Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wild Browns With Company

Fishing is best when shared with some like minded friends. Today was decent weather for late December, and it promised open water and active fish. Kirk and I planned to fish a stream we hadn't been to for a while. Then I asked Jon (RI Brook Trout) if he was up for the trip and he was in. We planned on getting there around 10:35 but when I woke up this morning it was obvious that the rain was going to recede so I texted Kirk and we left my house before 9:00. That was a good decision, because the first hour of fishing was dramatically more productive than the entire rest of the day. The disappointing part of that is Jon didn't get there in time!

After spooking fish and not hooking anything I had a sneaking suspicion that I was not detecting strikes on my little fly. I decided to change to something I was sure to be able to see under the turbulent surface: a bright orange egg pattern, visible a mile away. I decided to skip a big section of water and get well ahead of Kirk without spooking the water he was going to fish. I started to fish again at the lovely pool you see above. I have a bit of a vendetta against this pool. The first time I fished this river with Kirk and Alan last winter I hooked and lost a giant brown in here not once but twice. I came back again in the spring and lost another big fish there. Today I caught a fish there... and it was quite a brute!

OK so maybe not a brute but you have to start the day somewhere. And that was a start of a very fast and furious little streak of the best wild brown trout I've had in a seriously long time. Me and my little egg pattern were on fire the for a good half hour. I caught 8 decent wild browns, some of the prettiest fish ever, and brought three to my feet without touching them. I thought the whole day was going to be fire after that!

When I got back down to Kirk he confirmed that he had gotten some action as well, and while we worked our way back down again I landed on more brown and got into a brief tussle with a brookie, the only one I hooked all day. At that point Jon texted me that he had reached the original meeting spot so we made our way over there. This was a section of particularly gnarly water that Alan likes to call 'the outback'. I had fished it before and seen the potential for it to produce some large fish. After catching a few fallfish and one really nice brown that gave me a spectacular battle on the 3wt, I expected more. 

And then for two hours it was dead quiet. We spooked fish, I saw one absolute bohemoth, but we weren't catching anything. I got super lucky right at the end of our stretch of water with one little guy on a Royal Wulff, but that was good and truly it. In retrospect it was clearly due to a quick increase in air pressure with the front passage, The fish got thrown out of rhythm and stopped their feeding.

We ended up going to another stretch, one I had previously never fished. I caught two more small browns on the egg and missed one substantial one, but it was clear that feeding as still not their highest priority and the flies we had were not loud enough to wake them up.

On our way up to the road we were passing another fisherman when he looked up and said "Connecticut Fly Angler?" Not the first time I've met a reader while on the water... the four of us chatted for a while. He was fishing a single hooked rooster tail and had already caught a few fish. We traded knowledge about some spots and about how the streams were fairing before saying goodbye and good luck. If you are reading, it was great to run into you! I don't believe I got you name? I hope you did well for the rest of your outing on that special little stream!
Thanks Jon and Kirk, it was a fun day if not a very productive one.


  1. There is nothing like good water, good buds, good weather and good fish to make a great day.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. The weather was warm but not good for the fishing.

  2. Lovely water and beautiful fish. It doesn't get any better.

    1. That stream is a gorgeous one, no doubt about that!

  3. At least you didn't get completely skunked.
    I've fished on the lake I go to for 8 hours and didn't get anything except sunburn....lol
    Nice blog man, take care.

    1. Thanks Sid,
      Yes that brief morning bite was excited and more than enough to make the rest of the day less frustrating.