Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

When I was young we used to go to my Grandparents home out in the country for thanksgiving.  One of my favorite memories was hunting with my Grandfather and cousins early each Thanksgiving day.  The day would usually be cold and after walking through fields and woodlands we would hike back to the warm house and enjoy a hot meal together. Even though the leaves are gone and the earth is blanketed in the grays and browns of late fall there remains a unique fondness and warmth deep inside me when I am outside in the cold around thanksgiving time.

Walking along the river this morning brought those memories back to mind. I was reminded of all the many blessings God has brought into my life, God's overwhelming gospel love for me, family, friends, provision and health but also the blessings that I often overlook like the brightness of the sun on crisp fall day as it dances on the river.

A #12 frenchie, a foam egg, and #18 Zebra midge accounted for a handful of browns

Happy thanksgiving to you and your families!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A little rain

Some rain breathed a little life into this small stream
It's been a pretty dry fall this year, but a nice day of steady rain sure improved things on the small brooks.  This afternoon it was nice to hear the sound of moving water, the brook trout were eager to chase down a dry fly and all was good.

I changed flies a bit early in the afternoon starting with a small Adams parachute.  The brook trout would rise to it once and gently nip but not really take it.  I had a few chase down a mini muddler but the action picked up quite a bit after the Ausable bomber went on.

A lung full of cool November air and brook trout erupting on dries makes for a very nice afternoon.

colors that never get old

Saturday, November 7, 2015

An unusual November day

What a difference a week can make in the landscape in November.  Kirk and I meet to take a walk along the same woodland stream that I visited last Sunday afternoon.   Yesterday, all the leaves were down and the woods were dressed in the drab grays and browns of late fall.  The temperature however was anything from a usual late fall day!  By mid morning we were down to short sleeve shirts as the air temperature pushed above 70! But this was only the first of some unusual things we observed.

This woodland stream drains into a pond that is stocked by the state and as we were walking upstream Kirk spotted two large fish in a sandy area of the stream.  We think they were two spawning browns by the way they were moving around.  We watched them for a while as they would hold steady and then rapidly circle the small pool.  It was kind of like watching two large dogs playing in a kiddie pool because they were so large compared to the area they were in.

Many fish were hiding in the leave piles in shallow
tails of pool like the one above

I had decided to fish a small Ausable bomber and I stuck with it the entire day.  There were lots of small fish that would nip at the bomber but only a few larger brook trout that would actually take it.  Quite a few fish were holding in the tails of the micro pools and often in the wet leaf piles that would build up in the shallow areas there. Approaching each pool was a challenge and more often then not I would see a nice wake form as another fish rocketed out of the leaves.

A few small brook trout were brought to hand as well as a handsome wild brown and a small rainbow. I've caught the odd wild brown on this stream and will sometime find a rainbow in the fall but never all three on the same day.  It definitely was an unusual day!

Unfortunately, I was not able to get a better shot.  If you look closely from the dorsal fin back to the tail you can see the beautiful red spots that run along the entire flank of this brown.
A surprise ending to a odd day

Monday, November 2, 2015

November gold

November is here and the colorful leaves of autumn are soon to become a fond memory.  The woods that were once alive with color are now a monochromatic yellow.  I find that sometimes I just need a quite walk in the woods to refresh the soul.

By mid afternoon I was walking along a favorite woodland brook, one I had avoided during the dry summer and early fall.  It was pleasant to hear the flowing water again and breathe the sweet aroma that fills the woods when the leaves are falling.

This was a day to just enjoy being outside, to enjoy watching the fly glide through the tiny riffles and into slow water at the tail of each miniature pool.  It was in the slower water that the brook trout would show themselves, slashing once at the parachute Adams and then never to appear again.  Several beautifully colored brook trout were brought to hand, some showing the bronzed bellies of fish getting ready to spawn and others more muted in coloration.

November gold

Friday, October 23, 2015

Eagles and Olives

I was out yesterday afternoon looking for fish rising to small olives.  The olives were coming off heavy early in the afternoon but the wind must have put the fish down, since I didn't see a single rising fish.  Rather than stick it out for the winds to calm down, I made the call to change locations to another spot that usually has rising fish hoping the wind would be less of an issue.

The wind still made getting a good drift tough but I was able to bring a couple to net.  The first brown took a #20 parachute Adams and I though I had things dialed in but after many rises within inches of the fly I switched to a small wingless wet.  I quickly brought a rainbow to hand but it also was good for one fish and that was it.

The highlight of the afternoon was watching a bald eagle circle low over the river a couple of times and then roost in a nearby Sycamore tree.  I've seen eagles cruising the river before but this was the closest I've been to one.  I ran back to the car to get my good camera with a decent zoom on it but when I turned it on the battery was dead!  What an amazing and majestic bird and it's good to see that they are returning to healthy populations once again!

My afternoon fishing partner

Friday, October 16, 2015

Except for the wind

This time of year, I look forward to any opportunity to get out and enjoy the fall weather and the spectacular fall colors that cover the hillsides of New England.  This day's adventure would take me to a wide expansive river.  Big rivers require a bit of a learning curve since there are so many possibilities of where the fish can be but when the fish are rising, at least you increase your odds of finding fish.  I thought the forecast for cloudy skies and moderate air temperatures would equate to a banner "blue winged olive" day.

When I arrived, the cloudy skies prevailed and I started in nymphing the head of a large pool waiting for the olives to start coming off.  I picked up a couple healthy holder-over browns before the wind started picking up and made casting two weighed flies more about untangling windknots than actually fishing.

Between the wind and some light showers passing through, it wasn't long before I was damp, cold and wishing I had brought more than a light jacket.  I stuck it out most of the afternoon by getting out of the water to warm up and managed a couple of browns on a small olive parachute but the stiff headwind made it nearly impossible to reach the occasional rising fish without getting blown yards upstream of the target.   Later the fish were rising more frequently but again they were hopelessly out of reach under the conditions.  Although not the banner day I was hoping for, I was still able to catch a few and enjoy some great New England scenery.

A brief break in the clouds and wind but no rising fish

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Closing out the season

This weekend we made one last trip to the Adirondacks to fish a couple small streams before the trout season closes in NYS. Even though it's been very dry in CT, the Adirondack streams were quite healthy and running at levels typical of late spring.  Most of the brook trout brought to hand were small, fairly typical for these mountain brooks as the spawning season approaches. A few dries, droppers and wets were fished but the Ausable bomber got most of the attention.

Enjoy the colors of Autumn in the Adirondacks...