Thursday, August 16, 2018

Checking Back....

I'm in the process of checking out some streams that I have not fished since early spring. The reason for this is to see how they have fared as well as the residents who live in them. We are slowly creeping into that "glorious season" and in the past these streams have produced some spectacular fish. The stream I selected today is one I'm very familiar with and the first few yards of stream I could see some real changes. Between some very large blow downs and erosion of banks which combined to change the flow of the stream. Now change at my age is not always something I look at with favor, I decided to fish the stream before I pass judgement.

This run has always produced fish. I could bet with certainty that a fish would take either at the head, middle or tail of the run, and most times I could hook a fish in each area on a series of consecutive casts. Today I fished it and was surprised to find one willing trout, and that trout came from an unlikely place.

This handsome brown took the fly in the shallows near the near side of the stream. Something different about this brown, it had no parr marks. Most trout from small stream all have them.

After seeing this along the stream a note was made to find the Pearsall's purple silk thread and tie a few soft-hackles.

The stream was pushing some water and in most cases I had to fish the soft areas to catch fish.

With a big fly which offered up a nice meal I was able to connect.

This is new. This log jam was not here in the spring. Storms over the summer caused flows to bring wood and create this jam and beautiful pool below. I never pass up such a place to float a fly, and folks you should do the same.

Right in the middle of the white water this guy found that fly. Well I think with what I saw and if all things hold the same this stream is ready for the "glorious season".....

Now I'll have some corn pancakes for breakfast.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Takayama Sakasa Kebari....I hope I Got That Right

A few days ago Tom Davis over at Teton Tenkara did a post on fishing a Tenkara fly. He was fishing a stream with a certain fly which he had photographed. Seeing the fly I said that has got to work here. So I asked Tom for a material list and he did plus he was gracious in providing me with a video of how the fly is tied. I do not fish Tenkara but I do fish Tenkara flies using conventional fly tackle. Many Tenkara flies are very similar to soft-hackles and spider patterns so why not tie and fish them.

This is the Takayama Sakasa Kebari. The fly is tied with a thread body, much like the spider patterns. It uses peacock for a thorax and a partridge feather for hackle. The hackle is tied in reverse, which counts for some incredible movement in the water.

This is the same fly only tied with a yellow body. This was done because I did not have white thread when I first tied the fly. I'm here to say both colors did exceptionally well.

Tom mentions in his video that this fly works well in clear streams. I don't think you could find a clearer stream.

The white body Takayama Sakasa Kebari. The wild brookies on this stream just could not leave this fly beautiful.

Here is the yellow body fly. I want to add that the flies held up very well. No fraying of the peacock or the thread bodies.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


The top photo was taken a week ago in the front of my deck. As you can see the maple is already on the turn. To turn away from why this early change I direct my thoughts to what this post is about, and that is contrast. A great example of contrast is the first photo, blue sky, white clouds, green trees and a speckle of other colors. They all seem to blend in but also have their own identity.

This same contrast is also very valuable in fly construction. A slight subtle contrast, and a bright pronounced contrast have their place in fly construction.

Here are a couple of examples of contrast in in these soft-hackle flies. The first has an olive body, with an orange thorax. The hackle is a tawny pheasant feather.

This soft-hackle has a orange silk thread base. The body is natural squirrel, and the thorax is peacock. The hackle is a dun hen. These little changes in color can mean the difference between a strike or a refusal.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Stop and Look

Why do we fish? Well that's a simple question and and equally simple answer's to catch fish. Very true and you will not get an argument on that from me. But, there is so much more to fishing and if you only believe that catching fish is why you do it then reading on is probably not for you.

I spend so much time not fishing when I'm fishing that if it were a law I'd be in jail. Scenes like you see here show just how much more there is to fishing. A little stream seems to void of fish, when in fact there are quite a few. A dry fly dropped on the slick still pool brings a rise. Now being a splashy rise the other fish head for cover.

Just look at all the places you'll find fish in this photo. I'll not tell you the spots instead I'll let you find them.

Wide open spaces, sunny spots. Not ideal for sure but you can see the places where a fly will connect.

Now here is what I mean when I say I spend as much time not fishing as I do fishing. This little water fall had my attention for quite some time. I took several photos and sat on a rock just thinking about the trout that use the area of the falls. When there is high water do the brookies leap the falls. In the deep run below the falls do they hold and hide. The wood jam is also beautiful in it's own right. Next time out stop for a few minutes and see what's really going on, it's like catching that big one.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Days Of Enchantment, and Kodachrome?

Sunday morning I woke with the thought of going fishing, well most mornings I wake with the same thought but this Sunday was a bit different in the fact that Saturday we recieved a generous rainfall. I knew that many of the streams benefited and I was going to try to take advantage. The stream I chose to fish is a freestone brook that flows off a small mountain. It has a reputation of holding a brookie or two and it is rather easy to fish with exception of a few laurel thickets. The rocks can be a pain especially when you slide on one.

First view of the stream and all's well in goodness is there anything better.

A waterfall that was pushing a fair amount of water. I took some video with sound of it and will post it soon. At the bottom are several small pools, and in these pools lie some fish...

...impressive fish at that. This male brook trout was almost in full Autumn dress. I have noticed several of the brookies I've caught in the last few weeks taking on color.

While the streams are full of water one must still take caution to ensure that water temps are satisfactory and this one is as cold as it can be for August. 58 degrees....

Moving upstream I stopped to work a fly through most of the prime looking water, sometimes they held fish and sometimes they don't, and there are those times when you hook fish and they take the liberty of releasing themselves before you can get a look.

Precious.....a wild native jewel.

Paul Simon said in his wonderful song Kodachrome that everything looks worse in black and white....well not so fast, looks pretty good.

Days of enchantment.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Stream In Hemlock Hollow

I am so fortunate to have so many streams to fish. Many of them have wild trout and some of them have lot's of wild trout. Several of these streams I fish regularly and a few of them seem to slip through the cracks and a reason for this I can't give. Sunday I fished a stream that I have not laid eyes on in two years. Funny though even after so long a time I felt like I fished it yesterday. It was a beautiful as the last time I saw it, with the fact that some new blow downs took up residence in a few runs it was pretty much the same.

The stream was up considerably from the decent rain we have gotten in the last weeks, and some of the pools were dark and deep. They say that brook trout like deep and dark pools, can we believe what some say?

In one such deep and dark pool I decided to test that saying out.

I found several wild brookies in that pool. Some at the top, some in the middle and several at the tail.

The stream as it flows through the laurel and hemlock. Several large oaks were in the mix also.

Brookies were in the riffles , and loved a big fly.

A sign of an early Autumn? Oaks dropping acorns..

You just never know where in the stream a brook trout will be found. You have to fish all of the water.....

...and when you do you may encounter fish like this. Another sign of an early Autumn? This male had a very pronounced hook in the jaw. His mouth inside was as black as coal, a trait I've seen and it was in large brook trout. I hope we meet again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Why? Maybe A Bit Odd......

Here we are August 1st. We are starting the last month of summer. I know many are not happy to hear about this but there are many who believe it couldn't come quicker. My feelings are that of someone who is right in the middle. We'll see....

"Cobble" those stones we find on small streams. Most pay no attention to them or probably don't even know they exist. I may be a little odd but I stop all the time when I see something like that which is pictured above. Such a multitude of size, color and shapes. Where did they come from? How long will they remain? What is living under them? It's stuff like this that intrigues me. Do you ever give "cobble" a thought?

I came upon a berry bush near the water. One large fully ripe berry remained while the clump of others were obviously eaten. Now why was this one left?

Now there would be enormous concern if this "bug" landed on my shoulder....

The "hemlock" a guardian along the stream. These trees do so much for the well being of wild trout. And when you come across a hemlock along the stream fish the water just above and below, chances are you will be wonderfully surprised.

They say the Italian's can't live without the tomato, this Italian agrees. Diced native plum tomato's, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Where's the crusty bread?