the NotAFly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: the NotAFly

John Desjardins
02-20-2001, 11:44 AM
I guess what I like best about fly tying is being able to experiment in ways that you would never see at your local fly shop. In that vein I present the NotAFly.

Hook: Mustad 80400BLN
Thread: 6/0, color to match tail
Weight: 3/32" dumbbell eyes, black
Tail: Fish skin cut into a curly tail. (trolling skirt material from Area Rule Engineering)
Body: Esatz or Cactus Chenille to match tail

To tie it: Tie in the eyes first, followed by the tail liberally super gluing both, add the body (rotary vise worked great for this: thanks guys) and then whip finish.

This fly worked great for panfish & small mouth last year. A very slow retrieve with ocassional 3-6" twitches was particularly effective.

Now if my 2 month old would fall asleep at an early hour I could experiment with weaving flies. That's one of this years experiments.

02-21-2001, 02:29 PM
JOhn -

Pretty cool, no less a fly than many of the SWFF creations we craft.

<b>I see a killer worm hatch pattern!</b>

02-21-2001, 05:13 PM

How tough is the tailing material you have on those flies?
I tied a few similar to those a few years ago, only I used the soft plastic tails. Those did not last long, a couple of smallmouths or schoolies each or one bluefish....and they were history.

Where do FF for smallmouth?


02-21-2001, 05:33 PM
John -

Received a generous sampling in the mail today... THANK YOU! Let me know if you are interested in any materials I mention, I will be more than happy to reciprocate.

Greg -

This stuff is VERY tough, like bluefish tough although that always warrants a field test to be sure.

My favorite bronzeback fishing is up in New Hampshire's Lakes Region; but the upper CT river; Quabbin Reservoir near gate 43 in west/central MA, etc - are loaded with 'em. The Delaware, of course.

I really hope we get to do a bronzeback clave this year.

02-21-2001, 09:11 PM

I have only really fished smallies in one place, the Housatonic River in the ffo area in Cornwall CT. During the summer, when the water gets into the 70's, the smallies look up and are a blast on top water stuff. I've been there in June and fished two flies and caught two trout, two smallmouth, and a mixed double a trout and a smallie.... It gets pretty wild trying to land two fish on a five weight. Great memories though..

Have you ever fished the CT River in MA or CT for smallies? It's supposed to be pretty good. I been told some great fish stories about these areas.


John Desjardins
02-21-2001, 10:06 PM
Greg, I don't have any great spots for small mouth. Most of the ones I've caught have been by catch when out for pan fish in the Wauchusset (SP) reservoir.

The material for the tails is fairly tough. Its probably not blue fish tough, but how many materials are?

The Housy is one of those rivers I have always wanted to fish. Growing up in Connecticut I always heard tales of the great fishing. What always happened whenever I started out for there is that I would see the Farmington when driving west on Rt 44 and never make it any further than New Hartford. I spent a lot of time on the Farmington, even driving down from Boston for an evening hatch and back after dark. I've only been back once since my son was born though.

I've never targeted small mouth in the Connecticut river, only panfish with my grandfather in the Wethersfield cove or trout in Pittsburgh NH. Long ago I did get credible reports of good fishing behind the Loomis Chaffe school on the Farmington in Windsor, just up stream of the confluence with the Connecticut.


Worm hatch pattern, I wish I had thought of that.

Enjoy the material, and if it works out in the crab flies post on it.

Bronze Back Clave How about mid -late July on the Millers river I've heard the fishing is good there.

02-22-2001, 10:00 AM

I've heard good stories about the smallie fishing in the Millers but never tried it. If you want a July smallie trip, my vote is for the Housatonic... I have some experience there and I know I can put on fish there, the only question is how many you will catch. A typical July/August 4-8 pm fishing excursion has provided me 30+ smallies.... I have had all day trips when I have caught triple digit numbers.

Another idea is to float the CT river from Enfield dam down to Windsor Locks. I have a canoe but haven't managed to get anybody to do this with me so I have always been stumped with the putin/takeout transportation issues.

Where in CT did you live? I lived in Windsor for 29 years....



John Desjardins
02-22-2001, 11:35 AM
I lived next door to you in Bloomfield for 21 years, then spent a couple of years bouncing around the Mansfield/Willimantic area while at UConn.

The Housy is a good possibility for July for me if I can find a place to park my family for a couple of days.

On floating the CT river, If timed right that could be an interesting striper, small mouth & shad trip. I remember a ramp in the shadow of the Bissel Bridge that could be a good take out point.

I have to get an ok from the boss before thinking about either trip though.

02-22-2001, 12:30 PM
Howdie old neighbor... I cut my ff teeth on Bigelow Brook, Fenton River, Mount Hope River and the Willimantic River back in the early 70's. I now visit the Willi TMA (Trout Management Area) a few times each year. It's only 15 miles from my house....
You also mentioned the Farmington, I have fished it a little.
Hous in July:
What do you mean by park your family for a couple days?
In May/June the Hous IMHO is the best trout fishing river in New England... As you get into June, smallies and trout active. July and August the water is so warm, the trout stack up in the thermal refuses provided by feeder streams and fishing within a 100 feet of the stream mouths is prohibited. But the smallie get realll active and will chase surface offerings all over the place...
CT River:
There is another boat ramp just south of the I91 bridge in Windsor Locks. I was thinking of that one first as a take out spot. If that works, we could always do another section from there to Bissell Bridge.
The possibility is there for a Shad/Striper/Smallie trip, but its a timing thing. The stripers follow the herring up the river in May and are available during the shad run. There is supposedly some good striper fishing in the Enfield - Hartford areas at this time. I did talk with someone at a show who said he preferred looking for stripers in June in the Windsor Locks/Windsor areas of the river. This would be a real timing thing, when the shad and stripers first start running, the river is high and muddy. I will not take a canoe out there then, it wouldn't be any fun to have the canoe run over by a tree floating down the river... But, rainfall dependant, once in June the river typically gets to a flow that I would canoe in. I was also told by someone (fish story) that he witnessed a guy with a flyrod take 35 smallie's on 35 casts in Windsor Locks during July I believe. The CT river can be a productive shad, striper, and smallie river.

Sounds like there maybe a plan coming together here. Hold that thought..

John Desjardins
02-22-2001, 11:03 PM
"Park the family"
Oh man am I ever gonna get it if my wife sees or hears that expression. What I meant was that the best way for me to get out to the housy would be to combine it with a long weekend away for the family. The place where the family (wife 5 year old & 2 month old) stay has to meet some tough criteria if I am to stay out of hot water. I once made the mistake of leaving my wife & son in a cabin with no car or tv while I went fishing and lived to regret it.

The Fenton, Mount Hope, and Willimantic Rivers bring back memories of the days before fly fishing in the 80's, and of learning to flyfish in the TMA. Do you favor the section above or below rt 84? I always liked the cutaway banks in the lower section. The river should be stocked in about 3 weeks if my memory is correct on timing.

Bigelow brook is one I can't say that I ever fished. I did spend a lot of time walking and chucking lures around the shores of Mansfield Hollow Reservoir and caught some nice fish there.

I forgot about rt 191 and about the Connecticut River in high waters. It is a big river, and like clockwork every year the parks next to 91 would flood in the spring.

It's good to talk to someone about the waters I've spent so much time on. The Willimantic TMA might be a good place to start the season. Are any sports shops in the area selling non resident licenses now, or are they still only at town clerks?

02-23-2001, 10:03 AM
We'll have to talk more about the Hous as the season evolves.
I have never really fished the TMA below RT84, with the exception of the pool just below the road. I generally poke around in the area from RT84 upstream to the access at the rest area. This is probably the section that receives the most pressure, but I keep going back. I'm a creature of habit... I am interested in trying the lower section though. Especially with someone who has even a little familiarity. Generally the state does stock the TMA's early, since these are the only areas open to fishing between the end of Feb and the third Sat in April. Also, these areas get a lot of activity...
I don't know of any sport shops in this area selling licenses. I usually pick mine up at the Town Hall in Stafford Springs, it's right on my way to the Willi. If we put together a trip, I can pick up a license for you when I get mine, if you would like.

What are some of your favorite spots on the Farmington?


John Desjardins
02-23-2001, 11:32 AM
I'll start planting the seeds with my wife for a weekend trip this summer to the northwest corner CT this weekend.

Don't take me for an expert on the lower section of the TMA. I'm also a creature of habit and that where I started out.

I asked about the license because since the state increased the red tape for shops in ~1991 I find getting a non resident one in Connecticut on short notice is like pulling teeth. Normally I end up either ordering one by mail or taking a day off work to drive to Thompson.

My favorite spot on the Farmington is from the campground in the American Legion forest upstream to the dam. The area around where the gasline crosses has been particularly productive.

A second spot of sentimental value is just below the Tarriffville Gorge to the first bridge (rt 185 or 189?) which used to be a 15 minute bike ride for me as a kid. Trout in the spring & a variety of other fish later on.

If you e-mail me an address I'll send you a couple of the NotAFly's.

02-23-2001, 12:52 PM
Sounds great. If you have any questions, I will gladly offer whatever info I can about the Hous area. Like I said, I can pick you up a license if you want me to, just let me know.

I have send you my snail mail address. Thanks for the offer for the NotAFly's...

I'm no expert on the Willi either. But the fact that you have fished that section, means you have some familiarity with it, I don't...

I have only fished the Farmington a couple times in the last 10-15 years. It seems I have ended up stopping there around the fourth of July. I have fished across from the drive-in. The last two times I did, armed with light cahills, I have wadded in and did not move for a couple hours and caught a dozen + fish. When things like that happen, I can't help but go back to that spot the next time I am there. I have never fished in Tarriffville, but I did spend a fair amount of time poking around Salmon Brook in Granby.


02-24-2001, 10:05 AM
Hey guys - please keep us all in sync with the Housy and other area adventures. It's not a bad drive for me and I have recently been convinced that there is some world-class fishing in this region by Steve Yoos of Steve Yoos & Associates, a flyfishing equipment guru from Watertown CT. He is a Housatonic River disciple and a great guy to hook up with in the area. I'm sure we can work out a good day on the water, maybe even on the drift boat.

We might consider a Housy clave with a regional fishing map for people interested in learning the area and to put the area on the Forum's virtual map. I'd be glad to put together a page for this region's fisheries this season but could use whatever help I can get collecting information, photos, etc. Might be a good excuse to get out... "it's research dear".

02-24-2001, 01:37 PM
There are FF clubs associated both the Farmington, Farmington River Anglers Association, and the Housatonic, Housatonic Fly Fishermans Association. Each of these clubs has a book put together on the river with helpful hints, maps of the river/pools, etc... I just tryed to find websites for each and found only one still available, I'm still looking for the Housatonic. I used to be a HFFA member, and they have a one day show each year in March. It used to be held in Berlin CT, about 15 minutes south of Hartford. If you are interested I can find out when and where this year's is? You could start your research.... I'd be glad to accompany you and renew some old aquaintances.


02-24-2001, 04:51 PM
Sounds great! I have some great news coming re: the Housatonic this spring/summer... I'll fill you in as soon as I can! (sorry about the vagueness for the moment)

02-24-2001, 08:26 PM
The Housatonic Fly Fishermans Association show and banquet is on 17-Mar-01 at the Hawthorne Inn in Berlin, CT. I will be going to the show, but not staying for the banquet. The show will starts in the morning runs all day. If you want to go, we can arrange to meet and go together. Just let me know.


John Desjardins
02-24-2001, 11:44 PM
The area by the drive in is one that I alway skipped because of the proverbial "Cars in the parking lot syndrome". It sounds like I should have stopped. Salmon Brook is another of those old stomping grounds.


Some other links to the area.
<!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">Farmington Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter</a><!--url-->

<!--nohttp--><a href="" target="_blank">Northwestern Trout Unlimited Chapter</a><!--url-->

The Housatonic Fly Fishermans Association web site no longer exists, or I haven't found the right Url yet.

There are also a number of small streams and ponds that are lesser known and offer good fishing in the region between the Farmington & Housatonic. I can't remember any of them by name but in a car I could find them.

Knowing that the Naugatuck river flows through Watertown CT, it would be interesting to hear Steve Yoos opinions on the brood stock salmon fishery in it.

It amazes and gives me hope for other waters that the Naugatuck river is clean enough to be able to fish in. For about a year and a half in the mid 80's I drove a truck delivering milk throughout that river valley and observed the river daily. I may be exagerating but my memory is of a river that was a different color depending on where you were and on what got dumped in it recently. It was a disgusting river back then.

02-25-2001, 01:08 AM
Greg, pls drop me an email at