Monday, July 30, 2018

"Bill's Brook" the right choice.

It was another Friday and a outing was planned by Mike and myself to fish the Farmington river. The days prior were rain filled ones and Friday looked to be the best day of the week. Arriving at the river I looked to see some very fast and somewhat high waters flowing. This type of water flow may be fine to fish for some but it was not to my liking. Talking it over with Mike about a couple of options we had, which were more than likely better then the Farmington, we chose to take option number one.

"Bill's Brook"..the lovely stream that comes off a mountain and flows through a forest of mixed hardwoods and hemlocks. A stream that is gentile in places and tough in others. As it would turn out Bill's Brook would be the right choice this day.

The brook was up from previous rains, and this would be a great thing. Being prepared for fishing the Farmington we had some big water rods. Mike had a eight and a half foot rod, and I a seven footer, not ideal small stream rods but we made them work.

Mike's first fish of the day. A stunning brook trout that took a "Bomber"

These flowers were in bloom all along the stream. They rivaled the brookies in their colors.

Fishing this fast run I managed to poke a couple but they were unable to take the fly.

My first wild jewel of the day. Incredible that a "Bomber" in it's mouth?

We continued to fish the stream for a couple of hours, impressed with the numbers and tenacity of the wild trout.

Mike and I walked away from Bill's Brook with a smile on our faces. We were blessed with a fine day, enjoying the spirits of the stream.

Saturday, July 28, 2018


.....used wisely.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The BA Caddis...Try One

The "BA Caddis" is a fly I first tied about five years ago. I was looking for a dry fly large enough to fish larger waters such as the Farmington river and especially the western Maine rivers namely the Magalloway, and the Rapid. The fly could also serve the angler on lakes and ponds for other fish. The opportunity to fish the larger rivers presents itself several times a year and the BA Caddis is put into service but most times I'm fishing small streams so I fish this fly and I'm happy to say it works well there too.

The fly looks similar to an elk hair caddis or a muddler and carries a little of both in its construction. It's tied on a streamer hook usually size 10 or 12, it has a tail, dubbed body which colors, that's varies, a yellow underwing, and the main wing is elk hair or deer hair.

Below are a few variations of the BA can see the different body colors and wing colors.

One of the larger brook trout to take the BA Caddis.

My personal best Farmington river wild brook trout. It took the BA Caddis in a swift section near the bank.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Farmington Outing....thanks Mike

Last Friday I had the pleasure of fishing with old friend Mike Stephens. We had fished before and Mike tells me it was two years ago. Wow that long ago, well I found that hard to believe seeing that our email conversations and photo exchanges happen much more regularly. We met at the Farmington river to fish some real uncrowded waters, which is rare these days. The river was at her best flowing at a very comfortable pace and she was clear as can be. Mike had a wonderful task to perform this day and that task was to fish a special bamboo rod that was given to him by a friend that had passed on. The rod was beautiful as you can see in the photos and I knew it meant so much to Mike that he was able to this in tribute to his friend.

Mike in full concentration mode. He had several fish rising and was trying very hard to dupe them into grabbing his offering. By the way I had the chance to fish that bamboo rod and I'll describe it a "so sweet".....

M. Stephens Photo
Mike is also a great photographer as you'll see from his photos.

M. Stephens Photo

Mike into a trout.

A Farmington river brook trout, a bomber fly and a happy angler.

M. Stephens Photo
Mid morning I hooked into a brown, that fish went airborne several times and Mike managed to catch one of his leaps on camera.

M. Stephens Photo
A beautiful brown trout taken on a Neversink skater. It was a fine day fishing with you Mike....back at it soon buddy.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fishing with "Mama" and "Papa".......

Fooling around with some pheasant feathers last week I put together a couple of flies. Basically they are pretty much the same with the exception of their thorax and the feather used for the hackle. I tied "mama" using a hen pheasant feather and "papa" was tied using a rooster feather. Both bodies were Peasall's red silk, "mama" had a thorax of olive squirrel dubbing, and "papa" had a thorax of black squirrel.

A major feature of the rooster feather was the barring, it was more pronounced where as the hen feather more subdued. I fished both flies on a rising small stream last week and found some very interesting facts.


I tried to give each fly equal time and locations of the stream.


This day the edge went to "mama"....both flies took some beautiful brook trout.

The competition between "mama" and "papa" will continue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"So good"

Highs and lows, middle ground, turn down the heat, and lets work together. Now I know it sounds like a political speech but it's not. What I'm talking about is the condition of the small streams. 2014 and 2015 were brutal, water flows were almost non existent in some streams and the temps were at lethal numbers. I thought that these back to back years would have a permanent effect on the health of the stream and the populations of wild trout that live in them. A turn around in conditions starting in 2016 and continuing through 2017 have brought back our streams to very near ideal. And I'm glad to say that 2018 is being kind so far.

The streams I fish are flowing nicely. I have found that most of them have had decent spawning cycles the past years and lots of little brookies have been seen. A good mix of yearling and older fish is a great sign.

In the streams I frequent the water temps have not exceeded 62 degrees and most of them are below 60.

We have had rainfall when needed, last night there was an awesome turn on, the faucet ran for hours and will help maintain or bring up levels in the streams. Now I realize it is only mid July and things could change, but with a very hot summer so far and conditions like they are now I'm very positive about the future. Fingers crossed as always.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

In the good old summertime.....

Deep into summer, the heat is on. There are some comforts though and I don't mean air conditioning. Local produce. This is why I love this time of year. Raisin cinnamon bread. Found this tasty loaf at one of the farm stands nearby. This can't be made commercially because it requires love. And I love it for breakfast.

Simple salad. Local pickling cukes, red radishes, and slivers of parmesan cheese with a touch of olive oil.

Roasted vegetables...pick what you like. Here is red and sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic. Toss in some fresh herbs salt and pepper and toss with olive oil. Bake until tender and enjoy with a crusty like summer too.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mid-Summer Blue Linning

A couple of hours spent on a stream in mid July was about as good as it gets. My outing started about 9am, brookies like to sleep in and I firmly believe this because of my experience over many years. The sun was out and it had been shinning for several hours but the air was still very cool. As I reached the easy part of the path that leads to the brook I saw several flowers coming into bloom, they are such wonderful sights.

The stream was at typical summer flows and the water a comfortable 60 degrees. Some of the fish were located in the shadows and some were in the sun. One day I might figure out why they do stuff like that.

The day was dedicated to fishing Tenkara style flies. While most of them were fished like soft-hackles some of them received a bit of Gink to make them skid on the surface. The brookies loved them fished either way.

This is the rod I fish most of the time. Here is a little story. I placed the rod down on the log so I could free up my hands so as to be able to best navigate my way around the fallen tree. Well I managed to get around it OK but when I reached around for my rod I grabbed some "big" thorns..ouch. I still have one in my thumb, it broke off and I'm trying to dig it out.

There is a lot of action in these flies. Folks try one or two of these and you will not believe the results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"Tight Lines My Friend"

On July 1st I lost a good friend. A fellow by the name of Pete, to those who read this blog he was known as "TROUT1"....I met Pete one evening while fishing the Farmington river. Pete was driving by and had to take care of business. He pulled onto a dirt road and noticed a car parked in the trees. Taking care of business he noticed the marker plate which read "BRK TRT"...saying to him self "if that guy is fishing here I know there are trout there". Pete found his way to where I was fishing and we introduced ourselves. We talked for sometime until I had to leave. Pete stayed and probably caught the fish I never did. As I reached the the road I saw his truck. Reaching for my fly box I pulled a couple of "bombers" out and taped them to his window. Well that evening started a friendship that lasted many years. This story was told to the doctor by Pete who along with me were at his bedside in the last days of his life.

Pete was gracious man and always had a story to share. He was one of the most knowledgeable anglers who fished the Farmington river. He was also quite a small stream specialist. He was a master at all forms of fly fishing, and was deadly with a fly known as the "beadhead soft-hackled pheasant tail" he fished that fly any stream,river anytime of year and did is successfully. I will miss him dearly.

Pete fishing the "black hole" as he named it.

One of our annual gatherings on "New Years Day"...Pete was an original member of the "crew"

This was a photo I took of Pete fishing a small stream. The name of the stream was the "family secret"....A couple of months ago I had it framed and I sent it to Pete. As I entered the hospice room where Pete was I noticed that photo right on the window sill next to his bed.

A brook trout Pete caught on that beautiful October day.

A great day...we had fished all together. It was a small stream "two fly" contest.

Opening Day 2018...this was the last day we all fished together...I will always remember the times we tossed a fly in each others company. "Tight lines my friend"