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This spring has been something very special. This has been the second very wet year in a row, and despite stream temperatures getting warm fairly early in Southern and Eastern CT last year, spring seeps remained very safe refuges throughout that period. Frequent high water but only brief periods of truly serious floods also means lots of food in the drift, and I have no doubt that if the necessary data were collected, it would show a massive bump in the growth rate of small stream wild trout over these last two seasons. I'm so sure of this because I've not seen such good small stream fishing for a long time.
On Friday I fished a stream that I'd not been to in a while. The last time I'd fished it I caught a number of sizable browns, but nothing really remarkable for the size of stream they were in, and one small hunchback brook trout. This time was very different.
Within minutes I got a quite substantial wild brookie. The same big hole then produced four more wild brook trout, two stocked brookies and two stocked browns which had come up from the stocked stream below, and four fallfish. That was a pretty impressive tally for one hole of a thin blue line. What's more, only one of the four wild brook trout was under 10 inches long.
Working upstream from there, I consistently found at least one brook trout in each pool and run, and most were 10-12 inches. Where I'd found maybe one brown trout the last time I'd fished here, this time I was finding two or three brookies, and man were they ever stunning. Big spots and lots of them, and incredibly pronounced marbling on the back. Really incredible looking fish.
With the water high and off-color, I didn't give much though to dries until I reached the long flat you see above. Normally I wouldn't expect to find salmonids in this kind of water, aside from fry and fingerlings. it was shallow, slow, and provided very little cover. But I saw some rises, so I fished it. I found a skated bomber to be the ticket. It drew some really violent strikes.
Eventually I did find a couple wild browns. The first was small in stature, but the second was an impressive specimen of 14 inches, and about as buttery yellow as a brown trout gets.
This glorious outing stacks up with three others I'd had this week, full of "big for the water" wild trout. I will write about one or two of those outings, but if you want to read them, I'm sorry to say they won't be here. (shameles plug in 3... 2... 1...)
They'll be on my Patreon page (www.patreon.com/ctflyangler), only accessible to patrons, along with a few other benefits that you can get if you are generous enough to support Connecticut Fly Angler. It would be especially helpful now, as my beloved little Sony DSC-RX100 has been died a very slow death and is no longer usable, so I'm back to using the old "brick", the Fujifilm HS 50 exr, which has some serious issues of its own, and my phone camera, which... is a phone camera. So I really am in need of some new camera gear. I'm extremely limited in what I can do right now. Check my page out, if you please.