Microspey in Connecticut targeting trout and smallmouth - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-10-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Microspey in Connecticut targeting trout and smallmouth

Hi folks,
I have been exploring different pieces of water for spey fishing opportunities in the nutmeg state for the past 3 seasons. I have fished a few productive stretches of the Naugautck, Farmington and Housatonic rivers swing flies from size 18 soft hackles to size 6 sculpins using trout-weight, two-hand rods.
Microspey is still a novelty in this part of the country. I am almost always the only angler out there with my two hander barring one chance meeting with a spey casting enthusiast earlier this year.
If there are other like minded anglers in the area who want to explore the river systems in the Nutmeg state please shoot me a message here. I will be happy to share a stretch of water with you.

Peter
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 04:01 PM
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[QUOTE=Chuanp01;2484412]Hi folks,
I have been exploring different pieces of water for spey fishing opportunities in the nutmeg state for the past 3 seasons. I have fished a few productive stretches of the Naugautck, Farmington and Housatonic rivers swing flies from size 18 soft hackles to size 6 sculpins using trout-weight, two-hand rods.
Microspey is still a novelty in this part of the country. I am almost always the only angler out there with my two hander barring one chance meeting with a spey casting enthusiast earlier this year.
If there are other like minded anglers in the area who want to explore the river systems in the Nutmeg state please shoot me a message here. I will be happy to share a stretch of water with you.

Peter[/QUO I used to spend some time on the Farmington swinging with some smaller two handers. Lots of good swing water, seams, and such for micro spey. I just moved to Georgia from the North East and where I am Im five hours to a trout stream. Then you have to deal with the bull$%&t dam release schedules.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 09:09 PM
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Peter,

I live in Rhode Island and use 12'-14' THers to swing flies for Stripers on running tides in local estuaries. I've even ventured into using mid-belly Spey lines to target Stripers on larger stretches of Narrow River. I also use a THer overhead for beach fishing. The trout rivers here are generally too small even for micro-Spey, or access is a problem. I fished the Shetucket a few times a few years ago after Atlantic Salmon releases by the State. It's an intriguing river with plenty of water, but dam releases are an issue. So when not saltwater fishing I travel to New Hampshire for trout Spey. I'd be interested in hearing more about the rivers you've fished close to the RI border.

Mark
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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@GHalliday,
That is really too bad about the lack of trout water in GA. I hope you will find some river smallies that your sate your appetite until you can get to a trout stream. I fish the lower part of Naugatuck river and Housatonic river targeting 10-12 inch smallies. They put up a great fight. They love larger (3-4 inch) synthetic hair streamers on the swing.
You are absolutely right about the Farmington river. There are many great spots. It's unfortunate that you have to wait until winter for the crowd to thin down before you have a good stretch of water to swing the fly.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Mark,
Swinging for striper in the estuaries sounds like a hoot. That approach to fishing the fly on the swing with the tide change never occured to me until reading your reply. I live close to the mouth of Housatonic and Saugatuck rivers in the southeastern part of the CT where they drain into the Long Island Sound. My kids and I have chased snapper blues with spinning gear in the fall. I can think of a few spots where I can use my THer. I will be sure to give that a try for the spring striper run.

This is the third year I have tried without success to hook an Atlantic salmon in the Naugatuck river on a swung fly. (The same stocking program that stocks the Shetucket also stocks the Naugatuck river.) We don't have dam release problem on the Naugatuck but we are at the mercy of variable water level in the fall. Last season was a washout because of high water level from all the precipitation we had early in the season. This year started dry with low water level. Now that the water level is optimal but the temperature has cooled and fish are not cooperating. I really shouldn't blame the water or weather. It's probably because I'm a hack at this salmon fishing business. There are a few stretches of the lower Naugatuck river where the river is wide enough to use a 6-7weight THer to get the distance and fish it well.

I haven't ventured out to the northern part of the state to explore the rivers there. If you get a chance to fish down this way let me know. I can point you in the right direction.

Which rivers do you fish in New Hampshire? Do you target landlock salmon?

Peter







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Originally Posted by Mark Hagopian View Post
Peter,

I live in Rhode Island and use 12'-14' THers to swing flies for Stripers on running tides in local estuaries. I've even ventured into using mid-belly Spey lines to target Stripers on larger stretches of Narrow River. I also use a THer overhead for beach fishing. The trout rivers here are generally too small even for micro-Spey, or access is a problem. I fished the Shetucket a few times a few years ago after Atlantic Salmon releases by the State. It's an intriguing river with plenty of water, but dam releases are an issue. So when not saltwater fishing I travel to New Hampshire for trout Spey. I'd be interested in hearing more about the rivers you've fished close to the RI border.

Mark
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 06:29 PM
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Peter,

I'm sure I didn't invent swinging flies for Stripers in estuaries and I am also pretty confident that Kenny Abrames, whom I've met, admire and whose prodigious work on Striper fishing I have read, didn't either. I just happen to use Spey equipment and techniques. I've caught them using Intruders and traditional Spey flies as well. Kenny would probably be the first to tell you that they behave like anadromous sea-run Trout when in an estuary.

Anyway, give it a shot. You'll be hooked the first time you land a Striper on a swung fly.

The mouth of the Naugatuck sounds a bit like my homewater, Narrow River, where it meets the ocean. We get Shad runs as well, which are tons of fun on a 5 or 6 weight two-hander. We call them poor man's Tarpon.

I didn't have any luck with the hatchery Salmon either. I really fished the Shetucket on a lark and may have been there too late in the year.

I fish stretches of the Saco River in and around North Conway, NH, both wading and floating. The lower part of that river around Conway has some prime water for long rods. I've also fished the Androscoggin river further North, but mostly floating. I've always targeted Trout. As far as I know the Saco has no landlocks, but I believe certain stretches of the Andro do.

I would like to check out the Naugatuck. I can introduce you to Narrow River also if interested. I'll send you a PM.

Mark
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuanp01 View Post
@GHalliday,
That is really too bad about the lack of trout water in GA. I hope you will find some river smallies that your sate your appetite until you can get to a trout stream. I fish the lower part of Naugatuck river and Housatonic river targeting 10-12 inch smallies. They put up a great fight. They love larger (3-4 inch) synthetic hair streamers on the swing.
You are absolutely right about the Farmington river. There are many great spots. It's unfortunate that you have to wait until winter for the crowd to thin down before you have a good stretch of water to swing the fly.

The closest trout water is on the other side of Atlanta and thats a few hours away. Bonus small mouth fishing, and bonus redfish chasing. And bonus small bars tucked into the inlets for drinking and eating local sea-grub after a day of chasing reds and such. We will never fail the mission!!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 11:05 AM
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Swinging for stripers on a running tide is great fun up here on the Massachusetts striper coast and very effective too. My season closed with a summer fattened 30" fish who smacked a black egg sucking leach. Yep, gotta repurpose some of those Alaska trout flies I tied for a trip to Bristol Bay this past summer. I might swing some of the flesh flies next season too.

One of my favorite spots was producing on the flood tide into October. Migrating fish stopped in the estuary like a motel 6 on the interstate. Here today and gone tomorrow. Now the're gone till May! It could be depressing to look out the window and see snow on the ground this morning. It is just a signal to get out my vise and tie through the long wait. When they're back in the tidal rivers laying in wait for the herring run I'll be ready. I'll have a slug of long flatwing deceivers ready to swing.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 12:09 PM
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I love it. A flatwing on a tube. I've used little Gurgler string leaches during our Southern RI coastal Cinder Worm "hatches" for Stripers sipping them on the surface like dry flies in the salt ponds. Booby eyed leaches fished just sub-surface work well too.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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@Tom.
Hmmmm... That sounds like a great run. Is that received tried on a shank with a trailing stinger hook?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 07:07 PM
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Im down on Long Island, try once a month to make my way up to either the Housy or farmington with the trout spey. Same as you usually Im the only 2 hander on the water, though it is growing. Lisa and Jerry from spey casting northeast (no affiliation, just a student) run their classes out of upcountry. A few friends of theirs stopped by while I was on the water with them. If you see a big blue tundra when your out and about give a shout.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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@Frobombs. I'm a student of Lisa and Jerry as well. I visit them on the Farmington when I can get out in Saturday morning.
I'm in a silver 4runner myself.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 11:58 PM
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Yep, that's a flatwing on a plastic tube. I use snelled in-line circle hooks with all my flies, some with and some without a stinger snelled circle I like a 1/O with a #4 stinger on a long fly like this using the tag end of the snell knot for the stinger. It is a super strong link and snelled in-line circle hooks are really sticky but easy to remove.

I've yet to see a worm hatch for sure though several years ago, the marsh broke out into chaos one night during a full moon and I couldn't connect with anything in my box. After reading a bit about cinder worms, I thought I might have been in the middle of one and just didn't have the right fly or technique to cash in.

Tell me more about gurgler string leaches and booby eyed leaches. Post a picture if you can.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 09:34 AM
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I've been using trout spey rods up on the Delaware system for about 2-3 years now, between hatches, but I occasionally go to the Housy or Farmington as well. I was on the latter about 3 weeks ago, ice freezing in my guides, but managed a handful of decent fish. I don't know it as well, but it seems to have tons of water suited to a small spey rod. The Housy also has tons of options, and I suspect there are some larger fish below the TMA, though it becomes predominantly smallies as you get down below Bull's Bridge. I look at the Naugatuck as I drive up Rt 8 and it looks fishy, but I've heard the fish are few and far between. If you're in CT, you should definitely run up to the Delaware as well, because there are just so many options up there (plus the Beaverkill and Willow, neither of which I've used the spey rod on, but both of which would certainly be worth it). I occasionally see someone with a two hander on the Delaware system, but it's very rare, and the moment you've got bugs and rising fish, most people (me included) get totally fixated on dries. One thing I have noticed on a regular basis up there is that I do better giving some kind of action to the flies, rather than a straight swing, though both methods have worked. I've been liking a small steamer trailed by a big soft hackle, and stripping a little during the swing seems to get better results for me, except in the fastest of runs. But I still have tons to learn, and it does open up stretches of the rivers that I'd otherwise ignore, since I'm usually hunting for bankfeeders and such.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzman View Post
I've been using trout spey rods up on the Delaware system for about 2-3 years now, between hatches, but I occasionally go to the Housy or Farmington as well. I was on the latter about 3 weeks ago, ice freezing in my guides, but managed a handful of decent fish. I don't know it as well, but it seems to have tons of water suited to a small spey rod. The Housy also has tons of options, and I suspect there are some larger fish below the TMA, though it becomes predominantly smallies as you get down below Bull's Bridge. I look at the Naugatuck as I drive up Rt 8 and it looks fishy, but I've heard the fish are few and far between. If you're in CT, you should definitely run up to the Delaware as well, because there are just so many options up there (plus the Beaverkill and Willow, neither of which I've used the spey rod on, but both of which would certainly be worth it). I occasionally see someone with a two hander on the Delaware system, but it's very rare, and the moment you've got bugs and rising fish, most people (me included) get totally fixated on dries. One thing I have noticed on a regular basis up there is that I do better giving some kind of action to the flies, rather than a straight swing, though both methods have worked. I've been liking a small steamer trailed by a big soft hackle, and stripping a little during the swing seems to get better results for me, except in the fastest of runs. But I still have tons to learn, and it does open up stretches of the rivers that I'd otherwise ignore, since I'm usually hunting for bankfeeders and such.
You are correct about the Naugatuck. Looks great but......As far as the Delaware system is concerned the dry fly cult mothership lands most evenings and into well after dark. If you really want to have a blast on the West Branch you need to forget all of the dry fly voodooo and drift at night throwing mice at the bank. While all of the big wheeler dealers are counting sheep at the Delaware River Club it can be absolute mayhem.
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