Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 5 brook trout of 2019 - Number 3

This past summer I made an effort to do some exploring.  I found the stream on the right while studying maps and the contour lines looked like it might have a waterfall on it so off I went one summer morning to find out.  

I found the waterfall alright and I also found a few beautiful Adirondack brook trout.  The fish below reminds me to take the time to study maps to find new adventures. 

Happy New year everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Top 5 brook trout of 2018 - Number 4

The brook trout below was a one of of nicest brook trout I've caught in the Farminton river.  It was solid "14 and strong.  I can't be sure if it was a wild fish or stocked but the colors on it were beautiful!

What made this fish especially memorable is that it was the first fish I caught that afternoon, just after I had put new plates on the truck!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Top 5 brook trout of 2018 - #5

Here's a quick look back at 5 memorable brook trout adventures from 2018.  These 5 brook trout from the past year aren't necessarily the biggest or the most stunning, but the story of finding them makes them the most memorable.

For #5 this is certainly the case, there was nothing that remarkable about this fish except the conditions under which we found it.  Alan and I had made plans to open the 2018 trout season on a stream that we both have fished before.  Heavy rain during the prior evening continued into the early morning.  On the drive down to CT, I had my doubts about whether the trip was worth the effort.  Every stream I saw was running very high and so off-color that I had very little hope of catching anything.

Alan and I visited a couple of spots and decided that it wasn't worth the effort.  Alan suggested we check one more in the area and so off we went.  It was running very high and off-color also but we did find a couple fish in the soft seams.  We were walking up a tiny tributary, when I decide to run the flies through an undercut and to our surprise a decent brook trout was seeking refuge from the main stem.  That fish made the day and we headed back to the vehicles to call it a day.

Number 5/2018

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Last day of November

Here we are in December and I am wondering where fall went.  Other than some Adirondack pond fishing there really wasn't much of a chance to get out.

After Thanksgiving, I had a day when the rest of the family was busy, so I decided to head back to CT to fish a favorite small stream.  I haven't fished this stream in a very long time so I wasn't sure what to expect.  

It was a cold and windy day when I left the house but by late morning the sun was starting to warm things up a bit.  A couple of wand warmer packets in my pockets definitely made the afternoon much more enjoyable.  

I started out fishing a dry-dropper rig since I didn't expect a lot of interest in the dry.  I did find a few fish that were willing to slash at the dry but none really took hold of it.  

I've been fishing an old standard with a tiny twist.  A gold ribbed hare's ear with partridge hackle and small bright orange hot spot accounted for all the fish this day.  Since I was fishing a smaller stream, I tied a few with a brass bead.

Even a familiar small stream will change over time as storms and high water rearrange the furniture.  The first fish of the day came from a nice looking plunge that I've run flies through many times without so much as a bump while other places that always held a fish were quiet.

Still it was good to be outside again and to find some gorgeous wild brook and brown trout.  Lately, I've been using a small hand made net that I really like rather than handling the fish.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Scenes from Utah

My wife and I spent a few days visiting our daughter and son-in-law in UT.  Our daughter had a few days off from work and we hiked together around Salt Lake City and in the Wasatch and Lone Peak Wildernesses.  We were humbled at the vastness and glory of God's creation!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Adirondack Pond Adventure

A sunny fall day on an Adirondack pond
I had the privilege of spending a few days fishing 4 Adirondack ponds with my friend Jim.  Jim has lived most of his life in the Adirondacks and as a former NYS forest ranger, and guide, he know the Adirondacks quite well.

We set up a base camp on the shores of a pond we did not fish and then ventured out from there.  Most of the fishing required paddling across a pond or two with a portages between the ponds of various lengths.  We fished by trolling full sinking lines behind the ultralight canoes.  

Jim with a strong healthy male
There was a bit of a learning curve for me to become confident in the tiny canoe, manage the rod while paddling, and gauge where my line and fly was to avoid getting hung up in all the submerged timber that lines the shores of the ponds.   

In the first pond, Jim caught a nice bunch of brook trout including the largest of the trip and I caught my first Adirondack pond brook trout trolling a hares ear winged wet fly

My first pond brook trout

Jim hooked up with a brook trout from his ultralight canoe
The most remote pond we fished required paddling two connected ponds and a portage into the pond we would fish.  With the low water, the waterway between the two ponds was nothing more that liquid mud.  We persevered through the muck and over broken beaver dams until we could go no further and then bushwhacked our gear and the canoes to the pond.

Brook trout alley
On our last day of fishing, I used a canoe that was set up with oars.  This enabled me to see my line better, although navigating over my shoulder was a challenge.  We fished a pair of ponds, the last of which produced the most brook trout of the trip.

This small pond produced two impressive male Adirondack brook trout in their full spawning dress.  The colors on these fish were amazing!  Once we found where the fish were located we kept working the canoes through the area and usually hooked up on each pass.

Look at those colors!  and yes those are two different fish
What a fantastic experience in a part of the Adirondacks that was new to me.  Special thanks to Jim for taking me under his wing.  It was great to spend some time taking with him around the camp fire, falling asleep to the call of loons, and seeing firsthand the spectacular brook trout the Adirondack ponds can produce

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory!  Isaiah 6:3

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Teaser alert

Just back from a couple days fishing a few Adirondack ponds with my friend Jim.  Here are a couple memorable fish!  I will post more detail in a few days after I've had a chance to work through the pictures and my thoughts.

What amazing creatures God has blessed up with!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fall colors

Forgive me if you are feeling down that summer is fading fast, but I love the fall and look forward to it year after year.  The vivid colors of fall in the Adirondacks and New England are one of things I love  about living here.

A few days ago, we were in the Adirondacks and there are signs of the turning seasons everywhere you look.  I hope you are able to enjoy "the magical season" wherever you call home!

A closer look at the Peliated Woodpecker in the photo above

The last of the cone flowers growing in a logging clearing
New York Asters, a sure sign that fall is coming in the Adirondacks

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It's the places

If you fish small streams like myself, you’ve probably been asked by friends or family why you expend so much effort for small fish.  So why do I fish for brook trout in the small mountain brooks and woodland streams?  There isn’t only one reason but what I’ve discovered about myself this summer is how much I enjoy the places that this pursuit takes me.  Here are some pictures from another search for Adirondack brook trout.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

New Plates

When we moved to MA, I thought it would be fun to have the MA version of Alan's CT plates Smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com.  When I checked the registry, no one had requested them so I put in an application and they came to the local RMV a couple of weeks ago.

I put them on the truck in the morning and then drove to the Farmington in the afternoon and fished a section of the river that is new to me.

To my delight, the first fish of the day was a nice brook trout.  I'm no expert at distinguishing stocked from wild brook trout but this one had some very nice color and was my best brook trout of the year.

I fished dries most of the afternoon and into dark and found a few nice browns and rainbows

I enjoyed a fantastically beautiful afternoon on the river.  At one point in the afternoon, I just sat on a rock and watched the cedar waxwings putting on an aerial circus picking off caddis as they were hatching.  If you look closely at the picture below you can see one mid-river in the center of the shot.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


A couple of weeks back, when the summer heat was strong, I decided to head back to CT to fish the Farmington river.  I was missing not being able to fish my favorite spots and the warm temps gave me an excuse to go in search of colder water and bigger fish.
This little guy couldn't resist the light Cahill wet
I had my favorite run to myself from late afternoon til darkness covered the river.  I fished a dry dropper and got on the board with a nice rainbow.  For the rest of the afternoon I fished a brace of wets (light Cahill/ partridge and orange) had lots of fun swinging them through the riffles and having the trout slam them.  One even took the partridge and orange clean off the line (5x)
The real fun started just before dark when a spinner fall had the run erupting with sippers.  The "usual" was all the was needed.  It was a long drive but worth it be back on a river I have so many fond memories with special friends.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Further up and deeper in

While searching around for the previous stream, I traveled across another very interesting looking brook.  From the topo maps, this stream had a lot of potential with a good gradient running through some steep gorges.  I even had a hint there might be waterfall upstream somewhere so off I went on another Saturday morning.

The water was still a cold 60F in early August which was a good sign.  I think I found what I was looking for!