Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NW CT. And The Berkshires

My last couple of outings have been on some small streams in northwest Connecticut as well as the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I am familiar with these lovey streams and have had various results when fishing them. My last time here in this area was back in 2015. Upon my arrival I was thrilled to see ample water flowing. Apparently the area was blessed with more rain the last time.

It did not take very long for me to scatter the brookie. They were all over and soon they were gone at least from my sight. I worked various runs and riffles with a bit more stealth.

My cautious moves netted this male in spawning colors.

The streams were productive considering the bad years of 15and 16. The trout were scattered between pools and the riffles.

This stretch held a nice brookie, I would guess it to be 14 inches. He went for the fly but at the last second backed off and was not seen after.

But a little further upstream I connected with another fine jewel. I'll be back up this way before the snow flies, and I'll be looking for that 14 inch fellow.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The "Ginger Caddis"

October and the thoughts abound. The caddis, what a great month to fish this erratic flying insect. Truth is the caddis is a fly that I fish with confidence the whole year, and I would add with success. Most streams that I have fished have caddis, and even though the hatches are scarce the trout will not let the bug just float by. While there are many caddis flies out there and most work like charms. Here is my version of a caddis that will work in October and the other eleven months...again simplicity is key. Here is the "Ginger Caddis"

The fly is tied on a curved hook, some with a wing of different material. This one has a wing of marabou from a partridge. On others I use a small amount of elk hair. The body material is fox squirrel from the belly. This material is awesome, it comes alive in water. The hackle is ginger partridge, on many of these I'll tie them with 3-5 turns of the feather.

This version is tied without a wing. You can see the spikiness of the body material. This fly get attention.

Here is a wild jewel caught in October on the Ginger Caddis, next will be November and so on.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Tale Of What Was To Be, Or Not To Be

Thursday morning 6 am found us on the road heading to one of our favorite places. The area is that where a couple of unique streams which flow into the sea and our home to special friends of ours called the "salters"....By a few ticks after 8 we were pulling into the parking lot of Leo's restaurant in Buzzards Bay. This is the home of the best blueberry muffins south of Maine. We enjoyed those lovely muffins along with several cups of coffee and off we were to Red Brook.

Crossing the bridge I gazed down into the pool below, hoping to spot a salter but it was not to be. Well being there I said toss the streamer in and lets find out for sure. The streamer was a top producer of mine in this stream and if there was a trout there I could get it to strike. Cast after cast and nothing, even a change in flies brought the same result. At that time a thought entered my mind and at the end of my day it would prove itself.

We moved up Red Brook to a beautiful area with several nice runs and pools. The stretch has lots of cover that hold the brook trout. A hour later and I was facing the realization that there were no fish to be had. I decided to drive to a second stream which was a short drive from Red Brook. On or way back to the car I stopped to fish the pool under the bridge again. On the second cast the streamer took a vicious hit, I pulled and the fish was on, then off. I felt its weight for a moment and I knew it was a good fish. Several more casts and on we went to stream 2.

We pulled into the parking area of the second stream and the sight that greeted us was mind clearing. This is such a beautiful peaceful area that all you need do is just walk the woods trails and your day would be fulfilled. This stream is without question a Hornberg stream. I have never fished here without taking fish on that Honrberg.

I don't know if this pool has a name, but I'll call it "Frustration Pool"....I fished here and several flies were used. The result was the same and that result was nothing. I spent a good amount of time working streamers without a strike. After some thought I guessed that the fish were where I wasn't, they were probably much further upstream tending to other necessities. I chose to make this the final place to fish this day. I tied on a big heavily hackled wingless dry fly and sent it off on a drift. I could see it begin to swing near a large log. The fish rose and grabbed that fly. He was on and going downstream. It's been some time that I have had a trout run line form my reel but this one did. I managed to turn him only to loose him to some slack line. A fifteen minute period went by and I managed to bring another trout to the surface, only without a hookup. It was getting late and we said lets head back and have something to eat and choose what was next.

"When all else fails have a bowl of hot chicken soup"...I chose to call it a day, while not a single fish came to hand a lasting memory was entered into my minds journal. Perhaps next time my friend we will meet face to face...

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jack Gartside, A Great New England Fly Tyer

I started tying flies back around 2000. At first it was pretty much a glob of feathers and hair on a hook. As I attempted to learn more about the finer points of fly tying I thought perhaps a fly fishing show would help. Back then we had a great show that took place just outside of Boston and that was the first one I ever attended. It was there that I met Jack Gartside. I knew nothing of the man but in the time I spent in front of his table I learned a great deal. I noticed he was tying on a Regal vise, the next day I ordered one from Hunters in New Hampshire. Jack was tying his soft-hackle streamers, and talking, like a sponge I soaked up everything. I purchased several books he published and learned from them. Every show after I made a point to stop and visit with Jack. My encounters with Jack were short but I learned much. Sadly Jack has passed but I like to think he's close every time I tie or fish one of his creations.

The "Sparrow"...some say it's a nymph, some say it's a wet fly, I call it a soft-hackle. Pretty effective fly for most fish.

This is close to the original Gartside "Sparrow"...the first version is mine and is not quite the same. I think Jack would not object.

This is the Gartside "Chicken Poop Caddis"...pretty simple fly.