Saturday, October 30, 2021

I May Have Unbaffled The Baffle...Was It The Road Kone?

Rain and more rain, bring it on. This year will go down as one of the finest years for brook trout spawning here in Connecticut. It's hard to think of a year when the streams have been this full at this time of year. I have seen brookies in spawning positions in little creeks where they have not been in years past. The high waters also move these fish all over the area. It's so great to see.

Since finding the "baffle pool" I have been a bit obsessed with the brookies that live within it. I have been frustrated by the amount of strikes I receive within the pool but I have yet to bring one to hand. Well I'm here to say I may have figured it out...with the help of you guys.


Several have stated that because of the clarity of the pool I was easily detected by the finned sentries. So a suggestion made by a few of you to go to a lighter tippet, I use 5x flurocarbon to a 6x...I did this.

And along with the lighter tippet I chose a couple of flies that I thought would also make a difference.

A Futsu Kebari..natural insect color with some lively hackle.

And the "Road Kone" Kebari. A bold fly to say the least. I was introduced to this pattern by Mike Agneta. Mike has the blog "Troutrageous" He sent me some of these flies and I gave them a shot and was really impressed with their ability to bring brookies to hand.

So armed with the 6x fluro and the two flies I took on the
baffle pool"...Now I'm not sure what did the trick, be it the 6x or the flies but I just may have solved the baffle pool issue.

This was the average size brookie in the pool. A fine spotted hen that may have been spawned out.

And then this guy who took the fly near the culvert pipe. I don't know if these fish will stay within the "baffle pool" or move out into other areas of the stream, but I'll take my slow self to further pools up and downstream over the coming weeks.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Nor'easter Chili, Futsu Kebari, And It's end Is Coming

As I look out of my bedroom window I'm graced by a sight that I can't express in words the feeling it brings to me. The days of sights like this are limited and I fully realize there will be times when all that will be visible will be drifts of snow. But that's then and this is now so I'll enjoy what's before me.

While I'm not a full blown Tenkara guy I have dabbled in it to a small degree. Even before my purchase of the Tiny Ten I was tying Tenkara flies and fishing them with conventional fly gear. My interest in the flies was the fact that they are so simple and they work very well. Any time one can take two materials and create a fly that when presented will bring a response. Tenkara, Valsesina, North Country flies all have that same simplicity in their construction.


Here are a couple of Tenkara flies that I fish often. They are called "Ondori Futsu Kebari"
This one has an orange silk head, a brown thread body and a brown hackle.

This one has but a orange silk body and brown hackle. These flies can be fished wet or dry.

This is "Nor'easter Chili....this is different in the fact that I use chunky pieces of red and green peppers. The onions also are chunkier. The meat used is ground turkey but you can use what you like. I make a large pot of this chili and will freeze what is left after several lunches.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The "Baffle Pool".....

Good morning all.....this rainy day has me indoors enjoying a grilled slice of blueberry bread. It is slathered in butter alongside a great cup of coffee. My mood is that of content as I watch heavy rains sweep across my window. It is said that we can expect anywhere from 3-5 inches. The rain will impact the fishing for a day or so but the planning goes on as I finish the last crumbs of bread.

On several outings I have fished a stream that has perplexed me and I can't figure it out. Most of the stream which is typical of the small freestones I fish is not the issue. But there is one particular pool that has frustrated me.


The "baffle pool"...just look at this beautiful piece of brook trout water. I have fished this pool a few times now and have found it to be a tough nut to crack. Looking into it I spotted brookies from head to tail. On both right and left sides they dart about. I have fished here with at least 15 different flies that covered the water from top to bottom. I have hooked maybe 20 fish but they were not to come to hand.

I finally succeeded in getting one to take a mini-streamer. A size 12 red white and blue marabou.

A reward from the "baffle pool"...there will be more to come.

Now for some chili...


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Tried And Retried...Flannel And Fleece

This is an area we visited last Spring. It had a good reputation in the area of wild brook trout and needed some exploration. On that first visit I found a few fish but it did not live up to what I was told about it. I just thought this just maybe a down cycle year for brookies in this stream. Fast forward to the beginning of October we went back, only armed with a good topo map and a decent road to access the area. On the map I noticed several small streams that over time had a beaver dam issue. As I neared the stream I could see one beaver dam that appeared active. Investigating further I saw a couple more of them.


One of the streams that connect these ponds. It's an easy walk most times but at this point it gives me problems. So take it easy Alan.

This little pond is a gem. It has two streams feeding it, and I'm sure an underground cold water source. It's not very deep and the bottom is black with dead leaves.

But a dry fly allowed to float will be met with a nasty strike.

This pool was so clear. I know there were brookies in it but some were very shy.

And some were not so shy.

Along the left side there was a trail sort of. We were able to access the waters further in.

I assured Jeanette that the path was OK.

There was a time when I could cover a place like this in a few hours, now I only scratched the surface. I hope to finally fish most of the area before the snow flies.

This is true natural wild beauty...Connecticut style.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

This is true my friends...

This may as simple a fly that ever was. Awhile back one of the blog readers sent me this sample. It is Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift Yarn, Oyster. This along with some thread  and a few turns of non lead wire create what is known as Sawyer's Killer Bug. It's lives up to it's name. The 290 yarn is key and when wet you would not believe how life comes forth. The colors are awesome. The 290 yarn is cheap, for five or six bucks you can purchase enough of it to last a lifetime.


You can see the Killer Bugs here. I tie them in 12 and 14.

Here is the Killer Bug wet...beautiful color.

If you like fancy then wrap a turn of woodcock hackle. Effective.

These may get a new name from me. How about the Takayama Sakasa Kebari..."yellow jacket" you remember that photo of the yellow jacket just sitting on a leaf in the stream...maybe that's the reason for the popularity of this fly lately. I tie them from 14 down to 10.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

October contribution...

The other day my son put in a request for some schnitzel, pork schnitzel to be precise. I had a whole boneless pork loin so I trimmed the hell out of it and sliced it very thin. As you can see these will cook rather quickly after being dredged in egg and seasoned bread crumbs. Please do not over cook these pork a little pink is not going to kill you. Octoberfest dish one....


Perfectly cooked schnitzel, mashed potatoes and a light mushroom gravy.

Now in the first picture you see that bag of trim, well that's gold. It was mixed with some lean pork and mixed with a variety of spices to create bratwurst. The meat is ground and put into natural hog casings.

The finished product. These will be placed in refrigeration for at least three days to allow the brats to cure. They will then be grilled and placed in a bun with onions...stay tuned.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Culverts, Peat Bottoms And "black bellied brookies"......

Can a guy who lives with brook trout, not that I actually live in the stream but one who feels I know them quite well can actually say that the last year has proven to me that I really do love my time in pursuit of these  wild creatures. A day afield is not a day anymore but more like an hour or two. The time has been reduced to compensate for some other issues in life. But that hour or two produces for me a finer understanding of all that surrounds small stream fishing. I know it has been said a thousand times that quality is better than quantity. I have live with this philosophy for many years and I could not believe how much of a reinforced philosophy it has become. Take a look about and enjoy it if only briefly.


Culvert pools, sometimes a big producer and sometimes a bust. This one with it's dark deep pool along with that "camo" white foam proved to be a good producer. After initial rejections I finally had a hookup.

Mr. Rapidan soft hackle nymph got it done.

One of Connecticut's peat bottomed streams. They are beautiful and hold some truly remarkable brook trout. They will produce what are referred to has "black bellied brookies" his book "Early Love And Brook Trout" James Prosek writes  of them.



Thursday, October 14, 2021

Small Streams....Why?

I fish small streams for a variety of reasons, many of which I have documented in the pages of Small Stream Reflections. Primary factor that has me going back to these little blue lines is that I don't have to do the right thing, you know that thing that's written about in so many publications like match the hatch, the right tippet size, a 8' rod, no a 5'5" rod and so forth. Me I just pick up the rod that's usually closest to me and my little sling pack with one box of flies and off I go. Now do I have super times on stream, well sometimes. But every outing carries so many rewards, and they're not always measured in amounts of fish or size of fish but instead the pure pleasure of fishing that is allowed to shine through.

So join me on a recent outing and I'll tell you of one of those rewarding days fishing a small stream.


A group of soft hackles, reversed tied that don't match any fly on the water, who cares.


Such areas are tricky, who cares. Cast the fly and let the current and the fly do the work.

Rewards.....never anticipated but whole heartily welcomed. This my friends is about as beautiful a small stream wild brook trout gets. Tough as nails, and the fly did not match any hatch. It does not get any better friends.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Season And "Highly Seasoned" good.

 The sights along the streams at this time of year are at times indescribable. Words are hard to come by when one observes nature at her finest. What may look like a dead weed is actually life renewing. Those puff balls that blow in the winds are replenishing. But as awe inspiring as the sights are the sounds surpass them. The swift flows of water as they try to complete their task of reaching the oceans. The birds also are vocal, perhaps not as boisterous as those calls of spring but they still can be heard.


On a recent outing I experienced these sights and sounds.

Time does not stand still out here. Observe now for tomorrow it will be gone.

"Life"...I observed this bee riding on a leaf of autumn. He balanced himself for what was a long time. Then he lifted off into flight to land where I do not know.

Stuffed chicken breast Italian style. Highly seasoned spinach, garlic, salt, olive oil, crushed red pepper and Pecorino cheese. Sliced thin the chicken breast is stuffed with the spinach filling and is rolled up tightly. It is held closed with tooth picks and then sauteed in olive oil. When lightly browned it is placed into a fine tomato sauce and allowed to simmer in the sauce for a couple of hours minimum. It can be served with pasta or a "good" crusty bread.

Italian meat stew...thin sliced pork, chicken, and Italian sausage.


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Some list my friends...

While fumbling about the internet the other day I came across an interesting bit of fly knowledge. The question was "what's the most recognized trout fly" My guess would have been a Partridge and Orange soft hackle, well did I get an awakening. The Partridge and Orange did not even place in the top ten. I recall the Parachute Adams as the #1 fly with the Elk Hair Caddis #2 or #3.Well no big deal I still think the Partridge and Orange is right up there as #1 or two.

Silk thread especially YLI orange silk is vital in these soft hackles. The thread goes on as a bright orange but when wet it takes on a deep brownish orange. The body color represents many of the streams natural insects.


You can see that rich brown color in this fly.

A beaver pond brookie from this morning. The pond was a stream before the beavers dammed it up in multiple locations. The access is horrible with the mud but when there is a will.... This colored up male took a soft hackle, the Partridge and Green.