Saturday, December 15, 2018

Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas!

Atlantic Salmon fishing on Eastern CT's Shetucket River has been hit or miss with the rain and resulting heavy flows throughout November making it impossible to get to our favorite holding spots.

In response to questions we frequently are asked, Neal Hagstrom from CTDEEP offered some thoughts on the behavior of these fish.

Thanks as always Neal!!


From what I can tell there are two ways the salmon go in the spring.  One smaller group just hangs out in the river. There are a couple of deep cool seeps were a dozen or so large fish hang out. NO I won't tell you where this is. That is part of the game.  The second group (the majority of fish) move downstream with the spring freshet. This is usually the first heavy rains in march.  We get reports of fish washing up on the grates at the dams at Taftville and Greenville.  The fish seem to be pinned between the brackish water and the dam. They will go down to Norwich harbor if the flows are high and the harbor fresh, or if the flow are low they stay closer to the Dam. The will ride the fish lift back and up and come down again.  This goes on through early April.  At that point I don't know for sure. From what I have been told these fish cannot smolt so they cannot survive the salt. There is too high and energy demand.  IT is likely that they slowly die.   There has been a consistent group of anglers who work the Greenville area each spring.

As to the food, again speculation on my part.  The October fish are not likely to spawn so many of them continue to feed, on whatever they can find.  The fish forage base is not big and the bugs are not efficient.  We do find a few fish moving into tributaries probably looking for food, but these streams have only so much food.  Generally speaking we are putting  a large predatory load into a system that doesn't have the food to support them.  That is why we have the 1 fish limit after Dec. 1st.

The fish stocked later (Nov-Dec) are post spawn and may or may not be feeding.  It is unknown how many of these fish will get back to active feeding.  Given the scarcity of food it may not be very many.

Not sure I have answered your question completely, but there are a lot of unknowns with these fish once they hit the river.


Our best to all for a fishy 2019 and as always...


Friday, September 28, 2018

Atlantic Salmon on the Shetucket River

GOOD NEWS!  Stocking will take place soon on the Shetucket.

Here is the latest release from CTDEEP:

TROUT and Salmon Stocking Update- Fall stocking in Rivers and Streams is on hold- too much water!Look for more widespread stocking in lakes and ponds and trout parks coming next week. Also, the first round of Atlantic Salmon Stocking is coming soon to the Naugatuck and Shetucket River Broodstock Areas- but it will depend on flows moderating.

If you haven't fished the Shetucket, we have and we know the likely spots!  See our contact info at the bottom of the page.  As water levels lessen, hopefully in the next few weeks, CTDEEP will begin stocking for this popular fall fly fishing opportunity.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Natchaug River Action

The Blue Quills/Mahogany Duns and Hendricksons, both duns and spinners at dusk are present on the Natchaug providing some opportunities for fishing to risers.  With the water clarity and current levels, sight fishing to trout holding down in the water column will usually bring them to the surface.

If all else fails, float an emerger, then swing and sink it under just in front of the target.  many times you will get a chase and a take when insects are hatching but not on the water in quantity.


Not much caddis activity but noticed a few yellow sallies, a stonefly, around just recently.

A nice brown taken on a Hendrickson pattern...

The fish are there, some very nice browns, possibly fall holdovers, be patient, fish where others don't, 5 or 6x
nothing larger and...


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CT Opening Day, April 14!

A sad note to begin...Bernard V. Kreh, known as  "Lefty" to the worldwide fly fishing community has passed on at age 93. A renowned author, instructor, story teller and fly fisherman, Lefty was admired by all who had an opportunity to be in his presence.  I had that opportunity a few years ago in a lesson with Lefty...

I'll treasure his perfectly scribed autograph and the memory of a man who was a giant in our sport.


A few weeks now and the CT Trout season will be in full swing.  DON'T FORGET...a trout stamp from CTDEEP is required for a $5 fee, available on-line at the CTDEEP SITE and of course, a 2018 fishing license!

Stocking has begun with reports available at the above link.  Usually by this time, we've had an opportunity to get to the Moosup and Yantic rivers for some pre-opener action.  The weather has not cooperated although the stream levels and flows are currently in good shape. The Salmon River is also open year round and has received an initial stocking as has the Willimantic River TMA. The Farmington as usual fishes well year-round.  Stop in and see Grady at Upcountry Sports in New Hartford...if he doesn't have it, you don't need it!

Early season stones should be around on warmer days and shortly thereafter we should see the quills.
Hopefully our great eastern CT freestones will hold up with the proper rain and water temps. 2017 was an unusual year for hatches...sulphurs and caddis were not in their usual abundance on the Natchaug, although we did see a decent hatch of Hendricksons in late April/May.

Soft hackles and CDC emergers fished in the film are great early season producers on the Natchaug and Shetucket rivers.  Everett has a new "killer wasp" pattern which is always a winner as the season progresses.

Everett's CDC emerger and "killer wasp"

He's working on an ISBO pattern...(IT SHOULD BE OUTLAWED) photo coming soon!

Organize those fly boxes (for the 1000th time!), tie on a new butt section, leader and tippet and stand by; bring on Spring, warm days, cool nights, solid hatches and hungry trout.


Tom & Everett