Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Christmas Gift To........

In the spirit of giving at Christmas I would like to offer the readers of Small Stream Reflections a chance to receive a couple of gifts as a thank you for following SSR's. All that is required is for you to comment here. Your name will be put into a box and Jeanette will draw the winners names. The drawing will be on Saturday morning at 9am. I will post the winners on Saturday.

"Badger" the winners name will be added to the streamer. Example, "Joe's Badger"..... This Rangeley Streamer tied by me features a beautiful Badger/Furnace wing feather.

29 flies tied by me featuring soft hackles, spiders, and flymphs. These flies come in a 2 sided waterproof fly box.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 11, 2017

Life After Pearsall's

I must have been the only person in the fly tying community to have missed the announcement that Pearsall's was going to stop making their Gossamer silk. The signs were there and I should have picked up on them. I like most tyers have a few extra spools of Gossamer and I'm not in crisis. Silk is almost an absolute when it comes to tying North Country Flies, those lovely "spiders" just can't be tied with cotton or rayon thread and be the same....Silk is a must.

Well a heads up a week or so ago put me on a path to a new silk tying thread. I looked into it and came up with a good alternative. YLI Corporation markets Japanese silk thread that is remarkably similar to the Pearsall's silk. So I purchased a couple of spools and tied a few flies..here's the comparison.

Here is a side by side. The thread on the left is YLI and the other Pearsall's. One thing quite obvious is the size of the spool. The colors look very close and the texture of the silk similar.

Here is a Partridge and Orange tied with the YLI silk.

This P&O was tied using Pearsall's Gossamer silk.

Here are the two files side by side. YLI on the left. Very close...I think the YLI is a bit brighter. Will the fish pick-up on that remains to be seen. I also like the way the YLI wraps and feels. I will have more on this in later posts.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Nate And Sophie's Miracle On Red Brook

In the latest issue of TROUT magazine Winter 2018 is an article about Red Brook. While the article takes place at Red Brook, the salter brook trout stream on Cape Cod the articles focus is more about two siblings Nate and Sophie. The article tells a story of Nate who is fishing and of Sophie who is the fly tyer. Nate is 10 and Sophie is 6.

Nate had been fishing Red Brook using a variety of flies with no luck. One of the prerequisites of the outing was that Nate use a fly tied by Sophie. The fly was a pink pattern tied from recycled Easter grass, and now duly named "Sophie's Pink Shrimp" ..as the time for leaving was at hand Nate was reminded of his agreement and tied on Sophie's fly. The fly was cast and suddenly it was taken. Seconds later they had in their hands one of natures finest creatures, a Red Brook salter.

The smiles on these childrens faces need no words. A story that is so beautiful.

The article was written by Lori Day. Lori is the wife of Geoffrey Day Executive Director of the Sea-Run Brook Trout Coalition. These are stories that make us all feel good.

I hope to contact both Nate and Sophie, to congratulate them, and to perhaps coax Sophie to give me the recipe for her fly.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Day's

A December morning, the skies were so gray almost matching the color of the trees which stand to face what will soon become the harsh season know as winter. The morning was cold with a breeze that found it's way through several layers of clothing to my skin. I can usually warm some by walking along the stream but that day it did not work. I did my best to push the cold thoughts to the back of my mind, and try to put forth the thought of a wild trout coming from the beautiful stream I was fishing. This and a break or two of sun all be it short seemed to ease the cold. This is December angling.

The stream was pushing along, it's flow somewhat diminished from a lack of rain held some hope of a trout setting in a hole as the tail of a riffle. If not for the hemlock and pine all the colors would blend together as one.

Winter berries along the stream gave a eye pleasing look. Little things that so important to a December day.

Suddenly a trout takes your offering, it's will to get free put's a bend in the rod. Soon it is at hand and it is suddenly your cold hands and body are warm. As the fish swims back to a hiding place you feel truly what it's like to fish a December day.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Here's a fly that is so easy to tie, and so effective that it should be in every fly box. The fly known to some as "pinkie"...the flies name took almost as long to come up with as it does to tie it. As you can see in the first photo the materials are minimal....hook, pink chenille, and thread. This fly has a great reputation for taking trout, especially in winter. The fly can be gussied up and tied weighted or with a bead. I prefer to fish it plain and simple. You have a choice of the length of the chenille I prefer to keep it on the short side. The tips can be burned with a lighter if one wishes.

Tie in thread and wind back to barb. Tie in a piece of chenille, a few wraps on it and then a few in front of it. Wind thread to just back of eye.

Take chenille and wrap forward to just behind eye.

Take a few thread wraps to secure chenille, whip finish and go fish.

They like it, trust me.

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Reunion Of Sorts

Yesterday morning after several months I finally hooked up with an old fishing buddy. Kirk and I had chosen to fish a stream that holds wild brookies and has fished well for us and others. An issue was pressing me and I wanted to see if my thoughts on this issue would come true. I'll tell you the issue was "could Kirk still fly fish for native brookies with a small fly rod and the tactics needed to fish"...Kirk has been in another world, a world that included fly fishing for salt water monsters such as Albies, Stripers, and bluefish. Could he go from a 9wt to a 3wt? Yes he could and he did. Congrats Kirk on coming to your senses.

We started fishing and continued to fish for several hours. My only success was to have a fish rise to a bomber, I said fish not a trout for I did not see it. I think Kirk had several strikes but nothing to hand. Sounds like a lost day, not so. The beauty of fishing this stream is the fact that close by is a small country store that has one of the best cup of coffee in the state of Connecticut. And even if there were no fish, there was still that wonderful cup of coffee. After our break we headed to another stream. We had about an hour left and tried to get fish to hand. One of my most reliable winter patterns was called on "pinkie" as it's called was put into play. It did not take long and the first fish of the day was at hand. I managed one more and Kirk had on a beautiful colored brookie that was a bit tricky and threw the hook.

"pinkie" strikes again...a complex and difficult fly to tie but well worth it.

A day that had a little of everything......that's fishing in "brook trout forest"