Monday, May 15, 2017

Rainy days and wildflowers

The woodlands in New England are showing a lot of green
After a weekend of steady rain, the rivers across CT were pretty high.  By Sunday afternoon the skies were starting to clear and I wanted to check out a small stream I haven't visited this spring yet.  I knew the brook would high but it usual stays clear so I thought it was worth the trip.  When I arrived it was running higher than I've seen before and even a little off color which surprised me.

Fringed polygala (gaywings)

The wildflowers were doing quite well and the woodland floor was covered in violets, dwarf ginseng, a few remaining wake robins (red trilium), and fringed polygala which are always interesting to find.

I tried a big dry fly with a bead head nymph trailed off the back but it was clear the current was sweeping the dry too quickly through the seams for the nymph to be very effective so I pulled out my  Ausable Ugly.




Red trillium or Wake Robin
I fish this fly when I need to get down quick and stay there and have found it to be effective in situations like this.  I fished it like a weighted streamer through the softer seams and got quite a few bumps and taps and a decent number of brief hooks with a few fish to hand.  The heavier current probably made it difficult for the brook trout to chase down the fly and solidly take it.

As the afternoon sun began to break through the clouds and warm things up a bit, there were lots of insects hovering over the water.  Watching carefully in the tiny little slicks behind a rock or log, you could see small brook trout rising to the surface.  I even managed to coax a few to take an Ausable bomber.  Here's a link to a video I took of a small brook trout hammering the bomber that posted over on the FishingSmallStreams facebook page

spots like this had rising brook trout between the bubble lines


Violets growing in a spring seep



21 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures. It's great to see streamside flowers once again.

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    1. RKM - thanks, things are really starting to green up and it's especially nice to see the wildflowers again.

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  2. Hey Mark I thought I saw your footprints. I was there today caught a few on bombers, I even photographed the same flowers.
    Stream was in fantastic shape.
    Well done.

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    1. Alan - Yes those would be my boot prints. It was wet and muddy enough to leave a good impression ;) The brook was really up and the water was really moving along, I am sure things settled a bit overnight and you had a wonderful outing.

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  3. Beautiful country Mark and very well documented I might add. I'm going to go enjoy the video now...thanks!

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    1. Howard - thank you! I hope you are enjoying some spring out in CO!

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    2. What a difference a day makes Mark. It is snowing here in Colorado today. Twenty one inches in Rocky Mt. National Park, my destination for three days starting Sunday.

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    3. Howard - I saw it was snowing like crazy out your way! Hope you can still get there and find fish!

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  4. Very nice Mark. That stream was definitely full. Gorgeous photos of the brookies and the streamside vegetation. I should have joined you!

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    1. Thanks Pete - Sunday it was a guess as to where would be fishable after all the rain.

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  5. Wow Mark - what a gorgeous trip to the woods. Awesome!

    Will

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    1. Thanks Will! it was nice to be out after a couple days of rain!

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  6. Sunday afternoon was nice fishing weather here, as well, but the catching was slow. It's almost time for the big hatches to arrive and the best fishing of the year. We'll cross our fingers and get out there. BTW-- nice to see your polygala find!

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    1. Thanks Walt. Things are just starting here too. I've only seen the polygala on this particular stream so far. They really are beautiful but easily overlooked

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  7. Great post and pictures, Mark. I should spend more time on small streams, but my fishing opportunities are small. I tend to go to areas where I have caught trout before.

    Good Lord willing, when I hopefully get to retire I will explore small streams. There are some in my town that I fished in my youth.

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    1. Sam - thanks. Fishing small streams is a very different experience than fishing a larger river that is tough to accurately describe. When your larger river options are running too high you should consider visiting one of those small streams (like I should have done today!, more in the next post)

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  8. Mark
    Beautiful images, looks like the wild flowers are abundant on the forest floor. What weight/length fly rod were you using? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - thanks! I've been fishing a little Cane and Silk "Hidden Waters" fiberglass rod (5" long 2/3 weight). It's perfect for these tight little streams up here.

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  9. Loveliness everywhere! The fish and flowers in such delightful surrounding must multiply your joy of actually fishing...


    RR

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