I haven't tied a Rangeley streamer in some time. I have been a little slack in tying but those featherwing streamers have been center in my mind. I woke this morning and went downstairs to get a coffee. When I got back upstairs I put a Martinek Rangeley streamer hook in the vise and let it happen. An hour or so later the finished fly waited for it's final coats of Cellire. These long feathered flies still have that appeal to me as the first time I laid eyes on one many years ago.
Have you ever experienced walking in the woods to one of your favorite streams. Maybe you were on a hike to scout out a fall hunting spot, or just outdoors in a place that you enjoy being. Suddenly as you stop momentarily you realize the deafening sound of quiet. I have been out where the only sounds are that of the natural world fill my ears. Birds chirping, a slight breeze pushing the tree branches are happening and suddenly it all ceases and there is only quiet. In this world that quiet is so comforting and refreshing. This can happen to you and it is a place close to home....below is a short video of a happening I encountered on a small stream just this week. Not only is enjoyable to watch, it's also enjoyable to listen to....all natural. Enjoy.
Fresh egg omelets, lots of fresh herbs two cheeses and a little kielbasa...what a way to start the day. And let me add this, a hot cup of coffee served in my new mug. The mug was a gift for fathers day from my two grandchildren. They know how much "Papa" loves his coffee and how much he loves his fly fishing. Thank you Morgan and Ethan.
In many of Fran Betters fly patterns his choice of dubbing has been orange dyed Australian possum. He had a special orange dye that he used and the fur was unique. In the dying process he also achieved, by design or accident a much darker coloration. Having purchased bags of his dubbing from his shop I have several pieces of this darker dubbing. Fran used this dark dubbing on some of his flies. I have several Fran tied "bombers" tied with this darker possum. Myself I have used the darker dubbing on some of the bombers I tie and they fill the bill at certain times. Another mystery surrounding a Fran Betters pattern.
A "bomber" tied with the darker Australian possum.
Here in Connecticut we are fortunate to have many acres of state owned land. These public areas will always remain pretty much the way we see them now, with the exception of what nature does and that's OK by me. On these lands are many miles of streams, some good size and some just tiny flows. Many of these blue lines have fish in them, and many have wild trout. With some exploration you should be able to find the ones that have the necessary cold water that's needed to sustain trout.
This past week I fished several of these small woodland streams and for the most part found what I was looking for. Some of the trout were very small, I mean fish that were 2-3 inches. It was a blast seeing these brook trout swiping the bomber, all of them unable to take the fly. But on a few streams and in certain pools I was able to bring a few larger brookies to hand.
Looking into this pool I could not see any trout, but once the fly hit the water the pool came to life. The little brookies sprang from the rocks trying to eat the fly.
One of the bigger natives in the pool.
Wild my friends, an added plus to fishing the little waters.
The stream as it flows from down the mountain. Pools are formed like steps. While not every pool held fish a few of them did.
A small stream wild char. Incredibly beautiful. Its red spots trying to out do the blue halos.
These streams require time to fish. Trying to present the fly without spooking the pool can be a challenge, a challenge that is not always successful.
A deep pool filled with cold tanic water. It's almost like casting into a pitcher of iced tea. As the fly gets close to the boulder an eruption took place.
The brook trout proceeded to fight like crazy. He went down, to the right and left at one point going airborne doing a tail walk. Just has I thought the fight was out of him he went straight for a tangle of wood, fortunately I and the little 5" glass rod turned him back. As I lifted the monster from the water I could not believe his size. I placed him back into "his" pool, said thank you and in my mind I said I hope we'll meet again.
A rare find, a special family farm located in eastern Connecticut that has a reputation of producing some of the finest cheeses that I have ever tasted. While I can't be considered a gourmet expert in the quality of cheese but I am a consumer who knows what a good cheese is. Jeanette and I stopped by Cato Corner Farm located in Colchester Ct and spent some time wandering the farm as well as getting a history lesson on the farms start as well as sampling some of it's "made on the farm" cheese.
Walking the farm roads you see many of the pastures in which the farms 45 plus cows are allowed to graze naturally.
This is Elizabeth MacAlister, she along with son Mark started the business back in the 90's. The basis is happy cows make for good milk which makes for some of the tastiest cheese.
Little guys, so curious.
The cheese shop. We were treated to some of the variety of cheese that were featured.
"Dan" he was our guide this day. He told us about all of the cheeses made on the farm. In talking to us we told him of our preferences in cheese and then gave us a sample to taste. I fell in love with two of the offerings which we took home with us. If you are ever in the area please stop by. Their hours of operation are on the sign, and they have a web site. The cheese is also available on line.
This is "Womanchego" in the kitchen of Casa Petrucci...I kid you not it is the best cheese I have ever tasted. Made from raw cows milk it's semi-soft texture with a very unique flavor is a delight. "Womanchego" was voted American Cheese Society best American Raw Cows Milk Cheese in 2017.
On my last outing I took a good look in my box for a certain fly and the conclusion was "get it cleaned up and organized". It was a mess with flies crushing each other, winter flies, big woolly buggers, all mixed in together so that trying to find a partridge and orange spider was impossible.
When I got home I did get the box in order and it looks a lot better today then it did. While I was doing the necessary weeding out of flies I came to the conclusion that for a small stream guy all I needed to fish successfully in those little waters was a simple as "A.B.C."....let me explain.
The "A"...Adam's Parachute... for the small stream guy this is a top fly. In a couple of sizes it works great.
The "B"...Bomber, Fran Better's pattern that is responsible for taking more small stream trout for me than any other fly I have. I tie it in a couple of sizes but size 14 is all I need.
The "C" the caddis..here is the elk hair caddis. I'm showing this fly but I fish several caddis patterns. Most of these patterns work super well on small streams. While I will always carry more than I need it's good to know that I can get by with only 3 patterns. It's easy as A.B.C.
Having fished the Farmington river since the late 60's I have pretty much covered most of its waters that allowed me to cast a fly. There have been some banner days in the many outings along with many skunks. The one overwhelming constant is I have never had a bad day on the Farmington when it comes to the beauty that this river gives forth. There are many named pools in this river. Many are well known and fished extremely hard, in fact I would say some have seen just about every fly ever created. I will say I have my favorite places to fish on this gem of the northeast. A few of them I can be assured that I'll be alone with the only competition being a heron or eagle. But one of the most beautiful pools on the Farmington is Whittemore. I make it a point to stop here every time I'm at the Farmington.
While Whittemore may be the most beautiful pool on the Farmington it has been a difficult one for me to fish. It's riffled head, it's long sooth and deep center as well as it's rapid tail out have proved to be quite the challenge for me.
Several very large trout were seen here...rising to something I could not see. It was a grand sight.
Whittemore lived up to it's name as the most beautiful, and frustrating pool on the Farmington this day but it did manage to give up one of it's wild browns.
Yesterday was a change of pace, or should I say a change of place as to the target of our quarry for the day. John and I got together to do some fishing. The relaxed style and the type of fishing which was let's see what's biting and enjoy what happens. The place chosen was a warm water hot spot, and the beauty of the area came bursting forth. The backwater ponds and canals were home to pike, bass, crappie and bluegills. Flies were used, and when we figured out just what they liked we were on our way to a fine morning.
I had success with salmon flies..."Salars Nemesis"
And the "north country spider" also proved it's value.
Look at that CGR bend...
John holding a "battler"
A great day for a couple of guys remembering what we did together some 60 years ago.
Yesterday I was fumbling through some fly fishing magazines when I came across an article that really hit a nerve so to speak. It told of an angler who was fishing a river and using a bucktail. What's so interesting about that you say. Well fishing for trout in rivers with bucktails and streamers is nothing new you say, and I agree. The thing that was unique was the fact that the angler was fishing a "Wardens Worry". This fly is a very old Maine pattern that when fished for brook trout is a killer. With exception to anglers in Maine I don't think I've ever seen this fly fished anywhere else, let alone written about in a national magazine. Well this fly was being fished in a eastern river by a Catskill angler and the Wardens Worry managed to bring a very big brown trout into feeding on it.....to go on.
The majority of browns that take a fly seem to prefer something more bug like to take a whack at.
These browns paid no attention to what is supposed to be hatching, they just took the fly offered.
What is it....
I mean you guys don't see these all the time on your streams. Try one and let the trout decide.....just as he did when he chose to take a "Wardens Worry" outside of the great State of Maine.