Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Palmered Variants and the Mini-Stimi

Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with some patterns. I have been using some basic materials of hair two types of hackle and both thread and dubbing for the bodies. Some of these patterns are variants of other known flies.

The first fly is a simple palmered dry fly. It uses woodchuck for a tail, opossum dubbing for the body and brown hackle palmered forward. I have used this fly several times and it works very well.

Palmered Dry Fly

The next fly is a variant of the Ausable Bomber. It is tied using woodchuck for the tail, opossum dubbing for the body, brown hackle, and elk hair for the wing. Using the elk hair for the wing makes for easier tying, and when fished wet it creates some irresistible water movement.

This fly is the mini-stimi. It's a variant of the stimulator. It is tied on a Mustad 9671 size 14 hook, the regular stimulator is tied on a Mustad C53S hook. This fly uses woodchuck for a tail, orange thread for the body, brown hackle for the body, and grizzly hackle for the head, the wing is elk hair. I tried this fly yesterday and the trout liked it very well.

The Mini-Stimi

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Forest Walk, and More.

Well folks it's raining here in New England, has been all night and will probably continue the day. We have been fortunate lately with beneficial rains almost every week. Yesterday was a cloudy day but it was to rain free for most of the day. So while doing some chores in the morning Jeanette came over and said she wanted to take a walk, a woods walk to be exact. She said take your fishing gear and I'll walk and you can fish. Well an hour or so later we were there. I parked along a forest service road and we headed out. The woods road follows the stream which is nice, and it is also gated so there is no vehicle traffic. Nice and quiet, with only a few day hikers. I said to Jeanette I'm heading to the stream, and she said I'll see you later and began to walk. I figured we had a couple of hours before the sprinkles would start and dampen the day, enough time though for both of us to enjoy.

Lots of flowers in bloom.

The stream was in super shape. A few brook trout were taken in the pools on dry flies.

I came upon this pool and inviting it looked. On the first cast a trout rose and missed. Several casts later and up he came, this time he was hooked.

As the fish swirled near my feet his amazing colors were seen. As I lifted the jewel I was in awe of him. The colors were so pronounced. A strong male with that slight hook in the jaw. A brook trout for October indeed.

They look like snow flakes.

Upstream, I will try these rugged pools when I'm alone the next visit.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Passion Only Grows

The desire to fish small streams is high for me, if able to I'd do it everyday, well I can't so when I have the time I make good use of it. I also like looking at the maps and try to find that next small blue line that just may hold a trout or two. While gazing the other morning I found such a line and decided to make the drive to explore it. The morning chosen was after a nasty night of storms, some of which laid down a lot of rain in a short time. My concern was that the runoff would cause the stream to be muddy and swift. Well the decision was made and off I went.

I arrived at the stream around 6:30 and the sun was just starting to crack through the trees. As I got out of the car the first thing I noticed was the air temp,"chilly" to say the least. I quickly put on a heavy outdoor shirt and never took it off all day. I was geared up in short time and up the woods road I walked. The air was still and the ground and woods were wet. As I walked I soon heard the sound of moving water, a sound that was somewhat louder than normal. That seemed to say maybe "high, fast" water. I soon reached the spot where I would try to walk down to the stream. Upon seeing the water I was relieved. I was flowing pretty good but not to where it would cause problems.

The gentle part of the outing. A nice walk on some soft earth.

The stream was so inviting, its rapid plunges, and soft tails just spoke of a beautiful day.

I tried to show just how steep it is in this blue line valley. Once down to the stream walking along it is not to bad.

My first reward of the day. The brookie grabbed the fly just as I was lifting it out of the water, he seemed to be swimming the falls to make sure he did not miss the morsel of food that was about to fly away. Several brook trout were taken from this pool at various locations.

The stream is a series of pools, runs and riffles making it a perfect home for brook trout.

Most of the trout were about the same size or smaller. That's not unusual for these mountain streams, being the pantry is pretty meager.

I chose to wet wade this day. I had a pair of water shoes, which by the way are wonderful, "no slipping" and light weight. The water was cold and I took the water temp and found it to be 56-58 degrees.

Cold water clarity. Going back to the size of the brook trout in this stream being all about the same size. I knew there had to be bigger trout in this stream and in this pool I saw just that. Only the camera never did, perhaps another day. But the pool did give up another trophy.

Several casts later, just as the fly hit the water a trout rose and went to the bottom with it in his lip. My little glass 3wt bent and had the task of subduing the wild creature, which it finally did. You would think that after so many trout it would be no big thing. Not with me, it's like it was my first. The passion only grows.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Vallight" a streamer

"Vallight"...a featherwing streamer tied in the Rangeley style. The inspiration came from the natural light that filters through the woods to the river valley below.

This streamer is tied on a large hook and is probably best suited to fish as a trolling fly.


Hook, Martinek Rangeley Streamer, size 1-6x long....Body, Wine Yarn....Butt, Peacock Herl....Tag and Rib, Flat Gold Tinsel....Throat, White Hackle Fibers....Wing, Two Olive, followed by Two Brown Saddle Hackles, the Brown about 2/3rds as long....Shoulder, Grouse Back Feather....Cheeks, Jungle Cock.

Monday, June 22, 2015


This is a group of photos I've taken over the last two months. At the time they were snapped I may have had some idea what I was going to tell of them, but they just seem to lie there in a progression of others and seem to never get focused upon. Rather than delete them from my albums I decided to feature them in this post and let them have their day.

Somewhat smoky.

A "sangwich", aka a sandwich.

I'm not telling.

He's either surrendering or trying to roll that log.

Autumn? taken last week.

Leftover pasta, a good use for it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Small Stream Reflection

The water tumbles rapidly over the boulders of the stream, something it has done for years.The plunge pool it creates is a haven for the adipose finned fish that live in it. The water is cooled naturally and that holds the oxygen so vital to life. There are many shades and colors in the pool as well as currents that vary from mild to swift. The bottom is a mix of boulder to fine gravel with sunlight to highlight it all.

It is here that the little wild char call home. If one stands still and looks into the pool they can observe life that has been for centuries. Little green streaks can be seen darting grabbing bits of food. Times are indeed bountiful at this time of year.

As I stand near the stream, holding a simple fly, one of dubbing and hackle. I toss it into the swirling water and it twists and turns. A heartbeat later a rise and a hookup, a hand and a wild jewel. The fly removed and off it swims.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An evening in brook trout forest.........

This is guest post. The author wishes to remain anonymous.

 Photo 1, The Bomber: Before wetting my line, I paused to reflect on the lovely flies I was to use that evening, and to thank the good friend who tied them.

Photo 2, A Pool from my Childhood: I had picked this stream by looking for a remote place on a map, but when I got there I found that the pool right below the road I drove in on looked very much like the kind of pool-below-a-bridge that I used to fish as a kid. Brookies were rising, so I tossed in the Bomber.

Photo 3, Sadness & Memorial: I was in to a nice fish almost at once, but when I brought it to the shore I found it bleeding and hooked badly through the throat. I could not remove the hook, and the beautiful fish began to bleed out. I chose to give it a clean death and bring it’s body home for dinner. As I cleaned it, I was struck by having brought an end to such a beautiful creature. I built this trout a small red cairn, to say thank you, and to say I’m sorry.

Photo 4, Green Water: I hiked further down the stream, casting the Pickett Pin to abundant brook trout in the green of Brook Trout Forest
 Photo 5, Green Trout: I hooked many fish, and brought a few to hand. The first of these was a study in tones of green, like the woods around him.

Photo 6, Red Rocks: As I waded further down the stream, I noticed many brilliant red and orange rocks on the streambed…
 Photo 7, Red Trout: …and I began to land trout who were a study in those colors themselves. This one was particularly vibrant. I love the orange tone of his pectoral fin!
 Photo 8, Thank You: I finished fishing after landing the Red Trout, and built a second cairn above the pool where I caught him to thank the river.
 Photo 9, Autumn on the Way:  As I waded out of the stream, I saw this precocious fall leaf, and reflected that I the summer is moving along and my fishing days before grad school are running out. I was blessed to have this evening on the water.




Monday, June 15, 2015

A Mountain Adventure

Yesterday Kirk and I took a trip to Massachusetts near the Vermont border to fish some mountain streams for brook trout. We arrived around 7am to what was a warm partly cloudy day. The first stream we fished was one that I fished a few weeks ago located on the Franklin Land Trust property Crowningshield tract. This is a beautiful area and the walk through the field, which was in bloom whit more flowers that I could not identify but the picture might tell you what they were. Having fished here before I chose not to where waders and selected to wet wade instead. And in crossing the field I was wet to the waist in seconds from the wet grass, felt good though. The trek to the stream is somewhat difficult and steep and some caution is needed, but soon we were at stream side and the fishing began. We walked and fished for a mile or so through some of the most beautiful country on earth. The stream was in great shape with good flows, clarity, and cold water. The one lacking entity was the fish. In all the time there I had 2 strikes, and only one hookup. Kirk had several strikes and managed to hook 2 salmon smolts. Disappointed I was not, for I got to spend a few hours on such a pristine piece of New England. I will figure this stream out, I know there's a fine wild brook trout waiting for me.

We stopped for an early lunch along the stream. It was here the plan was made to fish a trib that feeds this stream.

As we were leaving we climbed this ridge that gave us a stunning look at the river below. This spectacular view will be one that must be seen in October.

The second stream is typical of New England. And in the same New England style it held brook trout. The second cast I had a rise.

Moments later I had the pleasure of holding my first wild brookie of the day. A beautiful dark creature that swiped a Bomber.

We only fished this stream a short while, with plans of fishing a third stream. Both Kirk and I took several trout here.

We drove a short distance through some gorgeous country. Rural as can be and home to my "mountain" people. Here we are stream 3. The access to this one was more gentle and we were glad of that. The one fact that has to be mentioned is the water temps. This stream was 58 degrees. Some underground source of cold water there no doubt. The stream was almost covered shade, hemlock,pine and various hardwoods saw to that. This stream was the jackpot. I kid you not when I say I caught 10 trout within a few feet of where I parked and in span of walking a few yards of stream.

These fish were so beautifully colored, having that look of Fall. Both Kirk and I commented on the colors and voracious strikes.

This pool gave me the incentive to visit here soon. On one cast a trout rose and took the fly. Having been hooked he went straight to the bottom. This is a trait I have experienced with large brook trout, especially in Maine. That fish held bottom for what seemed like eternity, all I could feel was his weight and a head shake or two. Putting pressure I finally got him to move, and that he did. He worked the entire pool, and I believed I was going to loose him. The rod finally won the battle and the brook trout gave up. I looked down and saw a large trout. I reached in to lift him and he spooked, running hard. I managed to bring him back. Sliding my hand under his belly he broke free and this time it was his success. This angler remembers. Stay well stream 3 brook trout...I'll be back.

After all that noise and splashing around, and after gaining my composure I tossed a fly back into the pool. Another rise and another brook trout. This wild jewel was a gentleman and allowed a fast photo and a big thank you.