My family and I were blessed to have 2016 a healthy and prosperous one, except for the guiding, but a good portion of that was beyond my control. However, I can not say that for many patients of mine and their family’s that I’ve come across last year- including some old friends. That being said, I wish them all the best for the coming year and for so many of them that had died, may they have eternal peace with our Lord.
Since emergency medicine is my primary career, I see far too many unnecessary, unfortunate, and senseless tragedies. I don’t whine or complain about them and in all honesty, my family only knows about a minute fraction of what I see and experience.
So, fishing has been and will always remain a great way to relax, distress, and contemplate. And, being outdoors I’m keenly aware of how graceful God really is, and how thankful I am for His guidance and protection, and for my family that wholly embraces my fishing endeavors.
I have been following several blogs of guys in Connecticut that are small stream nuts like myself. Last year I became friends with Mark Wittman of Fishing Small Streams. He has a great blog as well as Alan of Small Stream Reflections. They, with a few other guys, get together each New Year’s Day to fish and celebrate the New Year. I was graciously offered to join but couldn’t since my kids were still on school break and my wife had to work last night. I sure wish I could have joined them but I couldn’t sneak away for that amount of time. But, I did get a chance to get out and fish my club stream for a little over an hour.
I arrived shortly after noon and the air temp was already 43 degrees. I quickly took a water temp and found it to be 44 degrees. Spring fed brooks are almost always in a comfortable zone for trout no matter what season.
Some other evidence that this brook is largely spring fed is the presence of duckweed and other vegetation that thrives in cold spring-fed water and remains green in the winter.
It felt like everything was coming together to be a beautiful day- it was ! Although I didn’t get to fish long, I didn’t have to because a few quick brookies were all that I needed to see.
In the winter I try not to do a lot of wading or if I do, it’s not deep so that I say as warm as possible for the longest time. I chose to hug the banks and work wets downstream , holding them in productive seams as long as I could. The rewards are in the picture. You can never go wrong with a Royal Coachman wet ! I’ve caught more trout in small streams on this fly than any other. Joe Humphreys who is a good friend of mine is never without one as well and he’s the absolute best in small streams !
I usually like to fish upstream but that is not always the best course of action, particularly when you want to work a fly slowly over one particular spot. Wet flies down stream is the best method for this run because your flies will hang and hold tight along the bank which shelters and holds fish, and is the deepest part, too.
I’m using my custom 7.5 foot 6 weight ADG Titanium rod. It offers the extra length to hold line over currents and it is extremely sensitive to feel ” takes ” from the fish before you even see the line move or water swirl. The heavier weight line lets me load the rod and cast distance without hardily even moving the rod !
Our club uses a hatchery from Pennsylvania so these brookies have a PA look to them. Anything under 12 inches is a stream born native.
With a few fish caught and released ( a couple did not want to cooperate with the camera ), I decided that I was rewarded enough for the day and headed home with a big smile on my face reveling in the fact that 2017 was starting out in a fantastic way !