Saturday, April 29, 2023

 The Natchaug River Eastern CT's Finest

Wonderful opportunities currently on the Natchaug for dry fly fishermen and women!

The CTDEEP has fully stocked the river with largely rainbow trout and some fall holdovers are in the mix.  They've done a great job in providing some large rainbows this year and of course the browns are still in the mix with an occasional tiger and brookies!

We've seen Blue quills/Mahogany duns, Hendricksons, and Stone flies earlier.  Hatches start typically around 1:00pm until 4 and again from 6 pm to dark.  LOTS of spinners present during these sure to have a size 14 spinner pattern in your arsenal!  Caddis show up through the day.  Emergers fished just below the surface as well have brought many trout to hand since late the CT trout season is now a year round opportunity.  Long leaders and tippet will be best in some of the tricker currents.

Recent rains and more forecasted have put water levels and flows in perfect shape.  As regulars know this great stream is totally dependent on rainfall to extend the season as long as possible.

Here's Steve with a fine rainbow, one of many we brought to hand on this recent day.

If you haven't experienced the Natchaug or are unfamiliar with the river and access points, we can plan and afternoon or evening with you.  Once you've experienced this wonderful early season gem, you'll be back!



Tuesday, January 10, 2023


Reports from the Shetucket River remain good for the Atlantic Salmon season.  Those braving the cold have been rewarded with some nice fish as CTDEEP has now fully stocked the river for the season.

Most recently the larger fish up to 20 lbs. completed the seasonal stocking. Anglers braving the cold and the ups and downs of the water levels are having success from Baltic upstream to Merrick Brook.

Don't forget the upcoming CFFA exhibition and banquet on February 4.  More info here:

This is a great annual event with lots of bargains, fly tying and demonstrations throughout the day...SEE YOU THERE!

Here are 3 tips from TU, especially for newcomers:


We teach the "thumb in your peripheral vision" as the first step in improving your cast and tightening your loop.  For most trout fishing scenarios the rod only needs to move a few feet from the side of your head forward with the thumb on top and in your vision both on the back and forward casts.

Mastering this simple rod movement is the beginning step for newcomers that tell us; "I tried fly fishing but it's too hard, etc."  Need help?  We simplify the process with you...LESS IS MORE.  Contact us for a Spring tuneup as the trout season gets fully underway.  All CT streams have been late fall stocked and the season is now open year round!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

 The Good ole' SUMMERTIME !

GREAT for the beach, challenging for the trout fly fisher. A lack of rain has reservoirs at low levels and tail waters at some of the lowest levels in a very long time.  Case in point, the Farmington...lowest we've seen in some years, exposing rocks, boulders, runs and holes we are not used to seeing.

The cold water from the minimal releases are keeping the trout active, easier to locate rising fish, and the insects continuing to hatch.  X-caddis patterns worked on a recent visit, along with a sulphur here and there, as that hatch is now only in the uppermost stretches...Canal pool and above. Most all areas of the Farmington are now easily wadeable, so take notes for the future when normal conditions resume!  HINT:  You had better be on 7x if fishing to risers in the low and very clear conditions and if your leader/tippet is not pushing 14 feet...good luck!!

On an annual trip to the Catskills in mid June, conditions could't have been better on the East and West Branches of the Delaware.  The Beaverkill was a bit low and warm, but fishable.

Here's a 20" West Branch wild Brown that fell for a size 20 BWO one nice morning.

On the East Branch, conditions were much the same, nice flows and water temps in the 50's to low 60's.

Here's Matt, my fishing partner and chef (steak au poivre after a long day on the branches)   
along with the requisite rye Manhattan (or 2)...who can beat that!!

Daytime on the East Branch was an earlier morning deal and the beauty above took a sunken caddis in the AM.

We had a great 5 days lodged at the DREAMCATCHER on the banks of the WB.  Caught and released nice Browns during the WB "golden hour" 7-9pm rising to sulphurs, Iso's, BWO's.

Arguably the best in the East, the Upper Delaware, certainly for wild trout!

Stay safe everyone, temps will fall, waters will rise and Connecticut's fall Atlantic Salmon season will be here!


Team 7x

Sunday, May 22, 2022

 Sulphurs?  Pale Evening Duns? Vitreus?

Call them what you will...they are hatching on the Natchaug.  It's been a few years since we've seen a substantial hatch of these yellow beauties, and conditions this week were perfect for their appearance.

An emerger size 16, lightly greased,  did the job in a short window between 7:00 and 7:30 PM in one of our favored locations...2 -17" Rainbows and 2 smaller versions, 12" to 14".  Beautiful coloration and gill plates led us to believe they are fall holdovers. Healthy solid and full of energy, they just didn't seem like routine recent stockers.

Warm weather ahead with water temps pushing 70 degrees may limit the chances.  The flow is below 100 cfs and we sure could use some rain to extend the short season.

Enjoyed a nice evening with our guests, Tom and Kathy.  Tom took several nice rainbows on a caddis pattern and Kathy worked on improving her casting as a newcomer.  It was their first time on the Natchaug...and we visited a few different locations for their future reference.

Also ran into a long time ago guest, Ralph who travels from Mass a few times a year to fish the Natchaug. he and his crew are heading to the Dream Catcher Lodge on the WB Delaware shortly.

We'll be there in mid June, can't wait to search for those big Browns!

We had blue quills and caddis for the most part following the early stones.  NO Hendricksons or March Browns to speak of so the sulfurs are a welcome sight.  Most small size 16, although a few larger did appear sporadically during the evening. Not a lot of Browns around, but plenty of Rainbows!

Let's hope we can get a few more weeks on this fine trout stream.  The trout are there and so should you be!  If we can help, give us a shout.



Saturday, March 12, 2022


Many of our loyal fly fishing followers know that as of March 4, 2022, TROUT SEASON IS OPEN on all rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.  As in 2021 this "soft" opening is scheduled to become a permanent yearly condition, pending some regulation work by CTDEEP.

Certainly this benefits smaller stream fly fishers; no trout massacre on the former traditional opening date; less crowded conditions in light of the ongoing COVID concerns.  Other than adding a few weeks in March to our normal Spring fishing plans not much changes.  Our freestones are largely done for the season around mid-June as flows drop and water heats up and insects disappear.

Certainly the biggest benefit,  in our opinion is the end of the one-day onslaught with trash barrels full with stringers of  discarded trout that the opening day crowd had no intention of keeping. Perhaps great sport for kids for one day but not for dedicated fly fishers who enjoy exploring the freestones.

With a season limited by water conditions anyway, fly fishers have more opportunity to find open space and willing trout during the peak insect hatches.  All in all probably a good strategy by the folks at CTDEEP who do an admirable job in supporting our freestone trout fishery.  Of course year round fly fishing  continues on the Farmington with regulations that certainly benefit fly fishers.

Our TEAM7xer Steve is at it again!  Neither cold air temps or freezing water could keep him from his recent quest to take a pike on the fly!  Fishing a spot on the CT River, known for pike cruising close to shore, he scored!

Great Job Steve, we have now dubbed you the PIKE GURU!

See you on the water!



Friday, January 21, 2022


 Hello everyone and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our loyal followers.  It's been a while for an update and challenges to our wellbeing remain ahead.  Please stay safe and careful until we can get on-water ASAP in the Spring!

Well, when most of us are shut down for the typical winter cold weather conditions, there are exceptions.

Our diehard TEAM7x member, Steve continues to subject himself to 30+ degree water in search of SALMON ON THE SHETUCKET.  With the albie season behind him, Steve just can't put the rod away!

He's first to admit, a hour in the frigid water is about enough.  Looks like that's all the time it takes.

A recent Shetucket Atlantic Salmon beauty!

A couple of Steve's successful patterns.

Anyone else been braving the winter conditions?  Let us know at and we'll post your pics and info.

Meanwhile it's a good time for bargains as many on line retailers are offering specials on all kinds of gear, lines, rods (like we need more right?) reels etc.  We highly recommend you try Chris Fave's hand tied leaders this Spring, especially if you're a dry fly guy or gal.  He has a solid SALE going on now!

You might want to review some of our archive posts on butt sections, leaders, etc as you enjoy your coffee or adult beverage of choice by the fireside while waiting for the first shot at Spring!  Likely the CTDEEP will soft open the trout season again in 2022 and licenses are available on line.

Sadly once again the CFFA, CT Fly Fisherman's Assoc., has cancelled, in an abundance of caution for health concerns, its annual event and show, always a welcome outing in the winter months.
We highly recommend joining this fine organization.

Stay warm, stay safe, be careful and as always...



Thursday, August 19, 2021

 REACHING...and then some

The Spring trout season on CT's Eastern streams ended as usual in early June as temps rose and levels dropped, leaving the Farmington the closest and best choice for the dedicated trout fly fishers.  

The Natchaug, Yantic, Salmon and Shetucket provided some steady Spring action; the Natchaug in particular held some nice fall holdovers.  Hatchwise, an unusual Spring; very sparse Hendricksons, March Browns and Sulphurs.  Even the usually reliable black and tan caddis were sparse.  Olives were on most of the time and finding steadily rising fish was a challenge.  Patient casting over "one timers" with a soft hackle in the film was a winner.

In late June the TEAM headed to the Upper Delaware for a week's stay at the Dream Catcher just outside of Deposit , NY on the Upper West branch, the finest west branch accommodations with a mile of private wade access water. It's a short trip to the Upper East or Beaverkill and Willowemoc as well. Some evenings 10-12 anglers lined up in front of the property mostly blind casting away during the sulphur hatch.  However, exploring above and below the property finds few anglers, a wide expanse for the drift boats and some BIG sipping browns!  Patience and sometimes casting over a fish many times with sulphurs, spinners, olives brought success.  Browns between 16" and 20" are common in our "special" areas and we took some beauties during the short window between 7:30 and 9:00PM.

Daytimes we fished the East Branch,with limited success as it was low and unusually warm with daytimes air temps in the 90's that week.  We scouted out some other West Branch access points that were not crowded at all and took big browns on afternoon spinners and olives.  Unfortunately the Beaverkill was way to low and warm to fish.

DREAM CATCHER directly on the WB Delaware


Back to the title of this blog...the MOST important cast to have in your arsenal on the tricky-current WB is the REACH cast.  Our typical set up is a Chris Fave tied up 10" leader with and additional 3 or more feet of 6x.  Long flouro tippets are a must to get the extended drifts necessary.  Of course we're using a stiff 2' or so butt section nail-knotted to the fly line to insure smooth transition.

You don't necessarily need to haul or double haul since your chances of getting a proper drift and hook set at long distances are limited in the WB current flow, normally between 500-600 or more CFS.  For wading anglers, most of the WB big trout can be found in easily wadeable areas with patience,  making short drag-free casts the ticket.  The reach cast is essential on ALL moving waters but is a must on the  the WB for these all-wild wary browns.

There are many videos on fly casting but here's a good one on the reach cast...

We're heading back to the WB and the Dream Catcher for a few days in early October as the browns fatten up before the spawning period

Won't be long and we'll head for the SALMON ON THE SHETUCKET a great fall opportunity to catch Atlantic Salmon on the fly.  Have you tried it?  Give us a call and we'll set it up!