Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wild Tuesday

Black Raspberries
 This afternoon felt like the right conditions to get so wild trout, so I went for I hike into a productive creek. Here's the first look I got:

To the end of my 6x tippet I tied a Black Gnat. The first cast into a slick pool was rewarded with a gorgeous wild brook trout. To me it stands out as being a particularly well colored specimen:

By an undercut I saw a rise. It ended up being a very nice brooky, well proportioned and about as colorful as they get. I kept working up, casting to every likely spot and catching feisty trout all along the way.

Tight Quarters

 The above shown pool has a habit of either giving up many good fish or non. Today it was particularly generous, as I caught more fish here than the rest of the stream. The second to last was a gorgeous male that slashed at a skated bomber. The colors remind me of days to come when the leaves are changing and the bite of cool air begins it's subtle approach.

I decided to take a different path home and was rewarded with wild blueberries and the occasional presence of the local ungulates.

Third Time's the Charm

Sunrise this morning marked the start of the third attempt for Kirk to catch a carp on the fly. There was life everywhere. Small fish rose to eat caddis and midges. Bass and pickerel jumped as the fed on the smaller fish. And, fantastically, the carp both fed on the bottom and sucked on caddis on top. I have never found surface feeding carp in this lake before, but we found two today and Kirk even managed to get one to take a Goddard's Caddis, as I had luckily packed along the small stream fly box. That fish, however, was not hooked. The next good opportunity was not missed out on though. A carp bubbled away next to a buoy. Kirk made the perfect cast and let his little orange pattern, tied on a bonefish hook, sink down to the fish. I said "If it takes you'll see the leader going out..." and that was already beginning to happen. The hook held firm, and the fish took off past the buoy. I went out to pull the line off and the fight commenced perfectly. Eventually the fish gave up and I tailed it. Boy was it a beaut!

Kirk was very happy with having, in his words, the monkey off his back. I can say with certainty that he had caught only the fourth carp on the fly out of this lake ever. I caught the first, second and third. I think he'll be a total fly carp nut now. I stuck around for a while and managed to eek out a pumpkinseed, but I was plenty happy with the outcome.

Monday, June 29, 2015


I did some brown lining today, a stream transitioning from the forest into a meadow. I started out catching fall fish on dry flies. They are pretty fish, and for there size hard fighters. Definitely fun to catch, but I was looking for variety...

...And in my hunt I stumbled upon a remarkable little fish. I was just dead drifting flies for a while, getting more of the little silver fellows.  Then I made a bad cast. I skated the line and fly back and was surprised to see a little missile fly out of the water and nail the bomber! I struck and missed. But I now had a new method to use, and the next cast had a repeat attack. This time it felt a bit bigger, and I was almost startled a moment later when I examined the gnarled end of my tippet. This was something with teeth! A few casts later I got my answer: I held in my hand my first redfin pickerel on the fly. For those who are not familiar, redfin are the smaller of pickerel found in Connecticut. There colors often remind me of a heavily barred muskellunge. I had only ever caught two before this day, and both were on spinning gear. Today I caught five. They were not big fish, but very beautiful, incredible fighters, and voracious in feeding style. It was just like top water fishing for their bigger cousins. I am so glad I decided to wade down to that new stretch of river, I am glad to have discovered a new fishery (to me) so close to home.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Evening Panfish

I went to the carp spot hoping that Kirk's walleye might still be hanging around, or maybe one of it's brethren. That didn't happen, but I caught some nice panfish and lost a good largemouth on a pattern I've designed and named the "Rainbow Lady".

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reversed Goals

As frequent readers may know it has been a goal of mine to catch a walleye on the fly, and that I have worked with Kirk (RKM) in his quest to land a carp on the fly. Today our goals collided a bit in an odd twist in fate.
We started out the morning on the same pond we fished last time. The carp were there but they just weren't feeding well enough and close enough for success. That being said, Kirk got two really good shots on a bubbling carp. We both caught other species, me a couple of bluegills, and Kirk a fricken walleye, and a pretty good one. Unfortunately it made it's escape before either of us got a picture, but it was a walleye, taken on a damsel nymph pattern in less then 3 ft of water over mud bottom. Not at all what we were expecting!

Eventually, after getting sick of carp showing themselves out of casting range, we moved to a spot on a bigger lake that always has carp. There was one knocking about but neither of us clearly saw it. So we moved again, and sure enough there was a big carp there. Kirk made a perfect shot. The fish was right on the boundry of visibily and when I think it took it was over that boundary for the one holding the rod. I said set! but it was already too late. Unfortunately that was the only fish to show and Kirk had to leave in a short time. I stayed. I was not done with the lake.

Be it our collective luck: as I was walking a stretch of beach I began to see big golden fish, tails up, digging happily. I spooked the first two I cast at. The third moved two feet for my little olive beadhead fly. I set and off went Mr. Common Carp. Although it wasn't a huge carp I was clearly in for the long haul. No backing length, runs, but plenty of violent head shakes and all around avoiding the mere sight of me. I landed the fish but sincerely wished it hadn't been me holding that gorgeous tail while tucking the fly rod under my arm.

I screwed around for a little longer and caught a few more fish. I saw some more carp but I let them be for another day.

Night Hatch 2.0

Last night was another night to fish the light cahill hatch at dusk. I got on the water early and started using an ice shrimp muddler, hoping for a few nice smallmouth bass. I was surprised when the second fish to take the fly was a nice rainbow trout. I was even more surprised when the third was another rainbow that fought incredibly hard. Then I managed few dinky smallmouth before the start of the hatch and the switch to dry flies.

When the fish began to rise I put on an Ausable Bomber and caught some small fallfish and smallmouth. As it got darker I up-sized and matched the big mayflies that were just beginning to show up. By the time the trout had keyed in on the bugs, both spinners and duns were on the water in increasing numbers, I had gone up to a size 10 White Wulff. When it got to dark for that I changed to a size 6 Stimulator. The last fish of the night was rising loudly in the riffle at the head of the pool and took the stimulator skated, which was good because I would not have felt or seen the take if it was dead drifted.

After releasing that fish I took out the flashlight to see how many bugs were coming off, and boy there were a lot!!!! There were also some enormous stoneflies flying about.
Now this is a ton of mayflies!

Trout are not the only things that eat mayflies.