We are once again collecting donations to fund our private stockings of trout in 2008 Thanks to all who supported the cause last Fall and this Spring & Fall- it really helped noticeably improve the fishing.



Stock up on your Winter fly tying supplies- we recently got in a big order of tying materials from Wapsi, also Whiting & Metz. I filled in hooks & materials we were out of, and added some new stuff and different colors in various materials. Plenty of Z-lon, Whiting Bugger Packs & 1/2 necks, Arizona Synthetic Peacock dubbing, etc.

Harold is re-designing the website - giving it a new look - his Winter project - the front pages are already evolving and the entire project should be done by spring - looking forward to 2008.

Torrey's free tying class on his Favorite Small Nymphs is going this morning, feel free to jump in even if you cannot make it here by 9AM, it will run until approximately noon or 1PM. We have '08 fishing licenses in stock, don't forget to buy one before venturing out in the New Year. Housy is still somewhat high with adequate visibility- not "ideal" Winter conditions, but fishable along the pool edges with nymphs & streamers if you are itching to get out there. Maybe the milder weather today will get them feeding. Fish slowly & thoroughly. We now carry Atlas snowshoes, and another batch of Crescent Moons arrived last week. Don't forget we also rent. All Filson products in the store are on sale at 25% off, and Columbia fleece, thermals & vests are also on sale at 25% off. Normal flow for today's date is 855cfs, we are at 1,650cfs this morning (down to 1,500cfs at 5PM). In the Winter, remember that the trout are lethargic with water temps in the 30's and not inclined to move much to take your flies- you have to get your nymphs & streamers right in their face to catch them. Fish the good water hard, making many drifts to thoroughly cover it and make sure you get your flies directly in front of them, because they won't move hardly at all to take your fly. Skip the faster water, trout tend to stack up in the pools during Winter. Bounce bottom with egg patterns, scuds, yellow stoneflies, "standards" (Hare's Ear, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Copper John, etc.), and midge patterns. Stick mainly to the late morning/afternoon slot for fishing, when it's mildest and the water is warmest- that's when you will have your best shot at slush free conditions & catching some fish. Sunny days are often the best of all- bigger water temperature increases stimulate the trout to feed. If you like to fish with some elbow room, Winter is great. Nymphs will be your best bet most days, but a slowly fished streamer (swing them with some subtle twitches) can get fish too- try a Slump Buster (a deadly John Barr streamer pattern) on a floating line and a 9' leader, the tungsten conehead should be enough to get you down near the bottom. Milder days will occasionally see fish feeding on Midges on top- the dry fly fishing in Winter is VERY hit or miss, so come prepared to fish subsurface. Ideal conditions for Midge hatches & rising trout are lower flows, milder weather, sunshine & no wind.

Usually, if you experiment with stoneflies, egg patterns, scuds, midge larva/pupa, caddis larva and small to medium "generic" nymphs (Hare's Ears, Princes, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, etc.), you can put the hook in a few fish if you present them properly in the right spots. Fish stack up in the pools this time of year, and you can sometimes really rack them up- I've occasionally had 20-30 fish afternoons when the fish were all podded up in the pools and I was able to figure out exactly where they were laying. It doesn't happen that way a lot, but sometimes it does and it's a beautiful thing! I'd generally be happy to hook a few fish on a "normal" Winter day. Now that the fishing conditions are in "Winter mode", fish the pools and when you hit a fish, cover that spot thoroughly because more often than not, there are others right next to it. If you get cold, stop in the store- the wood stove is always cranked up if you are out fishing and need to come in and warm up. Sunny days will see the biggest temperature increases and often the best trout activity. The fish are there, but expect to work for them- the takes tend to be subtle in the colder water, so be alert and set the hook on ANYTHING suspicious. Focus on the pools- especially fish the slow sides of current seams. Look for drop-offs, and fish around rocks. Good quality polarized glasses are a real asset in reading the water- I virtually never fish without them.

If you are looking for a different kind of fishing, the state stocked the nearby Naugatuck River with large brood stock Atlantic Salmon in October & November- hundreds have gone in. The regulations are fishing with a single hook only, no weight added on your line- weighted flies (lead wire, coneheads, beads), sinking leaders and lines are all okay though. Rules permit keeping one, but I recommend releasing them- I hear they taste like crap, and letting them go will allow many people to enjoy the catching. It helps to get your fly down in the water column a bit when fishing for them, but it is not always necessary to get down to the bottom- if they want your fly, they will usually come up for it. They are often caught on unweighted streamers & floating lines. With Winter here now, you may want to try to fish your streamers near the bottom though. There are many in the 12-15 pound range, and a decent number over 20#, as well as a few OVER 30#- that's right, over 30#. I'm talking big, hook-jawed males with massive kypes and oversize adipose fins- they almost remind me of pictures of big Russian Atlantics. There are also some nice trout present- they did an October stocking. We can send you to where the Salmon are and set you up with the proper flies & gear. I recommend at least a 6 weight rod, and a #7-9 rod would be better. Heavy tippets are the norm (I use 0x flurocarbon), and you want to either do a classic swing that swims your fly broadside across the river (let your line belly), or strip it in like you commonly would for trout- I've caught plenty both ways. Stop in and we'll hook you up.

We stocked 500 good sized Rainbows below the TMA in the Housy on 9/20/07, and 500 more were stocked on 10/18/07- thank you to DEP for issueing us the permits. We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include that section from the Rt 7/Rt 4 Cornwall bridge down to at least North Kent, if not all the way down to the center of Kent. It's going to take a lot of angler support to accomplish this, the DEP seems to have mixed feelings. There is a trememdous amount of ideal trout water in that section, and it would be awesome to see it managed to it's potential.

Fish Species: Trout
Bait Used:
Tackle Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth: Average
Water Temperature: 34 degrees
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:

Do you want to leave a comment? Login or register now to leave a comment.

No comments so far

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.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Harold McMillan