Saturday, April 8, 2017

Opening day 2017

The only thing blooming today was the skunk cabbage
For the last few years, a couple of us have met to fish a small stream on the opening day of trout season in CT.  We choose to fish far from the crowds and the white bucket brigade for CT's native char.

This morning Alan and I met and Kirk joined us shortly after.  The day started with some hot coffee and a muffin and some catching up.  The morning was a cold raw one and I think there were a few snow flakes in the air at one point.

The woods still have a late winter look to them. The buds on the trees have not started to open and the forest floor is still covered in last fall's leaf litter.  The skunk cabbage however has just started to open, signaling that the wild flowers will start appearing soon.

We've had a lot of rain lately here in southern New England which is a welcome change from the drought of last summer.  The stream we chose to fish was clear, lively and full.

I started with some smaller beaded soft hackles but I really didn't notice any interest.  I thought on a cold morning maybe something bigger and heavier would get some attention so I switched to an Ausable Ugly.  I was encouraged by a couple of taps in a run where the beaded soft hackles were untouched.

The first brook trout of the morning that took the Ausable Ugly

I ended up going to back to the few spots I had fished earlier with soft hackles and nymphs, and did much better with the heavier bushier fly.  I ended up sticking with that fly for most of the morning.

Kirk teasing a brook trout with a wet fly
Alan fishing a run at the base of a waterfall

This particular brook had been hit hard by last summer's drought so it was great to see brook trout present in decent numbers and everywhere they should be.




Around mid afternoon, I decided to switch to a big dry just to see if any fish would take it.  A pair of brook trout did take the Royal Wulff before I called it a day.  It was good to be back out fishing small streams again along with Kirk and Alan.

A couple even rose to a dry

15 comments:

  1. Perfect opening day Mark !!! Beautiful brookies and the stream looks to be running full!!

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    1. Pete - yes on all counts. We missed you buddy!

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  2. Great to see your success with the dry.
    It was good fishing with you guys.

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    1. Alan - it was a good morning and especially nice to share it with friends!

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  3. Always nice when you can kick off a season with friends and some willing and beautiful fish. Congratulations, Mark!

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    1. Thanks Mel - I certainly agree with you!

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  4. Mark
    Good fishing by all accounts; what size dries were you using? Thanks for sharing a great post

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    1. Thanks Bill. I was using big flies. The Ugly was a size 10 and the Royal Wulff a size 12

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  5. Looks like a great way to beat the opening day crowds Mark! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. Gosh. Such idyllic fishing. Reminds me of my childhood fishing a private run in the Poconos. Sadly, I haven't figured out how to do this in CT yet. Need to make friends with some up country farmers or something:-)

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    1. Gios - This type of fishing is all around CT, you just have to do a little research. All the small stream fishing I do is on public land.

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    2. Well that's encouraging! Will do! I'm on the coast...
      ...and last year I caught two wild native non-trout in a stream that empties to the sound. That was exciting actually, but I don't think any char actually live there other than stockers. Need to keep looking!

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  7. A nice outing in the best of places where the brook trout spirit and the human heart combine to bring the angling joy.

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