Wednesday, May 29, 2019

True Color And Secret Stuff

Colors are not always what they appear especially when wet. I find this to be especially true when using silk threads in the bodies of flies. Silk has a much richer color and is better suited for bodies then cotton or rayon threads. This spool of YLI orange silk looks very bright when dry, but you will see a much different shade when shown wet. The fly that was tied using silk and a pheasant feather turned out to be quite a fish taker for me over the last several weeks. Oh by the way there is one other material used in the fly and that is "secret stuff"....remember Jack Gartside's famous material?

The "secret stuff"...a coppery rusty spikey blend that is used for the thorax of the fly. I feel this material plays a big part in the flies success.

The fly when dry...sometimes I dub on the heavy loose side and I will also dub it tightly...the loose dub work better.

The fly when wet. You can see the color is more subdued, almost brown. The loose dubbing also moves in the current which adds to the flies effectiveness.

Proof in the pudding. This fine male brook trout was taken yesterday in a stream in eastern Connecticut.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Like a kid again....

I do this many times during the summer months, I visit a favorite place to toss a few flies for some of the most underrated sport that can be had with a fly rod. We all remember catching these fish as kids, well I'm here to tell you I never grew up. The thrill of tangling with these spunky rod benders still hits the mark. The fish is the sunfish. These guys are found in most every pond, lake or slower moving rivers. They are willing to take any fly presented, they will put a substantial bend in your fly rod and they are so very pretty. I enjoyed the few hours last week fishing for these guys, it's just like it was when I was a kid with one exception, I didn't have to get dirty hands digging up the worms.

If you get the chance to fish for sunnies please do so. Then go home and read some comic books....

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Spend some time....

I don't write a lot of words in my posts. I like the reader to draw his or hers own conclusions that they can draw from the photos presented. Places that I walk through, places I fish and those I encounter along the way are what I love. I would like to quote a beautiful few words by Kathy Scott from her book "Brook Trout Forest"....The commonality between learning and adventure is the search; both lead to a richer, fuller life.....simple words that have inspired me.

Brook Trout Forest.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Red Brook 2019

Jeanette and I spent some time this week at a favorite place of ours, the salter streams of Cape Cod. After having breakfast we headed to the first stream on our list. Arriving there I spotted a familiar truck, one that's used by Mass. Fisheries. Seeing this I knew what they were doing and what I was to expect. Walking down to the stream I saw biologist Steve Hurley and several of his crew doing a survey. We talked for a while and he informed me they were going to working the stream for a couple of days. I asked him about his plans for Red Brook and he told me they had done it last week. That made me happy for I knew it would be great to fish. So I bid farewell to Steve and left for Red Brook.

The Lyman cottage at the entrance to Red Brook. A welcome sight to us for it almost gives us that feeling of coming home. We have been visiting Red Brook several times a year for more than ten years and have enjoyed it's beauty. Lot's of history here going back well over a century. A great many of people our responsible for the success of this unique fishery and the land which it flows through. Every time I visit here and write about it I give my sincere thanks to those that make my days here memorable.

Red Brook in the morning. First ten casts I had two hook-ups and lost both fish. These brook trout are crafty. They use every bit of cover to their advantage.

Soon I was able to actually bring one to hand. A true wonder of the natural world...A Red Brook wild one...What plans does nature have for him?

Typical enhancement of Red Brook. This fallen tree does so much for the safety of the salters as well as keeping the stream scoured.

It also will gift you a wild salter if you manage to get your fly near that sweet spot.

Spring is in full swing and everywhere you look you see color. Flowers of almost every color along with a chorus of birds makes you feel this is the "best day of your life"

Jeanette and I have said many times that Red Brook is worth the visit anytime and even if one does not catch a fish you'll still be better for your effort.

You can fish a spot like this and say there has to be fish here but you have never even taken a hit here. Then the day comes when that changes and you almost forget what to do. A determined salter rocks your world.

The fish has obviously been in the bay. His color is now changing. He has been eating well and is now looking to move upstream to cooler waters. The streamer moves by and he strikes it. A run starts and soon he nears a tangle. I do my best to move him from it and succeed only to have him reverse direction and head downstream to another tangle. The battle continues but I mange to get the upper hand. Soon he is at hand. A feeling of victory does not come over me, but instead I feel blessed to be able to slide my hand under him. As I remove the fly and see him bolt for cover I realize that I have held a miracle of of nature. Be well friend, may our paths cross again.

A great many people and groups to thank here....The Lyman Family, The Sea-Run Brook Trout Coalition, Massachusetts Div. Of Fish, Trout Unlimited, Trustees of Reservations and so many individuals who gave and continue to give so much for these beautiful unique fish.

For more information on this wonderful place click on the links.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Can it ever be duplicated? I think not.

When the brook trout was created the artist's finest hour was realized.
We'll see you in a few days.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wild Brookies And Wild Browns part 2

I have written several posts about a stream that has shown a slight reversal in a normal trend. That trend is the strong return of wild brook trout to a stream that is a wild brown trout stronghold. I've noticed this shift over the last couple of years. At first is was subtle, and the brookies were small but this year there are more and bigger brookies. I can't explain this and perhaps my writing about this may jinx the revival, "my luck" and "I hope not"...

I was on that stream last week and found an assortment of browns and brookies. They were scattered over a wide range of areas. They were taking dries on the surface as well as soft-hackles.

What perfect water. As you can imagine those large rocks held a trout behind them.

Lovely sights on this spring morning.

This brookie took a soft-hackle. I could almost visualize her following it as it drifted downstream. Then as it stopped and pulsed in the current she slammed it.

Dry fly water.

I'll check back on this stream over the summer and see how it fares. I'm hopeful this trend continues.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Some food for thought.....

Pepperoni that wonderful dry Italian sausage that most of us love. Here's my thoughts on this spicy stick. What you have to get past is the urge to pick up that twin pack you see in the grocery store, you know the one hanging on a rack without refrigeration. Man that stuff is nasty. Find yourself a store that offers bulk pepperoni. It comes in a 10lb box and it is packed loose, no cry-o-vac package. This is the real stuff. Most Italian delis stock this pepperoni, and some supermarkets will have it available. When you get it home just wrap it in paper, waxed paper is good and keep it in the refrigerator. When buying pepperoni like this the one thing you'll notice right away is there is no red oily stuff purging from it. Just dry spicy goodness.

Here's a good simple dish that is comprised of ground venison Knorr pasta sides and some sliced yellow squash and onion. Use a pound of venison which you will brown in some oil. In another pan prepare two packages of Knorr pasta sides according to directions. When the venison is cooked remove it to a dish. Add your sliced squash with onions to the pan and cook. In a casserole dish put the pasta mix in, then add the venison with the squash and onion and a half cup of milk. Mix it well. Sprinkle top with some cheddar cheese and place in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

You can use any type of ground meat you like, as well as Knorr rice sides. Experiment, it's so delicious.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Meet Mr. and Mrs.

This has been a bountiful spring here in Connecticut. In terms of rainfall and brook trout I can't remember a better year. I was out poking around a stream on Saturday and found some willing fish. My thoughts were to fish dry flies, which I did but were not taken the way I thought they would. Another lesson learned in brook trout forest. As you can see from the picture the stream was clear and bright. The flow was perfect with water from bank to bank. It's funny that with so much water and so many places to swim the brookies still like their familiar places to hang out.

One of many dry flies I used this day. Not a one brought a fish to hand.

This handsome fellow is Mr. Fontinalis....look carefully at him and compare to Mrs. Fontinalis below.

These days are what "real fishing" is all about.

Meet Mrs. beautiful and a perfect match to Mr. Fontinalis.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


As I look out my window I see the rains falling. It is a light and gentle rain which makes one feel sleepy. Then the tempo picks up and it's pouring to the point that visibility is hampered. There are times when rain can present problems, to that I say I'm sorry. But now I look upon the water falling from the gray clouds as a true blessing. Without going into the benefits to all that the rain gives I now concentrate on the benefits it brings to the brook trout. So important it is to the actual life of this native. It requires the purity that rainwater can deliver. The sheer volume of rain does determine the movements of the brookie. It brings large amounts of various foods both aquatic and land based. It is a time of plenty for this native and I can't say if he really knows that this is happening, but I know I do and that I'm glad to see as much rain as we can possibly receive.

It's all perspective.