If you read my last blog post you may remember me referring to my buddy Rick as "my most trusted mentor." While that is the case, Rick is much more than that. How many people are fortunate enough to have a friend in their lives willing to share all the fly fishing knowledge they have amassed throughout their fly fishing "careers?" What about a buddy that will take you to one of those "secret" spots they found years ago so you and he can fish for native Brookies together? Well, that is exactly what Rick did and we had a great day on Sunday.
Before I tell you that story I need to share this one...
My fishing this week started on Thursday. I was excited as I left work because Thursday evening was to be my first "on the water workshop". We were going to do an Indicator nymphing workshop on the White Clay. Unfortunately, on the way to the river, my client had to cancel due to work reasons. Part of me was bummed because I was looking forward to doing the workshop, on the other hand I just picked up some free fishing time! I only had a short window to fish, so I went to my favorite section of river, tied on a Dry and Dropper rig and started to work my way up stream. At the head of the first hole I hooked and landed a beautiful 17" ish Brown Trout. After snapping a few pics It dawned on me that I have seen this fish before. This fish has a very distinguishing lower jaw. Back in April, in the same hole, almost in the same lie I hooked and landed a beautiful 17" ish Brown Trout and I was confident this was the same fish. I went home and dug up the pictures. The first set are the fish from last Thursday, the second set are from April. This section of the White Clay is pretty narrow, I doubt two fish of that size are living in the same lie.
These are from October
These are from April
Same fish? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
With the first week of October in the books and the Fall weather firmly taking hold it is time to go after some Brookies. Any self proclaimed Brookie nut will tell you if you want to get a Brookie in full colors, October is one of the best months to do it. Rick and I had been planning this day for about two weeks. A few texts Saturday night set us up for a 9:00 am meet and ride to the spot. On the way out we talked about many fishing related topics including Rick's recent trip to Martha's Vineyard to chase Albies, Winter Midging, and Trout rise forms to name a few. Always willing to give instruction the "seat time" with Rick to and from our fishing spots can be as rewarding as the fishing itself. We arrived at the spot and started to rig up. Short, light rods, a small selection of Dry Flies, a couple spools of tippet and maybe a spare leader pretty much will cover it.
The 6' Fenwick "White Stripe" and the new Redington Butterstick were the rods of choice. Both of these glass rods are suited perfectly for this type of fishing.
The hike in can be as much fun as the actual fishing. Whom ever was the first to say the famous quote "Trout don't live in ugly places" I am sure was a Brookie fishermen.
I once heard Eric Stroup say Brookie fishing is like Chicken Soup for the soul. With the beauty of the areas where they live, their willingness to eat flies and awesome colors of the fish I couldn't agree more. If you have never done this type of fishing before be prepared for a lot of walking, climbing, rock crawling, kneeling and sitting. The fishing is not what I would call technical. A simple 4x leader and a #14 White Wulff are all that is needed. Rarely leader shy and willing to eat a Dry Fly at the drop of a hat, Native Brook Trout may be the perfect fly fishing quarry. As mentioned the fishing is not technical, but the casting, oh boy the casting. Many was the time when I would hold the branches out of the way so Rick could drop a fly in to a "hole" that may be no bigger than your kitchen sink. As we Leap Frogged each other up the stream we would take turns moving branches to clear each others back casts.
I honestly don't know how many fish we landed, maybe 30. I do know that each one that came to hand was absolutely beautiful!
If you haven't done this type of fishing, do yourself a favor and give it a shot. Chicken Soup for the soul...that is the best way to describe fishing for Native Brook Trout.
I almost forgot to mention one other very important thing you need to Brook Trout fish. In fact this is probably the most important piece of gear for this type of fishing...
Believe me, I am feeling it today!