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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

And so ends 2016

Sycamores in the afternoon sun
This afternoon was a warm December day in CT so I decided to take a quite walk along a stream known to produce wild browns.  The water was up from some recent rain so I thought I might be able to find a few browns willing to take a slowly swung brace of wets.

It was pretty quite for the most part so I switched to an Ausable Ugly thinking a heavier, larger fly might attract some interest.  In the last run of the day I found this nice little brown trout.  A nice way to close out a year that was full of great fishing!

The last brown of 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wishing all of you faithful followers of Fishing Small Stream a very Merry Christmas and 
God's blessing to you in the New Year!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dry flies in December

Sun and Shadows on a December afternoon in brook trout forest

An afternoon outing in brook trout forest started out in sun but it wasn't long before the afternoon shadows covered much of the stream.  By the time I was back at the car the temperatures had dropped into the upper 30's.  All the leaves are down now and some rain this past week helped to clear some of the leaf debris from the stream.  I can't think of a better way to spend a December afternoon than outside walking in the woods.

I've had this little personal challenge going to trying to catch trout in every month of the year on a dry.  There are definitely more productive ways to fish in the winter but I just enjoy fishing dries whenever I can.  On this cool December afternoon it wasn't long before I found a few brook trout willing to take a small elk hair caddis off the surface.

A couple of small stream gems
Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, we all have much to be thankful for!  
Thanks to all of you for following along again this year. God bless - mark

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A tale of two streams

We've had some warm, clear November afternoons this week. Earlier in the week, I spent the day on the Farmington River.  I haven't fished the Farmington in quite awhile and I was curious how it was fishing after the long dry spell we had this summer and are still having into the fall.  I fished hard the whole day with little to show for it except one brown, but who's complaining when you are outside all day.  It was disappointing to see areas of the river drier than I have ever seen them.  Some of those areas held wild brown trout indicating that spawning areas were close by.  I just didn't have the heart to take any pictures.  The highlight of the day was watching a couple bald eagles flying along the river with a crystal clear blue sky above.

A favorite small stream in the early morning sun
Alan and I made plans to meet this morning and fish a favorite small stream together.  Alan commented that it was been about 6 months since we fished together last!  We enjoyed some coffee and muffins and caught up in the warm morning sun.  I choose to fish a dry the entire day and hooked a bunch of wild brook trout bringing a couple to hand.  We commented throughout the day that this particular small stream was pretty healthy probably the result of a number of small springs and seeps in it's upper reaches that had keep the water cool and flowing through the drought.  We spotted lots of brook trout running for cover as we tried crept into position as well as hooked many young trout and a fewer healthy adults.   I fished a elk hair caddis and parachute adams most of the day.

The master at work

There is short video clip of Alan releasing a nice brook trout over on the Fishing Small Streams facebook page