When it comes to local fishing, most of the time I travel almost an hour to the Farmington or Housatonic. Both of these rivers are regional favorites and hold a lot of large fish, courtesy of Connecticut hatcheries. On occasion I’ll visit the Naugatuck, a smaller river that can be rewarding certain times of year. It also gets stocked with trout in the spring, then salmon in the fall.
Today I decided to save the driving time and waded a local stream just 3 miles from my home. Although it runs along a well-traveled road, it’s rather small, not easily accessible, and disguised in the colors of summer foliage.
It turned out to be exactly what you’d hope for in a small stream – a series of runs, riffles and pools, most found under canopied tree cover.
While one or two areas may be waist-deep, most barely reach your knee. I wore half-waders, but they hardly saw any action. In fact, my feet were rarely wet. Most casting was done from the shore in order not to spook the pool.
The river runs for miles, but I fished a section of less than 100 yards for about 90 minutes. The lush green surroundings added to the appeal and kept water temps cold.
Rock bass like this one were the most common catch. They eagerly attacked the streamer and fought like a larger fish.
There were also a couple of panfish like this one. They hit quickly and gave up easily. River panfish always seem to be lighter in color than the ones found in local ponds and lakes.
This rainbow was the jewel of the day. I ran the streamer through a long narrow run, but missed the take. A few minutes later I tried again and brought this 12″ beauty to hand.
This was one of the smallmouth that I hooked, but special mention is given to the sizeable one that I found hidden in ankle-deep water. It got off before I could snap a pic.
This was probably the most unusual catch of the day. A green sunfish. Not native to CT, but travels thru drainage.
All of the fish caught today were on this streamer, The Guinness Trout, by Ralph Long of Ralph’s Fly Box. I started tying this pattern in a size 10 because I like the name, but soon found it brings brookies, bass, panfish and rainbows to hand.
If you’re curious to find out more about other Connecticut small streams, give the Connecticut Angler Youtube channel a try. You might find one that you like.
Hope you get outside out during this unique time in our history and find a few minutes to spend in nature.
Walt Franklin says
Leigh, That’s an interesting mix of species–warm-water & cold– for a backyard stream, the soul of an angler. Well done!
Leigh Smith says
Thanks Walt. Always good to find productive water close by. Hope all is well with you and the family. In times like these fishing is a welcomed distraction.
bruce siems says
just moved to new milford ct is the housatonic river good for trout fishing
Yes it is!