Winter Salters

     A week ago New England was hit by another Nor’easter dumping over 6 inches of snow in most areas. Typical for New England weather, it warmed up a few days later and melted most of the new snow. Today we had temperatures in the mid ‘40’s so I decided to take advantage and hit the water. I was hoping to get some good fishing in before the next Nor’easter which is supposed to bring a foot of snow with it next week. So I packed the RBT One Tenkara rod, my sling pack, waders, and boots and headed out.

Winter SaltersI decided to visit a local Salter stream and see how it fared this winter. (Salter is a local term for sea-run brook trout) We’ve had several severe storms and I was curious to see the effects. It was a bright sunny day and a welcome escape from winter’s doldrums. This stream is usually a tough spot to cast with a tight canopy and lots of tall vegetation. This late in the winter there was more room to cast but you still had to be aware of your surroundings to avoid snags. I noticed the snow and rain had created some new pools and increased the depth of old ones. 

Winter SaltersFishing for Salters in this water is very challenging. The water is crystal clear and the fish scare easily. It requires stealth, patience, and more patience. I’ve been skunked at this location many times. I decided to start at the bay end of the water and work my way upstream. I tied on a gray ghost streamer to get things started. I didn’t see any Salters from the shore but that doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of hiding places in this water. 

After several unproductive casts, I switched flies. I went through my box of streamers that usually work well here but nothing was biting. I even tried my pheasant tail kebari which usually works when nothing else does but the fish just weren’t biting today. I made my way up the walking path to several pools that typically hold fish but I didn’t see any activity. Maybe the Salters were in the ocean feeding on bigger food? 

Salter fryWhile I didn’t catch any fish today it was still a good day on the water. I noticed Salter fry in several areas and have high hopes for the health of this habitat. This stream appears to be thriving and the upcoming season should be a good one. The Salters are doing well here and have made an amazing comeback. The work of Trout Unlimited and the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition has really paid off as this stream appears to be thriving. I can't wait to return here when the weather improves and chase the Salters again.




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