Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Summertime and the....

We are well into summer around these parts. 97 degrees as I type this. It's been hot and no real relief in sight. So with that I have turned to the lakes and ponds for my fly fishing fix. Those blue gills and bass are willing to take my offerings and will keep a bend in the rod. My stamina in the heat is not good, an hour or so and I'm heading back. Water is a must and I drink plenty of it. I'm sure this heat will pass and cooler temps will return.

Until then here are a few winter scenes to cool you down. I may just fish that stream soon....


...with the "Winter Brown".

The Winter Brown is a very productive soft hackle fly.


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Looking for moose....

Yesterday we took off in search of moose. Connecticut has a resident population of these giants as well as migrants from Massachusetts. The area selected was located in northwest CT. on a very large tract of state land. This was chosen because of recent sightings of moose as well as my previous knowledge of seeing many places here with moose sign, tracks and antler rubs in the Fall while hunting. In years past this tract was a grouse hot spot but over the years that has been lost. Woodcock can be found here and I still do hunt them. There are several ponds of varying sizes in the tract which is a good draw for moose. The bogs and small streams also help. The woods are of mixed hardwoods and evergreens and are pretty thick. We found a few trails that were cut and followed them looking for any possible evidence  of moose.


After a couple of hours and no sightings we headed for a large meadow/bog that looked promising. It is really hard to spot a moose along the edges. Unless they are moving they will blend in. The one encouraging sign was the fact that a large animal had recently walked through the bog. I did not see any tracks of a moose but the area leading in was dry. So not having seen a moose I decided to fish one of the ponds and see just what a soft hackle can persuade a fish to take.

It did not take long. A feisty colorful sunfish took the fly. This was repeated many times.

In the mix were a few small bass. These guys will make a 3wt glass rod work.

Grilled lamb. This is a favorite of mine. I take the simple route when grilling these and here it is. Use shoulder lamb chops. Place them on a hot grill and cook them to where they are just pink in color. Remove from heat and rub with fresh garlic. Then salt and black pepper them and feast away.

I like grilled lamb with ripped iceberg lettuce. Some fresh squeezed lemon juice or olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple and easy.


Friday, June 25, 2021

You just never know what a small stream will show you....

I love to follow those small tributaries that seem to be havens for wild trout. Some of these real thin blue lines can show me some impressive trout. Why trout choose to find such places hospitable I can't give you a reason. I believe that some of these trout may have been born into the tiny stream and will perhaps live their entire life within a fifty yard stretch of water, that's remarkable. The tributary pictured is one I have visited many times, several posts have been written about it. It helps supply clean cold water to the larger stream which in and of itself produces some very nice trout. The streams banks are soft and walking can be problematic. The stream has numerous undercut banks and root balls. There are areas where wood collects and provides sanctuary.

In the past I have caught both brown and brook trout in this tiny stream. In some years the browns tend to dominate and I see more of them then I catch. In other years I have seen an abundance of brook trout. I can't explain this but it just happens. Last week I walked along this stream and observe some brookies along with....


 These brook trout were grouped together over a small patch of gravel. Most times this would be because of warm waters and this would be a cold water source seeping up from a spring. But water temps taken along the stream indicated the water to be 60-62 degrees. Well for whatever reason they were clustered together I managed to get a photo before one of them spotted me a scattered the group. When i got home and uploaded the photo I saw what I think is a wild rainbow. If you look at the first three trout you can recognize two of them as brookies, but sandwiched in the middle is a fish that looks like a rainbow.  Look closely and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Hackle is a probably the most understood material in fly tying. A person could go nuts trying to figure it out. Dry fly hackle, wet fly hackle capes, necks streamer and spey hackle it's enough to turn anybody away from tying and go to buying flies. I am not going to try and explain all of the various hackle out there but i will focus on two that I use on most of the flies I tie and use. 

Dry fly hackle can range from super stiff to almost limp. The stiff hackles are great and will keep that dry floating high. Then there is the economy hackle like the cape you see pictured above. These economy capes can range in price from six to ten dollars, where as a grade A Whiting cape will require a substantial debit in your Mastercard. I use the economy hackle on my dry and soft hackle flies.


This is a Whiting dry fly hackle. When wound on a silk thread body it makes an effective dry fly.

Here is what helps make a soft hackle fly so effective. Notice the air bubble that is trapped as the fly moves to the surface. Trout key in on that, because that is just what happens when an insect moves to the surface.

 Native strawberries are in season now. What a delicious lunch.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

How it begins, featherwing thoughts....

Where it begins...a couple of drawers of saddle hackles, and some thread, hooks and Jungle Cock. My thoughts on streamer construction. I love tying the old classics but my love is the creative style I focused on as a tyer just starting. I was asked to tie flies at a show in Danbury CT a long time ago. I was seated next to a fellow who just loved tying outlandish flies. His creations were an inspiration to me and put me on a path to streamer creating.


You see here two different saddle hackles which are the base of a creative streamer. Along with the saddle hackle is a Jungle Cock feather. It is here where the creativity comes into play.

When those six basic feathers mix with a few others as well as a good hook come together to form a "featherwing" streamer fly.

Another group.

And the result of some additional feathers and materials and a streamer that is not only pleasing to look at but also a pattern that will attract those autumn salmonids.

With my second cup of Java finished I will head downstairs to fix a wonderful breakfast.

Happy Fathers' Day....


Friday, June 18, 2021

"Red Brook".....a return.

It has been about two years since we last pulled up in front of this restaurant in Buzzards Bay, Mass. A lot has come and gone since that visit with exception that the fact remains it is an outstanding place to get filled up on some carbs and coffee. The staff here are like family with one waitress remembering Jeanette and I from two years ago. We were delighted with our breakfast and were eager to reach our destination which was The Lyman Reserve and Red Brook. You probably remember the fight that took place earlier this year when there was a plan to develop the wetlands that create part of Red Brook. With the efforts of many like minded people especially on the grassroots level the plan was scrapped. The salters of Red Brook can again swim without worry. We must remain on guard though because to become lazy would surely lead to disaster.


As we drove into the parking area The Lyman Cottage seemed to say hello. It looks the same with exception of a lot of green growth.

Red Brook where it is at the entrance of Buttermilk Bay. This is salt water. As you can see it was a low tide and the pools bottom is visible. I like this pool for it is easy to cast, and will provide for a fish or two. I was excited to be finally able to fish for these incredible sea run brook trout. Their story is astounding and I have no other words to describe it. I cast into what I though would be a likely spot to search for a salter. I do not expect any action for awhile until I figure it out. But on the second cast the streamer took a violent hit, and a salter was on.

A Red Brook salter taken in tide water. These fish have unbelievable strength and do not come to hand easily. Streamers are the best flies to use when fishing here. As these fish move up into the brook they will again start feeding on insects.


As you move further upstream you can see the structure in stream that was put there in the restoration of Red Brook. It is this structure that provides cover for the salters as well as control of the sand that this stream has.

This guy was still in his sea coat. Obviously it had been in the bay feeding. It came from under a bank to smack a streamer.

 It felt good to be back "home" after such a long time.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Time is...

 I'm going to be taking a break for awhile. There are issues that come up in life and have to be dealt with. 


Sunday, June 6, 2021

The shape of things....

We have been out and about this past week fishing and walking along several streams. Most of Connecticut's woodlands are coming alive with color in the form of mountain laurel. There are some incredible blooms out there. We have been graced with adequate rainfall and the streams and trout are in good shape. I took this photo of what was a highly productive run in the past. Nature has provided what is referred to "chop and drop"...here it is in it's natural form. Although it has taken away from an enjoyable spot to fish it will benefit the wild brookies in so many ways.

One of the outstanding features of the landscape is the fact that the color green dominates. And with that theme I chose green to highlight my outing.


The Cabela's CGR rod has a lovely shade of green. The caddis with it's pale green body matches the color scheme. But.....

it was the "bomber" that did most of the work on the stream.

An unusual sight. Looks like a few mayflies in an attempt to perhaps mate somehow got stuck on a spider web.

Here we are just before stopping for lunch, which that day was "old reliable" PB&J

Well we are back at it again today.....hope you'll be able to do the same.


Friday, June 4, 2021

Spey Flies

 Many times my fly tying takes place after sundown. Times such as 9 PM, and 3 AM. I'll just sit down at the desk and let it happen. I have been doing this for most of  my fly tying days. Why I do this I can't explain but one reason I can state is that there are no distractions. When a thought comes into my head I can bring it to life without any influences. I also like to have a little snack alongside me with a coffee or ginger ale. Wow ginger ale now there's a blog post, I love the stuff. I have been on a Chicharrones kick as of late. These salty and crispy snacks are a delight. Have you ever tried them?

I am not a master at fly tying and I will never be in the Fly Fishing Hall Of Fame. I will state that I love fly tying and that I am not afraid to try and tie any type of fly. One of my likes are the "Spey Flies"...these flies were originally tyed for Atlantic salmon over in England. They evolved and now are probably used more for steelhead then salmon. They are exquisite flies and so beautiful to look at. They also kick butt when called upon to perform.


Spey #1..tyed on a light salmon hook.

Spey #2...also tyed on a light salmon hook. This fly has been effective on trout.

This Spey fly is tied on a Sylvester Nemes hook. It also features a Jungle Cock eye.

Meatballs...everyone makes the best. I like them for lunch, with bread or just by themselves.


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Yes it is more....

 More than a place, it's a being. There are few places where just walking about and observing can make a difference both in a day and in life. There is fulfillment that reaches the core of life. Such will be your satisfaction that if you allow it to shine through will reshape your thoughts. There is a place such as this and I have referred to it many times...."brook trout forest"....here be it next door or as Kathy Scott said it "we drove a thousand miles to fish for tiny native brook trout" brook trout forest has that ability to turn us back from the high tech, high price cost of fly fishing to that feeling we enjoyed in our youth of finding these little wonders in the stream.

Yesterday we took a walk through brook trout forest....


With the rains of late we found the streams to be in perfect condition. The forest is alive with the vibrant colors of late spring. Toads were abundant as were the woodpeckers and blue jays.

The mountain laurel is about to burst into bloom. In a week or so the woods will be in full decor with mountain laurel.

Waterfall magic....so calming.

A brookie super highway. One miss step and you'll know what I mean.

Be quiet in your approach and you'll be rewarded.

Graced by a wild brook trout taken on a simple fly of your creating, and your day is complete in "brook trout forest"