Small Stream Report: Nature finds a way, Part MMXXII

This is a very late report from last week. After a hot, dry, droughty summer like the one we experienced in 2022, I like to head to a few small streams to get a handle on how the natives fared. This trip was last Friday, well before this week’s much-needed soaking. As I suspected, the water level on this brook was on the low side of low. Much of it was unfishable. But there was plenty of good news.

The water temperature was bracing and cold, certainly colder than it ever was this summer, but this brook has many places for the char to go to escape the summer heat, even in low water. I saw dozens and dozens of fish, many of which looked to be young of year. I also found a few pods of bigger brook trout — nothing really huge, but in the 7-8″+ class. On an outing like this, I do get to do some fishing, but a lot of it is more inspection-oriented, with the intent of spooking fish. Often, with the water so low, the natives want nothing to do with the sight of you or your rod waving around. I got no interest of the dry fly, and pricked two with a weighted jig-type fly.

Then, yesterday after the rains, I visited a different stream. What a bounty! But you’ll have to wait a couple days for that report…

At a normal level, the flow should be covering the rocks you see center photo. This pool is usually good for a couple of hungry swipes; on this day it was a barren brookie wastleland. A reminder as we get near spawning time: be on the lookout for redds. Consider not wading into brooks at all. Redds are pretty easy to spot; usually a lighter area a foot or two in diameter against a darker gravel bed.

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