Northwest Corner, Conn. 2019 edition

nmum

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The Farmington flows have been cut significantly this week making the water much more manageable. If you avoid the weekend you should miss the circus too. I spent the last couple of evenings on a couple of stocked ponds near home teaching my 10 year old son how to cast and set the hook. Let's just say he did very well... freshly stocked fish are pretty gullible!
 

patrick62

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There are Hendricksons on the Blackberry and smaller streams but I didn't see anything on the Housatonic. So either the hatch got blown out by high water or it hasn't happened yet or [inset third option here].

housatonic anglers reports NO hendricksons on the Hous this year- must be the high water and chitty weather we have had and will continue to enjoy next week.
I applaud your willing to wade in that water level. Please leave me your fly rods in said will.
Haha

At that flow the spots are few and far between. I don't go in above my waist, and since I'm 5' 9" with short legs, that's not very far. Wading belt, stick and studded boots are a must.
 

patrick62

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The Farmington flows have been cut significantly this week making the water much more manageable. If you avoid the weekend you should miss the circus too. I spent the last couple of evenings on a couple of stocked ponds near home teaching my 10 year old son how to cast and set the hook. Let's just say he did very well... freshly stocked fish are pretty gullible!
Were the fish still wearing their freshman beanies?

SOunds like fun
 

patrick62

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Status more or less quo here in the Housatonic watershed. It rained. The little blue lines have been great. (But I'm getting sick of it.) The weather finally broke and I think we'll get about a week or so of spring before summer starts. If...if...if it doesn't rain for a few days the Housatonic might be down to a dull roar just in time for the Memorial Day throngs of kayakers, picnickers, chudstuffers, and the occasional angler.
 

patrick62

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Hous at 1340 cfs and dropping. It's a little rainy this morning and more expected today but not enough to make much difference.

Had some outstanding smallmouth action in the no man's land between the Falls Village power station and the first pool at the bottom of the falls yesterday morning.
 

patrick62

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Some interesting fishing on the H last couple of days.

Wednesday morning I fished the strange area between the Falls Village power station and the base of the falls. At the latter location, wooly buggers of any size and color were taken by some truly big smallies. I'm talking net-filling, big strong fish. It was too easy.

As if to underscore that assessment, yesterday morning said smallies were gone. I made my way up to the big pool under the dam/falls, and scored smallies on the top and underneath, mostly on green mops, woolies, and big poppers, and stonefly nymphs. Some carp were hitting something on the surface but I couldn't tell what.

Last night about 6 p.m. I caught a 12 inch brook trout at the base. Talk about being in the wrong neighborhood. Then I had to skedaddle up the hill to the Falls Village annual town meeting. (They passed their town and school budgets and really didn't need my help.)
 

skunkedalot

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congrats- likely fish were there for the spawn since river has been so high this year.
please send me latest article.
THANKS
 

patrick62

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Tried H this morning at Elms. One other brave soul out there. River road side. Managed four sticker browns on soft hackles and caddis nymph. One good brown on caddis nymph with Tenkara rod. Left at 11 because I was tired of fighting the current, plus I'm on doxycycline for a tick bite and didn't want to be out in the sun.
 

patrick62

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Similar experience today. Fish are up higher in the water column than you'd think.

Couple days ago took a buddy up to the top of the falls. He caught a brown. Big carp were again jumping at something. I got a bunch of smallies, nothing exciting but consistent action on woolies and the like.

A couple of morons in flannel shorts, jorts and backwards ballcaps were dancing around on the top of the falls. We left because they were clearly going to die and we didn't want to watch. That's just science.
 

patrick62

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Here are some photos of recent adventures on the Housatonic



The flow finally got down to a dull roar. Here are two anglers working the Elms on Sunday morning, May 26.



You never know what you'll find streamside on the Housatonic. Old typewriters, tires, skeletal remains...



My buddy caught a brown at the big pool under the falls. He also discovered that his perch might be okay for casting but not so great for landing. Friday morning, May 24.
 

patrick62

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This is the pool at the base of the falls where I encountered the post-coital smallies and also caught a wandering brook trout -- twice.



The area downstream just before the power house yielded this mighty perch, which compared to the dinker perch I normally see is a Leviathan at 12 inches



Here's an aggressive Housatonic smallmouth that absolutely smashed a brown woolie. Or maybe it was black. I don't think it mattered.
 

patrick62

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Excellent morning at the Abutments and Push Em Up. Bread and butter nymphs were the popular favorite. Also had some surface action on a stimulator. There are some stoneflies around. Browns and bows, plus ubiquitous smallies and one hefty Housatonic Silver Trout hahaha.

Spent a couple hours in the rain later testing a couple new Tenkara rods at the falls. Smallies galore, also bluegill and rock bass.
 

patrick62

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So I interviewed an elderly lady the other day and afterwards she gave me her late husband's fishing gear, consisting of two older Orvis two-piece graphite rods (8 foot 4 weight and 8'3" 7 weight), an old Fenwick fiberglass rod (7'6" 6 weight), an Orvis Madison reel, a Medalist reel (one of the big ones, suitable for an 8 weight), a spare spool for a Battenkill (which fits one of my fether's old reels) and some assorted stuff.

I better do a good job with this interview eh?

Anyway I tested out the Fenwick yesterday, in the morning on the Housatonic TMA, and afternoon around the falls. It is not the ideal tool for tight line nymphing, and when you get a decent size fish on, the rod is pretty damn wiggly. But it will do.
 

patrick62

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For the first time in months the Housatonic has dropped below 1000 cfs. There is a vigorous light Cahill hatch going on. Thunderstorms later but I don't think it will affect things very much. Grab it while you can
 
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patrick62

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Housatonic at 718 in spite of thunderstorms last night.

Yesterday morning I was out bright and early at 7 a.m. on the dot. Since it takes me about two hours to wake up these days, I find this incredibly impressive.

I went to the Elms on the River Road side, so the sun, if it came out at all, would be behind me. (This is worth remembering. I have seen anglers doing some serious squinting at 9 a.m. from the Route 7 side, with the sun blasting in right at them. River Road a.m., Route 7 p.m.)

It stayed mostly cloudy pretty much all day, so my first thought was olives. I detest olives, and all itty bitty flies. I isolate them in a special box, derisively labeled "specks."

I can't see them to tie them on, and I dislike superfine tippet because I can't see it either. Plus it curls up the moment ir comes off the spool.

On the theory that the trout were eating Cahills the night before and would still be likely to respond, I started with a big size 12 Light Cahill dry with a winged wet fly of the same pattern, but smaller at size 16, tied on a 30 inch piece of 5X nylon attached directly to the bend of the hook.

In about an hour I had caught and released eight trout, six browns and two rainbows, plus a couple of junior smallmouth. They takes were about evenly spread between the dry and the wet.

Then it stopped. I tried a variety of things, getting a bump here and there but no results. Fish were still feeding in the film, and some were coming up from the depths to grab something.

That meant it was time for my annual battle with specks.

I dug out the speck box, and picked a green one, not too tiny at size 18, added a piece of 5X nylon to the leader, and on the first cast a brown trout boiled up out of a little bit of soft water between rocks and grabbed it.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the brown. The fish had clearly not read the hatchery memo: "If you get caught dash one way, then the other, then submit meekly. They will take your picture and put you back, and then lie about your size."

Later on, towards 10 a.m., I worked the riffles with a team of three wet flies, switching them around until I found a combination that seemed to work for everybody. (Light Cahill, partridge and green, black spider on the bottom.)

I also had a couple of good trout and one really good smallmouth come up and grab a small size 16 Deer Hair Sedge (a sparsely tied caddis dry fly) out of the slack water. I was using a Tenkara rod for this, and it was a lot of fun.

In the evening I wasn't up for the serious water, and instead played around in the always weird area between the power house in Falls Village and the falls, where I caught innumerable junior smallies, bluegill, and rock bass.

It's great to be able to fish the Housatonic on foot again after months and months of flows well over 1000 cfs.
 

patrick62

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Spent a pleasant morning at falls annoying innumerable bluegill and occasional smallmouth. It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours when I have the neither time nor the energy to get all suited up for the TMA.
 

patrick62

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The thermal refuge regs kick in today, and a good thing too, as water temps have been in the mid 60s for a week.

This is the fundamental problem of the Housatonic -- if the state didn't put trout in, would there be any at all? Is it really a smallmouth river?
 

skunkedalot

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the Hous is a terrific river plagued by the heavy rain we have had for several years.In reality- it is marginal as a hold over trout river. Why- water is just too warm in the summer especially if we get low water for a long period of time.
Having said that, She has been and is a terrific smallie river which (perhaps)suffers from too many fish per mile of water. With the natural flow- she is a better smallie river than trout stream. For those of us who love smallies, she is just about perfect.
 

patrick62

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Weird evening fishing just below the kayak gates. Sulfurs everywhere. Warm water, wet wading with no problem. Didn't even see a smallie...but caught two browns, one was 17 inches or so. Boy are you in the wrong neighborhood.

Forgot to mention this: I was fishing a popper hoping to stimulate a smallie in some slack water. It was working a little bit. Then I saw something take a sulfur. I tied a three foot piece of nylon 4x to the popper hook and put a sulfur dun on it.
That's what brown number two took.

Do we have an award for unorthodox tactics?
 
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