Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wild Trout Stream #65

I surveyed what was bound to be stream #65 on my list of "have fished" wild trout streams in CT. The stipulation for adding it to the list would be catching a wild trout, in this case a char actually, as sources told me it does indeed hold them AND I had already fished it without success. There's one stream on the list that I knew had wild brookies but I wasn't able to add it until last fall despite having fished it first four years earlier. The list is quite comprehensive, actually, naming sections of streams that specifically hold wild trout and what species or hybrids are there. Even if I haven't personally caught every species but know someone who has I add it to the list. There's one stream on there that I've only caught wild brookies in, but I know of the existence of browns and tigers there.

Anyway today I was able to ad stream 65 by catching two lovely wild brookies out of it. Unfortunately both were camera shy, so I will leave you with these stream and turtle photos and my thoughts of the day.

This stream was a gem, really, and it was a shame that I only caught brookies in one culvert pool very far up in the watershed. I suspect a dammed section of a tributary warms up the water in the summer and is stopping it from reaching full potential , because other nearby streams are very high yield due to an excess of spawning habitat and extremely high macroinvertibrate populations. Honestly this could be a gem but isn't, and massive amounts of housing in the general area are part of the problem. The brookies have been pushed back as far as they can go, 

For a while I was trying to add a new species to my list, slipery sculpins were all over. Though I had a couple takes on a small Brassie, sz, 24, none were hooked. I always carry a few tiny nymphs for micro fishing. Always. 

I caught two turtle today. The one you see above is an adorable hatchling painted turtle, likely no more than a day or two old as his shell was still soft. My eyes are always peeled for amphibians and reptiles and when I saw this less than half dollar size gem ditch his floating weed raft I was easily able to coax him out of the mud with one finger. 

The next turtle I caught is to me almost as adorable, but she might not be to some of you. I saw here parading around the pond I mentioned previously, shell and head above the water, pretty much begging to be caught. Once I had she seemed oddly displeased and made that clear by trying to break my UV filter... this resulted in a sweet action shot that shows just how fast a snapping turtle can be. 

Before you go off and tell everybody how stupid I am for putting my hand so close to a snapping turtle's mouth just for a picture, remember that this isn't my first rodeo. With a camera between me and the turtle and my experience handling these dinosaurs, both my camera and my digits were safe. That being said, please don't be an idiot. If you find a snapping turtle on land, leave it alone. It is either making a move to a new pond or a mamma laying eggs and doesn't need you interfering. If you hook one near the front of the body break it off, if you hook one near the back of the body attempt a "medina release" and poke the fly or hook off with the tip of your rod. Most easily done with a barbless hook. And, if you absolutely must spend some up close and personal time with one of these amazing animals, keep your hands and those of others at least a 10 inches away from it's mouth at all times, and wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. I won't go in depth into handling practices because the more I tell some of you the more I worry you'll actually go catch a turtle and screw it up. Nobody needs to loose a finger. 


  1. Those prehistoric big boys are better left alone. We have many in the ponds here at the condo. Just think that guy was probably swimming there before the automobile was in use.

    1. You're probably right but it is fun to test skills handling wild animals.

  2. Love that little critter. Your right about just watch and don't handle or a trip to the emergency room will make for a bad day.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. Once again, don't handle unless you're experienced. I catch snapping turtles frequently, and quite frankly it is hard to get bit unless you're doing something really stupid.