Good Friday 2017 and the Joy of a Smaller River

It was supposed to be raining. So imagine my surprise when Good Friday turned out to be a blue sky day, with temps in the 60’s. Spring had finally arrived in Connecticut.

spring in ConnecticutErrands kept me busy for most of the morning, but my plan was to spend the day chasing my first trout of 2017.

Recent work and personal commitments left me with little free time. I am way overdue for some time on the water. The real decision was where to go.

The Housatonic is still too high, and the Farmington would be undoubtedly busy, so I chose the Naugatuck.

The Naugatuck is located between the two larger, more well known rivers. It is easily accessible and typically has lower traffic. Like other Connecticut rivers, it has a history of abuse. Today it is healthy enough to hold trout, at least through the spring. For a brief history of the Naugatuck River, click here.

This morning I decided to fish one of my barn find fly rods, an 8′ 6″ South Bend Black Beauty. The label says graphite, but it looks and fishes like glass. The end cap was missing when I got it, so I replaced it with a champagne-style cork pulled from a bottle of Red Truck wine, a favorite of the rod’s last owner. Complete with foam rubber grip and plastic seat, it is probably worth less than the PVC rod tube where it is stored.

Red Truck wine, barn find fly rod, fly rod repair, fly rod end cap, fly fishing

Arriving at the river, I parked downstream of the area that is normally stocked. It was surprising to find one angler in my desired spot fishing wet flies.

I walked a distance downstream and waded in.  Within a few minutes he left, so I quickly moved upstream. Nothing was rising so I tied on a woolly bugger and began to search for a tug, hoping to find a meat-hungry trout. After about a half dozen casts, I knew I was right. The rainbow below eagerly devoured the streamer, put a healthy bend in the rod and peeled off line 3 times before permitting me to land it in the net.

Naugatuck River, Rainbow Trout, streamers, woolly bugger

A few more strips in the area yielded nothing, so I switched to nymphs unsuccessfully. I tried a few other spots, but was unable to land another one. After an hour I packed up my gear and headed off for a hike, happy that the catch of the day made it a Good Friday.

Happy Easter to All. Enjoy!

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