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.