Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Two are better than one

A little bit of spring like weather this past weekend had me thinking about fishing a small stream.  I’ve gone out a couple of times this past month but the frigid temperatures made the effort mostly futile.  What a difference to be outside covering ground with the warm sun to brighten the mood.  On warm winter days after a long cold spell the water can still be quite cold and it was.  My thermometer read a chilly 36.  I decided to hedge my bets and use dry dropper rig, two is better than one!  I’ve seen small stream brook trout take dries on days like this before but also having something small down where they could see it just made sense.  You probably don’t think of the dry/dropper rig as a winter strategy but on small streams where brook trout will occasionally look up for a bushy dry, the double rig often bring rewards 


The Ausable bomber is a great dry for a double rig having plenty of hackle to float well with a weighted nymph off the back and being easy to see, it makes a great indicator.  Thinking there might be some small black stones in the warmer air,  I tied on a small black soft hackle with a tungsten bead off the back and headed into the woods. 

The first brook trout to show itself slammed the Bomber of all things but it quickly popped off.  As I hiked up the stream it was clear that the past fall and winter had changed things a bit with new trees down in many places.  I paused at a long deep glide that I usually fish from the upstream side and realized some limbs and leaves had made a small dam at the head of the pool that would not allow me to drift flies downstream so I consider alternatives.  Keeping a low profile I tried to ease into position from the tail of the pool.  After working around a few smaller trees I managed to put the Bomber and the black soft hackle at the head of pool.  As the Bomber drifted down along the bank it paused and went down.  I lifted the light fiberglass rod and the biggest brook trout of the day started tearing up and down the 10’ x 4' pool darting from side to side all while I was trying to get my rod on the other side of a tree to bring it to the bank and avoid falling into the chilly water.  The whole scene had me laughing to myself with the rod tip going all over the lot and me trying to past the butt of the rod around a tree.  With all the fooling around, the hook eventually came free and the brook trout darted under the nearest bank for safety.


At some point in the late morning I switched to a small red brassie and stuck with it for the rest of the day, picking my way upstream exploring each little pocket of deeper slower water.  By early afternoon I had brought a handful of brook trout to hand with a few taking the bomber and many more interested in taking a swipe at it but it was the brassie that brought most of the fish to hand.

Before I needed to head home I decided to take to hike to a couple of bridges to see what I could turn up.  Mostly I just wanted enjoy a good strenuous hike in the fresh air.  I replaced the dry/dropper rig with a weighted squirmy and drifted it in the deep water below the bridges.   Below the second, the "fish the bridge" strategy paid off once again, this time with a hefty small stream wild brown.  Don't forget to fish those bridges! 


12 comments:

  1. Mark
    That is a good day regardless of the time of year. Good looking brookies and the brown is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Pete, it was a good day to be outdoors!

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  2. Mark
    A very active day for the trout and fly fisherman; beautiful trout taken----thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill - they are amazingly beautiful creatures for sure

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  3. That stream looks a whole lot better than the last time we fished it.
    Awesome wild ones, and those spots on that brookie,"oh man"

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    1. Alan - it was in fine shape and the flows were good with a lot less ice! I was a bit surprised by how many fish took a swipe at the bomber! It was good to be fishing a small stream for brook trout again!

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  4. Looks like a fun time in the sun.... That bomber is a great fly for a tandem set up, seems you had that rig in play for some nice action with the Brook trout... And a nice Brown to top it off, thanks for taking us along.

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    1. Doug, it's hard to beat the Bomber for a dry/dropper! I was a bit surprised by the number of fish that either took it on top, or gave it a look especially since it doesn't look like anything in the water right now.

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  5. It's hard to beat an outing like this with wild fish on a mild winter day. Thanks!

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  6. My gosh mark you had a wonderful day. Those trout are very nice for a small stream. Its nice to get out when we have these mini warm spells, they don't come very often this time of year. They must have been fun on that small glass rod. I hope mike sends mine soon. Thankyou, nice post.

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    1. Brad - it was very nice indeed. The last time Alan, Kirk, and I visited this stream there was ice everywhere and we couldn't keep our gear from freezing up. What a difference! I am sure you will enjoy the new glass rod when it comes, sound like a perfect size for the water you fish.

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