Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Some random pic's

I was bummed to see that some cool pic's from a teeny stream I fished Saturday for some reason were not saved... that's just a factor of getting used to my new phone.  it's nice, the camera seems nicer, but I'm working out the kinks.

Today I fished a small local stream at lunch.  The fish were biting well, but, man... I was rusty, my hooks were dull, or I just had one of those days - I probably hooked 6-7 fish, some teeny (3"~) some pretty stout (8"+) which is nice for a stream that's quite small... But the picture god's laughed.  The first fish I got in my hand, but trying to get the camera, he fell in the water and swam off.  The next few I just missed.  Then a nice one I was trying to get an "in the water" pic and he got off before I could do it.  On the way back down stream many hit the micro bugger and all got off before I could get them to hand.  Oh well - fun regardless.

Here's a few pic's I did get from recent outings or other fun times...

Will watering his mom's flowers.  I was watering the new grass I planted and he LOVES the hose, so he wanted to do some watering as well.  Good way to get back into being home after school!

Saw this today. The ring around that blue spot is a SHOE!  This is in a spot that would not be fun to walk out barefoot - lots of thorns.  Weird.  But an interesting find for sure!

Took this pic after he "flipped off", but the first fish today, a spunky 6-8 incher I couldnt get a grip on to get a pic of, was living under that log.  I took the pic after he swam off.  He took the fly just in front of the green grass at left center.  Like I said... it's a small stream :).

Best part - I got the solitude I wanted, and there were all kinds of people fishing the "stocked" water a quarter mile down in another stream, or in the reservoir down the way.  Good deal - keep fishing those spots people :)

Biggest fish took in that slot of calm water in the right third of the pic, he got off before I could do the "in the water" photo.  Oh well.  Does that plunge SCREAM brookie or what?!

Keep well

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fun little ride

Got a mountain bike ride in yesterday.  Whenever I cross this little stream I always look to see if I see any fish.  The "pool" under the bridge often seems to hold a few 2-3" long brookies.  It's an amazing thing.  The stream runs all year - even when super dry - due to springs along it's route and good groundwater perking up through the sandy substrate in the area.  it's got good shade in many areas via hemlocks or heavy forest cover.  All of that screams brookies... But it's size is teeny.  It's maybe 4 feet wide in the riffle  in the center of the top pic.  The pools are at most a foot deep - during run off!  

But yesterday, I stopped and watched the biggest brookie I've ever seen in this stream - probably a 6" fish - ding a few caddis that were flitting about.  A second fish in the 4" range was about as well.

I may have to pack a rod on one of my rides this spring...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The middle section

Nice lunch time trek to what I think of as the "middle section" of a local stream.  it's got lots of hemlock, though mixes with laurels and oak forest along it's banks as well.  It's a stout gradient overall, surprisingly cool water even in August, and the clarity would make gin look dirty!  Ah, I shouldn't talk that way, I'm not a drinker, have never even had gin... So I'm going solely on the way it looks on TV or on shelves!

Point being, this stream is a pleasure to fish.  The coolest thing is that it's probably only 3-4 miles from another wild brookie stream which is much more sandy and much more pressured by fly, lure and bait guys.  Why people have not found this one, I dont know... I only know one other guy who fishes it, or has even considered it - Hi Coleman!

Any way, I usually fish where it crosses a road up as far as I have time to explore.  Sometimes I fish this middle section - basically below the road.  I really need to do it more, it's an amazing stretch of stream and the number of fish I clumsily spooked on my hurried trek down stream so I could dry fly my way back up was amazing in the clear pools.  I'm sure a more cautious approach, or, if I'd swung wet's on the way down I'd have caught a lot more fish.

In the end, I got maybe 6 on an orange dry with a deer hair wing.  I noticed it on the Small Stream Reflections blog - snuggly in BrkTrt's fly keeper prior to fishing one day... Given the experience he has, I did my best to replicate that fly, and I think my last 8-10 small stream fish have been on that fly!  Thanks BrkTrt!

The fish above came just the left of the main current on the left side of that boulder.  The fish struck on 2 casts in a row.  The first it flipped out of the water like a small mouth missing a popper.  the next drift it ate the fly and came to hand.

 This fish did a cool "levitation" thing.  It shot up from the bottom, and hovered for a second below the fly in the current right in front of the root ball on the far bank below.  I could see the fish perfectly for about a half second before it took the fly.  Wish I'd got a picture of that!

Got a couple in this nice run, from mid way up to the head.  Most of the fish today were mid run or at the head... didnt get a strike in a riffle  or at the tail of a pool or run.

This guy and his twin came out of the last spot - where the stream crosses the road.  it's a really great pool with maybe 3-4 feet of water and some great rock's to hide around for the fish.  I spooked a few at the front of the pool, but where it went under the road, the fish found refuge and I have no doubt that if I'd stuck round I'd have caught more.  Pretty amber tinted fish I thought!

Have a super day

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fish looking up

Quick update.  Got out and fished a bit this afternoon after lunch.  The stream was flowing well but super clear.  The first nice pool I blew.  Spooked a nice fish I'd spotted with a poor cast, then missed several fish before finally landing one.  To quick on the draw.  The pick below was the 7" fish that I managed to land.

I like this pic, the water is so clear, that if you look fast it appears I'm just holding the fish in the air.  I'm not, you can see the water at his pectoral fins!  Amazing clarity.

The sad part is that one fish I missed had a really big head, I'd bet it pushed a foot.  That would have been an amazing fish on this stream.  Oh well, next time mr/mrs fish!

I fished up the stream with a bomber or stimi and then fished down with a Dark Eidson Tiger.  My missed fish string continued with a few misses, then a solid 10~ incher that I got in my hand but which wobbled away prior to getting it's photo taken.  Finally this pretty fish - with an almost surprising sparsity of red dots came to hand.

Despite my rust showing, it was a really good hour or so on the stream, and a great sign of what's to come with the warm weather expected this weekend.

There was a solid string of caddis flittering about, and some solid size 14~ may fly's around - I couldn't catch one of the mayflies for an ID - but it's good to see them!

Be well

Friday, April 8, 2016


 This week's been low on fishing time, but has had some solid "vice" time.  First, I had to try some "tenkara" style "forward hackle" flies.  BrkTrt @ small stream reflections has been showing off all of his gorgeous ties in that style and it got me curious enough to finally decide I should try a few.  So, on went the Olive 210 denier and out came the partridge!  I did this one with a smidge of peacock SLF dubbing behind the hackles... Now, to try it out.  Likely not going to happen until next week :( though.

Simplicity in flies is something I really like, most of the time.  I get into spurts of working on married wing flies or doing some sort of complicated streamer or what not, but when you boil it all down, it just seems the most effective flies I fish are really basic.  One such fly is a caddis larva that I first tied as a kid.  It resulted in my first "epic" fishing day.  A day that probably resulted in 30-40+ trout caught and released.  The ideal one is on top, light olive dubbed body over a bit of lead free wire and a black (peacock in this case because I had it out) dubbed head. The lower one is a cream body with a brown head.  Both are a size 16, but it fishes great 10-20.  14 and 16 are my favorites.  This fly works on freestones with wild fish, and stockers... but the litmus test for me is a river called the Swift here that rolls out of the quabbin reservoir.  Gin clear, slow flow (for the most part), and pretty darn well educated trout given the constant fishing pressure in this catch and release fly only area.  This fly has always worked there for me :) so I feel like it could work anywhere. It takes about a minute to tie, even if you use super glue to help the non lead wire stick to the hook!

This is an emerger I just learned about this winter which was originated by Rich Strolis.  It reminded me a lot of Tom Rosenbauer's snow shoe emerger, but was simpler to tie - Win!  I have tied some with the "legs" and some without... this one is without.  I'm hopeful that the no legs version fishes just as well, because it saves a little tying time, and well, it's simpler :)

Last, I needed to do up a few more bass bugs.  It's been about a year since I've packed a deer hair head, maybe longer!  The rust show's in the collar, but it will fish great.  Funny thing though, I use the most expensive weed gaurd's ever to grace a deer hair fly... I was out of Masons Hard Mono and discovered a 44# spool of flourocarbon tippet in my truck from past stripper trips.  I use that when lots of blue's are round for bite tippet.  It still fails a lot, but it may land the first one, then I can swap to a wire bite tippet.  Well, I figured it had lost some strength in there, so I've been using flouro for weed gaurds :) ha!

Hopefully any posts next week involve actual fish :)

Have a super weekend!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 3 - SNOW!

Saturday I got in a nice 2.5hrs on the bike riding to my parents with my wife carpooling the kids out and picking me up there.  It was nice, but cold with the steady rain.  Sunday they were going to breakfast with the neighbors at a sugar shack, so I had a little chance to fish a bit of water I have not in years.  It's got great history to me - as a kid, I fished it many times.  The first trout I caught was about a half mile down stream at an old mill pond.  It's a spot with decent population of native trout, but few are the folks who bother to fish it any more.

It flows in a valley and much of this section is hemlock covered.  It's freestone.  In this section, it really is the truest form of that river form.  It starts about 2-3 miles above this area where a few streams merge.  Calvin Coolidge - former president of the USA - used to vacation and fish those streams.  He notes one was his favorite stream.  I've never done to well on it, but hope it returns eventually.

Those streams merge in a gorgeous swamp that runs for a few miles.  It's a placid looking flow through most of the swamp, but you cant fish a lot of that section without a canoe or kayak... either to soft to wade or to deep, and the swamp is largely floating grass hummocks.  If you went in... You may not come back out!  A MDFW employee friend has told me that there are a surprising number of wild trout in that section due to the amazing overhead cover offering protection from predators, and from the heat of summer...  The latter was not an issue this past weekend when 3" of snow Sunday was followed by 6-7 Monday!

Can brook trout not live here?  Deep holes among the rocks, oxygen rich waters, shady hemlocks offering lower temps in the summer... And best of all, several spring seeps which contribute cool to cold water even on the hot dog days of summer when flows are much lower than this picture suggests.

Another quarter mile up and you are at the end of the big swamp.  I didnt have time to fish the whole way up on this day, but enjoyed the heck out of it non the less.  The deep valley and hemlocks cut the wind I felt way down, and it made for a cold, but really pleasant morning.

This is the same spot as the pic above, but show's a feeder stream coming in from the west (left).  That feeder has a few brookies in it too.  Most people don't believe me when I tell them I have caught wild char along it's course... It's not super fishy, but they are there.  It's ok that people don't believe... Keeps it quiet.

I didnt catch a fish on this morning.  I didnt have a tap.  I didn't really think I would.  Not with the huge shift to cold weather and the snow... But I left fulfilled for certain.

Ill be back.

Thanks for the time valley, I needed it.