Sunday, April 15, 2018

An opening

This yea's crew
What amazing weather we had this year for the opening of trout season in CT.   For those of us who love fishing smaller water for native trout, the opening day is day to get together with old friends to fish the small streams we love once again.  Even though this spring has seemed like an endless February, the day dawned bright and warm and Alan and I enjoyed a fine morning.  There were trout lilies everywhere just starting to pushing up through the leaf litter of last fall.


Trout Lilly
We had arranged to meet Pete and Matt at around 10:30 a little further downstream so we moved on and enjoyed some coffee and muffins while we waited for them to arrive.  They arrived soon afterward and we chatted for a while and sipped more coffee before heading off to fish.


Alan was the first to raise a brook trout on the Hornberg he was fishing.  After trying to coax it back to the fly he headed downstream and Pete and Matt headed up a small tributary that has treated us well in years past.  I decided to send the dropper/dropper I was fishing through the run where Alan had raised a trout and connected with my first brook trout of the morning which took the pheasant tail dropper I was trailing behind a royal wulff.

I decided to head a bit upstream and found a nice deep run to drift the dry dropper through.  On the second or third pass I spotted the flank of a decent fish that must have turned on the pheasant tail.  I replaced the dry dropper with a pink squirmy worm with a tungsten bead, thinking that a big meal might get some interest and sure enough the first drift produced the solid pull of a hefty brook trout that put up quite a fight in tight quarters.

This one was a handful!
After discussing potential options to see Pete land a wild brook trout, we moved to another stream.  Pete and I tried a couple spots before we headed back to the car and said goodbye.  I looked around a bit for Alan but decided to leave a note and headed upstream to find some more brook trout.

The warmth of the afternoon was getting the brook trout active and rising fish were starting to show themselves.  I continued to fish the dry dropper but later in the afternoon the fish were turning on the royal wulff more frequently.  The recent late spring snowstorms had left a lot of limbs down in the woods and the small stream was quite choked with limbs and debris.  I had to pass on many good looking spots simply because I just couldn't get a fly into them.  The bright sun made a stealthy approach challenging and I saw more than a few dark shadows rocketing for cover but a few more gorgeous wild brook trout were brought to hand and released.  What a great way to spend a spring day with good friends doing what we love together.  


the first wildflowers of this spring (marsh marigold)


19 comments:

  1. Sounds like you all had a marvelous opener (one for the books). I didn't get out yesterday but I hit the Hammo today (5 minutes from my home) I guess the stockies must be sick and tired of power bait and meal worms. I fished a soft hackle and landed six nice fish (cookie cutters between 12 and 13 inches, 3 rainbows;3 browns; no brookies) in one hour. The air temp was 38 deg and the wind was blustery. The fish didn't mind, at all. I didn't dress warm enough so I left after an hour. I was happy to inaugurate the HI Tonka Queen, bamboo rod I just recently completed restoring.

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    1. John -we did have a great day. What a change in the weather today. You probably had the river to yourself. Well done!

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  2. Well done, Mark, on a beautiful day to be out. Those brookies are real chunks and pretty as can be. A perfect way to spend opening day in Connecticut.
    Best,
    Sam

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    1. Thanks Sam. The second brook trout was hefty for a small stream. Wonderful day for sure

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  3. Mark
    We had a great day. Thank-you for all you did for Matt and I. Just good to be out in he beautiful weather.

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    1. Pete - my pleasure and joy to see both of you enjoying a day together

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  4. Mark,
    It was a great day. Friends, flies, fish, and "muffins and coffee".
    Thanks.

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    1. Alan - It certainly was! I can't think a better way to celebrate small stream fishing than with good friends.

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  5. Mark
    Congrats on a fantastic opening day for all you guys; for sure a quality brook taken. I haven't used the pink worm in a while, this post had motivated me to give it a try. What size pheasant tail was you using? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - in the spring I use a #16 PT with couple turns of partridge behind a copper bead. I use the squirmy as a last resort when I am convinced there are fish that just aren't showing themselves. It's big, bright, and heavy and sometimes just the ticket when the water is cold.

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  6. excellent opening day mark, well done on keeping an old tradition alive and nice fish too, well done.

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    1. thanks George - we all enjoy these days and look forward to them every spring.

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  7. Mark, looks like the crew had a memorable day. It's always nice to fish with old friends and pursue those wonderful wild trout. I know you had perfect weather for the event.

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    1. Thanks Brad! It was wonderful day together but we missed our buddy Kirk

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  8. Classic and traditional... brook trout on the fly in early spring. With trout lily and celandine (I'm thinking marsh marigold but maybe you are right) in blossom-- wow, your spring is a little ahead of ours... especially today! Thanks Mark!

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    1. Walt - Classic and traditional, that's how we like it around here. I think you are correct on the marsh marigold! I haven't seen any celandine blooming in other areas that I typically see them yet and this one was growing in a very damp area, so I was a bit surprised to see it. Thanks for noticing that! Actually our spring is a bit behind this year, we typically see the trout lilies blooming by now

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  9. Great post Mark! What a joy it is to see friends getting together to continue the tradition of opening day.

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    1. Thanks Harold - people, relationships, and traditions among friends are important around here!

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