Friday, September 30, 2011

Hen of the Woods / Grifola frondosa / Maitaki

Banner year for mushrooms here in Connecticut. I went out recently looking for Hens and for the 1st 5 hours of searching I was disappointed. I simply needed to find my hens! Then, a glimmer of hope - 1 small hen nestled at the base of a small oak.



I had to find more. Changed my location and within the first 50 feet of trail, I was rewarded with a stump of 4 nice fatties. Further along the path, I found 4 more, but 3 were old (much to my dismay).


Elated, I was slowly driving out, happy with my finds. Then I just happened to look out into the woods and spotted an old oak that was sprouting hens all over the place. So all total, I found 17 for the day. Not a bad day of foraging. My freezer is now busting full of hens!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chanterelles

Here are a few photos of some of the chanterelles I've been finding this year. I've tried them all, except for the C. xanthopus

C. cibarius

C. cinnibarinus

Mostly Craterellus cornucopioides

Craterellus tubaeformis

Cantharellus xanthopus

All are pretty delicious. I had the tubaeformis aka Yellow Foot Chanterelle a couple nights ago for the first time and they were wonderful. I wish I had picked more.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter fishing

The past two outings have been kind ones. Fishing here in the northeast, fishing revolves around the weather, obviously, and weekends. Kind weather is anything above freezing and minimal wind. Luckily, I had those two factors going for me lately.

Even better, the fish were cooperative. On each trip, I was able to land browns that measured out to 21 inches. This is a good start to the year! A smattering of fish in the 15 to 18 inch range makes me one happy camper.

I've been fishing the European techniques now for a couple of years and that has dramatically added to my catch rates, even in winter when it's not supposed to be all that effective. Piss on that - they work year 'round!

This is a brown from the Farmington river TMA, caught not quite 2 weeks ago:



Today the venue was different, but similar results. I love the colors in this rainbow and these fish are eating well:



I love catching trout in the winter, but spring can begin to show up anytime now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Beginning of Winter Fishing



It's that time of year again: frozen feet and guides, lethargic fish and numb hands. Only 4 or so months till spring! Might as well make the best of it and try to battle it out with some trout. Today's venue was the Farmington River, in the TMA. It was actually a fairly pleasant day, weather-wise, but if you get your hands wet, they do have a tendency to get a little numb.

The fishing actually wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't say it was great, either. I wanted to break in the new Grey's Streamflex 10 ft 3 weight. It is a beauty, perfect for euro-nymphing. Ended up going 6 for 7 in moderately high water conditions. Nothing huge, the fish below coming in at only 15 or so inches. I can't wait to see what a legit hog feels like on this rod.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ammonite Nymph



Been reading up on this bad boy in the past few days. Looks like another effective pattern in the right hands. There's a couple of things I like about this fly: First off, it's damn near bullet-proof. Second, it's so general, it could be representative of anything, just tie it in various colors and sizes.

I didn't have all the correct materials to tie with, so I'm not done experimenting yet. Doubtless, I will come up with some sort of variation to make the tying a bit easier. I was never one for spending 40 minutes at the vise for one fly. Stay tuned for updates on this fly, but here is a facsimile of what it should look like.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shark's Caddis Larva

Came across an interesting pattern recently on Global Fly Fisher called Shark's caddis. I thought that with a few minor tweaks it could be a killing fly as applied to Euro-nymphing techniques.

Some of the changes I made:
-Adding a ribbed shellback (either scud back or magic foil)
-Mark the front 2 or 3 thoracic segments with brown permanent marker
-Fox squirrel, touch-dubbed for the thorax
-A layer of .015 lead for an underbody

Otherwise, the tying technique is virtually the same. Also, you could add a touch of Prism or Ice dubbing into the fox squirrel for a little extra eye catching sparkle. I particularly like the segmentation of this fly, which is important when trying to imitate the naturals. The rabbit that is wound into the antron abdomen gives this fly a nice slightly hairy effect. It is important to use the rabbit very sparingly. Too much and it would overpower the segmented abdomen. I would tie these on a barbless sedge hook in the 10-16 size range.

This is what the dried fly looks like


The wet version




Under water