Month: December 2015

A Late Fall Day Along an Eastern Connecticut Stream

We have been blessed with fantastic weather since summer. However, it has come with a price- little to no water ! We have received some back like my previous blog mentioned, but we are still inches short from what we normally should have. November turned out to be one of our warmest ever on record. And, December has been very mild, too ! I’m not complaining though since it has made for some very comfortable fishing days even on our ” frosty ” mornings.

Yesterday was predicted to be another 50 degree day so I decided to hike and explore some more water on this side of the state to assess the damages from our persistent drought. I went to a stream that is stocked in some sections, and may have had some fingerlings put in at some point, but remains predominantly wild in the majority of it. It doesn’t appear to receive much pressure based upon what little trash I came across. I hope it stays that way. It is a jem of a stream and will do my best to protect it. As you can see, it holds decent size wild fish. I’m glad that they survived the summer  and hope they’ll survive this winter, too. We definitely need to keep chipping away at our drought. Anchor ice is one of the greatest winter threats to a trout stream- especially if it is low and the bitter cold hangs in for weeks at a time like last winter.  Perhaps mother nature will be kind this winter.

Natchaug State Forest

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Low water for sure. This is even after we’ve gotten back a few inches since summer.

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The Trout Park area of the forest is a beautiful place. Although it is heavily fished in terms of ” Eastern CT “, it stays pretty clean of trash. Please keep it that way. Walk out with what you bring in. Better yet take some out with you that someone else carelessly left behind.

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The forest is well marked and has numerous marked trails, too.

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Typical fall stocked rainbow. The state DEEP chose to stock more rainbows than browns this year for better fishing in terms of catching. They felt the browns get too stressed in the fall and last year they received many complaints about poor catch rates.

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This one is probably a holdover from this spring ? It was caught in an area that the state does not stock and migrated to a deeper pool during the summer, probably.

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Above Diana’s Pool. This bedrock gorge area is a nympher’s dream if you can wade and get into position- most of the time its difficult if not dangerous !

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A giant must have walked through here ages ago. I saw that and thought of the movie Jack the Giant Slayer my son loves to watch. When he’s old enough to wade  I’ll have to show him it.

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It always amazes me how rock formations get worn out. How did this start and how long did it take ? We live for only a fragment of time compared to this.

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Again, pockets and pool for the dedicated nympher if you can physically wade it.

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Beautiful plunge pool for rolling the bottom using Joe Humphreys’s deep nymphing techniques.

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I have a hard time and spend a lot of money trying to keep some semblence of a green lawn, yet trees can easily grow in and on rocks…shake my head. Only in nature can it be done !!!

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A future rock busting Hemlock. Whose gonna win ? I hope to live long enough to see.

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A well protected bee hive.

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Woody Woodpecker has been hard at work on this tree…haha…

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This tree is a Giant ! It looks to be a decent climbing one too  with well spaced limbs. Some look too weak for me though.

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A sad sight…no matter how remote, how ” wild ” a place might be you can always find beer cans…everywhere…all the time. I hate it !!!

The Eastern half of Connecticut took a pretty big hit this summer in terms of fishing conditions due in part to our rain deficits and summer temps. Luckily, it wasn’t super hot this year with weeks of extended 90 plus degree days. Despite that fact however, Eastern streams still get punished. Add to the fact that the state DEEP could not restock most of the major river and streams because of low, warm water conditions, only adds to the frustration of Connecticut fisherman living East of the Connecticut River.

Most of my spring and summer months are devoted to guiding and teaching fly fishing on the Farmington River. So when it becomes late fall and throughout the winter, I like to reconnect to my eastern streams. This fall has not been great to say the least. I have caught fish but they have been tough and only in a few select places- which I will not mention here- not to be a jerk or hoarder over it but to protect what little stocks of fish do remain or have returned from places unknown.

One of my favorite places to visit whether I’m fishing or not is the Natchaug State Forest. It is a vast area and beautiful and is one of the only places in Connecticut that reminds me of some remote streams I love to fish in Pennsylvania. When I can’t travel to that beautiful state, I can at least be reminded of it with state forests in Eastern CT., like the Natchaug. The Salmon is another one, too.