Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CT Small Stream Heaven

As I rode out yesterday morning to fish for wild trout in small low gradient streams, I couldn't help but think how nice things are this time of year. I saw deer, rabbits, woodchucks, beavers, turkey, and tons of other birds and wildlife. Things are green and yet it is still not too hot out. Just the perfect time to go for a day long fishing trip.



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.



The next stream I fished is absolutely tiny. I have crossed over it many many times and fished it once. I have hooked brook trout there before but never caught one. Today I caught three beautiful old fish in that stream. In such tiny streams, a brook trout can be four years old and only five inches or less long.




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.

10 comments:

  1. Rowan..that Cinberg is a performer. I have fished it and it will always work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      When I saw it on your blog I thought "what a beautiful fly!". Beautiful, simple, and productive!

      Delete
  2. Rowan, thanks for sharing your adventures. You are a fishing machine, Love the photos of the wildlife and the the variety of trout!!
    Nice job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      I put in the time, that's for sure.

      Delete
  3. RM
    Awesome trip to say the least, beautiful stream and colorful trout, some areas looked tough to fish from the bank. What weight/length were you using for this outing? Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      The old standby was with me, my 3 wgt, 6'6".

      Delete
  4. Oh what a day you had. It played me out just knowing all the water you fished. Anyone hiring you to guide will sure get their fill of fish, fishing and nature.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      You do what I do every day and it seems easy. Four years ago I would have though a bike ride like this was impossible!

      Delete
  5. What a great story along with pictures. I would never imagine that many brook trout would live in the area below that culvert or spillway, whatever that is. I enjoy reading about your explorations and the outliers that you discover, including that huge brookie. You know where it lives and darned near caught it.

    Regards, Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      That's a dam spillway. Brook trout love these places, especially when they are cool and deep and clean!

      Delete