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.
The John Storey, a fly that was brought to my attention here on SSR's by a follower. John from the Two Terriers had mentioned it saying it had been a very productive fly for him in the U.K. His mention brought several responses from other readers. Bill Shuck tied up a couple of versions of the John Storey, one wet and one dry. Alistair also provided me with some history of the fly in the form of writings.
So I tied up a John Storey dry fly and over the last few weeks gave it a tryout on some small streams. I'll let the series of photos give you a view of how it worked. I'll just add this. The John Storey will hold a place in my box.
Yesterday morning broke to a light rain shower. The day was to be cloudy with a sprinkle or two, typical early May weather. I planned to meet Kirk at a stream and fish for a few hours and perhaps coax a fish or two to take a fly. This time of year the woods are brimming with color. Flowers are bursting forth colors. The wet air just seems to highlight to color.
The stream in places just sort of meanders at a slow pace with a somewhat stronger riffle in places. Most flies at times will work here, and what you select is as good as another.
This streams contains another Connecticut native, one that is quite the battler when hooked. The fallfish, this male in his spawning attire took a soft-hackle. These fish fight like salmon. The dart, run and leap and on my 4"10" 3wt really impress.
Very pretty...soon they will be "wader wreckers".....defenders of brook trout waters.
Such places can produce wonderful surprises.
"Beautiful"...on a cloudy dam morning he was hungry.
What the hell is that. I found this pattern on the net somewhere. I think it's a Danish sea-trout fly. I've been wanting to try it locally and I did yesterday....more time is needed.
All turned out well, a few fish caught, a cup of coffee and a oatmeal raisin cookie enjoyed...life is indeed good.