Monday, November 9, 2015

A Beautiful Ravine & the Appalachian Trail

Last weekend was beautiful and I knew it would be the end of the Fall colors. I decided to hike along the Appalachian Trail and figured I'd bring my rod to fish a possible small stream along the way.

The Appalachian trail crosses the border of CT and MA near an AMC cabin. You can access the trailhead by parking in a designated lot nearby. The stream in the Ravine had no name on the map, and that's what I like to see!

The hike in is a couple of miles and has some altitude gain and loss. Its not a really hard hike, but it turned out to be a little long for it to be a fishing spot alone. When I arrived at the stream, I saw a scary sight... the photo above shows the streambed. I knew it would be low, but dry!?

I followed the sound of water, and about a quarter of a mile down the stream my confusion was met with an explanation, as water flowed between the layers of rock and poured out of a waterfall between those layers. It was a beautiful site to behold. Farther up, the stream was running as it should be, low but enough water to hold small trout.

Most of the fish I caught this day were on the very small side, even by small stream fishing standards.

I lost a slightly larger fish in the lower pool, below, but got a nice dark one in the pool above the plunge.

This was a beautiful fall fish... dark colors, bronzed belly, a small "king" of this little tumbling brook, if you will.

The fish in this stream were very toothy, and my unwaxed silk-threaded flies suffered because of it.

The nicest fish of the day came from this little calm spot behind the rock, center stream.

There were many holes like this, but the water was very shallow and slow-moving, making the fish much easier to spook than usual.

I spent a lot of time enjoying the contrasting colors of nature around me. The light caught this aspect of fall just perfectly on a sunny afternoon.

And a few nice Brookies rounded out the day for me.

This fly was the go-to for the day. It is also my go-to fly for almost every day. People talk a lot about "one fly" in Tenkara fishing, but I know this isn't what they have in mind...

...which is too bad, because it works on every stream in every state, as well as many countries around the world! This Brookie was fooled, too.

Getting into the ravine proper, I was reminded of just how little flowing water is needed to create the right conditions for holding wild trout, as long as the water temp is low and the hiding places are many. And that's exactly what I found here, too.

Don't skip the small pools, one of the prettiest fish of the day came from the dark hole in the back, almost hidden between rocks.

As the sun started to dip, I came upon the steepest section of the ravine I had yet encountered. The map showed more of this kind of terrain, and I decided rather than climbing around and back down into the next pool, that it would be a great time to call it a day.

I spent some time eating a late lunch and watching a few trout attempting to spawn in the pool below me.

It was the first day I had a chance to bring my new Fiddleback Forge knife out on the trail, so I got a picture of the knife, which happened to match the moss rather nicely. I see where Andy must have gotten the inspiration for his lime colored liners on this one ;)

The walk out provided some wonderful views from a different perspective. The trees were tall and thin, only some still clinging to the colors they had so vibrantly displayed in recent weeks. But even on their last legs, the stark contrast of grey and black bark against the fiery-red and yellow leaves left an emotional imprint that lasted for days.

I look forward to returning to the area, mostly for hiking, as the fishing wasn't as great as I had hoped. But I have a new goal for my return... I have since read a lot about sightings of mountain lions in the area, and I am hoping to catch a glimpse (from a safe distance, of course) some day soon.


  1. Nice photo essay - your woods look so different than the Colorado woods. What is that fly that you used? A bead-head something or other. The size looks pretty small.

    1. Bolder in Boulder - yeah, I noticed the differences too when I was at the Tenkara Summit in September out there.

      The fly is something I tie up frequently... a Tiemco TMC212Y hook #11 or #13, mixed dubbing body (make sure there is a lot of messy stuff sticking out everywhere,) hen saddle hackle, and a Wapsi 1/8" tungsten bead.

  2. It's so great to be out in the woods as the seasons change. Better than sitting in front of the TV watching football all day.