First December rainbow

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Richard Lodge
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Location: Massachusetts

First December rainbow

Post by Richard Lodge »

I didn't get much time to fish this year, working long hours and a lot of extra days at my new job at the daily where I live on the North Shore of Massachusetts. I finally carved out some time off, here in the first week of December. December isn't known as the ideal time to fly fish for trout (more likely a good time to think about ice fishing). But trout season never closes in the Bay State, the weather has been... well... reasonable the past week, so I got up early and headed more than an hour west to the Swift River, where I'd heard rumors on the blog of a western Mass. fishing guide that a few trout had been caught and soft hackles were the way to go.

First, I had to drive through Athol (if pronounced incorrectly, you will be the butt of many jokes).



I got to the Swift around 7:30 a.m., with the air temperature inching up slowly, but still only 35 degrees. It's a beautiful, small river known for its browns, rainbows and native brook trout. The water temp was in the low 40s, at best.



We've had several killing frosts so leaves are all off the trees. This part of Massachusetts is a lot more scenic in October until mid-November, but it was still great to be on the water.
I fished with a J.W. Young Beaudex (circa 1947) that had been converted to LHW by Ron (Bulldog) MacAlpin a couple years ago. He did a great job and the reel is a sweetheart to use. I paired it with an equally sweet Orvis Far & Fine early graphite rod, 5-weight and 7'9". It's one of the best-kept secrets among early Orvises.
Using an olive soft hackle fly tied by ORCA member Robert Veatch (thank you, Robert!), I landed this beauty, which I quickly photo'd and released. Gotta love those cold-water colors.



Anyway, it's not an exciting story about fly fishing in exotic lands, but it was my first December trout in Massachusetts, and a great time on the water. The thermometer in my car said it was 45 degrees by the time I left just before noon. It did take a while for my feet to thaw out, though. Summer waders aren't made for winter wading.

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Paul M
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Paul M »

Nice pics and story. Thanks Richard!
Paul Manuel

Member since 2006

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Steve
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Steve »

Nice, Richard! Butt we shouldn't make too many assinine puns about Athol, whether written or oral. Our son taught there for a few years, and I picked up a couple of reels there, before everything was being sold on eBay. More importantly, though, Athol was the home of George Gates and Starrett tools.

Steve Vernon
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"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

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RonG
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by RonG »

That's a Beautiful Fish.

Richard Lodge
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Richard Lodge »

Ah, but if you live in Massachusetts, you can make many jokes about Athol, Mr. Vernon. It is worth noting that Athol is just a (long) stone's throw from Montague City, a name familiar to many, many ORCA members.

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john elder
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by john elder »

Way to go, Richard! You are an inspiration!
ORCA member since 1999
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Specializing in saltwater reels...and fly reels...and oh, yeah, kentucky style reels.....and those tiny little RP reels.....oh, heck...i collect fishing reels!...and fly rods....and lures

Don Champion
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Don Champion »

Steve,
Not many people know about L.S. Starrett tools. The best ever made. Do they still make them in the US?

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Mike N
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Mike N »

Richard- great post and a beautiful rainbow trout. Thanks,

Mike N
ORCA Charter Member, circa. 1990
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Ron Mc
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Ron Mc »

RonG wrote:That's a Beautiful Fish.
+ beautiful water and reel

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Midway Tommy D
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by Midway Tommy D »

Neat story & photos, Richard!
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

Tom DeLong, NE
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bettybarr
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Re: First December rainbow

Post by bettybarr »

You should write an editorial about the importance of nature and the serenity you get from the experience as a recharge from the work and news of the day. I am refreshed just reading the post.
Joined: 2007

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