Conn Clave Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Conn Clave Report

06-02-2002, 12:54 PM
Mark (Dble Haul), Adrian, Jimmy and I broke new ground Saturday and held the first official FFF Connecticut Conclave on the east side of the mouth of the Housatonic River. Although the original plan was to fish the lower Connecticut River, a couple of scouting trips to the Housatonic River convinced me that this would be a much better venue. The numerous gravel bars at the mouth of the river provide ample room for waders to spread out and explore the tidal pools and currents that flow around the bars and into the Sound, and they provide access to the breakwater and the main river channel. This area is also home to hundreds of swans, egrets and other shore birds and is apparently a prime breeding ground for horseshoe crabs. There were paired-up crabs everywhere and several of the single crabs tried to make friends with my wading boots.

We started just after sunrise and worked our way across the gravel bars as the tide dropped and allowed us to move out towards the breakwater and river channel. Mark was the first to hook up, successfully subduing a nice bluefish before it swam away with his fly. A few more blues, a couple of fluke and several small stripers also decided to join the fun before we called it quits for the morning and returned to the parking lot to have lunch. No monsters were caught, but we all managed to get some fish and enjoy the fine weather and company. It was interesting to note that the majority of the fish were caught in the relatively shallow water adjacent to the river channel. Dredging the channel yielded nothing for me, although I stubbornly continued to try because that's how I had caught fish during previous outings.

Adrian and Jimmy had other commitments and had to leave after lunch, but Mark and I planned to return for the dropping tide that evening. After lunch, we took a ride to Stratford to try to get some shad under the Rte 1 bridge. They weren't cooperating so we went to Gulf Pond to check out that area. It was loaded with sunbathers, kayakers and jet skis so we never even took the rods out and opted instead to catch a quick nap before dinner. After stopping for pizza we headed out onto the gravel bars again. It looked very fishy and we saw tons of bait in the grass in the ponds, but after a couple of hours and only one small striper we decided to head back in. It was still early in the tide and I think we would have done pretty well if we stayed longer. Maybe next time!


Dble Haul
06-02-2002, 03:06 PM
What a beautiful day to be on the water! When Q and I showed up, we made our way around the horn to the estuary mouth and were greeted with a wonderful sunrise......

Dble Haul
06-02-2002, 03:16 PM
It was a good day with good company. Between the four of us, we caught a crude Long Island Sound slam: bluefish, stripers, fluke, and a huge sea robin that I won't soon forget. :eek: Catching bluefish on a 9 wt in just a couple of feet of water is always fun for me, and I was surprised at just how far into the morning the bite stayed on. The water was a bit turbid at the mouth of the river, so it's tough to say what the prevelant bait was that kept the fish around while the sun continued to climb in the sky.

Quentin, thanks for arranging this. Kudos on the first CT Clave, and may there be many more! :D

Adrian, it was a pleasant surprise to see you again before you hop back across the pond for a while. I thought I wouldn't be seeing you again until later in the year. Good luck to you, and keep those european fish on their toes. :p

Jimmy, it was a pleasure meeting you. I love fishing with characters, and you sir are a character. :hehe: Since we're equidistant from this fishing spot, perhaps we should make it a point to get together sometime in the future.

I'm attaching the only picture that I took of someone with a fish. It's Jimmy with a striper. To be frank, I didn't concern myself too much with photos because (1) there were no huge fish caught and (2) I didn't want to press my luck with the new camera around the salt. But everyone caught fish, the weather was great, and it was a hoot. Thanks to all of the participants.

06-02-2002, 04:15 PM
Wish I could've made it, this weekend was a big weekend for my family and I did not get out on the water Sat or Sun. Sounds like a fun outing though, maybe next year we could move it up a week or two and I can join the gang!

06-02-2002, 07:51 PM
This will be quick because I'm at work. I had a great time. What a wonderful spot. Come October and November, when things slow up off the Cape, I know where I'll be. Maybe a 2nd clave in the fall?:smokin: A better report to follow.

06-03-2002, 04:19 AM
Great fun to explore a new venue on my own doorstep! Jimmy and I fished Sunday a.m. but the only thing biting were the midges which came out in their billions when the wind dropped. We hit the marsh outflow at prime time but neither we nor the spin fishermen found a hook up.

We fished hard for the next few hours. Jimmy managed a single before having to leave for other committments and I managed one before leaving . The wind came up out of nowhere and blew about 25mph so I decided to pack it in too - glad I didn't have the yak!

06-03-2002, 07:43 AM
"It looked just like a striper...only smaller."

We sounded the "charge" early on Saturday morning. The day started out with a wonderful sun rise and very little wind. I met Adrian in the parking lot around 5 A.M. We fished a few weed lines with zero results. I then began to fish a small rip along a break wall as Adrian turned the corner to find Mark and "The Q".
Not long after, They came back around the corner with stories of a plug guy who had just lost $20.00 in plugs to some good fish. Hand shakes and intros complete, we headed out for deeper waters and forming rips.

Warning!!!!:tsk_tsk: When fishing with a person who stands 6'6" tall, beware the words "It's only up to my chest." As Dble Haul headed out to "chest deep" water, I was wishing I had my scuba gear.;) I need to get taller or learn to cast farther. Mark was rewarded with a nice blue to 26 inches. :eyecrazy:

The rest of us did our best to reach the deeper water. By the time we arrived, Mark had moved on to even deeper water. Mark hooked up a few more times and things began to look up.

My "mate" Adrian was working an edge along some rocks. He pulled a nice little fluke on a flat wing. Sounds like a new thread for the board. Q and I finally made it to shallower water and joined in the fun. We all set up along the rip that forms along the edge of the river and the vast areas of flats that were begining to show. The place looked very fishy.

We fished the entire area and followed the tide as it dropped. We all pulled fish. Not many and nothing huge but allot of fun. They were pretty tough. The bass down around this area are members of the Teamsters.

Around noon we took a break. I had to leave to attend my mother-in-laws birthday. :( In all it was a fantastic day. Mark had the top rod. It was a pleasure to meet both Mark and Quentin. Getting to fish with Adrian before his trip across the pond was a real plus. As for Sunday, I'll just put a ditto on what Adrian said.

Mark. we're both close to this spot. Lets get together and explore.

Quentin, thanks for putting this together. We must do this again.

Adrian. All I can say is "Cheers Mate!" Good luck and come back to us soon.

As I mentioned before. This place should be outstanding during the fall run. Autum in Connecticut anyone?

John Desjardins
06-03-2002, 08:45 AM
It sounds like a good day, I wish I could have made it down. I'll try for autumn if any one is a go.

06-03-2002, 09:40 AM
Great report...and a great day