After last weeks very cold conditions here in New England we were offered a break. Sunday and Monday will show a moderating trend in temperatures with Sunday perhaps being the better of the two days. Knowing this thanks to the confidence I put in our local weather forecasters I headed for a nice little stream to get my first glimpse of three days worth of cold temps and what they will do to the stream.
I am always amazed at the beauty of ice and how it forms on rocks as it flows. The thick formations and those delicate crepe like formations that seem to glitter so brightly that they must be viewed with sun glasses.
I started fishing those small dry flies again, what the heck they worked so well my last time out. It did not take to long to realize that they would not do the same on this outing. The water had become much colder and the fish were staying close to the bottom.
Into the box I gazed and picked up a beadhead soft hackle. I tied it on and it did the trick. A sudden strike and a brookie to hand. Moving upstream and casting I soon felt the bottom. I tried to free the fly but it was lost. Then the light came on. I had tied some of the flies with tungsten beads, they drop to bottom quickly which was not needed in this stream. Some of the others were tied with regular beads. Being both the same color I had to try to figure out which was which. Well I did and after that the fishing was easier and lest costly in terms of loosing the fly.
In this smooth deep pool I cast the fly and watched it sink. I could almost feel it bounce on the rocks below. As the fly finished the drift I started to work it back. I retrieved with an up and down motion like you would a jig. Suddenly I felt the strike and then it was fish on.
I knew from the weight of the fish it was a good one. As the rod worked the fish closer I could see just how big he was. I laid my hand under the trout and lifted him up. He was beautiful. A quick photo and off he went. This was by far the largest brook trout I've ever taken from this stream.
These are the beadhead soft hackles. Can you tell which one is the tungsten bead? Can you tell which is the veteran of the outing?
Catching fish is the reason to be out here....or is it. While a brook trout to hand is wonderful there is "so much more to it" this small stream angling.
I had the notion to fool around with some small dry flies, and see if I could be successful on a small stream. The flies are as simple as one could tie involving only 3 materials. These flies are tied on a size 20 hook, the smallest flies I've ever tied. Thread was the body material, a turn or two of peacock herl for a thorax and some grizzly hackle. The flies were treated with Gink and were ready to be fished.
Tuesday was a real cold day. The sun was about which would have warmed it up a bit but the wind took that away. I arrived around 10 AM and found the stream with a nice flow. The water was as clear as it can be, November waters tend to be sparkling. I sent the mini dry on its mission and soon a small brookie rose.
Here are the size 20's with a size 14 to show some perspective.
In most areas of the stream I had brookies rise.
My first trout of the day. And my first trout ever on a size 20 dry fly.
A brown was taken here but tossed the fly.
A few drifts later and this fine male brook trout took the 20.
I continued to fish until the ice in the guides caused me to call it a day. I like catching fish on small dry flies. Perhaps next up will be size 16 streamers!
The thermometer on my deck reads 20 degrees. I,m getting dressed and will be out the door by 4:30. My destination will be a deer stand. The next several weeks will find me there from time to time. I will have lots of time to think and plan, and hopefully a deer will be harvested.