Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Red Brook 5-23-17...A Quest For Salters

The Lyman Cottage
Yesterday I spent some time at my favorite salter stream on Cape Cod. The trip was not planned but the time seemed right to do it. With the summer season about to begin which brings summer tourists and traffic associated with them now was the time. I left home at 5am and was having a blueberry muffin and coffee at Leo's in Buzzards Bay a little after 7. Breakfast finished it was a short drive to Red Brook. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed two cars there and guessed they were walkers.

As I started to gear up I had the pleasure of seeing the Lyman Cottage, what a pretty sight to view before starting my fishing day. In a few minutes I was on the trail to the brook. The air was clean with a hint of salt. The sun was out and the air crisp.

Red Brook at tidewater, fresh meets salt. The tide was high and just starting to move out. I crossed the bridge and headed inland.

I moved along the trail that wanders near the brook. My plan was to walk upstream as far as I could and fish the brook all the way back to the sea. Let me tell you the walk alone is worth the trip. Wild life, birds, and the many forms of greenery.... "it's just beautiful".

I reached my starting point. I heard voices, which was strange for I had not passed anybody on the trail. As I peered through the trees I saw three young women in the stream. I said hello and it sort of startled them. I asked about them and their mission and was told the were students from Mass. Maritime Academy and they were doing a flow survey of the brook. It was part of a year long project to see how much flow the underground springs contribute to Red Brook. They were just finishing up, so I waited before starting my day.

Brook Trout...I don't know if this guy spent anytime at sea
Fishing streamers is always a good bet on Red Brook...and the third cast a streamer brought this beautiful unique strain of brook trout to hand. These fish are incredibly strong. They battle and will find every bit stream cover in an attempt to gain freedom.

Like I said the beauty along the stream is worth the trip.

So much vegetation, it's almost jungle like in places. I was working a streamer when I observed a fish rise. It's not uncommon to see that here but I attribute it to a larger fish chasing a smaller fish to the surface as apposed to a trout rising to an insect. But when it happened several times I decided to put on a dry fly and see if I could bring the fish up.

It worked...I was able to get two of these guys to take the dry.

An iconic New England streamer, stands ready to take an iconic New England brook trout.

I sat down here to have some water and a few walnuts. The peace and the quiet was refreshing.

This fish had such color. The blues and greens of its body really stood out from the "reddish" color of the brook.

I was on my way to a spot close to tidewater when I observed this was here where I encountered my strongest fish of the day..more later on it in the next post.

My day was complete at Red Brook. I caught a few brook trout and had a surprise or two.
One very pleasant surprise was and old friend, and a new one....It was nice seeing you again.

Monday, May 22, 2017

C'mon Take A Walk With Me

On a recent visit to a small stream that flows through "brook trout forest" I had the pleasure of seeing just how resilient the brook trout really are. The stream is a freestone similar to so many here in Connecticut. It's origin is typical in that it starts as a series of springs that put volume into it as it moves to it's destination. The area it moves through is mostly wooded with a meadow or two in the mix. Jeanette and I walked the trails nearby last fall, the stream was gone....a puddle here a slight riffle there. The only benefit was the deep shade the forest provided. Again nature had healed this stream and left some of it's residents in remarkably good shape.

So come take a walk with me and I'll show you some of the wonderful things in "brook trout forest"...

One of the pleasures of the small stream are the pockets and plunges.

Your fly as it dances upon the foam and bubbles will be attacked with vigor. And you'll soon hold these wild dark creatures.

You scope out the stream...a brookie might be holding anywhere.

Wonderfully cold water...46 degrees.

I love to drop a fly in places like this. Most times I'll snag a branch, but there are times when a fish will rise to the fly.

What beautiful markings on this wild native.

Observe the flowers that abound...for they will soon be gone.

Some places are left unfished...but once in awhile you'll give it a shot.

"Oh yes"...

The lady hopes you enjoyed your time in "brook trout forest"

Friday, May 19, 2017

When In Doubt "Betters" Seek A True Source

Several years ago I did a post on Fran Better's pattern the Ausable Caddis. In is book he listed the series and the variations of the five different flies. The post I did was based on this information which was from the book. Now comes the confusion. While attending the Fly Show in Marlboro or it may have been the one at Bears Den, I'm not sure. But I saw a version of the Ausable Caddis and it was tied much differently then the flies in Fran's book.
Now one can go online and find many other variations of the fly, and they claim to be Better's Ausable Caddis. So I chose to go to a source that I knew would set the record straight. That source was Jan Betters.

I sent her photos of the flies I tied thinking these were indeed the Ausable Caddis. She informed me they were not and that they were just caddis patterns Fran tied.

I then sent her the fly I tied taken from memory of the fly I saw at the fly show. She told me it was close to the Ausable Caddis, but the two hackles should be wound on together.

Back to the vise and I tied the Ausable Caddis the way Fran tied it.

This is a fly that I've been tying for awhile, elk hair and ginger hackle. It's been very effective here and I used it when I fished the streams of Memorial Forest in Sudbury.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Small Stream Journal 5-16-17...Recovery, And Break Out The Bombers

Hemlocks, there are many along this stream
Yesterday my son needed some work done on his truck. The shop was a distance from his job so I gave him a ride to work. He just so happens to work very close to a stream I have fished many times and you just can't let a chance like this go by. After dropping him off I headed to  Cumby's for coffee and drove to the stream.

As I walked down to the stream I noticed how beautiful it looked with it's water flowing full. This stream like so many others suffered terribly last year from a brutal drought and a hot summer. The stream you see was puddles and exposed rocks the last time I visited here. So not knowing what I would find I cast my fly on the water.

The very first pool just as the fly drifted under the shadow of an old wooden bridge a fish struck the fly and missed. A few repeated casts and up he came, this time the fly held. Moments later this wild jewel was at hand.

Now the fact that I had caught a brook trout from a stream that was almost non existent last year would have made my day, but a few more hours to spend along one of the most beautiful streams in Connecticut was my thought.

I'm not going to fill up this post with a lot of words, but I will show you just how well this stream recovered. Brook trout like this were found most everywhere.

A very picturesque and peaceful setting...the trout like it also.

This was another stream that has made a good recovery. I think in a year or two if conditions are favorable to our native char then this stream can become one of the best we have.

By the way...this fly had a lot to do with the success I had today. I knew if there were brook trout to be found this was the fly that would find them. It was the only fly I used this day.....The "Ausable Bomber".....

Monday, May 15, 2017

Experimenting With Video

For about a year now I have been trying to use my camera as a video camera. Several small clips have turned out to be "say not to bad". I'd like to share them with you over the next few weeks.

This is a CT stream with a series of beautiful waterfalls.

Soft-hackle fly fishing on a small stream.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

I would like to wish all moms out there a very Happy Mother's Day.
The day was set aside to bring attention to show the enormous value and influence Mothers have on  us. So everyone please take a moment to think back on the Moms in our lives and say "Thank you Mom.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Small Stream Journal 5-12-17 Let's Celebrate

I had a few hours around mid-day and chose to fish a stream close by. It took a half hour to get there and a minute later I was geared up and making my first cast. There is a little undercut with a nice tree above that I like to make my first cast, the reason it generally holds a fish or two and it did not change any from previous times.

A few casts and I was into my first brookie of the day.

He was a spirited jewel and he moved around that little stream like a fast train. He actually plowed through a leaf jam in his quest to shake the hook.

A new fly that was tried for the first time by me. The pattern has been around for years. I noticed it in a book of "North Country Flies" more on it later.

The prettiest brook trout of the day. She took a liking to that sexy color blue and said I must have it.

A Lady Slipper. It will probably bloom on Mother's Day.

What better way to celebrate such a grand day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sudbury Valley Trustees, The Brook Trout has Another Friend

Yesterday after a considerable amount of time I paid a visit to the Sudbury Valley Trustees Memorial Forest conserved property. This trip was planned I guess from the first time I had a conversation with a board member who is Bruce Osterling. The conversation was about several wild brook trout streams mere miles from metro Boston. My ears perked up and I just had to see this. Bruce and I met at a local Starbucks and discussed our plans for the day. After that strong jolt of caffeine we head to the home base of the SVT. It's a beautiful old farm that has gone under some updating but still very much retains it's original charm. It was here where we met the Executive Director of SVT, Lisa Vernegaard. She was very gracious and spent some time telling me about the work of SVT various properties and highlighting the one we were to visit today. I was very appreciative of the way their mission was laid out to me.

Then it was time to head out to the "Forest"....a lovely drive and we were there.

This place is an incredible habitat. You can not look in any one direction and not see beauty.

This is a seep...there are brook trout that use this "above, and below ground" waterway.

It would not be New England without old stone walls.

A wild brook trout stream...cooled by underground springs that keep the water in the 50's even in the summer. I could not get in there to fish for I was not in waders.

In areas I could access I was able to coax a few fish.

My guide for the day, a very knowledgeable Bruce Osterling.

There are not many cold water stream in eastern Massachusetts, but this is one of them. I can't say thanks enough to the people who work so hard to preserve this area, and others like it. The brook trout needs as many friends as he can get, and Sudbury Valley Trustees are a "Best Friend"

One of several brought to hand this day...a true wild New Englander, a native and a friend.

More information here...