My kids have been itching to put some of the flies they tied this winter to the test in front of some fish. We have had a few short outings during this unseasonably cold spring, but things finally lined up. I was able to get us in front of some of Mass Wildlife’s freshly-released brown trout at the Stillwater River.
It was a difficult cast for my daughter to present a fly properly to the other side of the river. So, we used some teamwork: She would select the fly, I would make the cast and set the hook, and then I would quickly hand the rod off so she could fight the fish.
It worked out in our favor a few times, so Brooke was very excited that we caught trout on flies that she had tied.
There was some extra pride involved in that she had accomplished this before her older brother.
There were plenty of white suckers in the area as well, drawn into the river by the call of spring spawning. Some of them were among the biggest suckers I’ve seen.
My son was captivated, and he was “suckered” into spending all of his time fishing for those; he did eventually manage to land a few that were hooked near the mouth.
A lot of anglers scoping the fishing spot from the bridge thought that the suckers were trout or even salmon; so, when we saw their eyes growing large, we would politely make a comment about all of the suckers, and they would play it off cool and move on to another spot.
Our best stocked trout fly this spring has been a small streamer of Brooke’s design. After landing several fish on it, I told here that she needed to name it, so it is now referred to as the “Diving Queen.”
It features a white bucktail tail, a body of french tinsel over a black base, a few brown marabou feathers as a very minimalist wing on top, and black thread gives a very small head.
It has a very slender profile in the water, and tied on a size 10 hook, it seems to be enough to make fish move when stripped and small enough to let them engulf it. It’s not something I would ever tie at the vise or tie on at the river, but it has proven itself. It has me rethinking how minimalist streamers can be and still be effective.
Also, I just found a fly box near the Stillwater River yesterday afternoon. No name or anything to identify the owner, but I’m going to leave a note at the spot in hopes of finding the owner.
If this is yours get in touch with me, so I can return it to you!
I have been meaning to put my name on all my fly boxes this year, and this is a reminder to do so in case the worst happens!