Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The last small stream outing for 2011

     The weather today was a bit touchy with showers and possible thunderstorms predicted although temps were supposed to approach a balmy 50F.  A quick check of the radar suggested getting out early was the way to go to avoid the showers that were on the way.   I gathered up a few things and was on my way to another wild trout stream.
     Things started off slow with not a bump in all the likely spots so I opted to head to another section of the stream as the skies grew darker.  Moving downstream was a good choice as I quickly picked up two nice brook trout on a peacock bugger in the tails of two nice runs.  I continued to work downstream and missed two other fish, the last of which had some weight to it as it eventually broke me off.  It was nice to finish up the season with a brace of brook trout.  I never tire of looking at these magnificent fish.  As soon as I returned to the car the rain started, great timing indeed!
     Best wishes to all of you and your families in the New Year !

Monday, December 26, 2011

A day out with a friend

      The day turned out as forecasted, sunny, breezy, and temps around 43F.  My friend Pete (aka TROUTI) and I met up to see if we could tempt some wild trout.  When I checked the water temp it was a balmy 42F, nearly equal to the air temp.
       It was a generally pleasant day, except for a gust of wind here and there.  Pete is a Zen Master when it comes to fishing a beadhead pheasant tail and partridge and it was fun to watch him fish the fly, hooking and promptly releasing many fish.  Pete, the ultimate sportsmen, has perfected what he jokingly refers to as the "long line release".
       This was Pete's first time fishing this water and it was my pleasure to show him around.  When I first started fly fishing again, it was Pete who introduced me to several rivers, including the Farmington.  When I wasn't "guiding" this afternoon, I did manage a couple of browns myself.  It was great to spend the day out in the fresh December air !

 Pete with a pretty December brown

A final brown before sunset

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

An early December afternoon

The days are getting shorter but the cold of winter hasn't really set in.  This time of year, I try to take advantage of the mild day here and there to get outside. As I scanned the long range forecast, it looked like this afternoon would be one of the warmest in a while so I arranged to take the afternoon off and fish a favorite small stream.  This morning was shrouded in a heavy wet fog.  By noon, visibility had increased but there was still a heavy overcast, damp feeling in the air that gave a calm silence, perfect weather fishing for a wild trout stream.

Today, I thought I would fish a small bead head peacock bugger with a foam egg pattern trailed off the back.  I've never fished egg flies before so today would be the trial run for some foam eggs that I tied recently.  The trout definitely approved, totally ignoring the bugger in favor of the trailing egg.  After a while, I simplified the rig and just used the egg with a couple of small split shot.  A couple of hours on the stream produced half a dozen wild trout with lots of misses due to operator error.  The last fish of the day was my favorite, a brook trout.  This time of year, one never knows how many more opportunities there will be to get out again, so I was happy close out the day with a brook trout.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Versatile blogger awards

So there is some blog love going around the outdoor blogger network these days.  I first picked up on it reading  The Catching Chronicles.  Trout Magee "awarded" some versatile blogs that he follows including a pair that I also enjoy checking in on  (Alan's blog at Small Stream Reflections and Kiwi's blog The North River).  Actually it was Alan who encouraged me to start a blog of my own.  Then Kiwi was kind enough to mention this blog among his versatile seven, so here are seven blogs that I check in with that are certainly worth a visit. In case you haven't figured it out, there are actually ten when you include the three blogs already mentioned above but then it's so hard to choose

This is a great blog if you like small stream fishing like me in and around my home state of PA

Becks and Brown Trout 
It's always fun to see how folks are fishing small streams where the North Country spiders were first developed

I really like the pictures of the streams Mick fishes, they look alot like some of the mountain brooks I fish in the Adirondacks as is the case in the next blog...

Some great pictures and adventures in and around the mountain brooks of Ireland

I like this blog for the flies Johnny ties, perfect for small streams with a good mix of wet flies thrown in.  Hey Johnny how 'bout posting how to tie the Golden Oldie 

My buddy Ben is an awesome tier of Atlantic Salmon flies.  These are real works of art and I check in just to admire the work. A special thanks goes out to Ben for his instruction which resulted in me landing my first Atlantic Salmon this year. 

Kerrian takes you along for all sorts of fishing adventures, from fishing for trout in all size streams to fishing for stripers in the salt, ice fishing, or Steelhead fishing in NY

So go ahead and check out these blogs, you will be glad you did

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Adirondack Thanksgiving

Each year our family spends thanksgiving in the Adirondacks.  The trout season is closed but I always enjoy the quite that early winter offers in the mountains.  Thanksgiving is a time for some final outdoor chores and some quite walks in the woods recalling God's rich blessings that our family has enjoyed over the course of the last year, including good health, family, and lots of opportunities to enjoy his amazing creation.

As we enter the Christmas season, this my Christmas card to all of you.  As we remember the coming of Jesus Christ this Christmas season, may the Light of the World shine brightly!.  God bless!  Mark


Sunday, November 20, 2011

On the board !!!

It was a warm sunday afternoon for mid to late November so I decided to take advantage of the warm afternoon and take another shot at hooking a broodstock Atlantic salmon.  After working down through the run, I had a tug on the #2 Mickey Fin.  As the loop between the reel and my rod hand tighten I lifted the rod and a good sized salmon broke the surface and the game was on.  After a tug of war, a few runs, I was able  to beach my first Atlantic Salmon !

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And now for something completely different

I had the chance to meet up with Ben B. close to home for some broodstock Atlantic salmon fishing.  There is a pleasant rhythm that develops when swinging flies and although we didn't move any fish it was still a great day out learning something new to me.  I've never been that interested in two handed rods but watching Ben yesterday has me thinking about it.  He looked like he was expending a lot less effort than I was with my single handed 10ft 7wt.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's streamer time

Tuesday was another warm, clear November day here in Connecticut.  We don't see a lot of these so with a few more vacation days left, I headed out in the afternoon to another wild trout stream.  I didn't see a single person all afternoon only deer and turkey.  I love the way the warm sun filters through the forest this time of year casting it's long shadows.  There was a lot of scrambling around downed limbs and trees from the nor'easter that blew through a week and a half ago, some parts of the state are still without power.

There was no interest in the dry and the dry/dropper wasn't producing much either so I switched to streamers and my mini peacock bugger was the first choice.  Swinging in through the deeper riffles and into the softer seams produced a handful of browns and a brook trout.  The first brown had some interesting markings.

As the sun began to set and the temperature began to fall, the walk out gave glimpses of the last golden rays of the setting sun framed between the trees bringing to an end another wonderful late fall day along a wild trout stream.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A November afternoon

Yesterday was a nice warm November afternoon so I took advantage of the nice weather to get out for a couple hours on a favorite wild trout stream.  Things were pretty quite with little interest in the dry/dropper that has worked well recently.  I did find a couple wild browns interested in the bead-head pheasant tail soft hackle.  The first fish surprised me in that it was in some very shallow water along the bank out of the main current.  The second was in a similar location.   At one point in the afternoon I was joined by a flock of wild turkeys as they made their way along the bank  unaware that I was quietly watching.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slowly coming out of the dark

Slowly power is coming back to Southern New England.  The early season snowfall came when the leaves were still on the trees.  The wet, heavy snowfall bent trees to the breaking point and pulled down power lines all across the region.  The damage is pretty staggering.  By this weekend most folks will have power restored but the clean up will take a while.  These storms have a way of reminding us how fortunate we are in this country to have an infrastructure that makes our lives easier but also how fragile that infrastructure really is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another fall day out

I took the chance to take another afternoon off and enjoy my favorite time of year in New England.  I headed to a small stream that I haven't fished in a couple of months.  I thought this stream would be in good shape after a few days without rain.  With success I had with the black stimulator on the previous outing, I decided that I would try the stimulator with a bead head phesant tail soft hackle as a dropper.  This turned out to be a good choice as all but one fish took the dropper over the big dry.  The noteworthy exception was an orange-bellied brook trout that launched an aerial attack on the big dry and missed on the way down. His second attempt was successful but my attempt to get a picture was not.  All told, a dozen wild browns and brookies were brought to hand with the browns out numbering the brookies 3:2.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Still interested in the dry

Had the chance to get out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon.  I figured with the cooler temps the fish would be interested in streamers.  In the first good run, I did manage a nice brown on a peacock and dark hen hackle bugger.  Just for kicks I tried a black stimulator (pattern from Ben over at http://theleaper.blogspot.com) to fish some slow pools and was surprised by the interest.  I fished the stimulator for the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed watching the explosive slashes that make fishing big dries in small streams such a pleasure.  A handful of nicely colored browns and a brookie were photographed and sent on their way.

Fly of the day - black stimulator
black thread
moose hair tail
palmered black saddle hackle reinforced with copper wire
coastal deer hair wing
peacock thorax
black saddle hackle over thorax
black rubber legs

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Thirteenth Lake Streamer

 The Thirteenth Lake streamer is named for 13th Lake in the heart of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness in the central region of the Adirondack Mountains of New York state.  I visited this lake for the first time this summer and hope to go back next season.  The region is known for it's garnet mines and this streamer bares that reddish orange tint of the garnet the streaks much of the rocks in the region.  Based on the results of a recent outing the brook trout like it too !

Mustad 9394 streamer hook (barb turned down)
Black (thread)
Golden Pheasant tippet (tail)
Gold tinsel (tag and rib)
Orange Floss (body)
Orange bucktail (underwing)
Black bucktail (overwing)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Closing out the season

With the trout season closing this week in New York State, I had the chance to make one final trip to the Adirondack Mountains and enjoy the fall foliage and fish a few favorite brooks.  A couple of interesting side notes.  First, all the fish were caught on either black marabou, or 13th Lake Streamer which was created for a lake in this region of the Adirondacks.  This trip brought 2 rainbows from the same pool in the upper reaches of one of the brooks leaving me wondering if they are indeed establishing themselves.  Hopefully, they will not negatively effect the native brook trout in this brook.  Finally, I noticed that I had taken a picture of what I believe to be the same trout late in the summer.  It's interesting to see the difference in coloration on this trout a month or two later in the year.  Most of the brook trout brought to hand had a decidedly orange hue.

An Adirondack brook at dusk
Adirondack brook trout 10/10/2011
Same trout in mid September
While this fall has not been the most dramatic in terms of the display of colors, it was a real blessing to take it all in with the warm afternoons that came our way.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I will just let the pictures speak for themselves. 

Fall foliage against a deep blue sky