Friday, June 23, 2017

Home Water Quickie

Yesterday I made a visit to my home water, which was in great shape for this time of year. The flows were medium and cold. The only issues I could see were 1: there were not enough leaves on the trees due to the gypsy moth infestation, and 2: there are not enough fish. There are a lot of streams that survived the drought like it was nothing. This one did not. It took a massive hit. I caught four small wild brown trout and only missed a handful of hits on a stretch of water that used to produce 10 or more fish over 6 inches and as many missed takes. Given the 6 visits to this stream since the start of the year and my in depth knowledge of it and the fish population, I'd say there has been a 60% decrease in brown trout and a 90% decrease in brook trout since spring of 2015. The average size has dropped from 10 inches in 2013 to 6 inches in 2016 and 2017. Of course it could easily come back to what it used to be if we get three or four wet cold summers, but what are the chances of that? Trends have been the opposite. I'll keep fishing it, and like I did this winter when I spent days hiking and killing gypsy moth egg masses, I'll keep taking better care of it than the rest of the community seems to.

The highlight of the day was this beautiful brown that slammed a skated stimulator and did several big leaps. I love it when they go airborne!

I caught some brook trout too, but they were from a different stream in the area. Like the water they came from they were very dark. 

My last catch of the day was the sweetest water snake I've ever caught. She had numerous chances to bite me, but she never did. Maybe it was because she was just about ready to shed, or maybe I've caught her before and she recognized me... whatever the case it took me no time at all to get her calm and comfortable with getting handled. Usually with northern water snakes I have to let them strike me a couple times to get them to relax, or mash their neck like too many people do when snake handling, but this girl didn't even lash out once. Oh, and in case you are wondering I'm not good at sexing snakes so I could easily be calling a he a she here... I have no clue. I always forget to look.


  1. That stream and community should be glad you are taking care of it. It's interesting how trout can color up to blend in. Looks like CT got some rain late yesterday.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. It is one of the most ignored streams it's size in the area. I'll never get why, but n some ways that's OK. I've always found fish color variation fascinating. In this case these fish have turned dark for a most odd reason: their streams have turned dark red due to the amount of caterpillar excrement and bits of eaten leaf litter going into the water!