The "hot spot hard caddis"...this fly gets attention. It's simple, hot orange thread, hares mask dubbing and a semi stiff brown hackle.
As I have said several times that the big problems facing our world such as climate change will be more then a uphill battle, when we can't even clean up our own roadways and trails"just walk along one" you'll know what I mean. I'm sorry for the preaching but that's what happens when I get up early and watch nature performing outside my window.
Look at the size of this wild brook trout. It's barely the size of my finger and yet shows the signs of maturity. If the small stream above stays healthy this little jewel may spawn this fall....
After all that time I never knew what the fly was called. Investigation time, and the internet told me it was called the "Professor"..a wet fly created in Scotland in the 1800's, by James Wilson. How is it a fly that has been around for over a century never came to me in some form.
Have a spectacular weekend.
Getting back to the ability of the wild brook trout to adapt I encountered it first hand the other day. A lovely stream was flowing in super condition. The water levels were at optimal depth. I was going to have a spectacular day on the stream. Well as I fished the pools and riffles I found my offerings ignored. Not even a bump. I fished dries wets and soft hackles with the same results. I don't fret such happenings instead I try something else. This day I chose to try and find the brookies in somewhat more turbulent water. I tied on a streamer and tossed it into the rapid broken water you see above. On the second cast as I was retrieving the streamer I got a response. As the fly was near the surface a brookie slapped it.
Look at the condition of this hen. She will have a big role in the fall and I hope she succeeds.
The first fly is what I call the "Hard Caddis" it is tied with the rooster cape and is fished just below the surface. Technically it's still a wet fly but the dry fly hackles causes it to do some different things in the water. It will break the surface and appear to be a struggling adult. Very effective.
This is a partridge feather. It is taken from the back of the bird and offers a brown color. It is tied on the fly the same as the rooster hackle. Being a much softer hackle the fly works in slightly deeper water. It's pulsating hackles will draw strikes.
The "Soft Caddis"
By the way the feathers on those India rooster capes make great wings for small streamer flies.
There are times when I think back to times when fishing was one of my most important quests in life. One of the reasons being was the notion I was going to catch a big trout in a famed river on a fly that i created. When you think about it most of us have or had the same thoughts. Many of you have probably accomplished this and many of you still have that desire to accomplish the same. For me that quest was lost or just dropped from my mind and the thought really vanished. To put a time when this happened I can't say, but for me I'm glad it happened.
The quiet solitude of a small stream has played a big part in my life. It has become more important in these last years. The availability of famed waters are close and I could be fishing one of many within a couple of hours drive. The small stream gives me precious quiet time and is a mere twenty minute drive. I can't say if a change is in your future but I hope you'll at least give the small stream a try.
Caught on a fly of my own making, not the "big" brown of my early dreams but one that has much more meaning.
It is hard for me to tell if the stream is in good shape because I can't compare it, not having fished it. But it looks to be in awesome condition. I started here and found that it was an easy stream to fish, quite open and fairly comfortable to walk. I was armed with a couple of flies that I wanted to try and hoped they worked as well as they did in my mind when I was tying them.
"Orecchiette" with broccoli and salmon.
He is truly the "canary in the coal mine"...
Well in the process of bringing a brookie to hand I managed to drop the rod in the water not so bad right. Well the rod got filled with tiny sand grains, which I found out later was a "big" problem. But it did not stop my fishing because I didn't know about it until I got back to the car and tried to collapse the rod. It did not move, the sections were sounding gritty. More on that later.
This one came from that pocket in the last photo, I think you can see it.
This is one of the great things about small streams, it offers you a mystery of sorts, will there be fish or not. Are they going to be trout or something else. It offers plenty of room to cast unlike many small blue lines. The Tiny Ten would be perfect here. It also has plenty of hemlocks and pine which I think are a key to the stream holding brook trout.
For me though it's the photos. I can look at the picture of a stream and from that the whole outing comes back to me so clear that I can feel the water at my feet. Like the stream above. It small and really not full of fish. It is beautiful in it's flow and colors along it. Fishing it is not going to yield that "monster" but a simple rise will make your morning.
I don't know if John Voelker would have used Valsassina flies on Frenchman's but I tend to say he would. It's that simplicity thing which I believe he enjoyed in many ways.
I started fishing a yellow partridge and found the brookies to be very receptive to it. I pretty much stayed with that fly for the time I was there changing only once to a yellow woodcock. The latter fly was not taken as well as the first choice. Selective brookies?