Saturday, December 15, 2012

December brook trout and dries

Ice on some submerged branches
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Alan Small Stream Reflections and Kirk Trout Quest Redux for a late morning/afternoon of fishing for small stream brook trout on a perfect December afternoon. The morning started off chilly with the thermometer in my truck reading 25F when I left the house but the morning warmed as the sunny rose in the sky.  The bright sun felt good but made keeping our shadows of the water challenging at times.  It was a real pleasure to spend an afternoon with two guys who enjoy small streams and being outdoors in any season.

I fished a couple the pumpkin head and a soft hackle hare's ear combination but quickly realized there was too much weight for this small stream.  At one point Alan remarked they if we didn't catch any Pete was never going let us hear the end of it but no worries, everyone managed a few

Alan working his magic
The high points included Alan spotting a brook trout that was not interested in his caddis, but thought something black would do the trick and he was spot on.  I tossed a starling and herl over it and it charged it but I struck too soon and missed it.  We spotted many fish as we walked along indicating a health stream.  As the afternoon warmed, we enjoyed a rare treat, catching brook trout on dries in the middle of December.  The flies of the day included small black foam and elk hair caddis and some small #18 adams.

One of the nicest brook trout of the afternoon that chased Alan's caddis
As we finished up by a bridge Alan remarked that a bugger would probably work really well in the pool below the bridge.  I pulled out my box and showed him a couple of small peacock buggers I used in the Adirondacks.  The second cast brought a nice rainbow to hand proving Alan right again.  We said our goodbyes and all left feeling like we had enjoyed a day well spent thanks to Kirk and Alan.

The last fish of the day 
On the ride home the news of the terrible tragedy that rocked a local CT town was all over the radio.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, the families, the school children and the teachers, and those who were called to the scene to respond.  As president Obama said, "our hearts are broken".  May God's grace abound to all those who are very much in need of it in the days ahead.


  1. I'm pleased to see another angler not obsessed with size. The fish look stunning and what a time of year to catch them too?

    A great post again.

  2. Mark, it was a good outing.
    Perhaps the next time you'll be able to benefit from a fuller stream.
    Great rainbow.


  3. Well done guys! See you soon !!!!!

  4. Hi Mark
    I have been following Alan's blog for over a year and really enjoy his post on small streams; now I have found another small stream blog I will follow. What size bugger were you using to take the rainbow? Were you just dead drifting the fly? No small streams here with trout where I am, but I have my tailrace that has had some major improvements that hopefully will produce some great trout fishing in the future. Thanks for sharing

  5. It was great to meet you. With any luck the next time you visit this gem of a stream the residents will be a little more active. Unfortunately, you may have to wait until the spring.

  6. Sounds like a great trip....wish I could have such luck in December. Those are some beautiful trout.

  7. Brk and RKM - thanks for a wonderful morning out, I hope we can enjoy a few more warm winter days together.

    Richard - thanks for the comments, size is not every as one quickly realizes holding a wild fish that has colors that can amaze and yet can blend in so well with it's surroundings

    Kiwi - fishing in december is not easy but can be rewarding as you start to figure some things out.

    Pete - thanks, looking forward to adding you and AT to the mix.

    Bill - great to have you along. The small stream buggers I tie are on size 12 nymph hooks and I cast it to the tail and was stripping it back through the pool. I have the best luck with black, probably since I fish tanin stained Adirondack waters mostly. A favorite variation is to used a nickel bead and peacock herl for the body with black marabou tail and dark brown/black hen hackle palmered. This is the fly that fooled the rainbow. I'm going to tie some without the bead since in smaller streams the wt of the bead is not always an advantage.