Sunday, October 18, 2015

Atlantic Salmon on the Shetucket River UPDATE!

Team 7x 's Jeff with a beautiful male!
Jeff hooked up this beauty recently on a traditional Grey Ghost pattern.  Nice male, great job Jeff!

The Shetucket River in eastern CT receives a fall stocking of excess brood stock Atlantic Salmon, creating an exciting fall fishing opportunity.  CTDEEP has stocked around 600 fish in the 2 to 6 lb. range, some bigger, with more to come in November.

After a client guest late cancellation on 10/15, Tom & Everett of TEAM7x loaded up the 6 weights and headed to the river.  Knowing the holding spots after spending time on the Shetucket in the past is a key, since the salmon don't always show themselves, even in the low water conditions.

The Scotland dam released some water in the AM, creating cloudy and debris filled flows, but cleared after an hour or so.  Mickey Finn's have been successful patterns in the past, but today, NO JOY!  We switched to a smaller, different color pattern that has worked in the past, and BANG, within 5 minutes each of us hooked up.

Tom's fish with an assist by Everett
Everett assisted on this fish while I fumbled for the camera.  She was a deep runner with several drag-screaming runs before coming to hand.  Around 5-6 pounds I estimate and a strong fighter.

Everett hooks up!
It was a beautiful fall day as you can see.  This fish was a leaper and gave Ev a great aerial display before tiring.  Another nice Atlantic around the same size and weight.

A leaping beauty!

The fish are there.  Knowing the holding areas and experience with patterns and color increases the chances of hooking up these selective fish and what a battle when you get a take!  There are some nice rainbows in the Shetucket as we saw several taken during our outing. Lots of caddis around for this late in the season.  If you want to set a date, let us know!


Kudos to Ray Schaefer from Thames Valley TU and his stocking crew for their efforts in helping CTDEEP with stocking.  Ray and the group help float stock trout throughout the year in eastern CT rivers and the Atlantics on the Shetucket in the fall. 

CT state Senator Cathy Osten, whose area includes the Shetucket for her support in keeping the Atlantic Salmon program alive when it seems a yearly battle to keep the state's only salmon hatchery (Kensington) open and functioning.  Lots of anglers buying gas, food, pizza from OCCUM PIZZA, and spending $$ in the area.  Thanks Cathy!

To our good friends, the campground owners along the Natchaug who support our efforts in fly fishing education at no charge to campers and area folks.  This was a low water year but as usual the campgrounds were full and active.

As always, DRAG FREE!