Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking forward...2013!





A very happy and healthy New Year to all!

We leave 2012 with mixed emotions; the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT has touched us all. In 2013 TEAM7x will donate all proceeds from its programs to the NEWTOWN MEMORIAL FUND in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School children.

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IN OUR HEARTS

We will continue to offer our no-charge casting programs at Charlie Brown Campground in Eastford, CT and at several other campgrounds and locations in eastern CT and RI.  We are relabeling our "Natchaug Top Twelve" fly selection to commemorate SHES; proceeds donated as mentioned above.

In 2013, TEAM7x will offer an on-water PRESENTATION program concentrating in perfecting mends, reach casts, and achieving a drag free drift.  More on this later.  We continue to offer our "Evening on the Natchaug" program and in late fall will offer a "Salmon on the Shetucket" program.

From a fly fishing perspective, 2012 was a good year, not great.  Low water conditions on freestone streams were a problem from opening day on.  Even the Farmington and the upper Delaware River area suffered from low flows throughout much of the year.  A bright spot was the solid Atlantic salmon opportunity on the Shetucket River.  CTDEP continues to do a nice job in stocking excess brood stock in October and November on this tailwater.  We did benefit from a nice early pre-season with warm weather and good hatches on the Moosup, Yantic, Merrick Brook  and those year 'round trout streams in the area.
 We hope you will join us in 2013.  Encourage a young person to learn and enjoy fly fishing.  We provide all equipment for our casting programs and can custom-design an outing for you, your spouse,  a child or grandchild. Our very reasonable rates stay the same for 2013, ages 12-16 free when accompanied by an adult. 

Follow us here or on Twitter; we'll be updating regularly in 2013! We email special alerts to our TEAM list.  Be sure we have your email if you'd like to hear from us with special advisories and updates.
DRAG FREE!






Thursday, December 13, 2012

ALERT! A proposal to divert water from the Farmington to UCONN

UCONN has proposed several alternatives to secure more water for its campus in Storrs.  Among them is a proposal to divert water from the Farmington River watershed thru a 20 mile pipeline at the rate of 1.9 millions gallons per day.  We think there are much better alternatives and have submitted the following response to the UCONN proposers:


As a fly fisherman who regularly fishes the Farmington watershed and the eastern CT area, a close reading of the MDC alternative would appear to show that water supply would originate from the Nepaug and Barkhamstead Reservoirs which lie on the East Branch Farmington with no impact on the West Branch Farmington above New Hartford. There are minimum flows that must be met according to previous agreements. However with this past summer’s low levels in the Colebrook Reservoir we should be concerned about the availability of water in the entire MDC system in the future.  Severe drawdowns could heavily impact the lower Farmington river areas.

Of major concern, is the impact from pipeline construction in the many wetland areas associated with some fine trout streams in eastern CT; Skungamung, Hockanum, Tankerhoosen, and the Willimantic River and the smaller streams associated with these.
There are indeed other alternatives...this does not seem the best and we’ve asked our followers to oppose this alternative.  I would ask you to reject this alternative.

See more at::  
http://articles.courant.com/2012-12-11/community/hc-mansfield-storrs-water-1212-20121211_1_water-line-mdc-local-water-supplies

and:

http://www.envpolicy.uconn.edu/eie.html





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Friday on the Shetucket River

Black Friday resembled opening day of trout season with popular runs filled with fly fishers on what was a warm late fall day.  The Atlantics are there, no doubt!  Enticing them to strike a fly is another story.  Here's Jay, a Shetucket regular who told us he had 10 landed salmon to his credit this season with a spectacular fish!  All of 33" in length as he measured him out before carefully releasing.  Jay said he "never" fishes black but this beauty took what resembles a small wooly bugger, maybe 8-10 in size and all black. BLACK FRIDAY????   It certainly was for Jay!!   GREAT fish Jay, I'm pleased to have been a witness to the battle.  Kudos, since I had hard-fished the exact same run earlier in the day!


 
 
 
 
 
Here's hoping for a few more warm days before we move into 2013!
DRAG FREE everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

SALMON on the Shetucket

The CT DEP stocks excess broodstock Atlantic salmon on the Shetucket and Naugatuck Rivers in October/November.  The Shetucket receives 300-400 fish stocked below the Scotland dam.  Here are the best access points.  Team 7x spent a warm afternoon on the Shetucket, before hurricane Sandy with some success!


This nice Atlantic in the 4-5 pound range showed in a fast,deep riffle and hit a 2/0 deciever when swung in front of him.  What fun on a 5 weight as he took several leaps and runs before giving in.  He was promptly released since this is a catch-and-release regulated area until November 1.


This saltwater deceiver tied on a 2/0 hook with 3x tippet on a sinking leader did the trick!  We broke several fish off on a Mickey Finn as well.  They seemed to prefer hanging in the deeper seams between fast and slow water.  Pick a nice day and get to the Shetucket for some fall salmon!  They're not easy...but they are there!

A WORD OF CAUTION:  

The Scotland dam releases water unpredictably!  Within minutes on the afternoon we were there, not far below the dam, the water level rose a good 12", forcing us to hustle off the river!

BEFORE YOU GO...Call the recorded dam info line at 860-456-4115.  If the message says BREAKER OPEN, the water will be low and wadeable.  IF the message says BREAKER CLOSED, it's not worth the trip since the water will be high.

Email us at team_7x@yahoo.com for specifics on access or see the stocking map link above if you are planning to go.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bill's First Trout!

Here's our friend Bill on the Swift River in MA!  He and his good buddy Ven joined us earlier in the year on the Natchaug and Bill recently took a nice fish on the Swift...no easy pickin's on the very selective Swift trout!  Great job Bill!






By the way...does anyone watch "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM?"  This guy look familiar???? :):)

DRAG FREE!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Natchaug River update!

Our friend Paul emailed the following just a few days ago...


"Hi Guys...

Just a short note to let you know that I just left the Natchaug State Forest, and had a blast!  

The flows are back up ( wish i knew how to measure it ) and the Water temp was a refreshing 58 degrees. I picked off two very nice Rainbows and what appeared to be a young Brown, 10 to 12 "  Several other false strikes just below the surface, but it was definitely the best afternoon that I have had in quite awhile. All fish were "feisty" VERY healthy looking, and quickly blasted off after release.

9 ft, 5 wt, TFO:  7.5', 4X leader & about 3' of 4X Fluorocarbon tippet with a # 10 Green & White small streamer "looking" fly, with silver tape on the hook, fished just below the surface. All strikes and fish were had on a slow & jumpy retrieve with about 30 ft of line out to the pools and banks and within a few seconds of the fly sinking

It was an extremely encouraging afternoon !

Looking forward to the fly tying class!"


Thanks Paul for the update!
We spent Friday afternoon/evening on the river and the fish are there...although not a lot of surface activity.  Some gray caddis appeared late along with BWO spinners and some larger spinners at dark.  If we get ongoing rain, the levels and flow should be ok.  CTDEP stocked during the last 2 weeks and the trout should be spread out nicely shortly.  Be sure to check the flows at the left side of the page.
DRAG FREE!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Fly Tying Lessons in Eastern CT

Team7x and our friends at Charlie Brown Campground are planning a series of fly tying classes beginning likely in late February, early March at the CBC clubhouse in Eastford, CT.  Likely we'll have a 5 session program and perhaps add in some early season trout fishing on the year 'round open waters in eastern Connecticut!

All equipment, vises, materials, etc. will be provided and instruction led by Everett, who has been a fly tying instructor with RIDEM and is a United Fly Tyers member.  We'll be tying our favorite Natchaug and eastern CT rivers patterns!

PLEASE let us know ASAP if you're interested in further details at team_7x@yahoo.com  We have several folks committed and class size must be limited for individual attention. 

DRAG FREE!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Farmington River 9/13/2012

The Farmington, as you will see from the video, remains at low levels and flow, although the water temp was 62 degrees this AM.  Very little insect activity on a beautiful late summer morning.

Upriver a bit from the video location, trout were stacked like cordwood in a what is normally a deep pool.  They were clearly visible on the bottom and some very large fish in the mix!  Smaller trout would  occasionally come to the surface, inspect the my various miniature offerings and refuse; fascinating watching this activity!  The larger trout wouldn't expend much energy holding on the bottom and taking whatever small food was available.  I did manage a nice 16" rainbow later in the afternoon when the near-surface  activity increased on a pheasant tail in the film.  The fish showed no signs of stress, fought hard and was active on release. On a larger Isonychia, two trout were foul hooked as they came to the surface in a slapping fashion attempting to drown the fly.  They were quickly released unharmed.

The water is crystal clear and slow without any major hatch activity to get the trout in a surface feeding rhythm, making conditions extremely difficult. This is a great time to walk the river and explore while getting a lesson in trout behavior.  There is NO shortage of BIG trout in the Farmington, as we all know!  The previous few days were scheduled for annual shocking by CTDEP but that did not appear to have any effect in this particular area.


video

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fly Tying Classes-Spring 2013

Team7x and our friends at Charlie Brown Campground are planning a series of fly tying classes beginning likely in late February, early March at the CBC clubhouse in Eastford, CT.  Likely we'll have a 5 session program and perhaps add in some early season trout fishing on the year 'round open waters in eastern Connecticut!

All equipment, vises, materials, etc. will be provided and instruction led by Everett, who has been a fly tying instructor with RIDEM and is a United Fly Tyers member.  We'll be tying our favorite Natchaug and eastern CT rivers patterns!

PLEASE let us know ASAP if you're interested in further details at team_7x@yahoo.com  We have several folks committed and class size must be limited for individual attention. 

DRAG FREE!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Upper Delaware...East Branch

Team 7x spent 3 days in mid July in the upper Delaware River area.  We had a cabin directly on a semi-private (limited public access) section of the East Branch, below Downsville.  Water temps were a consistent 46 degrees!  The hot, muggy air produced fog most mornings and late evenings and the flow was around 200 cfs, below normal for this time of year but very clear.  We experienced sulphur hatches beginning in mid afternoon till evenings like you can't imagine!  After a morning rain, the sulphurs, PMD's covered the water throughout the long clear pool just in front of the cabin.   Occasional isonychia's and a steady hatch of BWO's complicated matters.  We managed some beautiful wild browns on emergers in the 17" range, but the catching was difficult with the huge number of naturals on the water.  The water was slow moving and clear and this particular area was loaded with big fish clearly visible in the long pool.  Trout would occasionally take a dun from the surface but were concentrating on easy pickings; emergers, floating nymphs and stillborns just under the surface per usual.

I've witnessed a huge hatch of sulphurs (PMD's) after a rain on Depuy's  spring creek outside Livingston, MT a few years back, but this day on the East Branch topped even that!
In chatting with Craig Matthews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone during that trip, he confirmed that the rain will produce incredible hatches of the PMD's on most days.

A quick visit to the West Branch was unproductive.  Not much surface activity in the Gamelands area during a hot afternoon.  Team 7x has arranged exclusive access to this particular area of the East Branch by recommendation, and can help with rentals, etc.  Talk to us if you're planning a trip to the Upper Delaware.  Some speculate that the big browns have moved into the upper East Branch from the Beaverkill seeking the cooler water; the Beaverkill is just now returning to fishable levels.  Contact Dennis at Catskill Flies for updated info and daily river reports.

The upper East is a challenge; maybe that's why we had much of the water to ourselves.  With incredible numbers of wild browns and prolific hatches, casting your offering on a long leader into the parade of naturals is a crap shoot!  We love the challenge and we'll be back!!
DRAG FREE!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Announcement!





June 5, 2011
TEAM7x is pleased to announce its partnership with FLY FISHING BENEFACTORS, as inaugural members of its fly fishing Pro Staff.
Fly Fishing Benefactors is located in South Riding, VA, owned and operated by Carl Craig.  FFB features a full line of rods, reels, line and accessories specifically for freshwater trout fishing.  TEAM7x uses and has evaluated many of the FFB offerings in its no-charge fly fishing lessons, and on the water in guided fly fishing outings in eastern Connecticut. 
“The FFB warrantied products are of the highest quality at prices extremely affordable, especially to the new fly fisher.  Our concentration is mostly with folks new to the fly fishing sport many of whom have yet to make an investment in gear.  Carl’s attention to detail and commitment to quality in FFB’s products allows new fly fishers to purchase full outfits at some of the best price points in the industry,” said Tom Daniels of TEAM7x.
“Not only are we impressed with the FFB product line, but equally impressive is Carl and FFB’s commitment to the various organizations he supports.  Reel Recovery®, Casting for Recovery®, and Healing Waters®, all receive significant portions of profits from the sale of Fly Fishing Benefactors products. Since we as TEAM7x are committed to attracting new people, especially younger folks to fly fishing through no-charge lessons, this is a great way to introduce the FFB products in the northeast.  When you buy an outfit from FFB, you are benefitting some outstanding causes,” said Everett Thornton of TEAM7x.
Tom and Everett have been fly fishing the Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut area for many years, with frequent trips to the great Farmington River in western Connecticut and the upper Delaware River system in NY state.  They have made several trips to the outstanding waters in Montana , Idaho and Wyoming .  In the past, both have been fly fishing instructors in Rhode Island DEM’s freshwater fishing programs.  Tom has taken private lessons with Lefty Kreh, and Everett is an accomplished fly tier and instructor. Both are members of Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers.
TEAM7x currently offers instruction and its “Evenings on the Natchaug” guided fly fishing programs on eastern Connecticut ’s trophy trout stream, the Natchaug   River , and surrounding trout streams.
Mention "TEAM7x" when ordering for special discount!

                
                      http://team7x.com/
           

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The upper Delaware River area

The flow is low, the water temperature on the Natchaug is 68  degrees and approaching the STOP level of 70 degrees.  The trout are stressed and looking for oxygen in faster moving water and conditions are simply not the best for this early in the season.  Hopefully much needed rain will help, but none forecasted soon.

We will proceed with our June 16 no-charge basic casting class at Charlie Brown Campground and will put on hold our on-water session scheduled for that afternoon, pending conditions. Stop by and join us!

A brief look at the river on Sunday returning from a long weekend in the upper Delaware River area was discouraging, after perfect conditions on the East and West branches of the Delaware and the Beaverkill and Willowemoc, although the water temps are rising some on the freestones (Beamoc system.)

The West Branch may be the best trout stream east of the Mississippi, all wild fish and  is challenging to say the least.  The action was limited to mid afternoon for an hour if that, and again in the evening.  East Branch was strictly 7-10 pm action on spinners, emergers and caddis.  Both are great challenges and the Farmington which I love to fish, is a walk in the park compared to these. The key on the WB, as is the case on tailwaters I believe, is to be patient, walk and search for a steady riser and of course have the right pattern.  Blind casting and casting to middle of the river to sporadic risers may result in a few small fish if you're fishing on top or just under with emergers.  Sulphurs were in abundance but the duns went largely untouched as the trout took the emergers.

The best trout are found usually within 20 feet or less of the river side and rising in rhythm and it takes heavy duty searching to find 'em!  Chances of a take, providing you're drag free and right over him are greatly increased in this situation...old news for the experienced but worth noting for newer dry fly folks. (I consider on top and just under [emergers] as being a "dry fly.")  I was able, after several hours of inactivity to find 3 steady risers within 20 feet of each other, took the biggest, a 17" brown, one a bit smaller and missed a clean hook up on an even bigger fish all inside of 5 minutes on an size 14 Isonychia pattern, having spotted some Iso's coming off earlier.

Monday, a quick stop at 9:00 am at Cemetary pool on the Beaverkill saw March Browns in full force!  My adult nephew and I were probably 30 minutes or more late since this hatch didn't last long and the fish stopped rising.  I spotted my steady riser across the river, maybe 15 feet from the far bank and instantly knew this was the fish of the trip!  I had a March Brown pattern tied on, got in place made a cast upstream for distance and put it on 'em! BANG!
The rest is history...broke off at the tippet knot.  I can count on one hand EVER being broke off at the tippet knot, oh well operator error!  This was a big brown, legendary for that particular pool and I raised 'em, just didn't get him to hand.  I can live with that, it happens.  Great rivers, every one a challenge and not being a numbers guy, I loved every minute...searching, wading, walking, staring at moving water for hours looking for the worthwhile target, sometimes not making a cast for an hour...waiting and then several steady roll up rises perhaps 50 yards across the river...then the fun begins!
DRAG FREE!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco De Mayo on the Natchaug

Thanks to a great group of folks who joined our 2nd fly casting session on Saturday at Charlie Brown Campground on the banks of the Natchaug River in Eastford, CT.

A dozen folks, young, older, men and women; inexperienced and experienced spent a nice morning 2 hours in our no-charge session, learning the basics and polishing up on skills.  A group of several firemen, policemen and their family members from the Doylestown, PA area arrived with newly purchased rods, reels, line, etc. set up by a retailer who will remain nameless!
It was obvious that someone needed a lesson in tying nail knots; something resembling a nail knot connected fly line to leaders on these newly purchased outfits!  We had the guys rerigged and casting in short order and enjoyed a few laughs throughout the morning.  The group's "official photographer" (Matt the Fireman's wife) took lots of photos and we'll post 'em up soon.

The afternoon on-water session, limited to 4 anglers, was a great success as we were able to find rising fish to caddis further downriver in some out-of-the-way runs and pools.  The guys took some nice browns and rainbows on top (no, we don't fish nymphs and indicators!) and having Larry David along was a REAL adventure!  We're back at Charlie Brown Campground on June 16.  With  Father's Day on the 17th, an "Evening on the Natchaug" might be just the gift! Drop us an email at team_7x@yahoo.com for info.
DRAG FREE!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CT opening day...Natchaug River

TEAM 7x had a great time teaching  several new fly fishermen the basics of casting  on 4/21, opening day of trout season in CT.  Our next session is scheduled for May 5, 9 to 11 am. Per usual, the Natchaug was crowded with spin fishermen, the trout pooled up in deeper holes and heads of pools in the extreme low water conditions, and the annual massacre was on!  Recently stocked nice sized trout dragged on the rocks, hooks ripped out, stringers attached...not the norm for catch-and-release anglers, but to each his/her own, I suppose.  Today's rain will have little impact on the river; it is LOW and one must search for holding water. We did see spinners and caddis on the water late around 7:00 pm and rose several fish on those patterns in some of the deeper pools in the lesser fished parts of the river.  The afternoon was windy and except for midge, the hatches sparse on this day.

Earlier we did a little searching under rocks at stream side and found some great specimens of the insect life prevalent on the Natchaug.

Natchaug dark stonefly nymph


March Brown nymph


March Brown nymph
There were numerous cased caddis and mahogany dun nymphs on the underside of stream side rocks as well.  It won't be long for the March Browns to make there appearance, based on the size of the nymphs we witnessed.  The suprising find was the huge dark stonefly nymphs clinging tight to the streambed rocks.  Stonefly nymphs fished deep should certainly take the deeper lying trout.  The water clarity and low flow make it easy to observe the trout and their feeding patterns.  If you haven't invested in the fly fishers MOST important piece of equipment, it's time to do so!  POLARIZED SUNGLASSES...good ones!  Absent the mayhem of opening day on the Natchaug, hopefully we'll be able to do some stream side work at our May fly casting sessions at Charlie Brown Campground.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Connecticut Trout Stocking Maps

CT DEP has posted TROUT STOCKING MAPS for all streams and rivers in Connecticut. These maps are in topo format and are a great resource for finding access points and river locations.  Once again, the Connecticut DEP fisheries division provides another valuable resource for us as the 2012 season gets underway on all rivers and streams on April 21.
 A reminder:  Water levels and flows are LOW; please revive all trout before releasing!

DRAG FREE!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dry fly Bonanza!

The Moosup River 4/2 was in midseason form with a prolific hatch of Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordons) in mid afternoon.  No need to wait for opening day in Connecticut, the dry fly action is happening now!  Stoneflies are still in the mix but the trout were keying on the quills which covered the water for an hour or so.  Later around 6 pm caddis began to show along with a solid hatch of tiny blue-wing olives...just amazing for early April as the air was filled with insects in the fading daylight!  The water and flow is LOW which does not bode well for the upcoming weeks.  As a barometer, the Natchaug today is at 56 cfs, unheard of for this time of year.  These are late June/early July flows!

We've been successful with the standard quill patterns, hackle stackers and when the trout key on the fluttering stoneflies, a black emergent caddis pupa with elk hair wing fished on top works just fine; any dark flat or down wing pattern will get close enough to a stonefly look-a-like for success. I fished the Jim Hicks signature rod with the Metolius reel from Fly Fishing Benefactors today...a great combo...check 'em out via the link on the left.



With no significant rainfall in the forecast I'd take advantage of the current conditions as trout are looking up now and with the low flows, are tending to concentrate in the faster moving water at head and tailouts of pools.  The quill hatch was as strong as I've seen in several years and certainly ahead of normal schedule.

The best part...hardly anyone on the river! Now's the time as general opening day is still 17 DAYS away and who knows what conditions will be like.  Without significant rain the eastern CT freestones will be in a world of hurt.
Drag free!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Surface action early but danger ahead!

The surface action continues on the Moosup as stoneflies and now an emergence of early season quills (Gordon and black) have begun to appear along with BWO's.  The water is clear but LOW.  I can't remember a season 3 weeks away from opening day when the water levels were so low in eastern Connecticut.  The Natchaug River, not open until April 21 is at 2.8 feet and 64 cfs today.  These are late June conditions!  The Moosup water temps were 60+ during the warm spell a week ago.  Cooler nights recently will help but without significant rainfall, opening day and beyond is a crapshoot at best!

While the warm early spring is welcome, the lack of water is not.  Reservoirs, lakes and ponds are in dire need of water.  Flows on the Farmington are at summer levels and although this is a tailwater, it remains to be seen how much water can be released as the days pass.  Trout on the Moosup recently were already seeking cooler moving water as fallfish and suckers began taking up residence in the usual pools.  Today's forecast shows one day with a 60% or better chance of rain in the next 10...NOT GOOD!

The Farmington may become the only game in town WAAAAYYY before usual this year. The flows on the WB and EB Delaware, Beaverkill and Willowemoc are markedly below normal for this time of season.  WE shall see!  In the meantime we've had an opportunity to cast and fish the new Jim Hicks Signature fly rod from Fly Fishing Benefactors, paired with the Deschutes reel and what a fine 5 weight it is!  VERY well appointed featuring high modulus graphite construction and two tips, casting the fast action JH is a pleasure. The Deschutes is a lightweight, well made wide arbor again at a LOW price point, similar to the SNAKE I we reviewed here. Both will be available to cast at our Charlie Brown Campground lessons scheduled for May and June. We'll have the FFB Snake, Deschutes and Metolius reels on hand as well.

Carl Craig at FFB offers a complete JH package; rod, reel, line, leaders, fly box and a dozen flies at a ridiculous price point.  Check out his site and deals by clicking on the FFB logo to the left. A good portion of his profits go to some worthwhile causes and his products are first rate!

See you on the Moosup or Yantic and if you've got a rain dance to offer...now's the time!
Drag free!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pre-Opener report...Moosup River, CT


Moosup River in Central Village (Plainfield) CT is a TMA, catch and release and thus open year round. The past few days, with the warmer temps  has shown lots of early stoneflies and hungry newly stocked fish. As the stones hit the water from stream side, the trout are actively on the rise.  A size 14 or 16 black bodied, flat wing pattern will do the trick.  I used a black caddis with tan deer hair down wing , a grey soft hackle and a dark body floating cdc emerger with constant success on 3/12. This is a lovely stretch of river, directly behind the Quinebaug Trout hatchery, with easy parking and access via the yellow trail. The Moosup empties into the Quinebaug, downstream of the hatchery. Deep runs, pools and riffles amidst wooded forest area provides good cover and cool water. Stocking reports show that some 2200 trout are stocked in the TMA, with 7000 throughout the Moosup system. There are holdovers.  

This river originates in RI, and receives little fishing pressure with stocking by RIDEM not seemingly spread out although there are some very nice stretches of river on the RI side.
This is the closest stream for RI fly fishers to get out pre-season as it is a year-round CT TMA.  There are no open streams or rivers in RI now.

For now, walk and wade and observe the beautiful early season stoneflies as they flutter on the surface.  The trout are looking up and there is definite on-top action!  Watch the deeper runs along undercut banks especially!  Given time, the pale,dreary looking browns and rainbows will have colored up a bit! There are some BIG fish in this TMA; Fished the Mooosup, or any other Eastern CT rivers? Let me know your thoughts! I will not be overly specific with locations in these public posts, but hope to provide some level of interest for those who haven't fished some of the less well-known streams and rivers of Eastern Ct.  Drag free!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NEW! CT Trout Stocking report

The latest Connecticut trout stocking report (2011 stats) has just been released by CT DEP.  The previous report was a 2009 version.  This report features the species and numbers of trout stocked in CT's rivers, streams and lakes/ponds and is an invaluable guide for the trout fisherman, since the majority of trout waters in CT are stocked on a put and take basis. Once again, the Natchaug remains as the 2nd most heavily stocked stream in CT.


We can help you find 'em!  Our "Evenings on the Natchaug" program is a great way to learn about this great Trophy Trout Stream.  Our free casting lessons begin in early Spring...contact us for specifics!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stonefly time...small and sparse!

A few small winter stoneflies were skittering on the surface of the Natchaug River recently. After seeing a subtle rise to a stone, a soft hackle floated on top took a nice brown trout holdover.  A lot of walking, wading and observing to find a rising trout this time of year BUT it happens when stoneflies are around.

A few days later on a cold windy day on the Farmington, trout were again rising ever-so-subtly to small stones when the wind settled down a bit.  Not a lot of rises, and again a lot of patience and observation to spot the dimpled soft take.


A size 16 or 18 soft hackle, gray body will match the dark bodied early "snow flies" as some call them.  On the Farmington they were smaller, even to a 20 or 22 and greenish/yellowish.  Nymphs of course will work if you want to drag bottom.  Great time of year to walk and explore with the water gin-clear and low.  No snow pack and lack of frost could spell trouble.  Let's hope for a rainy April/May to refresh our eastern CT freestones.  Even the tailwater Farmington is low for this time of year, more like midsummer flows and levels.  The Natchaug closes 2/29 until opening day.  Meantime pick a warm day and try the Yantic, Merrick Brook, Willimantic or Moosup, all year 'round streams and look for the small stoneflies!
Drag free!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Where are the trout?

Based on the latest (2009) stocking info, here's where you'll find the trout in eastern CT waters:
Natchaug River     Browns        6200
                              Brookies     1750
                              Rainbows    9400
                              Tigers         1000
                              Broodstock   300
Other river totals include the Shetucket, 7700; Yantic, 8500; Willimantic 10,000; Moosup, 7000; Hop River, 3500; Little River, 3900; Quinebaug, 12,000; Mashamoquet Brook, 2000; Mount Hope, 7000; Lower Five Mile River, 3600; Still River, 2000. Access and wading opportunities on the Quinebaug can be difficult despite the numbers, although there are good areas for launching a canoe or kayak.  All other rivers are easily wadeable with the Moosup, Willi, and Yantic open all year.  All others listed close FEBRUARY 29 until opening day, April 21.

Spent a few hours on the Moosup this week with new friend Steve.  Check out his custom made art knives , true works of art!  The levels and flow are perfect, fish are deep and not very active yet; a few small stoneflies were showing; expect more as the temperatures move upward into the 50's.

We have 3 free intro casting clinics scheduled from April thru June at this time.  If we can arrange something for your group, association or other, let us know!

Drag free!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Natchaug River, Section by Section

We will be reviewing the  Natchaug River in depth, section by section starting at it's origin in the middle of Charlie Brown Campground.  If you would like access to the maps and description of specific areas, where to find trout, access, parking etc. EMAIL us at team_7x@yahoo.com
We will be updating the sections throughout the pre-season, in time for OPENING DAY!

Here's a sample from Section I...
Bigelow Brook and the Still River join to form the Natchaug, flowing north to south,  in the middle of Charlie Brown Campground, Rt. 198, Eastford, CT.  Parking is allowed inside Charlie Brown Campground in designated areas.  CHECK WITH THE OFFICE.  The folks at CBC are very hospitable to fishermen and are some of the nicest campground operators you'll meet. They are a TEAM7x partner, so mention our name when you choose to fish the area and PLEASE respect the campers and personal property by NOT trespassing thru campsites.

Walking the road to the left just before the playground area, you'll end up on Bigelow Brook.  There are several nice cut bank pools on the left as you walk upstream toward the bridge at Rt. 198.  Downstream after a run and riffle a very nice cut bank pool forms to the eastern side of the river under an overhanging tree and will hold trout for most of the season.

(Maps courtesy of CTDEP)



Trout streams open year 'round in Eastern CT



The following TMA's have no closed season and offer some early season opportunities:


Willimantic River TMA
Moosup River TMA (in CT, not RI, see my previous post)
Merrick Brook TMA
a bit farther south...Yantic River TMA

Look for early season small black stoneflies. With the lack of runoff, most are running just perfectly and I hope to have a condition update soon.

Check out a great reel and great value at Flyfishing Benefactors. Beautiful fit/finish, sealed drag.  The Snake I, large arbor, lightweight.  Click on the photo on the left for a full review. More reviews on FFB's great reels and a new rod shortly!  FFB's profits go to some very worthy causes; check 'em out via the link!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TUNE UP for Spring!

Team 7x is offering group and individual fly fishing lessons now thru Opening Day of fishing season in April. If you belong to a group or club at your workplace, contact us to discuss an agenda for your winter meetings! We'll cover the basics and tailor instruction to the abilities of your group. Casting lessons, fly tying,(equipment supplied) and proper gear setup can all be part of 3 to 6 session program one night a week.

For indoor fly casting, we'll supply all the equipment and we require an open high ceilinged area. We'll come to your location in Eastern Connecticut or Rhode Island. If you're interested, we have sample agendas that we've developed for several groups; contact us to customize a program for your friends, club members, business associates and newcomers to fly fishing.

We encourage youngsters new to fly fishing and those who always tell us, "Well I always wanted to fly fish...BUT"

NOW'S THE TIME...the winter's long and cold...we'll have you casting tight loops with your hand tied flies by the time OPENING DAY rolls around!

A special thanks to the great group of folks who joined us on a dreary Saturday, Sept. 24th at Charlie Brown Campground on the Natchaug River. We had fun and hope you enjoyed casting the great SAGE rods, reels and lines with us!

Drag free!

Monday, January 2, 2012

RI bans felt soles---BUT WHO KNEW??

UPDATE 2/21/2012...RIDEM will recind salt water felt sole ban! 


As of 1/1/2012, RIDEM's regulations prohibit felt soled wading shoes in both fresh and SALTWATER. Amazingly this new regulation somehow appeared without the slightest advance notice and little public comment. Leaders of RI's largest fishing groups, RISAA and others had no knowledge of this when I asked for their position. 


A total of THREE states as of this date have banned felt, but SALTWATER? In fact many states recommend washing felt soled boots and other wading gear in a SALT SOLUTION to control invasives. NO didymo has been confirmed in RI fresh waters, and the banning of felt in the salt is patently absurd. What's worse is that few anglers know of this regulation which is NOW in effect.
       No question that felt soles are safer than rubber. RIDEM has made no effort to educate wading fishermen and women in properly cleaning equipment and in moving from one stream to another where didymo may be present.  In RI no presence has been confirmed unlike CT, NY and others who HAVE NOT banned felt soled wading boots but have taken a broader approach of angler education. Felt soled boots are OK for use in Yellowstone National Park even after several years of whirling disease closed some areas of the Yellowstone to fishing. If anyone can confirm a comment period, hearings or other advance knowledge of this regulation, prior to its implementation, PLEASE LET US KNOW!

APPARENTLY EVEN RIDEM IS KEEPING THIS A SECRET!  I've asked the Director to suspend implementation of the regulation, pending more study, education, and public comment.  No response...
Drag Free in 2012!

FROM the REGULATIONS on RIDEM website:
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS 
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 
FISH AND WILDLIFE 
RHODE ISLAND FRESHWATER AND ANADROMOUS
FISHING REGULATIONS for the 2012 – 2013 SEASON 

1.17 It is prohibited that any person use foot gear with external felt soles in any state waters, inclusive of freshwater, tidal, or marine. This shall include any waters shared with adjacent states in which any Rhode Island Fishing Regulations apply.