Friday, January 13, 2017

Home Water Day One

A new year can not be considered as such until I have caught a trout from my home river. So today I went to my favorite place in the world with the intent of catching at least one wild brown trout, the first of the year. And I was not going to leave until I succeeded.

The decision was made early on to go downstream,  drifting and bouncing streamers. I have had success doing so before when the water is brutally cold after the spring thaw. Today the conditions were somewhat like that: rapidly rising water blew out the ice, the water was discolored and cold, and there was a lot of it. Flows like these make dead drifting small flies in pocket water difficult, so even though smaller flies may be preferable I prefer streamers and large nymphs. Today I started out with a mini sculpin, then switched to a chartreuse zonker in hopes that it would stand out against all of the drifting junk and at least give me a chance to see a follow or a flash.



The streamers did not produce the desired effect so I reverted to rolling a bead head hare's ear soft hackle along the bottom of slower lies. I was not having much luck getting any sort of response, but then again many days like this one have ended in a skunking on this river. These conditions are not my favorite to say the least, but if and when I do catch a fish on a day like this it is often impressive. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that nothing was happening when I came to this pool:

I have named this pool "The Magic Pool" because on spring days during the hendrickson hatch, when every other fish in the river is focused on moving nymphs, the fish in this pool are always looking up. I looked at it today and said "this is gonna be the one". I made five drifts along the near side in the tailout, one on the far side, one more... then I set the hook. It was instinct. I saw something different and set. The fish was not big, but a familiar face. I caught it this spring during the blue quill hatch and two years ago in late December a half mile away. Interestingly the fish that I have caught more than once I have almost always caught more than twice as well.


So that's that. I feel much more like it is a new year now.

19 comments:

  1. Nice going Rowan...sticktoit..in the New England tradition.
    CT's wild browns are as different as our brookies. Such color variations and spotting.

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    1. I was out yesterday and in the span of a couple hundred yards I caught 3 browns and all were different in color.

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    2. Thanks Alan, I have caught more variations than I could ever hope to count!

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  2. Very nice looking "winter" waters.

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    1. My favorite time to fish my home water is whenever I can!

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  3. The Magic Pool gives up an old friend, NICE! Nice to see the water up.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

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    1. There is so much farther to go until the streams will stay at an average flow.

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  4. Rowan
    This has to be one of the prettiest streams you have shown, I would have to spend many hours fish this place. Thanks for sharing

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    1. I think so too, but then again I am a bit biased.

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  5. Sure is a beautiful stretch of water for sure. May not be ideal fishing situation for an ol' Geezer like me, but, I would have given it a workout. Congratulations on getting the first one out of the way!

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    1. Thanks,
      It wasn't even ideal for a young spry geezer on this day!

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  6. The first one is the hardest to get, after that everything else is gravy!!! nice job Rowan and some very scenic photos of the stream.

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    1. I'm just hoping that this spring I will find this stream's fish population in better shape than I suspect it is.

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  7. Beautiful streams and a nice first of the year.
    Spring in something like 6 weeks.....

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  8. Beautiful brown, and looks much like the silvery beauty I caught in the Scantic River this past fall.

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    1. One of many common color variations.

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  9. The second picture reminds me of a stretch of the Hammonasset that I have been interested in. Only found dace fallfish etc there so far.

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    1. Thanks gios,
      Spring should bring you some trout in there.

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