod - a rod he designed and developed - used with Cortland 2 weight Double Taper fly line and a hand-tied 13 foot leader. For his on-the-water presentation, Joe fished the head of the Gentlemans Club riffle, a spot he considers difficult to fish because of slow flows. Brown trout, he said, like to nose up and feed at the lip of riffles and the biggest browns of the pool command the head of the feeding line. Joes nymphs were a #16 caddis pupa on a dropper and a #14 jighead Isonychia nymph as tail fly. The Iso nymph; 3/32 ounce tungsten was the only weight in the rig. Joe used a very small and dull strike indicator about 10 feet above the tail fly.
While it was only his second time on the Delaware since April, Goodspeed certainly seemed at home. He moved almost spiderlike as he positioned himself and cast his long nymph rig across the riffle. To Joe, nymph fishing is more than just dead drift indicator fishing. He constantly threw mends and imparted wiggles into the line, explaining later that he used a down-stream ‘J-hook’ to keep tight to his flies, using jerks in the line to animate his flies. At one point he stopped to make an adjustment to his rig. He explained later that his dull indicator was hard to see in the evening sun so he changed to a bright orange indicator to improve visibility. A few casts later he hooked a very nice brown of 15 inches. After his on-the-water presentation, Joe held class, bankside, and talked in depth about nymphing NY state waters. If attendance numbers are any indicator of meeting success, then the 45 people crowded around him that evening was surely a sign of good things to come for the BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF.
Blogger's note: BC Fly Fishers are located in Broome County, New York, about three and a half hours northwest of New York City. Their home waters are the Susquehanna river that flows in the Chesapeake Bay and the West Branch Delaware River that flows into the Delaware Bay. They are also near Cortland, N.Y. home of Cortland Line Company. Check out their website bcflyfishers.org.