The "Outback", you have read several posts about my ventures into this wader shredding area in the past. I usually fish this place in winter and very early spring because it's more forgiving and kinder on man and material. But a few weeks ago I had the urge to fish this natural highly protected area and see what I could find. As you look from the parking one observes a pretty setting, a view that says I'd love to take a walk through there. Well it may look friendly but believe me there are tangles of briars that hold world records, thorns that are "huge" and will rip you to no end. This is Filson "Tin Cloth" territory.
But back in the "Outback" are some of the biggest fish this stream produces. I have met a few of them over the years and was ready to see if I could locate one this day.
There is beauty in the "Outback"...this lupine was close to full bloom.
The stream runs close to many hazards. The trees hold many of my flies not only on top but in the roots.
During the winter the browns hold in the deep slow pools, but come mid spring and summer they work their way up into the better feeding areas of the stream. It is here where I tangled with a very strong brown trout. The brown took the fly as it drifted to the left of the vine hanging in the water. He struck it hard and headed to the nasty roots along the bank. In his struggle to free himself he made some spectacular runs both up and downstream. I can tell you the little 4'10" 3wt Cane and Silk almost bent in half. It held and the fly stayed in and soon the brown lay close to my hand.
An "Outback" Brown
A wild brown, a very beautiful wild brown that allowed me to photograph him before his release.
A lovely little stream, slow riffles and quiet pools. The stream meanders through hemlock and hardwoods, creating cool waters. The part I have been fishing holds a fair share of brook trout and has been good to me over the years. The brook trout are not alone in this stream, for it also holds another gamer.
That day I had success with the natives. They were hungry and they took flies readily.
The stream takes a plunge through some nasty boulders. I have wanted to fish the pockets created here but do to some safety concerns I chose not to and leave it alone.
Beyond this log jam there is a stretch of quit water. A section of the stream where it flows into a pond. It was here where I viewed fish rising. I tied on a dry and cast to the rises. Slurp and a battle was on. A few moments later and a wild one was at hand.
In the course of an hour I must have caught 15 of these guys, all on dry flies. These fish move up into the stream from a pond, I assume the insect activity draws them up.
It is a good day when you can catch brookies and sunfish in the same stream.
Jeanette and I just spent a couple of days roaming one of our most favorite places. One must keep in mind that such a place has more to offer than can be told in this post. The first morning when our eyes gazed the old cottage by the bay our minds felt a feeling that we never tire of. The walk down the path that is covered with pine needles thus making sure our feet are comforted and this early preparation setting us up for what would be a walk of life.
Looking across the marsh and seeing the brook quietly flowing. Stopping for a spell and listening to the red-winged black birds distinct call. The air was cool and even with a shirt on I could feel a chill.
The area has so much to offer. We observed so much of what nature brings forth at this time of year. Beauty that may be unique to Red Brook. There's so much more than fishing....
Where I first stepped into the chilly waters of Red Brook. The flow was quiet but swift. There are few casts made here but more of a slight toss and then "let it drift"...a fish may strike at almost any point, but most take when a fast retrieve is made.
A wild brook trout. They are beautiful beyond words. One might say they are just like the brookies we fish for but the are a special creature and one that is unique to this stream. I had an encounter with Steve Hurley a biologist for Mass. Fish and Wildlife. He told me that they surveyed Red Brook on Monday and Tuesday and they found brook trout throughout the Red Brook. He also told me that a great deal of young of the year fish were observed and that holds well for the future of these special char.
You may recall a post I did on two special kids from Falmouth. They had a outing at Red Brook that will remain with them for life..."Red Brook has that effect on those that spend tine there"... Well Sophie tied a fly for me exactly like the one she tied for her brother Nate. He then proceeded to use that fly to catch his first Red Brook "salter"..Well Sophie I used you fly and I will report that I hooked two brookies on it...thank you.
Sophie's "Pink Shrimp"...a fly that perhaps will go down as a "go to fly for salters"...
A tight place to navigate but.....
the work is well worth it. I can't say it enough how great is the feeling to catch of of these brook trout. They are fish that have a tenacity that no other char has. They have lots of help in their quest to keep their numbers strong, the Sea-Run Brook Trout Coalition, Trout Unlimited, Mass Fish and Wildlife, The Trustees of Reservations and I'm sure there are a few more that I'm not aware of....thanks to all.
To be able to fish for a iconic New England native in pristine waters is an experience that I find hard to duplicate. As we walked down the path to the bridge that leads to the parking area a sadness takes hold for a moment. We will come back to Red Brook again for there is no feeling like being near its waters.
My last couple of outings I have noticed many of these small exquisite mayflies dancing about the streams. With the abundance of these duns I also noticed the majority of the trouts feeding has been done sub-surface, that conclusion came from the fact that not a single rise form was seen. I'm a fisherman and not a entomologist, so please forgive me if I can't give you the actual name of the insect. I generally call them sulphurs, or white colored flies.
In Ames book Hatch Guide For New England Streams he lists several of these light colored insects as well as the flies one should use to represent them. It's a great book and should be in your library. There was an excellent fly tyer and fly fisher from New York state named Mark Libertone. Mark created two wet flies that I consider to be the best at representing these sulphurs. I put them in the same class as Fran Betters Usual. The two flies are the Genesee Jewel, and the Lil Dorothy.
The Lil Dorothy....this fly has accounted for many a trout. The last two outings I have taken a lot of trout on this fly. The recipe is as follows...Hook, Mustad 3906B....Body Orange Embroidery thread #722....Thorax, light hares ear....Hackle, Cream hen hackle. I also tie this fly on smaller light wire hooks.
Mark Libertone's Genesee Jewel another awesome pattern when these light colored mayflies are about. This fly works for me pretty much from May through October. The recipe is....Hook, Mustad 3906B....Tail, Cream Hackle Fibers....Body, Cahill dubbing....Rib, Pearlescent Tinsel....Wing, Wood Duck....Hackle, Cream Hen.
Both of these patterns should be in you fly box. Most likely you will have to tie them yourself or have them tied for you. I don't recall seeing them in the local fly shops.
A beautiful spring day spent in the woods of Connecticut. The day after some substantial rain and a barrage of violent storms the peace and beauty came forth like like magic creating a true wonderland. It was cool enough for me to wear a flannel shirt and the sky may have brighten some but if so it went unnoticed. I had a first this day and that was a pretty good amount of those little sulphurs flying about. So tag along with me and enjoy what I experienced on this grand spring day.
When I first laid my eyes on the fly Salars Nemesis I never dreamed it would take up so much of my time. It consumed almost all of my fly tying, my fly fishing "I find myself fishing this fly almost a 100% of the time I'm on the water"....I have bought a book on it and have tied it to both the recipe as written as well as the photo of it in the book. Several readers of this blog have helped me in tying it, and most of all the fish have taken to it like no other fly I've fished with exception to the Ausable Bomber. The fly in the photo shows a well eaten Salars Nemesis. The hackle has been stripped down to just a few fibers, and the floss body is in tatters....it still works. Changes are in the works.....
Sylvester Nemes called for a body of Pearsall's silk thread or floss. In the bodies of future flies I will use this silk thread, it's a fine alternative to Pearsall's. I also believe the silk thread will hold up better and not fray as the floss does.
Here are two feathers that I've used for the hackle on this fly. The feather on the left is a ringneck pheasant rump feather. It has great movement and profile when wet. The problem I find with the rump feather is they are quite brittle and tend to break when fished. The feather on the right is a ringneck pheasant body feather. This feather is not as brittle but is much more dense when wrapped on the fly. Mr. Nemes called for a golden pheasant body feather. I ordered a golden pheasant skin and will tie a few Salars Nemesis when the skin arrives.
Here are the two flies. Both have silk bodies. The fly on the left has rump hackle and the fly on the right body feather hackle. Both flies have the same number of turns of hackle. I'm not normally a perfectionist when it comes to following a fly recipe, but this one has got me doing just that. More to come....
Keeping busy and finding lots of enjoyable things to do. Last week I took a beautiful boat ride on a gorgeous lake. The fly rod was in use but that was not the highlight of the day, that came from the company I was with, my brother in law John. Had a good time remembering so many things we've shared over a lifetime.
I even managed to fool one of these guys.
Jeanette and I took a little road trip to the Green Mountain state of Vermont. We enjoyed a beautiful breakfast at a very old diner. We then drove further north to the town of Norwich to the King Arthur Mill. They have a bakery and cafe that will have you drooling all of the time inside.
We bought some bread that was incredible. I also picked up a scone mix that I will test this week.
I would like to wish all of the Mothers out there a very "Happy Mothers Day".......wild flowers for mom. Thank you.