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Stripers, salmon hitting in area rivers

Ron Merly holds a 32-inch salmon caught below the Tingue Dam recently.

There are still a lot of striped bass around the area and anglers are doing well in the lower Housatonic with them. Some Atlantic Salmon have moved down into the Housatonic from the Naugatuck and there have been salmon caught from the Derby Dam down past O’Sullivan’s Island.

The warmer weather had the BWOs hatching hard on the Housatonic in Cornwall over the past weekend. The fish weren’t rising but were gorging on nymphs. We had good luck both fly and spin fishing. The recent rain should again increase water levels in the smaller streams.

The Farmington continues to fish well. The bite is very inconsistent and yet, if you hit it on the right day, the fish will be feeding hard to prepare for winter.

The Naugatuck River has been running low making the salmon fishing difficult, yet again, the recent rain should have that river in good shape. If you haven’t seen the completed Tingue Dam Bypass in Seymour, I suggest you check it out. It was a massive undertaking which has now opened the passage for anadromous fish to travel from Long Island Sound all the way to Thomaston. Make sure you stay on the west side of the dam as the east side is within 100 feet of the fishway. No fishing is allowed within 100 feet of any fishway or bypass in Connecticut. The salmon pictured here is a 32-inch hen salmon which was caught below the dam on the west side this past Saturday.

Tight, light lines, Ron Merly

Merly: Trout, salmon in full swing

Nice Housatonic River rainbow caught recently outside of the TMA. Don't be afraid to explore!

The trout and salmon fishing is in full swing right now. We have received some much needed rain and the rivers are looking better. The Housatonic and Farmington Rivers are fishing very well with some large spawning browns being caught. Brook trout fishing has been excellent throughout the state and they are in their full spawn colors at this time.

The salt water fishing has been very good as well with great blackfish reports as well as a lot of stipers being caught. There is still a lot of bunker out there to kep the fish around but they’ll be gone soon.

I just returned from Pulaski, New York where the steelhead fishing is now in full swing as well. Lots of big steelhead in the rivers and a few fresh salmon still tricking in. If you’ve never been up to catch these fish, try it. It is a world class fishery only 5 hours away.

The chapter needs to take action on a serious problem which has recently occurred in the Mill. Apparently, some of Connecticut’s finest citizens parked in the lot on the Congress St. side of the Meritt Pkwy., dragged logs across the river to pool it, and then took a drag net though the stream netting all of the trout that they could take. The smaller trout were thrown onto the banks to die as they would have been too small to eat. This was told to me by very reliable witnesses and I was also told that this was not the first time that this has happened. Unfortunately, there were no photographs of this atrocity. As far as I know, the logs are still in place.

My suggestion is that the loggs be removed and camo cameras be installed such as deer cams to try and prevent this from happening again or to catch the people who are doing this. The chapter could also use river stewards to patrol the chapters streams weekly as there were many bait containers found along the Saugatuck Fly Area and anglers aren’t catching many fish there.

Our state has a serious problem with poaching and I believe that all anglers should unite at this point and demand better protection for our fisheries. Millions are spent each year raising and stocking trout, pike, walleye, salmon etc. but yet that investment is not protected. Maybe a petiton to the state legislators is in order.

Tight light lines

Ron Merly