Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Three Days of the Condor

The Three Days of the Condor, that 1975 thriller starring Robert Redford. It is one of my top five movies of all time. Probably next to the Godfather and Caddy Shack.

I have been out fishing and over the days the overall results have been super especially for winter. Starting late, 10:30 or 11 am the trout have waken and with the sun warming it up just enough to get them feeding. As I have said many times all that's necessary is one or maybe two flies, pick what you like and fish it. Most times I'm fishing soft-hackles but the dry and nymph see action. But when I come to an area of the stream where it's deep and has somewhat slower moving water I'll fish a streamer. I have a couple of thoughts on what type of streamer and size. For the most part I choose to fish a smaller streamer size 10, but I also throw out a bigger one say size 6 or 8. Most times a attractor pattern with colors and other times I'll throw a baitfish pattern. Some of the patterns are the Mickey Finn, Edson Tiger, Black nose Dace, or a darter pattern.


Here is a nice brook trout that slammed the darter. This fish really had some fight within him.


Ideal small stream places to work a streamer. Try different retrieves from super fast to letting it scrape the bottom on a slow retrieve.


There are no soft strikes on a streamer. They hit it so hard as to stun it, then chomp it to finish it off.


I lost a big one here. He was hooked on two separate times and I could not bring him to hand....one day my friend.


I guess your wondering what this report has to do with the movie Three Days of the Condor....meet the "Condor"......









Sunday, February 17, 2019

Of muffins, men and crushed hackles...or something.

Saturday morning we were up at 6...showered and shaved. A few snacks were packed for the road. A fast cup of coffee, and my list of what I need, and off to the Bears Den fly show. But there were a few things that needed to accomplished first, and one of them was to stop for breakfast at Leo's in Buzzards Bay. Leo's has probably the best grilled blueberry muffins in Massachusetts. Please if you are ever in Buzzards Bay stop and enjoy one. Also Leo's is bottomless cup of coffee establishments. After leaving Leo's we took a short drive to Red Brook. As we pulled into the driveway to Lyman Reserve we noticed several vehicles and a young man standing by the a large sign. As I parked my car I said I know that man. As I stepped out the man came towards us and sure enough he was familiar. Geoff Klane came to us and gave us a big hug. We exchanged happenings since we last saw each other. A few seconds later another young man came over and Geoff introduced us to Ashu Rao. The two of them had plans of fishing Red Brook. As they geared up Jeanette and I took a walk along Red Brook.


Ashu, Geoff, and Jeanette




One of my favorite places at Red Brook. It is here where the fresh spring fed waters of Red Brook meet the salt water of Buttermilk bay. At this time of day and this time of year the quietness can be deafening. Although I did not cast a fly on Red Brook I still came away with a catch.


We left Red Brook and headed to Bears Den. It was a great show as usual. I met some old friends and made a few new ones. I scored on some awesome material, and was gifted some old streamer hooks from a follower of SSR's...a great day all around.


A little tip. How many of you find that after use your hackles get crushed. I know that I find this problem for instead of putting the flies back where they should be, dries with dries and wets with wets etc. So what I have done to revitalize those crushed hackles is this. Get your self a wire tea strainer from a dollar store. Boil up some water and place the crushed flies into the basket. Hold the basket over the steam and shake for a few seconds. Place the flies on a paper towel and let cool. The flies will be just as stiff and straight as the day they were tied.














Thursday, February 14, 2019

Winter Fishing

winter woods, they look lifeless oh but they're not
I've been fishing over the last week and I have encountered two different streams and two different sets of results. It is not uncommon to find vast differences in the way a stream and the trout will react in the winter. Some days they like everything presented sub surface and sometimes they will dine on the top. There are also those days when they just seem to ignore everything. On those days when a bite seemed like it would never happen I would try and figure what it was I was doing wrong, or maybe the fly was not the right color or size. Those days are now gone and I realize that I was not doing anything wrong. That old saying comes to mind, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...that's winter fishing.



I fished this trout stream and have taken my share of fish. One of those top 10. On this day I was not given the pleasure of taking a trout, and to make it worse not even a bite. Well if the skunk is going to pay you a visit what better time then a mid-winter day....but hold on. Downstream from this picture I had a close encounter with a fish.


As the little gray nymph bounced of the bottom a silver streak took it. It refused to surrender and fought bravely. Moments later he was at hand. The day saved by a little powerhouse.


Why? Single barbless hooks. Can you imagine that nasty piece in the mouth of a 5" brook trout.


From a mid winter day to spring...that's Connecticut. This day found some willing brookies looking at top water flies.


Riffles, have I ever mentioned how much I love fishing places like this. Diamonds my friends.


It's the riffles where you find 6 inches of water and little jewels like this.













Monday, February 11, 2019

Salars Nemesis Revisited

"Salars Nemesis" tied by Alan Petrucci
Over the last several days I have seen an interest in the fly Salars Nemesis. Over 200 page views from the forum "Classic Fly Rod Forum" and numerous e-mails asking about Sylvester Nemes salmon fly. I also over the last year have recieved several photos of this classic fly from readers of this blog. I am impressed with each one of them and I want to say thanks. The fly is supposed to represent a shrimp and it's not a overly difficult fly to tie. One of the problems I have with it is the wing, which is a pheasant rump feather. This feather can be brittle and give you fits not only in tying but selecting one from the bird. I have overcome this problem choosing to use a side feather from the pheasant which is more durable and easier to work with.





Doug Duvall


The three flies in the above photos are from other tyers including Sylvester Nemes

As you can see this fly is a great brook trout fly, and as of yesterday still gets them.



Here is a trio of Salars Nemesis flies. Each one is tied with a different wing feather.









Saturday, February 9, 2019

New England Small Towns

Small towns are plenty all over this country. They possess a certain charm and grace that large cities just don't come close to duplicating. New England has some of the most beautiful small towns I have ever been to. Being one who loves the small stream I have crossed through some quaint picturesque places and I could not begin to list there names and the qualities they bring forth. I was asked once how do you know when your in a small town, what is key to what defines a small town. My answer is this. When in New England you know when your in a small town when there isn't a Dunkin' Donuts shop.



Without a doubt New England is known for it's barns, and beautiful fall foliage. One of these day I'm going to wander through one of those barns.


Where else could you fly fish for wild brook trout in salt water? Then a few miles away from the stream find your self getting dizzy trying to negotiate a traffic rotary.


How about catching a brook trout on a salmon fly...not many areas of this country can lay claim to that.


And to add to strange happenings, how about catching a blue gill on a salmon fly...


You know your in a small town in New England when you see a fellow preparing feather-wings for a few Rangeley streamers...








Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February In "Brook Trout Forest"

Yesterday morning I picked up Rowan and we had planned on fishing a stream that held some promise. A stream that could hold brook trout in the 14-15 inch group. When we arrived we found that the stream had a bit of a problem, "access"...we had to walk a large field that was filled with last years corn stubble. We reached the tree line which was the easiest part of the trek. Once in the trees we encountered those briars, those devils that will draw blood and keep the "aqua seal" company in business. Drudging through mud and pockets of ice we finally saw the stream. It flowed rather slowly and had some deep holes. The possibility of finding some trout was there but trying to fish for them was terrible. So a decision to go to another stream was made and it proved to be the right choice.



You have heard me make mention of "brook trout forest" those special places where the body mind and soul and at peace. Where beauty in so many forms are present. Well here it is. The little stream was one where you could just walk along it and have a complete day. It meandered down and made some interesting curves. It's dark slow pools were almost black. It was in these pools that willing brook trout took our flies.


Wild, in a place that sees maybe one angler a year. These brookies were extremely sensitive and I spooked more than a dozen fish.


Rowan trying to make a cast into one of those slow dark pools. Trout were rising and a well placed fly brought a response.




Rowan with a wild jewel. The stream was full of these fish. Each one seemed to be prettier than the last. We turned over some rocks in the stream and found out why there were so many healthy brook trout in this stream. The stream had golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, and aquatic worms. It was a tout buffet. We both agreed that this stream would be a dry fly heaven come May and June.


A pool in brook trout forest. Just downstream from here Rowan took a large brookie, one of many I think will be found in this little stream.










Monday, February 4, 2019

The Irish Mayfly on Super Bowl Sunday

Some months back I read a magazine article on Irish Flies. As the article went on it highlighted Irish mayflies. The flies were absolutely beautiful and quite large. They involved using various tail materials which were tied quite long, pretty basic body dubbings and a wing comprised of three hackles of different birds and different colors. I tied up some and yesterday I ran them by the locals to get their reaction.



I was not expecting much when I let them float the stream. The weather has been cold although it had moderated some in the last days. About 11 am it actually felt good and apparently it got a few insects flying about. The ones I saw were small, black in color. They did not bring about any rises that I saw but maybe it got the trout looking up.


The Irish fly did not resemble the actual flies I saw about but it got the attention of these little guys....they would not leave it alone.


It was here in this riffle where I saw my first rising fish. I cast to it and it surfaced and took the fly.


I did not expect this, but I welcomed it. He was strong and healthy and even retained some of it's color.


The fly floated well and did double duty as a wet fly. I think those Irish fly tyers had a bit of Yankee blood in them when they created these flies.


This brookie was amazing. I can't describe in words the battle he put forth. The hot action lasted only a short time but it was enough on a early February day to satisfy this angler.












Friday, February 1, 2019

February...Some Comforting Thoughts

Winter can be beautiful and comforting if your inside
February the month of my birth, oh happy day,...Great things going on this month. Our friend from Pennsylvania "Punxsutawny Phil" will make his prognostication on an early Spring. There are two wonderful fly fishing shows/expos. The Connecticut Fly Fishermans Association Expo on Saturday 2-2-18 at Maneely's in So. Windsor CT...and on Saturday the 16th The Bear's Den Fly Fishing Show in Taunton, MA.

A comforting sign will be "Truck Day" at Fenway Park in Boston. That's when the truck heads south to Florida with the World Champion Red Sox gear to start the Spring training and Grapefruit League season.


So you would like to tie Rangeley Streamers. Can you tell how many separate steps are needed to tie this body?


BT's #3
These streamers require some work to complete. They do offer the tyer  great rewards and satisfaction when completed..


While on comforts...is there anything more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich? This one has American and Provolone cheese on seeded Polish rye.