Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brook Trout on a Dry Fly, A January Dry Fly

Well I received another lesson on what trout want to eat and when they want to eat it.
Yesterday found me angling on a small stream. The weather was great with bright sunny skies and temps in the forties. I tied on a favorite wet fly a Picket Pin. As I let the fly go drifting downstream to raise hell with the resident population of wild brookies and browns. On the first retrieve a brown struck the Pin and was on although for a brief time before throwing it back at me. I said to myself this is going to be a good day.
I continued fishing the Pin hooking up on a few brookies before the interest in the fly suddenly came to a stop. I changed flies putting on an emerger, a Ausable emerger. It's a body of rust orange possum dubbing with brown and grizzly hackle. I worked this fly and it drew attention. They looked and chased but did not take.

I don't know what made me do what I did next. I selected a tan Elk Hair Caddis. Tied it on and sent it on its mission. Several drifts later the fly was taken and the trout headed down and straight for the roots. The little 2wt managed to coax the determined trout to turn and eventually give up.
As I lay my hand under the brook trout I was impressed with what had taken the caddis dry. A beautiful hooked jaw male. A male that had been in this stream for some time. He was photographed, thanked and sent on his way.
Lesson learned. Trout will rise to a dry fly in January.

Colors that I seem to never tire of.

The run where the brook trout hit the caddis.

This is one of the better brook trout I have taken from this stream. A brook trout I will remember forever. A brook trout that took a EH Caddis in January.


Friday, January 27, 2012


These are two streamers I tied back in 2008. The first one is more of an attractor pattern. Its colors are probably not found in any forage fish. Its designed to draw a strike with its flash and color.

"Red Copper"

"Caveman 2 Bravo"

This streamer was tied for a US Army veteran of the war in Iraq. Its colors are that of the US Army. This streamer is a commemorative streamer.

This streamer is from streamers
It's a Cains River streamer, one of a series. I believe the Cains River series of streamers are the most beautiful of streamers. Originally tied as Atlantic salmon flies they have been converted to streamers. The series gets its name from the Cains River in New Brunswick, Canada.

You can view many streamers at ""

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 24th, and No Floatant

It was hard to believe that yesterday was January 24th. The air temps were in the fifties, the sun was bright and there was no wind.
This was a perfect day for seeking some wild brook trout from a beautiful little stream tucked away where no one can find it, I hope that is. I started fishing a Picket Pin, drifting it through likely holding waters. The fly was showed interest, especially when brought to the surface, but no takes.
Several fly changes and hours later I had not brought a trout to hand, a few light hookups,were all that I enjoyed. The one thing I noticed was that the brookies were looking up, they seemed to be more interested in taking near the surface. I tied on a dry fly/emerger pattern, and when I reached for some floatant I realized it was home. Luckily there was another angler, who was trying to figure what to put on the menu for these trout, he just happened to have some floatant and let me use some.
I sent that emerger into a pool and as it went under I let it sit a second or two and brought it to the surface. The brookie went for that fly like it was a day in June. I failed to get a hookup, and several more casts brought interest but no success.
I knew that my day was a success, just being there with the opportunity to enjoy this thing, small stream angling. A few trout chasing a fly, another angler to enjoy the day with me, and lastly, a wild brook trout to hand. He just couldn't resist an Edson Tiger streamer.

A small stream, lots of nooks and crannies for the brook trout.

The lack of snow cover enabled me to photograph this stone wall. I love these remnants.

Another angler, an angler with floatant. That's Kirk,"RKM Trout Quest" trying to coax a brook trout.

This is a reward. This is why I spend hours on little streams, why I have a sore back, why I decorate the hemlocks and mountain laurel with flies, all for this little 5 inch treasure.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Winter Day

Yesterday was one of those nice winter days to be outdoors. The sun was bright, the air crisp, and no wind. It might have been a day to drift a fly, and even take a trout.
On this day we decided to walk some familiar places, take a few photos and see how beautiful a New England day in January is.

The first photo is Niantic bay, right on the Connecticut coast. Although the sun was shining bright a few miles inland, the skies over the bay were threatening.

Connecticut state land, lots of places to walk. The snow was fresh, with no footprints.

Winter waters, the photo says it all.

This brown appears to be swimming in ice. It just looks winter cold.

A sure thing to bring life to a cold body. Hot chocolate.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Red Brook

In the winter 2012 issue of Trout Magazine there is an article on a very special stream. This stream is located in Massachusetts at the very start of Cape Cod.
It's the home of the sea run brook trout. These wonderful trout that spend part of their lives in saltwater as well as the cool spring fed water of Red Brook.

Salters have been present in this stream since the Mayflower landed, and were no doubt a food source for the colonists. Over the years, cranberry farming has caused the stream to degrade and almost eliminated the salter. The Lyman family who owned the land surrounding much of Red Brook donated it to the Trustees of the Reservations, along with T.U. and the State of Massachusetts. Since taking over this stream extensive restoration efforts have taken place. The removal of dams, the placing of structure, and the planting of native trees and grasses to stabilize silting.

I have fished this stream for a number of years and have seen these efforts taking place. The brook trout that live in this stream have rebounded and appear to be stable to perhaps growing. The addition of more land, land that was causing sand to filter into Red Brook will be soon stopped.
A big Thank You to all who have given so much to help this salty brook trout continue to be part of our world.

Red Brook, its name comes from the color of its waters. Lower reaches of this stream experience tidal movements. Parts of it move slowly like a spring creek, while others have a faster flow.

It is not an easy stream to fish. I do not wade its waters, but choose to fish from the bank. The brook trout can be found near places of structure and in the shade of the submerged plant life.

A Red Brook brook trout. Taken on a bucktail. The preferred flies for these fish.

Typical flies used for brookies, such as Bombers, Wulffs, Adams, and wets and nymphs, do not seem to work as well as streamers and bucktails. The Edson Tiger is my best producer on this stream.

This is where Red Brook enters the salt. Buttermilk Bay, which flows into Buzzards Bay.

This is the place where this  brook trout was taken. It was early October, the trout struck a Edson ,Tiger.
If you plan to visit this special place, a 7ft 4 or 5wt is a good choice, some size 8 to 10 streamers, and a lot of patience. It's a place you'll always remember.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some Thoughts

January 18th, I haven't been fishing for a few days, but the thoughts of small streams and wild trout are always present. I try to do those things that are associated with what I love to do.
While tying flies, thoughts are "what will be the first to take this offering,brown or brookie".
Reading books, or in most cases rereading books that I love. Those books that have words that had such an impact on me.

And food. Most of the time it's simple food, simple like the fishing I do. The recipes for the food are as the recipes for most of the flies I tie and use. I see no use in complicating my food dishes, as I see no use in complicating my methods of seeking wild trout. There is beauty in simplicity.

The simple Wooly Bugger. It has probably taken more trout than any other fly, it's simple materials and ease of tying make it a first fly to tie. Russel Blessing knew what he was doing.

Hair wing dry flies, mostly Wulff types. Hairy, buggy and first on the list of small stream wild trout. They're simple and can be tied by anyone.

This is a book I would love to see you read. It's so much more than fishing.

And speaking of simplicity. Roasted red potatoes and carrots. It will comfort you like a stream on a June evening.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mid January, Shelf Ice, and Streamers

Mid January and winter has just tightened its grip here in the northeast. The temps have been in the single numbers to mid teens daily for a few days. The streams remain open but shelf ice has formed and to attempt wading can be dangerous.
Saturday we drove to a stream that I fish often, in warmer times,that is. The road along the stream was all but abandoned. The sun was shining bright and gave some beautiful highlights to the stream. A crystal wonderland.

This is a streamer that seems to capture that wonderland.
Blue and white, like the colors of ice. A tail of hackles like thin icicles, and a body of white, like the snow that lines the waters edge.

The streamers name "Shelf Ice"

Stream darters are small fish that live in rivers and streams. These small fish make up part of the diet of trout that live in the streams. Brown trout are good examples of big fish eating little fish and often the largest trout in such streams are browns.
This darter is only one type found in streams, but it is the model for the next streamer.

The darter, almost looks like a small brown.

This streamer takes the colors of that darter. It is the hope that when the streamer is retrieved in a zigzag darting style a big brown will make a hit.

The streamers name, "Darter"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oatmeal, and Another Lesson

After fishing these small streams for many years one thinks he knows everything about angling for these small but beautiful trout that live in these streams. That's why I love fishing these streams, because there's always a new pitch thrown at you and it's a new game.
Last Tuesday I fished a stream, a typical small stream that I was familiar with. Well four hours of angling netted me one bump. I could not explain this happening, so I didn't dwell on it for long and accepted the loss of fish to hand was my sloppy fishing, or the wrong flies were used.

Yesterday's forecast was for a partly sunny day with temps in the low forties, with the winds picking up and the temps then dropping back to the thirties. The next four days are to be cold.
So with that brief window of not to bad conditions, I had a bowl of hot oatmeal and left for a small stream. It's a stream I'm familiar with, and with the rains of the day before was a bit off color and slightly high.
Tying on a staple fly, one that has served me well, I sent it off on a drift into a fishy looking pool. The fly worked well, covering several areas where a trout would hold. Cast after cast into that pool brought nothing. Moving down the stream and casting into several places that have brought some interest in the past produced the same no interest. About this time the sky got cloudy, the wind picked up and all of a sudden, rain, snow and sleet. All three whipping into my face and stinging like wasps. At that time the sound of trees making noises as if there were a herd of elephants running through the woods. Taking cover as best I could I waited out the outburst of nature. Several minutes later the precipitation stopped and the sun returned.
I resumed fishing, changing where I presented my fly, which was a shallow rifle at the head of a deep pool. It was there in the middle of the riffle as the fly began to swing that the trout struck. I pulled back in the attempt to set the hook and pulled the fly away. Seeing I had lost the trout I sent the fly drifting down stream. A second or two later the fish hit and was on. The two weight did its job and a lovely wild brown was at hand.
That same riffle also gave up a brookie, which hasn't happened very often.
Another lesson learned.

The trout were in this run, about midway. The deep pool where I assumed them to be is just behind the fallen branches.

These two guys were apparently feeding on something that was moving in the riffle.

Well with a not to promising weather forecast for the next few days, I'll guess it's more time at the desk.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shoulders, Profiles.......and Braciole?

Here are a few photos of a streamer that was in used in combat. They show the the shape of a sleek bait fish, the shape that will draw a predatory fish to strike.
Notice that the shoulders and the jungle cock highlight the point of the head of the fish. This would be the area a predator would strike. By hitting the bait fish here would stun and incapacitate the fish and make it easier to complete the meal.

This is why the use of a shoulder feather and a jungle cock nail on a feather wing streamer is important.

I would have liked to show this streamer in the mouth of a 20 inch brown, that has not of yet.


Thin sliced chicken breast, chopped parsley, garlic, Romano cheese. Rolled up and secured with toothpicks. Then browned up in a frying pan in olive oil. It's then placed in a baking dish with seasoned tomato sauce and baked for an hour or so. Then remove tooth picks slice and serve with penne pasta.

What could be more rewarding after a cold day chasing browns with a streamer. A Poudre Canyon Special, streamer.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Hope, A Mystery, and "A Ghost"

Connecticut has many streams that have access to the sea. This is one stream located in southeast CT. It's a stream that's part of an Atlantic salmon restoration program. It's also a good trout stream,one that receives a fairly good stocking of fish. The stream has many little tribs that may run cooler than the main river, and these tribs may have some natural reproduction of trout.
Its habitat must be so that Atlantic salmon can spawn some where along its length.
Although I have never caught an adult salmon, they are present.

The salmon are protected as they should be.

While trout fishing this stream, one can locate prime salmon holding areas. I have hopes that someday my grand children can fish for the wild leaper, fresh from the sea.

The Atlantic salmon, a fish from the sea. He moves through his fresh water haunts. A ghostly figure sort of, one that is not seen but who's presence can be felt.

This streamer was created for him........."A Ghost"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Lesson Learned

Yesterday's temperatures topped out at around 58 degrees, not to bad for the &th of January. With a few hours to fish I headed for a wild trout stream. It's a Connecticut class 1 stream, this designation states a stream that has self sustaining populations of wild brook and brown trout. There is no stocking and artificials only with catch and release. Being located on state land, and with the warmer temps this brought out many people, families with there children. This is a wonderful thing, kids out enjoying nature instead of being indoors in front of TV's.

So with so many people in this particular area I chose to fish another part of the stream, a road less traveled so to speak. It was in this area I recieved an education from some wild trout.

In many of the pools and runs I observed trout rising. There were midges and small stone flies about, but I could not determine what they were feeding on. So for an hour or so in different locations along the stream my offerings were refused for the most part, and when a take happened a shake of the head and the fish was gone.
I did manage a few to hand but not what it should have been with so many active feeders.
It was a lesson taught to me by some educated wild fish.

An assortment of flies I thought would serve me well.

Ice that had formed was melting in the warm January sunshine. Crystal fingers falling into the stream

Long pools and the riffled waters in between were full of fish, some rising and adding to my frustration. The banks were lined with thorns like sharks teeth, I must do some trimming for sure.

But the cut legs, a few thorns in the face, a sore back, and wet feet, were all worth it for the opportunity to photograph this brook trout.