Sunday, November 28, 2010

Transition Trout

In late fall every year there is a few-week span between putting my saltwater gear away and drilling holes through the ice. One of my favorite ways to fill this void is by casting for trout and walleye along the Saugatuck Reservoir in southwestern Connecticut. This is the first year in many that I dropped the ball and didn't get my seasonal reservoir pass. Instead I have been keeping busy fly fishing on the Farmington River. Aaron and I spent a good part of our Saturday there nymphing and throwing streamers. It wasn't lock and load, yet we manged to put a handful trout in the net using small nymph patterns. A few of the brown trout had all the signs of stream-born specimen, which is always nice to see. I am enjoying my time on the river, but it won't be long before Old Man Winter has a firm grip on New England and ice season starts in earnest. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Late Season Stripes

I recently had the pleasure of fishing with Captain Chris Elser, a big bass specialist with over 40 years experience in the western Sound. We launched right at the start of the outgoing tide during a morning window between rain storms. There was zero wind; perfect conditions for the fly rod. Not far from the launch we spotted birds working a patch of water where schoolie stripers were crashing on small baitfish. The fish finder was lit up for the next hour. White flatwings fooled several stripers under two-feet in length and one of keeper size was lost right at the boat. We tried culling out some bigger fish with large soft plastic baits and top-water plugs, but nobody was home. I had a bite taken out of a 14-inch pink Hogy so there's at least one bluefish still hanging around. It was a fun few hours to say the least and it felt great connecting with bass on the fly again. It's not quite over out there yet and don't rule out a late push of migratory stripers gorging on sea herring before ice season kicks in.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stalking Salmon

A unique fishery takes center stage for many anglers each fall when DEEP's Inland Fisheries Division releases Atlantic salmon into designated Connecticut waterways. These surplus broodstock salmon, sometimes surpassing 20 pounds, are stocked after doing their duty for the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program. I don't take advantage of this opportunity enough, but with a sun-soaked fall day, perfect for spotting salmon, friends and I made the run up Route 8 to give it a shot. Below are some photographs from a recent fly fishing recent trip on the Naugatuck River.

Photo credit: Tommy Baranowski

Photo credit: Aaron Swanson

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Autumn Browns

Friends and I just enjoyed a picture perfect fall day on the Farmington River. It felt great to be casting for trout again after a long lay off. The morning was crisp and a little on the windy side, but it turned into a stellar indian summer afternoon. The river was at a fine flow and crowds were light. We connected with quite a few cooperative fish on various egg patterns and small pheasant tail nymphs. Of course the outing's best trout broke free, but a some quality holdover browns found their way into the net. With great fishing and friends and a few cigars thrown in, it was a hell of a day.
Photo credit: Derrick Kirkpatrick

Photo credit: Derrick Kirkpatrick

Photo credit: Aaron Swanson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trout Bums

Fishing buddies of mine just returned home from a road trip to Great Lake tributaries in New York and Pennsylvania. I made this voyage one fall a few years ago, but these guys have things down to a science now. The scene up there is not for everyone, yet the catching can be epic. Their video got my blood pumping pretty good and I'm looking forward to getting back on the wagon next fall.