Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Brook trout camp 2020

A small pond on a clear spring day
Here's a few pictures from some Adirondack pond fishing from last week.  Tpyical of the mountains, the weather ran the extremes from moderate temperatures with clear skies and calm to below freezing with blowing snow and white-out conditions.

Trolling flies on sinking lines brought fish each day from the beautiful jewels one might find in a small stream to the biggest brook trout I've caught to date.

Camp after an evening of snow

It was so nice to be off the grid for a few days and enjoy calling loons and the peace of solicitude of an Adirondack pond.  Thank you Lord for your amazing creation! 

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of His name;
give to Him glorious praise;
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds"!  Psalm 66:1-3

My friend with the best fish of the trip

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A couple of favorites

I was texting a friend the other day about wet flies.  He had seen that I was tying some and mentioned that his favorites were the gold-ribbed hares ear and the royal coachmen. I have fished the gold-ribbed hare's ear in the Adirondack ponds but it's been a while since I fished it elsewhere.  That got me thinking that I should get out and fish one.  I fished one single hare's ear on my last outing, reminding myself that I should pull one out more often (previous post)!

I used to fish the royal coachmen wet in the Adirondacks when I first started fishing up there.  Adirondack brook trout seem to love red and white. In the Adirondacks, I find that fish will take a dry just as well so I've switched over to fishing a wulff version mostly for the fun of watching this fish slam a dry fly.

Stay well !

Monday, April 27, 2020

Wild things

It was good to be outside and to enjoy the sun, the sights and sounds of the woodlands in spring, to see the wildflowers breaking through the leaf litter and to hear birdsong in the trees.  Even the bluebirds were active building there nests.

I spent a morning walking a long a small stream and taking in all in.  The trout lily, trillium, bellwort, and wood sorrel were all blooming.

A single classic gold-ribbed hare's ear was all the was needed.

Friday, April 24, 2020


I've been having some fun tying some classic wet flies and thought I would play around with some color.  This fly doesn't have a name and any resemblance to a known fly is purely by coincidence.  I thought the claret body and gold ribbing would compliment each other nicely.

If it looks like a fly you know, please leave a comment!

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Bergman wet flies - Fin flies

Among the color plates in Ray Bergman's Trout are a number of married wing wet flies.  These are made by "marrying" multiple slips of dyed duck or turkey quill feather together.  I prefer to use duck quill because I am tying on smaller hooks (#8-12).  The individual feather fibers have micro barbs that allow them to adhere to one another if they are placed carefully together.

One of the most striking married wing patterns are variations of the brook trout "fin" such as tthe Fontinalis Fin.  The wing uses orange, black, and white fibers to produce a wing that resembles a brook trout fin.  The legend goes that you could catch a brook trout with a fin on a hook.  The variation you see here has no tail, uses an orange floss body, fine silver oval tinsel tag and ribbing and soft orange saddle hackle for the throat.  The combination is quite stunning.

Has anyone caught a brook trout on a "fin" fly?  I hope everyone is doing well during this time we when we are spending more time at home!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Bergman wet flies - the Alexandra

I've been tying some classic wet flies from the color plates in Ray Bergman's Trout.  I've always enjoyed thumbing through the plates and looking at the colorful wet flies of an age gone by.  I am sure a few people still fish these flies but I would be willing to bet that they are the rare exception

One pattern that has always intrigue me is the Alexandra with it's peacock herl wings and I've been curious to give this late 19th century Scottish fly a try.

Has anyone fished an Alexandra?  I would love to hear about it

Saturday, April 11, 2020

He is risen, He is risen indeed!

I love the lyrics of hymns, the good ones have a way to stating the truth in a way that is both beautiful and profound.  The lyrics below are from one of my favorite Easter hymns that describes how the resurrection of Christ from the tomb changes everything!

Wishing you and wonderful Easter everyone!

Christ the Lord is risen today
Earth and heaven in chorus say.
Raise your joys and triumphs high
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply!

Love's redeeming work is done
Fought the fight, the battle won.
Death in vain forbids him rise
Christ has opened paradise! 

Lives again our glorious King
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Once he died our souls to save
Where's thy victory, boasting grave?

Soar we now where Christ has led
Following our exalted Head.
Made like him, like him we rise
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies!

For those interested in a livestream service on Easter, here is one I will be watching truthforlife

Friday, April 10, 2020

Some thoughts for Good Friday

While many churches will not be having services this weekend, Christains like myself will still be remembering the significance of these days of remember and celebration.

This is the day Christians remember the great cost of our redemption.  It took the lashing, the beating, the mocking, and the crucifixion of the holy and sinless Son of God to fully satisfy the righteous wrath of God over our sin and to provide the only acceptable sacrifice by which God could forgive sin and remain just.

Jesus was not a victim, but willingly chose this path of pain and anguish so that a greater victory could be purchased, peace between God and man.

I cannot fathom the brutal violence and physical pain that Jesus experienced, still further beyond my comprehension is what it was like for the sinless to become the sin bearer and be abandoned by God the Father.   Through this act of supreme love the enormous gulf between God and man was bridged.  What wondrous love is this! Today we remember the cost, on Easter we will celebrate the victory over our greatest enemies of sin and death.

God's blessings and grace to all!

Truth for Life Good Friday meditation.  The livestream takes place at 6:55PM tonight (Eastern time)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

On the board

I trust you are all safe and well!  We are all trying to distance and isolate ourselves from others to protect both our health care system and the most vulnerable in the population.  I hope you are still able to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.

With the thought of getting outside for a bit, Will (Hibernation) and I were finally able to meet up and enjoy a few hours outside looking for native brook trout.

The morning was cold and raw, the brook was swollen from recent rains, and I was wondering about our likelihood of success.  However, brook trout were found and quickly returned to where we found them.  I fished a dry dropper rig but all the fish to hand took the dropper, though I did see a slash or two on the dry from smaller fish.

It was a good first outing for 2020, with the hope of more to come.  A special thanks to Will for showing me around.  Stay well friends!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A little fun

While everyone is stuck inside, Vedavoo gear and Pig Farm Ink are running a fun fly tying contest for the next 4 weeks.  The challenge for week 1 is to create fly with "materials" from your bathroom.  If you are interested check out the rules here.  Have some fun with this!  Here's my Professor tied with dental floss and cover-roll stretch adhesive bandage.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

More pond streamers

Here are a few more streamers for the Adirondack ponds.  Starting from left to right are the Montreal, in the middle is a no-name streamer that I saw referred when reading about Adirondack pond fishing.  The streamer is tied with a silver tinsel body, grey marabou wing topped with peacock herl, and an orange head.  The one on the right is the well known Mickey Finn.  I hope that these will provide some alternative options for pond fishing.

Stay healthy friends!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

More tying

The fleet ready to go 
Tying has been a nice break during this time of social distancing.  I've been working on patterns that have been problematic for me like the Muddler Minnow. Feather wing streamers are also a classic fly that I have little experience tying.  Motivated by the lack Gray Ghosts in my box for fishing Adirondack Ponds, I decided to work on tying a few.

If you look closely, you will see I've used imitation jungle cock nails.  While these could use a lot of improvement, they should prove to be fish-able streamers!

Stay healthy friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Wings, tails and tinsel bodies stagged
and ready for the deer hair head

During this period of social distancing, it's a good time to restock for spring.  I don't tie Muddler minnows particularly well so I thought I would work on some traditional ones, as well as black and white marabou ones for Adirondack brook trout.  These were tied on a #6 4XL streamer hook.  I will also tie the traditional ones on a mustad 9671 #12 as well.  I staged this batch tying the wings, tails, and body and then doing all the heads at once.

The Muddler fleet ready for the next mission

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Top 5 brook trout of 2019 - Number 1

 This past October, I had my first opportunity to fish a few small Adirondack ponds.  A friend and I camped and fished in an area of the Adirondack Park that I was unfamiliar, which isn't too hard to understand when you realize that the park encompasses 6 million acres and has some diverse landscape.  The area we fished is not particularly mountainous but is loaded with lakes and ponds of various sizes that have recovered from the damage of acid rain in the 70's which devastated brook trout populations.

We packed and portaged to some amazingly beautiful small and medium sized ponds.  It took me a few days to get the paddling and trolling down but the last day I did catch some of the largest and stoutest brook trout of my life.  These trout were by no means large for the ponds, where the trout can grow up to 4 lbs with trophy fish approaching 5 lbs.  But I have to say that the males were were the most stunning brook trout I've caught in my life.  Period.

Below is a picture of one of two similarly sized and colored males that were caught trolling a hare's ear wet fly.  This was a trip that I will long remember and plans are in motion to fish the ponds this spring.

Is there a more beautiful fish than and pre-spawn Adirondack brook trout?

Friday, January 3, 2020

Top 5 brook trout of 2019 - Number 2

Number 2 on the top brook trout of 2019 countdown is this bruiser caught by David Knapp of Troutzone Anglers.  We had planned a trip to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in June.  The brook trout below was one of the last fish of the day that from a trip up a small mountain stream that was a highlight of the entire trip for me.  It was classic mountain pocket water and we caught brook trout and wild rainbows by the bucketful as we worked our way upstream over some massive hemlock log jams.