Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Bench Time, My Time

It is on evenings such as this. Dark and chilly. Supper has been eaten, a fine stew it was. Kenny G is playing and a hot coffee is beside me as I type. On the bench is some "Secret Stuff" nearby several piles of colored marabou and a fellow who has a vivid imagination. As fly tyers we have been conditioned to tie the flies of proven patterns. There are those who choose to do this and a variation from written recipe is looked upon as, well I'll not say. I have never really held or towed the line that many tyers do. I have always loved to be creative in my tying. To take what may be in your mind and pick up some feathers, hooks, and thread and create what may be the fly that will take the most beautiful fish you have ever caught. I enjoy fly tying as a form of personal expression, much like art.

A short shank hook, some secret stuff, a plume of yellow marabou and a few turns of mallard. This fly will catch bass, trout, steelhead and catfish.

White marabou, followed by red marabou, with Jungle Cock. Again creativeness that will catch a multitude of fish.

The fly when wet takes on the likeness of a bait fish. The shape along with the subtle flash of the secret stuff along with the seductive movement of the marabou make these flies irresistible.

"Halloween"....have a safe and fun trick or treat day.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Memory Brought Back

Jeanette and I paid a visit to a stream that holds lots of memories for me. It was a magnificent Autumn day a day much like I remember when last I fished it with my friend. Jeanette and I walked up and down the section of stream just looking and thinking. It's amazing how clear your thoughts are when you are on the spot where they took place. I plan on fishing here soon. With help I may even catch a brook trout...

Friday, October 25, 2019

Stream Check...OK

Back at it again this week visiting a couple of more streams to see how they held up during low water times of August -September. The first stream is a high gradient, big boulder type in certain sections. It's flow now is perfect and I was quite pleased on the reception my dry fly received. There were times when it took strikes on several successive drifts. It was nice to see the little pockets holding so many brookies. Keep in mind that these fish were small but they were strong and beautiful.

In this pool I thought I would pluck a monster out of, and I did. Keeping in mind that monster may be a stretch. Is that not a gorgeous pool.

Now this is a small stream brookie. Happy I was.

That hemlock thing again. Here is where I ran into the land owner. A friendly fellow. Permission granted and he told me of another stream that I could fish. That stream was about 10 miles away from where we were but I will check it out in the next few weeks.

And in that hemlock pool I found this guy. I left stream 1 content that the brookies survived the summer.

Stream #2...looks good. One issue I noticed right off was the amount of woody debris. Now this was an issue for me but I'm sure the brook trout loved it.Floating leaves were also a bit of a problem.

In a plunge pool I found this jewel. I know it's not visible but he had a pronounced hump on his back. This humpback is a trait I've found on the brook trout in Maine. Another stream I'm satisfied did not suffer to much, and should be fine going forward.

A security issue, a little insurance. That little black "O" ring you see on the reel foot...peace of mind. Thanks Jack.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Troubling For Sure

Over the past ten days or so I have been visiting some streams that are favorites of mine. I have been checking how they have fared over the summer months. This past August and September have been dry and with low rain falls it might have presented problems for the trout. Two of the streams I checked were doing fine. Water flows now are OK and the fish were active and healthy. Apparently these streams had enough rain, from thunderstorms, that kept the flows good enough during that dry spell.

The other day I fished a third stream, one that I have not fished since late June. The stream was flowing beautifully and the water was strikingly clear. The stream is quite long and many areas are super brookie spots. In the years I have fished this stream I have not seen anybody else fish it. It is a popular hike with folks and I have seen and talked to many people over the years.

This photo is about the mid-way point of this stream. I fish slow so by the time I reached here it was an hour and a half of fishing...ready for this. Not one strike, not a single trout spooked, it was dead. The next two hours of fishing yielded one strike and one fish. I don't know what happened here, maybe this stream had gone dry at some point. Obviously something bad happened. I will revisit the stream come late November and see if anything changes.

The one brookie caught this day. She appears to be in excellent condition. I hope she is not the last.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Gold And Mahogany Of October

This time of year it's easy to get caught up in the magnificent colors that abound. Most everybody favors those striking reds and brilliant oranges which seem to highlight most of the pictures of a New England countrysides. Well friends let me tell you of a couple of other colors that I favor. Those colors are the various golds and the regal mahogany. While fishing a blue line last week those two colors seem to dominate. My eyes could not get enough of these colors. Every time I gazed out along the stream there was gold and mahogany.

Like the reds and oranges, colors which are prevalent on brook trout, gold and mahogany are prevalent on wild brown trout.

Rich colors highlight this little brown.

The stream was in tip top condition. The only fly used today was a muddler variant fished dry.

Impressive, strong and handsome. Notice the deep brown color of the fins on this brown.

A wind blown branch lies in the sweet spot of this run....get the fly in there and usually there's a fish.

And there was.

Fiber optic? It was a great day out there. The gold and mahogany, foliage and wild browns.

Friday, October 18, 2019

"Oh nuts"....

When I started this blog which is now going on ten years now.{ A little correction here. The blog will be actually 10 years old in April 2020. I'm sorry if I misled you.} I wanted a few lines to describe what it was about, what I was about and hopefully what those readers of my blog would enjoy and maybe could relate to it as I do. The subtitle states "for those who love small streams, wild trout and life....in their simplest form.

Thanks to followers of SSR's I think that sub title applies to you....and it's appreciated.

Simplicity...wild hickory nuts. They are fun to seek out while walking through the woods. Some years they are plentiful, like this year, and you will fill a bag in no time. Gather lots of them for they're not all grade A and you will discard quite a few.

When cracked open they reveal a beautiful tasty nut. Once and awhile you'll even get a nut that comes out in a solid piece. Jeanette and I cracked a few nuts yesterday and mixed them into a gingerbread.

Gingerbread, served warm or cold it's great. A scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and a cup of coffee....such a simple pleasure.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Small Stream

What a month to be in New England. Every possible minute that I can be outdoors I take advantage of it. I wish all of you can experience what I have. While I know that is not possible I would like to share an outing or two with you. I will start by telling you that I'm in Connecticut, and the small stream is located in a small town, really small. I have to walk along this lovely row of colored leaves which leads to the stream. The field produces an aroma that I can't put into words. With exception of a strong breeze I can hear nothing. As I get closer to the brook I can hear it's waters moving over the rocks.

The waters of this tiny brook tumble down through a forest of color. Lot's of gold and red. The white bark of the birch stand out, and the leaf litter in and along the stream sparkle.

Within the stream are wild brook. Are they of impressive size? That is not necessary, what is impressive is their colors, and their ability to find suitable places to carry on. At this time of year their appetite is unreal...look at that caddis.

The bottom of this pool was amber, the leaves created a spectacular sight. And moving about it's waters was a gentle-soul in search of a mate.

I wish I could give you the name of this stream. I can't do that but what I'll do is say stop and think of a favorite stream of yours and you will find the stream written about today...

Monday, October 14, 2019

Columbus Day, And A Few Thoughts

Good morning. Being of Italian heritage Columbus Day is a nice, quiet and very filling day. The day will start with "spinach and eggs", great coffee as always. Supper will no doubt feature a special dish which will include pasta. I can't wait.

Fly boxes. Over the years I have had quite a few and I know most of you have also. Mine have run the gambit from Classic Wheatley, to Plano plastic and the multitude of foam boxes. Well here is my take on what you should own. This is just my opinion.

C&F fly boxes are my number 1. I have had them now going on 15 years. Models like the one shown here to those threader boxes. These boxes are almost indestructible, just don't leave them on the dashboard of your car in the sun, they tend to warp. That aside they are a value that is hard to beat. The size I use is perfect for a small stream guy. It will fit most any pocket and the edges are rounded so they slide in and out with ease.

As you can see, "not very organized" sorry for that. But it holds a lot of flies everything from streamers to nymphs. Sizes from 8 to 18 are snugly held, and the rows are spaced so as to not crush the hackles.

The book "Brook Trout" by Nick Karas. If you have not read this book I say "why not"...even if you don't fish for these jewels this book will enlighten you to the remarkable history that surrounds this native char. The book has been in print for many years so I'm certain one can be found. Buy it, read it and enjoy.

SLF dubbing...look at that little bit of sparkle in the mix. Enough said....A SSR's favorite.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

An October Morning

As I'm writing this post I'm looking out my window at a large majestic maple tree that's on fire. The red and orange mix are gorgeous. It is a sight like so that gets me in the mood to look for a few brook trout. The other day in a soft rain I fished a lovey stream. Within it's quiet pools were brookies just waiting for that right moment to move forward with their mission to start the life cycle and renew it's population. The rain drop had a calming effect on me as well as the brook trout. So calming was this effect that I did not receive a bump from a brookie which I knew were present. As I moved and as the morning progressed the dinner bell was sounded and the brookies started feeding. Dry flies were working well and the selection used were very well known.

Full color on this one. Very healthy.

You just know that within this pool there has to be a fish. Actually there were two in there.

I would love to say that I brought the two of them to hand, that was not to be, but the one I did was worth it. A day to remember in this month of October.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Plans and Rain and Black and White

I'm still old school when it comes to finding places to fish. I pull out the paper maps and start checking those blue lines especially the ones that do not have a paved road to access them. One very important fact when it comes to the description of the roads which are a bit exaggerated a bit. Several maps show those broken lines which when you check the map legend state the road is unimproved. What it should say is that it's impossible to move forward without a helicopter. These unimproved roads some of which have gullies and ruts that can destroy your car. And then there are those old barbed wire fences that have been over grown with ground foliage. I have taken many a nasty spill on these fences, luckily I was not cut open. Many times I'll drive into these areas until I feel uncomfortable, I'll then park the car and walk to the area I want to fish.

We have and are still getting much needed rains. All day yesterday and through the day today rain will continue. This will likely cause movement of spawning trout which has been on hold for awhile.

A streamer photo that I ran across. I don't know much about it with exception of a Coq de Leon feather used in the wing. 

Sometimes I like to see some of my photos in black and white. The way they looked so many years ago.