Sunday, April 19, 2015

Laurel and Ledges

The Connecticut landscape full of laurel and ledges
When I think of my adopted home state, I think of woodlands covered with mountain laurel and ledges.  I have no idea how the early settlers to this area managed to farm this rocky ground.  As spring approaches about the only green you can see in the woods is the mountain laurel and skunk cabbage but if you look closely you can see signs of wildflowers being to poke through the fallen leaves of last autumn.

Signs of new life
Pete and I were out enjoying another warm spring afternoon watching the brook trout turning themselves inside out chasing down the Royal Wulff.  When I lost my smaller Wulff, I ended up fishing a size #12 and they were still smacking it.

Small streams like this one can be surprisingly deep in spots.  The undercuts like the one below were generally holding trout.

Several times during the afternoon, I switched flies just to see if I could catch something on another fly.  The Bomber or parachute Adams would entice the odd fish or two but for some reason the Royal Wulff was getting the most attention.

I don't have any idea how many fish we actually brought to hand but it didn't really matter, we both had an afternoon full of laughs watching the brooks attack the dry fly.  This afternoon the fish were mostly in the riffles and tail outs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Some classic Adirondack wets

It was my pleasure to be included in the Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association (CFFA) Fly Tyer's round table.  A special thanks to Roger and the club for including me in this year's event!

It was a lot of fun to talk to people, some of whom read this blog.  While at the event, I decided to tie some classic Adirondack wet flies.  Here are a couple of the flies that have roots back to the late 19th century.  Both the Adirondack and the Reuben Wood (reub wood) are included in the color plates in Ray Bergman's classic "Trout".  The Reuben wood is  an imitative pattern said to resemble the white moths often seen on Adirondack waters while the "Adirondack" is more of an "attractor" type of fly.

Reuben Wood (reub wood; rube wood)
Mustad 3399 wet fly hook #10-12
red floss tip
Mallard flank fibers (tail)
white micro chenille (body)
brown hen (throat)
matched mallard flank feather (wing)
red UTC 70DN thread

Mustad 3399 wet fly hook #10-12
Yellow floss tip
Black hackle fibers (tail)
Hare's ear dubbing (body)
orange hackle fibers (throat)
matched mallard quill (dyed white)
black UTC 70DN thread

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Opening Day

Today was the opening day of trout season in CT.  For those who love the peace and solitude of small streams, fishing among the crowds on the stocked rivers across the state is not that exciting a prospect.  But it was gorgeous spring day here in CT with warm sun and when I checked the water temperature at mid day it had gotten up to 50F!  At times, I just enjoyed taking pictures of the landscape.  The wildflowers haven't started blooming yet and the only thing poking through the earth at this point is skunk cabbage!

The first brook of the season
As we did last year, a few of us made plans to fish a small wild trout stream far away from all the fuss.  Alan, Kirk and I met for a country breakfast and then one to the stream of choice.  We were later joined by Pete and his son Matt.

Matt's first brook trout 

Things started off slow but eventually everyone was able to coax a brook trout to take a weighted soft hackle.  As the sun began to warm things up, I decided to see if I could coax a brook trout to take a royal wulff dry.  After a few drifts in the likely places a pair of brook trout were brought to hand and for the rest of the afternoon most of us fished various dries with success. A beautiful, warm spring day, brooks willing to chase down a dry, the camaraderie of others who enjoy small streams and corn bread....priceless!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring's first outing

Sin and Death have been defeated!

Happy Easter everyone!

It's been a long time since I was on a small stream!  Plans were made to meet  Alan and Kirk on a small wild trout stream.  When we made our plans we hadn't counted on the strong rains last night.  When I met Alan the stream was off color and quite high.

This freestone stream had an angry chalky look to it today!

Signs of spring!

I checked the water temp it was barely 40F, not very encouraging but it did feel nice to be out especially when the sun poked through!  Walking along the forest I did see a skunk cabbage here and there breaking through the earth indicating that warmer days are ahead.  I started with small beadhead white bugger but thought it was a little too bright for the water and switched to a black one.

I had one brief hookup in some softer water and thought that might be it for the day.  We finished up at a deep plunge pool and I thought I saw a quiet seam along the opposite bank.  I had one fish follow the bugger and then turn away at the last minute but I kept at it and managed to land a pretty little wild brown.  After that I called it quits and headed home content to spend some time outdoors with good friends.