Small Stream Report: We’ve got bugs

Yesterday seemed like far too fine a day to spend shackled to my laptop. Priorities in order, I headed for a thin blue line in the northwest hills.

Glory, what a good decision. The sun was warm, the water cool, and the smoke from my Rocky Patel Special Reserve Sun Grown Maduro robusto danced around the budding branches. Lots of bug activity: the rocks were coated with little black stones (16-18), and I saw caddis (16), midges (tiny) and two large un-IDed mayflies (Blue Quill?) locked in a fervent mating embrace. Water was an excellent height and running clear.

You can still find snow in the woods, albeit in isolated patches.


Inclement weather has a tendency to place branches and even entire trees in rather inconvenient locations. So I spent a few minutes doing some in-stream flora removal where needed. Here are my rules-of-thumb: if it’s living, it doesn’t get touched, no matter how badly it cocks up a pool. If it’s dead and in the water, and provides cover or generates seams and oxygenation, it doesn’t get touched. Anything else is fair game.

Pricked a bunch, mostly on the 2x short size 18 nymph dropper, and landed a half-dozen. I did see one fish rising to something small in a long, flat pool. I couldn’t hook him, even on a size 20 Bivisible. Due to the bright sun, most of the fish were holding deep or near structure. This lean, mean fighting machine grabbed the nymph.


Finally, a reminder that any small stream that’s not a Class 1 WTMA is now closed until 6:00am second Saturday in April. I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but we’re stuck with it.

7 comments on “Small Stream Report: We’ve got bugs

  1. Alton Blodgett says:

    God, that little bugger is beautiful. Just look at the haloed red dots. Gorgeous.

  2. Bill says:

    It isn’t only class one. Also other TMA’s are year round as are sea run tidal.

    • Bill says:

      Also, some WTMA are not open, while other TMA are.
      Farm River WTMA class 3 is closed from mill road at pages millpond down to I95.
      Hammonasset TMA is open…
      So devil is in the details…

      • Steve Culton says:

        And what I wanted to reference originally were the not-on-the-books streams — those little thin blue lines — that are neither managed nor stocked. Why we can’t fish in them right now puzzles me.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Bill,

      I should have said “WTMA.” That’s why I said “small stream.”

      You’re correct about the TMAs and tidal areas.

      When in doubt about regulations, readers, consult the Book of DEEP.

      • Bill says:

        Yes! (And it is certainly confusing unless you simply follow their guidelines every time.
        1. Read the general species regs.
        2. Read the specific regs for the body of water specific to location.
        3. If no special body then the general regs apply.

        I think your point is that if the stream is not labeled anywhere in the guide, then it is not directly stocked, so then why the closed season? I think (guessing) this is because either or both:
        1. It is easier to do it this way bureaucratically
        2. Some little brooks are tributaries to streams that are included, and therefore considered stocked.
        3. During the closed season, fishing pressure may increase on the few bodies of water that are not stocked and also accessible–therefore more than usual pressure on delicate wild streams?

        Reading GUIDE more closely, TMA are typically year round opportunities, whereas WTMA are not, except that WTMA class 1 appear to be but not declared that way overall. (There are only a handful of WTMA-1 in the guide though).

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