Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I Believe.....

After so many years of fishing small streams I should know that surprises happen. Some come in the form of lots of fish, a brookie or brown taking a fly that it really shouldn't. There are the times when I slip and fall in and find out I did not break a leg. Cold snowy days when the trout are rising to "bombers", and days when coffee from a thermos that really tastes good.

Today, I found out something that I suspected but never experienced. While fishing a blue line I noticed a smaller blue line feeding into the one I was fishing. Looking into it I saw quite a few brookies. It's said as the streams rise this time of year they tend to draw brookies up into them. I think they seek these waters to spawn. Now I'm not one who will not say that's just a stupid idea, I mean what if they dry up. On the other hand these fish have been doing this for centuries and have survived just what the hell drift a fly, I did just that and once again I was gifted.

Now friends take a good look at this wild brook trout. A spawning male with a hump in his back, orange, blue, yellow, red, black and white colors mixed into his body. An incredibly strong fish who rose to a Ausable Wulff and bent the heck out of my 5' 3wt....a fish that did not surrender and as I lifted him up to take a photo he twisted and freed himself of the fly....moments later he was gone. This is a memory never to be forgotten.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Some Changes And All For The Good

What a photo...clearly the seam between evergreen and hardwood stands out with color starting to show in the hardwoods. Along that seam is a stream that flows into a large lake. In that stream are some of the prettiest brook trout in New England. Recently I spent some time fishing the stream at a time when it was flowing sweetly. We have had ample rains and when time permits I'll fish these little waters and take advantage of higher water moving brookies about.

The stream passes through some nasty places, nice for photographs but a little steep for this guy to trek down. I'll move along until I find more friendly access.

Lot's of flowers about with sun bright color.

The brookies in this stream will not be outdone....their colors rival any flower.

Fast moving water leading into a deep pool. I love fishing these places.

Usually these places hold some nice fish like this one.

I wonder what lurks in this pool?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Shenk's Skater-Spiders

Skater-spiders are a variant of the Hewitt "Skaters" which were created by Ed Hewitt back in the thirties. He used these flies and I might add many others as well to take trout on the rivers in the Catskill's. The "skater-spider" was created by Ed Shenk of Carlisle PA. I found the chapter on these flies in his book "Fly Rod Trouting" seems Ed was tying these flies for Joe Brooks who used them quite successfully. Shenk's flies used a typical dry fly hackle where Hewitt used "spade hackle" which are very hard to get. I tie a variation of Shenk's fly. I use a tail. I'll tie these in size 14 and 12. As far as colors are concerned I don't really see a difference and the trout take any color. They are a simple fly to tie, requiring only thread for the body, a few coq de leon fibers for a tail and the hackle. I use Whiting 100 packs...the flies have oversized hackle 14 and 12 I use size 10 hackle.

This skater-spider uses natural grizzly hackle.

This skater-spider uses what Whiting calls grizzly/ march brown hackle.

This lightly colored skater-spider uses brown hackle fibers for the tail and ginger hackle.

While these flies are not the most visible on the water to anglers the fish see them well and that's what matters.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

One of my better days.....

Monday and Monday night we had some pretty decent rains. This was well needed and I was anxious to see the stream levels, as well as how the fishing would be. Small streams rise quickly and fall almost as fast. In each stage the stream can become somewhat dirty and cloudy but will usually clear up before to long. The places to fish when this clearing process is happening are the riffles. It is these areas where the cobble bottom and faster flow clean the water to almost perfect conditions. Such was the case yesterday when I took to the woods in search of some willing brookies. The air was damp with the spattering of rain from time to time. A few instances the sky brightened for a minute and soon the clouds took control.

The streams bottom doing its work of clearing the water.

The brookies were active with several taken in a few minutes.

Now looking at this section of stream it seems to shout "brook trout hiding here" a near perfect place to hold and ambush a meal. The fly drifted near the undercut and a fish rose and missed, but continued to follow the fly as I drew it in and swiping at it again. I waited a few minutes before I cast again, and this time the fish was on. I could feel the power of the fish as it wen straight for the nasty stuff along the bank. My thoughts were of a good sized brook trout, but as I turned the fish I could see it was not a brookie but a brown. That brown owned this section and was not going to let a 5' 3wt fiberglass rod take him in, and for the most part he had the upper hand. The only issue that crossed my mind was if the hook would hold.... did and this beautiful wild brown was at my feet. As he lay there I reached for him, I slid my hand under him and lifted him. A quick photo and as I placed him in the water I could see the fly had come out as the fish lay in the water before I lifted him up. A few moments later he swam off.

These are the places my friends....

...where the wild jewels are found.

More on this fly later.

Beauty abounds.