Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Fishing...The Nook and Crany Dry Fly

People who have fished with me, and those who have followed this blog know that I have a thing for fishing riffles, and broken water. It can be either deep or shallow, any time of the year. Now most anglers will agree that riffles are productive places to fish and I agree, but how about winter, 35 degree temps, and with a dry fly. I call this type of riffle fishing "nook and cranny". One day last week I fished a small stream in a section I have not been to in some time. The usual starting fly, the "pinkie" brought nothing. Several more flies yielded the same. It was a good thing there was some excitement on the stream bank, a scared a deer who was hiding in some willows busted out and really woke me up. Getting back on story...I tied on a big skater pattern and worked it through a set of riffles. Second or third cast and a fish responded. That little guy came up for it again on another cast.



I changed flies and tied on a smaller dry. I worked the fly over the same set of riffles and the fish hit and this time he was soon at hand.


In the riffles there are various sized rocks, some bigger than others. The brook trout hold in these spots and will respond to a fly drifted down and also when retrieved. Those little places I refer to "nooks and crannies".


On this day I was able to bring two of these wild winter jewels to hand on a dry fly.....sterling day for January.


A good fly...thorax dun...a"great" fly for January a thorax dun.











32 comments:

  1. Looks like a great day Alan!

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    1. Bill Thomas
      Thanks
      Bill it was, thanks to all those who helped.

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  2. Gorgeous colors on that brookie! I love the photo of the rod, reel on the snow covered pine tree! Would make a nice Christmas card for next year!!!

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    1. TROUT1
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      Pete I agree it would make a great Christmas card.

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  3. I've always been a "nook & Cranny" believer. So much so that I made a believer out of a fishing buddy way back in 1976 when I caught a small Rainbow out of a drainage pond half way up the hill on the way back to the truck.

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    1. Mark Kautz
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      Mark now that's a great story for a blog post.

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  4. I always say one of the times a small stream looks best is after a fresh light snow. Beautiful photos!

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    1. RM Lytle
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      Rowan especially so when there are no footprints but yours.

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  5. Trout on dry flies in January. Outstanding. I don't think hatchery trout will come up to the surface in Jan. That response I believe was lost along the way. I see people fishing small nymphs under a bobber. Not my cup of tea but anyway it beats watching tv.

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    1. John Dornik
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      John I don't know if hatchery trout know what natural food is. Nymphs are productive, but I don't fish them much. I'm not a TV guy either. My love is listening to a baseball game on radio.

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  6. 4'10" rod? I'm not ready to use such a rod yet. Maybe in a few more years. At 6'4" myself, I'd be afraid of wrecking it. Alan, you show your skills in many ways.

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    1. Bill/Tully
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      Bill I'd bet you would change your mind if you cast it. It's so sweet.
      Bill your avatar is interesting...may I ask where it is.

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    2. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6GMH_Keystone_Arch_Bridge_New_Salem_MA

      A handcrafted keystone bridge in New Salem, Ma. Over the Middle branch of the Swift River. You would enjoy testing your skills here or below Bears Den Falls close by.

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    3. Bill, I check the site...now I have another place to put on the list. I need to get going on these soon.

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    4. Try picking up a used copy of Trout Waters by Wm. O. Foye. Easily available used or new online or at the source( Haley's) in Athol. Almost a guidebook for small streams feeding the Quabbin Res.

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  7. Beautiful photos of that stream with the snow alongside it. I like that thorax dun. I will tie up a few of those. Alan, do you snip off the bottom hackles to get it more in the film, or is that the picture making it look that way? Thanks, Sam

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    1. Parachute Adams
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      Sam I normally trim them a bit closer. Bad eyes on my part. All that snow is history after today..lots of high off color water though.

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    2. I have tied up a few Ausable Wullfs lately and thought the hackles looked long on the bottom so I trimmed them off. Not the way Fran Betters would tie it, but I like the looks of the fly. Plenty of hackle to keep the fly floating, but more in the water film. The trout will be the judge if it's any good or not.

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    3. Sam, I have a few flies given to me from Fran's wife Jan. Several of them looked like a first time fly tyer, and then several that i saw Fran tie while in his shop that were drop dead gorgeous.
      We all have good days at the vise and then there are those that are not so good. This is why this passion we all have that makes it so wonderful.

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    4. I couldn't agree more, Alan, on good days and others not so much. The challenge to me is trying to make the next fly better than the last, but if it's not the trout probably won't mind.:)

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  8. Indeed, beautiful photos and also some great winter fishing advice. If I ever find myself lost in the wilderness in winter. :)

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    1. Howard Levett
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      Howard you and I would be in rough shape if we were lost in the wilderness in any season...

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  9. Alan,
    This blog is wonderful....for me in that I get to confirm exactly how and where you fish dry flies in January! I find that fact just awesome! The very places you fish are stunning enough and then you catch a living jewel to add to that beauty! I sure am glad that I found this great blog spot!
    Doug

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    1. Dougsden
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      Doug, in winter it's more about where you fish then what you catch. The streams are so beautiful, and the landscape so still. Such are the rewards of winter angling.....and a brookie to hand well that's a big plus.

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  10. Alan
    The reel shot is outstanding, could the riffles be considered a plus on sunny days, hiding your image? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill Trussell
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      Bill, that photo actually came out better than I thought it would.
      Bill those riffles are some of the best camo going.

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  11. Alan, winter time on the small streams seem like such a magic place to be alone and just take it all in. I am happy to see the fish rose for the dry fly. Well done!

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    1. Grandpa Mel
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      Mel I could get lost out there even though I know the place like I know my home. It is magic.

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  12. Winter fly fishing looks like tons of fun. Beautiful brookie.

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    1. ben
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      Ben it sure is. Much more intimate than any other season.

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  13. Those scenery pictures are beautiful and that brookie is absolutely gorgeous. You have a gift for photography.

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    1. Michael Carl
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      Mike with scenery as such all I have to do is keep the camera steady. It was a classic January day.

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