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!


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!