Although the calendar says that winter is still over a month away, around here it has been in full swing. The last week saw some pretty cold temps along with wind and a 6 inch snowfall. The first snow always has that magical feeling to it, it's the reality of what happened that shocks the body later on. Well I enjoyed it and took some time to explore a stream. It's so beautiful to see fresh snow all the way to the waters edge. The only tracks are that of deer and squirrels.
The stream was flowing swiftly. It looked dark and cold with the exception of a bright sunspot upon it when the sun was so generous. I started with a dry fly as I usually do. In short time I realized that was not the best choice. I personally have indicators that tell me if a dry is going to work, and those indicators told me "not today"....so wet flies and streamers and....
Sudden changes in weather can turn a stream off very quickly and put the bite in slow mode. Luckily I found a few willing to take Salars Nemesis.
Places like this just beg to be fished, and I wasted no time. I bumped several fish in the pool, and finally hooked one.
He followed the fly as it swung through the outer frothy water and took it as it neared the surface.
The family is all grown up. They have moved on to perhaps warmer climes.
Pristine, calm, quiet, soul relaxing, all of these words apply to a scene like this. A small meandering woodland stream. Places like these should be protected as much as possible for they are much to fragile to be taken advantage of. I do not object to people fishing places like this, for most who do seek a place like this is likely of the same mindset as me, and no harm to it or it's inhabitants shall take place. To others who would see this would have other ideas and could do devastating damage to this tranquil place. Places like this are not named or highlighted in any form that would be recognizable by others. An old saying comes to mind "loose lips sink ships" and that applies to a small stream as well as a larger river. Most anglers that read this blog would never cause any harm to that stream, but there are others that read this blog who do not feel the same way. Find a beautiful stream, fish it, release your fish and care for the land. Doing this will insure you'll be able to come back and find it as you left it.
Another "buddy"...next to the brookie this guy here brings me so much enjoyment. Man these guys will eat any offered fly and will punish your rod. They are so beautiful and photogenic. The big plus is that they bring me back to the boy I was so many years ago.
YLI silk. Three new colors...I love this thread. While my supply of Pearsall's is stable I find myself using more of the YLI than Pearsall's. "Blackberry, Magenta and Light Purple"
"Snipe and Purple"...a North Country classic.....This one is actually a "Woodcock and Purple" for I do not have the Snipe...should work though.
With winters chill here now, it's great to warm up with your favorite "bowl of red"...Chili man Chili....
Yesterday morning was my first taste of winter. The air temperature was about 30 and the wind chill quite a bit colder. I was dressed for it and I did not feel that bad. The one positive about cold weather fishing is that I don't change flies often, my fingers do not function well so I usually stay with the first fly I tie on. As the morning progressed the the sun took over and warmed things a bit and so the ice jammed guides were done with.
The fishing was slow at first and even in the softer water strikes were few. I was content with the fact that I was out and soon my luck would change.
Along the bank in the quiet water this silver bullet struck a soft-hackle just at the surface. A bullet indeed for it shot all over the place trying to shake the piece of iron in it's mouth.
Another fisherman...obviously he had his eye on a spawning couple. My being close changed his plans.
As rough as this water is it had several pockets that were OK to fish. And a couple of those pockets held fish.
I was happy to manage to pick one out of a soft pocket.
Winter ferns? Such bright green mixed in with the brown of the forest.
Good morning. Do you like soft-boiled eggs? I do. What a nice break from fried or scrambled eggs. I sometimes over cook them and that is not good. Most times they are soft and loose. A piece of toast and cup of Nantucket blend and I'm well satisfied.
So many times while fishing a stream that is full of brookies I'll hook one of these. The brown trout although not a native has been with us for so many years we almost consider them so. I have heard that these trout will wreak havoc on our native population of brook trout, but in my travels here in Connecticut I have not seen this. Most times these two seem to coexist....a lesson can be had here.
The brown above and this brookie came from the same stream.
I enjoy tying these large soft-hackle flies. They are tied on low water salmon hooks and I have taken quite a few trout on them.
I am going to make an effort to try to fish some larger waters using these flies. 2019 may be the year that "Small Stream Reflections" meets "Big Water Reflections".
October was a very rainy month, and November is adding to the totals. I ventured out today and did not know what I would find. Last night we had anywhere form a half inch to more than an inch depending where in the state you were. T he stream I selected was flowing full. Leaves were in the water along with lots of pine needles. On average you were able to get a few feet of drift before your fly found either a leaf or a needle but every so often a fish would take the fly.
A high flow wild brook trout.
Water every where.
And brookies every where.
A very deep pool. I wondered what was in it. Perhaps a streamer would be a good choice.
Looking in the box I selected Salars Nemesis.... It was the right choice.
I caught 4 brookies in that pool, this one was the biggest.
Conditions yesterday were perfect, that is for hiking and not fishing. We have received a great deal of rain in the last few weeks and it has produced some rather full streams. I fished yesterday selecting a couple of streams I thought would handle the heavy rain that fell Friday night and Saturday. When I got there it was not what I had hoped for. Both streams were full to capacity. I fished the edges and soft seams and managed to hook a few, the tally was 0 for 7.
The last few glimpses of the "glorious season" along a small stream. What a beautiful day to be out.
Woodcock and Orange
I was gifted with some beautiful woodcock wings and feathers by a reader of SSR's. Lovely markings on the feathers and it will provide some fine flies and a great deal of enjoyment at the vise this winter. Here are a couple of spider patterns tied with woodcock.
Woodcock and Olive
Now for the comfort. Baked turkey vegetable soup. We have a day coming soon that features the turkey and this is one of the ways I enjoy it, the other is a turkey sandwich. This soup can be made in a quick version also. You can use canned chicken broth, browned ground turkey, and canned mixed vegetables. Add sliced cheese, I like mozzarella and baked until cheese browns and is bubbly.
Over the course of a year I'll find about a dozen or so new streams. Of that dozen I'll maybe explore eight, and of that eight perhaps four or five will hold trout. The trout may be browns or brookies and some may be there in numbers and some of the streams will have but a few. Exploring these streams is enjoyable in the cooler months of April and May and again in September, October and November. One of these streams I had the pleasure of fishing was located in the hills of eastern Connecticut. The stream was flowing with clear cold water and it tumbled down the hill through a nice mix of hardwoods.
A series of pools and riffles provided the necessary habitat for a few willing fish. I would guess this stream holds fish all year long and may have a few added to it's roles come October from an adjacent larger stream.
Here is one the beautiful residents of this stream.
Pretty sights abound. A variety of soft-hackle flies came into play..and a dry or two.
You never know what might be in a place like this. Most times you just see it as it explodes swimming away form you. But sometimes you have the first shot and a drifted fly gets attention.
A special moment when your able to lift the jewel from the stream. Photograph it and release it, suddenly it's gone, vanishing into the thin water.
At the end as you walk to the car your at peace. All is well my friends.