Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association

Monthly Newsletter

Join Our Club!
See application in this Newsletter


Art Giulietti
203 606-7763
Vice President
Allison Brown
Second Vice President
Paul Dinice
Kevin Stankiewicz
2nd Treasurer
Jay Hirsch
2nd Secretary
Allison Brown
Joe Marchese
John Rossi

Max Ruggiero 
Allison Brown
Sam D’Ambruoso
Fred Monahan
Paul Dinice

Fly Tying
Paul Dinice 
Bill Goeben
Suguru Imaeda
Dan Rodak

Jay Hirsch

Sam D’Ambruoso
Sam D’Ambruoso
Want to join our team?
Call Art Giulietti for more info.
Cellar Hole, Looking Down River  by

Sam D’Ambruoso, Original Oil Painting

Our next membership meeting is Thursday, December 6, at 7pm. For new members, see directions to St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wallingford below Up-coming Events.
           We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We want to wish all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.  It’s also time for our members’  HFFA Christmas/Holiday Party on December 6.  There is no speaker this month. However, our party refreshments include pizza, soda and bottled water.  Besides chatting with fellow flyfishers, here’s another great reason to come to the Holiday Party. It’s a chance to win a great door prize!  Any member who pays his/hers 2019 dues and purchases at least one ticket to the banquet by the February 7, 2019 meeting will be given an entry to a drawing for a special rod and reel that will be held at the January Meeting. What a deal!  Don’t miss this.
            A final note:  PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY over this Holiday Season and winter.  We have been hearing about too many accidents on highways this year. So please stay safe on the roads.
           As mentioned in previous newsletters, if you see a painting you like, it can made into a print. Contact me directly at  Any original oil painting or reproduction print sold to an HFFA member will result in a donation of 25% of the purchase price to the HFFA Conservation Fund, Mill River Project.
Please see our membership form at the end of this newsletter.  Send in your membership renewals for 2019. Have a friend who is a fellow fly fisher?  Please pass this newsletter along to them.  We would love to have them join us.
On behalf of your Board of Directors and Committee members of the HFFA,  we would like to wish all of you all the very best this Holiday Season!  May it be filled with happiness and joy.
Tight lines,
Sam D’Ambruoso
Publicity Chair
Conservation Chair
HFFA Newsletter Editor
State of CT Fisheries Advisory Council Member
Update Your Calendar


It’s our Members’ Christmas Party.  Come join us! 

December 6, 2019 7PM

Marlborough Fishing Show
Marlborough, Mass
January 18-20, 2019
Annual Fly Fishing Show
Edison, New Jersey
January 25-27, 2019 
Annual HFFA Expo
St Paul’s Church, Wallingford
 March, 2019  10am to 3pm
Annual HFFA Dinner Meeting
Monticello’s, Wallingford, CT
Sunday March 24, 2019


Hunting and Fishing Show
March 29-31, 2019  Hartford Expo Center
Boy Scouts Fly Tying Class
Fred Monahan, Educator Chair
Deer Lake, Killingworth
April 5, 6, 7, 2019
HFFA Campout
June 7,8,9, 2019
Call Jay Hirsch at 203-281-1522 to make reservations.
Annual Fly Fishing Merit Badge Class
Boy Scouts of America
Sponsored by the HFFA
April 5, 6, 7, 2019
See information after the Conservation Report of the newsletter.
Want to join one of our teams that put these events together? Contact Art Giulietti at 203-606-7763
The Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association General Membership meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month, September to May.  The Executive Board meets every third Thursday of the month, September to June. All members are invited to attend both meetings. Meetings will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (next to Archie Moore’s Restaurant) 65 North Main, Wallingford CT , starting at 7:00 PM.
Conservation Report
Sam D’Ambruoso, Conservation Chair
I can imagine how may others beside myself who are unhappy with river water levels which prevent us from fishing this Fall. Here’s a little something to remember. Back in the late 1970s, in early February, the HFFA planted about 400 good-sized brown trout in the TMA. The trout were around 14″ to 16″, some larger. We used to plant fish in the early days of our Club before the TMA was formed and also before the current management programs that make it the excellent fishery it is today.

           There wasn’t very much river ice, only a small amount on the shorelines. By the time Opening Day arrived, which was the third Saturday in April, the River was up and non-wadable.  By the time the end of April arrived, waters had receded.  The trout were literally in excellent holding water on both sides of the River. And what healthy, heavy, beautiful fish they were.
           This high water throughout this Fall is going to have a similar effect on the Housatonic.  By the time springtime arrives, the recent larger than normal stocked fish will be happily acclimatized and most likely have never seen a fly pass in front of them. It all shapes up for one thing: a fantastic spring!  So hang in there and start tying a bunch of flies.  For those that love December fishing, deep water presentations will still be the answer if fished slowly. Cold water temps in December make every fish in the River somewhat sluggish.  If you go and the water and shoreline are safe from ice, high water and manageable, concentrate on the end of the pools near shore and in protected type water like behind boulders close to and watch your step! The trout will be spending Christmas in that neighborhood.
On line fishing report: Want to stay up to date on what’s happening in fishing in this State? Take a look at this link which comes out quarterly. This one is from the Summer, Fall will be out in mid December:
Trout Stocking Schedule: Want to know where the State is stocking trout?  Take a look at this link:
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 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.
Boy Scouts Merit Badge Class
Fred Monahan, Education Chair
April 5, 6, 7, 2019
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!
Fly of the Month by Paul Dinice
Baymen Universal


Hook: Eagle Claw 254 SS or Eagle Claw L253 (Size #4 to #2/0 hook.)
Tying thread:   Danville Flat Waxed Nylon, color of choice.
Wing: 6-8 strands of Peacock Herl over Olive Bucktail over Pearl Krystal Flash over Pink Bucktail.
Belly: White Bucktail.
Throat/Gill: Red Bucktail.
Eyes: 3D Living Eyes sized to fly (I like to oversize my eyes).
Finish: 5 Minute Epoxy or UV Resin.
This is an extremely versatile salt water fly. I’ve tied it on size #4 to #2/0 hook sizes. What’s important about this fly are the various colors in the pattern recipe. The pink & olive color combo is a striper magnet. The fly also includes a flash lateral line, 3 D eyes, and a red ‘throat/gill plate’, all triggers that make this a very productive fly. A few years ago I was on the Cape and the fish were feeding on very small bait fish. I had tied up a bunch of Universals on a size #4 hook (I also coated the body along the hook shank with epoxy) and landed fish after fish when others failed to.  This is a very easy and fast tie once you get rollin’. No feathers to pair or mess with. One additional comment about tying this fly, sparse is better.
Begin by laying a base of thread from the hook eye to the bend. Bring your thread back up to the eye. Tie in a sparse clump of pink buck tail behind the hook eye. It should extend beyond the bend at least 2 times the length of the hook shank. Next, in the same location. tie in a generous amount of Pearl Krystal Flash just slightly longer than the pink buck tail. For very small flies I’ve substituted silver holographic tinsel for Krystal Flash. Next, top the flash with a clump of Olive Buck Tail just slightly longer than the rest of the wing. Now, top it with 6-8 strands of Peacock Herl longer than the length of the entire wing. Your wing is complete. Don’t forget to increase the durability of your fly by applying some head cement (or adhesive of choice) as you tie it.
If you have a rotary vice your going to rotate your fly to tie in your belly. On the opposite side of the hook where you tied in your wing, your going to tie in a clump of White Buck Tail for the belly. It should extend to the approximate length of your wing. Remember not to over dress the fly. You’re now going to tie in your ‘throat/gill plate’ comprised of Red Buck Tail. It’s tied in just under the belly and extends approximately a hook shank length under the belly. Finally, it’s time to tie in your 3 D living eyes. Some like to use goop or zap-a-gap to affix them. I prefer to stick them on and then epoxy over them for additional durability. As always, feel free to experiment with this fly. Try different flash materials or even colors. One thing you want to do is tie it in variety of sizes.
Dave Bitters of Baymen Charters has an excellent instructional video on how to tie this fly at .
If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at . This fly can also be viewed on my website at .
Fly Tying Classes
MEMBERS!  Here’s the best deal in town! The HFFA is proud to have the very best in fly tying instructions by our well-noted fly tying instructors and members, Paul Dinice, Bill Goeben, and Suguru Imaeda. These are very experienced and professional-level fly-tyers with wonderful instruction on tying specific patterns they are willing to share.
Here’s a sample of the latest salt-water fly tying class recently held.   If you are into salt-water fly fishing or thinking about it, this is what these tiers are doing under the guidance of our excellent salt-water fly tier,  Paul Dinice.  To register, call Paul at 203 305-3850 or email him at  The class make-up (beginners to advanced) will determine what saltwater patterns/flies we tie.

From top to bottom:

Half & Half

The Shrimp Tail Gotcha

Fish Mash Deceiver

Sign-up for these classes!  This past year we had 20 members sign up for this great class! Classes run Oct-March, the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM and are structured for beginners to advanced.
The price right for the class: it’s a whole one dollar per class or $5 for 6 classes and you get materials for the fly you’re tying that evening.  You just bring your tools like fly vices, scissors, tying threads. Beginners to advanced welcome. Don’t miss this opportunity!!  You can join anytime!
Flyfisherman fishing in mountain river
HFFA Membership Application
Please help spread the word about the HFFA and introduce others to both the club and the great sport of fly fishing. 

Please pass this on to a friend.

Application for Membership

Renewal:_____ New:_______

E-Mail Address__________________________________Phone: __________________

Occupation _______________________________________________
How would you like to help us:
Conservation___   Camp-Out____   Annual Dinner_____
Annual Expo_____  Website/Facebook Development______

COMPLETE ALL INFORMATION ABOVE. Newsletter and important membership communications are sent by email.

___ Regular: $25.00 per year   ___Life $250.00    ___Junior (17 and under) FREE

___HFFA Fishing Guide (with Postage):  $10 ($13)

___HFFA Fishing Guide Non-member price $15.00 plus 6.35% Ct St Sales Tax and $3.00 Postage    ($15 + $0.95 + $3.00=$18.95 total)

___Pins$5.00 ___HFFA Patch $5.00 ___HFFA Decal FREE __River maps while supplies last.

Total __________   All checks payable to HFFA.
P.O. Box  185092
Hamden, CT 06518-5092
Sorry… no credit cards.
Our HFFA Awards
“Charles Downing Lay Award”, presented by the Housatonic Valley Association, for Outstanding Conservation Efforts/ “The McKenzie Cup”, International Award presented by Federation of Fly Fishers/ “Outstanding Achievement Award” presented by Eastern Council Federation of Fly Fishers/Connecticut Sportsmen’s Alliance “Outstanding Sportsmen’s Organization/ National Wildlife Federation “President’s Award”/ Connecticut DEP “Environmental Award”
Important Links

Hammonasset Chapter Trout Unlimited-
Farmington River Chapter Trout
Connecticut Fly Fisherman’s Association-
Federation of Fly Fishers –