Friday, October 31, 2014

Good bye to October

The last day of October, and the air felt more like November than October. The trees are losing more of their leaves every day and just the odd golden beech or orange of red maple or oak remain. The days are getting noticeably shorter as November approaches and with the return of eastern standard time, darkness is going to be coming an hour earlier.

It's been a while since I've fished a small stream so plans were made to meet Alan (small stream reflections) on a small stream that he has been exploring.  We walked through stands of hemlocks and mountain laurel in the bottom of a rocky ravine in the dull gray light of the overcast afternoon.

The remnants of an old dam

The landscape was typical of CT with old rock walls running throughout the forest and a stream plunging and tumbling over the rocky earth.  Adding to the sense of familiarity was the company of a friend who also appreciates simplicity of this type of fishing.  

This was an afternoon to fish dries.  I started fishing a mini muddler while Alan fished a bomber and Parachute Rapidan.  Early in the afternoon, I sent the muddler into a long slow pool and we were soon admiring the first nicely colored brook trout of the afternoon.

The first nicely colored brook trout of the afternoon
I fished the muddler for a while and then switched to a Royal Wulff when large sections of pocket water predominated.  The Royal Wulff fooled a handful of good sized brooks.  As the the gray afternoon darkened, I enjoyed a quite walk out among the hemlocks and mountain laurel stopping every now to take a picture or enjoy a view.

A boulder the size of a small house
The last bits of color

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall days

Fall days are here.  The kind of days that bring mix of everything, sun, clouds, rain showers, wind, and falling leaves.  I don't know why I love these kind of days but I do.  The bird hunters were out but I guess most everyone else was inside staying warm and dry.

Spots 1 and 3 where a bust but location 2 produced some dark rainbows and a couple of browns.  It was definitely a subsurface day and it took switching to a heavy anchor fly on the double nymph rig to connect but after the switch I was finding  fish.  After nymphing through the second run I tossed and stripped an articulated streamer and picked up another rainbow.

A dark hooked jawed male

This rainbow chased down the streamer

The days are getting noticeable shorter so it was it was a quick outing but the solitude did my soul good.

One of those "perfect" fall days...

Thursday, October 16, 2014


In anticipation of some expected rain, I was able to get out a twice this week.

The first outing was to a smaller local “river” which was predictably low but my intention was stop at a  deeper  and wider section in search of fish that might be sipping small olives or midges.  In years past, this river/small stream has provide some fun dry  fly action in the fall.  Armed  with a  couple small Adams parachutes and a couple hours, I was able to get some practice targeting fish with small flies at a distance.

The woods are showing a lot of color these days

The rises were gentle and sporadic but after observing for a while you see that the fish were cruising around and not staying in one place.  More observation indicated  there were general areas that fish were working in.  I finally figured out that the best approach would be to lay out a nice long cast  in the general area of a group of rises, let the adams sit for a while and then slowly bring it closer and let it sit etc.  A handful of rainbows fell for this tactic which made for an enjoyable couple hours out in the fall air after work.

Yesterday afternoon I headed up to the Housatonic River.  The Housatonic is known to rise quite a bit after a decent rain and stay high for a while, so I wanted to fish it before the coming rain.   Yesterday was one of those gray, stormy looking days.  The combination of the hillsides now ablaze in the reds, oranges, yellows of fall scattered among the green pine stands all set against the gray backdrop of the sky was quite stunning.  Unfortunately with the coming weather change the wind was really picking up over the course of the afternoon.

Euro-nymphing provide some solid action early with a handful of browns and a hefty rainbow taking the frechie anchor fly (#12).  One brown did take a liking to a small tungsten torpedo but the anchor fly was getting it done early.  By late afternoon, the wind was making it difficult to nymph and it all but shut down any hope of some dry fly action.  Ever the optimist, I did stick it out until dark hoping the winds would dampen after the sun set.  There were some fish working in the tail of the pool I had been fishing right before dark.  It appeared that they were sipping small emergers or spinners but with the strong upstream wind still blowing hard, I could safely reach them.

Notice the olive cast on these holdover browns?

A hefty Housy rainbow

As I drove home, the showers started and as I write we are getting a steady soaking.  The rivers are all on the rise and hopefully the smaller stream will be restored to healthy flows for a few days.  The Housatonic has now doubled in flow and is still rising so despite the wind,  getting out yesterday was a good call. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

To walk in the woods

It's been a while since I've walked along a small brook.  My hope was that a recent rain had brought the water level but that was not the case.  The trees were well colored, the leaves starting to fall and the air crisp and sweet with the familiar but indescribable smell of fall.  I took along the short 3wt and a camera, not much else was needed this afternoon.

Small brook trout were willing to chase a parachate Adams in the tiny riffles, but most were not able to hang on.  Occasionally I would see the swirl of a larger trout that had been holding close to the bank.  While the fishing was not that remarkable, it was a perfect day to walk in the woods.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Back at it

It was another nice fall day in Northwestern CT yesterday.  I drove around a bit in the early afternoon taking some pictures.  This is my favorite time of year in New England and it was so nice to be able to see the trees starting to show their fall dress.

Later in the afternoon, I headed to the Housatonic River. I had come to try out some recently tied sulfur parachutes in the expected size and color from observing on my previous trip.  The isos did not make an appearance this afternoon and things were quite early. At one point a large osprey came cruising downstream calling as it flew. Unfortunately my camera wasn't handy as it flew very close and I got a good look at the birds size and wingspan.

There were a few fish sipping olives here and there and I managed one on a small parachute Adams and one on the streamer.  Later in the afternoon the olives started getting some more attention and I picked up another on a #22 snowshoe emerger and stung another.

As the daylight faded the sulfurs show began and I picked up a handful of nice browns on my modified sulfur spinners and parachutes.  But to say I had it all figured out is not completely accurate. The sulfurs last night were a bit smaller and more orange/yellow in color reminding me that rivers change from day to day and there is always a need to observe and adapt.

A couple of nice Housatonic Browns at dark
Hiking out in the October moon light