I got the boat in the water for the first time this morning. I have been busy with a lot of other things and just did not have the time. I launched early and took it easy for a while to let the engine heat up. I fished a couple of spots close to the ramp with no results, however, my luck was about to change. I noticed we had a minus low tide and I had the foresight to bring along the clam rake. I called the hot line and headed to the beds. My normal KB White rake is being worked on, so I had to take the good old eagle claw rake. The rake was my dad's and is probably 25 years old. Today, the minus low tide granted me access to areas of the beds which do not get worked over all the time, and the clams came fast and easy. Just a reminder, we are now getting into the summer season. The advisory is to bring a cooler with ice to transport your shellfish. Vibrio bacteria does not do well in cold so the ice will knock it out. I ended up having two bass follow my fly to the boat but failed at getting them to hit. On top of the no fish trip, summer still seems to be allusive since it had a hoodie on this morning.
Last week I was very fortunate to win some streamer flies tied by Alan over at Small Stream Reflections. The fly series was named "Cornerstone Flies" tied to commemorate Small Stream Reflection's half a million page views. Monday, I received the flies in the mail and decided to fish them in a wild trout river. I have never targeted wild trout before, so it was a cornerstone for me as well. I never gave much thought to wild trout fishing before. Then I started reading Alan's blog and really getting into his adventures into the world these fish live.
I think all of us here in Connecticut were blessed with some fantastic weather this afternoon. The thought of fishing was irresistible to me today. I called my wife and told her I would not be home at 3 but more like 7. When 3pm came around I rushed out the door and was greeted by my brother who also just got out of work. He got out of his truck and said, "Lets go trout fishing". I reached into my jeep and got my fly rod and gear and we were off.
It appears everyone else had the same idea, because traffic was horrific. We did make it to our spot and got down to business. I ended up with 2 browns on a #16 bead head, and my brother got 5 with night crawlers. My brother and I are at opposite ends of the fishing spectrum. I had waders, and a fly rod. My brother had night crawlers, no wadders, and all his tackle in a walmart plastic bag. All fish were released unharmed. The warm weather and sun brought the insect world to life as we had little dark Caddis flies and some BWO buzzing around, but the trout were not eating the flies on the surface. It was good to enjoy a nice day finally after a long day at work.
I am not the type of person who gives back to my community by donating my time to most popular causes. Most people here in Connecticut have the idea giving back means helping the less fortunate by doing can food drives, donating money, or running 5ks. What I do, however, is volunteer some of my time to the CARE program. The CARE program is Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education. The Connecticut DEEP runs the program to introduce people, mainly children, to fishing. Twice a year a bunch of us get together and teach a class on fishing basics. During the class attendees learn: Ethics, how to read the anglers guide, rig a rod, tie a clinch knot, find bait, look for fish, proper way to release fish, and care for the catch if they intend to keep one. I have seen the young, the old, and whole families come to the classes and have a good time. After each class we do a fishing day for the attendees at a nearby trout park. Trout parks a heavily stocked waters with easy access for everyone. Today was one of the fishing days, and the highlight was watching a few of the young anglers catch their first fish. One of the most rewarding aspects of doing this is watching how excited people get when they catch a fish. The reaction is always the same: smiles and positive energy. I have seen seniors have the same reaction as a 7 year old. To top it all off Jan and I even caught a few trout ourselves. CARE is one of Connecticut DEEP's greatest success stories and I hope it continues for my lifetime.