Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Two Small Streams

On one of those cool mornings we experienced last week I found myself checking a couple of small streams. With the tough summer here in the northeast I was not certain what I would find. Both of the streams hold good populations of brook trout and in the past they have given up a few surprises. While walking in to the first stream I was happy to see water flowing and in some locations deep pools. The stream is in deep forest with plenty of hemlocks and hardwoods which help to keep its waters cool, on this day they were 62 degrees. The fly chosen first was a dry. It soon brought a fish to the surface, several as a matter of fact but not a hookup. These brookies were small but spunky.

Crystal clear water, a brook trout can be seen coming off the bottom for a dry fly.

Moving on to the second stream I also found a good flow along with cool water. In one pool a rise was observed, I suspect it was an ant or a beetle. I tied on a black ant and soon found out that was the right choice.

This beautiful brookie, in great condition was at hand.

Moving along the stream I came to this pool. I have never taken a trout out of here and was convinced there were never any in here until my brother-in-law John took a nice brookie here back in the spring. I figured it was deep, good flow and an undercut rock so maybe.....the ant was cast and nothing, a soft-hackle was cast and nothing even a shiny brass bead head could not bring a strike. I then tied on a streamer, remembering that's what John was using when he took the brookie last spring. I cast the fly, by the way the little "Cane and Silk" 5 foot rod did quite well in casting the #10 featherwing. The fly landed on it's side and floated for a second until it was wet. As it began to sink I saw a dark shadow move to it, and then back away. I cast the fly again and began to strip the fly in. The strike came fast and hard, I knew I had a good one.

Everything worked, the fly , the rod and the angler. In moments the wild trout was at hand. It was dark like so many of the brook trout in this stream, and it's blue halos were amazing. As I released the jewel I could see it move to the darkest place in the pool. "Farewell friend".....

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Limestone Fly And A Keystone State Rod

In my last post I told you about the recent acquisition of the Cane and Silk fly rod. Well that was not the only new item that recently came my way. A reader of SSR's sent me a fly that was tied by a famous fly fisher from Pennsylvania by the name of Ed Shenk. Ed is a master of the Letort river, an author and a world known fly tyer with many patterns credited to him. The fly that Brad sent to me was a cress bug. A simple pattern that's very effective, especially on spring creeks.

One day last week I took the two new items to a stream and gave them a tryout, the first for both.

The cress bug.

In this deep pool the new rod and fly were to be tested. The water flows deep here especially near the left bank. If you look closely you can see brook trout holding there. I did not want to loose this fly so casting had do be done carefully and that's what the rod allowed me to do. The first cast spooked the fish scattering them. But a few moments later and a few casts and everything worked.

This pretty wild brook trout hit that bug and the rod worked perfectly in bring him in. A quick photo and the brookie was on his way. The fly was snipped from the tippet and put in the fly box. It will be saved. The fly rod went on to take a few more fish before the outing was done. A good start I would say.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cane And Silk..Fiberglass Fly Rod

I have been searching for a small fiberglass fly rod for some time and I have finally found it. I will introduce to you the "Cane and Silk" fiberglass rod. The rod is made in Pennsylvania by Mike Kathner. The rod is a "Hidden Water Series" designed for small streams. It is a 5' 2/3 weight 2 piece with a soft casting action. It's finish is beautiful and those little appointments are simple and elegant. The cigar shape cork handle is top grade and the sliding band reel seat holds the reel firmly.

I have fished this rod several times now using both a 2wt and a 3wt line. It worked very well with both lines. The rod is a translucent dark honey finish and looks great. Mike offers these rods in several combinations and lots of options. You can check these rods out at his site...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mr. Rapidan And Old Spiders

What a beautiful morning, the air was still and on the cool side. Getting out of the car I glanced across the field and was greeted by this sight. A few minutes were spent just looking. Thoughts of the day ahead were put on hold and it was so peaceful just to look. I have fished this stream and have learned well "not much" has taught me so much about brook trout that I didn't know, and I have learned well as long as I don't forget.

One of the things I like to do is to try a different fly each outing. One fly that I have not used in along time. I know all of you have one of those flies tucked in your fly box. Well the fly I chose was Mr. Rapidan parachute. The fly is one that I picked up at Harry Murray's fly shop. It has a yellow post, yellow being the signature of all of the Mr. Rapidan flies. The fly was in the water and I would love to say that it worked very well but it did not. I fished that fly for a good half hour without a single rise. I fished it in several areas of the stream and decided a change was necessary. I tied on a Bomber and managed a few fish, "well at least they are still here" I said to myself.

I had about an hour left to fish and selected a section of stream that has given up some nice brookies. It stream here looks harder than it is. Flies can be worked here but patience is the key, meaning don't rush, slow down your walk, your arm stroke, your pick off the water and the time you let your fly sit, either on the water or below. After violating three of my own recommendations, I finally got my act together. I tossed out a spider pattern and let it sit on the bottom. The fly was moved so slowly as I retrieved. I felt a subtle hit and set the hook. The fight was on. The brook trout collected enough stream vegetation a bird could have made a nest from it. All the while I kept pressure on him, seeing that orange color getting close I knew he would soon surrender.

As my hand reached into the water the fish broke for freedom. I thought he had achieved it when I felt slack line. Pulling back I saw he was still on. Convincing him finally that I only wanted a photo I slid my hand under him and the photo was granted. Hook removed and off he went.

The fly was not the Mr. Rapidan, but still one that I have not fished in some time. A simple spider...Thread body, peacock thorax, and starling hackle along with the will and patience to fish it like a natural.