Summer Fly Fishing in Eastern CT 2017

Well it has been awhile since I last posted something. I have been busy with work, guiding, and providing casting and/or fly-fishing lessons. Of course, I still need my own fishing time, too !

This summer has been unique in the sense that it has not been typical of the previous few summers. We have been getting regular shots of rain and despite some 90 degree days, most of the summer has not been that hot and our nights last week dropped into the 50’s. As a result, rivers like the Willimantic, Natchaug, and Salmon, have been under 70 degrees. I fished the Willy this past Saturday and it was 66 degrees at 6 pm. Two friends of mine obtained reading in the lower 60’s in the mornings and early afternoons on the Natchaug and Salmon respectively . So, you may still be able to catch a trout or two if you play your cards right and search out trout holding water and follow the thermometer.

However, this blog is going to be about what to do when you don’t live 15 minutes  from the Farmington and you are faced with low water and/or warm water temperatures.

2015-04-19 11.02.24

First off, like I said previously, follow the thermometer ! You might find a spring seep or discover that a tributary running into river or stream is cold enough to support a lone trout or two seeking refuge from warmer temps of the main body. I personally wouldn’t specifically target these fish but I would keep that as a future reference as to where fish might migrate to. Last year’s drought seemed devastating until I started fishing small brooks and streams again in the eastern part of the state and discovered that wild trout were able to find these areas and survive.


This wild brown survived by holding up in the deepest hole(S) of a stream until we started getting water back. As you can tell it is fairly large, chunky and healthy.

Unfortunately, most of our Eastern CT streams are much more marginal and do not support such a healthy  wild fish. I fished one of these rivers today after helping a friend out with some casting lessons.

This particular stream was already 70 degrees by 1 pm so it was an ominous sign that I would not be fishing for trout even though it was in a stocked section and I’m pretty certain taht it is not heavily fished on a regular basis ( I hardly ever see any garbage ).

So, what do you do ?

My suggestion is to fish the river or stream anyway and practice your trout tactics on the other abundant species that will readily hit your flies like: sunfish, fall fish , shiners, and dace. I fished for an hour or so today and caught countless amount of fish. Yeah, they are only the size of my palm or smaller but nothing sharpens your nymphing skills on what a subtle ” take ” looks like than to have your nymphs repeatedly marauded by pesky little fish. 20170731_133509

I like to nymph traditionally without any sighters or strike indicators and when I can’t get to the Farmington, I go to one of these streams and nymph small patterns. A simple green weenie, hare’s ear, or crude tiny minnow pattern is all that you need. Or, use those flies you tied this past winter that didn’t make the grade. They all will work just fine !


Practice tucking those nymphs to the top of the run…work your way up through it and use a down-and-upper. Get those casts down pat on a stream in complete solitude so when you do get to great trout fishery you aren’t rusty. Don’t wait until you get to the Farmington or another reputable trout stream/river to ” get the kinks out ” and blow your chances on wise holdover or wild browns. Take the opportunity to practice in your own backyard to work on this stuff !


Work on your wet fly techniques…maintaining line control, keeping a good rod angle, controlling drag, and getting risky by casting tight to the bank or under obstructions.


Your day will be filled with catching fish after fish after fish…and…your will legitimately be able to say that you caught ” 40..50..100  fish in a day ” and it  NOT BE A FISH TALE !


Plus, it is a good way to find out what various types of species are in a system. And while you are fishing you just might find that lone, rogue trout that has survived against all odds! FYI, I did not fish for this trout and left him alone!!

So, don’t waste the rest of this summer waiting until you are able to travel to a place like the Farmington to use your ” trout ” tactics and hit up your local stream and practice…practice…practice ! I promise you it will be a blast !

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