Went deep into the Wachocastinook (aka Riga) brook yesterday. I don't mind mentioning it because it is listed in the Connecticut angler's guide and because very few people are willing to clamber around for itty bitty trout you can't even keep and probably get attacked by bears and rattlesnakes in the bargain. Not to mention breaking your ankle and starving to death.
This is a true mountain brook with a pretty serious gradient. It would be quite easy to get seriously injured and quite difficult to get out. Cell phones don't work. At least I don't think they do. I don't carry one when I'm fishing because I know I'll drop it in the drink or on the rocks. I do file a flight plan with friends so if I don't show up someone will come looking eventually.
The other thing about this stream is it is to some extent a tailwater. It is fed by South Pond, which is a warmwater lake. There are also numberous springs, rills and seeps that feed the stream. The result is it does tend to get warmer than other brook trout streams, and very occasionally you'll catch a little bluegill in it.
Anyhoo I went in at the falls and worked down to an old logging road that provies an uncomplicated way out. It's maybe a half mile tops by road but in the ravine it's a four hour slog, assuming you fish it thoroughly.
Falls and grottos: I've been fishing this stream for years. (My family has a camp on Mt. Riga and I fish South Pond for bass and panfish as well.) I think of the occasional deep pools, where a weary angler might just take a deliberate and refreshing dunk on a hot, buggy day, as grottoes.
The Canon point and shoot came back to life when I abandoned the rechargeable batteries and tried fresh regular AAs. These brookies cooperated. Of course the bigger ones got away before I could get the camera out. Of course.
I used the Dragontail ZX 340 zoom rod, which is designed for this kind of thing. It fishes at a little under 8 feet, a tad over 9.5 feet, and 11 feet and change. I was in the middle position most of the way.
Why not use a fly rod? I do, frequently. Anything from a 5.5 foot 5 weight to an 8 foot 4 weight, depending on my mood. Today the mood was tenkara.
Flies: They always go for Stimulators, and sometimes the fly is bigger than the fish's head. I tried other bushy dries, no dice, and assorted wets, ditto.
The water was a little warm,although there was plenty of it, so the best action was down deep as you'd expect. So a lot of dry-dropper with the Stimmie and a size 14 Bread and Butter jig/tungsten nymph that sinks like a stone, particularly valuable when the hole is maybe four feet deep and there's only 10 feet of horizontal space for the drift.
I also tested out the Magellan wet wading boots which performed fine after I added Kold Kutter ice racing studs. I don't think they would have been very good otherwise.
This was my first wild Brookie here in the U.K. from a Welsh Llyn. I’ve since come to find out there are over a dozen populations in Scotland too. One such location has produced fish to 7lbs over 100 years ago and more recently a 3lber to a friend of mine. It’s a secret place, so remote that you’d never stumble across it. Finding it took eight months and a lot of luck!
You’ve got to love the Victorians for importing brookies, my favourite species.
Wild brookie from a small Oregon mountain lake. The water is a little stained, and right now has a thick algae bloom, so many of the fish are very dark. This one was more colorful than most of them here.