Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dries in the snow?

The new 5' 2/3 weight
Today's forecast was for the temperatures to reach almost 50F. We've been very busy on a number of fronts at home but I was hopeful I could get out for a couple hours this afternoon. When I arrived about 1PM the air was quite warm.  The stream was up nicely with a good flow of water from the melting snow and I was thankful to have gaiters on since the snow still had some depth and was soft and wet.

I figured that fishing a dry was a pretty good option on a warm afternoon.  As the small elk hair caddis made it's way down through a soft run the first brook trout of the day agreed.  There was steady interest in the small caddis with a peacock herl body as small dark stoneflies hatched throughout the warmer part of the afternoon.  When the sun started to get lower in the sky and the temperature started to drop, things pretty much shut down.  On the hike back, I did switch to a silver doctor wet fly but there was no interest in it that I could detect.

The first brook trout of February to take a small dry

Today, was the first chance I've gotten to try out my new Hidden Water series fiberglass rod from Cane and Silk. In the run below, the small 5' 2/3 did a nice job of laying the fly right in the riffle at the head of the pool.  As the caddis drifted by the snow covered rock on the right, a decent brook trout came up and took the fly off the surface.  I am looking forward to fishing this little rod more on tiny streams to see just what it can do. It was really nice to be out again and enjoy a little small stream fishing on a warm February afternoon

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Parmachene Belle

Here's another married wing wet fly known as the Parmachene Belle just in time for Valentine's Day. I tied this one as close to the one pictured in Ray Bergman's Trout, plate #7.  In the tables in the back of the book Bergman lists the materials as scarlet and white tail; black ostrich tag, yellow wool body, silver tinsel, scarlet over white hackle, and a white wing with a scarlet stripe.  This one is tied on a Mustad 3399 #10 hook. Maybe if we get a break in the weather around here, I could get out and try a few of these! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Silver Doctor

I really love classic Bergman style wet flies so when my friend Mike told me he had been fishing a small stream using a silver doctor, I decided to try tying a few.  I've done a couple married wing wet flies before but the silver doctor that I wanted to tie was going to be the most complex wing I have constructed.  With some coaching from my other friend Ben, I managed to get some wing sections that looked ok so today I tied up some bodies and mounted the wing on half a dozen.  My plan is to actually fish these so I wanted to have a few on hand.

There are a lot of variations of the silver doctor out there so I looked at quite a few before deciding on a combination of materials that I thought preserved the look of the classic salmon fly but in a Bergman style wet fly.  For this variation I used a wing of red, yellow, blue, and guinea hen wing sections.  I used a silver tip, red tag, golden pheasant tippet for the tail and silver tinsel with a silver wire rib for the body.  For the hackle I used a section of partridge under some blue saddle hackle and of course red thread for the head. I worked on getting a couple of wing sets together, then tied some bodies and mounted the wings.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Connecticut Fly Fishermen's Association meeting

I will be presenting "A Fly Fisherman's Guide to the Adirondacks" at the March meeting of the Connecticut Fly Fishermen's Association.  I will be presenting a brief overview of the unique history and character of the Adirondacks and it's native brook trout.  I will also cover some basic information and resources for fishing the Adirondacks.  The meeting is open to the public so if you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

Wednesday March 8, 2017; 7-9 PM
Veternan's Memorial Clubhouse
100 Sunset Ridge Drive
East Hartford, CT

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's been quiet around here lately

Hello everyone.  Sorry the blog has been quiet lately.  We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel but hopefully we will be getting things back to normal in the next couple weeks and back to the fun stuff soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dry fly or bust

After a great afternoon of fishing with friends on New Year's Day, it was time to turn my attention to continuing my little personal challenge of catching a trout on dry during every month of the year.  As winter has arrived here in CT, the next three months will be the most challenging.

Snow still covering the woods on this gray January day
I had the day off work, and the usual suspects were all busy with various things so I decided to head out solo to one of my favorite stretches of stream.  The day was the polar opposite of the warm, sunny New Year's day afternoon; being a more typical New England raw, gray winter day complete with couple showers of sleet, freezing rain and various other forms of frozen precipitation.  Don't ask me why, but there is just something oddly pleasant about being outside on days like this.  Maybe it's just the silence you experience because everything is seeking shelter.

I headed to a pretty little waterfall I sometimes visit.  It seemed fitting to start the day and the year at at such a place.  Waterfalls are active and alive, they sing sweet music, and they remind me that life is dynamic, moving, and yet cyclical, a process of concurrent filing and emptying as new challenges and opportunities come our way.

This day I was committed to fishing a dry fly despite the raw weather and the lack of any insect activity.  Brook trout in these small streams aren't fussy and if it looks like food they don't usually refuse.  It wasn't long before I saw the first brook trout launch itself over the fly.  I was fishing a small tan elk hair caddis and after a few fish rose to it and failed to take it I decided to switch to a darker version.  In the winter there are sometimes small dark stoneflies active, so I typically carry caddis patterns with peacock herl and pheasant tail bodies during the winter months.  The peacock herl caddis brought a few small January brook trout to hand.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Kicking off 2017

my first brook trout of 2017 came from this run
It was a pleasant sunny afternoon to kick off 2017 here in CT.  The gang met up again this year for some fishing, food, and camaraderie. I arrived around 12:30 and started heating up some chicken soup as the others made their way back to the cars. Alan brought along his wonderful homemade chili and we all enjoyed some hot lunch and then went back to fishing.

I managed to get on the board mid afternoon fishing the pinkie in a nice little run on a tributary of the main stream.  Some nice brookies were found and a couple were even taken on dries.

Welcome 2017