Saturday, January 11, 2020

Top 5 brrok 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.

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.