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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.


Saturday fly fishing!

Calendar of Events

Board Meeting, Tues evening, July 7, 2015, has been rescheduled to August.

Fishing Meetup, Saturday, July 11, 2015, 10 AM to 3 PM.  Dave and Tristan will lead the clinic for Smallmouth Bass with river maps, and fly and spin casting instructions.  The clinic will last about 30 minutes.  Meet at the Housatonic Meadows State Park, across the road from the old Orvis Fly Shop.  Yes, you will need your fishing gear, waders, and beverages/food.  If you have more questions, Contact Dave Wilgan at his email: dave@wilganinsurance.com

Fly Tying at Chuck’s, Tues evening, July 14,, 2015, 7 PM Trumbull.  Contact Chuck MacMath at cmacmath59@yahoo.com .  The fly tying group will meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 7-9 pm.  The cost is $2.00 per session to cover the cost of materials.  Email cmacmath59@yahoo.com with questions or additional information.  All are welcome, beginners are encouraged to attend.  Vises, tools and materials are available if needed.

Fly Tying at Chuck’s, Tues evening, July 28, 2015, 7 PM Trumbull.  Contact Chuck MacMath at cmacmath59@yahoo.com . 

Board Meeting, Tues evening, August 4, 2015,at the Fairfield Library, 7 PM. Please RSVP to Rich Rosen, rhrosen@aol.com .

Fishing Meetup, Aug TBD, 2015, a weekday evening, Dave Edgeworth to lead in Shelton.  Bring your canoe or kayak.


From Ron Merly’s desk, May 24th


From Ron Merly’s desk, May 24th

As I write this report, the state as well as all of New England, could use a few good rain storms. The rain deficit is currently more than 2″ and all of the smaller streams are very low. The Housatonic has just been re-stocked for the Memorial Day weekend but there is a heavy algae bloom occurring due to the water levels dropping so quickly at this time of the year. The upper Naugatuck was recently re-stocked as well but is running extremely low. The Farmington has been consistently stocked and is loaded with trout but the water is very clear and flows are down, making it difficult to catch fish during the day. Mornings and evenings are your best bet but if you are there during the day, fish nymphs unless you see fish rising.

I spent some time up in Vermont this past week and had all intentions of fishing the lower Black River in Cavendish. It was literally puddles so I did not fish. There were some very nice fish in some of the holes, and yet, if I hooked them, the fish would not have any water for them to run, which is why I decided not fish.

I also fished the Pomperaug River recently which is prone to low flows but the river is extremely low at present (I urge all of you to go and see it). The Connecticut Siting Council recently approved the construction of the Towantic Power Plant in Oxford. I can’t begin to imagine how they will be drawing more than 1 million gallons of water out of that river system annually and what condition it will be in during a drought such as this. But it now makes perfect sense to me as to why Governor Malloy merged the Department of Energy with the Department of Environmental Protection a few years back. DEEP’s hands were completely tied on this issue. I suggest writing the legislature on the subject of conflict of interest within these departments being merged as one, using the construction of a Power plant that we do not need as a perfect example. Remember, this affects the Pomperaug River, Sprain Brook, the Weekeepeemee River, the Nonewaug River, the Little River, and the Naugatuck River, the entire Housatonic River estuary as well as Long Island Sound. Power plants are notorious for attracting invasive species due to the warm water outflow.

Newtown recently appealed to Aquarion to pipe water from the Easton Reservoir over to Newtown obviously because they are aware that the power plant will make water scarce in that area. Luckily, it was denied by DEEP but watch out for more of these requests. Meanwhile, the future of the Mill in Easton (Running Brook Farm) hangs in the balance.

Poaching also remains rampant this year. If you witness poachers, call the state hotline, 800-842-4357.  I know we’ve all done it with little results but if they receive hundreds of calls, maybe something might change.

Wishing I had better news for the report,

Ron Merly


Environmental issues put rivers at risk

Ron Merly, holding a nice Atlantic salmon from the Naugatuck River, says, “Do not let the state take this fishery from us!”

Ron Merly, holding a nice Atlantic salmon from the Naugatuck River, says, “Do not let the state take this fishery from us!”

The trout season has officially ended except for the designated TMAs. Opening day has been switched to the 2nd Saturday in April this year so mark your calendars. A few of the open areas on the Farmington have been producing some beautiful browns for those fishing nymphs in these very cold temperatures however most of the state’s streams remain icy or slushy.

The Kensington Hatchery is up on the block for the third time so write letters immediately. The comment period is nearly over. The Kensington Hatchery produces all of the eggs used in SIC and TIC and is the only hatchery in the state capable of raising Seeforellen brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The loss would be a travesty for Connecticut’s fisheries and would also set precedent for more cuts to the state fisheries rather than increasing monies allocated to DEEP.

While you are writing, you might consider writing the Connecticut Siting Council in opposition of an enormous power plant that is proposed very close to the Oxford Airport. This plant will save the average Connecticut customer within a 10 mile radius of the plant approximately $35 annually as most of the power will be sold to residents in R.I. and Mass. The cost of this plant will be six trout streams, the lower estuary of the Housatonic and Long Island Sound.

The proposed Towantic Power Plant will draw more than a million gallons of water annually from the Pomperaug River which is formed by the Nonewaug and Weekeepeemee Rivers as well as Sprain Brook. Currently, these streams run very low during summer months. The plant will be built right near the headwaters of the Little River which is right on the fringes of over development as it sits. All four of those streams contain wild and holdover trout. The grey water or outflow from the plant is proposed to release all of this very warm and not very clean water into the Naugatuck River upstream of where a 6.5 million dollar fish bypass was recently completed. The Naugatuck flows into the lower estuary of the Housatonic a relatively short distance downstream. The estuary contains the largest wintering over populations of striped bass in the northeast. This would be a huge step backward for Connecticut as the Naugatuck and Housatonic have come such a long way ecologically.

Remember, there has been nothing invented by humans since the dawn of time that does not break or fail. what will happen when this plant breaks or fails. Would the damage take decades to repair itself or will the damage be permanent?? Either way, this is not good for Connecticut.

– Ron Merly