Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Of The Best

This is a post about our annual deer hunt in Pennsylvania. My son and I arrived Sunday for the opening day of the season on Monday. The weather was typical late November, with a mix of sun and gray, with temps in the 30's. The month had been pretty dry and the leaves were so crunchy, a sound that could be heard by the forest dwellers we were in search of. We have hunted this area for many years, some very productive and some not. But like angling for wild trout your enjoyment is based on the experience of being there and not your catch rate. This was the case on this first day, while several deer were seen most were not legal to harvest. The weather was sunny and bright so the day felt good.

Day two was a bit different with snow falling at three thirty in the morning and the temp of 28 degrees. After getting coffee and a sandwich at Turkey Hill we started the long walk to our stands.

As I sat in the dark woods waiting for the light to filter through the woods it seemed like all was blended into one. The sky, woods, and the snow were the same. The snow continued to fall and it seemed to get colder. Suddenly I picked up the subtle movement of something moving. It appeared to be at the edge of a clearing. Watching for what seemed like a deer. A few minutes later a spike buck made a brief mistake of stopping. I could not shoot for they are not legal , so I watched him walk by.

Something to keep your interest those long hours on stand. A small stream, with wild brook trout. The stream varied in size from a few feet to a few inches. It went underground for a spell and then surfaced. I viewed many small brookies darting among the bank and rocks. A beautiful but tough environment.

The landscape was so beautiful this day. And though we did not fill a tag, it was one of our better times spent afield.

Snow laden hemlocks.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Small Stream On Black Friday

After a few chores that were laid out for me were completed I sat enjoying a cup of coffee and looking out the window. I was thinking what the rest of the day held. I am aware it was Black Friday and the thought of going anywhere there might be a sale was a thought put quickly out of my mind. About halfway through the coffee Jeanette said why not go fishing. I looked at the clock and said to myself you probably have a couple of hours. That was an easy decision....I'm going.

Arriving at the stream I noticed the sun was hitting the water, hopefully taking that chill out of it. I did not take a stream temp, but placing my hand into it I knew it was cold. There would be no dry fly action today.

I fished the tails of the pools with a Picket Pin, one with no hackle, this would allow the fly to ride deeper in the stream. The offering was the right choice for suddenly I had a hit, and a miss. I tried the same pool again hoping lightning would strike twice, but it was not to be.

I had several more hookups, but the jewel to hand was eluding me. It was then that I tried dropping the fly into the plunge pool. Has it hit the water it appeared to be pulled into the log. Pulling back on the line it felt as if the log had won. As I retrieved the slack line, suddenly a trout shot forward to the back of the pool. This brookie took to the air like a rainbow. In has battle for survival he repeated the leap twice.

With some gentle coaxing the trout was at hand. He was beautiful, with a tail of such size I have not seen in a long time. A brief photo and this wild jewel was released. Two hours well spent on Black Friday.

Click Images To Inlarge

Friday, November 23, 2012


"Skipper" a streamer created with the use of furnace badger hackle incorporated in the wing. Badger hackle has that predominate natural stripe running down the canter of the feather which forms a nice clean natural look to the streamer as well as a more realistic look to a forage fish.

Do fish see in color? Some say yes and some say no. The black and white photo of Skipper shows the distinct lines of the badger feather, along with the white throat. This along with the sheen from the peacock herl is probably enough to draw a strike.

"Skipper" in color.

These two streamers. "Beau" and "Skipper" each tied with badger hackle. Beau with Silver Badger, and Skipper with Furnace Hackle.

As fish see them, maybe.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012

I would like to wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the day however you choose, and be well and safe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sea Run Brook Trout

Over the last three weeks or so a lot of interest has been directed about searun brook trout also known as "salters". I have fished for these special trout in the streams on Cape Cod. There are three streams that I know of that hold these fish and the one that is most talked about is Red Brook, this is perhaps because of the restoration that has gone on in this stream for quite some time. I have seen this effort first hand over the years and it's quite an achievement.

The stream is not your typical brook trout stream. It reminds me of a limestoner. It can be frustrating to fish at times but it also can be so rewarding. Most of the "salters" respond to a streamer more so than typical insect patterns. I have fished these streams in spring, fall, and in winter.

The dams on this stream were used for cranberry production, they have been removed to help the trout move freely between Buttermilk Bay, which is salt waster, and the further upstream sections.

There's a very good chance as your Mickey Finn is stripped in along that wonderful green moss that a salter will hit it.

This beautiful male was taken in tide water in the fall. He took a Edson Tiger bucktail.

The brook trout in this stream have electronic tags and can be monitored. One was located in the Cape Cod Canal.

Another Red Brook jewel. These streams are very special habitats. They should be treated with respect, as should their residents.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

"La Castagna" and......

La Castagna, Italian for the chestnut. This is the time of year when these little delicacies are with us. For those who have never experienced them roasted and served warm you have been missing something wonderful. But roasted chestnuts are not the only way to enjoy them. They can be used in soups, salads, and Thanksgiving stuffing. One my favorite ways of serving them is in a risotto. Cut the roasted peeled chestnuts and saute them in olive oil flavored with garlic. Then add them at the finish of your risotto.

And now for another favorite. Franks and baked beans. This is a pretty basic and simple dish. Key here is the best franks you can get. Local made companies making natural casing franks are what you should use, skip the Ball Park and other skinless variety franks. Also if your fortunate to have a family recipe for baked beans they are the best to accompany your franks. If not you can try my alternative. B&M baked beans, I add my own ingredients to them. Fried bacon, onions, and a touch of cayenne pepper. Do not boil the beans on the stove, gently warm them slowly.

"Muckes" natural casing franks. "Local" Do not boil. In a cast iron skillet gently grill the franks til they are hot.

Serve them along side your baked beans. "Enjoy"


Friday, November 16, 2012

Whitetail Morning

Down the hill through the forest lies a stream that holds wild brook trout. But on this day brook trout were not the quarry. This day was reserved for the opening day of deer season in Connecticut. On this morning my son Alan and myself found ourselves in the dark cold woods at 5:30 am. We have hunted deer together for twenty plus years and opening day always holds special meaning. As daylight started to pierce the the woods shots could be heard cracking through the woods, perhaps some hunter has filled their tag.

We had sat quietly for several hours with not a sign of a whitetail. It was them when I observed a bit of orange in the distance, it was my son moving. Suddenly the crack of his 30/30 sounded. I waited for a few minutes, then started to work my way toward him. As I got close to him he said he was not sure of success. So we both started to search for signs of a hit. It did not take long, and a trail was seen. A second later a wonderful whitetail was found. My son tagged his deer, and we both dragged it to a spot where it could be field dressed. This day was one of those that will be always remembered.

A Remington model 700, 243. This gun has earned its place in my gun cabinet. It has markings of the so many wonderful days spent in the deer woods.

That night we pulled the tenderloins from the deer and a very special and delicious meal was enjoyed by two hunters.

Today I'll process the rest of the deer, wrap and freeze some. We will share a number of days in the deer woods over the next weeks, and hopefully as wonderful.

Venison tenderloin quickly sauteed in olive oil and butter.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brown Bread, and Browns

Brown bread with raisins. When I was growing up this was a pretty common item. I would enjoy it toasted with butter, and cream cheese. I still enjoy it especially with a good cup of hot Nantucket coffee.

These are a few browns, up close.


Monday, November 12, 2012

November 11, 2012

With yesterdays wonderful weather we decided to fish for a few hours. The morning was a bit cloudy giving a not so pretty tone to the colorless November woods. It was not long before the sun broke out and seem to brighten the woods. The stream was at a flow that is normal for this late in the year, and the clarity of the water was as if it were not present.

The stream is always changing. New blow downs, woody debris, and leaf jams make for a new challenge every time I fish it.

In this photo you can see the large log, which was not there the last time I fished here. As the stream flowed to the left and turned swiftly along the log the area just under the log created a place to hide a few brook trout. As my fly drifted along the log a flash appeared and was gone before I could hookup. Having this happen, a strike from this little fellow all ready made my day a success.

It was not long before I was given the pleasure to hold one of these wonderful creations. It's apparent that the business of laying the foundation of the next generation has been completed, and the feeding is taking place for the winter which lies in the wings.

What makes me feel good about walking along the stream is seeing so many small brookies, one and two inch fish darting about this healthy environment.

This guy was an interesting catch. I was fishing a pool with a hooked current. It flowed by a large rock and then flattened out. As the fly floated through and then stopped, there was no interest paid to it. Just as I started to retrieve it a fish came out of nowhere and hit the fly. I was not able to hook the fish.  As I was leaving, fishing a few spots along the way out I fished that pool where the trout was that I had missed. Fishing it the exact same way as before, this time I had a hookup and a wonderful wild one was at hand.



Friday, November 9, 2012


A featherwing streamer tied in the Rangeley style.


Hook, Martinek Rangeley Streamer...Body, Yellow Yarn...Tag and Rib, Flat Gold Tinsel...Throat, White Hackle...Wing, Two Orange, and Two Silver Badger Saddle Hackles...Shoulder, Ringneck Pheasant...Cheeks, Jungle Cock.
"Beau" fully dressed.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good "Eggs" and a Nor'easter

Here's a couple of good eggs. On this day after "What"....oh well. Here's a sunny side up good day.

Just about a week after Sandy we here are being slammed by a nor'easter. It's bringing snow, rain, sleet and winds. Perhaps we can blame former storm Sandy for this second mess. By the way those are free range eggs from a farm in Burlington, CT.

What a difference a few days make. Fishing in somewhat comfortable weather.....

And a few hours ago...taken from my deck. It's good that I took my four mile walk earlier.

Here's something that makes me feel so good. The grandkids were down last evening for supper. After the eating was done they retreated to the "fly room". Morgan sat at the vise and created a streamer that was going to take that bass she saw last summer at the boat. It was a marabou streamer. Unfortunately I was not able to get a photo.

Ethan was checking out some neat stuff. A mini multi tool with a LED light. It's on the "list".

So I'll try to stay warm and dry, and hope this storm spares those who are worse off.

Monday, November 5, 2012


As Autumn moves into its numbered days the streams begin to show a brilliant clarity. At times when you look into the waters they seem to be absent, knowing the water is there only by noticing its movement. Such was the case yesterday on such a stream. It was a cool day with total sunshine. A slight breeze from time to time would kick up causing leaves to blow about and making me pull my collar up in an attempt to ward off the chill. With this bright sunshine and clear water the choice of what pattern to use is simple. The pattern selected was "Caution". These wild trout can see almost everything, and quiet with slow and easy are a must.

The forest floor was covered with both Ground Pine and Princess Pine. Beautiful green growth among the dried brown leaves. I will return to this greenery to harvest a bit for Christmas decorations.

Wild brown trout, a naturalized wonder of our trout streams. There beauty can be appreciated through the clarity of the stream.

A natural barrier. I often wonder at what time a fish would navigate such an obstacle. Perhaps at night or maybe at times of high water.

One thing I do know for sure is that most times in the pool right behind it there lies a trout. Such was the case here. This handsome fellow smacked the fly as soon as the current pulled it under. It's such a joy and a privilege to hold such a wild fish.

This was the last run I fished this day, and it to produced in clarity a fine brown.

Welcome citizen to my waters, and "thanks".

When I arrived home this chilly day I was treated to this. Jeanette had baked some chocolate chip cookies.