Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Late January Dry Fly Brook Trout

Sunday Kirk and I paid a visit to a stream that neither of us had fished since last spring. The stream has produced some fine brook trout in the past and we were excited to see how the stream and it's residents fared over the bad summer and early fall. Well we found out, and I'll tell you about that in a later post.

We then moved on to another stream to see if we could find some action. This stream is a beautiful little tumbling freestone that flows out of the hills. It has a variety of plunges, some very deep, as well as pools and my beloved riffles. We each fished an assortment of flies, from dries to wets and soft-hackles and nymphs. Just downstream from the riffles in the first photo is a culvert, in front of that culvert is a very small pool. I let my fly a Pickett Pin drift and soon I had my first fish of the day. It was a very small wild brown, and he was welcomed.

Some of what this stream is. As tangled as it looks it has some great holding places for the trout.

I came upon this nice slow moving pool. I still had the Pickett Pin on. Casting towards the large rock on the right I saw a fish come up for the fly. Having noticed several winter stones in the air I changed the fly and put on a caddis dry.

Photo courtesy of Kirk, RKM
Fishing the pool the same way I fished the wet fly, I drifted the caddis the same way. On the third drift the trout rose and I had my first fish to hand.

A precious wild jewel...he was one several I would catch on the dry from that pool. It appears that this stream managed to survive.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just A Few Things That Were On My Mind

On Black Friday late in the day we paid a visit to our local Tractor Supply just to look around. They had those usual one day specials, none of which I was in need of. So after spending a half hour or so we decided to leave. On our way out I came upon a rack of boots that suddenly gained my interest. They were a rubber bottom, with a soft upper portion made of a material that I was not familiar with. They had a nice insole that was soft and comfortable with a padded tongue. And the selling point was 20.00. Well I looked through the rack and found my size. The boots stayed in the bag until a few weeks ago when I put them on to go fishing, and that's when the test started. Well I'm happy to say they passed with flying colors. They kept my feet dry, even when crossing the streams, and walking through snow. They were very comfortable and stable. Now here's the best thing they don't slip even on mossy stones, stream rocks, mud or snow. I love them and they will get plenty of use.

These boots also have those laces that stayed tied.

Campbell's Tomato Soup, I can remember this body warmer doing it's comfort thing when I was a kid, and you know what it still does. Lots of oyster crackers and it will ward off that winter chill.

A thing about pretzels. They must be thin, and they must be in that familiar twist. There is a reason the original bakers made them in this fashion, but it escapes me now.

Thursday evening Jeanette and I attended a dinner, a fund raiser for a very good cause. Our grand-daughter Morgan's school put on this event, and she along with her friends saw to our wishes. It was a great meal, which all enjoyed.

The "hot dog" man I love them and I'm sure most of you feel the same. There are many toppings for this delicious easy to fix tasty sausage, but the one I love most of all is sauerkraut fried with onions. The one drawback is the gastric rumblings that take place later. Well worth it though.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Odd Day And A Bomber Brookie

There are those times when things just don't line up the way you planned it. The adult way to deal with is to accept it and move on. Such was the case last outing when I felt it was all going to be great. The weather was super, stream flows right where they should be and even a few bugs about. The only issue was the fish were not in the mood. I fished a long time, using different flies, fishing prime pools and runs, and nothing to show for it. I did have a mistake bump, which got the juice flowing again. That was short lived though and it was back to nothing again.

It was about 3 hours into the outing when I came about this pool. It had a nice riffle at the head and a long rather deep pool. It was at this time when I said I'm fishing dries only. My thought was "if I'm not catching fish I may as well not catch them on dries". I tied on a "Bomber" and sent it down the riffle and low and behold I had a brookie rise. There was no hook-up but there was finally interest. I sent the fly off again and I could see the brookie move on it, he took and soon was at hand, and just as soon he was gone. I moved through the pool and came upon a log jam with a large foam spot, you can see it in the photo. When on a small stream "foam is good" I flipped the bomber into the foam it sat there a second or two and then hell broke loose. The fish quickly put the bend into the rod. I could feel a heavy fish on the end and was trying to figure how I was going to lift him over the logs. That's when he made a move to his sanctuary of debris and was gone, with my bomber. I will be back to get it Mr. Brook Trout.

The hanging hemlock. These are places to never pass up. Just in front I observed a rising fish. I sent the bomber on a drift. The trout rose and was hooked. This time I able to bring him to hand.

It was an odd day for sure, but well worth it. A "Bomber" Brookie.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Wet And Wild..Soft Hackles, Spiders And Flymphs

A somewhat different look at soft-hackles, spiders and flymphs. When these are wet and viewed as the fish see them you'll see better why the can be so very effective. As you look down through this post you will also see that most all freshwater fish will take these flies, and in a variety of waters, from still water lakes and ponds to small streams and large rivers. Using a couple of retrieves as well as just letting them roll with the flow you'll be very surprised how effective these simple flies can be.

Tie up a few, or pick some up at your local fly shop and give them a try.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What A January Day

Good morning folks. A few days ago I had one of my best days on the stream this year. Kirk and Rowan and myself joined up to fish a little stream. The day started out cloudy but mild. The water flows were perfect and the clarity of the stream was unbelievable. I must say upfront that I did not move much from where I entered the stream, maybe a 100 yards and that maybe stretching it some. My reasoning for this was...the very first cast that Rowan made as we reached the streams edge was a rise to a caddis dry and subsequent hook-up. After seeing that how could I change locations.

Kirk and Rowan moved upstream and downstream, both had very good success. The brookies were very hungry this day.

Gin clear, very nice temperatures, and the sun made an entry which felt so good.

My first of the day took a purple and starling spider. The fish was so beautiful and still holding brilliant colors.

These fish were strong, healthy and so pretty.

Lots of "nooks and crannies" here, and lots of brook trout too.

Most of the fish today were taken on just two spider patterns. The purple and starling and this one.
A size 18, brown thread body, a sparse hares thorax, and two turns of starling.

My last brookie of the day, and the prettiest. That Cane And Silk glass rod is so perfect for this type of fishing....right Mr. Fontinallis?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Winter Angling, And North Country Spiders

Winter angling is at best a "maybe" and most times it's a "not going to happen".....the the "maybe" I'll take every time if given the choice but if the latter is dished out well I'll make the best of it. Such was the case of my last few outings. They were day's of extreme over night cold temps, like the teens. A day when the thaw had taken place and chunks of ice were floating downstream. The days when just reaching the stream was hazardous. But I'm not making excuses just telling how it was.

But even on those slow days I was able to capture several beautiful scenes that make small stream angling special at any time of year.

I love natural waterfalls....don't you?

This beautiful plunge spilling into the river. And just a few feet from that plunge was....

This remarkable scene. There were daffodils, or iris sprouting up.

I tied up a few size 18 spiders. I think they will be acceptable when those early stone flies are about. This one uses purple thread, peacock thorax, and starling hackle.

This one has an olive thread body, hares mask thorax, and bleached starling hackle.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Connecticut's Wild Brown Trout

There are many color variations in wild trout here in Connecticut. The small streams will produce brook trout that are striking in color. Some are light and some are dark, dark to point of being black. The reason for this is the type of water they live in which causes their skin to adapt to the conditions.

On the other hand the wild brown trout that inhabit our streams also have pronounced differences in color as well as spotting. These wild fish are from stocks that were brought over here from Germany in the 1800's and have noticeable differences. In a wild trout stream I fished last week I caught 3 browns within 100 yards of each other and they were all different.

This brown has a steel-gray color and dark and red spots. The dark spots are quite large, and the red spots have pronounced blue halos.

In this section of stream which is not far from where I caught the brown above I caught this one.

You can see the difference here. While the body is gray it is not as dark. The belly has a soft gold tone. There are many more black spots. And the halos are not as rich as the other brown.

Both of these trout were in great shape. I did not get a photo of the third one for he managed to say goodbye before the camera was on him.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Some Information And Some Good Stuff

Sandy River Maine
There's some pretty exciting stuff going on around SSR's, both now and in the "very near future". I'll talk about the future first. This blog was started some years ago so that I would be able to share what I love, "small streams, wild trout and life in their simplest form" and I've tried to stay with that concept. Over the years it has done well and it seems by the response I've had many of you have the same feelings. You know I appreciate every comment and thought you put forth and will continue to that in the future.

Small Stream Reflections is about to reach a milestone in the next month that is incredible..I for one would never think it possible when I started. When that is achieved there will be a big thank you...more later.

"The Salter" the official newsletter of the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition. I received my copy the other day and was thrilled at the quality of this publication. What a group of individuals, there is a lot of work that went into this and a lot of love in what they do both in the publication and conservation of the "salter" brook trout. I know many of you are members of the SRBTC and there are some that have not joined. I think you know where I stand on this important and very worthy group. I urge you to sign up and join me in support of this unique group. The link is posted below.

Thank you...Geoffrey Day, Justin Flemming, and all who are involved with the publication "Salter" and the SRBTC.

One of this blogs readers and frequent commenters "Parachute Adams" who's name is Sam sent me a photo of his daughters, who's name is Paige, watercolor painting of a trout in pursuit of a fly. Watercolor paintings of fish are the best, in my opinion they bring out a natural look of fish. Her painting is beautiful and it's something she as well as Sam should be very proud of. Thank you.

Virginia Ham...now this is exciting. I purchased this steak when I was in VA. last fall. Today at some point I'm going to try it. They tell me to watch out for the salt for that can be an issue. It will be served with "red eye gravy" and biscuits.