What a beautiful morning, the air was still and on the cool side. Getting out of the car I glanced across the field and was greeted by this sight. A few minutes were spent just looking. Thoughts of the day ahead were put on hold and it was so peaceful just to look. I have fished this stream and have learned well "not much"...it has taught me so much about brook trout that I didn't know, and I have learned well as long as I don't forget.
One of the things I like to do is to try a different fly each outing. One fly that I have not used in along time. I know all of you have one of those flies tucked in your fly box. Well the fly I chose was Mr. Rapidan parachute. The fly is one that I picked up at Harry Murray's fly shop. It has a yellow post, yellow being the signature of all of the Mr. Rapidan flies. The fly was in the water and I would love to say that it worked very well but it did not. I fished that fly for a good half hour without a single rise. I fished it in several areas of the stream and decided a change was necessary. I tied on a Bomber and managed a few fish, "well at least they are still here" I said to myself.
I had about an hour left to fish and selected a section of stream that has given up some nice brookies. It stream here looks harder than it is. Flies can be worked here but patience is the key, meaning don't rush, slow down your walk, your arm stroke, your pick off the water and the time you let your fly sit, either on the water or below. After violating three of my own recommendations, I finally got my act together. I tossed out a spider pattern and let it sit on the bottom. The fly was moved so slowly as I retrieved. I felt a subtle hit and set the hook. The fight was on. The brook trout collected enough stream vegetation a bird could have made a nest from it. All the while I kept pressure on him, seeing that orange color getting close I knew he would soon surrender.
As my hand reached into the water the fish broke for freedom. I thought he had achieved it when I felt slack line. Pulling back I saw he was still on. Convincing him finally that I only wanted a photo I slid my hand under him and the photo was granted. Hook removed and off he went.
Beautiful in its simplicity. All of it.ReplyDelete
Regarding the spider, my thread bodies often become frayed an undone after a fish or two. Any advice on toughening them up?
Simplicity is key.
On the thread bodies, just wrap back to the point of the hook. Usually those little teeth won't reach that far.
Great stuff Alan. Any theories on why your Mr. Rapidan wasn't getting the job done? I received the ICE streamer in the mail by they way. Thank you. It was a very cool thing to receive. My 86 year old grandfather remarked "well, that's too pretty to fish." I think he might be right.ReplyDelete
I can only say that brook trout are not selective, now someone tell them that. I really don't know why.
Glad you recieved the fly OK. Your grandfather is right.
Leaves on the trees in the first shot are changing! Fall colors on the way. Beautiful pic of the brookie.ReplyDelete
Pete, some trees are peak, and some look like July, a strange year.
I know there are no hard and fast rules to times of year in fly fishing, but in the Blue Ridge that Mr. Rapidan is dynamite from late March into early May.ReplyDelete
As far as the soft hackle goes, a soft hackle is a soft hackle. Fished correctly they will almost always produce...
Scott maybe that's why it was not readily taken. It has been a good fly for me.
I agree with you on your assessment on fishing soft-hackles.
Any quick tips on how to fish a soft hackle fly?ReplyDelete
All I can say is there is no wrong way. I have taken trout on a quarter downstream cast a dead drift, stripped across the stream, and slow fishing retrieve almost like a nymph. Sometimes take a little Gink and dab a bit on the thread body, cast the fly, then hang on.
Alan, The soft hackle...so simple and such an effective fly. Gotta have them in the fly box, that is for sure. Regards, SamReplyDelete
Sam they just work. Maybe that's why they have been with us for centuries.
Sounds like a super trip. Hard to go wrong with spiders for sure... orange in particular :)ReplyDelete
Will orange works well, and especially with brookies.
Olive bodies come in a close second.
Alan, it always amazes me all the fancy complicated multi material flies that end up in magazines and periodicals and it always comes back to a simple soft hackle that saves the day. Got to love those spiders. Thanks, love that tint of orange on the trees.ReplyDelete
Brad you opened up a can of worms there. I'm sure there is a reason for the "latest" and "new must have patterns", and we know what that is. It would make a good post at some point comparing the simple with the intricate.
I don't think I'll ever get used to how pretty that stream and its surroundings are, not to mention its breath taking natives!ReplyDelete
Rowan it truly is a sweet place. I have been trying to get into some new areas but you talk about a challenge. The natives are brilliant.
You've got to love the first glimpses of Fall and the brookies fit in so nicely.ReplyDelete
They seem to go hand in hand.
What a stunner, Alan. Although the temperature doesn't reflect it, the color of this brook trout certainly signals fall. The brookies in that stream are magnificent.ReplyDelete
RI brook troutDelete
Jon perhaps the cold water started thing early.
A beautiful stream, that's a challenge.