Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunday, a little snow, a little red soft hackle and a brown trout.

The possibility of an outing last weekend had been in the works for about a week. I was going to meet up with Kirk on Sunday and we would fish a small stream. Every thing was set and the day was to be pretty good weather wise, but for one issue, the forecast was for snow on Saturday. The weatherman said that it was not going to be an issue, and it wasn't if you lived in Virginia. It snowed all day Saturday, a wet sticky snow the kind that coats everything it touches.

When we started our walk to the stream the sun was in force. It was a bit cold, and the new snow was slippery. We split up and I started fishing a dry, because I had a feeling. A half hour later and nothing. It was cool with a breeze and I had some ice form in the guides, so with that I tied on pinkie.

Working pinkie through a few slow runs I managed to draw a few strikes but no hookups. Working upstream I finally had a hookup. As I brought the fish in he managed to say goodbye with pinkie in his lip, "learn how to tie a knot" Alan.

This endless winter, still manages to paint a pretty picture. I had tied on a soft hackle and worked it along the likely looking places. It was a good choice. Lots of action on it, and a lot of LDR's.

By this time Kirk had met up with me. I asked how he did and he said he had taken a brown. "Whats he eatin" I asked and he replied "Pete's Special" which is a "beadhead soft hackle pheasant tail".

I stayed with my soft hackle red and continued to work a pool with some swirling currents. As the fly bobbed up and then was pulled under a dark fish rose up under the fly as it was drifting up. This guy wanted that fly. He was hooked well and put the glass 3wt to a test.

Has my hand slipped into the cold water I was thinking winter's not that bad. A quick photo and the healthy wild brown was on his way.

A red soft hackle. So simple.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The "Survivor"

It's official, Connecticut has just recorded its coldest February ever. The average temperature was 16.1 degrees. The photo above is a small stream. I took this photo on February 21st. The stream was locked in a ice field that must have been from top to bottom. It was almost impossible to see any running water. This scene was typical on the small streams of Connecticut from mid January until perhaps mid March. It is hard to believe any creature would make it through, let alone a fragile brook trout.

Well they did. I fished a few times in the previous week and found the brook trout willing to strike a fly, not one dragged along the bottom but a fly almost on the surface. When hooked and brought to hand the condition of these jewels was that of prime.

The ice field has all but receded and a fresh new beginning is about to burst forth. The brook trout is truly a survivor.

A small Connecticut stream.....3-25-15

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Appalachians, Small Blue Lines and Flies

A CT wild brook trout stream. Like many from Maine to Georgia.
Along the eastern coast of the United States lies a mountain chain called the Appalachians. This upheaval that took place, hell I don't know but it was a long time ago, caused a connection of the states from Maine to Georgia. Although the mountain chains have different names such as The Smokies, Blue Ridge, Kittatinny, Shawangunk, Berkshires, Taconics, Catskills, Green, White, and probably a few others, but they are all part of the Appalachians. A few of the things that bring all these areas of the east together are the mountain streams, brook trout and the beautiful people that call these mountains home. I have put together a group of flies that have been tied by the anglers of the mountains as well as an adopted one. These flies were crafted in the cabins, homes and the few shops that were available.

The Orange Palmer is a fly that was crafted in North Carolina about 1950 according to Ben Craig of Waynesville, N.C. he believes the fly came from the hollows of Haywood County. A simple pattern that has given up a few brook trout.

The Corey Calftail. The fly has its origin in Michigan, but was adopted back east and has earned a reputation of fooling large trout. It is a wonderful late evening and night fly.

The Rattler. This flies origin has been lost in time. Probably a southern pattern because of its Golden Pheasant Tippet tail, which was a common material used in the south.

A Fran Betters classic fly. The Ausable Bomber. This fly has accounted for more brook trout by this angler than any other fly in my box.

All the above flies have many similarities. The most common is the simplicity of the fly. These tyers used what few materials they had and created these classics.

BT Hair Tail
Here is another fly I'd like to include with the ones above. I don't make any claim as to how successful it will be, that will come with time. I will say it is a simple pattern and has the characteristics of something a brook trout would eat.

The fly is called BT Hair Tail. I hope a few of the tyers that read this blog will tie up one or two and give them a fair test. Hook, Mustad 9671, size 14....Tail, Elk Hair, semi short and sparse,...Body, Natural Hare,...Hackle, Grizzly,....Orange Thread.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Fishing Report 3-24-15

Yesterday I had a yearly eye exam. The appointment was for 8am and I must say it was a excellent one. The only problem is the drops they put in your eyes really opens them up, for several hours you had better keep sun glasses on or your in big trouble. Luckily by noon time I was functional and I was going fishing. The sun was bright and beautiful, and the temps were not to bad. The stream had some dark snowy parts but the melt was on all be it slow which is a good thing 'cause the water remains clear.

As you can see from this picture water clarity doesn't get much clearer. I was fishing a semi dry fly, that is it was just under the surface. I could see the trout follow the fly but not actually strike. I continued to fish the fly in the same manner and was rewarded with a solid hit. The fly was in his mouth and was close before he spit the hook. The same action continued for the next hour with a hookup and LDR. These fish were active with most of the activity taking in the riffles.

In this short stretch of stream my fly was struck several times as it was pulled through the riffles. I knew that sooner rather than later I would make a secure hookup.

And I did. Finally a brook trout grabbed the fly in the broken water. A moment or two later this beautiful brook trout was at hand. He seemed to be in great shape for a fish that endured such a brutal icy winter. A quick photo and he was gone.
I placed the fly in the hook holder and walked through snow to my car. As I drove home I thought this could be the beginning of a wonderful season.