Friday, December 23, 2011

Stocking Stuffers

By this time last year, there was a sheet of black ice on several bodies of water in the northwest hills of Connecticut, but Mother Nature can be a sick and twisted lady. Officially two days into winter, there is not a hint of safe ice anywhere in the state. We had thunderstorm and 60-degree temps this week on top of it. But ice or not, there are still some fine fishing opportunities to be had in late December. 

My friend Matt is home from Virginia for Christmas. He is a true fishing bum at heart that hasn't got on the water much lately, other than everyday aboard an aircraft carrier in the US Navy. With a short window of time, we settled on a quick trip to a local wild trout stream. Weather forecasters predicted conditions on the gnarly side, but were happy they were wrong and enjoyed a beautiful morning. 

When we pulled up the flow looked especially sexy thanks to some rain the previous day. We shared one rod between us, a 7.5-foot, 3-weight small stream special. The rigging since my last trip in November hadn't changed; a bushy dry fly serving as an indicator, with a tiny tungsten bead pheasant tail pattern about 18-inches below it. It didn't take more than a dozen drifts to stick a small brown trout and get us on the board.  For the next two hours, we hiked through the woods stopping at fishy pools that treated us well in the past. 

The fish were hungry on this morning. About a half a dozen wild brown trout came to the hand before it was quitting time and we probably pricked twice as many. It's hard to beat the colors on stream-born trout, even if they are only six inches long. All in all, it was great to fish with Matt again and I hope we can hit the water  for a longer trip on his next deployment. 

Here's to a healthy and fish-filled 2012!


  1. beautiful fish and great way to spend time with a friend.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very cool Christmas presents!

    Always glad to read your stories,