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!