02/05/09 Fly Fishing The Housatonic River, Connecticut
Note: I will move on and try to quickly cover some more streams that we have fished in the Northeast and Mid-westerns states. It will be short and quick because, starting near the end of this month, depending on the weather, I will be writing a daily article on conditions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with our advise on fishing the streams. By the way, I have written about many streams in the Northwestern Rocky Mountains in our Yellowstone Site. Currently I am writing about the streams in Yellowstone Park. Please check these articles out.
Housatonic River: The Housatonic River located in western Connecticut is a tailwater that is considered one of the best trout streams in the eastern United States by some anglers. It is a nice looking river that does provide good fishing but I could not say that it is one of the best in the East simply because it is stocked. There are a lot of holdover fish, assuming the water is controlled to the benefit of the trout. I know they have had problems over the years with the discharges. I do not mean this in anyway to degrade the stream. It is just that I will never rate any stream that is stocked over those with a decent amount of natural reproduction.
This is a 10-12 mile long tailwater. One thing I do like about it is the fact that it does have a lot of hatches. For a tailwater, it has about as many different species as we have run across anywhere in the country. We are working on a hatch chart for it now for our Perfect Fly website. The trout are not selective, but they will concentrate on the most available and easiest to acquire food.
The stream is located near the little town of Cornwall, Connecticut. It is located in beautiful country unlike what many may expect in such a highly populated area. Most of the stream is fairly easy to wade although the upper section is made up of a lot of long pools of slower moving water with short sections of riffles and a few runs between them. I should also note that it can be dangerous to wade. Downstream of the bridge in West Cornwall, the river consist of fast, pocket water with lots of runs and riffles.
The bottom in the upper area contains a lot of silt which accounts for the fact it has some burrowing mayflies. Green Drakes hatch during May and is considered one of the stream's better hatches. The faster sections of the river contain the clingers or insects that prefer the fast water such as March Browns. The stream has a huge number of different species of caddisflies.
We fished this river for two days and did well catch wise both days. We didn't get any real large fish but we managed to catch about 15 trout a day. We caught them during early June using a variety of flies, both dry and nymphs. Many of them came from the nice, large run you see in this picture.