A Special Run

Frank landing his shad.
The shad run is something special in the Western Mass area. Many fishermen look forward to it every year, one of them being Frank. He has been traveling from CT for many years to fish this annual run.

I met up with Frank and Wayne( another fellow fisherman from CT) early in the morning to start fishing. As usually, it was slow to start off with. After casting for more than half an hour, I hooked into a fish. Since it was a Shad Derby weekend, I brought my net with me. My netting skills has been rusty, typically I grab the leader and release the fish that way or beach it. But I missed the fish with the net and the fly popped off. What a good start to the day!

I fished for a while, then I saw Frank with his rod bent, I walk down to where he was and help netted his fish. After I helped Frank, I turned around and saw Wayne with his rod bent. After Wayne netted the fish, I saw from afar that it was not a shad. He told me it was a smallie, it is common to catch smallies while shad fishing.

Wayne looks pretty pleased with his catch.
After fishing in that area for a while with little to no action, we decided to move to another area. I was the first one to wade in. I made a short cast with an orange fly. Then suddenly my phone went off, I picked it up while my line was still in the water. Seconds later, FISH ON! I told the other person on the other end, "I'll call you back!". Eventually the fish came off. A minute later, Frank and Wayne was wading in the river, I hooked another fish! This shad was landed! I told Wayne to move into my spot and I would move down. Minutes later, his rod was bent and he landed his first shad ever! Wayne ended up with 5 shad on a fly rod before he left for the day. It is rewarding to share these amazing fish with others. They are so much fun on a fly rod!

Frank and I continued to fish, the shad we hooked into were tanks! At times, I thought I got snagged but nope, they were shad! Some of them, I could barely keep them on the line for a few seconds since they did many head shakes and my fly popped out. Frank and I fished hard until we had to leave, he ended up with 7 shad for that day and I ended up with 8 overall. It was great fishing for all 3 of us.

Get out there and get some shad slime on your waders!

Thanks for reading, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!