Monday, February 20, 2017

February In Brook Trout Forest, And The Upside Down Parachute Adams

Good morning folks. just one week ago we had a very big snow event upwards of a foot of the white stuff blanketed my back yard. Now this morning as I gaze out the window there is almost bare ground. That's New England.

This snow melt is not everywhere. Just a mere twenty miles from my home it was a winter wonderland. Kirk and I met to fish a lovely little stream. The sun was shinning so beautiful and the promise of warm temps was sure to bring some brook trout to the surface. Dry flies were used at first but they did not do as intended....until.

..we reached a famous pool on this stream. Mossy Pool as it is known has been a consistent brookie producer for as many years as I have fished it. Trout take flies from all over the pool, from head to to tail and anywhere in the middle. The only drawback to fishing it is the weird currents, you just never know how your fly will drift. Kirk was on the pools first, he fished several flies but was unsuccessful in bringing one to hand. He did notice a trout rising at the end of the pool. He stepped back and let me have a go at it. I had a parachute Adams on and sent the fly on a drift. Six times I tried to get that fly to the rising fish and failed. Finally I just gave the fly a quick flick in an attempt to get it further down the pool, and I did. The only drawback was the fly landed upside down. At that point I said "what the hell" it's down at the end of the pool let's see what happens.

Yes sir my friends the little brookie took that upside down parachute Adams and graced me with a most beautiful sight.

We continued to move upstream and we each were rewarded with some beautiful brook trout. The weather just got better and that gave me a super attitude.

This fly is a product of an article I read in book. I tied up a few variations of it and brought them to the stream...I'll tell you of the article in a later post..but they work.

This little riffle-run is one of my favorites.

And this is the reason why. Folks this is February 19th, but looking at this guy you would think it was October 19th. Notice the's a variant of the fly I just mentioned. What a great day this was in "Brook Trout Forest"

Saturday, February 18, 2017


"Italia" a beautiful feather wing streamer fly I created to highlight that wonderful country of Italy. Most of the colors in this fly, especially the wing are those of the Italian flag.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mid-February Brookies

Getting back on track here I figure I would give a report on a few of my outings over the last weeks or so. I'm starting with my last outing first for it's the easiest to recall. Yesterday was a nice day for mid February, temps in the 40 or so range. The sun broke out and it felt very nice. The big thing about winter angling is the wind, when it's calm it feels 10 degrees warmer. Walking in through about 8 inches of snow, and by the way my tracks were the only ones there and that makes me happy.

Arriving stream side I quickly saw a buffet of insects about. There were the ever present midges, stone flies, both crawling and in flight, and I noticed what appeared to be caddis about.

So the first fly sent into action was a elk hair caddis. I worked the fly through riffles and a slow deep pool. It was soon made clear the fish were not ready to surface feed, so I tied on a soft-hackle and bingo. Several hits but it took some time before I had my first of the day.

A lovely little wild jewel.

Warmer temps can also cause problems. As snow melts along the side of the stream it drops and floats, this can cause water temps to cool and they will cloud up.

This male took a soft-hackle too. He also took a jump or two before sending up the white flag.

As time went by I noticed several faint rises. These were not the splashy ones but more like a sip.

I tied on a mini-hornberg and in the next half hour brought several brookies to hand.

The last fish of the day also took a dry fly. Well that gives me February in the books on a dry fly.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Tails, this is not going to be a post about the various type of tails used in fly tying, or some of those tall tails we anglers are prone to tell of, "tall tales", sorry. This is post about some of the most wonderful aspects of our passion. We often take photos of our catch, and most of them highlight the the whole, or much of the whole fish as possible. While this presents a very pleasing picture I think much of the beauty is missing.

The other end of the fish is as beautiful as any part of the fish...the tail can be so striking and so telling of a fishes life.

These are a few photos where the tails are the focus. I will not tell you the species but will let you make that call.

Next time out try taking a good look at your catches tail, better yet take a photo.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fryin' And Tyin'.....What To Do On A Snow Day

Well for the last several days it's been snowing, not a constant but one day a nor'easter than sun then snow then clouds, then more snow, I think you get it. On days as such I will usually clean, the fly station is a disaster. A little dusting and perhaps catch up on some reading. I also like to cook on days when it's snowing, and the times in between. Fly tying is very satisfying in winter. The time spent now at the vise creating the flies that will catch that memorable fish, and when you do I want to hear abut it. So take a look how it's been going here.

What a breakfast sandwich...fried pork roll, egg and provolone cheese on a hard roll.

A "bunch of bombers" Fran Betters famous pattern. These are perhaps the very best wild brook trout dry flies. These are tied on #14 hooks, with materials from Fran's shop that was located in Wilmington N.Y.

A great little soft-hackle...olive thread, very sparse brown mole dubbing, and bleached starling hackle.....lots of subtle movement in this fly.

Looking at photos from last year make the snow day's easier to deal with. The fly in the brook trout's lip is a classic Catskill pattern known as the  "Conover"

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Million View Blog Winners Are

The winners are.....

Chuck Coronato..... The David Scheirer Brook Trout Watercolor

Anonymous  Jim Majka....The Fly Box and Flies

Anonymous  Thanks Maine Fly 207... Madame Streamer Fly

Lionel Bouthot   Streamer can select the name

The winners please send me your mailing address by

Thanks to all of you for making the first million a wonderful journey.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sometimes You Just Can't Shake A Chill... And Then........

Being an outdoor person I can usually take pretty much what nature can dish out. There are those extreme weather issues of which I think you are all aware of being the exceptions. Cold is something you deal with when angling in winter, most times it's more about ice in the guides than it is about hypothermia. Well this is about one such winter day on the stream where I got a chill that I could not break. This past Sunday I reached the stream and was engulfed in sunshine. The air temps were near 40 and a slight breeze was about. I started fishing tossing some familiar flies, and observing nature. It was probably a half-hour into the outing when I felt my feet getting cold, this is not usual for I have taken the needed prevention first with socks etc. I sort of passed it off until I started feeling "well just cold"..perhaps this was because to fishing was so very slow.

I said to myself this day is not good, I thought I was at the start of cold or maybe worse. It was then I made the decision to stop fishing and head home.

The stream had some shelf ice but that's not uncommon for the first week of February.

Near to where I parked my car the stream crosses the road through a large culvert. The lower end at the spot where the culvert stops a very good sized and deep pool is created. Looking into it I said there could be fish in there. I was still cold and was at the car door when I said to myself "you have to toss a fly in there"..well OK just a couple of casts. I tied on a streamer and went to work. I cast to the farthest point and let the fly sink a bit. Stripping the fly back I saw a fish move on it and suddenly back off. A few more casts and he came up from the bottom and took the streamer.

He knew his home pool well and pretty much took me to most of it before putting up the white flag. One fish so stunning in the cold water, the bright sun reflecting of him presented a natural picture that was so beautiful.......suddenly I was no longer cold.

I don't carry many streamers in my small stream box but this is one that is always in it.....Montreal "Lady"

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Blog Notice, Over The Years A.............Strong

It was April 10, 2010 that Small Stream Reflections posted it's first lines. They were few and as the years went by they sort of increased, using photography and a few short sentences to get my message to you. I started Small Stream Reflections as a forum so to speak where I could put forth my thoughts and ideas to a group of anglers, fly tyers, and just family folk to enjoy and take part in.

I had been posting a several fly fishing forums and these were fine at first but they did not share my message. That message is the sub title of my blog which is "For those who love small streams, wild trout and their simplest form". I have tried to keep that message going forefront throughout. Well yesterday Small Stream Reflections reached a milestone I never would have thought possible....One "million" page views. This is an incredible and humbling achievement. This could not have happened without all of you supporting Small Stream Reflections. From my first post back on April 11, 2010, in which John, "Apache Trout" was my first comment, to my last post. I have enjoyed "All" of your comments, they have been educational, thought provoking, and inspiring not only to me but also to others who have read them. I truly appreciate all you have done to make Small Stream Reflections a wonderful place for those all who share its values.

To thank you I'm offering a few items of appreciation. All you have to do is comment on this post. Your name will go into a bowl and Jeanette will pick the winners. The drawing will be Friday 2-10-17 at 7AM. I will post the winners, and you can e-mail me your shipping info.
This is a signed print of a brook trout watercolor by David Scheirer. It was inspired by photos of Connecticut's dark brook trout. It is truly a beautiful art piece.

A fly box with several of my flies. They include soft-hackles, streamers, those brookie catchers, the Ausable Bomber" and a "skater".

"Madame" a Rangeley streamer. This streamer was tied by me and will come in a plastic display case.

And this Rangeley streamer also tied by me. It has no name but the winner selected will have his name used for this streamer.

Again "thank you all" for making Small Stream Reflections what it is.....Alan

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February Woods And Water

February the month of my birth. So to start the month off right I chose to fish a lovely little stream located in the eastern hills of Connecticut. Now the term "hills" is kind of pushing it somewhat but it's not exactly flat land. We had received several inches of snow the day before and walking to the stream was beautiful. Snow had blanketed the trees and they looked like frosting on a cake. The air was so still not even the hint of a breeze. The sun was about but the clouds seemed to win. This stream is one that does not require you to wear waders, which is something I truly enjoy. So my pack, rod and a few flies and I was set to bring in the new month.

The stream was moving very well, but it seemed to not make a sound.

It did not take long before I found a friend willing to to play.

The brook trout this day were found in the running waters at the head of the pools.

It was here that I hooked a memorable fish. The fly stopped its drift and then the trout struck. I pulled back and he was on then off..a second later he grabbed the fly again and again he was hooked. This fish took to the air several times before he slowed and was at hand.

It was truly a great start to February.