"THE TWO BEST TIMES TOFISH IS WHEN IT'S RAININ' AND WHEN IT AIN'T": A GUIDE TO THE PLEASURES OFFLY FISHING IN CONNECTICUT
HARTFORD, CT --- April 19, 2005--- HumoristPatrick F. MacManus once said that, "The two best times to fish is whenit's rainin' and when it ain't." Comedian Steven Wright observed that"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore lookinglike an idiot."
This is especially true of fly fishing, anexceptionally graceful art practiced by passionate devotees in some of nature'smost beautiful settings and requiring considerably more skill than"worm-dunking," as the alternative has been called. For those alreadyin love with the sport as well as the many who are intrigued enough to try it(fly fishing is one of the fastest growing sports, particularly for women, inthe country), Connecticut offers a guide to discovering the pleasures of a flyfishing getaway on the "Housy," the Farmington, or even the"Sound."
With plentiful fly shops, talented guides,experts giving classes, and some ideal water, the state consistently has beenranked at the top of the list of fly fishing destinations in the Northeast bythe people who know the sport best. Combined with a cozy B&B or country innand a fine meal or two, there may be no more enjoyable getaway in Connecticut.
Connecticut's fly fishing comes in two varieties- fresh water streams and the saltwater Long Island Sound. While dozens ofstreams crisscross the state, two rivers stand out as favorites among flyfishermen. Both offer opportunities to catch 18-inchers or bigger. TheHousatonic, affectionately called the "Housy" by fishermen, tumblesout of the Berkshire Hills into northwestern Connecticut. With a ten-mile troutmanagement area, abundant deep pools, riffles and runs, and a "fly fishingonly" section, it has been dubbed one of the best in the eastern U.S.
Farther east, the western branch of theFarmington River eventually joins the Connecticut. Thanks to reservoirs feedingcold water into the river, the Farmington serves as a year-round trout hatchery,with its own trout management area, and all the natural features needed tonurture brook, brown and rainbow varieties. On both rivers, the fly fishingaction begins as early as April and continues into autumn. Fishing licenses arerequired and are available on a calendar year basis from the ConnecticutDepartment of Environmental Protection (for more information, visit http://dep.state.ct.us).
For those new to the sport or new toConnecticut, there is no better way to enjoy a fly fishing vacation than withhelp from experts. Some of the best include:
- Housatonic Anglers Guide Service (www.housatonicanglers.com) is one of the oldest companies operating on theriver. Rob Nicholas is an FFF Certified Casting Instructor and provides bothguiding services and instruction on the Housatonic and other local streams,offering day trips of the float or walk/wade variety, including a homemadelunch, from mid-April to November.
- Housatonic Meadows Fly Shop & Lodge (www.flyfishct.com)is a licensed Orvis full line dealer as well as Orvis-endorsed guide andinstruction service. With more than 20 years experience, the company offerslodging as well as fishing trips.
- Housatonic River Outfitters (www.dryflies.com)is a full-service flyshop, outfitter and guide/instruction service operating onthe Housy and the Farmington as well as smaller streams in northwesternConnecticut. In addition to a full supply of equipment, including 50,000 flies,the company features classes in fly tying as well as fishing. Full day tripsinclude a gourmet lunch.
- Bob Kneeland (www.ctflyfishing.com) is one of manyindividual fly fishing guides in Connecticut. With over 30 years experience, hecan share his passion, and secrets, on the Farmington, the Housatonic, and, on aseasonal basis, the shoreline of the Connecticut River. Another expert guide isRobert Parkins (www.yellodrake.com) from coastal Connecticut who also offersguided trips on the Housatonic, Farmington and, new for 2005, a guided tour ofreservoir fishing from a flat boat.
- Classic & Custom Fly Shop (www.classicandcustomflyshop.com)is another source for expert instruction in fly fishing. "Learn to Fly Fishwith Marla Blair" one-day classes, taught by Federation of Fly FishermanCertified instructors, are offered periodically through September.
- MountainMeadow Outfitters & Charters offers Connecticut Atlantis salmon and Trophytrout angling in the Shetucket River. Fly-fishing, light tackle, half-orfull-day adventures, shore lunch included. Rental gear. Tackle and fliesavailable. (203-415-4647)
- Two other organizations passionate about flyfishing include the Connecticut Fly Fishermen's Association (www.ctflyfish.org),which is organized to "preserve and promote the pleasures and traditions offly fishing" and offers classes in both freshwater and saltwater flyfishing; and Fly Fishing University (www.flyfishingu.net), which, in addition toan annual World of Fly Fishing show (usually in January), offers instruction viaseminars, clinics, shows and private lessons.
Long Island Sound, from MontaukPoint across to Rhode Island and all along the Connecticut coast, is the sceneof Connecticut's popular saltwater fly fishing expeditions. This is wherefully-equipped modern boats, staffed by expert guides and instructors in bothfly fishing and spin casting, go after the big guys - shark, tuna, dorado, bass,bluefish included - on charter trips and special adventures year-round. Thewaters are particularly noted for trophy-sized striped bass, hard-fightingbluefish, and the quick and powerful false albacore and bonito. Boats departfrom Norwalk, Old Saybrook, Westport, Waterford and other coastal cities, townsand marinas, offering fishermen and fisherwomen of all abilities an experienceof a lifetime.
No license is required for fishing in marine (or coastal) waters.
Among the companies offering a wide range ofsaltwater fishing adventures:
- North Coast Charters (www.northcoastcharters.com),Old Saybrook, offers saltwater fly fishing and light tackle guided trips andcharter service, including instruction for all skill levels. In addition tofishing the spring and fall migrations at Montauk and regularly scheduled tripsthroughout the Sound, the company also features fishing on the Connecticut Riverand the Housatonic River. Owner and operator is Bob Turley, a 25-year veteran offishing the Sound.
- Northeast Saltwater Flyfishing & Westport Outfitters,in Norwalk (www.saltwater-flyfishing.com), offers a complete selection ofequipment and gifts as well as guided fishing services just 15 minutes away fromthe world record striped bass waters along the Norwalk Island chain.
- Northrop's Landing, in Westport (www.charternet.com/flyfish/northrop), featuresan Orvis saltwater pro shop and guided fishing expeditions headed by CaptainJeff Northrop.
- North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook (www.northcove.com)presents a fly fishing department and seasonal schools for fresh and saltwaterfly fishing, fly tying and casting clinics taught by FFF certified castinginstructors.
- Connecticut Woods & Water Guide Service, with Captain DanWood in charge (www.ctwoodsandwater.com), caters to fishermen of all abilitiesand provides day fishing trips on the eastern Long Island Sound with four boatsspecifically designed for northeastern waters.
Finally, a new source ofinformation about Connecticut's fly fishing opportunities will be launched inMay, when www.coastalCTFishing.com begins to provide information and links tomany of the outfitters, guides, fishing vacation packages and other resources.
For further information about the 52 Getaways to Connecticut, restaurants,resorts, country inns, B&Bs and other places to stay in Connecticut, pleasecall 800-CTBOUND (800-282-6863) or visit www.ctbound.org. Connecticut offersvisitors a multi-faceted wealth of attractions, historical, cultural andrecreational activities, diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, parks,beaches and wilderness sure to fulfill any getaway need.
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