Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another sunday afternoon

Fiddle head ferns sprouting skyward
This afternoon was another wonderful spring afternoon in southern New England with the warm sun on the shoulders and face, bright skies , a crystal clear small stream, and wildflowers in bloom all through the forest.  I meet up with Alan, Kirk, and Steve (from  At one point in the afternoon, we chuckled at what the four of us grown men must look like crawling along a small stream chasing tiny brook trout.  The pictures below provide plenty of reason for such apparent foolishness.

Brook trout against the backdrop of the stream bed they call home

I especially enjoyed watching the others fish and taking pictures of the many wildflowers that are now blooming in woodlands all across the state of CT.

A bed of wood anemone with pink highlight blooming along the banks of the small brook
Every now and then you come across an interesting sight like this skunk cabbage leaf sprouting  through a fallen beech leaf.
It wouldn't be spring without trillium in bloom
The brook trout were in fine spring dress, reclaiming the colors that winter had stolen. and so another Sunday afternoon was spent with friends old and new; filling the lungs with that unmistakable smell of spring air.  Thank you Lord for gifts simple and sweet.

Brook trout in fine spring dress

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Sensational Saturday

Spring violets blooming along the river
What a gorgeous spring day out there today with the thermometer pushing 70F.  I just love being out on the water on a sunny spring day! I met up with my buddy Pete, aka TROUTI late morning.  Pete chose the spot to start the day out with, giving me a quick lesson on Euro nymphing.  He quickly landed a rainbow and then let me at it.  I was fishing a weighted hare's ear as an anchor and my Hendrickson wet as the dropper.  I dropped the flies right where Pete said and I had a quick strike but didn't connect.  I hooked two more but didn't get them to the net before I was able to bring two fat rainbows to hand.  Both took the Hendrickson.

A little football of a rainbow
We changed location to get into position to take advantage of a possible Hendrickson hatch.  We started swinging the wets and we both connected with fish.  We started seeing a few Hendricksons on the water but not many fish interested in them.  I missed a couple on the comparadun before I was able to connect with two browns.  Mid afternoon, Pete noticed a bald eagle perched high in the trees watching over the whole area.  Later it took off and fly up river, what an enormous and majestic bird!

A nice brown taken on the comparadun
I noticed some rises up in some faster water and motioned to Pete on move up since he was not in position to take advantage on any rising fish.  Pete did pretty well with the comparadun in the faster water.  I don't know how many he landed up every time I looked up his rod had that lovely bend in it.

After messing around with a rising fish that was disinterested in anything I threw it's way, I took a cue from Pete and moved up into some faster water.  I missed a fish on the comparadun and then connected with a nice rainbow that used the heavy current to it's advantage but eventually came to hand.  We called it quits early after enjoying a great spring day out on the water together.

the last rainbow of the day

Friday, April 26, 2013

Game on!

The big, wide river.  Better work on those casting skills!
I took my first trip to the big river yesterday afternoon.  A small stream this isn't!!! I was hoping to be on the river when the first Hendricksons of the season starting coming off.  When I arrived all was quite so I opted for a brace of wets which included a Hendrickson soft hackle and hooked up with three browns, all on the Hendrickson wet.  Right on time, the Hendrickson's started coming off, nothing heavy yet, but the fish were taking notice and I hooked a nice rainbow and 5 more browns on the comparadun.  As the hatch wound down, I picked up another brown on the wet and called it an afternoon.  Looks like it's "game on" for the next couple weeks!

I nice fat brown
One of a pair of rainbows
An elastomer in the right eye?  Elastomers mark "survivor strain" browns
Look like this guy tangled with a eagle or heron?

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I was out for a couple hours on Friday afternoon.  After arriving, I hiked to a favorite spot and noticed large blue heron standing in the pool.  It flew away before I could get a good picture of it.  As I watched the pool there was no activity whatsoever which was disappointing but also expected since the heron was probably hunting fish.  Hopefully it didn't clean the pool out of some of the nice brown trout that used to live there.

As I worked my way along the stream, the beadhead pheasant tail soft hackle connected with a few decent wild browns but I only managed on bring one brown and a small brook trout to hand.

This time of year the wildflowers are in bloom in the woods.  Bunches of daffodils could be seen randomly sprinkled in the forest, their bulbs probably carried by squirrels.

Some daffodils growing along the stream
 I also noticed a bunch of yellow wildflowers that were new to me.  They were growing in small clusters in the woods along the stream.  After doing a little investigating, I think they are trout lily which is a  great name for a small wildflower growing along a wild trout stream.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Short Session

The trout season officially opens in CT this coming Saturday but there are regulated trout management areas that are open for fishing, so I shot over to one of these after work last night.  The water level was disappointingly low with few stone flies coming off.  Nothing but cubs were interested in the dry fly, but I did bring couple brook trout and rainbow  to hand Euro nymphing with the bead head pheasant tail soft hackle and a starling and herl wet fly.  Just before dark I spotted a 20"+ breeder that was cruising a small pool but it  not interested in the nymphs, streamers, and wets I tossed it's way.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday afternoon rainbows

Rainbow city
This afternoon, after church, I met up briefly with Alan.  He suggested we check out a nearby bridge where he had tangled with a big rainbow.  He thought there were a bunch of rainbows in the pool below the bridge and he was right!  Standing below the pool and casting the bead head hare's ear soft hackle up into the riffles brought 8 rainbows to hand and a few that released themselves.  After about an hour of non-stop rainbows, I decided to head downstream in search of some wild brown or brook trout.

The trees are starting to bud and spring is in the air.  Walking along the stream, I spotted a pair of kingfishers and deer could be seen grazing in the fields in the late afternoon sun.  I did bring one wild brown to hand on a hare's ear wet soft hackle along with a handful of brief hookups.  I'm so thankful I can enjoy spending Sunday afternoons doing what I enjoy in God's marvelous creation.

Green is staring to show streamside
Red maple starting to flower
A nice wild brown
the mark of a wild brown
Some majestic giants in the forest

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Solving the puzzle

Black bead head pheasant tail soft hackle
One of the challenges that makes fly fishing fun and interesting is trying to figure out what the fish are feeding on at any given time.  Yesterday was a very warm mid April day by New England standards, with the mercury well past 80F.  When I arrived it was late afternoon and there were stone flies in the air and the occasional rise here and there.

I tried a bunch of dry flies that I usually produce when stones are about with no success.  Switching to wets gave a similar result.  As dusk approached I could see the flash of the flanks of trout as they were feeding near the bottom so I put in a black bead head pheasant tail soft hackle and slowly twitched it through the area I saw the trout and had my fish, a brook trout.  As I varied the speed of the retrieve, I was able entice a brown that decided to leave before his picture could be taken and rainbow; salvaging the evening in the last 30 minutes of light.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A tale of two afternoons

Rock wall fences and small streams in the New England countryside
I was traveling this weekend so I tossed my small stream kit in the car and took the opportunity to fish a wild trout stream yesterday afternoon and then this afternoon on the way home.

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful spring day with the sun shining bright in a clear blue sky, air temperatures pushing 60F, and very little wind to deal with.  When I arrived at a favorite pool there were a few fish rising.  I tried the peacock and elk hair caddis and picked up the first wild brown. There were quite a few olives in the air and I figured the rising fish were taking olive emergers.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any olives with me but I did have a couple of small parachute Adams and figured it would do in a pinch and the fish agreed.

A wild brown that chased a peacock and elk hair caddis
When you don't have an olive emerger try an Adams !

As I moved downstream, the Adams was getting plenty of attention. As I was working the Adams along side a log with a nice deep slot when a big brookie came up and slammed it hard and headed for the bottom.  When the hook drove home, the brookie exploded into the air with two huge leaps giving me a good look at his size.  After the second leap, he managed to throw the hook.  As I continued to moved downstream another good sized fish grabbed the Adams and headed for the bottom and the hook lost hold again!  This time I checked the hook and sure enough it was bent.  I must have bent the hook tugging it out of a tangle in a tree limb.  A rookie mistake that cost two nice fish to hand.  I finished the afternoon with another brown on the Adams and this brown also took me to task running into a rocky shallow and rubbing himself loose.

The streamside vegitation is starting to break through the cold earth
This afternoon was a completely different day, with the air temperature barely reaching 40 and windy making things challenging.  A quick check of the water temp showed a chilly 43.  I opted to go back to the Adams with a trailing pheasant tail soft hackle.  In the first run I picked up a healthy brown on the PT.  The PT picked up another brown in some nice pocket water.  A pair of brookies were taken on the Adams and then the afternoon was finished off with the very handsome brown on an peacock elk hair caddis.

A pair of browns on the pheasant tail soft hackle

A pair of brookies that attacked the Adams