Over the past 3 weeks, I have enjoyed countless 2-3 hour excursions to different parts of Irondequoit Creek, but especially Powder Mills Park. The fishing is relatively easy, but technical. What I mean is, the fish aren’t selective, but they do demand good presentation. For example, on almost all of my recent trips, I have used a #12 to #14 black or tan Elk Hair Caddis, no matter what the water was like or what insects were buzzing around me. However, until this recent rain, I have been fishing 12-16’ leaders, anything shorter and the fish merely glance at my fly. Also, a very delicate presentation is necessary, in order to not spook the fish, so I have been using my new 5’6” 3wt. fly rod. It handles marvelously in the tight and cramped conditions, as I try to sneak close to the fish, using the bushes and trees as cover.
Another thing is to find moving water; because of the better flow, the easily spooked fish are not as sensitive to your wading. The faster water also doesn’t allow for close inspection of your fly, whereas in the slow pools you can watch the fish see the fly, come up open its mouth, and then… dart back to the bottom. Another technique that works wonderfully, is the duo dry-nymph rig, by tying on a 15-25” section of tippet off the bend of the dry fly to a nymph. Making sure this tippet is one size smaller, so as to only break off the nymph, and not the dry, if snagged. I typically use a #14 Elk Hair Caddis to a #16 nymph, a bead head of some sort (Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear or one of my creations at the bench). Finally, despite most of the fish being stocked, I almost always catch at least one native rainbow in the 4-9” range and a couple nice browns. Even with this clear water I still use a large #14 Elk Hair Caddis.
One more thing, if you find creeks that feed into Irondequoit, go check them out, they will not look like chocolate milk compared to the larger streams. So grab your favorite small stream rod and get out there. Tight lines see you on the water.