Sunday, May 15, 2016

The 2 fly challenge

We weren't the first visitors this morning
Alan of Small Stream Reflections (check out his blog for more details around event) invited a few of the local small stream enthusiasts to get together and fish a small CT stream.  The challenge was to pick 2 flies and fish only those two flies until you lost them or until the prearranged lunch time meeting.  Trying to pick just two flies made for some interesting deliberating among the many options: should one go with two of a known productive fly or choice two different flies\that could be used in different ways.  I decided to leave to choice up anyone who wanted to leave a comment on this blog.

The violets were all along the banks of the stream

The first to comment was Brad Basehore who recommended an elk hair caddis and a partridge and orange which were the flies I fished but the others made some really good choices also.  Alan and John went with a foam ant as one of their pair, Pete and his son fished a pheasant tail soft hackle that I jokingly refer to as "Pete's fancy" (it actually resembles and Endrick's spider).  Kirk made a brilliant choice going with a mini muddler with a yellow wing since you can fish it as a big caddis or sink it and fish it as a streamer.

Some excellent choices!  From let to right
John - black foam ant and an Ausable Bomber
Alan - Jassid and a black foam ant
Mark  - green elk hair caddis and a partridge and orange
Kirk - mini muddler and a Queen of the waters

I will leave the details and observations to Alan to report but it was a magnificent day spring day following a refreshing evening of showers and the water level was perfect and an ideal 56 degrees. I've only fished this particular stream twice so I wasn't all that familiar with the water but I knew that it can produce some sizable and strong brook trout.  Over the course of the morning, I was fortunately to bring 5 gorgeous brook trout to hand on a single fly (green elk hair caddis #14).

My first brook trout of the day on the elk hair caddis

All the fish I caught and three that I briefly connected with were all holding in a gentle riffle from 1 to 3 ft in depth.  At one point I was walking along the bank and saw a very deep pool full of brook trout that I obviously spooked with a clumsy approach.  When they settled down I could see a couple  trout that were in the >12" class holding close to the bottom.  It would take something heavy to get the fly down to them in that pool provided that you could approach it without spooking them!



Runs like the one pictured above usually produced a brook trout on two.  I brought one to hand that was sitting between the main current running along the bank and a smaller flow coming in from the lower right of the picture.  A larger trout was briefly hooked at the lower end of the run just in front of the overhanging bush.


The last fish of the morning for me came from the run along the bank above.  You can see some submerged wood tight against the bank. This run is less that 12 inches deep and might easily be overlooked but on the first drift a brook trout came up and briefly took the fly.  After re-positioning myself, another drift a few inches off the bank brought  the last beautiful brook trout to hand.


Finally, thanks are in order to Alan for organizing a great morning and providing a wonderful lunch to follow.  I'm pretty sure I can speak for everyone in saying the first 2 fly event was a huge success. Maybe next time we can up the challenge a bit and fish only one fly!

14 comments:

  1. Mark, nice write up.
    It was truly enjoyable. And a 1-fly challenge sounds good. Maybe this fall.

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    1. Thanks for setting this up, choosing a great place to fish, and provide some great home made chilli and franks. I hope the flies will generate some $ for brook trout conservation

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  2. Mark , looks like you had a wonderful time. Fly choices by everyone were great. It's always nice when the fish cooperate. I am honored you used the elk hair, I know in pa.this time of yr. it rarely leaves me down. Beautiful photos and write up. I like the idea of a one fly challenge.

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    1. Brad - It was a great time fishing and enjoying each other's company. Thanks for the suggestion it was a good one.

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  3. Nice job Mark!! We had a great time, enjoyed the weather, the fishing and the gourmet lunch!!!

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    1. Pete - it's always good getting together!

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  4. Looks like you guys had a super time! Aweosome!

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    1. Will - it was a lot of fun. Maybe you could come down for the next one!

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  5. Mark
    So much fun had by all, beautiful stream you were fishing, the pheasant tail would have been my choice. Congrats on landing some colorful trout--thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill - you cat go wrong with a pheasant tail, that's for sure!

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  6. I'm not big on competition but this looks like a lot of fun. Hats off to Alan for organizing and nice job on the catching.

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    1. Howard - I am not big on fishing competitions either but this was just a day among friends and that makes all the difference in my book.

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  7. What a great day with beautiful brook trout caught. I enjoyed reading about it along with seeing pictures of the gems you caught. Regards, Sam

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    1. Thanks Sam, I love days like this for many reasons!

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