Northwest Corner, Conn. -- 2020

patrick62

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My cousin, age 19, with his first LMB on a fly rod.

I tied on a leader of eight pound Berkeley Vanish fluoro, of which I have a lot. And I made the leader a lot longer than I usually would -- nine feet, same length as the Echo nine-foot six weight I bought him last year. The fly was a size 10 Bass Vampire, a heavy purple thing that sinks like a stone.

The idea was this: The bass are sulking on the bottom because it's been so hot. The lake isn't that deep to begin with. He's in a float tube and moving most of the time. So let's get the streamer down to where it is close to the bottom (20 feet give or take where we were) and the worst that can happen is it gets caught in a clump of vegetation.

Caleb has gotten to the point where he can adjust his cast for a heavier fly/longer leader. I accomplished this feat of instruction by presenting him with a heavy fly and a longer leader and telling him to get on with it.

Next lesson: How to handle fish.
 

patrick62

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The Housatonic is trickling along at a hair under 98 cfs this morning. It looks like a stream in an ornamental rock garden.



That didn't stop the state from stocking about 9000 trout Tuesday and Wednesday. I guess they have a schedule to complete.

AT least the Hous water temps are down, so while the fish might be bumping into each other, they can breathe.

Rather than letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, I will use this odd situation to:

-- Test out the sort of bizarre rigs that come to mind on grey February afternoons, such as the long leader and two heavy nymphs on the slow-action TFO 8 foot 2 weight I bought in a moment of extremely temporary enthusiasm many years ago.

-- How does the "L'il STreamer" rod, 5 feet, 5 weight, lots of oversized guides, work on the Hous? Let's find out.

-- Let's dig out the ancient LL Bean Double L bamboo rod someone gave me and try it out with a bunch of different lines -- weight forward and double taper, weights 4 through 6. You can play around in the yard all day, but it's not until there's something on the other end of the line -- not a tuft of grass, either -- that you really know what you've got.

-- Last but not least, let us have the annual battle with specks -- those teeny tiny flies and gossamer tippets that I try and fail to make any headway with, every year. That sound of swearing you detect in the distance? That's me.
 

lookard

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Went to the Housatonic river yesterday. The river was low but the water was cold! At first stop, I found a nice 16 inch brown that gave me a good fight. I also caught a bunch of smallies and spooked a really big one while wading along the river. Later, I moved to a different spot where I found the pod stocked fish. I had a great time! The stocked fish were really keyed into Egan's red dart. Also, I noticed large browns jumping out of the water at various spots. Does anyone know what's up with that? Didn't get any large browns in the area where I saw them, but I did get a follow when I swung a black leech.
 

patrick62

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Hit the Hous yesterday around 1 p.m. Managed a couple right off the bat on a March Brown soft hackle, then bupkis until the BWOs started flying, at which point I got a couple more on a brown Wooly Bugger hahaha. All browns, all recent arrivals, all about 14 inches.

A lot of anglers out in the TMA, probably because the Farmington remains low. Five cars including mine at the Elms on River Road side when I got out around 5.
 

patrick62

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Hous yesterday afternoon for four hours. Push 'Em Up was deserted, very rare, so fished there with a new acquaintance who is getting into Tenkara. We both managed a couple of the recent arrivals, who were taking itty bitty things out of the film. All my hits and bumps were at the moment when the drag on the swing starts to have an affect, suggesting the fish were taking emergers on the way up.
 

patrick62

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The humble Blackberry in North Canaan was stocked earlier this week, which means that I am back where I started this peculiar fishing year in March. I took a stab at it yesterday, and managed a couple, but was outfished by a rude woman aged somewhere between 50 and 90 with a spinning rod. Just barged up and started slinging hardware. She even had a ghillie, a quiet woman aged somewhere between 40 and 80. She looked cold and unenthusiastic.
 

patrick62

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I've been hitting the Blackberry often, and finally getting somewhere with itty bitty flies after 40-odd years of futility. Yes, they are stockers, but they became far pickier than they have any right to be, and faster. So very satisfying.
 

patrick62

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We've had a week of warm temps (upper 60s, cracking 70) and today is the same except drizzly. According to the forecast this balmy respite ends tomorrow.

I have taken advantage of this by improving my speck game. Which wouldn't be hard to do, since I entered the period in question approximately 0-for-48 years with specks (defined as flies size 20 or smaller).

I've been doing this on the willing participants from the state hatchery, so the overall experience still has a whiff of training wheels to it.

The game-changer was the discovery of Bozeman Flyworks fluorocarbon tippet. I have been using various brands of spinning rod fluoro for years, and following the Troutbitten blog, which has many entries on this subject.

The reasons I like the Bozeman stuff are:

1. It's relatively inexpensive at 55 yards for 10 bucks.

2. It's X-rated, so no consulting charts

3. It's stiff. It's the only 7X I've ever tried that didn't immediately curl into a ball after being freed from the spool.

Some guys don't want stiff. But I'm using droppers tied off surgeon's knots, and I want stiff, so the dropper and fly stick out from the main leader and don't get wrapped around too much.

If you told me a month ago I'd be catching fish regularly on size 22 specks and 6X tippets, I'd have laughed. Derisively.

Today, which is drizzly and warm again, I am going to try it out on the Housatonic, which is at a nice flow for wading.
 

gary_a_gooner

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It was warm-ish out but water temps were still COLD. I braved it out for about 2 hours today around the wall. Managed to land a strong 15” brown and 13” plump rainbow. Almost got them back to back, then it got quiet.

Just glad to get out for one last time this year.

Enjoy the holidays y’all!
 

High.and.Dry

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Fellow CT fishers, is there a thread or group/chat for Fairfield county based fishing junkies? Perhaps this is it but just figured I'd ask.
 
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