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'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!