History does in fact repeat itself and spring marches on each year whether we feel it or not. Last year, practically to the week , I wrote a blog about how it started to feel like spring, show signs of spring, and the joy of catching some early spring, stocked fish on my favorite Eastern Connecticut streams. Then, a snow storm hit that dumped measurable and plowable amounts of snow. Well, look what’s happening again, except this time I was fishing for some wild trout.
It hardly seemed like a nor’easter is at our doorstep today. The sun was out, it was seasonably warm, and one of the first signs of spring was in the air, the smell of skunk cabbage. It is one of the first of the flora to show itself. Although spring doesn’t arrive until the 20th, it is spring in meteorological terms.
Whenever I smell and see these guys, I know things are improving.
And when I see these guys, too.
Since the state has not stocked any local TMA’s yet, I went for some wild fish.
I carefully worked a pair of wets in and around wood, undercut banks, logjams, and deeper runs and caught enough fish to be happy and content for a few days.
This particular stream doesn’t give up many fish but it does hold a decent population but, you have to work for them.
It runs cold most of the time/year and it is crystal clear so you have to be able to cast for distance in some tighter places, around cover, and be comfortable with losing some flies now and again. Because it was in the low 40’s for most of the day with water temps to match, I really had to hold my cast of flies in a particular seam for what seemed like an eternity before a few of the browns decided to strike. One didn’t though and it struck one of my flies readily. The only problem was he was well hidden under an undercut bank, under some brush debris that was pinned in by a downed tree.
You can see why it chose that place to live. Luckily I was fishing my ADG Titanium Rod and was able to play it under the undercut/ brush by sticking my rod tip under it and then coaxing it out and into the blow down and then work my rod in and around the tree limbs with both hands until I was downstream of everything and could really affect a quick land and release. The ADG’s tip is sensitive enough to feel the trout on even when your snared in debris, and it is durable and tough enough to handle jamming it into stuff like I described without breaking in an instant. It has pre-pegged titanium wire wrapped within the graphite. I have a bunch of these rods and only broke one tip since 2003.
Another reason why I was able to land that fish is because I don’t bother with fine tippets most of the time. One of the bad trends in fly fishing and is partly due to the Euro nymphing guys is that everyone thinks that they need super long and fine diameters to fish….bullshit ! If you tie your leaders right and use the right kinds of cast like a slack leader cast with dry-fly fishing or a tuck cast with nymphing, than you do not ever need to go super fine. In fact, I almost never go below 3X/4X with nymphing and 4X/5X with dry flies unless the eye of the hook is so tiny that I need 6X. I’ve fished the Farmington like this, out West, and on some of Pennsylvania’s most pressured waters and have been successful. Give the fish a fighting chance and muscle them in and release then fast !
Enough with the rant and back to the story. This was the scene last year. Winter storm Elsa is supposed to give us 5-10 inches in my area. That looks to be about right.
History does repeat itself….