Going to Alaska - Most of the fishing out of Alaska Rainbow Point Lodge is done on the lodge's "home waters" - the Upper and Lower sections of the Copper River, and the Gibraltar River. With the use of the lodge's Cessna 206 float plane, you can also access rivers that include the New Halen, Talarik, Kvichak, Nushagak, Mulchatna, Moraine, Funnel, Battle, American, Kamishak, Amakadori, and the "Cone."

Sunday, July 27 Arrive Anchorage, AK overnight

Monday, July 28 Depart Anchorage for Iliamna, AK on early morning flight, transfer to Alaska Rainbow Point Lodge FULL day of fishing

Tuesday, July 29 FULL day of fishing

Wednesday, July 30 FULL day of fishing

Thursday, July 31 FULL day of fishing

Friday, August 1 FULL day of fishing

Saturday, August day of fishing

departure for Iliamna to Anchorage overnight or late flight back to origination point. Price $6795.00 - Only a couple of spots left.

Doing another shop trip to Montana this year. Harold took a group to MT in Sept '07 - pictures are posted from each of the 5 days - with some highlights - go to the photo-gallery - and then click on the links at the top of the page to view the fun. Torrey is leading a group there this Summer - Early September 2008 Sept 6th - thru Sept 12th.

We are scheduling a Spey Casting Clinic with Andre Scholz on May 24th from 10AM-4PM- Price is $100- give us a call or email and we will sign you up. Andre is working with Winston now, and he is a top Speycaster and apparently one hell of a presenter, showman & teacher.

Nymph Clinic with Aaron on Saturday, June 7th at 9AM- still some openings. Response to these clinics has been nothing short of phenomenal. Guide Aaron Jasper (check out his website 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.

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We will be 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 May:

-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.

- Rio Gold High Performance Trout Line- I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this line, not a single complaint or disappointment- that NEVER happens. I've always liked the innovative and unique tapers Rio has come up with over the years, and this is their premier line. New taper makes it versatile at all distances & with different action rods, load well on short casts, gives great "loop stability" at distance, and handle a range of flies from big to small. Their new XS technology ("Extreme Slickness") takes slickness & dirt repellency to a new level, improving shooting, floatation and durability. Extremely high floating proprietary SFT ("Super Floatation Technology") tip with a welded front loop. I cast this line recently, and it is truly very slick and dirt repellent- at least equal to the Sci Angler AST lines. The one I tried had been cast & fished for a few months already, yet it still performed like it was new out of the box, even though it had never been cleaned. Gotta like low maintenance lines- more time fishing, less time fussing.

-Simms G3 Wader- new version- Truly new & improved, in my opinion this wader represents the best blend of high performace versus price. They recently revised the G3 wader, both dropping the price from $449.95 down to $399.95, as well as significantly improving the product. From the upper thigh down, it shares the same exact construction as the $700 G4 wader- seams moved to front & rear for durability, softer fabric, improved membrane (more breatheable, durable & lighter). Up top you still have the great fleece lined handwarmer pocket, a godsend on colder days. A better wader at a lower price, what more could you want?

-Whiting Bird Fur- Sort of like a cross between webby saddle, marabou and pheasant rump, Bird Fur was originally developed for Spey Flies, but it ties fantastic streamers & leeches. Incredible action in the water, and quite durable. We now have a full array of colors in this relatively inexpensive tying material. It uses are only limited by your imagination- makes a deadly streamer for trout & bass.

-Lamson Konic Reel- This new series is arguably the world's best low $100 range fly reel. It shares the EXACT same sealed & machined conical drag system as the Waterworks/Lamson $400+ reels- in my opinion the best drag system out there, bar none. The difference is the reel frame & spool are die cast- they are Pressure Cast (as opposed to gravity fed) out of aluminum alloy- this produces a stronger product with less porosity than typical die casting does. Finish is anodized and then coated with polyurethane, making a gouge & abrasion resistant finish. The end result is a high performance, good looking reel for a little over $100- now that's a bargain. Currently the #1.5 & 2 are available, covering line weights #3-6. Bigger ones will be available in mid to late March.

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Torrey's books & videos for May:

New Books:

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 for Striped Bass- Author Rich Murray is a well respected hardcore striper addict who is self taught and known both for designing original, deadly flies, and also catching trophy Stripers in the surf. An engineer by trade, he has applied his inquisitive mind to deceiving Striped Bass on the fly rod, and he's very, very good at it. This book is in the Masters on the Fly Series, so you know it is both beautiful and extremely well done. There has never been a more thorough book on the subject- cover to cover it's way over 1" thick. Murray doesn't own a boat, and he will show you how to catch BIG bass from the shoreline, under all types of conditions. I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you want to find more success with Stripers.

-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 4 styles- Czech, 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.

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Thursday Weather:

45 degrees and cloudy this morning, high 56, low 42, chance of showers early becoming intermittent later. Long range forecast: highs 60's-70's, lows 40's-50's.

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Our customer & friend Nick Daifotis has again generously offered to match all money raised for our new non-profit organization, whether through a donation or a raffle ticket purchased for 2008 - anotherwards, for every dollar we receive, he will match it, dollar for dollar, up to $3,000- thanks again Nick! ************************************

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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.

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THURSDAY RIVER REPORT:

We privately stocked 1,000 plump 15" Rainbow Trout below the upper TMA on 4/2/08- thanks to all who donated money & purchased raffle tickets to support it. Now that the season has opened, you can have at 'em. Make sure not to use too light of a tippet, because they are fat & strong. We strongly encourage you to release these fish so others can enjoy them, and also to allow them to hold over and get even bigger. Maybe sometime in the not too distant future the DEP will manage & stock that section of the Housy as a Catch & Release Trout Management Area? I hope so.

Our next Nymph Clinic with Aaron is Saturday, June 7th at 9AM- there are still a few open slots.

Housy water level & clarity remain excellent, and the weather forecast for Friday thru Monday is just about perfect, with highs in the 60's-70's and no rain in sight. The milder weather (finally) combined with nice flows should have fish feeding on top for the weekend. We are starting to enter the "Spring Smorgasboard" of hatches- Tuesday, in addition to assorted Caddis, I also saw Grey Foxes/March Browns, Vitreus (a sort of #14 Sulfur) and small Olives. There were some fish on top yesterday afternoon right before a brief thunderstorm passed thru, and then that seemed to put them down. The Housy fished well for me & Mandy Tuesday, with a mix of everything- recent stockers, several holdover browns, a couple big fat 'Bows, and she landed a Tiger Trout (dunno where that one came from). I watched Danny Marino catch several fish too, including a nice, fat rainbow. He is turning into quite the Czech nympher. Conditions are looking excellent for Memorial Day Weekend - We are having a big tent sale Saturday and Sunday. Some really nice fish were landed recently- a 22" brown on a nymph, and some other nice 18-20"+ holdover browns & bows were landed. Some pig Rainbows have been hooked & lost, they are fighting so hard they are almost unlandable. It's great to see them holding over & growing rapidly, they do extremely well in the Housy and it's fertile waters.

Congrats to local teeneager Danny Marino- he made the Youth Fly Fishing Team USA and will be competing in Portugal this Summer representing our country. We will be doing some sort of raffle with him to help raise the money he needs to fund that trip. He also had a great afternoon last Wednesday, landing quite a few fish and Czech nymphing up a 22" holdover brown out of the Housy- I saw the pix, it was an impressive trout. And then he followed that catch up with a 20" Bow on Thursday. Said he lost 2 other 20"+ fish too. While the Rainbows have been the majority of the bigger fish so far this season, there have been some very nice holdover browns landed, and my friends have moved and hooked some whoppers on streamers. Now that we are getting into prime time with the hatches, expect to see more holdovers show up in angler caches. Late May thru mid June can be crazy with multiple hatches going on simultaneously. Caddis are still the main hatch, with both Tan Caddis & the olive/green ones too. Fish those pupa & larva, esp. in the mid to late mornings. The adults egg lay in the evenings. Take advantage of this beautiful window of opportunity on the Housy, you never know when Mother Nature will slam it shut. Caddis have been the main hatch of late- Tan Caddis average #14-16, and some will darken up to a brownish body while retaining the tan wings. The Green/Olive Caddis average about a #16, but can run #14-18. Quite a few of the 'Bows we stocked below the TMA have worked up into it already, and some bigger ones have held over from the stockings in '07 &'08- you will know it if you hook one of those, they've been snapping 4x tippets pretty regularly on the nymphers- consider beefing up to 3x in the fast water, esp. with bigger nymphs.

We are trying to get the state to start stocking more and bigger fish to improve the fishery as they have done on the Farmington and the Naugatuck - they stocked 9000 trout on April 25th - but the bulk of these were 6-9 inch yearlings and will become food for every predator in the river - our holdover rates have decreased from 40% to 18% and I firmly believe it is because they continue to stock these smaller fish. It has been years since we have seen large numbers of holdover fish rising in each pool. In addition - the DEP has discontinued stocking the 4 miles of TMA above Push-em-up pool. Some of this water is superb trout water and the arbitrary decision to stop stocking 4 miles of TMA is not making me a happy camper - just imagine if they did this on the Farmington River - there would be an uproar - but here - I and a few landowners are the only ones fighting to get them to return stocking of trout to the entire TMA.

We stocked 1,000 fat 15" Rainbows below the TMA early this April, plus 2,000 went in last year between the Spring & Fall- there is a good mix of recently stocked & holdover 'Bows down there, as well as some nice holdover Browns mixed in too.

Our Davy Wotton Wet Fly clinic was a resounding success, we were all BLOWN AWAY by Davy's tying & fishing abilities, he was truly amazing- even Aaron was totally impressed! Some deadly wet flies were learned & tied, patterns developed and proved for hundreds of years over wild European brown trout. 3 fly "casts", leader rigging, presentation from upstream to across to downstream were all covered, as well as how to properly dance your top fly on the water. These are some neat, highly effective techniques rarely employed by American anglers. If you stop in the shop, I'd be happy to set you up to tie some of these patterns, and advise you on the proper rods, lines & leader set-ups to fish them. If you missed the clinic or need a "refresher", I have plenty of copies of his 2 hour DVD "Wet Fly Ways"- it's excellent. For those of you who might be interested, I (Torrey) am going to try to set up a trip down to the White River system in Arkansas to stay & fish with Davy this Fall- he guides 200+ days a year down there, and has a small lodging facility. Call and ask to speak with Torrey if you are interested- 860-672-1010, the date isn't set yet but will be somewhere between September & November.

We are trying to get the DEP to extend the TMA to include the section of the Housy 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.

Check out the pictures on the website from the shop MT trip in September '07- check out some of the big fish caught on both public and private water. Click on Photo Gallery under River Reports, and you will see the link. If the pictures from the trip have caught your attention, Torrey will be leading a trip to the same place during the same week next year- call us to sign up for it at 860-672-1010. This trip produced numerous trout over 20" in beautiful, uncrowded settings. Everyone on the trip hooked into (but not necessarily landed!) trout up to the 2 foot range and beyond, with fish over 26" landed.

If any of you see fishermen violating the regulations on the Housatonic (keeping trout in the C&R area, spin fishing in the fly zone, keeping more than their limit, fishing thermal refuges, etc.), please call the DEP Turn in Poachers hotline at 860-424-3333 and report it or call the store and we will report it. Even if they cannot get an officer there in time, every violation we document can help us to get a designated conservation officer on the Housatonic in the future. They keep track of the statistics, and if there is enough of a need, we hope to eventually get someone regularly patrolling the river from April to October, when it is fished the most. Poaching has started to become a huge problem, two years ago we started to see a lot of fishermen keeping trout illegally, and taking over their limit of bass- most don't even have fishing licenses. Last year was the most poaching I've seen here by far, and it would be a shame to see damage to the great fishery we currently have going. I'm routinely seeing & hearing about people taking trout out of the Park, Cellar Hole, Dun Rollin', Horse Hole, Shear Hole, and Push-Em-Up, among others- usually they are spin fishing with bait or using hand lines. Some people are fishing illegally out of ignorance, but many know what they are doing and will "play dumb" when confronted. The whole C&R area is clearly marked with multiple signs. Please do your part and report any violations you see. Thanks, it all helps in the long run.

A note on etiquette. In recent seasons, we are seeing more and more fishermen who crowd others and do not seem to be aware of proper etiquette. Nobody likes it when they have a big chunk of water to themselves and somebody steps in 20-30 feet away, and starts casting to the fish they are working on. When you approach a piece of water that another fisherman is occupying, ask yourself how far you would want someone to stay away if you were there first- try to stay at least a cast and a half away if possible. And DO NOT EVER throw to the same fish or water that another person is fishing, even if you can reach it. That is a HUGE no-no, do not be surprised if you get yelled at or get your ass kicked if you do that to someone- I'll have no sympathy for you. The Housy is a big river, and there is plenty of water for people to fish, even on a popular weekend. If the spot you want to fish is occupied, don't crowd that person, just go elsewhere. Believe me, there are TONS of fish (and big ones) all over the upper and lower TMA's, and outside of them also. Don't fish Corner Hole, Sand Hole, Cellar Hole, etc. on a busy Saturday at prime time and expect to have solitude- the easy access spots almost always hold the most fishermen. The Upper TMA is somewhere in the vicinity of 10 miles or so, and the lower one is about 2.5 miles, giving us all plenty of water to spread the pressure out in. Just make sure to practice courtesy and common sense, and treat other fishermen as you would like to be treated, and it will be a better experience for everyone.

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Lost and Found:

Housatonic River Outfitters- Donates more than 1% of Gross Sales to Environmental Causes, Youth Organizations,Women's Groups, Local Charities and other Non-profit agencies

Fish Species: Trout
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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