I doubt that many of you will be traveling to and fishing the Smokies to fish this month although I
hope you do.  The first part of February are probably the coldest times of the year and you will
have to pick out the better days to expect much success fishing the freestone streams. By the
end of February, everyone will be doing their best to force the bugs to hatch and the trout to
respond even though they will probably have to wait a few more days to see any surface action.
That considered, I thought I would write about some fishing trips we have made to various other
destinations. Don't expect these articles to win any awards, just tell you about

Note: Because I am running short of time getting in many streams I wanted to write about before
the fishing in the park gets into its early season mode, I will be writing about four streams in this

Fly Fishing The Clyde River, Vermont

The Clyde River is mainly a still water brook trout and a landlocked salmon stream.
In 1996, a dam that prevented the salmon from moving into the Clyde River was
removed. It climaxed a long battle by TU and others. This gives the salmon a short
stretch of river (one and a half miles) to move into to spawn.

We were not there during the spawning time. Although we stayed in Newport
overnight, we did not fish that part of the river. We moved upstream and fished
some of the still water ponds and the upper headwaters of the Clyde. We managed
to catch a few brook trout but none of the large ones the river is noted for. When I
say large, I am referring to two pound brook trout. They get very large in the still
water areas.

Fly Fishing the Upper Connecticut River, New Hampshire

The Upper Connecticut River's headwaters begin in Canada. There are four little
lakes in the river downstream of the border. Landlocked salmon move upstream to
spawn from the first Connecticut Lake. Other than that, the upper part of the river is
mainly brook trout fishing. There are a lot of smaller, easy to catch brook trout in
the upper sections. The tailwater section below the first lake is fly fishing, catch and
release water. The next little lake downstream is Lake Francis. Downstream of the
lake the state stocks the stream with brook trout and rainbow trout.

Below the little community of Pittsburg, most anglers float the river. It is deeper
water not suitable for wading in most areas. We fished several locations upstream
of there. We were not on the river during the salmon spawning time and of course,
missed the thing the river is noted most for. We did catch some stocked rainbows
and brook trout.

Kennebago River, Maine:

This is another salmon stream but it too has some very large brook trout because
of the lakes in the river. Brook trout have an entirely different food supply in the
lakes of Maine, and Canada north of there, than they do in streams. They grow
much larger as a result of that. We visited all four of these rivers during a time that
the salmon were not spawning and of course missed the thing that they are most
noted for. We were after the large brook trout. The better sections of this river are
difficult to access.

Rapid River, Maine:

The Rapid River is quite different from the above three. Parts of it are truly "rapid".
It is a very short river, only 3.5 miles long. This river is noted for brook trout ranging
from 3 to 4 pounds. We were there during the right time of year for the brook trout,
but we had a difficult time getting in the right places to catch them. It is a long drive
over a dirt road and a long (for us with camera equipment) hike to the river. It is a
beautiful stream in beautiful country. We were able to get some video but no large
brook trout. Because of the difficulty in accessing the river, either by boat or on
foot, we only fished part of a day and moved on. In other words, we know little about
the river's fishing.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
...The Perfect Fly Store