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Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendricksons
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  1. #1

    Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendricksons

    Mission accomplished - 20in brown!

    I worked half day today to enjoy my favorite stream for an afternoon, in to evening. I fished mainly in the TMA in different areas from top to bottom. I also fished outside the TMA (downstream) for a half hour. I landed 7 fish total, all larger than 16 inches. Six were rainbows, and of those four were freshly stocked, but two were dark and looked like holdovers. The holdovers came from the TMA, the others downstream. I caught all those fish on nymphs.

    The fish of the day, however, was a 20in monster Housy holdover brown trout. You'll have to take my word, I had no camera with me (so hectic fishing after work when unorganized). I caught this fish at 8pm on a dry. At the time, I also had a polywing spinner tied on in tandem, but the fish hit the dry. What a powerful trout. It took me 9 minutes to land this fish on 4X. I used a George Harvey 11.5ft slack leader. I knew it was big, so I glanced at my watch. It was a heavy male with perfects fins, and a hooked jaw. On the end of the jaw, there was a little worn off nub. I measured it against the opening of the Pere Marquette net. He was in perfect, revived condition upon release, no problems.

    Past 6pm or so, I saw a total of 10 rises. Early on, the fish were taking forcefully in the faster water, as there were many tan caddis about. There was a moderate amount of Hendrickson hatching activity from 3-5pm and a moderate cloud of spinners past 7pm. I don't know for sure whether the spinners came down. I fished until 830pm. I hooked one other brown during the caddis event, and it was ~16in, but it came unhooked.

    Lots of bird activity today. I saw a male wood duck fly by me at the Elms, and a ruffed grouse in the woods.

    The water was an amazing warm 62 degrees, perfect clarity and height. Flipping rocks, I saw a lot of clinger type nymphs, but few Hendricksons.

  2. #2
    TPO Faithful
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Torrington, CT

    Re: Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendrick


    Congrats on the 20" Housy brown, that's a true trophy, and one to brag about. It's good to hear the browns are maybe starting to get a little active, they've been keeping a very low profile up 'till now. I find it's usually early May when I start tagging into the bigger holdover browns with any consistency.
    A Redneck's last words, "Hold my beer while I do this...."

  3. #3

    Re: Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendrick

    Guys: While I have never seen Davy wet fly fish, I am assuming he showed you guys some of the traditional techniques involving droppers and various angles of presentation -as well as working the top dropper.

    During caddis activity the wet fly presentation can just be devastating--at both emergence and during egg laying.

    A variation of that which I use to hammer fish involves the same rig (2 or 3 flies, longish droppers) but substitute a weighted nymph on the point, a soft hackle on the middle (if you use a middle dropper) and an EHC on the top. The nymph will anchor your leader which will allow you to aggressively dance the dry fly and almost exactly imitate the skittering and up/down dance of a caddis adult that often drives fish nuts. This is a short line affair (use an intermediate if it's windy) but it's exciting.

    I used this ploy on the Kings River in California during an October competition. October Caddis were present and the fish were aware of them. It was just deadly in typicaly heavy rainbow water and took fish I'm certain I would not have been able to move otherwise.

    Try it--especially during the often frustrating Grannom and Apple caddis activity.
    Loren Williams

  4. #4

    Re: Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendricksons

    Loren, I did try wets a little, but I am ill-equipped. I am still gearing up for that method. I had trouble executing Davy's techniques with my nymphing rod. Also, I have yet to buy or make the right flies (assuming I can make them!).

    Kierran: thanks, the battle was awesome. One thing I have learned on the Hous is to use the largest tippet possible at all times. It is a big river with heavy water. On the rainbows I have been using 3 and 4X flurocarbon, and at times I wonder if that's enough. For streamers, I always use 0X fluoro. For dries, I never go lighter than 5X when I know big holdovers are about. On the Farmington, I might go to 6X, but it's a smaller river and it's usually easier to run along the stream bank to get the correct fighting angle, preferrably downstream. The longer rods protect the tippets much, much better.

    On the Hous, even a 15in smallmouth can test your arm! A fat 18in rainbow is unbelievable at 62deg water temp, their metabolism is racing. The big brown sulked on the bottom for longer. I finally had to "lift" a little. When I got him in the net, the bend on the hook was opened a bit!

  5. #5

    Re: Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendricksons

    A great day on your favorite river Al. Congrats on the 20 incher. It's always nice to take a half day from work and go fishing and to catch fish is icing on the cake, especially when you get a trophy like that. I wish I was there to take your picture with that brown. I do recall that you caught a bigger brown in that same spot a few years ago on I believe it was a red quill around 8:30 in the evening during Hendrickson time.

  6. #6

    Re: Housatonic River 4/23/08-62deg H2O,Good fishing, few browns, sparse Hendricksons

    A little slower today (4/25), unless you consider the freshly stocked fish. I was able to get a lot of green fish, but no holdovers tonight. There were lots of Hendrickson spinners tonight, but no real spinner fall. No rainbows either, but I didn't really target them below the TMA anyhow.

    Water clarity and conditions are exceptional.

    Water temperature is an amazing 64deg.

    We need rain, bad.

  7. #7

  8. #8

  9. #9
    World Record Trout
    Join Date
    Apr 2022


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