Saturday, December 6, 2014

Can you still fish dries in December?

Can you still fish dries in December? Sometimes, but not this afternoon.  I tried a few early but with ice in guides and the air temperature barely above freezing it wasn't a very productive exercise.  Sometimes you just have to adapt.


It's December, it's cold and raw out, snow is still on the ground in the hemlock forest, and there is very little sunlight to warm things up so I put the dries away for the afternoon and put on a pinkie ( a pink San Juan worm variation).

Both Kirk and I brought some nice brooks to hand fishing the pinkie.  The fish were in the softer water as you would expect in this weather.  One big brook took the pinkie in a narrow channel but I was unable to set the hook.  After a second drift it rose again to chase down the pinkie and I missed again!  After a few minutes, I tried again and to my surprise it attacked the fly a third time!  This time the hook held and after a briefcase close range tussle, I was taking a picture of a lovely December brook.





As we were walking out, we spooked a trout lying along the bank in some wet leaf litter.  I don't know why they do this but I have seen it many times in the winter months.  The trout ran out in the current and we watched it settle into the current.  I told Kurt to toss the pinkie out ahead of it to see if it would take it.  Again the trout charged it twice and before Kirk could set the hook on the third attempt.  All the brooks had pinkish bellies.



A few scattered snow flurries started to fall as we walked out among the Hemlocks.  After a stop on the way home for several cups of coffee and a late lunch, we eventually could get the hands working again.

15 comments:

  1. Not a difficult decision out here in NorCal, streams are all closed until next April.

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    1. Mark - sorry about that, but if you ever out this way we would be happy to arrange something!

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  2. Sounds challenging to say the least. Well done Mark.

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    1. Howard - thanks for stopping by!. Keeping the hands warm is the biggest challenge this time of year.

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  3. Wait till they get used to the temperature, and they will eat on top again.

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  4. Looks like it is getting pretty chilly up your way. Things have warmed back up for us but I know it won't last too long. Time to enjoy it while it lasts!

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  5. Despite the winter like conditions, you guys had a great day! Some of those brookies really had some size to them especially the second one. It seems the first one was still recovering from the spawn that's why he was a little slender. The pink bellies are also a nice touch left from spawning colors. Glad to see the pinkie working for you!

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    1. RML and DK - thanks for your comments!

      RI brook trout - the odd thing about this particular stream is that I've yet to see a small brook trout. They all seems to be sizeable adults. I really puzzle about what is going on.

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    2. Maybe the brookies are spawning elsewhere then returning to this stream?

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    3. That's my thought, I've seen plenty of streams like that. Typically there are a few little tributaries that they spawn in. It keeps them from eating their own offspring.

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    4. RI brook trout and RML - don't know the area that well but I didn't run across any tribs in the section we explored but there could be others further upstream.

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  6. Great post. Dude, these are excellent photos. I hit a different CT stream on this day and I too was rewarded with some brookies, but these fish are just so beautiful, and larger than what I got. I hope to discover this place one day and fish its waters!

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    1. Thanks Klags! This stream has some of the largest brook I've run across. Most of the small streams I fish have brookies in the 4-6in range, all of the fish in this stream seem to be in the 8-10 inch class.

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    2. Yeah totally, I've never stumbled across a concentration of larger brookies other than in the Adirondacks before myself (I still have yet to make the pilgrimage to Maine.) What kind of camera are you using? Your photos of recent have been just so crystal clear...

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    3. Klags - I just upgraded my camera to a Sony Cybershot RX10 (20mp with large sensor). Long story but opted for it over a DSLR for the convenience of one lens to cover most of the situations I shoot under. REALLY like it, especially the fact that it is weatherproof (killed a few camera in damp weather) but it's not cheap. Found a used one on ebay

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