Sunday, February 28, 2016

Parachute Adams video

I was out yesterday exploring some new water. The brooks are still very high from all the rain and snow melt this week so there wasn't much action to speak of.  A few small brook trout were found tucked under a small plunge here and there but that's about it.  The season for many small streams across CT closes at the end of the month so I will be waiting until April to see how the small stream wild trout of my favorite small streams manage through the rest of the winter.

I've been working on another video, this one is a parachute Adams which is another of my small stream favorites.  I find this fly effective early in the year and late in the fall.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finally getting out

With the snow and cold we've had around here lately, I was hopeful to get out today and do some exploring.  By the time I left the house the thermometer was inching it's way into the 40's and by mid afternoon it was reading well into the 60's.  Quite a change from -10 that greeted me on my way to church last Sunday morning!

This morning I decided to take a walk along a section of stream that I had not visited yet.  It looked pretty promising and I will have to go back again.  I was able to briefly tangle with a small brookie and a brown before they worked themselves free.  I did try fishing a dry fly for brief periods during the warm afternoon but with all the melting snow, the brook was pretty full.  Even a committed dry fly fisherman like myself knows when to go to the bead head nymph.  I did mess around with a small bomber every now and then and I was able to raise a couple of fish that nipped at the small bomber but the bead head accounted for the few fish brought to hand today.

One thing we tend to forget on these warmer afternoons in the winter is the fact that melting snow will often depress the water temperature because the snow melt is at transition temperature (32) between water and ice.  Even thought the warm air can get us excited to get out, if there is snow on the ground these brief warming trends can have a negative effect on water temperature and probably contributed to the fact that few fish were willing to move for the flies.  But despite the slow fishing, I was very thankful for some fresh air and feeling the warm of the sun again.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tying the Ausable Bomber

Here's my first tying video.  I chose to tie one of my favorites, Fran Better's Ausable Bomber.  I've updated the link in the fly box to take you to this video for future reference.  Hope you enjoy the video!  Your feedback is always welcome.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Not so fast

In my last post, I asked if spring was almost here.  I even saw pictures of snow drops blooming this past week but living in New England has taught me that premature pronouncements about the weather are rarely a good idea.  I should have known better that to wonder if winter was done!  With the potential for some warmer weather this weekend, the couple of inches of snow predicted for Friday did not particular cause any concern until the couple of inches turned into a foot of snow and we were all reminded that winter is still here.

Despite the snow on the ground, temperatures were still supposed to be moderate so I headed out anyway.  The fishing was very slow probably due to the fact that there was so much snow falling off the trees and into the stream during the warm afternoon that the fish were probably tucked well under the bank until the bombing ceased.

Winterberry and snow
I did find a couple of brook trout willing to rise to a small parachute Adams and one small one that hung on. But the combination of the sun, a healthy flowing brook and the snow made for a great scene to be hiking and taking pictures in.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Is it spring already?

It has certainly been an unusual winter season around here.  This past December felt more like a typical November, then January brought a cold streak and some snow and lately we're back in a warming trend.  Even the birds are confused this year.  This week I saw a robin hanging around the yard and was wondering if it had come back early or never left!  

As I left church in the early afternoon I could feel the warm sun and the air just smelled like spring.   The remaining afternoon offered a short window of daylight so off I went for a walk in the woods with a camera, a fly rod, and a small box of flies in my pocket.  As it turned out I only needed one.

In the sun, the air was warm but in the shadow of the hills there was a chill in the air perhaps from the wind passing over the little remaining snow in the woods.  Even though there were still a couple hours before sunset the angle of the sun at this time of year put me in the cool shadows most of the afternoon.  Today I wanted to fish a dry and I was convinced that during the heat of the day small stoneflies would have been out in abundance, so I committed to a small, dark elk hair caddis and stuck with it.

The first brook trout of the afternoon
The melting snow from a week of warmer weather had the brook running at a modestly healthy level.  It was pleasant music to the ears but still quite cold in spite of the warm air.  I was pleased to find a small brook trout willing to rise to the caddis in the first likely holding spot and confirmed that my desire to fish only a dry was not complete lunacy.  

Places like this usually held a trout willing to rise to a small fly

In tiny pockets of calm off a rock or a piece of dead-fall the small dry would bring a fish up to the surface to either inspect the fly and return or to take advantage of a potential meal.  It was good to be outside again enjoying a brief respite from winter.  We will see what the rest of winter brings

A wonderfully colored brook trout