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Merly: Now is the time to go fishing

Ron Merly with an 18 and one-half inch palomino trout recently caught and released in one of Connecticut's beautiful streams. Perfect Autumn colors!!

Now is the time to get out and fish for everything!!; Atlantic salmon have been stocked into the Naugatuck and Shetucket Rivers. The Saugatuck Fly only TMA and Cascades TMA on the Mill have just been stocked with trout as well as the Housatonic TMA’s in Kent and in Cornwall. Water levels are down but the fishing is good despite the lower water. The Farmington continues to fish very well.

Blackfishing has been very good lately. There is a lot of bait out in the sound. I saw a pic of a 60+ lb. striper which was recently caught in the Connecticut River and the bonito and false albacore are giving anglers a thrill out east. So whatever your quarry, get out there before the weather turns too cold.

I spoke with state biologist Mike Humphreys recently and he has submitted a proposal for regulation change on the Mill River. The proposal will be to change the currently fragmented area of the stream which is a WTMA from the Easton Reservoir down to Rte. 59 where it becomes put and take fishing along Congress St. and then changes to a seasonal TMA from the Congress St. Bridge down to Lake Mohegan.

The changes will be to make the entire stream from the reservoir down to Lake Mohegan catch and release fishing only with possible supplemental stockings of rainbows throughout the Cascades area which they do not feel will compete with the wild trout. (???) Anyway, it will all be catch and release.

The electro-shocking survey conducted by the state on the Mill this year yielded some excellent results. The largest numbers of 6- 10″ brown trout that they have recorded to date were electro-shocked this year. There were browns over 20 inches, wild rainbows (which the state believes are the progeny of the spring spawn rainbows that were stocked by what was formerly the 25 Sportsmens Club which was a private club that ran from the bridge near Buck Hill Rd. up to the reservoir) and wild tigers. However, the best news is that the brook trout population is finally expanding all the way down to Congress St. This makes the Mill one of the most unique wild trout streams in the entire northeast. It is a tailwater release wild trout stream that runs down into a 60 ft. deep thermal refuge (Lake Mohegan) in less than 3 miles and Nutmeg should be proud to be the keeper of this excellent self-sustaining fishery. I pointed this out to the state in a letter that I wrote to them which was the final letter that I wrote as President of the chapter which is largely what led to these changes.

There is more promising news on the Mill. The Aspetuck Land Trust is trying to raise money to purchase the South Park Ave. property that runs along the Mill from the Town of Easton. The land trust was successful in obtaining Trout Brook Valley many years back with the help of Newman’s Own, The Nature Conservancy, the State of Connecticut and other private donors and conservation organizations. ALT needs that same support now as this would obviously be the best acquisition of that land and this is a great opportunity for Nutmeg as well as the community in general as it would make the Mill even that much more of an asset to the state.

Tight, light lines,

Ron Merly

Merly to describe fishing around state

FF_Connecticut_webNutmeg TU’s Ron Merly will discuss his book, The Flyfisher’s Guide to Connecticut, at the next regular chapter meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

The meeting will be held at Nutmeg’s new home, Port 5 Naval Veterans, 69 Brewster St., Bridgeport. The hall is next to Fayerweather Yacht Club, The former site of regular Nutmeg TU meetings.

In addition to discussing his book, Merly said he will talk about “different streams people probably haven’t fished or don’t fish.”

Merly has been fishing fresh and salt water around Connecticut for some 45 years.

The  Flyfisher’s Guide to Connecticut includes more than 30 detailed maps showing every access point, state park, state forest, boat ramp, campsite, access road and bridge. Also included are hatch charts, detailed driving directions, as well as fly and tackle shops, accommodations, restaurants, and air service, plus where to find Atlantic salmon and sea-run trout, as well as head-to-toe coverage of the Housatonic and Farmington Rivers.

The book can be purchased at amazon.com.