Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sunday, day one....

This past Sunday and Monday were pretty nice days for November. A long range guess put those two days to be the best out of the next five. I was fortunate to be able to get out and fish a few streams and it was a pleasure. The stream I fished Sunday is one I'm familiar with. The area it flows through is protected and the fish are all wild. Two tributaries flow into it and at times they also hold trout. It's funny how you can be so familiar with an area and still find out something new, and that was the case for me on Sunday. The choice of equipment that day was a short glass rod, and soft-hackle flies. The stream was flowing nicely with a few pools that were absolutely gorgeous, slick and clear with several deep undercut banks. A few casts and a hard strike, several more casts and my first brown to hand.

Small and handsome. Deep color on this one with beautiful spots.

This is one of the tributaries. It actually is quite long and has some very nice plunge pools.

In those pools one can find willing participants.

Brookies show up here too. As I moved up the stream I had a brief scare. A dark four legged creature suddenly ran near me. It jumped on a fallen tree and ran across the tree to the other side of the stream where it quickly vanished. It took a few minutes to compute but I realized what I saw was a Fisher. They are really cool animals, and super fast.

Back tracking to where I thought he came from I discovered this. He was feeding on a blue heron. The kill was fresh and I was not certain the Fisher was responsible.

What a day, what a stream.

My best fish of the day. A healthy wild brown.

A little gray squirrel dubbing, and some starling hackle.....

Monday, November 11, 2019

Time To Rethink What We Fish With

Although the calendar tells us that winter is still a month away the weather tells us something different. We have experienced some pretty cold nights and chilly days in the last week. The guessers are saying that it will be colder in the next week and the talk of snow is a hot topic. To us anglers we have to change, no longer are the days of serious dry fly fishing, or the time of those exquisite little sulphur soft-hackles. For the most part the brookies and browns have completed their spawning and are now seeking food to enable some bulk to happen to their bodies to enable them to go forward into a tough winter. This is the time to reshape our fly boxes and to downsize the flies we use. As you see in the fly box above there is some what of a variety of soft-hackles and they are the core of my winter selection. They average in size from 12-14. I believe that smaller sizes will work better but for my eyes I'll have to settle for flies a bit bigger.

Materials for winter soft-hackles are simple. Various colored silk threads, sparse dubbing and hackle of starling, woodcock, grouse, pheasant and partridge.

Olive and Woodcock

Purple and Starling...dark purple silk.

Orange and Woodcock...a light dubbing on the body.

Purple and Starling. The body is dubbed with gray squirrel. This fly worked real well yesterday.

The February Red. Red silk body, hares mask thorax and grouse hackle.

Purple and Starling... light purple silk.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

"I'm Happy To Report"

A few weeks ago I reported on a stream I fish. The day I fished it I caught just one brookie in the time I fished it. You can read about it in this post..."Troubling For Sure" October 23, 2019. In that post I said I would return in late November to check on the stream, but it had bothered me so much that I could not wait to return. So last Tuesday I went back and a different picture was painted. It was a cold morning and the stream was pushing water. The very first run I fished I had multiple strikes and a hookup. Moving upstream I had similar results, many small brookies in a very hungry state.

Most of the brookies were of similar size. As you can see this female was a bit thin, obviously spawned and starting to feed heavily again.

In a quiet pocket I hooked a big male, maybe 12" I had him in focus but not time enough to click...

I was thrilled to see this stream alive. I don't know where the brookies were the last time out but they are back.

As a deer hunter stuff like this gets you pumped. Big boy here.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Remembering October

We are now into November. The days are real short in terms of actual light. And there is snow in our future. Now that the shock of reality has set in I would like to show you some of the great days of October, a truly "glorious" season. The gentle rolling hills in blazing color.

We stopped along the road to admire the color when an apple tree appeared. An apple picked and enjoyed all be it tart.

One of my best wild brook trout of October. A true wild jewel.

While seeking out a stream I crossed a cornfield. In the corn I spotted quite a few bluebirds. Lovely creatures.

The first streamer brookie of October.

The cobble in the stream in competition with fallen leaves. I love places like this in the streams.

A brookie and a bamboo rod. Many times in October these two combined to fill my mind and soul with joy and inspiration.

A last view of an October small stream.

A friend that seems to be close when the brook rout are not....