It took a little while to catch a brook trout. The first fish Alan and I caught were fallfish. I missed a few takes and lost a fish that was clearly a decent char, but when I did get one it was a bit of a shock. I was fishing the ever productive Ausable Bomber in a pool that has always looked great but never gave up the goods, to me at least, when I saw a swirl where my fly had been. I set the hook and instantly felt a heavy tug. The little three weight bent double and line left the reel under the weight of an as-of-yet unseen fish. When I did see it flash under the surface I was a bit shocked. This stream does produce large brookies and actually is where I caught my largest CT wild brookie, but seeing such a substantial wild brookie on the end of your line is never an unsurprising event. The fish actually passed by me and went upstream, fast and hard. I turned it and was able to get it into a calm backwater. What a stunner! This was easily a top 5 CT wild brook trout, I'd place it at second. At over 13 inches this fish is also something many native brook trout anglers in CT will never ever see.
That was a very special fish and I was super pleased after watching it swim back into its home pool. The reality is, you never know when you'll get another like that. But that was just the first brookie of the day. The floodgates were open, and fish just kept jumping on the bomber.
In the mix of beautiful 4-6 inch brookies was a 9 incher that would, on a normal trip, have been the day maker. But this day was being especially kind to me. I don't think I'd ever caught this number of brookies in this stream before.
After a mid-day coffee we went to another stream, a personal favorite of mine. As Alan said while we looked at a particularly large and deep pool, some parts look a lot like streams in Shenandoah. The brookies that live in this stream are also some of the prettiest around. I visited it in late fall and was shocked by the low water and how few fish I caught and saw. And yet, by some odd means, this stream and its fish somehow survived. Not only did Alan I catch a good number of fish there today we caught some of the biggest either of us had ever seen from its plunges and runs.
This guy, the biggest I'd ever caught from this stream, seemed to have almost autumn like colors on him. Quite the beauty.
I ended the outing on the fish above, a fat beautiful female. Fish like this ensure the future of the stream, so handling them properly and releasing them quickly is an important thing to do. I can possibly imagine a more enjoyable spring brook trout day. I always enjoy fishing with the master of CT small streams, and some special brook trout never hurts the day.