Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Angler Interview- Andy Samara

Andy with a nice spring steelie
When I first started the teaching position I am in right now and people found out I fly fished, the first words out of their mouths were "Have you talked to Andy Samara yet?" It isn't unusual to find teachers that fly fish and many are passionate anglers like Andy. I haven't been able to get out on the water with him yet but that is just a matter of time. He was pretty excited about being the subject of this week's interview but did tell me that "there might be a few exaggerations".  Well Andy, the truthometer is running.....

SMC Fly Fishing Club '07 (including Andy)
How did you get into fly fishing?

I started fly fishing with friends at Saint Michael’s College.  A good friend of mine started the Fly Fishing Club when I was in my first year as an undergraduate.  I fished with my buddy on the Winooski a couple of times and then joined the club for a trip to the Ausable River in New York in the fall of 2006 and have been fishing ever since. 
What was your first rod and do you remember the first fish you caught?

My first rod was club rod that I eventually kept, an Orvis Clearwater 5wt.  My first fish was actually caught on a friend’s rod an LL Bean fast action of some sort.  It was during my first trip to the Ausable, I caught a 14” rainbow on a #22 Trico pattern in slow water.  The fish were only taking when the rain would pick up past a dribble. I fumbled around like an idiot and was shaking, but I landed the fish.

 What do you enjoy fishing for the most?
Nice brown Andy!

Trout are my preferred species.  I love everything about fishing for trout; their colors, behavior, the differences in the ways they hit flies, how they fight, the environment I find them in, their smarts, everything really.
Are you tying your own flies?

I started tying a couple of years after I started fishing.  I consider myself a novice tier, but I’m functional.  I enjoy tying and trying to be inventive on the vice, but don’t get around to it as much as I would like.  However, there is nothing like catching a wild trout on a home-tie or one of my own creations.
Dry fly, wet fly, nymph or streamer?

I can tie most patterns after a couple of tries, and do if they can be put to use in the area I’m fishing.  A couple of my favorite patterns to tie are small Muddler’s Minnows and fluttering Caddis to be used in local brookie streams.

What is the one fly that  you won’t hit the water without and why?
That is a fat 'bow!

My two go to flies are #6 white wooly buggers, and #12, 14 prince nymphs.  I usually don’t leave a nice riffle, run, or pool without giving both of those a drift/pull through.
How have you found this wet spring season in Vermont to be for fishing?
I’ve been a bit disappointed, most of the spots that I usually fish early season have been high and unfishable during times when I’m available to fish.  I’ve found fish in weird places (18” large mouth upstream on Lewis Creek while targeting brookies), and many times no fish at all.  However, when get out I have a good time and try to learn something for future outings. I think that I’ll be more prepared for the next time we have a spring this wet.
I know you have found steelheading in Western New York. Tell me about your experiences on the Salmon River.
The trip I took up to Salmon River, it was a blast.  I was lucky enough to drift the river with fellow teacher Greg Lewis, and Tom Burke of Cold Steel Sportfishing located in Altmar, NY.  We actually spin fished with Noodle rods and were dead drifting egg-sacks on a cold day in March.  I got into several fish that day, and have never been so spent after fighting and landing a fish.  I would love to get back to the Salmon River in the coming seasons to either fish with Cold Steel or a wade with the fly rod.

Do you target any warm water species?
I have fished the smallie run on Lewis Creek for the past three or four seasons.  I like sight fishing for the big spawners, they fight hard and are usually acrobatic.  To this point I haven’t targeted many warm water species outside of smallies, but would definitely be interested in fishing for pike on the surface or getting dominated by a musky. 
If you were offered a dream trip to fly fish for anything, anywhere what would your choice be?
Whoa, tough question.  If time weren’t an issue I would have liked to fish the Battenkill (Vermont side) when it was still packed with big browns, but if it was tomorrow, I would love to have the opportunity to fish the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado during the Salmon fly hatch.
Do you have any species that you really want to get into sometime in the near future (either locally or further afield)?

I’m always looking to hook into a big wild brown trout in Vermont, I consider them a species unto themselves, separate from other trout in the state.  However, I’m interested in pike that hit hard on the surface, and have always been curious about fishing for permit.  They are beautiful fish, and from what I’ve heard and seen, they fight like crazy and are very difficult to catch.
Last, and possibly most important question… when are you going to get done doing remodeling and get out fishing with me?

Hahah, moving into a new place is a long a laborious process.  My question to you is, when are you going to get your ass over here for some painting and a beer?!!

A- When I get done catching lots of fish.....

I am sure that Andy and I will be catching fish together before too long. Keep your eyes posted for some pics from that (those?) days!

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