As is often the case for me, I hoped across the street today at lunch time for a little fishing fix with the 2 weight in hand. Lucky for me, because I caught a few real corkers for this little stream. One was 10 inches or a bit over, which may be my best on this water. Certainly my best in a couple years... luckily, the fish posed for a nice looking in water photo, and a nice shot above deck as well...
Weirdly, the flow was not what I would have figured. We have had a lot of rain of late, and I was real surprised to see the water only at adequate levels. Must be the rapidly blooming greenup resulting in more water being taken up by plants before running into the streams.
Now, if you want to learn some awesome ideas about finding brook trout, wild brook trout, check out the Trout Stream Day Dreams blog. Coleman over there has some great adventures in the midwest and hear in MA and New England. But better, he's done an amazing job of laying down some great info on how to find excellent trout water. Check out his blog and poke around - information about how geology and hydrology impact fish and insect populations, and how you can use government sources to find out about your area or areas near you.
Most of my stream finding is old fashioned. It may have been the result of word of mouth - someone mentioning they or someone they knew used to catch wild trout in X Y or Z area. Or my curious nature and enjoyment of exploring the forests near my home. You start exploring and finding good water, and suddenly you start understanding how to find it in new areas. You apply heuristic decision making strategies - given you cant know all there is to know about an area - and you determine how certain areas may workout... Often just by looking at a map or driving and then hiking or biking through the area.
Weird observations start to come to you. For example, I used to think sandy areas would drain quickly... but I've found consistently over the years that there is often lots of sand (sand pit's even) near areas where good trout streams flowed. I've learned that those sandy areas often have better than average ground water flows and thus help keep streams flowing nicely and cooler than other near by streams. I figured that out by osmosis, but with the technology today, you can reach those conclusions about given areas much easier.
Likewise, I've found clusters of streams often occur. For example, on one ridge within a couple miles of my house, there are 4-5 named streams which start their flow. Each seep out of the same hill side over about a half mile section. Among local wild brookie fishermen, one is "famous" as much as a brookie stream can be, another is known by a few but hard to fish given much of it's run is private land or literally through factories - that's the stream which flow's through a landlocked (by private property) bit of state land into a larger local river - and across the street from my house. It's where I caught the fish pictured above. A few others flow within a quarter mile of the stream by my house - one right through the center of the 36,000 person city I live in. Each of these is listed as having cold water fluvial fish. A couple have not shown brookies via electroshocking, and I've not caught them either... But Ill keep trying...
That will be my last point. If you know a stream has wild trout, check out everything near by. There's a stream in my home town, which has a few wild trout streams - fueled by cold seeps along their routes and interestingly, beaver swamps with massive floating grass mats which act like insulation for acres of water which sits under those mats, dark and cool even on the hottest days. One stream, supposedly showed no brookies when electroshocked several years ago... I'm not going to say it's a favorite of mine for the catching... but it is for the beauty, and you know what, sometimes I catch a brookie or two in the awesome pools and runs along it's length. If a stream enters a another system you know has wild fish - check it out, more than once. Dont give up because you dont catch fish the first time or second. Very often, they are there, just in small numbers. You may have a super peaceful, beautiful and rewarding bit of water that NO ONE will share with you.
So, check out Coleman's blog, use the amazing info he lays out there to find likely spots near you, and now, get out and wear out the boot leather checking out streams.
Just do me one favor, if you are going to keep trout for the table, please keep stocked fish vs wild ones. At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I'd like my 4 year olds to have a shot a wild trout here in MA as the grow. The state here does an amazing job providing fish via stocking. If you are going to keep fish, keep those. Let the wild fish go.
Enjoy the woods and waters