Thursday, March 30, 2017

In The Rain, 3-28-17

We were in a series of rainy, drizzly, damp and gray weather, not to mention very cool weather. The stretch was about 4 days and I was anxious to get out. So Tuesday I got the gear together and off I went. Looking at the car top you can see rain drops, not heavy but the very light kind just enough to keep you wet. That was pretty much the way it was on that day. The stream was up and a bit off color. Snow melt has been on going and sometimes that can turn off the fish, but at least I was fishing.

The one thing that stood out very quickly was the stone fly activity. There were bugs everywhere. The banks were full of them and they even managed to get down my neck. I tied on an Adams parachute, which is a good fly when stone flies are about. Fishing this fly as a dry and also working it back as a wet will usually draw a strike, but not today. I switched over to a dark soft-hackle and worked a riffle and was soon into a fish. He parted company after ripping up the riffle. There are times when this disruption can work to your advantage, and it sure did that day.

After several more casts in the riffle I managed to get a taker as well as bringing him to hand.

I worked down the stream finding out that the briar bushes had a good winter. They were healthy and extra sharp. The fishing was not on fire, and the snag from time to time kept you in the game.

Before I was to reel up and call it a day I managed to get one more wild jewel to hand. So I went 2 for 3, and for a stream that took a hell of a beating last year I was pleased at how it and it's brook trout fared.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Black Magic and The Starling and Purple and Snipe and Purple

The "Black Magic" spider fly. This pattern has a few variations and I would bet they all will take there share of trout. Here I have tied two that work well for me. The first pattern was taken from Robert Smith's book "The North Country Fly" is tied using black silk, peacock herl, and starling. The pattern in the book calls for black hen hackle.

The variant of the "Black Magic" uses black silk, a tiny bit of black dubbing for the thorax and starling hackle.

This is the "Starling and Purple" calls for purple silk, black dubbing for a thorax and starling.

This is the "Snipe and Purple" is a very simple fly but also very elegant. Purple silk, snipe hackle.

These flies are a pleasure to tie and will take their fare share of trout. They are tied on a beautiful hook, Partridge "Spider" size 14.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The "Will"

                                   The "Will"

It is April in the highlands of Eastern Connecticut, a little stream of water winds its
way down the gentle hill on its way to a junction and a merge into a larger river which
in turn will reach its destiny with the sea. The Spring rains have started and the stream is filling almost to its banks. It is a refreshing sight and a wonderful feeling
of hope and of satisfaction to the wild brook trout that call this stream home.

The thoughts of the last years heat and low water conditions are but a memory to the
brook trout, for they only look to the future, a time of bounty and well being.
For in the lives of these brook trout have been tested many times, their tenacity and
bull dog toughness in times of hardship should be a model for all.

Now being pushed back into these tiny streams they seem to thrive. While not the largest
of salmonids they are the most beautiful. They have a "will" like nothing else on earth.

These wild creatures of the little waters are in a time of plenty, and when the days come that are harsh and almost unbearable the "Will" to survive will kick in and the brook trout will endure.

Alan Petrucci
Newington, Connecticut March 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sometimes My Words Are Not Necessary

This post pretty much encompasses what this blog is about. Please enjoy the photos, and the words will be yours. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The First Day Of Spring

On the official first day of Spring found myself fishing a small stream where the landscape looked more like Winter. I started my day about 10, with the sun out in force the air temps warmed up beautifully. As I walked to the stream I felt there was a new beginning coming to the woods and waters. The birds were very vocal, the trees that were dormant and had leaves still hanging on from last fall were tossing them aside preparing for the buds of a new season. The stream was open but the blanket of snow draped the edges, and caution was needed when walking close.

Several trees that fell across the stream were covered with small animal tracks, natural bridges that they no doubt prefer to use rather than the alternative. Fishing in winter can be beautiful, but it can be frustrating. March has never been a banner month for me, most times the fish are not cooperative. It's funny one day you will take trout from a particular run, and the next 3 times fishing the same place and it will be like your on a different planet.

After a couple of hours I walked upon this slow silent pool. Looking at it I thought of "wow that would make a lovely Christmas card"...I tossed out my offering and let the stream do the rest.

The response came very swiftly..I was greeted by a hard take. This fish was strong, mad and a bit surprised that the insect she bit, bit her back. A few little runs and she soon gave up. I placed my hand under the brown and lifted it to admire. Placed back in the stream and she was a memory of this day.

Winter has been hard on this stream, numerous blow downs have taken away some fine pools....but it has also created some very interesting new hide-a-ways....soon to be explored.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Life Is Great"

Yesterday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the traditional corned...... and cabbage. Pardon me everything was traditional except for the meat. In place of beef, venison was used. Several pieces of odd pieces of deer were corned by me using a great recipe for the brine. The meat was placed in the brine about 7 day's ago, and was cured to perfection. The deer was placed in a large pot with various seasoning vegetables, then brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer. It slow simmered for 3 hours, and the other vegetables were added. It was allowed to simmer until the vegetables were cooked.

A cooked piece of shoulder, just perfect.

The first few slices held intact, but the rest sort of broke apart.

We enjoyed the meal, Jeanette said that I should corn the whole deer...she thinks it's the best way to eat venison. Today I have a few slices left and I will fry them with potatoes for breakfast.

Pastrami, anyone.....perhaps next year.

Friday, March 17, 2017

That Crazy Fly

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I hope you are enjoying you Irish Bangers for breakfast with some lovely fried potatoes...and may your corned beef dinner be the best.

This is a post about a crazy fly and the day's of last April fishing it. I hope you'll enjoy the change in scenery, Spring as opposed to Winter which is getting very old.

I may attempt to get out on the water today and perhaps manage to bring one of these to hand...using that crazy fly.

My corned venison is about a day away from being fully cured. I'm slated to enjoy it on Sunday...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"In A Different Light"

Do fish see colors? That's a question I've heard talked about since the day I tied on a fly over 30 years ago. My answer has been no, but the argument can be made that it's yes simply because if the fly your fishing is dark and what's on the water is light chances are your dark fly will be rejected. Now I grant you this is a very simple explanation, and there are so many other things at play that will cause a fly to be rejected.

Below I have tested a few soft-hackles and spiders in a glass of water to try and simulate what a fly looks like in it's emerging stage. I've used various patterns, all different accept for the first two. This little experiment shows some pretty big differences in how a trout looks at a fly.

The first two flies are partridge and orange patterns, the same exact fly. You can see the orange silk body showing through the very sparse dubbed body. Also visible are the tiny air bubbles trapped in the dubbing and along the hackle fibers.

This is the exact fly as the first. Notice when photographed in a different light the fly looks totally different, especially the color. The trapped air bubbles are more pronounced and the body color takes on a different light.

This is a partridge and orange tied without any dubbing. This fly has a slight-sparse thorax and partridge hackle. The trapped air bubble is highly visible.

You can also see a very distinct rib in the body. This is accomplished by winding just the silk thread. It is not clear in the photo but those ribs in the thread catch light an act as another attraction.

In this last photo the fly has a fully dubbed body, it is slightly tapered and has a gold tinsel rib. Naturally the tinsel rib will draw attention but the key is the almost perfect ribbing in the body showing an insects natural segmented body.

A key to all of these flies is the's alive.

Monday, March 13, 2017

In The Land Of Zane Grey, Rivers, and Flies

Back in the mid eighties I started hunting in the state of Pennsylvania. We primarily hunted deer but the license came with a spring turkey tag which allowed us to hunt wild turkey's. The spring season pretty much encompassed the month of May which is about as good as it can be, I mean cool mornings, which is the time of legal hunting, have to be out of the woods by 1PM, and the afternoons and evening were for the most part very comfortable. So I'm in Pennsylvania with a free afternoon-evening and nothing to do. The light came on and soon a fishing license was purchased and that opened up something to fill said time.

There was a wonderful river that flowed close to the game land I hunted, it's name is the Lackawaxen. A fairly long river and at times a big fast flowing river. The area I would normally fish was a power control river, they would generate and the flows would increase and then the river would return to normal flows. The river was stocked and I am pretty sure it also had some wild fish.

Along its banks was a fishing shop, fly shop and a place where you could get some very valuable info on what was going on. On one trip to the river I stopped in and talked to the gent in the shop. The river had been good to me as far as catching fish. I was armed with the necessary flies and pretty much thought that was all that was needed. At the time I was not tying my own flies so when he suggested I try these which he referred to as "emergers" to quote him "there the best producers here". So I purchased several of them and went about my way. Making a long story short they were indeed the finest fly production wise I ever bought. An example "make ten casts and you had three hits" usually leading to a fish. This ratio was not always the norm but it was close.

This is that fly, as I remembered it. It's tied on a slightly different hook, for I don't think these hook were available. I do remember it was a log shank hook though.

This last fly was tied on a standard dry fly hook just to show a difference from the longer shank hook.

I don't know if the shop is still in business, for the last time I was there was in 2011.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Moby Dick...the Classic

"Moby Dick" the Herman Melville classic that was required reading by my generation...there I go aging myself. But i was one of those non-conforming students who thought the movie was much more enjoyable. It was released around 1956 and starred Gregory Peck. It was a great movie and probably can be seen on Turner Classic Movies.

This is the other "Moby Dick"..the fly. It was created by Dave Goulet of Massachusetts and former owner of the Classic and Custom fly shop in New Hartford CT. The fly was originally intended to be a streamer, but I have seen it fished as a dry, and a wet fly. Ken Elmer a guide in MA. ties and fishes it has a wet fly, with considerable success. I favor it tied as a small streamer pretty much as the original. This fly is deadly and is the one fly to fish on CT's Salmon River where for some reason the trout just attack it.

Here's the recipe for this "not to often mentioned killer fly"

Hook, Mustad 38941 #10...Tail, golden pheasant tippets...Body, peacock herl...Hackle, brown...Wing, mallard flank.

The Italian egg cake. That's what my old boss and mentor called it back when I first enjoyed it in 1968. Simple and filling, it's basically eggs and anything else you have.

This one has mushrooms, onions, spinach and grated Romano cheese.