FISHING REPORT: Housatonic River - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:28 PM
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FISHING REPORT: Housatonic River

Hi all,
I headed out to Housatonic very early yesterday morning (got there at 6:30 am) for a 2 day fishing trip. I fished some various spots along the river, but all but two of my fish came out of one spot. Keep in mind this was my first time fishing the river so I did a lot of exploring in addition to fishing. The water temps were a little high last week, but those cold nights at the end of last week and into the weekend had dropped the water temps almost 5 degrees in a few days!

Everybody in the fly shops and online said that mornings were dead and not to bother going out. Well, my expereicne just goes to show you that you shouldn't always believe everything you hear. Almost all of my fish were caught in the mornings! Everybody else must have been listening though since I had the river to myself in the mornings, which was fine by me.

My tally for day one (Sunday) was 3 brown trout, 1 smallmouth, and 1 panfish. All of these fish except the panfish were landed on a dead drifted black bead head woolly bugger variation that I designed myself. They're very similar for normal woolly buggers except for two things:
1. I tie them on a size 12 hook (you can't buy them that small).
2. I use peacock herl for the body instead of chenille.

The big news for the day was that I landed a 21-22" brown. It set my personal best and it put up one heck of a fight! I was using 7x tippet on a 4 wt full flex rod so it took some careful work to land it.

My tally for today (Monday) was a half dozen browns. All of them were caught on another pattern I designed myself. It's a streamer pattern with a black thread head and Bodi-briad underbody that I call Big Yellow, in this case on a size 2 streamer hook. I always figure the bigger the fish you're targetting, the bigger the fly you should use! I'll post some tying instructions when I get a chance. So far it's landed a bunch of different species, and at times when nothing else works. The biggest fish today was 16-17", and the rest were a little smaller. All of them were caught while doing a combo strip/swing retrieve. I use a floating line for all my stream/river fishing so the fly wasn't down all that far, but I do use a long tippet (12' or so) so the fly does have some room for sinking before it has to try and drag the floating line itself under.

All in all an excellent outing, especially since I set a personal best! I didn't get a pic of the big fish though since it took me a while to land it, and while trying to get the camera out of my pocket, the fish slipped in my grip. I managed to grab it between by arm and body but I might have hurt it if I tried to grab it again so I just let it go to fight another day. A couple of other people saw me catch the monster and fight it though, so that was pretty cool.
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:27 PM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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Nice report. The Housy is a great river to fish in the Fall. When the olives get going it's a great fishery. Try an all yellow wooly Bugger early in the am. Hang on. FishHawk.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:59 AM
josko josko is offline
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Where on the river were you? I've been itching to fish the new C&R section in MA, but haven't figured out even the basics yet (parking, access, etc). If anyone is familiar with that stretch and could share some info, I'd much appreciate it. Better yet, I'm game to fish it pretty myuch anytime, if anyone else is there and wouldn't mind company.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:40 PM
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Great report Scott . Were you in CT? I was on the river in MA on Saturday (in the pike and largemouth section ) . It's definitely one of my favorite bodies of water to fish.

Josko,

I don't do much trout fishing so I haven't checked out the new C&R sections in MA, but I'm pretty sure that the section in Stockbridge runs right along Rte 183 and has at least a couple of pull-offs where you can park. I looked at the Lee section on maps.google and I think I have a little exploring to do. I'll let you know what I find.

If you decide to head west let me know and we can get together if you don't mind having a heathen, non-traditional, warmwater flyfisher along .
I have a 12' tin boat we can use if you want to try a boatable stretch.

Q
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:22 AM
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Josko

Check yer PM for Ma C&R info.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:33 PM
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I was fishing in the Cornwall/Cornwall Bridge section in CT. It's some very nice water that's easily wadeable in most sections, though it does get a bit deep in some places. There's just enough room to wade out far enough to keep you backcast out of the trees though.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:41 PM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teflon_jones
All of these fish except the panfish were landed on a dead drifted black bead head woolly bugger variation that I designed myself. They're very similar for normal woolly buggers except for two things:
1. I tie them on a size 12 hook (you can't buy them that small).
2. I use peacock herl for the body instead of chenille.
Sounds like you and several of my friends have "designed" the same wooly bugger.

Good report. I really enjoy that section of the river, and haven't been there in a while.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:32 PM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dble Haul
Sounds like you and several of my friends have "designed" the same wooly bugger.
i think the flash in the body of the bugger is important - i caught my first smallmouth on one last week.


that sounds like a great trip scott.

I can never understand why trout (which are predators after all) would not be active first thing, even in cold water - sure they may not rise to a dry fly at that time of the day, but i have had many trout and salmon at dawn in the fall on salmon streamer flies.

that and dusk is the best time to be alone on the river too.

mark.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernseybass
I can never understand why trout (which are predators after all) would not be active first thing, even in cold water - sure they may not rise to a dry fly at that time of the day, but i have had many trout and salmon at dawn in the fall on salmon streamer flies.

that and dusk is the best time to be alone on the river too.

mark.
Honestly, when I was told they weren't biting in the morning, I just thought that people weren't throwing the right flies in the right places. Every single fish species I've ever fished for bites in the morning! I definitely agree that the morning is one of the best times to be alone on the river too. There's a great feeling of solitude you have that's one of the things I enjoy most about river/stream fishing.

As for dry flies, there was a crazy hatch the first day I was there and the fish ignored most of what I threw at them. There were just so many bugs on the water that my fly got lost. I got a few hits on a cricket pattern which I threw just so the fish could pick it out easily, but anything subsurface just got ignored. There were a dozen fish or more maybe 20 feet upstream from me hanging on the surface with their dorsal fins out of the water most of the time.

The funny thing was that the hatch was incredibly localized in one small shady corner of the hole I was fishing and nobody else around me seemed to know it was going on. It was really weird. I saw it starting from the other side of the river and waded across. There were 3 other guys fishing the hole, plus a drift boat anchored upriver from me at the head of the hole, and none of them seemed to see the hatch at all and the rising fish. They kept nymphing the hole and didn't catch anything.
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:08 PM
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Hous

Hi guys,
Great posts, the housy has fished really well this fall. If any of you guys are in the area and see a bloke in a red and grey hyde floating the river, give a shout...its usually me and a client or a friend hunting the big ones...good luck.
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