Thursday, October 31, 2013

Drizzly Day Fly Fishing

Today is drizzly but warm, so I headed to some ponds for some fishing. The first produced zilch so I just took pics and left. The second gave up a little perch and little green sunfish. I also caught a little Dekay's brownsnake. He was on the hunt for a hibernation den. This time of year isn't the best for warm water fishing because, well, no water is warm!






Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dry

We need rain here in CT. And in hopes that it will come soon, here are some photos of storms and floods.....




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mr. Chub Bucktail

I got the idea to whip up this little streamer to imitate chubs and minnows in my local waters. It is another simple pattern.
Body: cream floss
Rib: peacock hurl and gold tinsel
Wing: natural buck tail


Hand Fishing for Trout: Why I Hate it

Over the time I have spent out on small stream, I try to clean up trash, move brush from undercut banks, and generally keep them in fish healthy states. When I see someone littering or chucking rocks in a little native brooky hole, I get P-O'D! One of the most annoying things is seeing people catch brookies from what they (the fish) consider to be safe havens, by grabbing them by hand. The worst is that a lot of people (teens mostly) KEEP THE FISH! This is illegal in every state and is destructive to unstable fish populations. I can see how someone in a survival situation could benefit from such  a technique, but otherwise, I would like to see more people act towards conserving these beautiful little trout.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stalking Fish and Flies

On Saturday I went out and fished a small stream. I didn't catch anything, and lost 1 decent fish, but I still had a good time. I spent most of the trip watching the stream's wild residents in their spawning activities. I even saw some male brookies with female brown trout on redds! Wild tigers! I also spent a while observing natural flies: mayfly, stone fly, and caddis nymphs. There were plenty to see, and if you have never bothered looking at what lives in your stream, go do it, now!

Stenonema mayfly nymph.

A free living caddis larva.

Isonychia nymph

Some sort of predatory stonefly, nymph probably from the family Perlidea.

Caddis cases

Couldn't tell but I think it was another Stenomema.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carp in Dirty Water

In my area, algae blooms color the water nasty green and unless the carp are in shallow, sight fishing just is not possible. I solve such issues with moderate success in at least getting hits.

I you are dealing with muddy or algae filled water, the first line of business is to get your butt of the shore. I fly fish for carp from my kayak! Get out and hunt for areas that show signs of carp habitat. Commons love to hunt for crayfish, so finding areas that they like helps. Big boulders with crevices, sandy shorelines, and gravel bars or sunken islands make good spots. If the spot is shallow, anchor and wait. If a fish is there, look for him tailing or the faint silhouette. Then you can effectively sight fish for them. Otherwise, cast all over the hot spot. Fish the fly a bit faster than normal to cover terrain, but still slow enough not to put off the fish.

Some times of the year here berries or seeds will fall out of trees that hang low over the water. This can be darned technical fishing. Cast low and under the branches with a berry pattern if you know a fish is there. If not use a nymph. Even if carp are hunting sunken fruit they will usually not shy away from a crayfish, burrower nymph, or leech pattern.

Choice flies that I designed for carp I chase:
RM Single Berry
-red chenille
-soaked in Dave's Flexament

 

RM Cluster Berry
Red Chenille
Dave's Flexament

RM's Carp Nymph
-brown marabou
-olive chenille body
-olive hairs ear dubing
-pheasant tail wingcase
-

RM's Buggy Carper
-brown v-rib
-rubber legs
-olive died deer hair

RM Carp Cray
-Kaufman's Blend Golden Stone
-light elk hair
-rubber legs

Autumn Panfish

(1/30/2018- This post contains examples of very poor fish handling. Use it as an example of what not to do. Thank you, 
R.M. Lytle)

I spent this cold afternoon casting streamers for panfish with some success, getting one fat bluegill and a crappie. In these temperatures it can be helpful to use streamers at a pace you would use for carp or the strip-teaser nymphing method, as the fish aren't in the most aggressive mood.
Nom Nom Nom


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hunting Blue Lines

I am a small stream lover, and know that the name of the game often has nothing to do with the fishing methods themselves. The most important part for me is hunting down a stream to do some recon on. I often find true gems that nobody would have expected otherwise. I can't say how many times I have been given a weird look and asked "there are trout... in there?". The answer is frequently yes. Fish get in some strange seeming places, but they have their reasons for being there.

The first thing to consider is how flit you are and how willing to do some bushwhacking. If you don't want to do any of that, you must find a stream with easy road and trail access. The second is whether you want to only fish public water. Asking permission from an owner can lead to a killer find and fish that have never seen flies. Once you consider these get on google maps or earth and start on a street map rather then satellite. look within a 15 mile radius of your home for a thin blue line that fits your requirements and appears to be long enough to hold breeding trout populations.
A potentially productive trib in New Hampshire

After looking at the stream 'out of context', switch to satellite view. If it is flowing through woods, good! Swamp, not so good. Determine how you will get to the stream and what it should look like. If it is private, look for an area where you can walk and potentially meet neighbors who could direct you to the owner. Once you find your stream and get out their in the field, don't lose hope from not catching any fish or finding a filthy dead looking stream. Find another! I have been skunked enough that I have learned how to identify potential streams faster just by looking at the satellite view.

Adventures in Kentucky

During August of 2012 a group of buddies and I spent a week at Mammoth Caves National Park in Kentucky. This included some fun though unproductive fishing on the Green River. We stopped on the first night to camp in Somerset PA. I got some time to fish the types of little limestone filled creeks for Smallmouth that I lived around in my earliest years. I only caught little fish, but they fought well.

Within the next day both trucks broke down. One broke down in the city limits of Newport Kentucky, we spent hours in a parking lot chasing skinks and playing Frisbee. We ended up having to stay the night in a crummy motel with 3 people to a room and one bed each room! At least the carpet was soft. The morning dawned very rainy and we made our way to the national park. We spent many hours of the next five days on cave tours. I found the caves to be beautiful, but too artificially 'enhanced'. I would rather have seen them without any electric lighting, just as they were found. On one day, we canoed the Green River and I saw many good fishing spots, but had stupidly ditched the poles at camp.

Finally I had the chance one night to get out and wet a line. I landed one Black crappie and several warmouth. I had one smashing hit on a buzz-bait from a musky, but that about summed the fishing up. Fortunately the trip home went soundly with no breakdowns.

A tunnel somewhere in West Virginia

A captured skink

A sign in Newport

The whitetails in the park know you can't hurt them

I decided to take a picture of Frozen Niagara in an angle you don't usually see

Feisty Crappie

Somerset PA flower

Central Ohio. Had some good looking bass lakes!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flys For CT Pike

From my experience, some of CT's Northern Pike fisheries are fit for the use of flies, and others are not. Some of these aren't even management areas, so you may never have heard of them holding big pike.

Beseck lake in Middlefeild Connecticut is not a management lake, but fisherman introduced some northerns and the population seem to be  healthy with spawning being quite possible. The lake is small  and shallow, with some coves that provide good structure and many docks.

Mansfield Hollow Reservoir is a sprawling lake that is manage for pike. It has so many places that could be fished it is just incredible. Pike here tend to be spread apart, as it is a varied water body. I would suggest mobility in such a situation.

The Housatonic is definitely CT's prime pike on the fly water. Drifting is the best way to approach it. The northern empoundments are the ones that hold the big pike, don't go to the trout waters with a 12 weight and arm sized streamers!

You could try the Connecticut River, but I would say that it is just to big to cover with a fly rod.


Past Adventures: Hogs in Plymouth

In past years, I have had the opportunity to fish a good bass pond in Plymouth, CT. It holds some true bucket mouths. This year was particularly productive with a weeks trip producing 60+ largemouth, about 20 being on the fly. I caught one big headed female who would have gone 8 or 9 pounds pre-spawn or in the fall. the best lure over all was the Heddon Torpedo, the best fly an orange dear hair headed streamer/diver.
Skinny!

The Banana Nut Nymph

I mentioned recently one of my newest patterns, a nymph that I chose to name The Banana Nut Nymph. I did give a recipe, but not a picture of the fly itself. So here it is!

Pickerel

Anyone who fishes with me knows that I LOVE pickerel. I can't see why anyone wouldn't. The are so strong and strike like small sharks. The patterns that adorn their sides are just so beautiful. Also, they keep on feeding aggressively into the fall. Who could resist such a fish? I know so many people that go out of their way to hunt down fish that fight like a pickerel when they could just go down to the local lake.  I dare all of you to get out there and find some of these fish and throw a flashy fly at them. You will not be disappointed.

(the sock is for not being chomped as badly!)

Fall Deep Water Smallmouth Techniques

This time of year, the bass fishing moves from shallow water (6-12 ft) to the deeper parts of the lake. The water is cooling, and the smallmouth move to rocky spots that have the warmest temperatures in the lake. Look for potential springs and deep pools. In my lake that means hunting out the few rocky ridges and outcroppings that drop deep into the lake. Then what? How can you fish water 20-30 ft deep with a fly rod?
Well, one could easily spin fish and nail bigguns on jigs. How might one fish a fly more vertically? You could use a full sinking line, and that would work perfectly, but I like to add a very heavy sinking tip to my 6 weight set up. It is a heavy line section about 3ft long and it absolutely plummets when no drag is conflicting it.

Then you can get your flies down to the right area, but what should you use? One of a smallmouth's favorite meals is a crayfish, and from May to September it will do fine. In October and November the crayfish escape the cold and burrow into the bottom. They become much harder for smallmouth to find, but they may still bring up a few bass.This leaves bait fish, and the small species in my lake stay shallow until it freezes. I react by going big. Get the nastiest jiggy leeches and streamers you can think of, such as those used for pike. Fish it similar to a jig. Give it a couple quick strips then let it sink, and repeat, slowly working over the biggest area you can at a very slow pace. Trust me, you won't get many fish; they are very lethargic. Some big ones may find your fly though, and to me a big bucket mouth before winter is a heck of a blessing.
Oh how dead it looked until a big carp jumped (ripples in upper portion).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

McPhail Emerger

Davie McPhail is a Scottish fly fisher and tier. He has created some beautiful patterns that prove to be absolute killers. One of my favorite flies he has created is the McPhail Emerger, a simple and realistic caddis imitation. His video is here: youtube.com.

Traditional Wet Flies

Traditional wet flies are very good patterns, to fish, although many don't bother with them. I keep a lot of them in stock and in my boxes. This year wasn't a bad year for wet fly fishing, and I often found myself using them rather than nymphs in many hatch situations.

Banana Nut

In order for a fly fisherman to be on top of his game, he must feed himself well. For me, breakfast means pancakes and bacon. Yesterday I made my favorite type of pancake: banana nut. Normal pancake mix with 1 diced banana and 10 ground walnuts make for a delicious and healthy breakfast.

Today I decided to toss a nymph I christened 'The Banana-Nut Nymph'. It is very simple yet effective.
recipe:
hook-size 12-8
weight- 6-10 wraps .015 lead wire
tail- partridge hackle fibers, natural
rib- fine wool yarn, whit or yellow
body- Kaufmann Nymph Blend, Golden Stone
head/legs- loosely dubbed, same as body bet worked out with dubbing needle or Velcro

This pattern took one nice brown in the Salmon this afternoon.


I fished a small stream with ants and a tellico wet fly but was unable to hook one of its fine brookies.


The Brooky and the Hopper

Trout Candy
Even in October terrestrials can still provide fantastic action. This was displayed the other night with a brooky that couldn't stand the large surface impression of a foam hopper. Being so dry, I was fishing a friend's private hole on a little spring fed creak.


Perch



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hard Times on the Salmon

Today I spent the whole day fishing at the Salmon River. It was tough. I only landed one fish. I hooked some big trout from atop a retaining wall, but in the time spent trying to find a way to get to them they threw the little nymphs.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall on the Salmon

(1/30/2018- This post contains examples of very poor fish handling. Use it as an example of what not to do. Thank you, 
R.M. Lytle)

This time of year the Salmon River TMA gets stocked with a new batch of brown trout, and they quickly learn to take advantage of the small mayfly and midges that come off this tie of year. I had luck with some different patterns such as the Adams and Ausable Wulff  last weekend.