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Catching Shadows in Connecticut

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Catching Shadows is a fly fishing business in Simsbury, Connecticut. Please view the pinpointed location for Catching Shadows on the Google Map to the right. If you'd like directions to this destination, please click here for directions (provided via Google Maps). Guide service on the farmington and housatonic rivers. An evergrowing website with flytying instructional videos, and information for the northeastern fisherman. www.catching-shadows.com
Business type: Guide Service
Business name: Catching Shadows
Address: 297 Firetown Road
City: Simsbury
State: Connecticut

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Catching Shadows reports

Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Sorry for the lapse in reports here, been busy busy busy. This Saturday, February 13, 2010, I will be hosting a FREE clinic at the Orvis of Avon. This clinic will encompass fishing a winter tailwater, and is geared around the Farmington primarily, but the information inside can be used on any typical tailwater fishery if you plan on fishing in the winter months. I'm even bringing my vise and will tie up a couple simple yet effective winter flies. The doors open at 9 AM, hope to see you there, bring a pad and pen.

Looks like today is going to be another nice day for some winter fishing. High of 30,but with some wind here and there, ice on the guides will probably be a bit of a problem today for part if not most of the day, but to be expected this time of year.

Yesterday the temperatures were pretty darn cool around New Hartford area, in fact once you reached the tail of the Church Pool in Pleasant Valley, the river was making slush like the guy in the booth at 6 Flags. From the tail of Church up river the water was slush free, and the fish were cooperative. My client yesterday dropped all of his hooked fish, but even with the temps hovering around 12-17 for the duration of our outing, he stuck it out and learned some nuances on nymph fishing. Tom if you're reading this keep your head up and work on those techniques we went over on your next outing, it will all click soon and you will sit back and laugh at it all.

The river is at a great level right now, only the slowest of margins have shelf ice and shouldn't be a problem. Think the usual, stones, caddis, eggs, and general attractors subsurface. On top, winter caddis and the winter stones are just starting to show their face, and will build in significance in the next 4-6 weeks. Buggers, leeches and muddler style patterns for streamers, and many many other streamers styles are never a bad idea. Keep em slow and low, I like to fish my streamers weighted this time of year either dead drifted under an indicator or hopped off the bottom. You have to commit to the method, and be willing to maybe get blanked or only get a few fish, but some days this method can be very very successful, and even produce some larger fish.

On a side note, the angler path was cut last week by the DEP, and officially signifies phase I of this project. When the weather gets better, some distinct and specified areas where anglers can access the river off this path will be defined. If we can all keep our tracks to these paths we can further prevent some of the erosion issues along the river's edge.

If you're fishing subsurface, the takes can be very, very subtle, so be sure to watch your drifts like a hawk. A slight hesitation in the drift may very well be a fish accepting your flies.

If you are fishing a likely seam or slot and you get nothing after repeated drifts, switch your flies up and try again. Last week that was the ticket. A pile of different flies have been the ticket this winter; egg patterns, san juan worms, midge pupa and larva, cased caddis, caddis larva, stoneflies, hares ears, pheasant tails, blackfly larva, cranefly larva, and several of the generic patterns found in the tutorials.

The morning caddis activity has been the most consistent fishing as of late, with a later afternoon midge hatch on some days. Subsurface and surface caddis patterns have been the ticket. When in doubt switch your flies out, is my motto, manipulate your setup till you find what catches their eye.

Are you interested about fishing in the winter but don’t know where to begin? Drop me an email and we can arrange to do a half day of winter fishing where you will walk away with the tools to approach the water and be successful in the winter. Or come to the Orvis of Avon on February 13 at 9:00 AM and check out my free seminar on fishing the Farmington in Winter. (02/08/10)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Been a good week even though the waters have been fluctuating with all the rain. The same bugs, some new ones showing face, ie; the isonychia's are getting to be pretty consistent, as are the sulphurs later in the day. Some different olives have shown up as well as the chocolate duns or needhami's. Suggestions would be to have a variety of olives in sizes from a 16-26 in various shades, iso emergers and nymphs from a 14-8, as some are big, a mixed bag of lighter shaded sulphur patterns from a 14-20 in yellows and oranges, and some chocolate duns, emergers and nymphs in a 20-26. Oh and don't forget your beetles, ants and inchworms as they are becoming more available to the trout. (07/02/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Water is still high but seems to be dropping, hopefully the next bout of rain will not be torrential. The streamer fishing in the higher flows has been very good, and will taper off as the water drops. The hatches are still very consistent with the usual suspects still around. The slower out of the way margins if bugs are present will have rising fish. Keep your eyes peeled. (06/20/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Rivers up a bit from the rains, but the trout don't seem to mind. A great morning of high water streamer fishing netted a cool 2- dozen or more with fish up to 22 inches in the catch. A plethora of insects are on the water right now, from mini bwo's, to sulphurs, march browns and some isonychia as well as some golden drakes, yellow quills and the onset of chocolate duns for the mayflies. Some larger golden stones are starting to surface here and there, and various types of caddis are hatching or egglaying daily. (06/16/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Fishing has been off and on good, just need to move when things slow down. The river once again saw an enormous amount of pressure a couple of days, but the fish didn't seem to mind depending on where you were and what you were using. Subsurface has been the ticket, caddis in the morning and throughout the day, bwo's are still hatching in good numbers and can come off at anytime. Vitreus are really good in the evening and so are the smaller sulphurs as the hatch builds. The March Browns are sporadically hatching here and there and the fish on the edges of faster runs will eat a well presented nymph of the same. Should start seeing some Isonychia soon, I think I saw a couple yesterday while guiding but couldn't get my hands on them. Think micro nymphs, streamers and dries. (06/05/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The river is fishing really well, subsurface fishing has been the most consistent, with surface activity taking a close second. The vitreus are in full hatching mode, as are the olives and various caddis in olive to tan. Craneflies are around, some midges and the sulphurs are starting on the lower river. The water levels are perfect and the temps are in the zone. All guide trips have been producing double digit hookups as of late. Check out our website and read the daily reports. (05/28/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Caddis caddis caddis. Yesterday was a banner outing with many fish to net. Tan caddis in a 16-14 was the ticket. Many other insects in the mix but the caddis hatch was stellar, surface imitations as well as pupa. (05/20/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Same as last week, only better. More bugs showing up; tan caddis,emerald green, craneflies. The Hendricksons are moving up river and above TMA but still can be found in TMA too. (05/14/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Hendricksons, BWO's and Mahogonies. Some craneflies are starting to show as well with the intermittent and sporadic showing of some tan caddis. The fishing is really good, and the pressure is very high. The TMA is a circus day in and day out, don't be surprised if you get encroached upon while targeting a pod of fish. All methods are producing, but nymph fisherman are cleaning up the best, with dry fly fisherman a close second. Don't neglect the wet flies this time of year as they are absolutely deadly. (05/07/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The river is on fire right now, Hendricksons, blue quills, bwo's, some quill gordons, winter caddis, midges, and some stones kicking around too. The only bad thing is the amount of other fisherman on the water. If you are willing to walk a bit, great fishing and solitude can be had, and there are fish outside the TMA. (05/01/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: The fishing this week despite the cooler weather has been really good. Good numbers of Baetis are on the water now, some Quill Gordons are starting to show up and the winter stones are still hatching really good. Couple that with the consistent winter caddis hatches and some midges thrown in and the fish are happy. The nymph fishing has still been the best, and all styles are now producing. Some surface activity is starting to pick up, and on the warmer days fish are starting to chase streamers. The trout are in various types of water now, and are beginning to migrate to the most productive lies for which to feed. (04/09/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Things are still picking up nicely, olives and quill gordons are starting to show up sparsely, but will build as the month progresses. The Tma has been fishing fair to good depending on who you talk to and where they were fishing. (04/04/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Things are picking up each and every day with higher numbers of trout being caught each week. The trout are starting to move into various types of water and are not solely confined to the slow deeper stuff anymore. Got out on Wednesday with a friend and gave him first crack at a productive spot. Second cast he landed a really nice fish pushing 20 inches, and quite possibly of wild origin. (03/27/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Things are starting to pick up in the upper TMA. With temps in the lower 40's the fish are starting to turn on and are also beginning to move into more fishable water. Winter caddis, midges, bwo's and early stones on the surface. Cased caddis, caddis larva, hellgrammite patterns as well as bwo and midge larva have been producing. Slowly swung and stripped streamers are also producing on days as well, netting 5 fish for myself on a personal outing on Monday. Oh and don't forget those micro globugs and sucker spawn patterns either. (03/19/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: The warmer weather has really turned things on around here lately, with winter caddis hatches in the morning that have been anything short of stellar. The winter stones are now hatching en masse too, and the fish are keying in them too. Midges on the warmer days have also been hatching with some consistency as well. Subsurface, cased caddis 10-16, golden stones in 6-10, small pts 14-18, zebra midges 16-24, brassies in all the colors 16-26, and on top cdc winter caddis pupa 18-22, griffiths gnats 18-28, morgan midges 18-28 starling and herls as well in 18-22. (02/13/09)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 3 - Fair fly fishing: We are in winter mode, and those who venture out should adjust accordingly, targeting the softer current seams and slower runs. The fish aren't stacked up and congregating together as they do further into winter, but they have taken up residence in their winter haunts. Midge larva and pupa in black, red, olive and cream are key flies as of late, as are winter caddis dries and pupa, caddis larva in olive, brown and cream also. And just to mix it up, blackfly larva in micro sizes work well this time of year also. Egg flies and worm patterns also work, and on higher flows break out the larger stones and more gaudier egg flies to put fish in the net. The dry fly fishing can be really good on some days, you just may have to put a great deal of time in searching for risers. Streamers swung and dead drifted on a sinking line have their moments, and can set you up with some of the bigger residents. No need to get out early unless you want to target the winter caddis hatch which usually gets going at daybreak. The best fishing is usually from 11 AM - 4PM. (12/20/08)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The fishing is still good especially for the subsurface minded angler. Omelletes, olives, and midges are the ticket, as well as natural streamers. (10/23/08)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Streamers, streamers, streamers. Fished early and later in the day have been pretty darn good. The nymph fishing is good as well if you know where to target. The browns are real aggressive and eager to spawn, and most likely a bulk of that activity will be present this week, so make sure you pay attention to where you wade. (10/19/08)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The river is at a great flow, the fish are very aggressive to streamers, and some are staging to spawn. A few redds have shown up already so be carefull where you wade. The other day was a banner day, trout were taken on dries, nymphs and streamers. (10/17/08)
Richard Strolis (strolis12) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The olives are in full swing. Was out 2 evenings in a row and the bugs were thick, the fish were cooperating too. The spinner falls this week have been epic and the fish are on them pretty good. Starting to see some large pumpkin caddis in the mix now to add to the pile of hatches. Nymph fishing is still the top producer but surface caught fish are right up there at a close second. Early morning streamer fishing has been good to excellent with some larger fish in the mix. (10/10/08)
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Richard Strolis (strolis12) wrote - A northeastern tailwater that can arguably be slated as one of the best trout fisheries the northeast has to offer. With a very viable survivor strain of holdover browns, and an ever growing wild population of browns as well the fishery is a true gem. Miles and miles of Wild and Scenic designated water provide anglers with classic riffles, runs and pools that can have rising fish almost 365 days of the year. A half hours drive from Hartford lies a fishery with very good access, easy wading conditions and a plethora of insect hatches to keep any fly angler occupied from season to season. (04/04/09)
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