The Curriculum

Page 15 of 15

Author:  Patrick [Tue May 17, 2016 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing


• The Hendrickson hatch coincided with a blast of decidedly wintry weather, so I can't really say I experienced it. I'm sure the bugs were there, somewhere, in that murky torrent.

• The last week or so on the Housatonic was very good. Caddis pupa and larva were the winning patterns, plus the yellow stonefly.

• It's also blue wing olive time, flies I derisively refer to as "specks." I have finally decided to bite the bullet and fish specks regularly this season, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. My main speck tactic is to use a regular dry fly with some heft — Madame X, Stimulator — and trail the speck on a long dropper, four feet or so. For specks I use either the BWO wet fly, an olive soft hackle wet, or one of the many emerger/cripple type specks, all in sizes 18 and smaller. (I draw the line at size 24.)

I hate specks. It takes forever to tie them on, and I have zero idea where they are once I cast. But fishing with them builds character.

• Thankfully sulfurs and March Browns are starting to make an appearance, as well as isonychia in the headwaters. These are all nice, big, civilized bugs.

I caught my biggest fish in my Housatonic career last week, a holdover rainbow. No photo, he negotiated a "compassionate release" (ie. he spat the fly out before I could get him in the net).

Talking it over with one of the local guides, I think he was a she. He said he had caught a 26-inch rainbow female in the same spot, on the same yellow stonefly nymph, back in March. He had a photo, which I offer here:


If that's not my fish it's very similar. Credit:

• I tested out all my small stream rods and concluded that four of them are terrific and two are less so.

• I was approached on a medium-sized stream, the Blackberry River, by a young man with a spinning rod. Turns out he's the son of a woman I used to work with. I hadn't seen him since he was a chubby 13 year old. Anyway, he said he was sick of spinning and asked for some fly-fishing lessons. We've been out a few times and he's a pleasure to teach. A natural, and I don't have to warn him about stealth.

• I am going out on Lake Wononscopomuc tomorrow morning with a friend who has a real motorboat and knows where to tie into some big browns. He caught a nine-pound specimen recently.

Author:  Patrick [Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing

If I just post the link you'll get a pay wall.

Lime Rock Park is found to be a haven for brown trout
Thu, 10/06/2016 -
By Patrick L. Sullivan

LIME ROCK — A crew from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) electrofished the Salmon Kill within the boundaries of Lime Rock Park on Thursday, Sept. 29.

They found white suckers and darters and green sunfish and a tiny smallmouth bass and a couple of non-native crustaceans.

Oh, and a 19-inch brown trout.

The crew — four young men under the supervision of DEEP’s Mike Humphreys — moved upstream from a point near the bridge emblazoned with the legend “Sam Posey Straight,” with one towing a small canoe that contained a generator and receptacles for the fish.

A group of students from Housatonic Valley Regional High School stood along the bank, watching and occasionally calling out a question.

Two men swept the water with the long electrical devices, which emit enough current to stun the fish (and make it unpleasant for anyone in the water not wearing rubber boots and waders).

Two others deployed nets on long handles to scoop up the fish.

At one point, a fish got stuck in the net, and the DEEP man didn’t realize it.

The students attempted to alert him, with much shouting, jumping and waving of arms, but he was engrossed in his task, and couldn’t hear them over the generator.

Eventually he figured it out.

Every so often, the crew stopped and identified and measured their haul.

Among the baitfish and bottom feeders were a couple of brown trout, the 19-incher and a smaller specimen of maybe 10 inches.

Humphreys, speaking to the students, said both brown trout were stream-bred, as evidenced by their color, fin development, and general air of health and vigor.

It was a little surprising to find a trout of that size in this stretch of stream, given the lack of rain and overall water temperatures in the Housatonic River watershed that are unfavorable for trout.

The stretch runs parallel to the race track, and quite close (within 30 yards or so). Humphreys said that in the 1950s, the stream was channelized — straightened out, so water would flow through quickly.

There were some surprisingly deep holes. One of the crew members, asked what the water temperature was, said 16 degrees Celsius, which is 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit and well within the comfort level for trout.

After being measured, admired, discussed, photographed and released, the big brown trout scooted upstream, making for the cover of the tree root systems installed this summer by Trout Unlimited as part of an ongoing project to restore the Salmon Kill.

The effort began in 2012 and was funded as part of the natural resource damages assessed to General Electric for the release of PCBs into the Housatonic River Basin.

The tree root systems are exactly what they sound like: uprooted trees arranged and secured along the bank, with the root ends placed directly in the water.

Tracy Brown from TU, who is in charge of the restoration project, said that as water levels rise the stretch will scour itself out, creating deeper areas beneath the roots where fish can hide from predators and enjoy cooler temperatures.

Humphreys asked one of the crew members to “try and guide” the brown back downstream, to the spot where it was caught.

The brown would not cooperate.

“He’s in there somewhere,” said the DEEPster, pointing to the tree roots.

The crew took a few moments to talk to the high school students about their jobs. Three of them were University of Connecticut graduates; all of them had science degrees and were working for DEEP for six months doing technical field work.

“It’s a six-month gig, so if you absolutely hate it, you’re done quickly,” said one of the young men.

That didn’t seem to describe any of the four, however. One said this was his third such job in the two years since he graduated from college, and as far as he was concerned, “I haven’t worked a day.”



Author:  Patrick [Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing

The fever is upon me

Author:  Patrick [Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fishing

The primary hatch on the Housatonic Saturday morning, Oct. 21 was other anglers.

How many can you spot?


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