Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carp Flies

I have begun to restock my carp fly box. Those things snag so frequently, and attempting landing a 50 lb carp on 10 lb leader is only slightly insane.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Taking Advantage of the Weather

Today was very warm, I decided to go out in the woods. I took my dog and went out. I spent a little while around a few streams. One holds fish, and I consider it my home water. The other two are vacant. I spent most of the day following deer and coyote trails. I found a random clump of deer hair in one track way, a very thoroughly eaten coyote kill, and a chewed up belt. That last find was more than a little unusual.
I found it interesting how different a stream is in the winter. In one pool were two very significant whirlpools. Another pool had seemingly moved about ten feet upstream.

Can you see all 6 dear?

Followed the fresh tracks right to the source.

This is probably how those crazy ice circles form. I've never seen a natural whirlpool this size

Speak of the devil! 

This pool typically starts At the large rock nearest to me. Ice has backed it up a lot!

Skunk Cabbage! Spring is near.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Hike in Deep Snow

I went out in the woods the other day. It was cloudy and warm, but the snow remained. Travel was very slow, but I just had to get out. I trudged across some tiny creeks and ridges, in search only of solitude. There was a lot more snow than I thought, the runoff is going to be rough on the fish.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More Snow

As central CT gets smothered in a bit more snow I wonder when the trails will be clear enough to allow me to start my next adventure. I plan on watching a big trout that I know resides in a pool on a river as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get in CT. Hopefully I will learn a lot from the observations and will find a good way to catch the big fella. Gosh, there are days when I just wish that I could ping-pong across the equator, from hemisphere to hemisphere, and run away from winter altogether. I could fish Patagonia from December to March and be in the U.S. again in time for the start of the start of the mayfly season. One can only dream, right?

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Pretty Little Wet Fly

I often throw a bunch of random materials together and tie up some flies with them. Today I did such with the idea of a small Atlantic salmon wet fly. Can anyone think of any good names?

Any #6 up-eye wet fly hook will do,
Any thread would work as well.
Tag: yellow floss
Tail: 1/2in green hackle fibers under slightly shorter guinea fowl
Butt: peacock hurl
Body: orange seal fur dubbing
Ribbing: white super floss
Beard: wood duck, to hook point
Wings: mallard quill, white; olive; and white
Hackle: green neck hackle
Head: olive thread

Thursday, February 13, 2014

An Attracter in the Snow

Well, the snow is coming hard and fast, and with it came a potentially good idea. Here is a nymph I tied this morning and some snow photos.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Small Subterranean Mammals, AKA Big Trout Food

Out in the snow today I saw a little black creature skittering across the surface. My cat like instincts eventually had me holding a mole in my right hand. I gently lowered him into a bucket and went to get the camera.

If one of these tried to cross a slow pool with a big trout residing in it, particularly at night, I bet that it would not reach the other side.
 After I got the picture I was looking for, I let him continue with his dark underground life. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Self Stripping Quills- a Tedious Process!

Yesterday evening I began the time consuming process of stripping peacock herl, which I have more than I could use in 20 years, to get quills, which I have very few of. I do this by holding them down on the table and carefully rubbing an eraser along their length.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Sea Trout Fly

Been experimenting with flies for anadromous  brown trout. Here is one, the Red Tag. I have used variations of this pattern for many purposes. I use Red Tag soft hackles and dries for trout very often, and big Red Tag wet flies for panfish and bass.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quill Gorden and a Tin of Streamers

Some more fresh tied flies....

Cracker Sleeve Flies

The other day I ate a sleeve of crackers and the noticed that the wrapping material would be perfect for wings...
here is the result:

The Bridge

Many summers ago a young boy and his mother hiked through a pine forest on an old dirt path. They came to a dilapidated old bridge crossing a deep, clear pool on a freestone stream. The boy looked down into the gin clear water and saw fish. Large brook trout, dashing back and forth to eat the insects drifting downstream. He leaned over the stream, and the fish dashed for cover. Years later the boy's father gave him a fly rod and some flies. He learned to use them, but winter had arrived before he would see the bridge again.

On a snowy afternoon, the young man was hiking on his own when he came to the bridge. When he looked down he saw trout taking midges in the open water at the head of the pool. Ice glistened on the rocks, and the wispy insects hovered in clouds over fresh snow. Some time later the young man would return to the bridge, in spring now, and red quill spinners danced and laid their eggs. Amid small splashes from chubs and bluegills, a dimple signified the presence of a bigger fish. The young man tied on the matching fly and crawled into position. He cast twice, laying prone on a gravel bar, and chubs splashed at the spinner. Finally he saw the form of a good trout come to inspect the fly. The fish took and bore stubbornly into the rocks. With some coaxing, the rainbow came up. The young man landed and released the fish.

He would return to the bridge again several times over the summer, but it would be stubborn, unwilling to show what lived beneath it's surface. Fall came, and the young angler was back with new skills and flies. The bridge pool gave up beautiful native brook trout. The next time the angler found himself there he landed warm water fish:  bluegill, bass, and crappie.

After being treated badly by two winters, the angler returned to the bridge one Christmas Eve Day. once again he stood quietly and observed the pool. This time the water was high and dirty. Some dead leaves tumbled in the current. The angler was not discouraged. He tied on a fly he thought would beat the conditions, a bright red heavily weighted worm he tied specifically for such a scenario. He crawled into his position on the gravel bar and began to cast. A strong fish took, and for several minutes the Angler fought to keep his ground. When the fish was landed, the angler rejoiced, for he had worked for several years to catch such a creation. The big wild brown was returned to his home, and the angler returned to his.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow and Bucktails

The cold has returned, and brought a good amount of snow with it. I spent the afternoon tying bucktails.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dries in February

(3/27/2019- This post contains examples of very poor fish handling. Use it as an example of what not to do. Thank you, 
R.M. Lytle)

Despite warnings that the ice would not melt, I just had to wet a line. I went to one of my favorite haunts, and surprise! Open water, a mediocre stonefly hatch, and rising brook trout. On went a Royal Coachmen and she immediately brought beautiful trout to hand. This included two on one cast! A brooky fry snagged the fly and a bigger fish ate both. The little one flopped out of the others mouth before I could get to my camera.

As I crossed the stream before leaving I looked down and was surprised to see an alive but very cold green frog. Skunk cabbage lined the banks, signalling the distant hope of spring.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ice, Ice, Ice!

I went out to a a few small streams, and one big one. Unfortunately they were very iced up. I ended up chucking three nymph rigs under ice shelves. I did get one little guy to follow the rig out from under the ice, but he saw me and boogied. The most fun I had was lobbing boulders onto a huge slab of ice to see if I could get it to break. One rock punched a hole and then the slab cracked and groaned and lifted and sunk. For about 15 minutes, the ice was making quite a bit of racket! I wonder what a flash flood breaking it up would sound like?

The tilted slab to the far right tilted naturally while I was fishing.

My Office

Big Midges

Although it may just seem like an oxymoron, winter midges can sometimes be quite large. For example, a size 16 will match some of those that hatch around small streams from December to mid February on warm days.