Saturday, December 27, 2014

Out with a Bang

It's been slow going the last few times at the local watering hole. One-good-opportunity-a-trip kind of fishing. Sometimes we capitalize on it, other times it slips away. Earlier this week, a stunning brown trout was the lone reward during a solo mission. A few days later, we missed the only hit between two of us. Regardless of the outcome, the days of open water fishing (not counting our rivers and streams) are coming to a close if you believe the long-term forecast. 

Ice season is finally at our doorstep. With any luck we'll be walking on water in the northwest hills of Connecticut around New Year's Day. But if this fish is my last of 2014, it would be a fitting way to close things out. It was a beautifully-marked, clean male with big shoulders that slammed a live shiner five-feet under the surface. It felt good to watch him swim away. See you next year...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ice Purgatory

Some years we would be ice fishing in Connecticut by now. Unfortunately, this is not one of those years. My buddy and I have been making the most of fall, however, fishing at one of our favorite bodies of water. We've logged an unhealthy amount of hours here over the last decade and, this year more than ever, it feels like the effort is finally starting to pay off. Nothing is being shipped to the taxidermist or anything like that, but we've brought some stunning fish to the net and it seems that skunkings are now the exception, not the rule. First ice should be here soon; in the meantime we are enjoying the hand we've been dealt.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Opening Day Revisited

I realize mayfly hatches and cooking around a campfire are not things most people think about this time of year, but somehow I got a bit sidetracked this past spring and never put up our annual post from Opening Day (see the past few years here: 20132012 & 2011). Well, we sure as hell didn't skip it! We had a another kick ass weekend in the woods, heavy on eating and drinking and light on fishing. One cool thing about waiting until December to put this up is that just a few months of ice fishing separate us from this wonderful spring tradition again. For those that hate winter, perhaps the photos below will help pass the time a little easier.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter Is Coming

I'm usually not one to wish a current fishing season away for the next, but it's hard not to get pumped up about first ice right around the corner. Spending the past few weeks editing footage from a Lake George road trip last January certainly hasn't helped stem my excitement. Friends and I began working on this video as soon as we got home from the lake trout jigging binge, but days became weeks and the project eventually got shelved for a while; a long while as it turned out. Well, here we are 10 months later just ahead of the Polar Vortex about to rear its ugly head again. There are still a couple weeks of solid fall fishing to get in, but, whether you like it or not, winter is coming. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fall Fun

Feeling thankful after another short and sweet morning session at my favorite reservoir over the weekend. I can usually count on a good sunrise at this spot, but it was particularly nice on this day with a heavy dose of fog rising off the water. The fishing wasn't all that bad either. It's always fun to watch the slip bobber go under, but the biggest fish came on a bottom rig and bit me off when it was about a rod's length away. Losing one like that will sting for a while, but it's part of the reason we keep going back. 

(photo credit: Aaron Swanson)
(photo credit: Aaron Swanson)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fish When You Can

It has long been said that the best time to fish is when you can. Those words have never had more meaning to me than they do now. While the past few months have been the best of our lives with the new addition to our growing family, they have also been the busiest. That said, dad still "needs" to sneak out on the water once in a while to get his fix. With an understanding wife and a newborn that is getting better at this sleeping thing, I have been fortunate to find some time to wet a line here and there. I have always appreciated getting outside and doing what I love, but I think that level of appreciation is at all-time high now by not being able to do it anytime I want. Moral of the story, soak in every second with your loved ones, but don't forget to enjoy your "me" time too. 

Friday, August 29, 2014


She is finally here; nine days late to her own party! Cora Marie was born on August 20, 2014 at 5:23 p.m. We are so blessed for this happy and healthy little princess! What a wild ride the last few weeks and months have been; such an incredible experience. We are soaking in every second. It won't be long before she's wearing hip boots and bailing trout next to her dad. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Good Run

The Connecticut Yankee has been here in one form or another since 2008. It's been great to share many memorable outdoor experiences with others, but this blog also allows me to look back on trips that I may have otherwise forgotten about years down the road. Over the last few months, I have been posting much less but it is all for positive reasons. Big things have been happening in life that have cut down my time on the water and, to a greater extent, my time documenting it.

For the better part of three decades, I have had little in the way of any real responsibilities, which has allowed me to fish my tail off and blog about it. Now with a new house, job, grad school and, most importantly, a new family member on the way, some of things that I used to take for granted have taken a back seat, and it is all good.

I am a very lucky man. Fishing, writing and photography have filled me with lifelong memories, introduced me to amazing characters and brought me to incredible places. By no means am I hanging up the rod, reel or camera. I will be sure to make time to hit the stream, beach, and ice, but finding time to share those trips online won't be getting any easier. I will post here when I can, but, in the meanwhile, thanks for the good run. 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Small Water & Good Samaritans

It always nice when business and fishing plans cooperate. Before this last bout of heavy rains, I had a meeting awfully close to a favorite small stream. By early afternoon I was doing my best Clark Kent transformation in a Panera Bread parking lot, shedding a shirt and tie for waders and a 3-weight fly rod. 

There were small blue-winged olives coming off the water when I arrived. The dry-dropper setup already rigged from my last small stream trip was all I needed. A little pheasant tail nymph fished under a Stimulator drew strikes at nearly every pool I knelt beside. It was great connecting to some beautiful trout, taking in the fresh air, and seeing signs of spring emerging all over the place.

A great outing was almost completely erased by my clumsiness, however. Later that night my father called and said that someone had found my camera bag. WTF, my camera bag is missing??? In my haste to get home for dinner, I must have left the waterproof bag, along with its contents of a DSLR and GoPro, back at the parking spot. Thankfully my fishing license was inside and a passerby with a good heart had found it. He looked up my last name in the white pages and dialed my parents house, leaving his name and phone number. We connected the following day and I picked up the bag on his front porch, leaving a thank you note and some hand-tied trout flies in its place.

If you are reading this Pat, thank you! I am a lucky man and will be paying it forward and then some.