Sunday, July 3, 2016

Rain refreshes the Adirondacks

The Adirondacks have been dry, just like the rest of the northeast but some afternoon and evening thunderstorm activity brought some refreshing rain to the mountains.  I was up early the next morning and hiking up into a mountain valley at first light.  I could hear a healthy flow coming down through the mountain valley but since this valley is dominated by hemlock, I was curious how clear the brook would be.  My first look confirmed my suspicion, the brook was darkly stained and quite off-color.

A quick location change to a nearby brook that typically remains clear proved a better option.  I am often amazed by the difference in the character of these two brooks even though they are only a few miles apart.  I started out the early morning fishing my two favorites, the Royal Wulff and the Ausable Bomber.  Both brought up brook trout but they weren't taking the flies with the typical authority.  I switched to a foam ant which seemed to attract more attention, so I fished the ant the rest of the morning.

Fish were found mostly in the heads of the plunge pools.  After working downstream through a nice stretch of stream and catching quite a few brook trout, I decided to go back and re-investigate the upper section of the brook I had fished with the Royal Wulff and Bomber just to see if the ant would bring up some fish that the other flies did not.  The results of that experiment are evident in the photos below






In one of those previously fished pools, the largeest brook trout I've ever come across in this stream came up for the ant but when I lifted the rod the fly easily came out of it's mouth.  A second attempt, brought the fish up again but the hook failed to take hold a second time.  After a little break, I tried once again and this time to hook found a home .  As I worked into position to land the fish, the hook gave way and the big brookie slowly eased back into the water. Throughout this whole sequence I got a very good look at the fish, a well colored specimen in the 10" range or possibly larger with an immense tail.  Hopefully this fish will be holding in the same spot in the future so that I can get a picture of this gorgeous fish, although experience tells me that brook trout move around a fair bit in this stream.

It was great morning to be out in the mountains after some refreshing rain.  The moisture on the blooming daisies, winterberry, and campion was a lovely sight as the early morning sun invaded the valley.

12 comments:

  1. Great pics. I still would like to go there with you before it's too late.

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    1. Kirk - ...Before it's too late??? I don't think the mountains are going anywhere soon.

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  2. It looks like that little foam ant is quite popular this year. Doesn't it amaze you sometimes just how simple it can be at times. Nice photos mark , you have some beautiful subjects their. Thanks .

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    1. Thanks Brad. Alan has been fishing ants lately, so I tied a few and brought them along to try them out. They definitely attracted some attention that my favorite flies did not.

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  3. Gorgeous trip. it is amazing that the streams are so different when they are so close. That's a neat sign of the diversity which makes up that area. Very cool. Happy Fourth!

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    1. Thanks Will - The geology and water differences are striking and fascinating for sure. That's what makes the Adirondacks so intriguing and very much like what you would see much further north in Canada.

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  4. If I'm ever able to break away to a real retirement, this has to be on top of the list of places to go. Beautiful!

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    1. Howard - we are very fortunate to have wild places nearby in the northeast but you have some gorgeous country out in Colorado too from my limited travels!

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  5. Really nice photos! It's amazing how a good summer rain can bring the streams and forest back to life. We need rain down here in my neck of the woods. Currently we're looking at drought.

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    1. Walt - thanks, It was great to get out right after the rain but things drop pretty quickly during this dry spell. In CT, water levels are very low also.

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  6. Awesome stuff, mark! Whenever you visit these two streams, I am always amazed by the difference despite their close proximity. Interesting that a foam ant was the ticket on a freestone...would usually think that would be more effective on a low gradient stream. Nice call to go to it!

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    1. RI brook trout - It is amazingly how geology can effect the eco system. The rocks in both streams are clearly very different while both have large hemlock stands so I guess that is what makes the difference. Who ever knows why brook trout take flies but that ant was the ticket this particular morning.

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