Its getting towards the end of October, which means that most rivers and pretty much all the streams in New York State are closed to fishing until April. This time of year I tend to spend my time fishing small streams in Connecticut for wild trout instead.
I fished a real gem of a wild-brown trout stream, on an old tip from another small-stream angler who has many more years in this game than I do. The permissions seemed confusing but I was able to confirm legal access and found the stream largely untouched. !?!?
I was afraid the water might be really low, but it was just a little low - running crystal clear & cold, and generally just looking the way I wanted it to. The fish would be small, but that doesn't bother me one bit.
The fall scene was in its full glory, mushrooms and all.
Nature makes beautiful patterns with the leaves as the water bends around each turn.
The trout were all beautiful, some darker than others.
This pool was my favorite, deep and mysterious. I picked it apart, starting with the closest water, and pulled 4 fish from it before losing the trophy in the depths from these barbless hooks.
Was that a Salmon Parr right there??
Some of the browns were older and darker, and it seemed as though there were a couple of different strains together in this stream.
They were podded up in pools like this, and I didn't bother to photograph each fish. It gets tedious, and after all, while I'm committed to documenting as much as I can, sometimes I just want to get lost in the motions of catch & release, over and over...
My fly was starting to come apart from some toothy wild trout. But it seemed, as it often does, that the more ragged it became, the faster the fish went after it.
My Nissin ZX two way 290 zoom rod offered the correct length and plenty of control, which you need for holding vigorous wild trout that fight hard in skinny, fast water. However, it is a bit stiff in the tip when compared to the rods that I like best.
This stream offered sections of calm in between plunging pools and short runs and riffles. It was too easy to spook the fish in the calm water, but a dry fly floated near the edge of the leaves will coax a trout on most days.
Some larger rocks provided great hiding spots for weary trout at low water moments.
I usually fish my own nymphs, like this one, below. You might call it a bead head "flymph." Sinks fast, can be manipulated or dead drifted with ease, and seems impossible for the fish to resist.
Finally I got into some brookies higher up.
The drive home offered some of the usual New England farmhouse scenery and rolling backcountry hills that call my name so frequently.
These red or pink trees might be my favorite, and they seem to grow all around the state.
I arrived back in Brooklyn and found a package waiting for me. I was extremely pleased that it was my new knife. Its a hand made knife and I've always wanted to have something nice to carry instead of the old CRKT knife I've had in my bag for years.
This knife is made by Fiddleback Forge (Andy Roy.) He makes a number of beautiful designs, and this is his version of a Bird & Trout knife, the "Ladyfinger."
Tapered full-tang A2 steel, curly-oak handle with lime liners, and signed by the artist on the spine of the blade. I love it. And I'm looking forward to taking it out with me on my adventures.
Meanwhile I'm plotting another visit to this stream to see if I can't get higher up and into the gorge that I know lies above... maybe, if luck is on my side, I'll find some of those wild trophy fish looking to gorge on a few last meals before winter's cold grip takes hold?