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Fly Fishing the Housatonic River in Connecticut

Housatonic River summary

Housatonic River is a fly fishing location in Connecticut. This destination has an elevation of approximately 0 feet. Please view the pinpointed location for Housatonic River on the Google Map to the right. If you'd like directions to this destination, please click here for directions (provided via Google Maps).
         

Housatonic River reports

Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Starting to cool back down now, and looking beautiful for Labor Day weekend. Housy is still quite low, just like everywhere else is, but big Carp and smallmouth are being caught lately on our guide trips & by some of our customers- check out the Facebook page for recent pics, Carp were landed well over 20# and bass into the upper teens. Harold did well on Pike last week, I think cooler weather then put them on the bite, cooler weather moving in this weekend should have the same effect again. He hooked a couple that were big enough to scare him, not that it takes much to do that. September & October are two of the best months for them, although most anglers are focused back on trout then. Guide Bert Ouellette produced multiple big smallmouth for his clients recently, with quite a few in the 16-18" class. Spoke with Bill Hyatt recently, head DEP biologist for the Housatonic River - they have not yet crunched the final numbers for the sampling with regards to the trout lost - but we lost a good many - on a good note - they had an excellent smallmouth sampling and these types of conditions create a good population of next generation(s) smallmouth. Temps permitting (which is likely), we are going to try to do our private trout stocking in early/mid Septmember- we need donations to raise enough money to stock 2,000 nice trout, please help us out if you can. And as long as it's not hot then, the state is planning on putting their 9,000 trout by mid September, including some very nice sized browns. With the low, clear water, the smallmouth continue to bite well and the fishing for them with both fly and spin tackle has been good to excellent, depending upon who you talk to. Summer conditions really get the smallmouth bass going, as well as the crayfish they like to feed on. As the water rise into the 70's and beyond, the bass get more active & bite better. Smallmouth have been biting well most days, with our guide trips frequently producing bigger fish (16-18"+) this Summer. For those of you spin fishing, 4" Senkos are crushing bass, esp. bigger fish. Check out our September Road Trip to the Catskills- details at the top of Comments. We are also doing one in November for Steelhead on the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, it is starting to fill so call & reserve if you want to go- I'm cutting it off at 5 people plus me. Reports coming back from our guide trips and customers are still of good bass fishing, the low water this Summer is ideal for catching them. In particular, some sizeable bass have been caught this season, some pushing into the upper teens. Fishing pressure remains light. Lower water conditions are making the wading easier than normal, and stacking up the bass in areas with some depth to them, making it easier to read the water and find concentrations of fish. The increased water temps have the bass & crayfish very active- I think the crayfish come out on the short end of that relationship, Lol. In addition to the normal subsurface fare (medium to large streamers, crayfish patterns & larger nymphs), popper/topwaters are producing some better bass. For some reason, poppers seem to really appeal to the bigger bass. See paragraph below for more specific fishing advice. Wet wading is generally the way to go on the Housy in the Summertime during warmer weather- much, much more comfortable than wearing waders on hot days. I have my best Smallmouth fishing here when the water is low and warm, the hotter the better. Fishing pressure is usually pretty light this time of year on the Housy, significantly less than during trout season for sure. During Summer, the warmer weather and higher water temps make it time to target the Smallmouth Bass in the Housy. As the trout fishing conditions worsen in the Summer, the bass fishing actually gets better and better- the warmer & lower the water, the faster the bass fishing is. On our bass trips, Pike, Largemouth & occasionally Carp also mix in sometimes. If you do hook trout while bass fishing during warmer weather, please play them quickly and make sure they are properly revived- warm water temps are stressful to them due to the lower oxygen content. Smallmouth bite well at midday when the water temps go up, and I normally don't bother to start early for them anymore- I personally prefer to fish in the afternoon & evening when water temps are higher and they are most active. Harold commissioned CD Clarke to paint the covered bridge - he owns a couple of his paintings and they are spectacular - we are selling this painting at the store. (09/03/10)
Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: The river is fishing the best it has in 10 years.


SUNDAY RIVER REPORT:


Please be respectful of private property below the catch & release area on the Housatonic just South of the fly shop. Between the cement bridge & the Appalachian Trail (the first 1.5 miles below the cement Rt 7/Rt 4 bridge), there are only 3 public access points in that section on the West side of the river, the rest is all private property in between them, whether or not it's posted. The 3 spots are: 1. immediately below the Cement Bridge, 2. immediately on the upstream side of Guinea Brook, and 3. the Appalachian Trail/Swift's Bridge parking area. Once you get in the river, you can walk up & down wherever you want, as long as you stay below the "normal" high water mark. DO NOT park on the grass & walk in, even if there are not any "No Trespassing" signs, as it is all private property, and some of the landowners are getting pretty unhappy with people parking on & trodding on their land. On the East side, you can walk along the railroad tracks. Above the Covered Bridge, in the upper part of the TMA, the best access is from the East side of the river. On Rt. 7, the only access is at the Elms- above that it is all private property, and the only road going down to the water is all private property.

If you like catching the rainbow trout we privately put in the Housy over the past 3 seasons - please come to the store and buy a raffle ticket or make a donation to support the stocking for 2009, it's expensive. And we put an additional 500 more in this Spring on 4/9/09 on top of our usual 1,000 (for a total of 1,500), so we will need even more funding than normal. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated, and will only help to improve the fishing & catching. We stocked $9,000 worth of fish this April- so we need your financial help. And who knows, if you purchase a raffle ticket you just might win a Sage rod, guided fishing trip, or a $1,000 store gift certificate.

Please keep your eyes out for poachers & fishermen engaging in illegal activity (no license, spin fishing in TMA, keeping trout in TMA, over limit outside of it, etc.). It is important that you you call it in to the CT DEP at 1-800-842-HELP(4357). All calls are logged & recorded, and even if they cannot respond to it, they tally all the calls at the end of the year when deciding where to target or increase enforcement. Please call the violations in from YOUR cell phone, because if we call it in for you, they see yet another phone call from us & it looks like we are trying to stack the deck to get more CO's up here. The unfortunate reality is that there is a growing problem everywhere with people keeping anything & everything they catch- regardless of species, limits, seasons, C&R regulations, etc. The message needs to be sent to them that this is unacceptable & will not be tolerated.
Sunday Fishing Report:
Lots more good to great fishing reports from yesterday, including some big browns & rainbows. Aaron caught a 20" brown on a wet fly last night. Water level is great, at 530cfs wading fishermen have access to all the spots. Dries, nymphs, wets & streamers are all producing very well at moments. Seems like all the fishermen are smiling lately- the hatch activity is off the charts, and the fishing has been the best we have seen in a long, long time- reminiscent of the 80's. Dries, nymphs, wets & streamers are all producing well. Lots of rising trout, especially in the evenings. Fish are EVERYWHERE right now, so don't neglect the pocket water in between the pools, I had an unbelieveable day of fishing by targetting the pocket water Tuesday. I'd tell you how many trout I caught, but you would think I'm lying. The evening dry fly fishing has been superb, and now the Alder/Zebra Caddis has joined the mix, so you may find risers at midday, and don't neglect to fish the edges of the pocket water. I've been seeing a lot of big Golden Stonefly adults flying around in the evenings. Don't miss this window of excellent fishing and conditions, you never know when it will end, so take advantage of it. This is one of the best Springs of fishing I've seen in my 24 years on the Housy. There have been some truly epic evening hatches of late, with plenty of rising fish. Everything in creation is hatching now, we are at the beginning of what I like to call "Crazy Time", that late May to mid June peak hatch period. In the evenings look for Cream Cahills, assorted Sulfurs, March Brown/Gray Fox, Yellow Cahills, Isonychia, Golden Stones, Olives, Midges, all varieties & sizes of Caddis, and even some Brown Drakes. Lots of spinners on the water at dusk. There are so many stonefly shucks on the rocks right now it's unbelieveable- don't forget to include one in your nymph rig, esp. if you venture out in the mornings when they are actively emerging & crawling out. The fishing is the best we have seen for about 10 years, truly off the charts. Caddis are hatching well in the mid/late mornings, and egg-laying in the evenings, March Browns/Gray Fox are coming off sporadically throughout the day, and Sulfurs & Light Cahills are popping in the evenings. Don't neglect to fish March Brown type nymphs, either a specific imitaion or a #10-12 Hare's Ear or Fox Squirrel, they can be deadly at moments. And remember that these mayfly nymphs migrate to the riffle edges prior to their hatching time. The March Brown/Gray Fox nymphs are active and have migrated to rocks in the shallows. Flip some rocks in the riffle edges and you will see what I'm talking about. Nymphs, wets, dries & streamers are all possibilities under current conditions. With March Brown/Gray Fox nymphs active, it may pay to fish a #10-12 nymph in that vein- specific imitation, Fox Squirrel, or a Hare's Ear. Stonefly nymphs (golden, yellow, brown) in the #6-10 range remain a steady producer. Remember that all Caddis look tan in the air, you have to actually catch one in hand and flip it over and look at the underside of their body to see the true color.

Caddis hatches have made for some very good angling at moments, both subsurface with pupa & larva in the mornings/early afternoons, as well as some good dry fly fishing during hatching (usually mid morning/early afternoon) & egg-laying activity, (typically in the evenings), although mild, overcast days can see them trickle off virtually all day long. I catch some of my biggest trout of the year when the Caddis are active. Cloudy weather and/or low light conditions are perfect for fishing streamers, and olive has been a hot color the past few weeks- but play with colors, it can change, even on the same day, depending upon water clarity, light intensity & the prevailing conditions. Lots of fish were landed since mid April, and we have been gettting reports of big browns landed on a regular basis, including some in the 21-23" class. That's a damn big trout almost anywhere. Nymphing, not surprisingly, has been a very consistent tactic, but some big fish are getting caught on dries and streamers. Seeing a lot of happy fishermen on the Housy. If you are flexible in your approach, you should catch fish. Keep your eyes out for Baetis/Olives on overcast days, that's when they hatch best, and May is a very good month for them. They usually run in the #18-20 range. If you like to fish streamers, Natural Zonkers & Muddlers are both deadly on the Housy, especially when the water is on the clear side. Change colors every 10-20 minutes until you find what works at that moment. Lots of nice rainbows, both holdover & "recent additions", in & out of the TMA, and some nice holdover browns- quite a few in the 14-18" range, and a few in the 20"+ class. Big Dave caught a 22-23" beast on a big streamer, and a friend caught one on a stonefly that taped out at 22 3/4".

Dave Skok & I flipped rocks and looked at the bugs recently, there was a mind-blowing biomass of nymphs under them- more varities of stoneflies than I could count, a variety of colors from about a #6 down to #16, all different sorts of Caddis larve from giant #6 free living Rhyacophila down to #18 net spinners (in mostly greens & olives), assorted Mayfly nymphs, Midge Larva, etc.

The DEP gave us permission to let a bunch of our rainbows go in the TMA - so hopefully this will protect them from the poachers that take so many of these trout ouside of the C&R area. It is a shame that these illegal fishermen are harming the potential of the fishery we have created below the TMA - but until DEP has the funds to get agents up here consistently - they will continue to abuse this resource. It is also unfortunate that some individuals who were against the stocking of the rainbows - placed comments on spin fishing sites telling individuals to come up and take these rainbows out of the Housatonic where we stocked them. But every cloud has a silver lining - because of this issue - I am now allowed to put more fish in the upper TMA to insure their survival.

We now have all the materials available to tie the infamous "Vladi Worm" for sale in the store (pink "latex" & pre-bent Daiichi 1870 hooks). Caught my 1st Housy trout of 2009 in February, a nice fat 17" Rainbow with beautiful color & perfect translucent fins.

We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include the section of the Housy from the Rt 7/Rt 4 Cornwall bridge down to at least North Kent, if not all the way down to the center of Kent. It's going to take a lot of angler support to accomplish this, the DEP has had mixed feeling about this in the past, but they seem to be starting to warm up to the idea. There is a trememdous amount of ideal trout water in that section, and it would be awesome to see it managed to it's potential.

Poachers have been active the past few seasons, both in & out of the TMA. They have been keeping fish in the TMA (esp. in Horse Hole) & spin fishing in the Fly Fishing Only section (esp. in Cellar Hole & the Park), as well as fishing down below the TMA without licenses and keeping more than their limit of fish. We need all of you to be proactive and call in violations, the DEP needs to receive calls from people other than us calling all the time from the shop. The TIPS (Turn in Poacher) hotline # is 1-800-842-4357, the last 4 digits spell out the word "HELP" in case you forget the number. And for the record, all calls made to the hotline are logged and they look at the data each year to see where they need to beef up enforcement. While they are way underfunded & understaffed in terms of Conservation Officers, they will make every effort to dispatch one if at all possible. Get as much info as possible- number of people, general description, vehicle & plate #. Take a pic of them & their car if possible with a digital camera or even cell phone. If we get some more of them nailed, the word will get out that you don't want to poach on the Housy. This is a problem we can all help to improve with a simple phone call.

A note on etiquette. In recent seasons, we are seeing more and more fishermen who crowd others and do not seem to be aware of proper etiquette. Nobody likes it when they have a big chunk of water to themselves and somebody steps in 20-30 feet away, and starts casting to the fish they are working on. When you approach a piece of water that another fisherman is occupying, ask yourself how far you would want someone to stay away if you were there first- try to stay at least a cast and a half away if possible. And DO NOT EVER throw to the same fish or water that another person is fishing, even if you can reach it. That is a HUGE no-no, do not be surprised if you get yelled at or get your ass kicked if you do that to someone- I'll have no sympathy for you. The Housy is a big river, and there is plenty of water for people to fish, even on a popular weekend. If the spot you want to fish is occupied, don't crowd that person, just go elsewhere. Believe me, there are TONS of fish (and big ones) all over the upper and lower TMA's, and outside of them also. Don't fish Corner Hole, Sand Hole, Cellar Hole, etc. on a busy Saturday at prime time and expect to have solitude- the easy access spots almost always hold the most fishermen. The Upper TMA is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 miles or so, and the lower one is about 2.5 miles, giving us all plenty of water to spread the pressure out in. Just make sure to practice courtesy and common sense, and treat other fishermen as you would like to be treated, and it will be a better experience for everyone
(06/07/09)

Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing:

Limestone Trout Club Open House & Barbeque, May 16th, 3PM until dusk- if you are interested in potentially joining this club, attend this event & come check them out. Trout filled quarries with big trout await you, and the membership is actually quite reasonable. Call (860-672-1010) or email (hflyshop@aol.com) shop for details, we are compiling a list of attendees. Please, serious inquiries only, this is limited to 20 people.

Euro Nymphing Clinic with Aaron, Sunday, June 7th 9AM-1PM-
You've probably seen articles in magazines lately, and maybe also read about "Euro Nymphing" on the internet. Also referred to as Czech, Polish, Spanish or French nymphing, while all slightly different, they all employ the use of weighted flies (usually 2-3), special leaders, a tight or semi-tight line drift, longer rods, and a "sighter" instead of a conventional floating strike indicator. The Europeans have dominated competitive fly fishing, in part because of their mastery of this style of nymphing. The strike detection is superb, and there is no better way to fish pocket water and faster riffles. Aaron is a seasoned, expert nympher, and has conducted our nymphing clinics for years. He has immersed himself in this technique since early '08, and has been lucky enough to receive coaching from Team USA Fly Fishing members, as well as from Davy Wotton, the Welsh Fly Fishing Wizard. Employing weighted nymphs fished in this style, Aaron was able to hook & land an amazing 28" holdover brown trout of a lifetime out of the Farmington River TMA in some pocket water this April. Aaron is in the process of trying to qualify for Team USA, and it is looking likely that he will compete in the national qualifier this Fall. Check out the Nymphing forum on Aaron's website at TroutPredator.info, it's a fantastic source of information, especially about Euro style nymphing. He will show you everything you need to know to take you down the path to Euro nymphing success. Some of the topics covered will be: theory, different styles of Euro nymphing, reading the water, adjusting your rigging to the conditions, building a specialized leader, sighters, proper tackle, strike detection, hook-setting, fly selection/favorite patterns, and more. Partly indoors, partly onstream. Bring a notepad, waders & gear. Cost is $75, paid in advance, nonrefundable, we will have the class rain or shine.


Free Children's Fly Fishing Clinic with Aaron, Saturday June 6th, 1-4PM-
Let our expert guide Aaron teach your kid how to catch trout on a fly rod. He teaches 2nd grade school for a living, so he knows how to instruct children. Nobody is better than Aaron at getting people into fish, clinic attendees should be able to go out on their own & catch trout after this. Please, children between the ages of 10-15 ONLY, and we are limiting sign up to 6 people total. Parents are welcome to come along and watch and/or take pictures. Call the shop at 860-672-1010 or email hflyshop@aol.com to reserve a spot. And remember, it's FREE.


Sage and Rio Day - Saturday May 23rd - Brad Gage will Sponsor and Bring lots of items


Heres' the deal - We are going to run almost the same deal that we did for the Simms Weekend - Except Bring in Fishing Items for Donation to the Boy Scouts - Vests, Rods, Reels, Flies, Tying Materials - Whatever - you will also receive a 20% discount for Cash and 10% Discount (Credit Card) for Sage Rods and Rio Products we have in the store that weekend - you will also get a donation letter for the value of the items donated. If there is a special rod or product you desire - call ahead and reserve.

Lamson Radius and Velocity Reels and spools on Sale at 25% off in the store only.
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We are selling raffle tickets in the store to raise money for stocking trout in the Housy in '09- we are putting in 500 more than normal, so we really need your donations this year. Most of our guides have again generously donated their services to sell tickets- it will be $20 to purchase a chance for a guided fishing trip on the Housatonic with one of them. We are also selling tickets for another $1,000 Gift Certificate and a Sage Z-Axis 9' #5 4pc. fly Rod.
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Favorite& New Products for May:



-Big Eye Sunglasses- Lookin' for some stylish polarized eyewear for under $30? You found it, we are now stocked with these good-looking, very affordable sunglasses, offering you eye protection & polarization at a price you can afford.


-New Lamson Guru & Velocity fly reels- the latest & greatest from them in the moderate to medium price categories. Both utilize a signature arm-style element on the frame combined with open spokes to minimize weight & maximize stuctural strength. At under $200, the Guru replaces the Radius, and in my opinion is a much better reel- good looking, lightweight, true large arbor, great drag, and with a clear type 2 finish. In the mid $200 range, move up to the new 2009 Velocity with a total redesign (now a true large arbor) & beautiful type 3 "Hard Alox" anodization (the aluminum surface is actually converted into aluminum oxide, making the most durable finish of any reel made). Both these series of reels share the unbelievable drag that Waterworks-Lamson is famous for, the same one that is in their top of the line $400 plus models. I LOVE these reels.


-Hardy Marksman Drifter 11' #5 rod- Myself & guide Aaron both got to fish a prototype of this rod last August thru October, & we loved it. Finally available to the general public, this is one cool rod. Light in the hand, you would think you have a much shorter rod. Great action, just right- not to stiff, but not to soft. Davy Wotton just got his hands on one of these (he just might be the best wet fly fisherman alive in the world), and he wiggled it and said it might be the nicest wet fly rod he's ever held. This rod would be superb for nymphing, both Euro style & also with indicators, as well as make a fantastic wet fly rod. Come in the store and check it out, I think you will be impressed.


-Ross Vexsis Reels- Ross's latest high tech introduction, this is one sweet reel, and it's made in the good 'ol USA. It uses a drag derived from the saltwater Momentum series, and then they added in ceramic for its compression/heat resistance- the result is an unbelievable drag system that performs flawlessly. It has a superb range from light to heavy and a smooth, linear progression as you increase the drag setting. Add to that a cosmetically beautiful design, a magnetic spool release (very cool), and the ability to change retrieve direction from left hand to right hand in about 1 second. I'm really impressed by this reel, the trout sizes retail in the mid $200 range, and all are machined.


-Ross Airius Fly Reels- Another new Ross entry, trout sizes in this good-looking machined reel run around $200 mark. Features include a super smooth, multilevel disc delrin/teflon drag system, handsome spoked frame, sturdy/stable stainless spindle support shaft similar to the classic Gunnison, quick change left hand/right hand retrieve, and it's machined out of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. For about $200, it's an excellent value in a high performance, lightweight, good looking reel.


-10 foot Rods for Czech Nymphing by Greys- Check out (pun intended) the Streamflex series from Greys (a division of Hardy) in the 10' length- these $300 rods are perfect for Czech style nymphing. You don't have to spend $700 to get a nice 10' rod, the Streamflex are good looking with quality hardware, light in the hand, 4 pieces, come with a tube & an unconditional warrantee. Powerful butt sections with moderate tips make them the perfect action for Czech/Euro style nymphing- plenty of power to set the hook & play the fish, but enough cushion to protect your tippet and keep the hook from popping out. The 10 footers come in #3, #4, and #5 to a suit almost all nymphing needs, from light tippets/long leaders/small nymphs in shallow riffles up to pitching 2-3 heavy flies in fast pocket water. They also make superb rods for indicator nymphing, the extra length is great for casting, hook-setting, playing fish, mending & keeping fly line off the water.


-Climax Tippet Rings- Available & back in stock again, these are the bomb for rigging your leaders- gives you a quick & strong connection between your tippet & the leader. Connecting flouro to mono is no problem, nor is attaching radically dissimilar diameter lines. Putting new tippets on won't eat up your leader, so they last longer, and its quicker & easier to tie it on, saving you time, aggravation and keeps you fishing more and rigging less. Also these are fantastic for creating droppers, epecially on Czech nymphing and wet fly leaders- ask Torrey & he will show you how. Tippet rings are small enough to use on dry fly leaders(won't sink it), and are 20# test. Don't know how I lived without them all these years! Two thumbs up.


-Czech Nymph Leaders from Umpqua-We finally have these back in stock again- 8 1/2' 4x fluorocarbon with 2 droppers. The quick & easy way to get Czech nymphing- just loop on your line, and tie 2 or 3 flies to the leader, the fluoro droppers are already in place and the upper one can be easily replaced due to the construction using a micro tippet ring. Non-stretch ultra thin Power Pro superbraid in the upper part of the leader will get you down fast and give you excellent bite detection & hook-sets.

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Torrey's books & videos for May:



New Books:


-Nymphs for Streams & Stillwaters, by Dave Hughes- I swear this guy never stops writing. Author of multiple books & editor of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Journal, Dave has written a killer book of over 370 pages filled with effective nymphs & tying instructions. Well organized and with a plethora of great pictures, this is one truly beautiful book. Quite thorough, with the main 3 categories being searching nymphs for moving water, imitative nymphs for moving water, and nymphs for stillwaters. Within those categories it is subdivided into many more such as by different tying materials (fur, herl, wire, rubber legs, etc.), insect types, Czech nymphs, etc. Buried throughout the text are little pearls of wisdom involving both tying tips as well as fishing tips. He even has some sage advice on logically setting up your fly boxes to cover most of the bases. This is a really, really nice book that anyone who ties nymphs would benefit from having in their collection.


-Caddisflies, a Guide to Eastern Species by Tom Ames- Wow! Tom did a superb job on this book, it's over an inch thick and 300+ pages. With his profession as a pro photographer, it is no surprise that the many photos are of the absolute highest quality, with tons of shots of the actual bugs as well as a lot of patterns to imitate them. He covers angling tradition, biology, habitat, presentation (both tackle & techniques), methods, the different types of Caddis, pattern recipes, hatch charts for the East, a table with habitat & behavior (by Caddis family), and other topics. Truly an exhaustive, thorough book that should take the mystery out of fishing Caddis patterns, helping you with the when, where, why & how. Should be in everyone's library, 5 stars.


-Trout Flies for the 21st Century, by Dick Talleur- How many damn books is this guy gonna write? One of the most published authors on fly tying and regular columnist for American Angler & Fly Tyer magazines, he is a true expert & authority on the subject, and as an acquantance of his for 20+ years, I can personally vouch for his ability. This is a nicely photographed collection of over 200 flies that he feels represents the best of old & new. In many cases he has tweaked patterns to improve their effectiveness, durability or ease of tying. Spiral bound for use on the tying bench. I really like this book, 2 thumbs up.


-Flyfishing Knots & Leader Systems- Author Dave Chermanski has over 50 flyfishing IGFA line class records and 450+ species landed on flies of his own design, so I guess you could say he knows something about leaders and knots, Lol. With his technical backround working as a scientist/engineer for Boeing and Rockwell International on the Space Shuttle program, he has the best the best discussion about monofilament & fluorocarbon that I have ever seen, truly interesting & informative. Very good knot tying pictures & instructions with all the info you need to select the appropriate ones for the task at hand. If you appreciate a technical approach to this area of fly fishing, you will like this book a lot, it is thorough and well done.


-Flies, Ties, & Techniques, by Charles Jardine- Famous in the UK (he's their Lefty Kreh) and fairly well known in the USA, Jardine did a really nice job presenting some deadly looking flies in this book- some I guarantee you've never seen before, and some you have. The one nice piece that many other books of this nature miss is how, when & where to fish them, and this is all discussed in the book. Nice photos with pattern dressings, how to tie instructions/pictures, tactics to fish/present/rig the pattern, and finally the behavior of the natural(s) it imitates. 50 flies are presented, including lots of cool patterns of European origin including Czech & Polish style nymphs. He gives you a list of his 10 favorite & dealiest flies, and there is coverage of both river & stillwater patterns. A very interesting & cool book, I highly recommend it.


-LaFontaine's Legacy-As some of you may know, I'm a huge Gary LaFontaine fan. He grew up in CT and eventually migrated to MT, as the trout obsessed tend to do. ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease brought about his untimely demise in '02, but his collection of classic books & unusual flies lives on. This is a collection of patterns and information about them with pictures and tying instructions, the last batch of flies he didn't get a chance to write about before his death. Al & Gretchen Beatty were working with him at the end and they wrote the book he would of if he was still alive. If you like LaFontaine & his innovative, out-of-the-box approach to fly design, you have to add this book to your collection. Lots of great anecdotes and stories of success about the patterns presented in this volume. I consider this and all of his books to be must-haves, period. Not more of the same old, same, as many other books are. With patterns names such as a streamer called the "Drunken Sailor", how could you not get this book??


-A Fisherman's Bible for the Farmington River- Once again available after being sold out for a few months, many of you have been asking for this publication. Author Pete Chadziewicz is a CT native who has fished the Farmington since he was a kid. This all color book covers over 100 different spots, giving you access info (including GPS coordinates), rates fishing pressure & wadeability, shows deep spots/shallow spots, and has pictures of the spots with reference to the location & angle it was shot from. Several hatch/fly charts are included, as well as a fishing tip on almost every page. If you want to expand your knowledge of the river and places to fish, this is an excellent resource.


-Czech Nymph- There's been an explosion of American interest in this short line nymphing technique that the Europeans (Czechs & Poles esp.) have been using to kick everyones' butts in International Fly Fishing Competition. This is the 1st book translated into English, and it covers all facets you need to know, and includes about 150 nymph patterns, tackle, tying the special flies/choosing hooks, leader construction (quite different than what we are used to), fishing techniques, strike detection, etc. If you wanna know all about Czech nymphing, this is THE book, period.


-Fly-Fishing Guide to Upper Delaware River, by Paul Weamer- This is the most thorough, well done and comprehensive book I've seen on the Delaware. Weamer is a former managing partner of Border Waters Outfitters fly shop on the river, and has also had articles in Fly Fisherman and other publications. He is a fly designer for Montana Fly Company, and best known for his Truform series of hatch matching patterns. This book covers the entire fishery- the Main Stem, East and West Branches. Access (difficult if you don't know it), hatches and fly patterns, seasons, places to stay and eat, fly shops and guide services, shuttle and river flow info, nymph/dry fly/wet fly/streamer/night fishing strategies, equipment, etc., it's all in there. It would be relatively easy to plan a successful trip using this book as a resource, and if you haven't been there the pictures will make you want to go! Excellent book.



Favorite Books:


-Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine- the all-time classic piece on Caddis in my opinion, this book is a plethora of information and a fantastic reference, I often find myself pulling it out to look something up. Remember too, Gary grew up & lived in CT before he moved to MT, so much of what he learned & the data presented was gleaned from his experiences in CT. All his books should be in a serious flyfisher's library. One of my favorites.


Bestsellers:
DVD's:


-Drift- this highly acclaimed DVD was sponsored by Simms, Gore-Tex and others. It is a visually stunning production takes you around the globe to fish for all sorts of freshwater & saltwater species in beautiful, exotic locations. From trout on the Green, Frying Pan and Big Horn, to Spey casting for Steelhead on the Deschutes, exploring the rivers of Kashmir, India, to fishing the flats of the Bahamas and Belize. Shot on film and mastered in High Def, this is a unique DVD. Veteran Warren Miller cinematographer Chris Patterson's handiwork is evident in this film. I've personally heard nothing but good stuff about it from everyone who has viewed it. Come see what all the fuss is about.

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Saturday Weather:
56 degrees & sunny this morning, high 66, low 51, sunny this morning, 30% chance of showers later in the day. Long range forecast: highs 50's-70's, lows 30's-50's.
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I have created a foundation for the Housatonic, a 501c3 - and all your donations will now be tax deductible - I will post more info later on. We are once again collecting donations to fund our private stockings of trout in 2008/2009, for the Inner City Program of "No Child Left Inside", and also for conservation projects on the Housatonic. Thanks to all who supported the cause last year- it really helped noticeably improve the fishing. Also thanks to those who have donated already in 2009.


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SATURDAY RIVER REPORT:


Please be respectful of private property below the catch & release area on the Housatonic just South of the fly shop. Between the cement bridge & the Appalachian Trail (the first 1.5 miles below the cement Rt 7/Rt 4 bridge), there are only 3 public access points in that section on the West side of the river, the rest is all private property in between them, whether or not it's posted. The 3 spots are: 1. immediately below the Cement Bridge, 2. immediately on the upstream side of Guinea Brook, and 3. the Appalachian Trail/Swift's Bridge parking area. Once you get in the river, you can walk up & down wherever you want, as long as you stay below the "normal" high water mark. DO NOT park on the grass & walk in, even if there are not any "No Trespassing" signs, as it is all private property, and some of the landowners are getting pretty unhappy with people parking on & trodding on their land. On the East side, you can walk along the railroad tracks. Above the Covered Bridge, in the upper part of the TMA, the best access is from the East side of the river. On Rt. 7, the only access is at the Elms- above that it is all private property, and the only road going down to the water is all private property.

If you like catching the rainbow trout we privately put in the Housy over the past 3 seasons - please come to the store and buy a raffle ticket or make a donation to support the stocking for 2009, it's expensive. And we put an additional 500 more in this Spring on 4/9/09 on top of our usual 1,000 (for a total of 1,500), so we will need even more funding than normal. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated, and will only help to improve the fishing & catching. We stocked $9,000 worth of fish this April- so we need your financial help. And who knows, if you purchase a raffle ticket you just might win a Sage rod, guided fishing trip, or a $1,000 store gift certificate.

Please keep your eyes out for poachers & fishermen engaging in illegal activity (no license, spin fishing in TMA, keeping trout in TMA, over limit outside of it, etc.). It is important that you you call it in to the CT DEP at 1-800-842-HELP(4357). All calls are logged & recorded, and even if they cannot respond to it, they tally all the calls at the end of the year when deciding where to target or increase enforcement. Please call the violations in from YOUR cell phone, because if we call it in for you, they see yet another phone call from us & it looks like we are trying to stack the deck to get more CO's up here. The unfortunate reality is that there is a growing problem everywhere with people keeping anything & everything they catch- regardless of species, limits, seasons, C&R regulations, etc. The message needs to be sent to them that this is unacceptable & will not be tolerated.

Saturday Report:
A few March Brown/Gray Fox are starting to show up. Caddis are still the dominant hatch, seeing all sorts from #14-16 tans, greens & browns down to #20 black ones. Housy is holding in the mid 900cfs range this morning, a nice & very fishable medium flow, clarity is in the 3.5-4 foot range- just about perfect, clear enough but not overly clear. We are 200cfs below a normal flow for today's date per USGS. With a predicted high in the mid 60's, it's a great day to fish. Overcast weather for the next few days should make for good fish catching conditions- good for Caddis hatches, good for streamers, and good for getting the big browns out of hiding. The March Brown/Gray Fox nymphs are active and have migrated to rocks in the shallows. Flip some rocks in the riffle edges and you will see what I'm talking about. Nymphs, wets, dries & streamers are all possibilities under current conditions. With March Brown/Gray Fox nymphs active, it may pay to fish a #10-12 nymph in that vein- specific imitation, Fox Squirrel, or a Hare's Ear. Stonefly nymphs (golden, yellow, brown) in the #6-10 range remain a steady producer. Remember that all Caddis look tan in the air, you have to actually catch one in hand and flip it over and look at the underside of their body to see the true color.


Caddis hatches have made for some very good angling at moments, both subsurface with pupa & larva in the mornings/early afternoons, as well as some good dry fly fishing during hatching (usually mid morning/early afternoon) & egg-laying activity, (typically in the evenings), although mild, overcast days can see them trickle off virtually all day long. I catch some of my biggest trout of the year when the Caddis are active. Cloudy weather and/or low light conditions are perfect for fishing streamers, and olive has been a hot color the past few weeks- but play with colors, it can change, even on the same day, depending upon water clarity, light intensity & the prevailing conditions. Lots of fish were landed since mid April, and we have been gettting reports of big browns landed on a regular basis, including some in the 21-23" class. That's a damn big trout almost anywhere. Nymphing, not surprisingly, has been a very consistent tactic, but some big fish are getting caught on dries and streamers. Seeing a lot of happy fishermen on the Housy. If you are flexible in your approach, you should catch fish. Keep your eyes out for Baetis/Olives on overcast days, that's when they hatch best, and May is a very good month for them. They usually run in the #18-20 range. If you like to fish streamers, Natural Zonkers & Muddlers are both deadly on the Housy, especially when the water is on the clear side. Change colors every 10-20 minutes until you find what works at that moment. Lots of nice rainbows, both holdover & "recent additions", in & out of the TMA, and some nice holdover browns- quite a few in the 14-18" range, and a few in the 20"+ class. Big Dave caught a 22-23" beast on a big streamer, and a friend caught one on a stonefly that taped out at 22 3/4".

Dave Skok & I flipped rocks and looked at the bugs recently, there was a mind-blowing biomass of nymphs under them- more varities of stoneflies than I could count, a variety of colors from about a #6 down to #16, all different sorts of Caddis larve from giant #6 free living Rhyacophila down to #18 net spinners (in mostly greens & olives), assorted Mayfly nymphs, Midge Larva, etc.

The DEP gave us permission to let a bunch of our rainbows go in the TMA - so hopefully this will protect them from the poachers that take so many of these trout ouside of the C&R area. It is a shame that these illegal fishermen are harming the potential of the fishery we have created below the TMA - but until DEP has the funds to get agents up here consistently - they will continue to abuse this resource. It is also unfortunate that some individuals who were against the stocking of the rainbows - placed comments on spin fishing sites telling individuals to come up and take these rainbows out of the Housatonic where we stocked them. But every cloud has a silver lining - because of this issue - I am now allowed to put more fish in the upper TMA to insure their survival.

We now have all the materials available to tie the infamous "Vladi Worm" for sale in the store (pink "latex" & pre-bent Daiichi 1870 hooks). Caught my 1st Housy trout of 2009 in February, a nice fat 17" Rainbow with beautiful color & perfect translucent fins.

We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include the section of the Housy from the Rt 7/Rt 4 Cornwall bridge down to at least North Kent, if not all the way down to the center of Kent. It's going to take a lot of angler support to accomplish this, the DEP has had mixed feeling about this in the past, but they seem to be starting to warm up to the idea. There is a trememdous amount of ideal trout water in that section, and it would be awesome to see it managed to it's potential.

Poachers have been active the past few seasons, both in & out of the TMA. They have been keeping fish in the TMA (esp. in Horse Hole) & spin fishing in the Fly Fishing Only section (esp. in Cellar Hole & the Park), as well as fishing down below the TMA without licenses and keeping more than their limit of fish. We need all of you to be proactive and call in violations, the DEP needs to receive calls from people other than us calling all the time from the shop. The TIPS (Turn in Poacher) hotline # is 1-800-842-4357, the last 4 digits spell out the word "HELP" in case you forget the number. And for the record, all calls made to the hotline are logged and they look at the data each year to see where they need to beef up enforcement. While they are way underfunded & understaffed in terms of Conservation Officers, they will make every effort to dispatch one if at all possible. Get as much info as possible- number of people, general description, vehicle & plate #. Take a pic of them & their car if possible with a digital camera or even cell phone. If we get some more of them nailed, the word will get out that you don't want to poach on the Housy. This is a problem we can all help to improve with a simple phone call.

A note on etiquette. In recent seasons, we are seeing more and more fishermen who crowd others and do not seem to be aware of proper etiquette. Nobody likes it when they have a big chunk of water to themselves and somebody steps in 20-30 feet away, and starts casting to the fish they are working on. When you approach a piece of water that another fisherman is occupying, ask yourself how far you would want someone to stay away if you were there first- try to stay at least a cast and a half away if possible. And DO NOT EVER throw to the same fish or water that another person is fishing, even if you can reach it. That is a HUGE no-no, do not be surprised if you get yelled at or get your ass kicked if you do that to someone- I'll have no sympathy for you. The Housy is a big river, and there is plenty of water for people to fish, even on a popular weekend. If the spot you want to fish is occupied, don't crowd that person, just go elsewhere. Believe me, there are TONS of fish (and big ones) all over the upper and lower TMA's, and outside of them also. Don't fish Corner Hole, Sand Hole, Cellar Hole, etc. on a busy Saturday at prime time and expect to have solitude- the easy access spots almost always hold the most fishermen. The Upper TMA is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 miles or so, and the lower one is about 2.5 miles, giving us all plenty of water to spread the pressure out in. Just make sure to practice courtesy and common sense, and treat other fishermen as you would like to be treated, and it will be a better experience for everyone
(05/16/09)
Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Thursday Report:

We have a fishing license system on order with the state, but as yet we have not received it- make sure you get you licenses in advance of this weekend. You can either do them on your home computer, or get them at a local Town Hall. This just might be setting up to be the best Opening Day fishing conditions on the Housy that I've seen in years- warm weather, clear water, flows will be down near the 1,000cfs mark by Saturday, and no significant rain in sight. Wow. We should see the Henrickson hatch any day now, in fact I wouldn't be suprised if a few are out already. Remember, the $50 Gift Certificate for the first Housatonic Hendrickson dun of 2009 is still up for grabs. Flow is currently beautiful, at 1,270cfs and steadily dropping- we are 700cfs below normal for today's date, making the fishing condtions way, way better than you typically see right now. And our 1,500 rainbows were stocked last week, and the CT DEP will be putting their 9,000 trout in the C&R section next week (including 3,000 nice sized rainbows this year!). We are truly "sitting pretty". Don't forget about the Free Opening Day Pancake Breakfast on Saturday morning at 7AM, and the Hardy rep Crosby Beane will be here at 9AM to do a "Hardy Day" for us. Stop by and check out/cast some of their great tackle. Already gettting good reports from customers on the Rainbows, with Dave M. reporting getting about 17 fat 'Bows last Friday 4/10 averaging about 16-17"- thats a good few hours of fishing just about anywhere. And yes, these are the Pennsylvania ones that look & fight like mini Steelhead. We put in our private batch of 1,500 Rainbows in the upper part of the TMA & down below it on Thursday, 4/9. Nice, fat, feisty, tippet-breaking 'Bows- better beef your normal tippet up by one or two sizes. I'm serious! Remember that the TMA IS open right now, but BELOW the TMA DOES NOT open until this Saturday, Opening Day at 6AM April 18th. The only stream sections open to fishing in CT before Opening Day are those designated as Catch & Release, all others are closed until then. With the stocking & the milder weather here again and the Housy dropping, this should pick the fishing up a lot. Life is good in Cornwall Bridge.



The DEP gave us permission to let a bunch of our rainbows go in the upper part of the TMA - so hopefully this will protect them from the poachers that take so many of these fish ouside of the C&R area. It is a shame that these illegal fishermen are harming the potential of the fishery we have created below the TMA - but until DEP has the funds to get agents up here consistently - they will continue to abuse this resource. It is also unfortunate that some individuals who were against the stocking of the rainbows - placed comments on spin fishing sites telling individuals to come up and take these rainbows out of the Housatonic where we stocked them. But every cloud has a silver lining - because of this issue - I am now allowed to put more fish in the upper TMA to insure their survival.


In the early Spring, if flows are up you should fish the water near the banks with medium to large nymphs & streamers. Fish deep & slow, make it easy for the trout to see and eat your flies. Look for fish to be on the transitional edges of the current, where fast & slow intersect. Our rainbows have already been stocked, and we put in an extra 500 this Spring for a total of 1,500 stocked- split between the upper part of the TMA (the section that is open to fishing right now), and down below the TMA (you have to wait for Opening Day on April 18th to fish down there). Should be great! More product is coming in every week, including some really cool Umpqua flies that arrived (woven Polish nymphs, tungsten bead patterns, stones, etc.), we are gearing up for the Spring season & opening of NY state (April 1st). Hard to beat a Golden Stonefly nymph in the early Spring, and a Prince or big Hare's Ear makes a great dropper fly to fish with it. Slowly swung Slumpbuster streamers are also a good bet, try also Zonkers & Buggers.


Seeing some insect activity with the milder weather, early season stoneflies, and Hendricksons are due any day now. Various early season Stoneflies crawling out on the banks of the rivers (the Early Blacks), so you may want to add a dark nymph in the #12-14 range as a trailer behind a bigger fly- try a Prince nymph (with or without a beadhead) or a specific black stonefly imitation, fished in tandem with a Golden Stone, big Hare's Ear, Scud, Egg Fly or SJ Worm. Remember that as of March 1st, the Housy can only be fished in the catch & release section- outside of this it is closed to all fishing until Opening Day, April 18th. If you venture out fishing on the Housy in the early Spring, focus on the late morning to late afternoon time slot, the fishing is usually better then- although after mild nights like we are getting some days you can start earlier if you want. We now have all the materials available to tie the infamous "Vladi Worm" for sale in the store (pink "latex" & pre-bent Daiichi 1870 hooks). Caught my 1st Housy trout of 2009 in February, a nice fat 17" Rainbow with beautiful color & perfect fins. See top of Comments regarding purchasing 2009 CT fishing licenses, they are now online and we are unable to do hand written licenses in the store anymore (the state is no longer offering them), so I put the address you can log onto to purchase & print out licenses from your home computer- either that or go to a CT Town Hall.


On Opening Day April 18th, in addition to our Free Pancake Breakfast we traditionally do, we will also have another "Hardy Day" starting at 9AM- the rep Crosby Beane will be present with rods & reels from Hardy/Greys, and you will be able to cast them & play with the reels.We will also be having a "Simms Day" on April 25th, the Simms rep Justin Sterner will be here with new products & special promotions going on (such as trade-ins toward new Simms wading boots with their new proprietary Vibram soles that work as well or better than felt), we will post more info as we get everything in place.


We need more donations for the spring stocking - it costs around $10,000/stocking to put these beautiful rainbow trout in the river, and for Spring '09 we are putting in an additional 500 fish so the cost will be higher. Harold had a great time in Alaska - Big Rainbows and Sockeye - some pics are posted on the destination page, and the digital videos are now up too - we are heading back next year on Sept 7th for a crack at the biggest 'Bows of the season, fish into the 30"+ range exceeding 10 pounds.


We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include the section of the Housy from the Rt 7/Rt 4 Cornwall bridge down to at least North Kent, if not all the way down to the center of Kent. It's going to take a lot of angler support to accomplish this, the DEP has had mixed feeling about this in the past, but they seem to be starting to warm up to the idea. There is a trememdous amount of ideal trout water in that section, and it would be awesome to see it managed to it's potential.


Poachers have been active the past few seasons, both in & out of the TMA. They have been keeping fish in the TMA (esp. in Horse Hole) & spin fishing in the Fly Fishing Only section (esp. in Cellar Hole & the Park), as well as fishing down below the TMA without licenses and keeping more than their limit of fish. We need all of you to be proactive and call in violations, the DEP needs to receive calls from people other than us calling all the time from the shop. The TIPS (Turn in Poacher) hotline # is 1-800-842-4357, the last 4 digits spell out the word "HELP" in case you forget the number. And for the record, all calls made to the hotline are logged and they look at the data each year to see where they need to beef up enforcement. While they are way underfunded & understaffed in terms of Conservation Officers, they will make every effort to dispatch one if at all possible. Get as much info as possible- number of people, general description, vehicle & plate #. Take a pic of them & their car if possible with a digital camera or even cell phone. If we get some more of them nailed, the word will get out that you don't want to poach on the Housy. This is a problem we can all help to improve with a simple phone call.


A note on etiquette. In recent seasons, we are seeing more and more fishermen who crowd others and do not seem to be aware of proper etiquette. Nobody likes it when they have a big chunk of water to themselves and somebody steps in 20-30 feet away, and starts casting to the fish they are working on. When you approach a piece of water that another fisherman is occupying, ask yourself how far you would want someone to stay away if you were there first- try to stay at least a cast and a half away if possible. And DO NOT EVER throw to the same fish or water that another person is fishing, even if you can reach it. That is a HUGE no-no, do not be surprised if you get yelled at or get your ass kicked if you do that to someone- I'll have no sympathy for you. The Housy is a big river, and there is plenty of water for people to fish, even on a popular weekend. If the spot you want to fish is occupied, don't crowd that person, just go elsewhere. Believe me, there are TONS of fish (and big ones) all over the upper and lower TMA's, and outside of them also. Don't fish Corner Hole, Sand Hole, Cellar Hole, etc. on a busy Saturday at prime time and expect to have solitude- the easy access spots almost always hold the most fishermen. The Upper TMA is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 miles or so, and the lower one is about 2.5 miles, giving us all plenty of water to spread the pressure out in. Just make sure to practice courtesy and common sense, and treat other fishermen as you would like to be treated, and it will be a better experience for everyone.

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Lost and Found:

(04/16/09)
Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing:
2009 CT Fishing Licenses:
CT fishing licenses are now online, there are no longer any hand written paper licenses for sale at our shop or anywhere else, the state is not offering them anymore, licenses now have to purchased online or at a Town Hall or other location where they have a special machine. The quickest & easisest is to go online from your home computer, purchase & print your new license right out at your house- here is the URL address, cut & paste it into your browser, there is also a clickable link near the top of our Home Page:

https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales/

When you go onto this site, you will have to register as a "New User", and it will take about 5 minutes, you pay by MC or VISA. Don't get confused if you go to the 3rd page and it says in red letters that you are not in the system- ignore that, and right underneath it in underlined black lettering it will say "Click here to register as new customer". Once you are already in the system, getting the next license will be much quicker. Happy fishing in 2009 to you all.


check out our new ebay store - http://stores.ebay.com/newandusedfishingtackle_W0QQssPageNameZl2QQtZkm

Davy Wotton Clinic on April 25-26, 2009- I will post more details, but this is the definite date. It will cover subsurface techniques, with one day of assorted nymphing (both indicator methods/rigs & "Euro style"- Czech, Polish, French, Spanish), and a day of streamer & wet fly fishing/rigging too. Cost will be $300, fully paid in advance, nonrefundable, and include 2 full days of instruction & lunches. Davy is a wealth of information, this is a great clinic to attend with a well-traveled world class instructor. Up your fishing knowledge and catch more & bigger trout- isn't that what we'd all like? Almost full now, 1 spot left open.

Strike Indicator Nymphing Clinic with Aaron, May 2nd, 9AM-1PM-
Everyone should know how to nymph with an indicator, so if you don't know how or need to improve your technique, this clinic is a bargain. Aaron is a seasoned, expert nympher, and has conducted our nymphing clinics for years. Check out the Nymphing forum on Aaron's website at TroutPredator.info, it's a fantastic source of information. He will show you everything you need to know to take you down the path to nymphing success. Some of the topics covered will be: reading the water, adjusting to seasons/water conditions & temps, building a nymph leader, weight usage, strike indicators, techniques, strike detection, hook-setting, fly selection/favorite patterns, and more. Partly indoors, partly onstream. Bring a notepad & your gear so you can try out your new skills after the class, early May is prime time. Cost is $75, paid in advance, nonrefundable, we have the class rain or shine.


Starting Tuesday November 4th, we will be closed on Tuesdays for the Fall & Winter. We will go back to a full 7 day a week schedule in early to mid April.

On CT Opening Day April 18th, in addition to our Free Pancake Breakfast we traditionally do, we will also have another "Hardy Day" starting at 9AM- the rep Crosby Beane will be present with rods & reels from Hardy/Greys, and you will be able to cast them & play with the reels. They have some unusual combination of rod lengths/line weights, ones that are hard to find from the US rod companies, especially in the longer lengths.


We will also be having a "Simms Day" on April 25th at 9AM, the rep Justin Sterner will be here with new products & special promotions going on- there will be a trade in toward toward the new Simms wading boots (with their new & proprietary Vibram soles that work as well or better than felt). It will work like this (but only on "Simms Day"): bring in a USABLE pair of felt soled wading shoes, and we will give you a trade-in discount toward a pair of Vibram wading shoes- 20% off for cash/check, 10% off for credit cards. In addition, the shoes will be donated to the Boy Scouts of America, and we will also give you a "Letter of Donation" from them for 50% of the original value of the shoes you trade in to us. Call if you want to reserve a pair, we expect to sell out & the Vibram boots have been in short supply, a deposit will hold a pair for you. We may have other special "deals" available on that day only.


Lamson Radius and Velocity Reels and spools on Sale at 25% off in the store only.
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We are selling raffle tickets in the store to raise money for stocking trout in the Housy in '09- we are putting in 500 more than normal, so we really need your donations this year. Most of our guides have again generously donated their services to sell tickets- it will be $20 to purchase a chance for a guided fishing trip on the Housatonic with one of them. We are also selling tickets for another $1,000 Gift Certificate and a Sage Z-Axis 9' #5 4pc. fly Rod.
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Favorite& New Products for April:



-Hardy Marksman Drifter 11' #5 rod- Myself & guide Aaron both got to fish a prototype of this rod last August thru October, & we loved it. Finally available to the general public, this is one cool rod. Light in the hand, you would think you have a much shorter rod. Great action, just right- not to stiff, but not to soft. Davy Wotton just got his hands on one of these (he just might be the best wet fly fisherman alive in the world), and he wiggled it and said it might be the nicest wet fly rod he's ever held. This rod would be superb for nymphing, both Euro style & also with indicators, as well as make a fantastic wet fly rod. Come in the store and check it out, I think you will be impressed.


-Ross Vexsis Reels- Ross's latest high tech introduction, this is one sweet reel, and it's made in the good 'ol USA. It uses a drag derived from the saltwater Momentum series, and then they added in ceramic for its compression/heat resistance- the result is an unbelievable drag system that performs flawlessly. It has a superb range from light to heavy and a smooth, linear progression as you increase the drag setting. Add to that a cosmetically beautiful design, a magnetic spool release (very cool), and the ability to change retrieve direction from left hand to right hand in about 1 second. I'm really impressed by this reel, the trout sizes retail in the mid $200 range, and all are machined.


-Ross Airius Fly Reels- Another new Ross entry, trout sizes in this good-looking machined reel run around $200 mark. Features include a super smooth, multilevel disc delrin/teflon drag system, handsome spoked frame, sturdy/stable stainless spindle support shaft similar to the classic Gunnison, quick change left hand/right hand retrieve, and it's machined out of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. For about $200, it's an excellent value in a high performance, lightweight, good looking reel.


-10 foot Rods for Czech Nymphing by Greys- Check out (pun intended) the Streamflex series from Greys (a division of Hardy) in the 10' length- these $300 rods are perfect for Czech style nymphing. You don't have to spend $700 to get a nice 10' rod, the Streamflex are good looking with quality hardware, light in the hand, 4 pieces, come with a tube & an unconditional warrantee. Powerful butt sections with moderate tips make them the perfect action for Czech/Euro style nymphing- plenty of power to set the hook & play the fish, but enough cushion to protect your tippet and keep the hook from popping out. The 10 footers come in #3, #4, and #5 to a suit almost all nymphing needs, from light tippets/long leaders/small nymphs in shallow riffles up to pitching 2-3 heavy flies in fast pocket water. They also make great rods for indicator nymphing, the extra length is great for casting, hook-setting, playing fish, mending & keeping fly line off the water.


-Sage TCX Fly Rods- These beautiful green rods are the replacement to the TCR, and I have to say they are a noticeable improvement. Sage's fastest rod in recent years was the TCR, and while they could dump an entire fly line, I always felt they were a bit too stiff to be practical fishing rods, esp. in the trout weights, and they were hard for the average guy to cast. The new TCX is an entirely different animal- still a pretty darn fast rod, but much more fishable and easier to cast with connsiderably more feel, I was both pleasantly surprised & impressed when I cast them recently. They didn't make them wimpy however- an expert caster can still dump a full fly line into the backing in the parking lot, yet these rods are castable for the average guy too, unlike their predecessor. The 5 weight is just the ticket for Delaware River anglers and those fishing bigger, windy rivers where long casts are common place. In an 8 weight, you have the pentultimate Bonefish rod, capable of accurate casts in the wind from short to super long range. But don't believe me, come cast one at the store and see what you think- betcha like them.


-Climax Tippet Rings- Available & back in stock again, these are the bomb for rigging your leaders- gives you a quick & strong connection between your tippet & the leader. Connecting flouro to mono is no problem, nor is attaching radically dissimilar diameter lines. Putting new tippets on won't eat up your leader, so they last longer, and its quicker & easier to tie it on, saving you time, aggravation and keeps you fishing more and rigging less. Also these are fantastic for creating droppers, epecially on Czech nymphing and wet fly leaders- ask Torrey & he will show you how. Tippet rings are small enough to use on dry fly leaders(won't sink it), and are 20# test. Don't know how I lived without them all these years! Two thumbs up.


-Czech Nymph Leaders from Umpqua-We finally have these back in stock again- 8 1/2' 4x fluorocarbon with 2 droppers. The quick & easy way to get Czech nymphing- just loop on your line, and tie 2 or 3 flies to the leader, the fluoro droppers are already in place and the upper one can be easily replaced due to the construction using a micro tippet ring. Non-stretch thin Power Pro superbraid in the upper part of the leader will get you down fast and give you excellent bite detection & hook-sets.

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Torrey's books & videos for April:



New Books:


-Nymphs for Streams & Stillwaters, by Dave Hughes- I swear this guy never stops writing. Author of multiple books & editor of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Journal, Dave has written a killer book of over 370 pages filled with effective nymphs & tying instructions. Well organized and with a plethora of great pictures, this is one truly beautiful book. Quite thorough, with the main 3 categories being searching nymphs for moving water, imitative nymphs for moving water, and nymphs for stillwaters. Within those categories it is subdivided into many more such as by different tying materials (fur, herl, wire, rubber legs, etc.), insect types, Czech nymphs, etc. Buried throughout the text are little pearls of wisdom involving both tying tips as well as fishing tips. He even has some sage advice on logically setting up your fly boxes to cover most of the bases. This is a really, really nice book that anyone who ties nymphs would benefit from having in their collection.


-Caddisflies, a Guide to Eastern Species by Tom Ames- Wow! Tom did a superb job on this book, it's over an inch thick and 300+ pages. With his profession as a pro photographer, it is no surprise that the many photos are of the absolute highest quality, with tons of shots of the actual bugs as well as a lot of patterns to imitate them. He covers angling tradition, biology, habitat, presentation (both tackle & techniques), methods, the different types of Caddis, pattern recipes, hatch charts for the East, a table with habitat & behavior (by Caddis family), and other topics. Truly an exhaustive, thorough book that should take the mystery out of fishing Caddis patterns, helping you with the when, where, why & how. Should be in everyone's library, 5 stars.


-Trout Flies for the 21st Century, by Dick Talleur- How many damn books is this guy gonna write? One of the most published authors on fly tying and regular columnist for American Angler & Fly Tyer magazines, he is a true expert & authority on the subject, and as an acquantance of his for 20+ years, I can personally vouch for his ability. This is a nicely photographed collection of over 200 flies that he feels represents the best of old & new. In many cases he has tweaked patterns to improve their effectiveness, durability or ease of tying. Spiral bound for use on the tying bench. I really like this book, 2 thumbs up.


-Flyfishing Knots & Leader Systems- Author Dave Chermanski has over 50 flyfishing IGFA line class records and 450+ species landed on flies of his own design, so I guess you could say he knows something about leaders and knots, Lol. With his technical backround working as a scientist/engineer for Boeing and Rockwell International on the Space Shuttle program, he has the best the best discussion about monofilament & fluorocarbon that I have ever seen, truly interesting & informative. Very good knot tying pictures & instructions with all the info you need to select the appropriate ones for the task at hand. If you appreciate a technical approach to this area of fly fishing, you will like this book a lot, it is thorough and well done.


-Flies, Ties, & Techniques, by Charles Jardine- Famous in the UK and fairly well known in the USA, Jardine did a really nice job presenting some deadly looking flies in this book- some I guarantee you've never seen before, and some you have. The one nice piece that many other books of this nature miss is how, when & where to fish them, and this is all discussed in the book. Nice photos with pattern dressings, how to tie instructions/pictures, tactics to fish/present/rig the pattern, and finally the behavior of the natural(s) it imitates. 50 flies are presented, including lots of cool patterns of European origin including Czech & Polish style nymphs. He gives you a list of his 10 favorite & dealiest flies, and there is coverage of both river & stillwater patterns. A very interesting & cool book, I highly recommend it.


-LaFontaine's Legacy-As some of you may know, I'm a huge Gary LaFontaine fan. He grew up in CT and eventually migrated to MT, as the trout obsessed tend to do. ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease brought about his untimely demise in '02, but his collection of classic books & unusual flies lives on. This is a collection of patterns and information about them with pictures and tying instructions, the last batch of flies he didn't get a chance to write about before his death. Al & Gretchen Beatty were working with him at the end and they wrote the book he would of if he was still alive. If you like LaFontaine & his innovative, out-of-the-box approach to fly design, you have to add this book to your collection. Lots of great anecdotes and stories of success about the patterns presented in this volume. I consider this and all of his books to be must-haves, period. Not more of the same old, same, as many other books are. With patterns names such as a streamer called the "Drunken Sailor", how could you not get this book??


-A Fisherman's Bible for the Farmington River- Once again available after being sold out for a few months, many of you have been asking for this publication. Author Pete Chadziewicz is a CT native who has fished the Farmington since he was a kid. This all color book covers over 100 different spots, giving you access info (including GPS coordinates), rates fishing pressure & wadeability, shows deep spots/shallow spots, and has pictures of the spots with reference to the location & angle it was shot from. Several hatch/fly charts are included, as well as a fishing tip on almost every page. If you want to expand your knowledge of the river and places to fish, this is an excellent resource.


-Czech Nymph- There's been an explosion of American interest in this short line nymphing technique that the Europeans (Czechs & Poles esp.) have been using to kick everyones' butts in International Fly Fishing Competition. This is the 1st book translated into English, and it covers all facets you need to know, and includes about 150 nymph patterns, tackle, tying the special flies/choosing hooks, leader construction (quite different than what we are used to), fishing techniques, strike detection, etc. If you wanna know all about Czech nymphing, this is THE book, period.


-Fly-Fishing Guide to Upper Delaware River, by Paul Weamer- This is the most thorough, well done and comprehensive book I've seen on the Delaware. Weamer is a former managing partner of Border Waters Outfitters fly shop on the river, and has also had articles in Fly Fisherman and other publications. He is a fly designer for Montana Fly Company, and best known for his Truform series of hatch matching patterns. This book covers the entire fishery- the Main Stem, East and West Branches. Access (difficult if you don't know it), hatches and fly patterns, seasons, places to stay and eat, fly shops and guide services, shuttle and river flow info, nymph/dry fly/wet fly/streamer/night fishing strategies, equipment, etc., it's all in there. It would be relatively easy to plan a successful trip using this book as a resource, and if you haven't been there the pictures will make you want to go! Excellent book.



Favorite Books:


-Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine- the all-time classic piece on Caddis in my opinion, this book is a plethora of information and a fantastic reference, I often find myself pulling it out to look something up. Remember too, Gary grew up & lived in CT before he moved to MT, so much of what he learned & the data presented was gleaned from his experiences in CT. All his books should be in a serious flyfisher's library. One of my favorites.


Bestsellers:
DVD's:


-Drift- this highly acclaimed DVD was sponsored by Simms, Gore-Tex and others. It is a visually stunning production takes you around the globe to fish for all sorts of freshwater & saltwater species in beautiful, exotic locations. From trout on the Green, Frying Pan and Big Horn, to Spey casting for Steelhead on the Deschutes, exploring the rivers of Kashmir, India, to fishing the flats of the Bahamas and Belize. Shot on film and mastered in High Def, this is a unique DVD. Veteran Warren Miller cinematographer Chris Patterson's handiwork is evident in this film. I've personally heard nothing but good stuff about it from everyone who has viewed it. Come see what all the fuss is about.

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Thursday Weather:
30 degrees & sunny this morning, high 55, low 33, sunny today. Long range forecast: highs 40's-50's, lows 30's.
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I have created a foundation for the Housatonic, a 501c3 - and all your donations will now be tax deductible - I will post more info later on. We are once again collecting donations to fund our private stockings of trout in 2008/2009, for the Inner City Program of "No Child Left Inside", and also for conservation projects on the Housatonic. Thanks to all who supported the cause last year- it really helped noticeably improve the fishing. Also thanks to those who have donated already in 2009.


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THURSDAY RIVER REPORT:


If you like catching the rainbow trout we privately put in the Housy over the past 2 years - please come to the store and buy a raffle ticket or make a donation to support the stocking for 2009, it's expensive. And we put an additional 500 more in this Spring on 4/9/09 (on top of our usual 1,000), so we will need even more funding than normal. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated, and will only help to improve the fishing & catching. We are stocking $9,000 worth of fish in early April - so we need your financial help. And who knows, if you purchase a raffle ticket you just might win a Sage rod, guided fishing trip, or a $1,000 store gift certificate.

Thursday Report:
Check the new Fly Fisherman magazine out, Harold's "Footwing Spinner" is in the "Fly Tier's Bench" section in the May issue. It, of course, employs some of his favorite material, snowshoe rabbit foot hair, and will be his second pattern featured in their publication. And yours truly, Torrey, was interviewed about the Housatonic River on "Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio" on March 18th- my interview is archived on their website, askaboutflyfishing.com. Didn't know that Harold & I were such celebrities, did ya? Lol. Truly Legends in our own Minds. Housy is shaping up very nicely, dropping at a good clip, about 1,800cfs at 1:30PM & going steadily downward- normal flow for today is 2,450cfs, so we are in much better shape than in an average year. Highs back into the 50's & upper 40's for the 10 Day Forecast, I'm liking that. Our Rainbows went in today! 1,500 of them, and the DEP has gave us an additional permit to stock a bunch of them in the upper part of the TMA/C&R area. Remember that the TMA IS open right now, but BELOW the TMA DOES NOT open until 6AM April 18th. With the stocking & the milder weather coming back and the Housy dropping, this should pick the fishing up a lot for the weekend. And Hendricksons are just around the corner, usually starting somewhere between the 18th-25th of April. Life is good in Cornwall Bridge. The DEP has given us permission to let some of our rainbows go in the upper TMA - so hopefully this will protect them from the poachers that take so many of these fish ouside of the C&R area. It is a shame that these poachers are harming the potential of the fishery we have created below the TMA - but until DEP has the funds to get agents up here consistently - they will continue to abuse this resource. It is also unfortunate that some individuals who were against the stocking of the rainbows - placed comments on spin fishing sites telling individuals to come up and take these rainbows out of the Housatonic where we stocked them. But every cloud has a silver lining - because of this issue - I am now allowed to put more fish in the upper TMA to insure their survival. Fish the water near the banks with medium to large nymphs & streamers. Fish deep & slow, make it easy for the trout to see and eat your flies. My friend Tony Scuderi hit the river for a couple hours last week and caught 3 nice holdover browns. Look for fish to be on the transitional edges of the current, where fast & slow intersect. Our rainbows are have been stocked in time for the weekend- there will be an extra 500-1000 rainbows in the upcoming stocking to go in the upper part of the TMA (the section that is open to fishing right now), and our usual 500-1,000 down below the TMA (you have to wait for Opening Day on April 18th to fish down there). Should be great! More product is coming in every week, including some really cool Umpqua flies that arrived (woven Polish nymphs, tungsten bead patterns, stones, etc.), we are gearing up for the Spring season & opening of NY state (April 1st). Fishing pressure it typically quite light in our neck of the woods until the Hendrickson hatch starts in the latter part of April. Hard to beat a Golden Stonefly nymph in the early Spring, and a Prince or big Hare's Ear makes a great dropper fly to fish with it. Slowly swung Slumpbuster streamers are also a good bet, try also Zonkers & Buggers. Many of the rainbows we have privately stocked over the past 2 1/2 years have moved up into the TMA, so don't be surprised to hook into a big, fat leaping 'Bow.

(04/10/09)
Harold McMillan (dryflies) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Thursday Report:
Dont' forget about the free River Orientation Torrey is doing this Saturday, March 28th at 9PM- just show up at the store. Check the new Fly Fisherman magazine out, Harold's "Footwing Spinner" is in the "Fly Tier's Bench" section in the May issue. It, of course, employs some of his favorite material, snowshoe rabbit foot hair, and will be his second pattern featured in their publication. And yours truly, Torrey, was interviewed about the Housatonic River on "Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio" on March 18th- my interview is archived on their website, askaboutflyfishing.com. Didn't know that Harold & I were such celebrities, did ya? Lol. Truly Legends in our own Minds. We dropped about another 100cfs, bringing us down to an amazing (for late March) flow of 1,290cfs, wow. Normal for today is over 2,000cfs, so we are truly in great shape. Take advantage of the great conditions & mild weather- into the upper 50's this weekend. Clarity is superb- normally the flow is quite high & murky in late March/early April, so this is a huge bonus. The Housy is looking really, really fishy right now. Hard to beat a Golden Stonefly nymph this time of year, and a Prince or big Hare's Ear makes a great dropper fly to fish with it. Slowly swung Slumpbuster streamers are also a good bet, try also Zonkers & Buggers. If you are making plans for the upcoming weekend, plan to fish the Housy, the conditions are great. Many of the rainbows we have privately stocked over the past 2 1/2 years have moved up into the TMA.
Seeing some insect activity with the milder weather, early season stoneflies. The Catch & Release section on the Naugatuck River is currently open, recently stocked, and at a very fishable level if you are looking to hit a smaller river than the Housy- be aware that on the Naugy right now you can only use a single fly with no split shot on your leader until April 1st (weighted flies and/or sinking lines/leaders/sink-tips are all OK). During higher flows on the Housy, focus your efforts on the current seams closer to the banks, out of the heavier flow- that's where the catchable trout will be this time of year under typical early season higher flow conditions. Various early season Stoneflies crawling out on the banks, both the Tiny Winter & Early Winter Blacks, so you may want to add a dark nymph in the #12-18 range as a trailer behind a bigger fly- try a Prince nymph (with or without a beadhead) or a specific black stonefly imitation, fished in tandem with a Golden Stone, big Hare's Ear, Scud, Egg Fly or SJ Worm. Remember that as of March 1st, the Housy can only be fished in the catch & release section- outside of this it is closed to all fishing until Opening Day, April 18th. I put all the full finger gloves we have in the store out on the sale table, they are in the 50% off bin, so check it out if you or your significant other (lots of woman's gloves in stock) needs a new pair. If you venture out fishing on the Housy in the early Spring, focus on the late morning to late afternoon time slot, the fishing is usually better then- although after mild nights like we are getting some days you can start earlier if you want. We now have all the materials available to tie the infamous "Vladi Worm" for sale in the store (pink "latex" & pre-bent Daiichi 1870 hooks). Caught my 1st Housy trout of 2009 in February, a nice fat 17" Rainbow with beautiful color & perfect fins. See top of Comments regarding purchasing 2009 CT fishing licenses, they are now online and we are unable to do hand written licenses in the store anymore (the state is no longer offering them), so I put the address you can log onto to purchase & print out licenses from your home computer- either that or go to a CT Town Hall.
On Opening Day April 18th, in addition to our Free Pancake Breakfast we traditionally do, we will also have another "Hardy Day" starting at 9AM- the rep Crosby Beane will be present with rods & reels from Hardy/Greys, and you will be able to cast them & play with the reels.We will also be having a "Simms Day" on April 25th, the Simms rep Justin Sterner will be here with new products & special promotions going on (such as trade-ins toward new Simms wading boots with their new proprietary Vibram soles that work as well or better than felt), we will post more info as we get everything in place. If you venture out fishing, late morning thru late afternoon is usually the prime in the early Spring. Think Golden Stones, Scuds, Princes, egg patterns, Hare's Ears and other nymphs. Streamers fished very s-l-o-w-l-y can score too. Focus on the slow to moderate pool water, and look for current seams, drop-offs and structure such as rocks. We need more donations for the spring stocking - it costs around $10,000/stocking to put these beautiful rainbow trout in the river, and for Spring '09 we are putting in an additional 500 fish so the cost will be higher. Harold had a great time in Alaska - Big Rainbows and Sockeye - some pics are posted on the destination page, and the digital videos are now up too - we are heading back next year on Sept 7th for a crack at the biggest 'Bows of the season, fish into the 30"+ range exceeding 10 pounds.
We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include the section of the Housy from the Rt 7/Rt 4 Cornwall bridge down to at least North Kent, if not all the way down to the center of Kent. It's going to take a lot of angler support to accomplish this, the DEP has had mixed feeling about this in the past, but they seem to be starting to warm up to the idea. There is a trememdous amount of ideal trout water in that section, and it would be awesome to see it managed to it's potential.
Poachers have been active the past couple seasons, both in & out of the TMA. They have been keeping fish in the TMA (esp. in Horse Hole) & spin fishing in the Fly Fishing Only section (esp. in Cellar Hole & the Park), as well as fishing down below the TMA without licenses and keeping more than their limit of fish. We need all of you to be proactive and call in violations, the DEP needs to receive calls from people other than us calling all the time from the shop. The TIPS (Turn in Poacher) hotline # is 1-800-842-4357, the last 4 digits spell out the word "HELP" in case you forget the number. And for the record, all calls made to the hotline are logged and they look at the data each year to see where they need to beef up enforcement. While they are way underfunded & understaffed in terms of Conservation Officers, they will make every effort to dispatch one if at all possible. Get as much info as possible- number of people, general description, vehicle & plate #. Take a pic of them & their car if possible with a digital camera or even cell phone. If we get some more of them nailed, the word will get out that you don't want to poach on the Housy. This is a problem we can all help to improve with a simple phone call.
A note on etiquette. In recent seasons, we are seeing more and more fishermen who crowd others and do not seem to be aware of proper etiquette. Nobody likes it when they have a big chunk of water to themselves and somebody steps in 20-30 feet away, and starts casting to the fish they are working on. When you approach a piece of water that another fisherman is occupying, ask yourself how far you would want someone to stay away if you were there first- try to stay at least a cast and a half away if possible. And DO NOT EVER throw to the same fish or water that another person is fishing, even if you can reach it. That is a HUGE no-no, do not be surprised if you get yelled at or get your ass kicked if you do that to someone- I'll have no sympathy for you. The Housy is a big river, and there is plenty of water for people to fish, even on a popular weekend. If the spot you want to fish is occupied, don't crowd that person, just go elsewhere. Believe me, there are TONS of fish (and big ones) all over the upper and lower TMA's, and outside of them also. Don't fish Corner Hole, Sand Hole, Cellar Hole, etc. on a busy Saturday at prime time and expect to have solitude- the easy access spots almost always hold the most fishermen. The Upper TMA is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 miles or so, and the lower one is about 2.5 miles, giving us all plenty of water to spread the pressure out in. Just make sure to practice courtesy and common sense, and treat other fishermen as you would like to be treated, and it will be a better experience for everyone. (03/26/09)
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Housatonic River businesses

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Shop Guide Service Lodge School (Classes) Travel Rods Manufacturer
Guide Service Aboutttoutct.com
165 Deer Hill Rd, Southbury, CT 06488
Southbury, Connecticut
Guide Service Elser Guide Services, LLC
196 Brown Brook Road
Southbury, Connecticut
Catching Shadows
297 Firetown Road
Simsbury, Connecticut
Guide Service JT's fly shop
664 Buckley Hwy
Union, Connecticut
Housatonic River Outfitters
24 Kent Raod
Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut
JT's Fly shop
664 Buckley Hwy
Union, Connecticut
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Larry Wolff (larrywolff)
Guide trip this past Saturday was postponed due t heavy rain and high water for new fisherman. Pushed out till the 9th. (1/19/13)
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