Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Spring Creek Brookies and Grass Pickerel

I hit the trail yesterday to get out to my favorite backwoods CT brook trout stream. I tried out a new route and tore up some monstrous hills on the way there. Sand an big loose rocks make for moderately terrifying downhill runs. This new route is much faster and a lot more fun!




I got to the stream, dressed up a hornberg with flotant, and very quickly made September the 20th month in a row during which I have caught a trout on a dry fly. Because this stream is a spring creek and already very cold, these fish are starting to get their fall colors. Some more so than others. I've been amazed by the number of different color schemes on the fish in this little watershed.









After catching a good number of brookies on caddis, the hornburg, and some small feather wing streamers on the downstream section I worked my way up to the tree root pool. I was slow and quiet enough that I was able to sight fish for the big brookies that live in that pool. I tied on the Ausable Bomber initially, knowing that the moment it touched the water. it would attract the attention of the fish sitting on the bottom. I just hoped it would be one of the bigger brookies rather than the small 6 to 8 inch fish. Unfortunately the fish that got to the fly first was one of the small ones.

Brookies, all over 12 inches in length
I released that fish, and slowly tied on a streamer while I waited for the pool to calm down. When I was ready to fish the pool again I made my cast carefully and let the fly sink all the way to the bottom. I then let it sit. I let it sit there for a long while. Then I made a short, fast strip so the fly would hop off the bottom. One of the fish pounced on the fly. This one was bigger, but still not the giant I was hoping for. I'll take it though, any brookie over 10 inches in this area is a minor miracle.






When I had finished my fishing on that stream I waded/bushwhacked back down to the bridge. When I turned to step up onto the bank I got the shock of my life. On the bank there was a massive snapping turtle sunning itself in the grass. I have seen some massive turtles in this stream but this one was a beast. She was very polite and allowed me to get a good look at her before going back into the stream. What an animal!




I decided to check a spot that has some brookies in the winter and spring but is only warm water fish right now. I figured it would be a good spot for some redfin pickerel. I didn't find any of that specific subspecies but I did catch a gorgeous little cousin of the redfin, the grass pickerel. They are an absolutely stunning little fish.



9 comments:

  1. Those were some great looking brookies. I've only caught a few but they are so cool and very memorable.

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    1. Thanks,
      I'll never be able to look at another fish without comparing it's colors to a brookie. They are just unreal.

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  2. A bunch of Native Brookies, grapes, a big snaper and a pickerel. It just doesn't get better than this.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

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    1. I'll be waiting for the day when this stream gives up one of its giants. That will be a better day!

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  3. Man I love those red fin's, grass pickerel, almost as much as brook trout.

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    1. They are just as charismatic a fish in my opinion.

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  4. Hey, this turtle is a match for the "turkey platter" turtle we see crossing our yard as he/she portages that huge shell from one lake to the other! Good reads all week; thanks for the info and entertainment. Have fun with your contest.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks,
      Your turtle might be an alligator snapping turtle considering common snapping turtles don't often get so big.

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    2. Whoa! Of course my eyes leapt straight to the word "alligator" first, you rascal! Now that I've calmed down, I'll do some basic research.

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