INLAND REPORT (OPENING DAY)
The extended winter, high flows driven by snow melt and rain, and cold water temperatures meant a slow start to the trout season for many. Further challenging anglers, a number of lakes and ponds in both the Northwest and Northeast Corners still had significant ice cover. Anglers did however enjoy great weather throughout Opening Day, greeted with a clear, cool morning that quickly warmed up nicely. Seven of the eleven Trout Parks were stocked on Opening Day and the many kids present enjoyed helping DEEP stock (a Community Fishing Area, Mirror Lake in Hubbard Park, Meriden, was stocked on Opening Day this spring instead of the Black Rock Pond Trout Park due to icy conditions).
Approximately 341,000 trout were stocked throughout the state before Opening Day, and in spite of some very extended adverse winter conditions, virtually all areas scheduled to be stocked prior to Opening Day were stocked (Colebrook River Lake, the Mad River Flood Control Impoundment and Hall
Meadow Brook in western Connecticut were the only waters not stocked prior to Opening Day. In-season stockings began this week. DEEP’s in-season stocking is now underway with nearly 260,000 additional trout scheduled to be stocked between Opening Day and the end of May.
(RIVERS & STREAMS)
Conditions should be fairly good for trout fishing this weekend. Flows have been high, and sometimes difficult to fish in many areas, but are dropping back to typical spring levels(see stream flow graphic on page 4), generally warm comfortable weather is forecast, and there are plenty of recently stocked trout waiting for anglers. As water temperatures warm, fishing should improve.
Some Opening Day action reported from the West Branch Farmington River, Natchaug River, Salmon River (some action, but slow at many spots), Hammonasset River TMA, Mount Hope River, EightmileRiver, Shetucket River, Macedonia Brook,Pomperaug River and Pootatuck River. Slow to very slow fishing reported from the Hockanum River (fishing reports from early this week indicate that fishing has picked up), Scantic River (very high flows), Jeremy River (a few catches), Quinnipiac River (“poor catch rates at best”), Hall Meadow Brook, Still River (Winchester/Colebrook/Barkhamsted), East Aspetuck River and Norwalk River.
Opening Day trout fishing was fair to good above the Still River, but tougher farther downstream due to higher flows. West Branch flows are now clear, moderate and fishable, currently 247 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 272 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the mid 30’s to low 40’s °F. Conditions should be good for the upcoming weekend with warm weather forecast and comfortable flows. Hatches/patterns include Blue Wing Olive (a.k.a.Baetis vagans; #16-18 in a parachute or emerging due noon to 5pm), Hendrickson (will appear mid-April due to the cold), Winter/Summer Caddis (waning,#18-26), Stonefly nymphs (#12-18), Midge (#20-28) and Blue Quill (a.k.a. paralep; #16-18) in a parachuteor emerger (midday). Nymphs (#18-22) are always a good go-to fly, try Bead Head, Midge Pupa, Brassie,Zebra Midge or Copper John patterns. Streamers are also producing, use White Zonkers & Buggers (#4-12) as well as Muddlers, Micky Finn, Grey or Black Ghost.
Flows have been too high to fish for most anglers. Conditions for fishing are improving as flows continue to drop. Currently flows are turbid and still high, but finally dropping some, with 3,270 cfs at Falls Village and 5,040 cfs at Gaylordsville. Still very challenging to unfishable (and un-wadeable) for most anglers. Anglers can call FirstLight Power Resources at 1-888-417-4837 or check theUSGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ct/nwis/current/?type=flow) for updated Housatonic River flow information (and also check with a local bait & tackle shop). Water temperatures are in the low 40’s°F. Typical hatches/patterns for mid-April would include Hendrickson (#12-14), March Brown (#10-12),Pheasant Tail (#12-18) and Copper John (#12-16),plus nymphs and streamers.Rivers and streams stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change)
Natchaug River, Fenton River, Willimantic River(sections below the TMA), Salmon River(including the TMA), Eightmile River, East Branch Eightmile River, Shetucket River, Susquetonscut Brook, Beaver Brook, Farm River (both upper & lower sections),Branford River and West River stocked this week.
Hall Meadow Brook, Wepawaug River, Saugatuck River TMA, the upper Saugatuck River, Leadmine Brook, upper & lower sections of the Norwalk River, Weekeepeemee River, Nonewaug River, Hop Brook, Little River(Oxford), Shepaug River,East Aspetuck River and the Mill River (Fairfield, including the TMA) stocked this week.
(LAKES & PONDS)
A number of lakes in northwest(includingWest Hill Pond, Colebrook RiverLake, Highland, East Twin Lake, Wononskopomuc Lake, Stillwater Pond, West Side Pond, Mohawk Pond
(28 inch brown trout), Highland Lake (anglers were finding some trout fishing open water at
the boat launch), Candlewood Lake and Quonnipaug Lake. Both Crystal Lake (Ellington) and Mashapaug
Lake (as of Monday when a large brown was caught) are reported to be ice free now.
Lake is reported to be breaking up with some open water (may be ice free by the weekend). Now that
open water is returning, try surface trolling your favorite lures.
Lakes and ponds stocking update (Note that all stocking schedules are subject to change)
Black Pond (Woodstock), Gardner Lake, Mansfield TrainingPonds, Lake Saltonstall and Branford supply Pondwere stocked.
Colebrook River Lake, East Twin Lake, West Hill Pond, Fountain Lake, Mohegan Lake and West Branch Reservoir were stocked.
Fishing ranged from fair to excellent at the Trout Parks. All were stocked before Opening Day and seven of them, Chatfield Hollow (very good fishing), Mohegan Park Pond (fair action), Southford Falls, Stratton Brook (very good fishing), Valley Falls Park Pond (excellent fishing, with nearly all of the many anglers catching fish) , Wharton Brook (fair to good action) and Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond) were stocked again on Opening Day. The Natchaug River
and Day Pond Trout Parks have been stocked so far this week.
Fishing is generally slow in many areas, action should begin to pick up as water temperatures warm. Targeting dark bottom warmer back water coves is suggested for some action. Some places to try include Burr Pond, Lake Waramaug, Candlewood Lake, Squantz Pond, Lake McDonough, Bantam Lake, Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (ice free now), Black Pond (Meriden), Congamond Lakes, Moodus Reservoir, Lake Saltonstall, Ball Pond, Hopeville Pond, Twin Brooks Park, Batterson Park Pond, Lower Bolton Lake, Lake Zoar, Silver Lake and Lake Lillinonah.
The river is currently cold, turbid and very high (but just beginning to drop) and difficult to boat. Before
flows increased, some LARGEMOUTH BASS were being caught in back coves and a few NORTHERN PIKE
had been reported in the Middletown to Haddam Meadow section of the river.
Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) are in the low 40’s.
Fishing is fair to good in the Housatonic River, Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), and the Black Hall River. Sand and blood worms will do the trick especially in murky water.
Fishing is on the slow side. Early season flounder spots include the lower Mystic River, Poquonock River at Bluff Point State Park, mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area including Baker Cove, Niantic River including the bay, and Norwalk Harbor.
Fishing spring season runs April 1 st-30th . However, with water temperatures in the low 40’s°F don’t expect a lot of action. The New Haven breakwaters are one of the better early season fishing spots for tog.