|A nice December salmon, caught by angler Anthony Lombardo|
The recent Arctic blast put an abrupt end to salmon fishing in Connecticut. It had been productive right up until the changeover. The last salmon I hooked was on Christmas Eve. By Christmas day, it was unbearably cold and the river was on its way to freezing up. Unfortunately, we lost my favorite month of the season this year (October). Despite that, fishing was still good, although we had to resort to late season tactics virtually the whole time. Both guiding and fishing, tubes were the most successful flies for me this season, the best ones being the German Snaelda and the gold body Willie Gunn. Other successful flies were the Ally's Shrimp, Dirty Water Dog, Green Spey, Out to Lunch, Picasse, Golden Shrimp, and Orange HKA Sunray/Bismo. As you can see, mostly tube flies...
|Interesting color, especially for a holdover trout|
The salmon fishing was fun, but the highlight of the season was the number of larger-than-average brown trout in the river this fall. They were a nice bonus and were just as welcome as salmon. The fish pictured above took a big Out to Lunch in high, dirty water. I rested the pool for as long as I could allow, which was only about 30 minutes. I went back at it and caught him again, this time while reeling up a Dirty Water Dog! Based on his color, I suspect he was spawning and highly territorial. He wasn't a wild fish, but still a nice surprise.
Now it's time to tie some flies, clean my gear, and get ready for the March thaw. If recent trends continue, it might be an April thaw this year. In any case, I'll probably hit the Naugatuck again when the time is right. Spring can be very productive some years, so it will be interesting to see what is in store for us in 2018.
On February 3, I will be tying flies at the Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association 48th Annual Expo at Maneely's in South Windsor, Connecticut. I have no plan to tie anything in particular at the moment so, if you have anything you might like to see tied, let me know. You can comment on this post or contact me here. It's a great small show and one not to be missed. Stop buy and say hello!