The Rats Nest

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Housatonic Gold

Why I Like The Housatonic

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the holdover brown trout of the Housatonic River.  For quite some time now I have had a thing for the elusive brown trout that inhabit that watershed.  I can remember some of my first experiences there over a decade ago when I moved from north of the state border to the Nutmeg State, and the plump wily brown trout that seemed at the time to be much more bountiful than they are now. 

Maybe it's fact or fiction, but many things seem to be a shade of what "they used to be".  As I get a little older(probably not much wiser), I find myself less intrigued by the easy catch, more bountiful fisheries that are measured by thousands of trout per mile, and more intrigued by the fishery that may not have the numbers of fish, but will cough up a quality fish for those who will put in the time.  With those locales is another constant that goes hand in hand; more anglers.  It's a simple equation really, good fishing with large numbers of fish = more anglers.  No offense guys, I understand more anglers is a double edged sword; I agree it is great for the sport yada yada yada, but when a guy just needs to get away, it's just not what he wants to be a part of.  To be blunt, I have been driving by my local fishery this spring en-route to other water because I just don't wanna take part in the madness.  

I haven't even taken part in any form of dry fly fishing yet this year, not sure I will for a while yet either.  When the phrase, "The streamer bite isn't good till the caddis start" gets thrown at you, the challenge is ripe for the taking. The need to disprove this statement echoes in my head daily, and I took the challenge head on.  Now mind you, remember what fishery I am referring to here, the "Housy" can be an ornery old girl who will give you a taste of what she has to offer one day only to rip the rug right out from under your feet the next.  Big water, marginal fish numbers (trout that is) and weather related conditions make her this way, and she kindly (or not so kindly) reminds us of this regularly. 

Several More Of These Guys In The Mix Today Too
If you remember last weeks post, it was laden with smallmouth bass,  with no trout in the mix.  Look, I'm not one to turn up my nose at these wonderful creatures, and I truly enjoy them as a sport fish.  I never could quite understand some of my clients over the years who would snub these feisty fish, and complain when they caught them.  I call them bonus fish, as they always seem to fill the gaps between the trout that we would catch, and over the years I have grown to appreciate the fact that the Housatonic truly is a first rate smallmouth fishery, and arguably one of the best in the Northeast.  But, when you're trying to find those holdover butter bellies that are the true gems of the Housy, it can be a bit frustrating as for every trout you may catch, tens of bass will be in between or maybe hundreds in my case, well at least that has been what it seems. 

As you've heard me say before, when you throw big and you commit to it whole hearted, you want to tip the scales in your favor, so an early alarm, foggy eyes and not enough coffee greeted morning me with a 5 AM departure to the green hued waters of the Housy.  After several smallmouth and a few rainbows, I managed to stick the wonderful specimen pictured above.  My heart again raced, and I was swept back in time to those memories of yesteryear. 

Think I Have A New Favorite Streamer Stick...
If you haven't noticed yet, 2013 for me is going to be a year of going back, hitting some new challenges head on and not going for the easy route.  Good chance you'll find me on less fished waters in search of not only the elusive Housy holdover brown, but some other species as well.  Gotta wonder what next week will bring, and hopefully this brown is the first of many on this particular fishery.

So now that the season is in full swing, the fly store is down until further notice and I get the remainder of my orders completed, it's time to fish on a regular basis, I'm sorry fellas but I need it.  The store is going off line for a very good reason, and I will elaborate upon that next week, and it will be a short lived shut down so don't fret, I promise, but in the meantime here is to blazing your own path and to a season of challenges, oh, I almost forgot, did I mention I tested a new fly out yesterday too?  It looks like she's gonna make the rotation folks, and she will fill the void for a specific area that I have been tinkering with for quite some time.  Let's just say she will bridge the gap between cold water fish and warm water if that gives you a clue. 

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