We have learned in the past that it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Flowing through beautiful Litchfield County in northwestern Connecticut the Housatonic River is one of the crown jewels of the Eastern US … We scoured the upper half of the river without marking so much as a dot on the fishfinder. This tends to happen anytime between October and December, depending on the water temperatures. Some time ago, a friend won a guided flyfishing trip for two in the Housatonic River in south county, and he invited me as his guest. I didn’t hold out much hope of finding them still up river. No more topwater action for me for a while. Did you run out of fish or just get outfished? And according to all the reports I’ve been getting from friends, today was the first day since the last time I fished, that there was no topwater bite to speak of. There didn’t seem to be nearly as many bunker left in the river, and the fish certainly weren’t on them like they had been. Only managed one out of that opportunity. Doc cleared me to fish a couple days ago. Most of the river is quickwater and Class I whitewater with long sections of Class II-III whitewater. “Abutments pool” Pull-off on east side of river … But their lack of heft was mitigated by the rampant abandon with which they hit on top. I made it a point to keep the shear line in the current within easy casting range, and just kept casting to it and letting the lure drift with the current. These fish become what are called holdover fish, as they take residence in the river and hold there until spring. Please reply if you know of any place or where they are. Other than a couple late day rallies (see video below) where I caught a bunch of schoolies in short order, I felt like I never really got into them other than one or two fish at a time. Usually by the time December hits, you can find hordes of them from the mouth of the ri… I fished close enough to keep an eye on those birds that were now floating aimlessly in mid-river. And speaking of non-standard paint jobs on fish — the picture at the right is a striper, but I’ll be damned if its coloration and marking patterns don’t say weakfish. Not at all sure I’m ready for sub-freezing temperatures. Housatonic River (TMA) (Sharon-Cornwall) ~18,000 trout stocked annually. Some popular locations are any of the Trophy Carp Waters mentioned earlier, the Housatonic River and its impoundments (Lakes Lillinonah, Lake Zoar, and Lake Housatonic), Aspinook Pond, Hanover Pond, … As good as the fishing had been the previous day, there was no way I was staying home the next day — morning rain followed by heavy fog notwithstanding. The Housatonic River is a favorite of New England fly-fishers, kayakers, and hikers. TC Marine Bait & Tackle We unite to promote good fellowship, to further the art and skills of fly fishing, and to aid in the formulation and establishment of sound policies to conserve, restore and protect the Housatonic River … And then it was over. SHEFFIELD -- The fish was so big that it wouldn't fit through the 8-inch hole drilled into the ice in the Housatonic River. When a generally sluggish fish like a striped bass is sitting around in icy water, it can get even more lethargic. Once the river hits 70 degrees or more look for the bass fishing to improve. Although not the common catch, the river has yielded stripers well into the 30-pound range. Some of the schools in the Housatonic are simply too large to rely on standard structure. Trailer permit required, contact city of Shelton for information. If I worked too far outside the weeds, odds were  good that any bite I managed to get would be long and toothy. Then another. I have looked everywhere. You’ll find a little river history, a little reconnoiter, some trout and smallie basics, and a couple of … I have always stayed east of the Naugatuck, however, until yesterday. I wasn’t seeing much in the way of bunker, but it quickly became obvious that there were still enough around, and they appeared to be what the stripers were most interested in eating. Check. I started at the same spot I’d been catching them at late in the outgoing, but there were comparatively few of them there that morning. Caught about 35 total, between 7:10 and noon, but only 8 or 9 were over about 24 inches. However, with technology like Humminbird’s i-Pilot (which links your trolling motor up to your GPS), you will have a great advantage when it comes to staying on top of the schools. Those who are familiar with river fishing know that structure in a river isn’t always obvious. The birds were back to just floating around the middle of the river, and the few swirls I saw appeared to be from full sized bunker. Leave a comment Posted in Articles and Essays Tagged best flies Housatonic River, Eastern Fly Fishing, fly fishing, fly fishing Housatonic River, Housatonic River smallmouth bass, Housatonic River trout, Housatonic River … I managed a few on the unweighted soft baits, but found I could do much better with a light (3/8 oz) jighead and a 4″ or 5″ Fin-S Fish, rather than the 7″ that’s been my staple for the last 10 days or so. Just about every bite was the kind of deal where I felt a light resistance and had to test it with a little tension to try and figure out whether I was dealing with a fish or a strand or two of vegetation. As the fall run dwindles and the air and water temperatures drop, juvenile striped bass begin to make their way into the Housatonic. The park closes on Septeber 30th but may stay open later for fishing. The size of the jigheads we pair these baits up with varies depending on conditions, but weights from 3/8-ounce to 1-ounce usually do the trick. The last time I fished was the 5th of the month. I tried to force the issue with the big jig. I pushed hard with a topwater plug and the unweighted soft jerkbait, but it wasn’t until I whipped out the Novel 120 jerkbait that I got into some heavyweight action. They got up and headed north, passing right over me on their way to the next fleeting feeding window. Had the fish next to the boat before it decided to dive to bottom one last time, and mentally called it between 38 and 40. Rods? Not gators, but certainly blues big enough to be fun to catch. That’s a slap-yourself-upside-the-head moment, right there. We spent the next four hours hooking up with holdover striped bass up to 35 inches. The Fin-S Fish is a favorite, but Zoom Super Flukes, Slug-Gos and Hogys have all produced fish. We took our time going down, hoping the sonar would pick up some sign of life. Jerkbaits, such as SP Minnows and big swimbaits, have done very well when retrieved around points, eddies, and drop-offs. The production value is pretty low here, but it’s so cool to watch this fish take swing after swing at a fly before finally deciding to kill it. Since 1993, Rob Nicholas (owner & head guide) has been guiding and teaching fly fishing to all skill levels from beginner to expert on both the Housatonic and … Tackle bags? Actually caught my 5th slot on my last cast, a few hundred feet from the ramp. Speaking of flow, tide changes can play a very important role in fishing success on the river. This fish really has none. Weather, flows are perfect. Once the initial run of three or four fish petered out and the fish I was looking at on the Element had either thinned out or disappeared, it didn’t seem to pay off much to keep casting, and I’d go back on the prowl. Enough has been written about the … Winter fishing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who are looking to keep busy during the winter months and avoid a serious case of Northeast cabin fever, the Housatonic River is a great option. Not because of the cold, but because stripers — particularly schoolies, it seems to me — have an awful lot of sharp edges and pointy protuberances, and my hands end up looking like this. Current fly fishing conditions are great! As soon as I was in range, I fired off a long cast, and hooked up almost immediately! Eventually, the big fish jerkbait bite kind of died off, and I switched to a small soft plastic on a light jighead and got a good bite going on that. On Friday, almost every fish much over 20 inches had the tail of a freshly swallowed bunker sticking out of its gullet. A few pickerel, but this trip, not even the toothies were willing to run down a moving bait. Then, as we came around a sharp bend, things took a drastic turn for the better. Not sure the lake does. I wasn’t disappointed by the fishing I got into out in the sound though! View larger Lower Housatonic River fishing map. Required fields are marked *, Copyright © 2020 On The Water, LLC. Surface plugs and plastic baits work well here and bait fishing here with sandworms, Bunker or herring will produce it’s fair share of fish. Updated: April, 2020. Layers are essential to helping you stay comfortable. The Housatonic River has been a major influence on his decision to pursue a career in Fisheries and Aquaculture. We had finally found what we were looking for. Watched a small group of gulls leave an exposed sand bar and fly way out past the bell buoy to join another group that was diving on bait. Trolling motors allow for a silent breach into the schools, which sometimes can be crucial. Shortly thereafter, I couldn’t walk. Compared to Friday’s action, Sunday was a dud. O’Sullivan’s Island It also didn’t raise our spirits that we hadn’t seen another boat in those first few hours. On top of the fog, it must’ve been the start of the commercial oyster fishing season in the Housatonic, as the Oyster Army was out for the first time this fall. Some consider it one of the best streams in the East. At home later, I was in and out of the boat, restocking torn up soft baits, replacing leaders, etc. Hope someone puts your favourite spots on blast. Didn’t mark any fish at all at my best spots close to the ramp, and once I started heading down river, with the oyster army out in full force, I decided to head right for a spot outside the river. That mission was highly successful, we only saw a handful of other fisherman. And for the most part, those hits could best be described as timid. And the fishfinder—my goodness, the fishfinder—it was lit up from top to bottom with that red glow of life. I put the Terrova on high, and headed at them. I was about three cast lengths away from the action, such as it was. I was disappointed, and kind of shocked by how few fish I marked on my way out. Caught some, but the fishing wasn’t anywhere near good enough to keep me in the river for too long. Sunnyside Boat Ramp Much of the river is either class I or class II white waters, however certain portion can get up to class V. Fly Fishing the Houtsatonic River CT. Unfortunately, as the clouds dispersed, the quality of the catch deteriorated pretty quickly, and it became a schoolie-fest kind of day. (203) 513-2786, Captain Ian Devlin If anyone has a special interest about the river; nature, local parks, history, fishing, whatever, and would like to write a web page, please let me know. The next three hours are just a blur of topwater fish catching. By the number of boats south of the Rte 1 bridge, I guessed that was the place to be. 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2020 fishing the housatonic river