Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Bomber, A B52 Bomber That Is

While flipping through the pages of the latest issue of Atlantic Salmon Journal I found an article about some very interesting deer hair salmon dry flies. Naturally it grabbed hold of my interest and I just had to try my hand at tying some. The Bomber, a salmon dry fly. I could not find the origin of it but I did find there was someone who had called it a "cigar butt". The bomber is not an easy fly to tie, and it is as messy a fly as I have ever tied. The amount of deer hair used for the body is incredible. The shaping of the fly can give a person a bout of insanity. I came close to creating a few new cuss words while tying this fly.

Just a few ingredients make up the list. Calf tail, deer hair and dry fly hackle. The deer hair is tied in 5 segments from back to front. Man that is tough. I did tie a couple of them to test and I hope the trout will find them worthy of striking them.

Here are 2 Bombers I tied. One has a calftail wing and tail the other has Aero Dry wing and tail. I'll let you guess which one I tied first. They tell me that the more you tie these the better you get at it...well..

The Ausable Bomber...a comfort zone for sure. A fly everyone should have in their box.

The Ausable Bomber in watercolor. I believe this was the work of Joel DeJong. He is an artist and successfully ran a blog named "A Year On The Fly" each day for a year he posted a fly on that blog. That my friends is an accomplishment.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Soft-Hackles On The Farmington

Autumn is moving into position in a fine way. Some of the turning leaves are brilliant and a sense of excitement is growing as we move closer to that "glorious season"...A recent outing on the Farmington river when that taste of fall presented itself in many ways. The early morning chill was evident. I was prepared with a flannel shirt to help temper that cold sting. The chill would ease as the sun took hold and it turned into the perfect day. I have been fishing streamers the last couple of visits to the Farmington especially early on. The success of my efforts have not come forth as of yet, but I'll continue that "streamer first" plan for I know it will work.

I tied on a soft-hackle and stayed with them the rest of the time. I did change colors and sizes but the soft-hackle was the style of fly. You can see pretty clearly the seam created between the fast water and the soft water. I love fishing such places. Varying currents make a soft-hackle come alive. Sometimes the fish hold in the soft water but most times they are in the fast water.

A brook trout taken in the slack water. Several more came from that slick.

In fast water I'll cast the soft-hackle upstream and mend. This gives me a few yards of a nice natural drift before the hackles collapse.

This rainbow who has been in the river for some time grabbed the fly just as it hit the water. It ran and it jumped multiple times. It stayed in the fast water which made the battle a little tougher. In the end a truce was formed and a picture taken and off it went.

Back to that seam again. Same method, a soft-hackle and a brook trout. The fly was cast into the fast water and drifted into the soft water. On the third cast I saw the fish come out of the fast water and move to fly. At the last moment it backed off and returned to the fast water. Several more casts later he did the same thing only this time he grabbed the fly....strong fish.

When he finally came to hand I was taken back at the size of him. A true survivor and a gift that does not happen often. Back into the river he went and a "thank you" was given.

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Artistry Of Armando

A week or so ago I did a post on what I like to do on some evenings. Listening to some music and tying flies perhaps enjoying a good book along with a cup of coffee. In the comment section after that post a comment made by Armando Milosevic peaked my interest. He said he like to draw sketches in that quiet time we all treasure. I responded to Armando I would love to see some of his sketches. He responded and sent me quite a few. I was so impressed with his work I asked if I could share them with the readers of "Small Stream Reflections"...the OK was given. I would like to point this out first. The readers of SSR's are anglers, fly tyers and lovers of the outdoors. And while the objective maybe to catch fish the readers of SSR's appreciate other aspects of angling and that includes some fine art.

A bit about Armando, he hails from Tierra del Fuego. He is an angler an fly tyer. I first met Armando on Chris Del Plato's Streamer List many years ago where streamers were featured by many. Since then he has commented many time here and other sites. Polite and informative with a "hug" at the end. In the months ahead I will feature a sketch of Armando's and it will be the photo right after the comment section.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Farmington River And Yellow Sally

Early morning as I walk down the bank. The sun is doing it's best to burn off the chill and make an anglers bones feel good. The Farmington river is flowing at just my speed. The MDC has just increased the flow and hopefully the change in flow will turn on the fish. The rules are such that a high water push turns on the trout, but the trout don't always follow the rules. I had tied up some Yellow Sally's The other day and was anxious to give them a test. Large elk hair caddis have always worked for me at this time of year. The Yellow Sally looks like a big caddis but is in fact a stonefly. Large stimulators also work as a good stonefly. I remember some fantastic days in Maine in late September using stimulators. So on went a size 12 Sally. I fished that fly for a long time and there was no response. Off came Sally and on went Tomah Joe. Third cast and "bam" a nice hit. Several more casts and fish on.

A beautifully spotted wild brook trout. The wet flies produced several more brookies to hand.

So I moved to another location and I tied on the Yellow Sally hoping for better results. It worked, it floated nice and it brought a fish to the surface and that was it. So I changed to a soft-hackle, a yellow bodied pheasant feather soft-hackle. I stayed with that fly for the next hour and was happy.

Yellow Sally did not work, but Yellow Sal did. My next outing on the Farmington will find me fishing side channels. It's been a long time since last I fished these places.

A scrambled egg, fried red peppers, toast and coffee...good morning friends.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sage Rod, Yellow Sallies And A Spider

For close to ten years this Sage rod has sat in my rod rack. It's a splendid piece, and I fished it for several hours yesterday. The rod is a 7' 2 piece for a 3wt line. It has a copper finish which I think is beautiful. The cork handle is flawless and very comfortable. While it can be fished on small streams I purchased the rod to fish on the Farmington river where I fished it yesterday. It did everything I asked of it.

Yellow Sallies...waiting to give these a workout. Tied on size 12 and 14 hooks.

A "spider"....

Monday, September 16, 2019

Still at it......

Over the last week we have been visiting a few of our haunts both fishing and walking. The days have been warm and the skies sunny and clear for the most part. This time of year is so sweet to be outdoors. The change in scenery, the animal movements, and for some reason the Hummingbirds have been so visible this year. It seems they are everywhere. The streams depending on where you are can be low or normal. Some of them were quite nice in their flows and the brookies are active. A key factor in the small streams is that they all have been very cool.

You know how much I love fishing places like this. I can usually find one or two willing fish here.

As you can see dry flies are the bread and butter selection now.

The "never fail run"...and it lived up to it's name this day.

Lovely little creature. I never get tired of catching jewels like this.

"Mossy Pool" one of the most problematic places to drift a fly.

A small stream wild brook trout. The day's ahead are full of promise.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Asters" Along The Farmington

The New England Aster, a most beautiful flower. About this time of year these wild flowers make their debut along the streams I fish. Their dainty petals in a muted purple color are an attraction I find hard to pass. I find that photographs of this flower are like photographs of brook trout do no justice to either one. A trek along a river the other day I found many of the Asters growing in clumps, each flower prettier than the other. I am told the Aster is edible and that the roots were used at one time as medicine. I know when I observe them and spend some time looking at them I get a comforting feeling.

Some where between Barkhamsted and beautiful.

Low water conditions made for difficult the end it turned out just fine.

Maybe I should have fished this fly?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Stream Observation

I have been going around checking on some blue lines to see how they are and how the residents of those blue lines have fared over the summer. On this day I visited a favorite stream that has been a "mainstay" as far as maintaining a stable population of brook trout over the years. Like most wild places the stream has had ups and downs over the years with the worst coming in those consecutive drought years of '15 and '16. It did rebound nicely since and is back to what it once was.

The freestone stream was flowing at normal for this time of year. Water temps checked at 58-60. Thoughts were to fish soft-hackles and dries. The fly selection proved to be right and the brookies responded to both. But I'll tell you the dries were easier to fish.

A special spot on this stream, not for the fish caught but for the absolute beauty of the location.

This brookie and one other were all that came to hand, all others managed to elude know what that's OK. By the way just look at how large the anal fin is on this guy.

As I was photographing this fly two bees circled me and one stung me on the ear...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Some Late Evenings

There are those times in the late evening say after nine when I'll sit at my tying desk. I first rummage through my sparse music collection and select some Tony Bennett or Kenny G. I'll have a cup of Nantucket and a book close by. I'll pick up the thread that is already laying there from a previous session, no need to change color for the belief is it all works at one time. I also have at hand a plastic box with lots of hackle remnants. These are short segments of feathers that I just don't have it in me to throw away so they get put into the box. Usually I can find enough life on them to produces a fly or two so what the hell why not.

So on this evening some brown dubbing and some cream hackle along with some bleached grizzly and the distinct voice of Mr. Bennett I put a few potential fooler's  together.

Friday, September 6, 2019

There's something going on here....

While fishing a small stream a week or so back I came across something very interesting. I'm familiar with this stream so when there is a change I notice it. As you can see in the photos the stream has a nice flow and the temperature was 62. All good for late summer.

As I moved upstream I saw small trees that were cut and dropped into the stream. My first thought was perhaps some mischief going on here.

Further up and another felled tree. This time I noticed a marking tape and several stone mounds placed in the stream. All of these markings led me to believe there was some sort of stream enhancement going on.

I have not contacted the CT DEEP as of yet but I do plan on doing so.

The stream has lot's of willing brookies.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Southern Trout Fly And Old Bagels

A fly who's origins are not quite clear with the exception being it was created in the southern Appalachian mountains. I looked online and found bits and pieces about it. I have a book by Roger Lowe who is a good source of information on southern fly fishing and he does not have this fly listed. Now here it is. Many years ago I came across a poster on trout flies of southern Appalachia. It was issued by the North Carolina Natural Resources Commission. And on that poster is The Smoky Mountain Fork Tail. The photo of the fly along with a brief description and a materials list. The fly is not complicated with the only issue I found was the tying in of the goose biots. The fly is a good floater and it works well as a wet fly.

I tie this fly using two different colored biots, tan and brown. This fly works well on brook trout and I've also taken browns on it.

What to do with a two day old bagel. Toast it up, slather butter on it and place it along side of scrambled eggs and enjoy.