Thursday, July 29, 2021


The caddis fly, a meat and potatoes fly both for the angler and for the trout he seeks. The caddis is found most everywhere, and it can be fished in various forms. Tied as a pupa, nymph, dry and as an emerger. It is the emerger that I love to fish. My memory and other scribbled notes have  told me that the months of August through October are prime times to fish this fly. 

The caddis emerger is tied in such a way as to really excite trout. Most times it is tied full, utilizing multiple hackles, spikey bodies and a wing. While the wing is not necessary I do put them on a few of these flies. The colors and sizes can also vary but I like the tan, orange and olive colors.


This winged caddis emerger features a curved hook. I love this style of hook for this type of fly. It is a size 12. The body is natural fox squirrel belly but you can use whatever dubbing you like. It has a Wood duck wing and pheasant hackle collar.

This one features the same dubbing, minus the wing and two hackles from a partridge.

This one uses that same spikey dubbing, with a cdc feather from a partridge. The hackle is bleached partridge.

 This big boy is a good representation of the "October Caddis" a big fly and does quite well on getting those wary trout to strike.


Monday, July 26, 2021

A Special Place...

I have been fishing this stream for over twenty years. In those years I have witnessed many changes to the structure and to the brook trout who inhabit the stream. In the twenty years I have fished it with a few close fishing friends who have kept it's location secret. And with very few exceptions I have never seen it fished by others. I have some fond memories here, not only of the brook trout but of the fine folks who live near. One in particular was an elderly lady which I found out to be in her 80's told me of the times when she would drive her husband downstream to a location where she would drop him off and he would fish the stream back up to a point where she would pick him up. I asked her how long that was and she said she had it timed by the food she gave him to take with him while fishing. A peanut butter sandwich, some cookies, and a bottle of water. She showed me places along the stream that her husband marked that were productive spots for him. Little circles of small stones placed in different ways marked the locations.

The stream photo is a place that I love. It did not always look like this. Years ago during a strong ice run off the road was washed away. The following spring the state took to repairing the road and bridge. In that process they replaced the culverts with fish friendly ones that allowed the brook trout upstream movement. The series of pools and runs you see most always hold brook trout and on the first cast I had better be ready. It  is a special place and at a time in life as now even more so.


This beautiful hen came from that spot near the slick pool. She was in the fast water and could not resist a yellow hornberg.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Small stream friends? Well maybe

Seeking brook trout in small streams has always been interesting for me. The fact that you never know if there are actually brook trout in the stream and if they are will they be there when you are fishing it. Brookies are notorious wanderers, they will seek new areas of a stream for various reasons. It's a wonderful game of "hide and seek"....There is another interesting tidbit to small stream fishing and that is what other species of fish cohabit the stream along with the brook trout. Some of what i have encountered have been brown trout, redfin pickerel, black nose dace, various types of bass and blue gills-sunfish. Several of these fish compete with the streams food sources and some of them are the streams food sources. With this going on it seems that the brook trout survives. There are many reasons for the survival of brook trout under these circumstances. I like to believe they are naturally friendly. I can hear the chuckles out there but you either dominate totally or you learn to adapt and coexist.


Such was the case in the stream above. This sunfish took a small downwing hornberg. The little guy earned a spot in the SSR's hall of fame for the strong fight he put forth. Notice the scars on the side of that guy.

Just a few feet south if where I hooked the sunfish this dark brook trout slammed a soft hackle. This fish was awesome and the photo does not do it justice.

 A few posts ago I mentioned tacos. Well here is what I created. Highly seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato and native corn. Drizzled with a squirt of lime and red pepper it was delicious. No cheese added because I forgot to buy it.

Have a great weekend folks....


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Tiny Ten 2...a big brother.

Last July I came across a determined young angler trying to fool a resident wild brookie from a CT. stream. The young lady which I found out was only three years old. She showed me that Tenkara fishing can be done effectively by anyone. That little angler convinced me to purchase the Tiny Tenkara rod. Since then I have fished the Tiny Ten many times and have enjoyed it so much. Although I felt the need to go longer, something that would allow me to reach out in certain areas of the stream that were not available to me with the shorter rod. So I went out and purchased the Tiny Ten 2.

The Tiny Ten is a 5' rod and the Tiny Ten 2 is a 8' rod. The extra 3' makes for a longer reach which at times makes the difference between catching those wary fish. The Tiny Ten 2 weighs in at 2oz. It's crafted with a cork handle which I think is a must on any rod. It's action is soft which I compare to my fiberglass rods. I have it rigged with a furled leader of 6', which I have ordered a 8' furled leader, thought is it may work better with the longer rod. I have fished the Tiny Ten 2 on four outings and have found it to be a pleasure. Keep in mind my knowledge of other rods is zero so a comparison I can't give. But for what I paid and what it does I'd say it is hard to beat.



A typical stream where I cast the Tiny Ten 2.

 These wild brookies are a blast on this rod. And it shows that if I can catch them with a Tenkara rod anyone can. This is simplicity, that would have escaped me if it weren't for that little angler I met on the stream a year ago...thanks Nattie.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

What it takes....

What inspires us? I can't speak for you as to what inspires you, but I can for me. I'll try to give you some of what inspires me to spend time outdoors, to walk a woodland trail. To find a small stream and walk it's edges. To fly fish, and to fly tie. Part of this is in my DNA for lack of a better reason and part comes from the books I read. The book pictured here is a fine example of what can inspire me. It is about a fly fishing club located in Connecticut. It tells of the old days as well as modern days of a group of anglers and the stories each has contributed. In it's pages are numerous paragraphs of the brook, the Housatonic river and the fish and flies associated with the angling club.


From a page of Whoops, For The Wind....this is what small stream brook trout fishing is. The fly was tied not for any insect that may hatch on that stream, instead it is tied from the thought I had as to what may cause a brook trout to take my offering.

A lovely slick run on a small stream in Autumn. A sight as this inspired me to craft a fly that not only represents the place and season but also may tempt a wild jewel to take it.

I can see Autumn in these flies. Can you?

Flowers gone to seed, little puff balls...they to can inspire.

A different color perhaps but none the less they are "puff balls"

And one of the greatest inspirations of all is bringing of natures finest creations to hand.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

The meaning of....tacos?

There's a lot of meaning behind the first photo. I have mine and I'll bet you have yours. Today I'm going fishing and my hope is that the natives will be in a mood that is conducive to putting a smile on my face similar to the one that the cup of cherries did. The stream is located in the northwestern part of the state and my hope is it will be fishable. The rainfall has been in a slow down pace for a day or so and my thinking is that will settle the flows and move the fish.

We all in our times on the water have experienced catching small fish. Most of them are just released without a second thought....not so with the next brookie.


This fella has got to be the epitome of conceit. He is so beautiful and he has the gumption to think he can actually eat that nuddler minnow.

This photo was sent to me by a reader of SSR's. Shawn caught this black brookie in a Connecticut stream. These fish are impressive, I personally love them. Look at the tail and the fins. They are very dark...adapt that's what they do.

The "Orange Bristle"
I'm hoping this fly will make some waves today.  It's simple using only three materials.

Curved barbless hook, orange silk thread body, ginger squirrel dubbed thorax and a few turns of semi stiff ginger hackle.

Native sweet corn, nothing like it friends. I have a couple of ears left over from last nights supper and they will be used in tonight's tacos.


Monday, July 12, 2021

Rain, wet flies and being happy.

An explosion that's how I would sum up what's happened over  the last week or so. We have experienced a great deal of rain and that moisture has made the woodlands and streams blossom. Time spent outdoors has given me a great deal to be thankful for. One of the streams I fish has been expanded, in some ways over its banks. The heavy flows have put the natives right on the bottom just sort of hanging on. A stream born wild trout has the ability to find those places to survive high water something a stocked trout can't do. Fly selection with high water is anyone's guess,  I suppose a weighted nymph like a Copper John would be a good choice but then maybe a large hopper or a Stimulator. I selected a soft hackle and a wet fly.


Fishing those soft pockets proved to be the right area to find the brookies. They were aggressive and many  strikes were had. I had problems hooking the fish and also lost many after a few moments of battle.

I did manage a few to hand and found that they were in great condition.

I love colorful flies as much as the brookies. Here are a few of Jeanette's recommendations. Which color worked best?

I continued working downstream finding places where I could a place to cast. The banks were quite muddy and caution was needed. Most of the pockets behind the large boulders held a brookie.

They would chase the fly for a second or two and now and then one would grab the fly. The Professor was the fly that got high marks. The little wet fly which was a favorite of O. Warren Smith and now a favorite of mine also. Smith is the author of One Mans River and Trout Lore.

Oh look it's raining again...


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Of big rivers, fly shops and Alder flies....

In my formative years when I first took an interest in fly fishing most of my knowledge came from "Outdoor Life"...a good magazine at that time circa 1974. So many of my flies which were purchased from a limited amount of sources as well as how they were used in situations came from that magazine. At that time the Farmington river was the closest trout river to me but it was not the Farmington river of today. My other choice of rivers was the Housatonic. It was the "casts eye" of that time and to many still is. It is a big river and it's reputation of giving up large trout was based on truth. The stretch of the Housatonic where I cut my teeth in the fly fishing world is pictured above. It pretty much looks the same today as it did back then.


The fly shop along the banks of the Housatonic. It is here where I like a human sponge learned so much about fly fishing and flies. A great shop that had a restaurant next door. Anglers would gather and talk of the mornings action. It was in that shop I first learned of the Alder fly. Until then I always thought an Alder was a tree. But back then the Alder hatch was one that brought those wary trout to the surface. It was where i purchased a couple of Alder flies. As I recall the fly may have been a Henryville Special, and today an Elk Hair caddis would do just fine.

We visited the area last week and came upon this small stream. I took out the Tiny Ten and drifted a fly along it's banks. It was at that time a gentleman came over and asked if I had any luck. I replied "a few strikes" but no hookups. He told me he was the landowner and said I was the first person he has seen fish here. It was about that time when I expected to be asked to leave, but that never happened. Instead he told me his grandkids cool off in the stream and they said they saw some big fish in there. We chatted for a spell and he then wished me good luck. I continued to fish for awhile but never had a hookup.

We saw this doe in the woods. She was quite taken by us being there. There is another game animal in the picture...can you see it?

We had lunch at this Country Market, which has been here forever. Different names of course. Good food.

 The "Alder"...kebari should work as an emerger.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Streamers and "Feather Art".....

Streamer flies are a staple in my fly box. These meat and potato workhorses have helped me to bring to hand some of the bigger trout that swim in the waters I fish. "Meat and Potato", these are simple uncomplicated flies that require a minimum of materials and minimal cost. Most of them are bucktails with tinsel bodies a few may incorporate Jungle Cock which I feel is not necessary but I like the way they look on certain patterns. Most of you know that trout are predators and predators like meat. The sight of a brown or brook trout rising to a well tied Catskill dry fly is iconic, but I enjoy the sight of a trout rising up and slamming a streamer as it moves under the surface.

I have a question for you and that is how many of you carry streamers in your fly boxes? And how many of you fish streamers at any time of the year?


"Feather Art"...tail feathers from a Partridge. I have taken photos of various feathers and framed them. I was really surprised just how nice they look. I"m in the process of hanging them near to where I tie flies as well as my computer area. I'll post a photo when I complete it.

Jungle Cock

Saddle Hackle with Jungle Cock


Monday, July 5, 2021

It Truly Is.....

We have been blessed with a substantial rainfall over the past few days. I don't have an actual number to tell you but I'll bet some areas got over two inches. With that amount of new water pouring into the streams it was the opportunity I was waiting for to visit a stream that has been on hold due to the lack of rain. I was surprised when I reached the starting point and found the pull off was almost gone. The field was thick and almost covered the path leading into the forest. At this point it was accepted that we were going to get wet and that was to come true with the first few steps we took.

I have been fishing lately without waders. I have chosen to walk-wade in sneakers and have enjoyed this very much. It gets a little iffy when I walk along rocky areas for the sneakers do not offer the best support, but I'm super careful and it hasn't presented a problem.


Everything was wet.

The stream was up and had taken on a semi-chocolate color. Shallow riffled areas were pretty clear but the deeper pools were cloudy.

This stretch was interesting. In past visits here I have done well with my hookups and this day was no exception. To give a number I'd say at least twelve brookies found my fly acceptable.

Unpretentious wild char.

Wet woods, there are no words that can actually describe the feel and smell. It's just awesome.

These brookies were in stellar condition. Perfection in a natural setting.

Brook Trout Forest lived up to it's billing this day...truly a "richer fuller life".


Friday, July 2, 2021


Over the years I have recieved many many fly tying materials from readers of SSR's. Items like threads, antique yarns, hooks as well as some very interesting hackle. Some of the hackle is from birds that I would not purchase myself either because they are to expensive or just super hard to get. Some classic North Country flies which the patterns call for these hard to get materials I will either not choose to tie or modify them and call them variants. I do not wish to "ruffle feathers" here but most times the variants will work as well as the original patterns.

Here are a couple of those lovely feathers I have in possession thanks to the kindness of others. The first group of feathers is the Golden Plover. As you can see they are incredibly marked. Light and dark tips and spaced perfectly. This is the main ingredient in the fly below.


The "Hares Lug and Plover"...a North Country fly that has been catching trout for maybe one hundred and fifty years. The body is silk thread, with a sparse dub of hair from the ear of a hare. It has a fine gold wire rib and a few turns of that beautiful Golden Plover hackle.

This next feather comes from a  Prairie Chicken. This is not an exotic bird but is one I would have never used if not for the generosity of someone else. Here to you can see the markings on the feather are gorgeous. I also found that this feather wraps so easy onto the hook.

 Two flies that use the Prairie Chicken feather. One has a green silk body with hares ear dubbed thorax and Prairie Chicken hackle. The other has an orange silk with hares ear thorax with Prairie Chicken hackle.

The weather here has changed...wet rainy and cool for the next three days. I expect to dodge the rain and try to find a willing brookie or two. In the mean time I have three large Vidalia onions and some Lea and Perrins that are the base of a kick ass onion soup. It will be a good day for it.