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Rivers & streams – Trout fishing conditions should be good this weekend, nice weather is forecast, flows are at typical spring levels, and there are plenty of recently stocked trout (DEEP’s trout stockings continue through the end of May). Good reports last week from the West Branch Farmington River, Farmington River, Housatonic River (although flows stayed on the high side last weekend), Salmon River, Natchaug River, Salmon Brook and Pequonnock River (a bit spotty). Anglers have been finding success using worms & corn/mealworm combinations.

Farmington River – Fishing continues to be good to very good, and conditions should be good for the weekend. West Branch flows are clear, moderate and very fishable, currently 152 cfs at Riverton plus an additional 130 cfs from the Still River. Water temperatures are in the low 50’s °F.

Current hatches include Hendrickson (a.k.a red quills; #12-14), Blue Winged Olive (#16-18), Blue Quill (a.k.a. paralep; #18), Early Stonefly (#6-16), Quill Gordon (#14), Green Caddis & Brown/Tan Caddis (#16-18) and Sulphurs (#16-20). The Hendrickson hatch is hanging on above Riverton. Try Blue Winged Olives (#18-20), Winter/Summer Caddis (#18-22), Sulphur Emerger (#16-20), Rusty Spinners (#16-20), Midges (#22-32), Blue Quill (#16-18), Pheasant Tails (#14-18) and Mahogany Duns (#16-18).

Housatonic River – Fishing had been good, but got a bit harder last weekend as flows rose. Flows are on the high side (currently 1,500 cfs at Falls Village and 2,440 cfs at Gaylordsville) but are clearing and beginning to drop. Morning water temperatures are currently in the mid 50’s °F.

Current hatches include: Green Caddis (main hatch), March Brown/Gray Fox (starting to show up), Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olives, Brown/Tan Caddis and Midges. Caddis (#14-18, green, olive & tan, just starting), Henryville Special, Hendrickson Spinner (Rusty, #12-14), Adams (#12-20), March Brown (#10-12) are producing. Caddis, Gray Fox, March Browns, Sulphurs and Blue Wing Olives patterns are working. Streamers and big nymphs have been very effective.

Rivers and streams stocking update (week of 5/14-5/18). This week in eastern CT, the Blackledge River (lower), Broad Brook (Preston), Choate Brook, Coginchaug River, Dickinson Creek, Kitt Brook, Moosup River (including the TMA), Mount Misery Brook, Myron Kinnie Brook, Natchaug River, Pachaug River, Quinebaug River (Plainfield), Quinebaug River (Griswold), Salmon River (including the TMA), Scantic River (upper), Shetucket River, Whitfords Brook and Yantic River (including the TMA) are all scheduled to be stocked.

In western CT, the West Branch Farmington River (Goodwin Dam to TMA), West Branch Farmington River TMA, Farmington River (lower Collinsville to Route 4, Farmington), Farmill River, Mill River (Hamden, including the TMA), Naugatuck River (Torrington to Beacon Falls, except for the TMA), Nepaug River, Norwalk River, Pomperaug River, Quinnipiac River, East and West Branches of Salmon Brook, Sandy Brook and Still River (Colebrook) are scheduled to be stocked this week.

Reminder to anglers – Maps of all of the state’s trout streams and rivers showing the many stocking and access points are now available online at <;. Note that stocking schedules are subject to change.

Lakes & Ponds – Trout fishing has been fair to good with Colebrook (try early), Highland Lake (steady action), Candlewood Lake (good action continues in the southern portions of the lake), Squantz Pond, Wononskopomuc Lake (a bit slow), East Twin Lake (fair), Lake McDonough, West Hill Pond (good), Beach Pond (fair at best), Coventry Lake (have to work for them here) and Crystal Lake (Ellington). Among other places to try for trout are Mount Tom Pond, Mohawk Pond, Black Pond (Woodstock), Long Pond, Bigelow Pond, Rogers Lake and Lake Hayward.

Lakes and ponds stocking update (week of 5/14 – 5/18). In eastern CT, Amos Lake, Angus Park Pond, Beach Pond, Bigelow Pond, Billings Lake, Black Pond (Woodstock), Coventry Lake, Gay City Park Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Shenipsit Lake and Somersville Mill Pond are scheduled for stocking this week.

In western CT, Baummer’s Pond, East Twin Lake, Fountain Lake, Lake McDonough, Mad River Flood Control Impoundment, Scoville Reservoir, Stillwater Pond, West Branch Reservoir and Lake Wononskopomuc are being stocked this week.

Trout Parks – Fishing continues to be good at the Trout Parks. This week, nine trout parks, Black Rock Pond, Wolfe Park (Great Hollow Pond), Southford Falls, Stratton Brook Park, Wharton Brook Pond, Day Pond, Natchaug River, Valley Falls Park Pond and Chatfield Hollow are scheduled to be stocked.

LARGEMOUTH BASS fishing remains variable, ranging from slow to good, with the best reports from Wononskopomuc Lake, West Hill Pond (including a 5.6 lb bass), Lake Saltonstall, Pachaug Pond (recent catches include a 6.6 lb largemouth and several 5 lb plus fish), Mashapaug Pond, Moodus Reservoir and Mudge Pond. Fishing is generally fair to good at Candlewood Lake (recent catches include a 6.4 lb largemouth), Lake McDonough, Hopeville Pond (recent catches include several 5 lb plus largemouth),Dooley Pond and Gardner Lake (catches include a 5.25 lb bass) and fair to slow at Lake Lillinonah, Aspinook Pond, Coventry Lake, Pattagansett Lake, Powers Lake and Batterson Park Pond.

SMALLMOUTH BASS –Candlewood Lake smallmouth fishing this spring is not as hot as the previous several years, but still good, with plenty of 2-4 lb fish, and although several 4-5 lb fish were reported last week, these size fish are harder to find this spring. Good reports also from Lake Lillinonah (including several 4 lb smallies) and Mashapaug Lake (plenty of 1-3 lb smallmouth reported). Some action also reported from Highland Lake, Squantz Pond and Lake McDonough. Anglers continue to get a few smallmouth at Pachaug Pond.

BLACK CRAPPIE– Good reports for crappie from Highland Lake, Park Pond and Coventry Lake. Small shiners are producing. Use a small hook and fish close to shore.

WALLEYE are being reported from Lake Saltonstall (good), Batterson Park Pond, Coventry Lake (fish are being caught, but not many keepers) and Squantz Pond (very good).

CONNECTICUT RIVER – River conditions are now much more typical of the spring, as flows and turbidity have increased again (but should drop some for the weekend). STRIPED BASS fishing has slowed some. Better action and more keepers north of Hartford and in the Middletown area down towards the mouth. CATFISH continue to provide some action (dead bait, chunking & sandworms). Portland area has been good.

BLACK CRAPPIE have been providing some nice action in Wethersfield Cove and the other coves. SHAD fishing is fair to good, best reports from the confluence with the Farmington River, the Bissell Bridge, below the I-91 bridge and Enfield. SMALLMOUTH BASS action was very good in the Enfield area, catches include several 3 lb smallies). CARP catches went way up this week with the big fish coming in at over 20 lbs. Some NORTHERN PIKE are being caught in the coves and in the mainstem in the Middletown and Haddam areas.


* EASTERN CT LAKE LEVELS & BOAT LAUNCHES. Beachdale Pond and Wyassup Lake continue to be drawn down for dam repairs, the launching of trailered boats at these lakes is impossible.

*The FirstLight Power Housatonic River flow information automated phone (1-888-417-4837) is currently down and will remain out of service for at least a week.

* The state boat launch on BANTAM LAKE at the old Beverly’s Marina site is now open to use. The launch is open 24/7 and parking for the launch is restricted to an absolute maximum of 20 vehicles with boat trailers.


How to Select Lure Colors for Successful Fishing – By Lynn Frederick
Copyright 2001 – University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute

Most fish can see in color. The retina of a fish’s eye contains two types of cells, rods and cones. Cones are used for day vision and are the cells used to see colors. Rods are used for night vision and cannot distinguish colors.

In theory, day feeders like bass, trout, and salmon are more sensitive to color than night feeders like walleyes.

Red light is almost completely absorbed within the first 15-20 feet.

Orange penetrates to 30-40 feet, and yellow to 60-70 feet, while green and blue remain visible for as deep as the light penetrates.

The total amount of light also decreases with depth. At 50 feet, a yellow lure will still appear yellow, but will not appear as bright as it did at 20 feet. At depths where it is nearly dark, a white or silver lure would show up better than a blue or green lure against a blue-green background of water.

On a cloudy day, colors will not penetrate as deep as they will on a sunny day. After dark, fishermen should choose between a light lure or dark one. At dawn, as light intensity increases and fish switch back to cone vision, the order is reversed, and blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and reds appear. At early dawn, some anglers are successful with red near the surface. To fish striking from below, it shows up as a dark lure against the lightening sky. As the day gets lighter, red no longer works well, and anglers must experiment with more visible colors.

Ultimately, the appeal of the lure to the fish is most important. Fish must strike the lure either to eat it or attack it. While fish may locate the general area of the bait by smell or sound, most fish make their final attack by sight. Fish scents and noisemakers can draw fish to the area of the lure, but before it can strike, the fish must also be able to see it. This is why lure visibility and color are important to successful fishing.


Surface water temperatures in Long Island Sound (LIS) range from the mid to upper 50’s °F. Check out the following web sites for more detailed water temperatures and marine boating conditions:<

STRIPED BASS fishing continues to improve as migrants cruise through LIS. The usual striper haunts include Watch Hill reefs to eastern tip of Fishers Island, the Race, Plum Gut, Millstone outflow, Bartlett Reef, Black Point, lower Connecticut River (DEEP fishing pier) and along Great Island, Long Sand Shoal, Southwest Reef, Six Mile Reef, Falkner Island area, Thimble Islands to the Branford Reefs, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Milford Harbor breakwaters and Charles Island area including the tombolo, Housatonic River (up to the Derby Dam), Penfield Reef, and around the Norwalk Islands. Live eels or bunker (Atlantic menhaden), fresh cut bunker or mackerel, and whole sand or blood worms on three way bottom rigs or fish finder rigs are the ticket. Three way bucktail jigs having been working well in deep water areas such as the Race and Plum Gut.

BLUEFISH fishing is slowly improving. Bluefish spots include the Race, Millstone outflow, Plum Gut, Gardiners Bay, rip areas along the north shore of Long Island where the water temperature is warmer than the Connecticut side, New Haven Harbor (Sandy Point), Bridgeport Harbor, and the Norwalk Islands.

WINTER FLOUNDER fishing remains fair to good. Flounder spots include the mouth of the Thames River in the Pine Island area, Niantic River, and the Westport – Norwalk area. Again chumming is the key for success.

SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing opened on May 15th. Minimum length is 18 inches and the daily possession limit is 5 fish per person.

SCUP (porgy) fishing still remains on the slow side.

WHITE PERCH fishing remains good with anglers limiting out. Coves of the Pawcatuck, Thames, Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers are the spots. Grass shrimp is the bait to go with.

For Current Connecticut Recreational Fishing Regulations: Anglers should consult the new 2012 Connecticut Anglers Guide which is now available at most Town Clerks Offices, DEEP offices and at tackle stores selling fishing licenses. Anglers can purchase their fishing licenses online (   or at participating town halls, DEEP field offices and fishing tackle vendors. Current regulations, electronic versions of the Angler’s Guide and additional information can all be accessed on the DEEP website at:


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