Sunday, August 28, 2016

From The Neversink.........

Neversink River, NY
The sport of fly fishing is so rich in history that a mans time on earth won't allow him to even scratch the surface. I'm a person who loves history and I started digging a few weeks back into the history of the Neversink Skater. The skater was created by Edward Hewett in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The fly was tied to imitate butterflies which the brook trout would jump for. Some of the fish would clear the water for such a meal. The skater was tied on a 16 hook with oversize hackle. When I look at one it appeared to be a dandelion puff. I paid a visit to the Catskills to get some first hand information on Hewett's Skaters. I found someone who enlightened me and now I have a place to start. Well Hewett's skater led me to the limestone stream Letort in Pennsylvania. There was a fly tyer and angler by the name of Ed Shenk who also tied a variant of Hewett's skater, I believe he called it a spider. Shenk's spiders are responsible for taking some big browns, including an impressive one in Argentina. So armed with that knowledge and the Neversink history I tied up some of my own.

This is a Neversink Skater as tied by Harry Darbee according to Hewett's recipe.

Here are three of my "Skaters" the problem I had is the hackle is sized for number 12 flies.

I have since acquired some much larger hackle. This fly is tied with that hackle. A note, Ed Shenk suggested putting a tiny bit head cement on the hackle to make it stiff and skate across a pool much better.

The day I tried my skaters on a small stream the flies worked well with out the added cement. One particular brook trout shot clear out of the water and grabbed the fly on the way down, that's the honest truth.

Here are a few brook trout that found the skaters to be irresistible.

I'm going to continue to fish this fly but will also add various color hackle.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Vermont Walk

Here are a few photos I'd like to share with you. A recent trip to the state of Vermont, for a nice hike through the woods and country side. The walk was gentile for the most part with a few tough spots. I hope you'll enjoy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Small Streams, More Brookies, And.....

I paid a visit to one of the streams I fish, I was not sure what to expect. I had not fished here since early June, but after getting some much needed rain I figured this was a good time to check it out. As I started my walk to the stream I was able to hear running water which is always good. Getting close I could see the stream looked good. The pools were full and the water was flowing nicely through the riffles. I took out the thermometer for what would be the test as to weather or not I fished. I tossed it into one of the pools and it came back with a reading of 58, great.

Working here it did not take long before I had a willing trout. Several would come from this short stretch.

A wild jewel, such highlights, that bluish tint just awesome.

This stream has two sections, the red barn, and the family secret. Having fished the red barn I was off to fish the family secret. Before that I always stop at a little country store that has one of Connecticut's best coffee's. A cup of Hadlyme blend and to the parking lot I went.

Walking the path to the stream the destruction to the trees from the gypsy moth caterpillar was evident, luckily the trees seemed to regenerate somewhat.

The stream here seems to move slower and has some deeper pools.

In those pools dwell these. One was even rising to, well who knows. To watch trout rise is a pleasure.

In this rather picturesque pool I caught what was a first in this stream.

A very small largemouth bass. When one finds such a fish in brook trout water it not good. I hope that was a fluke and that there will be no others.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Fine Day In August

It's been quite sometime now that I have enjoyed such a day fishing for wild brook trout. Yesterday was one of those days that was so frustrating and so rewarding, a day not to be forgotten. The stream chosen is one of those that features spring seeps along it's length, these springs push up cold water to the tune of 58 degrees, and with pretty good volume I might add. The bottom covers most everything from fine to medium cobble, with the larger boulder here and there. Blow downs and wood jams aplenty as well as some grasses that grow in stream. The stream runs through some woods consisting of hardwoods and conifers. The banks in places are a nightmare, but they do protect the streams inhabitants. The brook trout that live here are what I would describe as insanely skittish. One wrong step and all that you'll see is flying darts, when this happens move on to the next pool or run.

The day was cloudy to partly sunny. The air thick with humidity, with that feel of a downpour at any time. You would think that the fish would be holding, well they were holding almost everywhere.

These brook trout are healthy and strong.

The stream side....beautiful to look at but a disaster to navigate through.

The males seem to starting their fall colors.

I have a variety of flies deposited along runs like this.

I fished my TQR rod this day. It's a 5' 2wt. It was perfect for this stream.

This was without question the most colorful brookie of the day. It looked like a torch coming through the grass.

With pronounced colors as these what will October bring.

This fly brought more strikes, as well as a few to hand than any fly used that day. It's a soft-hackle dry fly. I have a few in my box and use them from time to time. They are similar to a fly known as a "Cinberg". I tie them with a light body as well as a brown body.

They approved.

Also represented this day was the "Hornberg"...fished dry and pulled under it brought some violent strikes.

On my way out I met a couple of farmers haying this field. The stream flows close by and gaining access through here would be so kind. In talking to them they informed me that they were not the landowner but instructed me as to who it was. I will pay him a visit and hope to gain permission to fish on his land.

Friday, August 19, 2016

As I Fish

"Moose Pond"
There's not been many ventures along the small streams as of late. I did manage a little trek on my home waters last week after some considerable rain swelled it to where a fly could be floated. Most of the reflections have come from some lakes and a beautiful pond. The fish have been smallmouth, sunfish and a few perch. While none of these were of trophy proportions they were a blast to catch. When you gear your tackle to the size fish you target it makes for some real exciting hookups.

There was top water hits, and most came from these.

Places as these are very comforting to the eye and soul.

These fellows liked the fly under the surface. When taken and hooked they did an act that would rival an Olympic athlete.

Could they be Oysters?....Perhaps snow?

The "Barred Trout" as they were called by "Joe Haines" in James Prosek's book "Young Love and Brook Trout" they are a strong fighter.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The "Yellowhammer"

"Yellowhammer"...What! Several years ago a fellow mentioned a fly that was popular in the south on those wonderful mountain brook trout streams. So I went online and found some information on the fly, that information led to more searching and even more information. I wrote personally to a few southern fly tyers and received what I would guess to be as accurate of info as I was going to get. It seems that the Cherokee Indians were the first to fish this fly, I'm sure it did not look like those of today but it did contain the main ingredient, which is the feathers of a "Yellowhammer" woodpecker. The Yellowhammer is native to the area and that's probably why the fly worked so well. These days the Yellowhammer is protected so the feathers can't be obtained. Various substitutes can be used including grouse, woodcock, and hen. Below are a few of the variations of the Yellowhammer and where they came from.

Roger Lowe's book lists two variations. The top one a Yellow Hammer Nymph. The bottom one is a wet fly tied with different hackle. The bottom one is the first of this fly I fished locally. It was purchased from a Appalachian fly tyer.

This is the Yellowhammer purchased from the Appalachian tyer. I fished this fly many years ago and had a spectacular Autumn day.

Further digging got myself in touch with an outdoor sporting heritage group who were so nice as to send me this poster of the Southern Appalachia's Fly contributions. As you can see it contains another variation of the Yellowhammer.

These are a few variations of the Yellowhammer that I've tied. These flies have been tested, and have taken brook trout, smallmouth bass and bluegills. This one performed the best. Maybe it's because of the peacock head.

This one which I though would do well has done just the opposite.

This variation has done very well also. The yellow hackle I colored myself myself using a permanent marker.

This is where I first fished the Yellowhammer. I'm guessing it was the fall of '09. At the tail out near the base of the tree there was a large colored leaf jam. The fly was cast and as it drifted to the start of that leaf jam I saw what was a wake of a swimming brook trout. That fish slammed that fly and gave me a memory that is as fresh today as it was that day.