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Tangled Lines

A vacation that wasn’t what it was s’posed to be but, hey, that’s OK

Every year I take a week’s vacation at the family homestead in Phoenicia, N.Y. I try to time it for the end of September or beginning of October, the better to take advantage of early fall fishing on the Esopus Creek and tributaries.
It’s a happy time, especially since there is no internet at the house, no cable TV, and I have to drive 5 miles to get a cell phone signal.
That means, for instance, that I will not know what Kanye tweeted that week. 
This is a good thing.

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Watch out for them little blue lines

Sometimes you’ll hear fishermen speak cryptically about “little blue lines.”
They are referring to the little brook trout streams that show up on maps as, you guessed it, little blue lines.
That’s if they show up at all.
I fish three little blue line streams in northwest Connecticut on a regular basis. One of them is listed in the Connecticut state angler’s guide. One of them is on private property and you need to ask permission. And one is so secret that I hesitate to even mention it.

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Watch out for them little blue lines

Sometimes you’ll hear fishermen speak cryptically about “little blue lines.”
They are referring to the little brook trout streams that show up on maps as, you guessed it, little blue lines.
That’s if they show up at all.
I fish three little blue line streams in northwest Connecticut on a regular basis. One of them is listed in the Connecticut state angler’s guide. One of them is on private property and you need to ask permission. And one is so secret that I hesitate to even mention it.

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The event of the season: White Fly Hatch

By the time you read this a mystical event of epic proportions should be underway on the Housatonic River.
I refer to the White Fly Hatch.
This burrowing bug, which goes by the moniker of Epheron leukon, is unusual among mayflies in that it emerges, mates, lays eggs on the water and dies, all in the same night (according to the Wisconsin Fly Fisher website).
That’s a depressing prospect for an ambitious mayfly, but for the Housatonic fly-rodder it is cause for joy and merriment.

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Capturing biggie smalls in the river: some tips

Ahh, summer. The water temperature in the Housatonic rises to about 80 degrees, the flow is reduced to a trickle, the trout go into the Witness Protection Program and smallmouth bass is the name of the game.
I’ve been targeting Housatonic smallmouth bass for about six years now, which means I am an advanced rookie.
That means that I don’t know much, but at least I have a good idea of what I don’t know.

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How to make a euro nymph leader

Many of you have written to say, “Hey, how do you make a leader for Euro nymphing?”
Actually it was one of you.
As requested, I will keep the writer’s name out of it, even though it was Hiram Snodgrass of West Tibia, Vt. According to the Essex County Argus-Democrat & Home Shopper, Snodgrass is embroiled in a land-use dispute centered on his attempt to build what he calls a “micro-casino” in a cow pasture, but he is finding the time to keep up with angling innovations.

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In which we stock the stream

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How to excite a lugubrious trout

On Sunday morning, May 6, the Housatonic River, as measured by the United States Geological Service gauge at Falls Village, was humming away at a hearty 1,410 cubic feet per second.
In highly technical terms, this is a lot of water, moving at a good clip. It makes life difficult for the wading angler.
And, of course, it’s raining. Again.
The focus of my early-season fishing has been small streams that harbor brook trout. Two of them cannot be named in this space. (I found them, and so can you.)

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Standing in the icy water pretending it is spring

SOMEWHERE IN NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT — My fishing season officially began Saturday, Feb. 24, when a healthy 8-inch brook trout took a big rubber-legged stonefly nymph at the tailout of a deepish pool in the Stream That Shall Not Be Named.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Trout season doesn’t start until the second Saturday in April.”
That’s true, for waters covered by general regulations.
But the Housatonic and Farmington Trout Management Areas are open year-round. 

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A rare but sad sight: salmon spawning in Salisbury

I got an email on Halloween inviting me not to a costume party but to behold the strange and rare sight of sockeye salmon trying to spawn in a tiny little brook that runs through Ed and Betty Tyburski’s property on East Twin Lake in Salisbury.
The Tyburskis have owned the house for more than 50 years and they’ve never seen anything like it.
The brook is seasonal. When it rains, it runs.
And it rained buckets a couple days earlier.

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