Saltwater/Tidal River Report
The usual winter striper fishery is strong in the Housatonic River, we are not targeting these fish much as to give them a break before we get busy in March and April! If you decide to target these fish look to the mid-river sections around Shelton and you can't go wrong with a 6-7 inch sluggo type soft plastic with a half ounce jig head fished very slow and on the channel edges. As we head into March and April the fish will spread out to the shallow mud flats which warm up rapidly replacing their desire to hang deep in the thermocline below 20 feet which is mostly mid channel jig type fishing. Once they hit the flats we can have a hoot casting flies on grain lines and crank baits, as well as getting explosive strikes on weightless sluggos near the surface.
Freshwater Report -
About the only game in town for open water fisherman will be the Farmington River and it can be a very productive river system during the winter months. Target warmer and sunny days for the best chances and stick to nymph fishing unless extremely high water exists...then get out the streamer rod and fish big patterns slow and deep, at this time of year you will not be likely to find quality fish feeding in fast water.
We will be targeting Pike the next several weeks on Lake Lillinonah, once they fill the lake again as the water has been dropped about 10 feet in order for residents to remove their docks for the winter. I personally hope the ice stays away as I prefer open water fishing but pike feed aggressively throughout the winter under the ice too. Large live and dead suckers are the best choice for the real deal!
A 20" survivor strain Farmington River brown trout hooked on a size 12 parachute Hendrickson dry fly!
Interested in Fly Casting instruction for fresh or salt water? Captain Chris Elser is a certified casting instructor and will be offering lessons and instruction throughout the winter months. Take advantage of one-on-one personalized instruction at any location that is convenient for you, even your own home! He has all the tackle and can also incorporate a lesson into a trip out on the Sound or inland lakes for trout and smallmouth bass.
Captain Chris Elser has been writing the Western Long Island Sound fishing reports since April of 2006, you will surely get detailed information on fishing for Stripers, Bluefish, False Albacore and more! Pick up the new isue for the latest info!
Sweet....my daughter and I found these beautiful wild brook trout right on our property in a tiny trickle where they continue to survive through floods and drought conditions.
Another late September father and son team fish in the 30lb. range.
These 3 boys had the time of their life catching Gorilla blues near shore on a very sporty day of seas!
CJ Elser, with a personal best 50+ pound striper!
July - Curt Gowdy, Jr., above, with a sweet 25 lb. striper taken near mid day on July 6th. He also landed many 10+ lb. bluefish using grain lines and a 10 wt. fly rod...great fishing to end the day today Curt!
May - This was an epic day on the western LI Sound folks...we had 8 fish over 30lbs. in less than 3 hours live lining bunker in the Bridgeport area. The fish in the photo was by far not the largest but did not survive so I had a nice photo op before making dinner for 8 from her fillets! The largest fish was 48 inches and well over 40lbs. and I did not see a fish under 30....VERY memorable for this neck of the woods my friends.
Heather above with a 52.5 inch striper taken on a red tube and gulp imitation sandworm trolled up on light tackle with a Lamiglas Tri-Flex conventional and Avet MXL reel!
My son CJ with a fat 44lb. striper taken on July 18, 2009...we had about 10 this size in less than 3 hours!
Heather Elser shows off a sweet 43 inch striper taken in shallow water the first week of September, there were many more keepers and big bluefish as well and all within a stone's throw from shore!
July 23 - Heather with another 40+ lb. striper.
May 8, 2012 – A healthy 16" holdover rainbow trout taken on a pheasant tail nymph in a headwater riffle.
"IP" Gregory with a fine wild brown trout he caught on our outing near my home in Southbury, CT...what a great day of catching and catching up!
July 28, I actually took the liberty to land one myself on that epic day...but we had over 30 bass between 35-62lbs. in 5 days!!
October 24, 2011- A 2nd 30lb. b'day cow...wtg Shane
September 25, 2011- Shane with a 10 lb. false albacore off of Milford, CT.
This false albacore was 6 oz. from being a state record at just over 14lbs. and was caught on Sept. 29, 2009 near Milford, CT. It was my personal best fat albert! Let's hope they stack in tight again!
Bonito can be expected in August, it was an epic year in 2009.
October 24, 2011- Shane treated himself to a cow hunt for his birthday and succeeded witha fat 44" bass at 30+ lbs. taken at spot X near Stratford!
My big fly rod fish above was taken July of 2009 on a 15 inch all black spun deer hair pattern tied by Peter Viviano, Jr. - check out all of his selection at www.fishflyes.co
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