Friday, April 3, 2020


Bill Elliot Print
Native fish here in Connecticut that have gone through hell for lack of a better word to describe what these fish have endured. The Atlantic salmon was once so prominent in Connecticut waters that it not only fed many native peoples it also sustained the early settlers. Early industries, clear cutting the forests and dams doomed the Atlantic salmon. A gallant effort on the part of federal, state and local groups tried to bring the salmon back to the Connecticut river watershed. After years, perhaps a quarter century of hard work the effort was cancelled by the US Fish and Wildlife service, soon after the states pulled out and the plan was dead. In Connecticut there are still some programs out there including salmon in the classroom, and broodstock stocking of several waters in the state.

James Prosek Print
The sea-run brook trout also known as a "salter" was a prominent food source in New England. It to suffered the same fate as the Atlantic salmon. With the clear cutting of forests which heated the streams in which these char needed to spawn and the use of dams on almost every running stream made it impossible for these fish to survive.

Roger Cruwys Print
The Eastern Brook Trout, actually it's a char and it's the only native trout to Connecticut. The "brookie" suffered the same issues as did the salmon and salter. Along with those issues it also had to endure years of stocking non native trout, rainbow and browns were heavily stocked as recreational sport fish. This stocking along with the lack of cold clean water forced these wild jewels to retreat to some pretty small streams where they found what they required. The fate of the "brookie" is in our hands. It is still here but needs lots of love from many people. These fish are not like a piece of hardware. Once they're gone they're not coming back.

The down-wing Hornberg. A fly that has taken it's share of all three of the fish above.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Strange Brookies....

Good morning friends. These are tough times upon us and we shall get through them.

We are fortunate that we can still go outdoors as long as we practice common sense and follow guidelines. On the beautiful small streams I visit social distancing is not a problem. I only encounter trees, boulders, and an occasional friendly brook trout. One such day I had a somewhat strange outing. My flies failed to get even a bump from the local stream dwellers. This strange thing persisted for a couple of hours. At times like this you start to wonder what your doing wrong. Perhaps I may be spooking the trout, or maybe the flies are wrong in some way. Well I came to the conclusion it was nothing I was doing wrong, but the brookies were not feeding.

It was about 11am when I reached this pool. It's located about halfway up the stream. The fly was cast and a hit, not really it was a submerged branch. A follow up cast and the fish struck.

Finally two hours into my outing and the first wild jewel was at hand.

As I continued upstream fishing pools as such, my friends turned on. Flies presented were taken readily.

At the end I concluded that this day turned out to be quite good.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

It's just a book. No it's so much more.

It has been almost five years now that I've had this book in my possession. "The North Country Fly" by Robert L. Smith. This book has opened a whole new world of fly tying, fishing and history for me. Not since I read Graydon Hilyard's book on Carrie Stevens has a book been such a big part of my fly tying and fishing life. The history of these simple little flies is just incredible. Robert Smith has brought the North Country Fly through his words and pictures fore front in this anglers life.

The "spiders" can be somewhat difficult to tie in the sense that some of the materials can be almost impossible to find, and if you are lucky to locate them the cost will kind of set you back. Being resourceful you can find alternatives that will accomplish the job and produce a fine representation.

I love tying these "spiders", small bits of angling history. Most times when presented to the local trout population they are gobbled up quickly. They are delicate and sort of frail looking but believe me they can get it done.

A lovely piece of "Spider" art by Hans Skovlin....

A workhorse of the last couple of weeks. "Partridge and Orange" with peacock thorax.

A soft-hackle dry fly...a "jingler" in disguise?

"Trout Lillies" I saw these yesterday while fishing a stream. The flowers should bloom soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Rainy Day Brookies

Again those weather guys nailed it "wrong"...The day was supposed to be pretty much dry at least for the morning. I arrived at the stream and the sky was nasty looking, but I put on the rain gear, got the rod and set off. Twenty steps and it started to drizzle and drizzle it did for four hours. I was there and I was going to fish. The stream was flowing a bit high, the clarity clear. I figured the pools would probably be my best picks for finding fish so that's where I concentrated my time. I had a nymph on because that's the fly I fished last on my previous outing. Several places which looked promising turned out to be a bust. In a slick spot behind a boulder I had a hit.

Lifting the rod tip I felt the tug of a brookie. A few seconds later and I had my first fish. Those nymphs work, and I don't even know what I'm doing when I fish them. The bottom of the streams are graveyards for my nymphs and the pheasant tail I was using joined several others.

Bridges, never pass up fishing under those bridges. I had several responses and eventually a brookie took the fly.

A nice fish for this stream.

There was a great deal of quality water in the stream this day. Some hookups and some LDR's.

Snack time. Pepperoni it's portable and tasty even in the rain.

A strange pool. Almost all bedrock. I think there may be six complimentary pieces of gravel in it. But it was deep.

And there was a brookie in that pool and I was thrilled to catch it.

As I got closer to the car the rain picked it is going to be sunny and warm, maybe....