Sunday, April 22, 2018

"A Rambling" With An Old Pattern

The Waterhen Bloa, a simple pattern created centuries ago was the focus of an outing I made this past week. While reading Robert Smith's book "The North Country Fly" I saw several references stating the Waterhen Bloa is a good fly to use in the spring. It also says it's productive for most months of the year. So armed with that knowledge I took a few of these flies and headed for the stream.

The day was sparkling, a blue sky, soft wind and what I would say was a perfect flow. It was in this place that I hooked my first brook trout.

The soft subtle movement of the fly was to hard to resist.

This nasty tangle is just about impossible to fish, but it provides much needed cover for the brookies.

A short detour around the wood tangle and one finds this beautiful stretch of water. The soft seams most certainly holds a native or two.

It did, and they were full of fight.

"Wood is Good" my friends. This natural dam provides lots of comfort to the brook trout who call this stream home. It also is just about prefect for working "spiders".

I found several willing char. This one had an impressive tail, and used it.

The battle tested Waterhen Bloa. They work very well on this "side of the pond".....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

An April Outing

Look at that flow, there will be no rising fish here. That's what most streams looked like after the heavy rains of Monday. Some say it was 2 inches but I think it was much more. I obviously needed to find a small tributary where it would be more manageable and the fish would actually be able to go after my fly and not be swept away. Well I found such a stream but there was evidence that it to was under heavy flooding. Many of the tangles that were in stream before were now gone..I should really say is they were moved but actually not gone.

A nice run that in the past held some nice natives. Several flies offered but no takers.

Just upstream I fished this run-small pool area. Last fall I hooked a beautiful brookie here and lost it. I gave him the name "orange flanks" because of his vibrant orange colored sides.

I drifted the fly and as it entered the deeper pool a fish struck. Seconds later this beautiful wild creature was at hand. Impressive colored spots were observed.

I laid my rod down on a rock to change my tippet. Glancing down I saw an insect. Can you see it? Can you identify it?

Moving upstream I managed a few more hook-ups on various flies.

In a soft spot behind a rock I found this....a tough fellow who valued his freedom and put on a show to prove it. After a quick photo he gained his freedom and a big thank you from a grateful angler.

Another sign of spring. Notice the color at the base of the plant and notice the color....

...of the body of this fly. It was my best producer this day. Do you recall the post I did on "Trout Flies and Flowers"......maybe there's something to it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Our "Friend" Needs Our Help

Our beloved native is again coming under fire from a source that is of mans doing. I generally don't like to bring attention to a fragile wild trout stream for reasons I'll not throw out here. I feel that this is one that can be rethought and perhaps better plans and safeguards put into place to help prevent a possible death of a wild trout stream. I have fished this stream and have been welcomed by it's inhabitants. I want to bring some attention to this stream for the sake of all who have found pleasure within it's flows.

I have received many emails from folks who have the same feelings on the lovely stream in eastern Connecticut. Please take a few minutes to read what is linked here....our friend is counting on us.We have been contacted by our friend Gary Steinmiller, President of CFFA regarding the negative environmental impact resulting from the development of Love's Travel Center and Country Store on Polster Road in Willington, off exit 71 on interstate 84. Please take a minute or Two to review my ramblings below as well as the 2 attachments. The proposed facility would be comprised of 1 sit down restaurant, 1 fast food restaurant, comfort stations (toilets), separate gas station and parking for 54 cars and 56 trucks. Roaring Brook lies on the southwestern part of the site and flows off property into the Nipmuck State Forest, close to the site's northwest boundary. Site con tains 2 wetlands that flow directly into Roaring Brook. In 2012 Willington's Inland Wetland Commission (IWWC) gave approval to the proposed site in an effort to bolster the tax base. In 2013 Willington's Planning and zoning commission (PZC) approved a zone change and permit to build in an effort to bolster the tax base. The project developers are now applying to the DEEP for a Subsurface Wastewater Absorption System (SWAS) permit, Application #201503113 Permit to discharge wastewater from sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system to groundwater Design capacity 9,000 gallons per day (Average 6,000 gal/day) Uses pre-treatment for high strength waste water, then flows to a leaching bed near northwest border of the site. Leaching bed and drainage system (to control groundwater under bed's liner) is 120' wide 130' long X 12' deep. Considerably larger than preliminary design noted on drawings submitted for IWWC and PZC review. End of leaching bed 120 from Wetland Excavation, fill and regrading is within 20 feet of wetland From Wetland to Roaring Brook is 250 feet. Facts about Roaring Brook in Willington Head Waters are in Union and Stafford Springs In Willington, portions flow through Nipmuck state forest and alongside and under I84. Is a class 3 wild Trout Management Area (contains native and stocked brook and brown trout) Is a tributary of the Willimantic River. Potential Environmental impacts to Wetland and Roaring Brook due to Proximity of Leaching Bed Will Effluent be fully renovated before discharging to ground water uphill from wetland Will the cutting and filling and use of a bed liner and drains to redirect groundwater change hydrology and affect the volume, velocity and temperature of groundwater that recharges the wetland and ultimately roaring Brook? If waterflow decreases and temperature increases could it degrade the wetland as a spawning ground? Will construction additives lead to an increased runoff and sedimentation in the wetland and Roaring Brook? Notice of Hearing Applicant: Love's Travel Stop & Country Store Application No. 201503113 City/Town: Willington The Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ("DEEP") hereby gives notice of a public hearing concerning an application by Love's Travel Stop & Country Store for a permit to discharge wastewaters from a sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system. The public hearing will be held on April 24, 2018 and is more thoroughly described herein. Application No 201503113 Applicant's Name and Address: Love's Travel Stop & Country Store, 10601 North Pennsylvania Avenue, P.O. Box 26210 Oklahoma City, OK 73120 Type of Permit/Activity: Discharge of wastewaters from sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system to groundwater Facility/Site Location: 3 Polster Road, Willington CT Facility Design Capacity: 9,000 gallons per day DEEP will hold a public hearing on this application on April 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Community Room at the Willington Public Library, 7 Ruby Road in Willington. The hearing room will be open at 5:30 pm for members of the public to view exhibits that will be on display and talk to representatives of the applicant and DEEP staff. The public hearing will consist of informational presentations by the parties and the collection of public comment on the record. Written comments will be accepted at the public hearing, and until the close of business on May 4, 2018. Written comments may be submitted by mail to Janice Deshais, Hearing Officer, Office of Adjudications, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT or by electronic mail to Any written comments should reference the applicant name and application number. This matter will continue with an evidentiary hearing, for the presentation of testimony and documentary evidence by the parties on this matter, on April 26, 2018 at 9:00 am in the Russell Room, 3rd Floor, at DEEP Headquarters, 79 Elm St., Hartford. If necessary, the hearing will continue on May 2, 2018. A site visit will be held on April 23, 2018 at 10:00 am. The site walk will begin at about 0.2 miles from 3 Polster Road on the left side. The public is welcome to attend but is advised that parking and access to the site is limited. The site visit is a public meeting, but not for the collection of public comment on the record. Members of the public should refer to the DEEP Calendar of Events at or contact the Office of Adjudications at (860) 424-3037 for additional information. Interested persons who wish to obtain more information regarding the application and draft permit may do so by contacting Lauren Jones of the Water Permitting and Enforcement Division by mail at the address above, by electronic mail to, or by calling (860) 424-3155. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or Members of the public should refer to the DEEP Calendar of Events at for the official schedule in this matter, including cancellations, or other schedule alterations. Please consider either attending the hearing or sending a letter. While everyone is encourage to speak their peace, facts rather than emotions will have a better chance of impacting the outcome. Nectar Community Fact Sheet DEEP Permit Draft Feel Free to use the following link to download a form letter to comment on the above actions; Comment Letter Form Warm Regards, John Divenere President, FVTU JOIN or RENEW Find us on Facebook Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved. Farmington Valley Trout Unlimited, 139 Hopmeadow Rd, Bristol, CT 06010 SafeUnsubscribe™ Forward this email | Update Profile | About our service provider Sent by in collaboration with Try it free today Reply Reply All Forward © 2018 Oath Inc. All Rights Reserved Get breaking news and all your emails instantly. Make AOL your homepage now. Get Started

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Opening Day 2018

Yesterday was the opening of "trout" season in Connecticut. And a few really dedicated fly fishers hooked up again to a tradition started years ago. We chose a stream where we were to be free from the crowds, there were no "white buckets", worm containers, or "Bud Light" cans....just the natural world. Mark and I fished a section of stream named the "Family Secret"...the weather was gorgeous, bugs about but the fish were not active. It took some time before I hooked a fish, a fallfish, a native silver rocket. Man can they battle.

I moved downstream to a set of riffles that flow into a pool with a over hanging hemlock, "Pete's Hemlock"...and I would like to say that I caught a trout there but it actually was taken in the riffle just above the hemlock.

My first jewel of the day. Strong and vibrant he took a rather large fly on the surface.

The opening day crew. Pete, Mark, Matt, and myself. We enjoyed coffee and muffins, thanks to Mark. Food tastes so good near a stream.

We then moved to another little stream and continued to fish. I stayed with that rather large fly and coaxed another brookie from a likely spot.

A Connecticut Native...healthy and well fed.

We sort of got separated while fishing and when I returned to the car I noticed that Pete and Mark's vehicles were gone. A note on my windshield said I was going to fish up to the "ledges", signed by Mark. I guess Pete had gone home. I was planning on leaving so I said so long, I hope they heard me. As I was packing my gear away a fellow drove alongside and asked about the fishing. I replied that it was wonderful. We talked for a spell and he was gracious and told me of a place where I might find a few brookies. I was going home but given the info this nice man gave me I just had to check it out. I found the dirt road he told me of and noticed a gate that was opened. The sign said no trespassing. I parked just inside the gate and walked along the dirt road. I then heard the sound of a very heavy truck, I looked up the hill and there was a large dump truck heading my way. He was upon me and stopped. He said "hi", have a nice day and drove off. Well no fuss so I moved on. I saw the brook the man told me about and gazing into it I saw some very impressive brook trout. No flies were cast, but I'll be back.

Oh that large dry fly...a "Hornberg"....Thanks guys for a great start to a new season.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Thanks" And "Very Happy"

First off I'd like to thank the Connecticut Fly Fishermen's Association for hosting their annual fly tyer's round-table. A great turnout. I had the pleasure of meeting old friends as well as meeting many new ones. A tremendous interest generated in the tying of "Spruce" flies and "spiders"....Thanks all.

Saturday marks the opening of "trout" season in Connecticut. It's said the state has already stocked the rivers and lakes with about 300,000 trout. A blessing to us small blue line fishers, for this takes the pressure off of the little wild trout streams. It also opens up many of the small streams that have been closed for the last month and a half. Again this year I will find myself out and about on some tiny freestone. I'll be joined by a couple of other like minded fishers, for which I'm very happy for. So I'll leave you with some photos of the kind of day we hope to have.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I spent a few hours yesterday fishing a stream I have not visited in some time. Well I should say i visited it several weeks ago but it was so high that I could not effectively fish it. Yesterday was some what more tranquil, and the few hours I spent here were very enjoyable. This river has given up some rather large brook trout in the past, in fact one of my best brook trout came from one of the delightful pools that I fished yesterday. A couple of our annual New Years Day meetings were held on this stream. This stream had some issues I'll not go into these here but lets just say they were not the best. I will say this the river fished as good as it did several years ago, and it is as beautiful as ever.

The morning started out slow, a fish could not be located. The air temp overnight as well as the morning time was cold. I don't know what it was but I guess it was in the mid thirties. A few times I had to remove ice from the guides. I dropped my thermometer into the stream and was surprised to such a low reading 33...that makes for poor feeding.

I fished several flies, from dries to streamers and soft-hackles.

I finally got a brookies to take a slow drifted black spider. In moments the spunky brookie was at hand. She was lacking color but a few spots were quite nice. I eventually took a couple of more fish from the pool above. Time said I must head home.

On the way back to the car I noticed these trout lilies pushing through the dry leaves, a wonderful sight on a cold April day.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


Good morning friends. This will be a simple post, short and sweet, and interesting to you I hope. On Wednesday April 11th I have the pleasure of tying flies at the Connecticut Fly Fishermans Association "Fly Tyers Round Table". The event is a great one both for fly tyers as well as fly fishermen and women. Lots of tyers creating patterns from salt water to farm pond bluegills. The event is free and open to the public. If you have the chance come see us. It's located at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse 100 Sunset Ridge, East Hartford CT.

I'll be tying the "Spruce" the original and a few variations.

In addition to the Spruce I'll also tie a couple of patterns that have worked well for me this past winter and into the spring.

Basic Black....

A pretty scene. This one is located on one of CT's class 1 wild trout streams. It also looks like a photo from the book Voelkers Pond. This leads to a project I'm tinkering with, and that is to tie all of the fly patterns from that book. Below is the first.

The "Royal Trude" the fly is featured in a couple of pages in the book.

Now "Bumblepuppy" Theodore Gordon's streamer fly....just need to get a couple of more materials. Coming soon.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Making The Best Of It

Fishing has been a hit or miss situation this early spring. For the most part conditions on the days I've ventured out have been OK. As far as weather issues and water conditions I can not complain, well maybe a little, with the wind that is. As far as catching is concerned the score has been mostly disappointing. I contribute this to the night time temperatures. Nights have allowed the mercury to fall below freezing and the daytime temps take awhile to rebound, this makes for slow insect activity as well as very little fish feeding.

It was my last outing on Saturday that I finally found active fish. It was afternoon when I located some small brookies that were willing to take a starling and purple soft-hackle. This fly worked probably because of the small stoneflies that were about. That little frenzy lasted about a half hour and then shut off.

Moving down a bit I fished a great run. I managed to bring a fish close to hand but it was not to happen.

I moved onto the other side of the log and tangled with this lady.

Luckily she did not free herself, judging by the way she is hooked a mere shake and he would have been gone. So as we move on into April, hopes are high.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

More "Spruce"

The "Red Spruce"
Again from the pages of Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing comes another variation of the Spruce Fly. This pattern is called the Red Spruce. Bates was told that the Red Spruce was designed for eastern brook trout. It was first seen at the Meier and Frank Company of Portland, Oregon in 1943. It is believed it was brought out by husband and wife combination working under the name of Smith-Ely of Blue River Oregon. The fly is basically the Spruce with the addition of a red hackle feather tied in along with the silver badger hackle. This added color of red is a plus when fishing for brook trout.

Taking a key from the Red Spruce I created a couple of more variations of this great streamer. In this pattern I use a orange saddle hackle along with a silver badger. The collar is a golden badger feather.

The "Orange Spruce"
The contrast in the use of a golden badger collar can be seen here. The orange is also a brook trout favorite color.

The "Royal Spruce"
This pattern is a Royal Spruce. It uses an under wing of a golden pheasant crest, along with Jungle Cock.

A great pattern representing a smelt or other bait fish.

A stand of "Spruce"

I will be tying these at the Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association fly tyer's roundtable in April.