One of the Goals of HFFA is to have a functioning and informative Website in 2021. I hope that everyone is doing well inspite of the pandemic. Hopefully, the vaccine will soon be available to enough of the population so that the country and the world could return to a semblance of a normal situation.
HFFA used our Face Book page to keep our members and the public informed of what we are doing. From September until December the Club met at sites along the Housatonic River. September, October and November those meetings were in Cornwall CT (actually Sharon CT). In November and December, we met on the River at Short Beach in Stratford and tried our luck fishing Salt Water.
As the world changed, HFFA changed, in January we had our first ZOOM meeting. We will again have ZOOM meetings in February and March, with April tentatively scheduled to be another meeting on the River.
Until this site gets fully up and running, that I hope will be soon, please visit our Facebook page. If you need to contact us please email the Club at: [email protected]
The monthly meeting of the Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association will be held on Thursday, March 7 at 7:00PM at the St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 65 North Main Street, Wallingford, CT. The speaker for our March 7 meeting is Ben Bilello. He is an accomplished fly tier who specializes in Salmon flies & how to fish them. His focus is the unique Salmon fishery here in Connecticut where he also offers Connecticut Salmon Guide services. His presentation is Traditional Techniques for Broodstock Atlantic Salmon.
The HFFA is dedicated to preserving and protecting the Housatonic River as well as furthering the sport of fly fishing. Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month from September through June. Meetings include featured speakers on various fly fishing subjects, fresh- and saltwater fly tying demonstrations, as well as door prizes. The meeting is free and open to the public. Membership applications will be available for those that want to join the HFFA. Refreshments will be served.
Submitted on behalf of the HFFA by:
Please use the picture of the speaker in your release. Thanks.
Fingerling stocking: We will be helping Mike Humphries of DEEP Fisheries with the stocking of fingerlings in feeder streams of the TMA. Target date: March/early April. We will need help with the stocking. Write to [email protected] and let me know that you are available. These fingerlings work and grow into large browns and rainbows on the Housatonic as evidenced by recent River sampling of fish.
Come and join us! All we are asking is a few hours of your time to give back to the Housatonic TMA which has given so much to you over your lifetime. Call Sam D’Ambruoso at 203-417-7120.
Upper Housatonic – The Hous is flowing a little over 200 c.f.s at the moment. That could change drastically today or tomorrow depending upon how much rain upper CT & MA will be getting with predicted thunderstorms. With higher temps & humidity also predicted, the water temperature will rise to levels that it’s best not to fish for trout. The good news is it’s prime ‘smally’ time on the river. In the early morning hours & at dusk, try using surface flies like gurglers and deer hair patterns. If you have to fish during high sun hours, use some gaudy & obnoxious streamers (I love using some with rubber legs), brightly colored deer hair patterns, as well as crayfish patterns (brown wooly buggers will work). This weekend I received reports that the small mouth fishing was excellent. If you do happen to hook a trout I recommend not taking it out of the water. You should be using a much heavier leader/tippet for bass, so horse those trout in a.s.a.p. Remember, it’s that time of the year that you must stay away from the thermal refuges. With water levels down it’s a great time to explore and investigate trout holes that you will be fishing in the fall. It’s also a great time to take kids and ‘newbees’ fly fishing with small mouth readily taking offerings. Don’t forget to pack up plenty of water on these warm & humid days.
Farmington River – Perhaps more than any other time of year, right now there is the most insect activity on Farmy. Sulfurs, olives, caddis, terrestrials, and iso’s are all over the river. It’s a trout ‘all you can eat buffet’. One of my favorite bugs to look for is the isonychia. It’s a bigger fly and the fish love to gobble them, especially in the faster water. If I’m nymphing I usually go to smaller sized patterns at this time of year. You can’t beat small pheasant tail type patterns. If you have never fished a ‘perdigon nymph’, do so! It’s become one of my ‘go to’ patterns. Simple to tie and it gets down fast. If it rains today or tomorrow, the ‘next’ day I’ve found that between now and September, there is a good possibility of an ant hatch. In recent years, one of the flies I’ve started to fish on the Farmington are big oversized foam flies like the ‘Moodah Poodah’. Sometimes fish just can’t resist such a big meal. A high floating pattern like that is also great to use with a small nymph dropper.
Lower Housatonic – Unfortunately the ‘doldrums of summer’ sums up how the lower Hous is fishing. You can still catch fish at the mouth but it’s a must that you fish between dusk to dawn. If you have a boat, travel a little outside the mouth to the rip on the Stratford side or the back side of Charles Island. Some boaters fishing chunks have done well in those two places. Sometimes the blue fish turn on this time of year, but nothing to report on that other than a few spotty hook ups.
The HFFA will sponsor our annual Fly Fishing Merit Badge class on April 5, 6, and 7, of 2019 at Deer Lake Scout Reservation in Killingworth Ct. We will teach scouts fly tying and fly casting as well as taking them out to the pond and have them try to catch their first fish on a fly. This project was very well-received by the Scouts and it was equally rewarding to the HFFA volunteers who helped introduce fly fishing and fly tying.
A special thanks to Fred Monahan, our project leader (year after year I might add), and all of the HFFA volunteers who contributed their time and energy in helping our young people learn fly fishing. It looks like we have already made some fly fishing enthusiasts!