Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In The Spirit Of The Season

As one who loves this season, the season of giving, I am going to give a pair of my streamers to one of my blog followers who can answer one question. I have done over 260 posts, and while they are special to me, and I hope you all have found some interest in and enjoyed them as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.
But of all the posts, I have one that is so special to me. It is a favorite.

For you to win the streamers, all you have to do is name that post. I have told Jeanette the particular post.

So give it a shot... Seasons Greetings.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Friend Made

A baby buggy, rusted away to only the frame. It sits along the stream, perhaps thrown away by the family that lived here so many years ago.

The last few days have found me walking small streams, some familiar some some not. The familiar ones are old friends saying glad to see you back, while the new ones say welcome, soon to be new friends I'm sure.
Fishing is the main reason for being there but the observations made along the stream add so much more to the outing.
As I finish this piece, I'm going to enjoy a breakfast with Jeanette, then head out for Pennsylvania for my annual stay in Penns Woods.

The new stream. One would think to have many brookies, but none were to come to hand this day.

This old factory. How many craftsmen worked here. I wonder if they fished the stream that flows by the shop.

There were no brookies taken this day. But the stream gave up one of its residents. A handsome wild brown. To wonderful and crafty a brown to have fallen for such an ugly fly.

A beautiful day drawing to a close. A promise of a better one tomorrow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The "Supervisor"

Warden Supervisor Joe Stickney of Saco, Maine is the angler credited with the design of this streamer, "The Supervisor" in 1925. It is an exceptional streamer for brook trout and landlocked salmon. It is one of the best smelt imitations, as well as a general baitfish imitation.
Joe did not tie flies, but had others tie for him. He is also a designer of several other effective streamers.

I can tell you I have fished this streamer with good success in Maine, as well as Connecticut.
It produced a 18 inch wild brook trout for me in a small lake tributary. It also has been responsible for many trout in a certain Connecticut lake.

The "Supervisor"

This "Supervisor" has earned its retirement. You can see its battle scars. This fly tempted that 18 inch brook trout.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Late November is a time of transition in the woods and streams. It also affects us. Darkness comes sooner, we attempt to slow our pace, spend more time together, and prepare for what about to come next.
This is a time when the woods take on what seems to be a time of only one color. That all trees look to be the same, long and short poles of gray. There are no flowers, or green patches of grass along the way. On some days even the sky takes on a gray color blending in with the November earth.
The streams as well as their inhabitants show change. The cold waters full of oxygen seem to be so clear as if you were gazing through air. The trout have for the most part finished their spawning. They have grown thin and must try to gain some weight, before winter tests them. Gone are the brisk splashy rises to a dry fly, and here are the subsurface strikes to a streamer, or the subtle bump of a trout taking a beadhead Pheasant Tail.
Take the time to walk the woods and perhaps a small stream....transition is beautiful.

There is some color, we just have to look.

As I walked this stream,this late November a Woodcock flushed, but did not land....perhaps as if to say goodbye.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Begins

As we head into this Thanksgiving week I had the time this Sunday to visit a small stream. As I walked through the woods I saw this remnant of a rock wall. There are many of these scattered through out Connecticut, property lines from old Yankee farmers reverting back to the earth. As I snapped the photo I wondered how many Thanksgivings had they witnessed.

The stream was in good shape, flowing crisp and clear. The air temps were near 50 degrees, so very comfortable. I tossed out my offering and the stream did the rest.
It was a long time before my first bump, and slowpoke that I am missed setting the hook. But soon another hit and this time ole swifty had my first hookup. A lovely wild brown was at hand. The brown was admired and sent upon its way.
I continued to have a good day, then again I seem to always have a good day on the stream regardless of what the fish provide or don't.

A nice trout was hooked at the tail of this pool. I never was given the opportunity to see what it was for it soon found refuge under the log and broke off.

Two wild browns were taken from this run. They used every possible angle to gain their freedom. They both succeeded, only one had his picture taken.

This guy was taken in the little creek below. I spotted him near a bank and was fortunate to place the fly in his zone, and he took it. As I walked the little creek I saw several other trout.

As I pulled int my garage, I could pick up the smells of something good. Upon entering the kitchen I was greeted with this sight.....Pumpkin Bread...Thanksgiving week has begun.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Warmth and Some Thanks

This flannel shirt hangs on the back of the chair at my tying desk. A flannel shirt that was purchased years ago for Christmas. It has kept me warm during many days on the stream and in the field. It has also provided comfort while lashing feathers and hair on countless flies.
A flannel shirt that rarely gets any thought until you feel a chill then it go's into action providing warmth and comfort. I'm happy to have this flannel shirt, and I'm glad I gave it some thought this 30 degree morning.

This is streamer I tied several years ago. It's name is "Rio Yaqui" and it takes the name from a river in Mexico that is home to a beautiful trout.
I'm doing this post because of several paintings, done recently by Joel DeJong and are seen on his blog "A YEAR ON THE FLY". They are wonderful watercolors of western trout. These beautiful trout live in southwestern U.S. and Mexico.
Stop by Joel's blog and see these fine paintings. Also check this link for more on these special trout.


I also would like to pass along these links. They are a program that was broadcast on the "Rangeley Lakes". A bit of history about this wonderful place including Carrie Stevens and the Rangeley Streamer.
I would like to thank "DRYFLYGUY" for giving me these links.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pie and Worms

"Pork Pie"
This is a pie that I make as the holidays approach. I have been making these for years, a tradition. They are of French heritage, but I was given the recipe from a Russian, who used to work with me. They are delicious as is, or with applesauce, that's the way I like it.

These are some flies that I tied. They are to represent aquatic worms found in most streams. The one on the top tied with peacock herl proved deadly the other day on some wild browns. The others I have not tested.
They are simple patterns to tie and don't require a lot of materials.
The next time your fishing a small stream pick up some of the leaf debris on the bottom of the stream. You'll be surprised whats there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Browns

Yesterday I spent a few hours on a Class 1 wild trout stream. I have not fished this stream since the snow storm of a few weeks ago and was anxious to see how much damage was done. The stream holds both wild browns and brookies, and the browns predominate. As I walked into the stream the damage was easy to see. Trees and limbs scattered about, some of them very large.
Upon reaching the stream I observed some of the better pools had completely changed, and the familiar runs were gone. I said to myself I have a new stream to explore, and proceeded to do so.
The first fly I chose was a Bomber dry, this is a fly that always worked here even this late in the season. Well I gave this fly all the time it needed to bring a trout to the surface, and that did not happen. I changed to a Picket Pin wet and this produced one bump. This was going to be one of those days where I was going to do some hard walking and enjoying the stream and the woods. I say this because the flies that would have been a good bet,streamers, were in a box at home.
Looking at the choices I had I tied on a worm like, caddis like, I guess a bug that looked like it had a chance to fool one or two fish. The second drift as the fly started to sink the trout hit, and hit hard. A very respectable battle took place, and the TFO 2wt was tested and did its job. I held the brown, took a photo and sent it off, it was gone in a heartbeat.

As the day went on, I learned where the new trout lies where and had a wonderful day.

These were the flies that worked so well. Also a longer version with peacock tied in as legs. It was centipede like. I don't have a photo of it for I lost it, along with the three other flies. I'll tie a few up and post them later.

This was a good pool.

Beautiful wild browns. Nicely spotted and very aggressive.

You can see the other fly in the browns mouth.

This was a part of the stream that was so beautiful and peaceful. While taking in the view I was startled when a wind gust brought down a large branch.

Thanks friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penn's Woods

This time of the year not only offers fine fishing for me, but also the anticipation of the whitetail deer season. My son and I have hunted this area of Pennsylvania for a quarter century and we have many fine memories. For those who never hunted deer, it is a very challenging quest, but one that has many rewards. The friendships that are made last lifetimes.
While the actual opening day is the Monday after Thanksgiving, several weeks before that day some scouting of the woods is necessary to see if there are deer in the area, especially bucks. Bucks leave distinctive markings, trees that marked by them show bark that has been rubbed of the tree. They also make scrapes in the dirt, these scrapes are used as mating signs. Since we hunt oak ridges, acorns and the abundance of them is also a good sign.
So with this preseason work and some luck we will be able to place a tag on a special gift..... a Pennsylvania whitetail.

Although I have never fished this lake it is one of the best. It produces a great variety of fish, including some nice trout.

The mountain ridges we'll be hunting. Every year they seem to get higher and rougher to climb.

I now find it easier to walk a half mile out of my way just to find a gentler slope to access the top.

A whitetail rub. By the size of the tree, this might be a good buck.

A whitetail scrape. This one is active, the ground was damp, this is hard to see from the photo, it was a windy day and the leaves were blown into it. Notice the sapling, it is well rubbed.

There are many little creeks running through, some containing brook trout. This is a favorite.

The Alpine....a favorite spot to stop. The best German smoked sausages, and provisions. Landjaeger.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nor'Easter, the Aftermath

On October 29th Connecticut experienced a Nor'easter like it has never witnessed.
The storm left as much as a foot of heavy wet snow which covered tree limbs, which still had almost full leaf cover. The trees cracked from the weight and took down wires. At the end of the storm 833,000 homes and business' were without power.
I had no power or heat for 6 days, and I was fortunate, thousands still had no power as of Monday. Restoration crews were here from all over the United States and Canada, for which I an very thankful.

This post is also about how a small stream fared in the aftermath of this storm.
As I entered the wood I could see some of the damage. Trees were down all over, many of them fell into the tiny stream. Leaves were in the water and covered the bottom like a mosaic art. Tree limbs floated down until they got hung up, leaves followed and created large dams. Some of these will be blown away with a heavy rain, but some will remain. They may prove to be beneficial, providing, deep wintering pools for the trout.
As I finish a cup of black Nantucket Blend coffee, hoping it takes effect to enable me to complete this post. I realize it's not me who is slow, it's my computer.

Some of the damage to the little stream.

I did manage to drop a fly or two in between trees and found the trout very hungry.

I was surprised to see this guy around. Several hard frosts, two snow events.... he's a survivor.

These are the flies that worked so well....Picket Pin, the one on the right is what they are supposed to look like, the other was retired after the long battle.

One of the rewards of small streams. He to is a survivor of many storms.

Natures reconstruction, for better or worse....time will tell.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Things, a Bit Odd, Well Maybe

When I was growing up this guy was very familiar.

Over the course of time spent fishing I have taken many photos. Some of them of real interesting, and some well you say to yourself why did I take that picture.
These are a few photos of some of my odd, I mean photos that I took that had no special meaning but after looking at them much later are not to bad.

An old Medalist. Lots of turns of the handle with this one....still going strong.

A head on view of some workers.

The black and white version of two of the best.

Everything sweet.

An old covered bridge. It spans the headwaters of the Connecticut River in Northern New Hampshire.