Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Walk In "Spring"

Yesterday was one those bright beautiful Spring days, those days where a hike about the fields and streams was in order. Jeanette and I set off to find some interesting places both wild and some not so wild. Enjoy.

Typical southern New England barn....still in use.

Naturally where you find an old barn likely your going to find a stream. There are brook trout present but no fly rod was close.

"Trillium"..the first one I've seen this Spring. When it's in bloom brook trout will be rising.

Mountain stream.

A beautiful set of natural waterfalls.

Yes folks it's all coming back to life...........

Friday, April 22, 2016

Good Day's My Friends

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment at 10, and being a good visit which made me feel good. After leaving I said reward yourself and go fishing. It was a later start than normal but what the heck it's fishing. I got to the stream after 11 and geared up. Beautiful day, with all the greenery bursting forth as well as pristine waters I knew this was a gem of a day no matter if I caught fish or not.

Fly choice was easy, "anything that floats", and that was it for the time I spent on the stream.

It did not take long before a willing combatant swiped the fly.

In water as clear as this it's a joy to be able to see the trout come up and strike the fly.

This fellow never left the water.

"The Trout Lilly"...these flowers were everywhere.

"Fontinalis" that means "living in springs" and this photo shows just that. A brilliant male who jumped several times. Connecticut"s only native char.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chill Breakers, Warm Comforts, and What's That

The last few weeks have been a time of transition, air temperature wise. I have been fishing mornings and while eight o'clock is not considered early morning the air still has that crispness. So I often bring and wear something to ward off that chill until the sun can break it. On these days I often choose a flannel shirt or a light weight fleece jacket to break that chill. Both are comfortable and do the job. I do have a preference though and that is the fleece. What's yours?

A great little pizza. This can be done in the oven or on the grill. A Pita bread for the crust, a little seasoned tomato sauce, I use a can of crushed tomatoes, some olive oil, and few shakes of oregano. Your toppings can be mozzarella, romano, spinach or basil, olives and meat if you like. About 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven and it's done. When using the grill you have to keep an eye on it's progress.

What's that? Answer to come later......... Have a great day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Personal Best, Connecticut Small Stream Brook Trout

Yesterday Kirk and I got together and fished a few small streams. We had selected some of our favorites, and with the beautiful weather we were to have the anticipation was high. I won't go into detail about the day other than to say it was a best ten. The fish were there and they were hungry. I tied on one fly and stayed with it all day. Kirk after taking notice of the airborne insects went to the dry fly.

There were a lot of these as well as caddis and stoneflies.

What was to happen in this stream could not be even thought of happening. I cast the fly thorough the run several times and on one of those casts I felt a strike like I have never felt in a small stream. The line went tight and the 3wt bent like it never did before. I was at the beginning of an epic fight that took many long minutes to win. The brook trout made its weight felt when I began to get it close. That's when it ran, power like a steelhead. Kirk had been watching and made a comment.."your going to need a net", and neither one of us had one. Kirk said I have one in the truck and ran through the woods to his truck to get it. While this was taking place I still had a big angry brook trout to deal with and it showed no signs of giving up.

Finally the brook trout came in, and Kirk put the net underwater and lifted the fish up. It was an awesome fish. This beautiful lady had been in this brook for sometime, seeing years of hardship and plenty and survived.

That is a size 14 dry fly in the corner of her mouth.
She was released to the waters she is familiar with and disappeared in seconds. That was the biggest brook trout from a Connecticut small stream I have ever caught.

This is the fly, it will be retired.

While this stream has no name, finding this on the bottom I decided to name the stream "Pick Ax Creek"

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Needle In The Laurels

I was out brush busting a stream in eastern Connecticut yesterday. What I experienced is something that happens frequently but is not talked of, especially by me. The weather was super, sunny and bright with a breeze. The woods were really starting to show some green and that makes for a happy fisherman.

I started fishing a dry and managed to poke a few. The brookies seemed to be swirling about the fly before taking. This action was new to me and I can't recall ever seeing it.

I came upon a run that was full of the most vibrant green laurel. The laurel was right along the stream bank. Over on the far side of the stream I saw a rise, then another and another. These trout were keying in on something. I got into position where I could make a drift and sent the fly downstream. Expecting a hardy rise and I got nothing. The drift was made again and again and nothing. The brookies were rising again and then I figured out what they were interested in, "midges" they were about in the hundreds. When the breeze came up they were gone the moment it became still the were swarming. I have never witnessed anything like it. I don't fish midges but like most anglers I have a few in my box. I tied on a 18 Griffiths Gnat and sent it out. The fly was impossible to see, but the trout saw it. That fly was slammed repeatedly, and I managed to take several beautiful brookies on it.

The actual fly hatching was much smaller than the fly I fished. I also had several for a snack...lesson keep your mouth shut.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Brook Trout Forest..4-11-16

A reflection of the start of a day in "Brook Trout Forest"
A day to pay a visit to brook trout forest, such was a day yesterday. I had not fished this stream since last spring and over the year I was surprised it had not changed which is very unusual because small streams take a beating from times of high water as well as the winds that thin out the bad limbs of trees. The day was overcast with periods of light rain. The water had a light stain to it probably from the decaying hemlocks of years past. The water flows over large rocks and several low boggy areas which are almost impossible to fish, "might be some interesting trout in those places", but that will be for another time.

The fly I used to start was the fly I finished with on my last outing. This fly was the only fly I used all day other than a streamer I worked in a big pool. While I could see no rises I did notice an awful lot of midges about including several that swarmed my face.

The trout were striking the fly just at the edge of the broken water in that soft seam. The strikes were very fast and hard.

A lovely brook trout. As you can see his color is dark and a beautiful amber tail. Most of the brookies caught were of the same coloration.

This is pretty much how this stream meandered through the forest. There were a few tricky places where care was needed when walking.

It is pools like this that prove to be very interesting. The fly worked through went untouched, "there has to be a brookie in there"...will see on the way back I said to myself.

That's why I always listen to myself. This fellow was lying in that pool. He took the fly and was not giving up. My little glass 3wt had its hands full keeping the fish from going into places where I knew I would loose him. When he finally came to hand his colors were different than the other brookies taken from this stream. A lovey blue color highlighted its flanks.

As I finish my morning cup of Nantucket I glance out the window to see rain falling. I feel good for I know that all is well in Brook Trout Forest.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A New Season

Yesterday was opening day of Connecticut's trout season. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark and fishing a small stream. Muffins and coffee in the parking lot and then a few hours of trying to coax a few wild trout to take a fly. The stream was flowing nicely, up a bit, but fishable. The weather was very nice considering it was not supposed to be.

My first fish of the day, a wild brown. He spit the fly but waited for me to take a photo.

Stalking wild trout. Bright sun, crystal clear water, and no leaf canopy...better be on your "A" game.

The afternoon brought some fish to the surface, always welcomed.

A most precious jewel, giving me a chance to take him on a dry fly.

A beautiful day indeed.

New England's Wild Char
Did I ever mention to you that I love these.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Try this, I promise you'll love it.

Italian sausage....this fine mixture of meat and spices is a staple of out household. We enjoy it at least once a week. My usual method is to fry it until almost cooked and then finish it off in a pot of tomato sauce.

The other day I was thinking of another way to prepare this satisfying delicacy and came up with this. I removed the casing from a link of sausage... flattened it out rather thinly...dipped it in bread crumbs...than egg...then back into the bread crumb...and fried it in a pan until golden brown. I placed the sausage in a oven proof dish, put tomato sauce on it, topped it with several cheeses and baked it until the cheese melted....a big hit indeed.

Italian sausage parmigiana...A little advise use good Italian sausage, and "don't" use flavored bread crumbs, please season them yourself.

I fished a small stream last week and found this beautiful waterfall....enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Flies, Keeping it Simple

Emergers, soft-hackled wet fly, reversed hackled fly, and Tenkara style fly. These are names for a type of fly. I have for the last few weeks been tying these and fishing them with some good results. Again the simplicity thing comes forth. The ingredients are curved hooks, a hen feather, a few fibers of wood duck, mallard can be used, some sparse hares dubbing, and thread, for this fly I used olive dun but you can use what you like.

I don't name these flies, I just give them a title "reversed soft-hackle olive", or what ever thread or feather I may use. Below are photo variations of the "reversed soft-hackle olive".

Although these are tenkara style flies they can be fished with conventional fly gear very effectively.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Is it April...My Last Outing.

April in Connecticut. This is the scene here in by back yard on Sunday morning. When I went to bed Saturday night all was well, the morning not so. After my first cup of Nantucket the shock seemed to lessen. Oh well on with Spring...snow again this morning.

The last time I fished was Thursday of last week, the last day of March. The weather was a balmy 65 and the sun at times was brilliant. I chose a stream in Massachusetts, one I have fished before only this time I drifted a bit further into new areas.

The stream is some what open and that makes for easier casting, the edges were a tad rugged with some pretty impressive boulders to deal with.

A typical pool. This one gave up a brook trout or two. There may have been more in there but the bright sun may have cautioned the others.

A scrappy fella..leaped like a salmon.

I came upon this old mill-factory...perhaps at one time the major employer of the region. I sat here and enjoyed a peanut butter cracker or two, and drifted back to that era when the mill workers did the same as they took a lunch break.

Another wild beauty. I noticed that a lot of these char are in great shape. Many of the males like this one will be spectacular come Autumn. This one also has the start of a awesome hook jaw.

Well it's going to be awhile before I can return here. So I'll place the fly back in the box and have another cup of coffee on this snowy Monday morning in April.