Friday, August 29, 2014

The Farmington River on the "Wild Side"

Yesterday morning I fished Connecticut's Farmington river. The Farmy was not my first choice this day I had planned on fishing another stream which was about 25 miles further north, the reason being I just did not feel like driving the extra miles. This trip was only my 3rd or 4th time fishing this big river this year. As I drove down the dirt road to the pull off where I was going to enter the river I noticed it was on the high side. Some folks like these flows but they do not seem to work for me.

I was geared up in a few minutes and on the water seconds later. The rivers clarity was the first thing I noticed. With the sun hitting the water as it moved over the boulders was truly a beautiful sight. I noticed a few changes that would indicate a season change about to come. There were no rises, with the exception of a few that took place as a second thought that the trout made.

I fished a variety of flies this day but most were wet flies and soft hackles with a caddis dry and a mini muddler. This day produced a good deal of trout both in the numbers hooked as well as a few to hand. Most of the fish were brook trout, some small salmon and a brown that whacked the fly not more than 5 feet from me. While I was there I saw just one angler. As the sun began to work it's magic I noticed a good hatch starting to happen. I was in a position not to be able to match it and I finally made my way to shore. I'll try to be equipped to match this hatch next time, the "Tube Hatch"

One beautiful wild jewel. About a month away from full Autumn dress.

While most anglers who fish this wonderful river are in search of some of the bruiser browns that inhabit the Farmy. I am contented to catch a few of these.

The Farmington in one of its wild spots.

A big river producing a wild brook trout. Tranquility...The Farmington on the Wild Side.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Parker, and his specials.

Handsome guy
Two weeks ago we had the pleasure of baby sitting "Parker". Well he did not like the term babysitting so we changed that to Parker's Vacation. Parker is a rescue dog and is 99% Lab. He is the most loveable fellow one would like to know. When he visits Nana and Papa he is king. He has breakfast with us and loves bacon and eggs, and french toast, don't forget extra butter and a tad of real maple syrup. Most times he has his choice of supper additions of chicken, and ground beef mixed with his dog food. I made him some venison stew and he ate all the deer and left the veggies.

Another highlight of his vacation is swimming and chewing the hell out of the sticks he's sent to fetch. And he also gets a brand new bandana. Given the choice of red or blue he couldn't decide so out he came with both.

Parker is a very laid back fellow. When you go he follows when you sit he sits, but if sitting takes a few minutes it quickly leads to laying down and that leads to a good solid nap. We love you Parker.

Another pleasure Parker enjoys is Nana's daily hair brushing. One day I noticed the hair being brushed off looked to be something I might be able to use in fly construction.

Black Lab dubbing. Natural fibers, no additives.

A brace of black lab wet flies. I have not tried these as of yet, but will indeed. "The Parker Specials" so named after a special family member.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday 8-24-14

The day started out with a question mark and finished with a star. I planned to visit two blue lines I had circled on a map. These were entirely new to me and I had no idea what I would find. When I arrived at the first one the stream looked good. It was meandering through some fields at a slow pace. Every so often there were a set of faster riffles leading to some very interesting places. The foliage was lush and growing right to the stream. I found an opening and crawled in. I tossed the fly and let it drift into the riffles, BAM the fish hit and was it hard. A few moments I had at hand a beautiful shiny river dace. Back into the water he went and I continued to fish downstream. It was like every other cast brought the same result, dace after dace. The stream was to nice to only hold these little bait fish. But today was not the day to try to find them, but I will be back.

Back in the car and off to the second blue line. After driving around dirt roads and half of a mountain I located the second brook. It was indeed nice and it was pretty secluded with only one setback, it was posted private for it was watershed property. A good try but it did not pan out as I hoped. Back down the mountain and the ruts that go with it. I was going to pay a visit to a more friendly stream. I stopped in at the local Dunkin Donuts for a black coffee. and headed to the stream.

By the time I reached the stream it was around 9. The sun was out in force a cool air mass made me feel good. The stream was at normal late summer flows, with a water temp at 62. The last time I fished this brook I came to meet a landowner who has a section of stream posted. I stopped and chatted with him and found out why he had it posted. I introduced myself and what I was up to then asked his permission to fish through his property and was granted such.

The stream had some very nice pools some of which were 2 to 3 feet deep. There were good flows at the head of the pools and that is where I found the trout. I started fishing dries and soon realized that these fish were not going to rise. I tied on a wet fly and as the fly worked towards the head of the pool the strikes came.

This wild jewel took a Dark Cahill wet fly. The Cahill wet and the Picket Pin have been the best producing flies this last month.

Each pool held fish. I would hook one and let to pool rest and fish it on the way back.

To be graced with such beautiful brook trout as this in late summer is wonderful, and Autumn is coming.

This trip ended with a star indeed. On my way home I spotted a familiar face. The gent was just getting his gear ready and was about to fish the Farmington. It was  Pete, aka TROUT1. It was nice to see you again and to talk to you friend.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New England

We have been driving and walking about rural New England for the last week. I love seeing new parts of the states, and I seem to find places I have never been even in my small native state of Connecticut. It's enjoyable to drive rural roads and find an interesting area. Then stop and park and proceed to walk the dirt roads, old jeep trails and logging roads. Finding old broken down foundations, some broken pottery, or an old rusted sign. In a forest in Vermont we walked for about 15 miles. Stopping to view the mountains, which are starting to show some color. We crossed several streams and picked up a few colorful stones which were put alongside our little flower garden back home.

We stopped by an old abandoned apple orchard. Most of the trees are beat and broken down, but there are many that still bear fruit, and they were small but still sweet. What a hot spot for grouse in the months to come.

Once wild and running free.

We walked this road for 5 miles and saw but one truck and a few bike riders.

Lots of very pretty flora about.

An abandoned cabin. I guess it was used as a hunting or fishing camp years ago. Want to buy it?

There was some fishing included.

A New England native.

In this small stream I was given the pleasure of catching one of my favorites. It seemed that on every cast my fly was smacked.

I'm not sure if they are native to New England, but they sure are beautiful, and a blast to take on a 3wt fly rod.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Beyond the Golden Rod"

Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts there is a lovely field of Golden Rod. It is quite large and with the suns light upon it is breathtaking. Don't know how true this is but I've been told that golden rod is edible and nutritious. Just beyond this field is a stream, a stream I have known since the 70's. A stream that flows of the top of one of the mountains and flows into a lake. The stream has good flows and I have never seen it dry up. It is well shaded by some very impressive hardwoods, and there are no homes or farms nearby.

A beautiful stream indeed, one that holds some wild brook trout, trout that probably see very few anglers, almost to a point where I would say no anglers. So I guess you are saying why then have I never fished the little stream. I'll tell you.

There is this one obstacle. Climbing this rock wall. I know you might say find another way to get around it...well there's no way. I would have to enter the woods from quite a distance and walk to the stream, an easy walk it's not.

I will make an attempt to fish this stream soon. Maybe tomorrow. For this stream I have tied up a few of these flies.

"Hornberg" Dry Fly
Hook, Mustad dry fly size14...Body, flat silver tinsel...Underwing, yellow hackle fibers...Overwing, Mallard fibers slightly longer than the underwing...Hackle, brown and grizzly.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

In my world....a small streams pleasures.

The calendar said August 15th but the weather said late September. Friday when I woke up Parker was already pacing near the door. I grabbed his leash and opened the door wow what a cool blast. I had planned on fishing this day so one cup of coffee and some oatmeal and I was on my way. I got to the stream at 6 and was in the water soon after. The heavy rains we had mid week had the stream runny fast and it was cold. With conditions as these I knew the fishing would be great.

The air temps in this streams little valley were in the high forties, and I was glad I had the light wool shirt to aid in warding off the chill. It did not take long for the trout to respond and they were very willing to play.

The beauty of this pool, at the head it is very noisy as it crashes over the rocks. The large boulder causes the water to form a deep pool. Then the water moves to the end of the pool where it becomes a tranquil slide.

A wild brook trout who was taken from the pool above. Is colors stating a change, and the season to come.

Each and every pool produced brook trout. The high waters moved many and gave them the nerve to strike my offerings.

I am very fortunate to have access to such wild creatures. Can there be anything more beautiful in this natural world?

In answer to the question above, I'm sure there is for this is a big world. But in my tiny section I don't think there is.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wet flies are timeless. Simple wet flies are..........

Wet flies have been part of fly fishing since the beginning, when that was I don't know but it's been a long time. The English found these flies to be effective, and from England they found there way here. Many of the English patterns were tied to represent different stages of insects and they accomplished that very well. Across the pond it was somewhat different. Many of our early wet flies were tied to fool brook trout and they took on a colorful transformation.

When I think of wet flies I think of Ray Bergman. The man was incredible both as a fly tyer and angler. So many patterns of his are still in use, and many more are tied just for their beauty alone.

How wet flies are fished is a topic that is best told by those that do it best. Some anglers can actually fish 3 of these flies at once. I have enough to do with one fly. But even by itself the wet fly can catch fish.

These are a few of my wet flies. They are very simple both in construction and materials used. Some waterfowl feathers in various colors and some basic dubbing and you can tie a lot of effective flies. I fish small streams and at times the water is low as is the case in the top photo. A dry fly fished here may bring a strike, but if you don't hook that trout he'll won't come up for it again. The sun and the low water will keep fish in a very cautious state. But if the fly you offer is below the surface the trout feel a bit more secure and will hit it.

So on your next visit to a small stream tie on a size 14 Dark Cahill wet and give it a workout. Wet flies are timeless. "Simple Wet Flies" are effective.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It was good to be back on the stream again.

I start with this wonderful bright yellow flower, for it shows just how nice it felt to fish a stream again. I said to myself the hand feels good enough, so give it a shot. Six a.m. found me along the the road that leads to the water. The mountains on both sides were just starting to filter in the days first rays of sun, and there was a low bank of mist where the stream rushes through the boulders. There was a slight chill in the air that made me reach for the long sleeve outdoor shirt.

As I strung up the fly rod of choice today I had hopes of a day to just take in what ever the woods and waters would offer, and not be to worried about what fly or how I was to fare with the residents of the stream. I was happy to see the stream was in great condition. Its waters flowing very nicely and water temps at 62.

The stream offered both quiet sections and rough water.

In water as such is where I encountered my first hookup. The brookie struck a bomber and figured where to go to deposit it in an underwater snag. Several more attempts, along with a change in the type of fly brought a to hand.

Pretty little guy. There were to be many more like him this day.

This stream is not easily fished, some of those boulders required agility to climb over. The steep banks were also a problem at times. The forest was mostly hemlock with a few oaks. I also made note of two feeder brooks that were still pumping water. I will explore these at another time.

In the pool right at the tail as the wet fly moved to the surface I noticed a good size swirl just behind the fly. On a repeated cast the fish struck and the battle was on.

Moments later I reached in and lifted this strong lady. Her fins were large and her tail wide and very powerful. She knew this streams currents and how to use them to her advantage. I placed her in the water and she was gone in a heartbeat.

An old friend joined me on this great day. Thanks.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Favorite photos.

Until I get it together and can type with more than 1 finger I'm going to post a favorite photo of mine. I hope you will enjoy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blog info

Just want to let you know that I have not been responding to my blog comments or to yours. I came down with a kick ass case of the gout. It hit the other night and has affected my right hand primarily the joint above my index finger. This makes my typing as well as my work with the mouse a bit of a challenge. I have been reading your blog posts and will comment as soon as this bout ends.


Monday, August 4, 2014

"Little Rivers"

A little river, more like a very little river. What one might call it is alright and the fact it has been here perhaps since the last ice age with so little change is OK by me. This day found myself walking about, trying to find some willing fish to take my offerings. One would have to agree with me when you look at them that they are indeed hard to pass up. The small soft hackles were cast upon the small run, and as always something new was to fall upon this angler.

As the fly moved between the first set of stones a trout rose to take the fly. He missed the first time but continued to swipe at the fly several times stopping as the fly reached the second set of stones. Again I cast the fly and again the trout swiped and followed. I changed flies and sent the second soft hackle into the stream to do business. The first drift brought no response, but the second drift was to much to resist. The brook trout again hit the fly as it drifted just below the surface, but failed to take.

This cat and mouse type of fishing took place over about 20 minutes. The sun was now starting to filter through the trees and I said to myself if I'm going to take a fish here it would have to be soon. I looked into the fly box and pulled out a Gray Wulff, tied it on and cast it out. Just as the fly drifted through those first set of stones the trout rose. He continued to do so until the fly drifted between the second set of stones. The fly stopped just beyond and I saw the orange flanks of a brook trout rise, swipe, and a hookup. Moments later a fine brook trout was at hand, a quick pic and off it went.

Now I can't say for certain that it was the same trout that I had been fooling with for almost a half hour but I wouldn't doubt it. Another reason why there is magic in fishing "little rivers"......