The first stream I visited is my secret brook trout filled spring creek. I have yet to see any of those giant fish I was seeing last year, and because this stream flows into a sizable lake I suspect they spend the winter and spring, and probably early summer in that body of water.
One thing you can be sure of when fishing this stream is that the fish you will catch are just about the prettiest brook trout around. Here it seems like it is always early fall, because some of the brook trout are permanently colored bright red on their stomachs. Another expectation here is that I will catch a lot of fish, although many will be small. My favorite brook trout stream did not disappoint.
I stopped and had breakfast at this pool. It is the kind of place you expect to produce 12 inchers in such a fertile stream. I was not so lucky today. I was still very much content with the gorgeous little brookies that I did catch, and I enjoyed the most wonderful breakfast I have had in a while.
On I went to the next stream, a place where I have seen a good number of really large wild brown trout and never managed to hook into one. I have caught plenty of rainbows there before, and this day would be no different. I caught one brookie here on my last visit, and today would improve on that number. I am beginning to believe that this stream is farm more full of life than my first few visits seemed to imply.
The rainbow bellow is one of the biggest I have caught in a stream this small, and it gave me one heck of a battle. It ran up and downstream, pulling drag and dodging dangerously close to logs and debris. It was quite a battle.
In one short stretch I got the trout slam, a small brown that I believe is the result of the state's juvenile trout stockings completed it for me.
Further downstream I found a nice fish rising for mayflies in a slow glide. I figure it was probably another rainbow. I switched the Ausable Ugly out for a parachute hendrickson. I was surprised and very pleased by what came up for my fly because it was a fish I have been trying to catch for a while now.
This may just look like a creek chub to you, but to me this is an absolutely stunning male fallfish in spawning dress. Such a beautiful fish! And it fought SO hard for its size.
Further down on the other stream I continued to catch rainbows and smaller fallfish, and some fingerling browns.
After I was just about sick of catching stocked rainbows, even fin perfect specimens like the beauty above, I went on the hunt for more brook trout. I found them in a weird spot, a big deep spillway bellow a reservoir.
Stripping a Cinburgh just bellow the surface of that huge deep pool was downright deadly. I very rarely count fish, but I counted them today just to see how many I could get. I ended up with 47. 47 brook trout in one hour on only two flies! That is about as crazy a brook trout day as I have ever had here in CT. It reminded me of fishing a pond up in the White Mountains. I kept on expecting to hook into something really big, but it just never came.
I also got a pair of smaller wild browns in that pool.
On to a new stretch of river that I have never fished. I worked all the likely looking spots, fishing the Ausable Ugly and Bomber. I got one little rainbow in the pocket bellow and a few little brook trout. Then something crazy showed up.
I have seen some really big small stream brook trout in the past year or so. But this day I saw a fish that was so old and so big an so ancient that it left me shaking. I was fishing the Ugly through another of many big flat pools with undercut brush on one side when a HUGE brook trout came out from that brush to take the fly. I can still see t in my mind's eye. It was so beautiful. Of course, as it goes I missed the hookset and it wouldn't come back. I'm not even going to say how big I think it was. That doesn't matter. Just know that if you come across this fish in your travels, you'd better make sure you have your camera ready, because it is very likely one of the only ones of its kind left in these parts.