Friday, January 19, 2018

Two Flies, Only One Needed

I can" believe it's been a week. Well a week ago I met up with Kirk at a small stream that was chosen for it's access to it, by that I mean there's parking and it's usually plowed. The stream is at times a problem with it's vegetation, mainly nasty thorns. We chose to fish at what I consider winter prime time 10 am..water warms a bit and fish seem to be active. That fly pictured above is an adaptation of an Ausable Bomber tied as a wet fly. I challenged myself to fish only soft-hackles, wet flies for this year and this is one of the flies I fished that day.

The conditions were fairly nice for January with cloudy skies and temps near 40. The stream had a stable flow with only a few icy spots. The only issue was the fact that the fish were not hitting. I fished two patterns and Kirk must have fished several others and all without success until we came upon a deep little hole with a nice riffle leading into it. I let the Bomber wet go and as I twitched it a fish moved to the fly.

Soon this bright fellow was at hand. Both Kirk and I could not believe how beautifully colored he still was. As it turned out this was the only fish I was to bring to hand. And you know what it was all I needed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New England...Streamers And.

The featherwing streamer fly may have not originated in New England but it is New England where it was nurtured and and refined. One area of New England, the State of Maine and the town of Rangeley have become one in the same when it comes to the streamer fly. Many patterns that were so beautifully crafted back in early 1900's are still being tied and fished today. There's a dedicated following and a group of tyers that keep these flies in the eyes of newly fly tyers, anglers, and historians.

I'm sure that every state that comprises the New England region has contributed to the history of the Rangeley-New England streamer.

"Orange" a simplistic feather wing streamer tied in the Rangeley style.

"Platte River Special"
"Platte River Special"...a fly tied in the Rangeley style....a western pattern that I converted at the request of a Colorado angler.

Another well known New Englander....clam chowder, this is Rhode Island style, my favorite.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some "Not So" Forgotten Flies

Good morning. I started with a filling breakfast consisting of sausage and gravy over a biscuit.

Last week or so I was shown a photo of a soft-hackle salmon fly...that started a mini-obsession. Since that photo I have done some searching to find out if there were others out there, by others I mean soft-hackle salmon flies. I located a source of some interesting patterns, that source was my own desk. Back in 2001 Jeanette gave me a book for Christmas, the title of it was "Forgotten Flies", an awesome publication of 550 pages of some of the most beautiful flies ever. Glancing through I found some patterns that I liked and set out to tie them. The materials which I do not have for these patterns were substituted but the likeness was still there.

The hooks were not available to me, but thanks to an Ohio gentleman who sent me some of his stash, along with some frugal purchases made elsewhere I managed to put these irons in a vise and I created some beautiful patterns.

This fly is called "Green Body Pheasant"

This fly is called, "Squirrel and Pheasant"

"Yellow Body Pheasant"

"Blue Body Pheasant"

"Royal Pheasant"
The common theme to all of these flies is size 8 hooks, silk floss bodies and a collar of pheasant. While they are not small stream flies, they would be at home on larger rivers.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Some Firsts Of 2018

Changing weather, as iconic New England as brook trout. Well over the last couple of weeks we have been in a deep freeze, with a nor'easter thrown in. Air temps have had to struggle to hit 10 degrees. With weather like that stream fishing was out. Now for a change, a moderating trend in temps started Monday and which will end with today's high temp of 50+ degrees. This change took me to a stream on Tuesday where I would be able to work a fly or two and perhaps be rewarded with my first fish of 2018.

The day was cloudy and although gloomy the possibility of a peek of sun was there. The sounds of the woods were silent, only a bluejay could be heard, probably alerting every creature to my being there. I enjoy quiet out there but only from man made noise, the natural stuff is welcomed.

Sparse tracks going in. Perhaps a hiker.

The stream was flowing nicely, open water and breaking ice. Careful wading was a must. I had tied on one of the soft-hackle streamers I just finished tying. Working every possible section of stream I searched for a willing player.

After many casts I connected, a brook trout slammed the streamer. He was beautifully marked and strong. My first wild jewel of 2018 was at hand.

This run was on fire this day. I had numerous strikes here. They came from various places along it's length and it's shallows and depths.

My second brookie of the day/year came from the run above.

Last years nest, with an icy's lovely out there.

I did use several other flies today, but this is really all I needed.