Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Keeping Dry Simple

My obsession with simple flies has been made known here for a few years. Those North Country Spiders and Soft-Hackle flies with there thread bodies and sparse hackle have not only dominated my efforts at the tying desk they have also taken charge in my efforts on the stream. Realization is that trout look at food much differently then we do. Trout in small streams take that look even further. An insect floating down stream does not look like a fly in a catalog. The tail is not perfect, the number of segments on its body are not uniform and its legs may be deformed. So why take the time to tie a fly and complete all of those steps to make it look perfect. A question I asked myself and I decided this. Perfection in tying flies can be artistic, and then look at at Fran Betters Haystack...its all in the eyes of the fly tyer and angler.
Pictured here are some of the dry flies I have tied and fished over the years. Most have a thread body, a thorax of either dubbing or peacock with a few wraps of stiff hackle.











This is one of the first flies I tied a very simple skater pattern. Ideas coming from both E. Hewett, and Ed Shenk


This is a result of the simple dry fly.

I was given another simple dry fly pattern that I'm in the process of tying. It's from a gentleman in Argentina. When I complete it I'll post it along with his.








Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Fly Fishers Perspective...

A series of pictures showing many of fly fishing's pleasures and treasures. As I have said in the past there is so much we have to enjoy in the simple act of fishing. While a tug on the line and a fish to hand are some of the best, there are moments that maybe not so high on the list but they are the ones that we remember first.



Not a usual sight on a forest road. In taking the picture I thought they must have been saying to themselves "that's odd, someone fishing in that little brook".....


"coming to hand"


A "Lady Slipper" royalty in the forest.


After a hard day of fooling brookies. A fly takes a rest...


"Worth a thousand words"...


So delicate in such a tough world.


So many times I've cast a fly on these waters. The next time will be just like the first time.


A box of flies, as uncomplicated as can be....perspective.












Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Bright Day And Some Dark Brook Trout

Yesterday I paid a visit to a true "thin blue line"...This stream is one of my favorites, seems most are for that matter. I love this one for it's total beauty and would fish it more often only it's to far from home. I had not been here in about a year and a half and as I drove down the service road to where I normally park I noticed the state had made some improvements. They graded the road and they made it wide enough for two cars. A trade off was they took away the pull-offs to park. Well I managed to find a high spot and fit my Honda in.



The stream was beautiful, just as I remembered it. I had expected to see piles of branches and fallen hemlocks. It's hard to tell from the picture but this stream has the darkest brook trout in Connecticut, they are almost black.


Fly selection, they would come from the right side of the Wheatley...no streamers just small wet flies.


Those branches and fallen hemlocks in the stream, well I found them.



And tucked within them I found the dark jewels.


Look at the black fins.


It was a great day....


Lunch, a piece of corn bread, coffee that I kept in the window sun in the car and a delightful place to enjoy it.











Monday, May 18, 2020

I Never Stop Wondering

Most times while out fishing I'll notice something that seems out of place. Like the pile of rocks along the trail. Looking at them they seem to have been put there by humans, but the reasoning doesn't compute. I don't think they were put there as part of a stone wall. There shape and size seem like a great deal of help was required to put them there. The access to the pile is not on a old logging road, just a small path. I poked around the pile for a spell hoping to maybe find an old tool or maybe a rusted sign that might give some answers to the rock pile. No luck and so I walked on to the stream.



I found some more rocks, but I"m familiar with these and I have a pretty good idea where they came from.


I remember the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, when the Indian Chief held out a horned toad and told Josey, toads tell you which way to go. These white flowers with their petals in a forward cone shape might be telling me which fly to use....maybe a reversed hackled sulphur?


Does this stream have a name? It does. And that's the name.













Saturday, May 16, 2020

Picket Pin Variant And A Brook Trout

The Picket Pin wet fly. I have written about it in several posts telling you of it's versatility. The fly can be used as a semi-dry or a wet fly. It is normally tied with a squirrel wing and tail with brown hackle palmered along a peacock herl body. I also tie them like the one pictured above. This version has a tail of coq de leon a peacock herl body and a gray squirrel wing. It sinks a bit further in the water than the hackled version fly. When tied on a heavier hook it make a good nymph.



When the fly is wet you can see why fish take the fly.


Not often but once in awhile I'll accidentally hook a brookie in the wrong place. The hook will prick the gill and that bright red blood will flow. I have two choices at that time, one is to put it back in the water and let nature do it's thing or I can take it home. I chose to take it home. The brookie was cleaned and fried in butter. A light flour coating along with salt and pepper.


Yes friends it was the finest eating lunch I've had in a long time.







Thursday, May 14, 2020

Brook Trout Happenings

A free flowing stream tucked into the woods of Connecticut. In my life I have encountered streams like these many times. These streams are tiny to small. Their depths vary as do their widths. Some flow over boulders and some flow over a more subdued bottom of moderate stone. They are for the most part hidden and some of them flow through private lands. These streams are not place that will draw serious fly anglers who much prefer larger waters and bigger trout. They will however be on the note pads of us who prefer solitary quiet settings. An added bonus is the wild brook trout that they contain.



A wild brook trout taken in the stream pictured above. He is not huge in size but is a giant in the ways of survival. There are many streams like this in Connecticut, some named and some not.


In the recent issue of Trout magazine there are two articles on brook trout. Detailed are some of TU's effort to restore watersheds that hold these wild jewels. One article in particular was on restoration of streams in the Green Mountains of Vermont. One of those streams I'm familiar with...well done CT River chapter of TU. Check the map that I saw in the EBTV....little CT is there. Look close.





Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Valsesiana and.....

Valsesiana Flies, originated in northern Italy a long time ago. I have found on the internet several dates that put them in use before the North Country Spider. I was given a link to a video, thanks Humberto, that was done in Italy by a master of Valsesiana flies and fishing. From what I gathered from watching the video I determined the style of Valsesiana is close to the Sakasa Kebari used in Tenkara. Some of the Valsesiana flies were tied without a thorax and some had the thorax. I tie them both ways and have good success with each. In some cases I have found the Valsesiana style to out perform the traditional soft hackle.



A deer antler I found several years ago was recently transformed into a bobbin holder. My grandson Ethan drilled it out to accommodate several bobbins. The antler is very stable and secure.


I fished a bluegill pond recently and had a blast catching many of these little scrappers. They gave my 3wt all it could handle.


"Fun is"....







Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Life And A Lifestyle....

I have been for most of my life what I am today. Sure when I was younger I had wild thoughts and plans for my future. Life and years have a way of tempering such thoughts and plans and I can say it was for the better. I developed a strong sense and love for those simple things. As a youngster we had basic needs that were met with basic solutions. My mom was a wizard at taking a pound of pasta and a few vegetables with a few other ingredients and creating a meal for us hungry kids. Her sense of making everything top shelf even without top shelf materials. "Thanks so much Mom".....

I take after mom in many ways. The primary trait is that of being simple. Taking the best you have and applying to everything you do in life.













Friday, May 8, 2020

"Close Enough"....

I have written about a friend who I have had many wonderful times fishing with. His name was Pete and he had a love affair for fishing for brookies and small streams. A particular stream that we enjoyed over the years that we referred to as "The Family Secret" was again visited by me earlier this week. As I walked to the stream I noticed this piece of art that was tucked into a hollow in a tree. Seeing this I stopped and gave some thought as to it's meaning and who might have put it there. My conclusion may differ from yours but I think we are close.



The stream was gorgeous. Sunlight was upon it and it's brookies were going to be very cautious...fish the shadows was what Pete would have said.


There is a special section of the Family Secret that Pete liked. A small sign was placed there last fall and a few of us visited here on New Years Day. I fished the Run on this outing hoping to fool one of the brook trout that swim here. I'll tell you I tried my best to bring one to hand but it was not to be.


Just a bit downstream from Pete's Run" I managed to catch this fine jewel....close enough Pete, what do you think.







Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Just out and about....

Poking around last weekend visiting a couple of streams that in the past have been good to me. They also are kind in a certain way that helps the parts of my body that no longer work as well as they did. The sun was out and so was the wildlife. A few very skittish whitetails were observed dining on the new vegetation. The stream holds both wild brook and brown trout. The browns tend to dominate but every so often a nice brookie will come to hand.



Do you ever get that feeling someone's watching you..look at this guy checking the goings on.


Bottle necks within the stream always are a good place to spend a little time. Trout can be found most anywhere. A lot of water to fish thoroughly.


This silvery brown was found in mid riffle. The fly was taken aggressively.


Peppered fried pork skins, a great snack.


The biggest of the day. He was also very silvery, with brilliant red spots, as well as being very strong.