Friday, September 29, 2017

Good morning, good coffee and a few different flies....

Today is National Coffee Day, and I'm celebrating with several cups of my favorite brew. It's Nantucket Blend from Green Mountain Coffee. I enjoy it black, for that's the way to really get the true taste of coffee, "my opinion only" know when you open a bag of coffee and you are greeted with that gorgeous smell, well that's how black coffee tastes. Lots of great deals out there today at local coffee sellers....go for it folks.

Here is an interesting pattern. I found this in a book given to me by a faithful follower of this blog. The book is "Limestone Legends"...the pattern is called the "Madsen". The fly was originated by Michigan angler Earl Madsen. The fly found favor on the famous limestone streams of Pennsylvania. They say the fly is perfect for those warm summer days when the fish would take it as a land based insect that had been blown into the water.

And seeing how we are headed south at least from Connecticut here is another pattern from the southern Appalachians. The fly is called "Corey's Calf Tail"....the caption in the book calls it a "great" attractor's said it fishes well at dusk and in larger sizes.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Seasonal Changes Along A Small Stream

Clear water, trout will be found along the shady bank
As the season changes some notice very little of it. Yeah football starts, baseball is going to it's post season and a tree or two has started to show color. Life along a small stream as well as in the stream show those changes as well. The water levels are dropping, rain is needed but it is not that bad. The waters have cooled and with the lower flows the clarity of the stream is magnified. The last few outings are shown here and you will see them. Please enjoy.

Contrasts....colored leaf, brown bug.

A tad more orange and this jewel will be ready to meet a mate.

A peaceful place to cast a fly. A strike could come from anywhere.

See what I could and it did.

The wild brook trouts greatest need, cold clean flowing water.

Unpretentious...a wild brookie and a simple fly.

While about the woods stop and pickup a few wild hickory nuts. Spend some time cracking and picking and....

And someone might take them and put them into some gingerbread. And the best of it is this blogger can enjoy some as I finish this.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Reversed Soft Hackle Flies aka "Kebari"

The reversed tied soft hackle fly, and known by it's other name Kebari. Tenkara has brought these simple flies to the forefront here in America over the years. Tenkara is a very old form of fly fishing from Japan. It is highly effective and I believe it has a great deal to do with the flies used and the way they are presented. I do not fish the traditional Tenkara style but I do use the Kebari style of fly. These flies are simple in construction, using a few materials one can create many forms of insect life.

Below are a few of the Kebari, reversed soft hackle flies that I tie and use.

"Yellow Body Dun"...yellow thread forms the body, with a dun hackle wrapped in reverse.

"Olive Body, Mottled Hen"...olive thread with a mottled hen feather wrapped in reverse.

"Yellow Body, Peacock and Pheasant"...Yellow Thread, peacock herl, and a pheasant feather wrapped in reversed. Just a note...notice how many variations in color come from the one pheasant feather....the fish do.

"Burlap Body, Peacock and Pheasant"...this fly uses a thread body made of burlap, a peacock thorax and a pheasant feather wrapped in reverse.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Posted here are some images of the wonders that surround the small stream. They may be small wonders but they are very large in the heart and soul of this angler. I hope you can take from these and put the thoughts of what they represent into your days and I truly hope all of you can enjoy the experience for yourself.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trout Flies, That Is Appalachain Trout Flies

From Maine to Georgia there is a mountain chain known as the Appalachian's. They many not be the tallest but I'll wager they are the most beautiful. Some say they're the oldest mountains in the United States. Well that's for those geology folks. Here I'm going to talk of trout flies of the Appalachians, specifically the southern Appalachians. The flies presented here all have several things in common, the most obvious is they are dry flies, and they catch trout. I have taken brook trout in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on these flies. I have a few more states in the Appalachians left in which to fish them.

This is the Orange Palmer. This fly has that simple construction that makes a pleasure to tie. A great fly to use in late summer and fall.

This is a variant of the Orange Palmer. This fly uses only one hackle for the body. It is also tied on a fine wire hook. I like to fish this fly wet.

This fly is the Fore And After. It has the hackle tied in the rear as well as the head of the fly. The pattern calls for the body to be either yellow dubbing or yellow floss.

This is the Rattler, a southern fly. It's quite similar to the Bomber with a few exceptions, one being the body is of black thread.

Now folks can you tell me what's the constant common in all of these beautiful flies?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Does It Ever Get Better?

One day last week I ventured into the forest to seek out solitude and and willing brook trout. The sun was piercing through, its rays touching the wet hemlocks and giving the look of smoke dancing through the woods. The night before the area had received several heavy rain showers which had brought the stream up a bit. Moving along the forest I found myself slipping several times on the wet logs, luckily I never took a spill. The flies of the day were selected at home the night before and they were all dries, keeping it simple.

The seasons changes while not pronounced still can be seen. The little pools and riffles held the wild brook trout I was seeking.

The rod I selected to bring that day was a Cabela's CGR 6'3" 3wt.' I've had the rod for some time and thought why not try it on a small stream. As usual I had no problems with it and even though it was a bit longer than what I was accustomed to.

To sit at such a place, have a coffee, a few PB&J crackers and just reflect.

And when the opportunity presents itself you be graced by one of these wild jewels. Does it ever get better, I think not.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shoulders And "Doctor R"

Here are a few of the many shoulder combinations I use in the construction of Rangeley streamer flies. Each feather is from a different bird, pheasant, partridge, silver pheasant, peacock etc. Then a jungle cock nail is placed on the shoulder feather and when tied on the front of the streamer it gives the appearance of the broad shoulder area of a forage fish. In future posts I'll be using these combinations in the streamers I tie and you'll be able to see how they play in the final fly.

This is "Doctor R"...a Rangeley Streamer.

Hook, Martinek Rangeley Streamer,...Body, orange yarn,...Tag and Rib, flat silver tinsel,...Throat, white hackle, followed by orange hackle fibers,...Wing, two white saddle feathers and two orange saddle feathers,...Shoulder ringneck pheasant feather,...Cheek, jungle cock.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Beef Rib Eye, An Alternative

The beef rib eye, probably the most tender and flavorful cut of beef. These steaks are absolute heaven when grilled. There is one drawback and that is there cost. I know you can find them on sale from time to time and that's a good thing, only there sale price is a bit high for my liking. So I'm going to give you an alternative that you'll find to be just as tender and tasty as beef rib eye for about a $ 1.69 a pound. Behold the alternative.

The rib end of pork. I get them on sale for the price of 1.69 a pound. They are bone in 7 rib cut. I take them home bone them out, which is not hard to do and prepare them by slicing them into cuts that can be grilled. The slices can be thick or thin depending on what you like. The leaner cuts, they come from the ribs closer to the center can be used as pork chops, which I love to "shake and bake" and the chops with the cap on them seen above are what I grill. There is more fat on these cuts and that's OK, for you can trim it off. I grill them with the fat on and prefer to trim the fat off after cooking.

Perfection...there are never any leftovers when these come off the grill. Season them with what ever you like, a salad and an ear of corn..oh man.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Of Sore Backs, Scraped Elbows, And Knee Deep Bogs, A Day In Brook Trout Forest

This was an adventure into "brook trout forest" area located in northwest Connecticut. I have been fishing this stream for over 25 years and it's had it's fluctuations both in fish size and quantity. The one constant has been there is no development, other than a large beaver population. I have enjoyed this stream and it's wild surroundings and now I have other areas in which to try my hand at namely the beaver ponds that have been created.

The first beaver pond I came upon was quite beautiful. The sun was working through the dense hemlock forest that dominates the area. The waters are dark and well stained with tannin. I new that dry flies were not going to work very well here at least not from the start. I have a few nymphs I carry and that's what I chose to tie on.

On my second cast into the pond I felt a hard strike, "brookie on", not so. This beautiful fellow came to hand. His colors were as beautiful as any brook trout and I was thrilled that I took a fish before I snagged the nymph on the bottom. I continued to fish that pond hoping for a brook trout but all that responded to the nymph were several dace.

I moved further up the beaver pond until I was near to where the stream enters. The dace were many but there were also a few substantial hits that told me there are other fish here.

My thoughts were proven right when I fooled my first brookie of the day. She was a dark specimen and even the sunlight did little to brighten her up. I was to take several more brookies here and slightly upstream until I stepped into a very boggy area and found myself in knee deep nasty mud. Very slow and very cautious moves finally freed me from the mess.

The stream while small has it's nice deep pools, pardon, nice "dark" deep pools. In this one I found several willing natives to brighten the day.

A Connecticut wild one. The fly may look a bit odd, I'm sure Mark can identify it. It was the fly of the day.

I took several stream temps and found 48-50 degree water through out.

Sun spot on a tannin stream. Needless to say this stream winds through acres of hemlocks. What is it with hemlocks and brook trout. I guess they're buddies for life.

The brookies seemed to get more beautiful as I worked upstream. Each pocket or plunge held one.

I did fish a dry fly from time to time but received a cold response from the natives.

These jewels preferred there food below the surface. A few soft-hackles also brought some action.

This was the last beaver pond of the outing. It looked good but not a cast was made. That will remain so until I visit "brook trout forest" again.