Thursday, August 19, 2021

 REACHING...and then some

The Spring trout season on CT's Eastern streams ended as usual in early June as temps rose and levels dropped, leaving the Farmington the closest and best choice for the dedicated trout fly fishers.  

The Natchaug, Yantic, Salmon and Shetucket provided some steady Spring action; the Natchaug in particular held some nice fall holdovers.  Hatchwise, an unusual Spring; very sparse Hendricksons, March Browns and Sulphurs.  Even the usually reliable black and tan caddis were sparse.  Olives were on most of the time and finding steadily rising fish was a challenge.  Patient casting over "one timers" with a soft hackle in the film was a winner.

In late June the TEAM headed to the Upper Delaware for a week's stay at the Dream Catcher just outside of Deposit , NY on the Upper West branch, the finest west branch accommodations with a mile of private wade access water. It's a short trip to the Upper East or Beaverkill and Willowemoc as well. Some evenings 10-12 anglers lined up in front of the property mostly blind casting away during the sulphur hatch.  However, exploring above and below the property finds few anglers, a wide expanse for the drift boats and some BIG sipping browns!  Patience and sometimes casting over a fish many times with sulphurs, spinners, olives brought success.  Browns between 16" and 20" are common in our "special" areas and we took some beauties during the short window between 7:30 and 9:00PM.

Daytimes we fished the East Branch,with limited success as it was low and unusually warm with daytimes air temps in the 90's that week.  We scouted out some other West Branch access points that were not crowded at all and took big browns on afternoon spinners and olives.  Unfortunately the Beaverkill was way to low and warm to fish.

DREAM CATCHER directly on the WB Delaware


Back to the title of this blog...the MOST important cast to have in your arsenal on the tricky-current WB is the REACH cast.  Our typical set up is a Chris Fave tied up 10" leader with and additional 3 or more feet of 6x.  Long flouro tippets are a must to get the extended drifts necessary.  Of course we're using a stiff 2' or so butt section nail-knotted to the fly line to insure smooth transition.

You don't necessarily need to haul or double haul since your chances of getting a proper drift and hook set at long distances are limited in the WB current flow, normally between 500-600 or more CFS.  For wading anglers, most of the WB big trout can be found in easily wadeable areas with patience,  making short drag-free casts the ticket.  The reach cast is essential on ALL moving waters but is a must on the  the WB for these all-wild wary browns.

There are many videos on fly casting but here's a good one on the reach cast...

We're heading back to the WB and the Dream Catcher for a few days in early October as the browns fatten up before the spawning period

Won't be long and we'll head for the SALMON ON THE SHETUCKET a great fall opportunity to catch Atlantic Salmon on the fly.  Have you tried it?  Give us a call and we'll set it up!



Monday, May 31, 2021

Trout Season Continues in Eastern Connecticut

 Thanks to solid rainstorms thru Memorial Day Weekend the rivers are full once again!  The Natchaug and Shetucket, and others received a welcoming shot which along with cooler temps, should extend the season for a few more weeks.  While the beachgoers were disappointed, we fly fishers rejoice!

Take a moment to thank our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day.  Because of their devotion to duty and country and their heroism, we are able to enjoy the freedoms we treasure.

Hatches have been sparse on the Natchaug throughout the Spring but there's no shortage of trout willing to take an emerger.  We saw very few Hendricksons; same with caddis and far.  March Browns...NO. The Shetucket is holding very nice size trout and a better hatch of caddis and sulphurs just this past week.  An ant is always a good pattern when trout are visible but difficult to determine what they might be taking at or just under the surface.

Wading will be difficult for the next few days; Natchaug at 4.87 feet, Shetucket at 6.74 and raging.  This is great news for the days ahead!

Team 7x'er Steve reports good hatches of sulphurs on the Salmon River a bit further West in CT.  Finding space in the normally crowded fly fishing only area can be a challenge on this fine trout stream.

We're always eager to hear your reports on local waters at  

TEAM7x will be off to the Catskills and the Dream Catcher Lodge later in June to fish the East and West branches of the Delaware, the Beaverkill and Willowemoc, with the birthplace of American fly fishing, the Neversink always a possibility! 

If you haven't tried hand tied leaders yet, check out Chris Fave's offerings. You won't go back to single tapers, trust me, once you see how these turn your fly over...a must for 6x and above and fussy risers!



Friday, April 16, 2021

Hatches galore on the Natchaug River...Eastern CT's finest!

 As the water temps hit 50 degrees and beyond this past week the dry fly trout fisher's game was truly on!  Levels, flow and water temps on the Natchaug River in Ashford, Eastford and Chaplin, CT prompted multiple early afternoon rising trout to a wide array of insects.

Early stones and little black caddis took many a rising trout at or just under the surface film. Notice the similarity between the stones and the black caddis.  Easy to tell with the stone in flight...double wings.

Patterns for each worked well and took a number of eager trout, stockies and some fatter November 2020 holdovers.

                                                                    Little Black Stonefly

                                                                       Little Black Caddis

As the afternoon progressed the Quill Gordon's made their first appearance with the Blue Quills and BWO's chiming in.

                                                                        Blue Quill Dun

                                                                Quill Gordon Spinner

The Blue Quill (aka Mahogany Dun) has 3 tails while the QG has two and is typically larger in the 12 to 14 artificial range. Late in the afternoon the spinners appeared.

We had rising trout throughout; Rainbows, Browns and even a beautiful Brookie.  This week's rain has already increased the flow and level so perfect conditions are ahead.  Rare to see other anglers in the areas we fish and with easy river access and the willingness to walk, the Natchaug proved again last week that it remains Eastern CT's finest trout stream!

If you haven't experienced a fine afternoon or evening on the to us!!

Don't forget two smaller feeder streams that form the Natchaug; the Still River and Bigelow Brook which form the Natchaug at Charlie Brown Campground. Smaller gems in their own right!!

CTDEEP publishes topo maps of all stocked streams, a great resource for exploring new areas.

PS:  Try a Chris Fave hand tied leader for a perfect dry fly turnover and PLEASE add tippet; don't be a newbie with a curly leader and no tippet!!😄😄


Tom, Everett, Matt, Steve...and all those that fish with us!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


The year 'round streams that we fish in Eastern CT are due for early stocking anytime now; Moosup River, Willimantic River, Yantic River are all good choices for finding trout prior to official opening day.  Be sure to check the maps at CTDEEP to be sure you're in the right section since the entire river lengths are not ALL designated as year 'round.

The cold early winter and high flows put a damper on Shetucket River Atlantic Salmon fishing after a good late fall start.  We witnessed one angler take 3 nice fish in rapid succession from one of our favorite runs; CTDEEP stocked approximately 420 salmon including the second stocking of larger fish.  There are some great sections on the Shetucket and we hope to explore more of the trout opportunities this spring before it warms.

Some recent great finds on the web as the long winter, not to mention the L-O-N-G year (2020 and onward)  rolls on:

CJ's Fly Box:  Very nice site for hand-tied flies with a presence on ETSY as well.  Check out                                    his sparkle patterns!

Fish Fishing Flies:  Want to fish traditional English wet flies this spring?  Here's the site for you...reasonable and a great selection.  Been wanting to fish the classic Greenwell's Glory?  Several patterns here.  Give the jolly chaps, Tom and Rob a look.

Rigs Fly Shop:  Spencer will set you up with some fine deals and solid selection. We bit the bullet and ponied up for this Abel Vaya with engraving.  Can't wait to put it on the 4 weight!

CrossCurrents Fly Shop:  Another full service fly shop with some great specials on fly line, etc.  Talk to Ben if you're heading to the Missouri this year.

Classic Flyfisherman:  Looking for a classic?  Robert offers a great selection of classic rods, reels and equipment.  Easy to work with, answers all questions promptly.  That classic Hardy Perfect one you always wanted??  Talk to Bob!

Troutfinder:  Great ETSY site for sparkle dun patterns.  Perfect selection for our trout streams.

Of course don't forget our friends with links along side the post...Grady at Upcountry, Chris at Christopher Fave hand-tied leaders, the folks at Discount Flies Online and if Montana's in your future, Craig Matthews at Blue Ribbon Flies is the man!

Stay healthy and safe everyone, 2021 can only be better as we anticipate Spring, clear days, clear rivers and streams and rising trout!