Monday, May 9, 2011

An afternoon chasing wild trout

It's been a couple of weeks since I was out last between things piling on at work and around the house. I decided that I would fish for a couple of hours after work on friday and spend the weekend trying to catch up. We are very fortunate in CT to have a number of places to fish this time of year. I was torn between fishing a larger river where the usual springtime hatches are in gear or a small stream for wild fish. It’s been such a long time since I’ve fished a small stream and I needed some peace and solitude so I opted for a small stream not too far away that I have fished a few times.


I’ve grown to appreciate the start of each new season and the changes that they bring; winter turning to spring, spring to giving way to summer, summer to the cool mornings and the colors of fall and back to the quite white of winter. There somthing wonderful about all these seasons in New England as each that displays the glory of their Creator. This time of year, I especially enjoy the small wildflowers that grow along the stream banks that signal to movement of spring into summer.


I arrived late in the afternoon and hiked downstream to a pool I've fished a couple of times, hoping to see some rising fish. The stream was nice and full, clear and a cool 56 degrees. I decided that I would fish a Bomber with a bead head pheasant tail soft hackle as a dropper. I eased into position keeping a low profile and sent the bomber and dropper into the main current over a deeper section against the opposite bank. After the second drift the bomber went down and I was into a nice fish. After a couple of head shakes and a run or two he was on his way back home. I eased up a few more feet on my knees and tried again and found another pretty wild brown willing to take the pheasant tail soft hackle. I continued to work my way up into the run entering the pool and picked up a little brook trout. It was then that I saw my first rise of the afternoon. It was not clear what the fish was interested in but you could tell it was a healthy size fish from the amount of water it displaced. After a few drifts the fish exploded on the bomber but I failed to connect. It wasn't until a little later than I realized it had attacked the dropper and I actually broke it off.

I moved a little downstream to another promising looking run and missed another fish then managed a decent brook trout. Crawling along the bank, I was face to face with lots of wild violets and other small wildflowers.  From there I moved downstream a bit more to a larger glass pool. As I stood and observed from a long way away, I did see a few rises here and there. Using some taller brush as cover, I moved in behind the brush to camouflage my approach and make my way to the bank. Holding close to the brush I cast the bomber through the main current with no interest. On previous visits, I have seen fish rising in the tail of the pool up against some larger boulders. Using larger long backhand cast to stay hidden; I managed to drop the bomber within a foot of the boulders and drifted the rig along the rocks. Bang, down went the bomber, this time with authority. There was no doubt this was a sizeable fish for this tiny stream and this wild brown fought hard. In the end, I held another beautiful wild brown that once again reminded me of why I love fishing little streams for wild trout. It never ceases to amaze me that trout can be so hidden from view when in the stream yet be so vibrant and colorful when held in the hand.

At this point the sun was hazily drifting through the trees and reflecting off the calm water. Midges were everywhere scurrying about in the surface. It was one of those perfect quite spring afternoons that we long for during the dead of winter. I just sat for a while giving thanks for the ability to enjoy it all for a little while. There were still fish rising at the head of the pool, so I crawled up to using some bank side cover to hide my approach and decided to experiment with a black Stewart spider. This fly has taken rising fish every time I’ve used it this spring and this afternoon was no different and another wild brown was brought to hand.
I went back to the bomber/pheasant tail soft hackle combination to fish some more riffles and runs further along. A couple more wild browns were brought to hand along with a bunch of misses. As the day was waning, I headed back and try the pool I started in once again before packing it in for the day. Using the same approach as before, yielded another solid fish. As the fish came to the surface I could see the pinkish chrome side of rainbow. This fish also fought like the other wild trout of the day and was beautifully marked. It certainly didn’t look like a stocked fish. This stream is known to hold wild browns and brook trout although I haven’t heard any mention of a wild rainbow population present. Too bad the rainbow was camera shy and flipped out of my hand before I could take its picture.  It was great to get out and enjoy some fresh air, solitude, and some lovely wild fish with the added surprise of catching three species trout.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like one of those perfect kind of days out on the water that allof us think about when we're not on the water. Thanks for the post.

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  2. Mark, I enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing. My dad and I are looking for a place like this to fish for a day - maybe even hike in for an overnight. (Bearing in mind neither of us are as nimble as we used to be.) We live in central new york, but are willing to travel a couple hours north to find a small wild stream in a remote and picturesque setting in the foothills like the one in your pictures here. We spin cast with Panther Martins primarily. Phoebee's occasionally. Just spent some time on Cobb Creek in Empeyville, but the tag alders and surrounding swamp we hiked through to find it got the best of us - only one small 4" brookie between the two of us. We're licensed for the season and willing to go off the grid to make it memorable. I'd like to surprise my dad with a short excursion for his birthday next week. Can you help? Anyone?

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  3. ArnoldJ - The NYS DEC website has some very useful info. Check out the "Where to fish" section and you can look by Region and then by county. That's the best place to start but be prepared that it can be hit and miss and there is a bit of "homework" involved - Hope that helps

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