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Fishing the Housatonic River with Rob Nicholas

November 12, 2015.  Nutmeg TU will hold its meeting at 7 PM on Tues, Nov 15, at Port 5.


Since 1993, Rob Nicholas (owner / head guide) has been guiding and teaching the sport of fly fishing to all skill levels from beginner to expert on both the Housatonic and Farmington rivers, as well as some lesser known, smaller streams. Rob is a full time guide on the Housatonic and has over 30 years of fly fishing knowledge and experience here in the Northeast, western states, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina.  Rob became a Federation of Fly Fishers certified casting instructor in 1993.  While usually the dry fly enthusiast, Rob is also well versed in nymphing and streamer techniques during non-hatch periods.  He has tied some of his own flies specifically designed for the fishing the Housatonic and Farmington Rivers.

Rob is going to share some of his knowledge about fishing the Housatonic at our general meeting at 7 PM on Tues, November 15, at Port Five, 69 Brewster St, Bridgeport, CT.

From Ron Merly’s desk, October

Ron M wild brown trout IMG_2147

19 inch wild Housatonic Brown Trout

The fishing in both the fresh and salt water has been consistently in consistent. With the constant high pressure, no rain and not much barometric fluctuation, the fish and the fishing has been a bit unpredictable. Out in the salt, anglers are having great days with the false albies and the stripers…. other days, nothing in sight. Blackfishing has been a bit better. Very little consistency out there.

In the streams, the Housy, Farmington and Mill Rivers are really the only fishable streams as everything else is dried up. We are currently suffering more than a 6 inch deficit in our rainfall for the year and the Housatonic is dropping quickly. The Naugatuck River has been stocked with salmon but with no water, it’s not much of a challenge.

Hopefully, we’ll soon get the much needed rain.

Ron M.


From Ron Merly’s Desk, September

Ron Merly shows the size of the fish that can be caught on the annual Nutmeg TU camping trip along the Housatonic.

The saltwater action was spotty this season but when it was good, it was really good. Some very large stripers were caught in our area earlier in the season including a 65 pounder caught off of Bridgeport. Sea bass continue to be caught but mostly at night. Overall, right now the fishing in southwestern Long Island Sound is slow.

On the freshwater end of the spectrum, we are in a drought. The Housatonic River is lower than it has been in a few years which will affect the survival rates of the trout. The rest of the streams in the state remain low as we presently have a deficit of more than 1 1/2 inches of rain. We are so very fortunate to have the Farmington River in our backyard. The river has been running well and fishing well. Hatches are early in the morning through mid-day and the action has been dropping off in the evenings for the past month. The fish were keyed in on Needhami flies for the past few weeks but seem to prefer the tricos now. Terrestrials are also working well as I landed a 24.5″ brown trout on an ant. I also caught a beautiful wild brookie on an Adams at the head of Ovation Pool so sometimes it pays to think outside of the box a little bit and move away from what the fish are constantly seeing. Good luck and tight lines.

Ron Merly

Chapter meeting, Tues, May 19, 2015, 7 PM, at Port 5, Bridgeport

Bill Closs will discuss his recent trip to Patagonia, Argentina, for our May meeting.

Bill Closs is a lifelong fly fisherman, with many fly fishing adventures and trips to all of the New England States, as well as, New York, Penn., Montana, Georgia, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Quebec, Canada, Kamchatka, Russia, and Patagonia, Argentina, and Belize.  Trips to the Amazon and Mongolia are scheduled for 2016. Many of these trips have been made by private plane that he flies for business and pleasure.  Yes, he has even joined our Nutmeg TU group on our past outings to the Catskills.

He owns property 10 minutes from the Farmington River near Riverton, CT, and in Rangeley, Maine where he fly fishes extensively in both places.

The presentation on Patagonia is approx. 50 pictures of rafting, camping, and fishing the Alumine and Le Mas Rivers in Patagonia, Argentina.  The base camp lodge for the fishing group is also a working cattle ranch.

Bill Closs is a fellow angler and his presentation will consist of a brief review of pictures and commentary, and then he will be open to questions and discussion.

Bring your questions!  If you have ever wanted to fish outside of the US, this is an excellent opportunity to find out how you might accomplish this type of travel!

Closs 25 lb Salmon 2011