White Fly Hatch

2008-08-04 13:42:46
Housatonic River, Connecticut - Freshwater Fishing Report
Cornwall Bridge

Davy Wotton Clinic Nov. 1st & 2nd-

We are bringing Davy back again- his Wet Fly clinic this Spring was excellent, and now we are offering another 2 day clinic, this time focusing on nymphs, streamers & wets. It is looking like we will do one complete day of assorted nymphing techniques- Davy fished competitively in Europe for 15 years and is well versed in all types of nymphing, from indicator to Euro-style (Czech, Polish, Spanish & French). The 2nd day will be a mix of streamers & wets. This clinic will not include any fly tying, but rather will focus on his favorite techniques, his unusual/simple/effective rigging, the best tackle & his favorite flies. We are open to suggestion as far as modifying clinic ideas, he is capable of instructing on any elements having to do with any type of fly fishing. Davy has been a professional fishermen for almost his entire life, and is truly gifted when it comes to fishing. His years of experience and 200+ days on the water guiding each year on the White River system in Arkansas make him uniquely qualified to teach fly fishing, he truly is one of the best out there, period. He has fished in 40 countries and caught wild brown trout out of the White River up to 25+ pounds. The days will run 9AM-5PM & include lunch, cost will be $300 for the entire 2 day clinic.

Doing another shop trip to Montana this year, September 6th-12th, 2008- Torrey will lead this one. Fishing was excellent last year, with fish up to 26" landed by the group, everyone hooked (but not necessarily landed!) fish in the 24" class. You will have options to fish both private & public waters, from Spring Creeks, to Tailwaters, to Freestoners. Pictures from the '07 trip are posted from each of the 5 days of fishing - with some highlights - go to the photo-gallery - and then click on the links at the top of the page to view the fun.

Nymph Clinic with Aaron - 9AM-1PM on August 9th. Response to these clinics has been nothing short of phenomenal. Guide Aaron Jasper (check out his website www.troutpredator.com) will demistify this deadly method of fishing. Master this skill, and you can catch trout almost anywhere with consistency, anytime of year and in conditions ranging from high to low water, water temps from the 30's to upper 60's, whether insects are hatching or not. Aaron fishes 200+ days a year all over the Northeast & beyond, and he will share his hard-won nymph fishing knowledge with clinic attendees. Key points such as leader construction, choosing proper weight amounts & type, strike detection, choosing the right flies, where fish lay under different conditions, choosing proper tackle (rods, lines, weights, flourocarbon, indicators, etc.) and many other important details will all be covered. This is our most popular clinic, we usually fill them. You should come away with the ability to go out and successfully catch trout on nymphs on almost any trout stream all by yourself. Cost is $75, paid in advance, nonrefundable- clinic happens rain or shine. It is part indoors, part outdoors. Bring a pad of paper to take notes, there will be a lot of information that you won't want to forget, including a simple & effective nymph leader formula, one of the keys to success. Also bring your fishing gear so you can put your new skills to use on the river after the clinic.

**************************************** ****************************************

We are selling raffle tickets in the store to raise money for stocking trout in the Housy in '08. Most of our guides have again generously donated their services to sell tickets- it will be $20 to purchase a chance for a guided fishing trip on the Housatonic with one of them. We are also selling tickets for another $1,000 Gift Certificate and a Sage Z-Axis 9' #5 4pc. fly Rod, and our Sage rep Brad Gage is generously donating a Sage Switch rod for the raffle, an 11' #5 Z-Axis, a deadly rod for nymphs, wets & small to medium streamers, it can be both Spey or overhead cast (hence the "Switch" name). ************************************ ************************************* *************************************

Favorite Products for August:

-Sage Bass Rods- We've gotten great reactions from people on these 2 new rods, both in 7'11" and coming in Smallmouth & Largemouth versions. Sage rates them according to grain weights, with the Smallmouth version rated for 290 grains, and the Largemouth is 330. They are designed a little shorter to come in at just under 8' to be legal for bass fishing tournaments and also to be more accurate. Both come with a special line designed specifically for that rod. They cast beautifully and will throw big, bulky flies very accurately into heavy cover. And uncharacteristically for Sage, they are priced at $350 for rod, custom fly line & rod case. Very nice rods, 2 thumbs up.

-Thingamabobbers- this just might be the ultimate strike indicator. Patterned after balloon indicators, it uses trapped air for floatation. High floating, as sensitive as yarn indicators, easier to cast, holds up as much weight as you need, easy to put on & take off, won't cast off. This is my current favorite indicator. 'Nuff said!

-Repel Lemon Eucalypus Insect Repellent Spray- If you are looking for a DEET alternative, something you feel safe putting on your skin or your kids, this is the best natural product on the market. Plant based, it gives you 6 hours of protection. We sell an insane amount of this stuff, people swear by it. Repels both mosquitos & ticks.

-Simms 3XDry clothing products- 3XDry treatment turns ordinary fabric into a high performance, wicking, quicker drying, stain resisttant product. Check out the Guide Shirt, Guide Shorts, and Superlight Zip-Off Pants. All are 3XDry & are perfect for the Summertime. The shirt is 100% cotton, very comfortable, and with the 3XDry it performs like a high-tech synthetic but with the comfort of all cotton. The shorts & pants are both perfect for Summer or tropical wear. Despite the Simms label, all 3 products are quite reasonably priced.

-"Vest Alternatives" from Fishpond & William Joseph- In my opinion, these 2 companies represent the finest choices for those of you who don't like traditional vests. A multitude of choices are available, using clever construction & state of the art fabrics. We are stocked up with all sorts of different options, from small to large, at all different price points. Somewhere on our Wall of Packs is the one for you.

-Simms Sandals- Whether you are looking for wading sandals with felt soles & toe protection, or just a very comfortable general use pair, Simms has you covered. Check out their River Sandals & Deck Sandals, we love 'em, own 'em & wear 'em.

-MonoMaster- this handy little device clips on your vest and quickly rolls up waste tippet & leaders and stores them out of the way to be diposed of later.

-Czech Nymph Leaders from Umpqua- 8 1/2' 4x fluorocarbon with 2 droppers. The quick & easy way to get Czech nymphing- just loop on your line, and tie 2 or 3 flies to the leader, the fluoro droppers are already in place and can be easily replaced due to the construction using micro tippet rings. Non-stretch thin Power Pro superbraid in the upper part of the leader will get you down fast and give you excellent bite detection & hook-sets.

*****************************************

Torrey's books & videos for August:

New Books:

-All The Best, Celebrating Lefty Kreh- This new release chronicles the amazing life of Lefty Kreh, surely the most famous fly fisherman in the United States, if not the world. Much of it was written by Flip Pallot ("Walker's Cay Chronicles), but there are numerous contributions by a whole slew of other angling luminaries. Lots of pix from his boyhood through current times, along with many, many entertaining stories, and even some commentary from Lefty himself. The man has had an incredible life, and this book is a fascinating read. If you are a fan of Lefty, you will love this book.

-Fool's Paradise, by John Gierach- Here's his latest book for all you fans, 211 pages of carefully crafted words. Enjoy his unique wit & wisdom as he chronicles his life of fishing and his philosphy of life.

-Basic Stream Flies- Shows you how to cover the maximum number of situations with the minimum number of flies. 28 patterns are shown, with basic fly info, when to fish it, types of water it works best in, how to rig it, how to fish it, and detailed tying and instuctions. Includes variations to cover different colors & species using the same style patterns. Spiral bound to lay flat on your tying bench. Just like Thoreau said, "Simplify, simplify".

-A Fisherman's Bible for the Farmington River- Author Pete Chadziewicz is a CT native who has fished the Farmington since he was a kid. This all color book covers over 100 different spots, giving you access info (including GPS coordinates), rates fishing pressure & wadeability, shows deep spots/shallow spots, and has pictures of the spots with reference to the location & angle it was shot from. Several hatch/fly charts are included, as well as a fishing tip on almost every page. If you want to expand your knowledge of the river and places to fish, this is an excellent resource.

-Czech Nymph- There's been an explosion of American interest in this short line nymphing technique that the Europeans (Czechs & Poles esp.) have been using to kick everyones' butts in International Fly Fishing Competition. This is the 1st book translated into English, and it covers all facets you need to know, and includes about 150 nymph patterns, tackle, tying the special flies/choosing hooks, leader construction (quite different than what we are used to), fishing techniques, strike detection, etc. If you wanna know all about Czech nymphing, this is THE book, period.

-3 Self Published books by John Mordock- "Capturing Rogue Trout", "A Fly Fisherman's Guide to Catskill Coldwater Streams and Ponds", and "Northeast Trout, Salmon, & Steelhead Streams". John is an out of the box thinker who has fished extensively through the Northeast (esp. the Catskills), out West, and in Canada. His books are an interesting combination of scientific/biological facts, fishery data, anecdotes, fishing methods/techniques, and personal experience/opinions. I particularly like his "Capturing Rogue Trout" book, partly 'cuz it has a bunch of my pictures in it! It covers methods, flies, places & seasons when/where you have a shot at catching bigger trout (16-20" plus) out of normal trout streams. The Catskill book is chock full of interesting & useful info, and the Northeast Trout, Salmon, & Steelhead book is just a fascinating read about rivers in our backyard- it even includes a chapter on the Housy.

-Fly-Fishing Guide to Upper Delaware River, by Paul Weamer- This is the most thorough, well done and comprehensive book I've seen on the Delaware. Weamer is a former managing partner of Border Waters Outfitters fly shop on the river, and has also had articles in Fly Fisherman and other publications. He is a fly designer for Montana Fly Company, and best known for his Truform series of hatch matching patterns. This book covers the entire fishery- the Main Stem, East and West Branches. Access (difficult if you don't know it), hatches and fly patterns, seasons, places to stay and eat, fly shops and guide services, shuttle and river flow info, nymph/dry fly/wet fly/streamer/night fishing strategies, equipment, etc., it's all in there. It would be relatively easy to plan a successful trip using this book as a resource, and if you haven't been there the pictures will make you want to go! Excellent book.

Favorite Books:

-Caddisflies, by Gary LaFontaine- still the all-time classic piece on Caddis in my opinion, this book is a plethora of information and a fantastic reference, I often find myself pulling it out to look something up. Remember too, Gary grew up & lived in CT before he moved to MT, so much of what he learned & the data presented was gleaned from his experiences in CT. All his books should be in a serious flyfisher's library. One of my favorites.

Bestsellers:

-Essential Trout Flies, by Dave Hughes- When prolific author and magazine editor (FF & Tying Journal) Dave Hughes puts pen to paper, it's always worth reading. Excellent book that will help you systematically create & tie a core collection of universal trout flies. Dave shows you how to take an organized approach to tying & filling your fly boxes with some great patterns that work almost everywhere. This book is a steady seller in the shop, and I highly recommend it. Dave's approach will make sure you have the right patterns and uncluttered fly boxes.

DVD's:

-European Nymphing, with Jack Dennis & Vladi- There is a strong & growing interest in the European style of nymphing, those guys kick ass during international competitions. Weighted flies on dropper(s), no indicator, and relatively short casts are all typically part of this deadly system of nymphing. This DVD covers several styles- Polish, Spanish & French. Vladi from Poland, the "Father" of Polish/Czech style nymphing, put this technique on the map in competition, easily outscoring entire teams all by himself. He demonstrates the Polish technique, as well as ties Polish woven nymphs and his deadly "Vladi Worm", aka the "Polish Condom Worm". The host of this DVD is Jack Dennis, coach of Team USA. French, Italian & Portuguese fly tyers also show you how to tie some of their personal favorites. If you master some of the techniques presented, you wil find yourself detecting way more strikes (indicators miss many) and hooking a lot more fish.

************************************ ************************************

Monday Weather:

58 degrees & sunny this morning, some sunshine with a modest chance of an isolated T-storm or two today. Long range forecast: highs mid 70's/low 80's, with lows in the upper 50's/low 60's.

*************************************** *****************************************

************************************

************************************

I have created a foundation for the Housatonic, a 501c3 - and all your donations will now be tax deductible - I will post more info later on. We are once again collecting donations to fund our private stockings of trout in 2008, for the Inner City Program of "No Child Left Inside", and also for conservation projects on the Housatonic. Thanks to all who supported the cause last year- it really helped noticeably improve the fishing. Also thanks to those who have donated already in 2008.

************************************

MONDAY RIVER REPORT:

White Fly Hatch has started

Summer Sale- Summer clothing such as shorts & sandals on sale at 25-40% off. Other select clothing items from Columbia & Woolrich on sale at 40% off.

We showed several dozen 5-12 year old inner city kids from Hartford what fly fishing was about in Housatonic Meadows Park on Wednesday 7/30, and through your donations to our non-profit Friends of the Housatonic, we sent them all home with rods & reels- this was all done in conjuction with the DEP's No Child Left Inside Program. Eveyone involved had fun, from the kids to all the volunteers. A special thanks to Vicki & Dan from Smokin' Barbeque for providing luncy for the kids, and to volunteers from HRO, TU & the DEP.

Had a great time in Alaska - Big Rainbows and Sockeye - some pics are posted on the destination page - there will be more to come and some digital videos - we are heading back next year on Sept 7th. The White Fly Hatch is on - Streamer sent me a pic last night - our very own summer Blizzard - and with the water temps lower than normal - it should be a mixed bag of trout and bass - it has been several years since we have had this nice of conditions for the hatch - come up and view the summer blizzard. Personally, I like to fish a double rig - big wulff tied to 3x and a white spinner as a dropper on 4x - you never know when the whopper is going to suck in that white fly. While I understand that areas South of here got nailed with rain, we only got a little bit and in fact the flow continues to drop, almost another 100cfs since yesterday. With a clarity of 3 feet or better and moderate, very fishable flows, we are looking very good for today. Didn't get a chance to take water temps this morning, but yesterday they were at 70, so we should be looking at upper 60's this morning after the cool night we just had- you can start thinking trout again these temps. And the long range forecast is for cooler weather, with highs in the mid 70's to low 80's, and lows dipping into the 50's. The White Flies should pop any day now, and this is looking like one of those years we will be able to fish trout during the hatch! In years past, the hatch was typically an early/mid August affair, but he last 3 years it started in last July- looks like we are back to a normal hatching schedule for the White Flies. These are just about as good conditions as you can get for getting trout during the hatch- medium water level, good clarity, and water temps in the 60's. August is also a prime month for Housy Smallmouth- with the cooler temps, the bass fishing may actually be better as the day progresses and the water temps rise a little. Still no White Flies, but we are checking every day and expect them at any moment- I will update again today if I find out anything new. The hatch is truly a sight to see, even if you don't fish it, it's spectacular in the sheer numbers of bugs that hatch & fall all at once. Sort of looks like a snowstorm flying upstream. The local brooks & small streams are all fishable, with water temps on most doable for trout- Furnace, Macedonia & the Blackberry. Don't forget about some of the really good pond fishing in the area for Largemouth Bass- Mudge Pond, East & West Twin Lakes, Lakeville Lake, Mohawk Pond, etc. Ideally you need some kind of boat (canoe, kayak, pontoon, etc.) to fish these effectively.

When conditions are right and the bite is on, you can rack up big numbers of bass on the Housy, probably more than just about any other smallmouth river I've ever heard of. Quite a few comments this season that the bass seem to be bigger than ever on average, I imagine Natural Flow has something to do with this- they seem to be really thriving since it was implemented. Pike have been a bit fickle lately, but having been mixing in the catches here and there. My favorite ways to catch bass are throwing big streamers (love the hard hits & ability to cover a lot of water fast), fishing crayfish patterns and nymphing with big stuff, or fishing topwater with poppers & other bass bugs. For smallmouth, usually there is no need to get up early, in fact they often fish better from late morning to early evening, when water temps are at their highest. This is the perfect time of year to drift the upper and lower sections for pike, carp and smallmouth - a big pike or carp puts a big bend in the flyrod

Fish Species: Trout, Bass and Pike
Bait Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth:
Water Temperature:
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:


About The Author: Captain Harold McMillan

Company: Housatonic River Outfitters, Inc.

Area Reporting: Housatonic River and Farmington River

Bio: New Englands Flyfishing and Outdoor Resource - We guide on the Housatonic and Farmington Rivers and the most experienced guides in the Northwest Corner.

860-672-1010
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Harold McMillan