This was my first trip to the Rideau River this year. Earlier in the morning on my way to pick up a few groceries I took the long way so I could check out the water levels. The water is down so that wading looks possible in one of my favourite spots – the bridge at Andrewsville. Last year the water was high most of the summer so I hardly fished this spot at all. Conditions confirmed it was on to the store for supplies – dinner was to be jumbo grilled shrimp with Tabasco butter ala Chi Wulff. You learn all sorts of things reading peoples fishing blogs.
After a day of odd jobs around the house it was time to go fishing. Andrewsville is less than 10 minutes from home so it is a perfect destination for a short evening of fishing. I arrived, rigged up my 5wt (3wt is in the shop getting repairs for a broken tip) and was on the water just before 6pm. The starting spot was a little deeper than I had hoped but by hugging the shoreline for a bit, I was able to find a spot where I could wade to the centre of the river.
There were loads of small sedges fluttering over the water surface and the occasional fish rising. It didn’t look like they were taking on the surface so I started with a nymph. It didn’t take long before a strike came. Wouldn’t you know it; it was a feisty 8 inch smallmouth bass – out of season. He was quickly released and attention was focused on a deep pool where I knew the bluegills and rock bass were plentiful.
Sure enough, the action was fast and furious. Almost every cast brought a strike. They were often very light so it was easy to miss the hook up but more than enough were brought to hand. The most popular fly seemed to be a nymph pattern called a Misfit – basically a green marabou tail, green floss body, big brown hackle collar and a copper bead head.
An hour into fishing the surface activity picked up considerably so I switched to a small dark caddis fly. The fished liked it both on the surface and skated just below. Some fairly large bluegills took it as dinner. I packed it in around 8 and headed home for our own dinner – those grilled shrimp.