Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Hike....

One day last week we took a little hike into a quiet peaceful state forest. I have been here before during the winter and found moving about a bit difficult. But today it was about perfect. The trail is fairly easy to walk and in some areas it is actually an old road, remnants of asphalt can be seen along with barriers that would prevent autos from sliding down the embankment to the stream. The stream itself was in fair condition considering the tight rainfall of the previous weeks. Thunderstorms can put down a lot of rain and some ares really benefit. The forest is well shaded and the water temps were at 62 degrees.

Parts of this stream were a series of riffles and plunges with a few larger pools. Brookies were seen moving very swiftly as they saw my movement.

Jeanette and camera and fly box and water and snacks. Always there and always ready.

Me and Tiny Ten trying to coax a brookie.

Dark waters, perhaps I'll find a willing one here.

I did find one and the bomber with Tiny Ten took care of matters.

After a great outing like that we had a wonderful meal. A stuffed Cornish hen and....

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Summer Fare And An Answer To Bill Trussell's Question

Zucchini Pancakes
One of the most common summer vegetables is the Zucchini squash. When it's hot these long green beauties can be found on sale in markets and farm stands everywhere. The price can be cheap and I for one take advantage of it. A simple way of fixing zucchini is one that I make often, it includes garlic, tomatoes, onions and zucchini. All baked together. Another way is fried zucchini, this includes sliced squash, bread crumbs, eggs and grated cheese. The squash is fried in oil until golden brown. The issue with this form of preparation is the amount of oil the squash absorbs.

Zucchini pancakes is a better way to fix this squash. It starts with the squash being grated, a bit of baking powder, 2 eggs, salt and pepper, grated cheese and enough flour to help absorb the liquid. If you take the time to drain and squeeze the squash the less flour you'll use. The mixture is placed in a fry pan and cooked until golden brown. Prepared this way the amount of oil is less then half the amount used in typical fried zucchini.

Native pickling cukes, sliced red onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Everyday lunch for me. Simple and light and really tasty.

Awhile back frequent contributor Bill Trussell asked me a question. He asked do you see many snakes while fishing those small streams. My answer was yes, but I pass many more that I don't see. Here is one that I almost put my hand on while climbing up a stream bank. A water snake, non venomous but very aggressive and they will bite. This one was quite still and very wet. In his mouth was a brook trout he had just taken from the stream.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Farmington 7-2020

My first visit to the Farmington river happened last week. It had been a long time coming and with the lack of rain in the area it was now time to give the big river a try. I did not get to the the river very early, choosing to arrive about 10. The sky was a half and half mix and the air temperature was in the eighties. I expected to find the river with lots of anglers but I was surprised to see it was actually quite sparse. The river is probably just right as most anglers would agree, for me it was somewhat high. Fishing small streams can put a different perspective on high and low water flow. I gazed at the river while putting on my waders and tossed around in my head just what fly I was going to start off with. A streamer, or a soft-hackle, well the streamer was chosen.

The first spot was not friendly so off I went to a "side channel" and switched flies to a soft hackle. It was not long before I had my first Farmington river trout of this year.

A wild brookie took the soft hackle right where I thought he would be. That "side channel" produced several more brookies.

Moving back to the deeper area I found some nice settled water. Although the flow was strong the surface was smooth. I could see rising fish and I went after them. A mix of rainbows and browns.

This rainbow was quite nice. It was a stocked fish, but it might have been a hold over. It's fins were in beautiful shape as was the tail. The fish took a parachute Adams.

Bill P. you see that rod. It's a great small stream rod but it can also handle big water fish. I'll bet your really glad you purchased one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Primrose, The House And The Rangeley Streamer

There's an older home in the town where I live. This home we have driven by a thousand times over the years and we have commented on how we like it so much. There's no particular reason on  why we like it but there's just something about it. Well the other day it inspired me to create a streamer fly. The main thought was to incorporate the color "primrose" into the fly. Going through my materials I found that I could use a beautiful primrose yarn I have but the wing was another story.

The yellow saddle hackle I had was much to bright, it was sort of "hard" for a lack of a better word. So what I came up with was to use it along with a white saddle hackle feather. Using the white feather first and placing the yellow feather over it I came very close to primrose.

Hook, Martinek Rangeley Streamer..Body, Light Yellow Yarn..Rib, Gold Tinsel..Throat, Red Hackle..Cheeks, Jungle Cock..Head, Red Ostrich Herl


Sunday, July 19, 2020

I'm Still Here Friends....

Blueberry pancakes, breakfast was good. I managed a photo before the end. Most times a full plate of pancakes would be presented but for us in the real world the end of breakfast is the most fulfilling part. Summer is upon us and its not holding anything back. We have experienced heat, humidity and a lack of rain. This is part of life in New England and it's pretty much accepted and that's because we can't change the forecast. I have been fishing over the last week but it's involved a lot of driving. What I do is follow the thunderstorms in an area that I'm willing to drive. Thunderstorms can lay down a lot of rain in a short period. This helps the small streams. I'll try to time my fishing so I'm there the day after a storm. I usually find ample water and if the water temps are cool enough then I'll fish.

This is a stream in western MA. The day after a storm laid down some water. From what I could see this stream has been like this for some time, so there is probably water entering it from somewhere else. I'll use an old time map to see if I can find the source...then I'll see if I can borrow a good pair of legs and actually find it.

Basic soft hackles have been working fine.

A salter stream on Cape Cod...I missed this years spring outing because of all the covid stuff. But come October-November I'll be here again.

A little personal information to pass along to you good people. Meatballs cocked in a fine tomato sauce should never be eaten the same day they are made. Meatballs along with the sauce they are cooked in are like fine wine. Aging is necessary to bring out the exquisite taste of both. If not what you wind up with is "grape juice" and "meatloaf" This lovely lunch of meatballs and old bread with a sprinkle of Romano is from a batch I made several days before they were served...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

One Fine Day

A mid July day. I chose a little brook to walk up and to toss a fly or two. The morning was cloudy to bright and the sun when it glanced upon the stream gave an illusion of ice crystals. The stream flow was more than enough and it's temperature a cool 60 degrees. Walking along I saw brook trout darting about, it's amazing how the can vanish in a pool of crystal clear water. Multi colored ghosts. Two flies were used this day, and for that matter one would have been all that was needed.

Coming upon a pool like this I spooked several fish. I chose to just sit for 10 minutes or so and let things settle down. It was a good choice for it not only afford me the chance to fish a pool that I knew had brookies in it, but it also gave the knees a rest. It's places like this where I wish I had a cup of coffee, man would it have tasted so good.

I managed to fool 3 brookies in that pool. All as pretty as the one I photographed.

No words are necessary here, well perhaps one "simplicity"....

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Some Information And A Couple Of Flies

When I got my Tiny Tenkara the line options were a level line which felt like monofilament or a piece of old fly line. I tried the monofilament and did not care for it. The piece of fly line worked well and I could see myself using this with out trying something else. Well I found something else and first impressions are that this is a great alternative. A ClearStream furled leader. As you can see from the label on the packet it is a perfect length for Tiny Tenkara. It has a loop for easy attachment, and a tippet ring for attaching your tippet. The color is a bit difficult to see on the water, so perhaps another color would be better. They come in various colors and weights and lengths. They cost 7.95 and that includes free shipping.

The Morning Caddis...a good imitation for a couple of stages of caddis. Hook, a curved hopper, size 12...Body, orange dubbing, gold ribbing..head natural fox squirrel.

The Pheasant and Squirrel...Tail and body is natural pheasant tail with a copper wire rib. The hackle is natural fox squirrel, with a brass bead.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Small Streams, Nymphs, Tenkara And "Monsters"

"Many are hooked here, but few are landed" I can't remember who said that, or where I read it but it sure applies to places like this. I did manage to take one brookie in this spot and although it did not seem overly hard to do at the time. Looking back at it now I feel a little different. I started fishing a dry fly, a foam black ant. I figured it was easy to see and it's been working well for the last few weeks and it just might be the easiest fly to work through the changing currents in this section of stream. Well common logic doesn't always then two ants found their way into the wrong places. A very sparse soft-hackle was called upon and it fared better then the ants, but it did not work. It was at this time I pulled out a fly I don't often fish, a beadhead nymph. To be exact a beadhead hares ear nymph.

Fast water, changing currents and somewhat shallow water are problems when fishing nymphs. And to add to it I was fishing a 5' Tiny Tenkara rod. On the third drift a substantial strike took place, but no hookup. Several more drifts and a hookup.

Man what a beautiful wild brookie...Now I grant you this is not a "monster"...and I'm happy about that. A "monster"..defined as "an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly and frightening"...none of that applies to this wild jewel.

I learned that nymph fishing with a Tenkara rod may be easier then fishing it with a conventional fly rod in small streams.

Monday, July 6, 2020

"Carots" And Brown Trout

A slight change over the last week or so brought me to a couple of different streams in search of a few naturalized species of trout. The brown has been here for over a century and has proven itself to be quite a challenge for the fly angler. I love them for the variations and downright toughness when hooked. I chose to tackle them for the first time with my Tiny Tenkara, a real experience for sure. It has been a dry and hot spell of late, the exceptions being some pretty impressive thunderstorms that dumped between 2-4" of rain each time they set up. This has kept the streams in decent condition. Water temps have been good with readings in the high 50's to low 60's. Mornings have bee crazy with fog and clouds that break into sunshine, the latter brings the heat and a quick departure from me.

Brown trout at this time of year like moving water. Those quiet slow moving pools don't seem to hold them. Any way ant and bomber patterns will really draw strikes in those riffled areas. Tailouts and the heads of pools will also produce action.

Diverse...this is an example of what I like in brown trout...a lack of spots, almost salmon looking.

Company on the stream.

You see that log in the water, a likely holding spot. It has the capability of snagging a few lies too. But when all things come together rewards and a first take place.

This hooked snout male wild brown crushed a small "carot" fly as it neared the log. The fish was strong and really tested the Tiny Tenkara...eventually it realized that I was going to win this battle and settled in at my hand.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The 4th Of July 2020

Happy Birthday America
Hope all of you have a Happy and safe 4th

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


If you have followed this blog for any length of time you have seen me post many a Tenkara fly. I have always liked the simple style of tying and the use of a very few materials to create fish catchers. My method of presenting Tenkara flies has been with conventional fly fishing gear. I have from time to time thought about purchasing a Tenkara rod but I just thought it may be a bit costly and you all know that once bitten the costs only rise.

I had an encounter on a small stream with a little lady and her dad that finally showed me that taking up Tenkara need not be costly. They introduced me to the "Tiny Tenkara" rod. I went home that day that this was the time to purchase, and the Tiny Tenkara rod was the one. A few days later the rod was at my door. As you can see from the photo it is quite small. Opening it up and extending it to it's 5' length I felt like I had a perfect tool for my little streams. I configured a line, it was a piece of an old floating line I had, a length of tippet and off I went.

It took but a few casts to get the feel of the rod, which I might add is very sensitive and responsive. After a couple of dropped fish I finally hooked my first brookie and brought it to hand.

This has been a very good fly for me. Pretty simple would you agree?

A 5' rod, a section of line, and a you talk about simplicity. By the way the rod cost 52.00.

Thanks Nate and "Nattie"