Connecticut River Fishing Report: Eclipse Edition

Posted by bs - August 21, 2017 - Trophy Stretch, Upper Connecticut River - 2 Comments
brook-trout-release

It’s finally here everybody … the first solar eclipse since 1979, and people are excited about it. It will happen somewhere around 1:30 PM today and it looks like our weather will cooperate. Sunny, clear sky today, and while we won’t have full totality, it should be cool nonetheless …

And if the fishing is a bit “off” today, we will have yet another excuse – the solar eclipse – to blame it on. However, it sounds like the fishing has been pretty solid lately, whether you are wading the Connecticut River in it’s various Pittsburg stretches, or drifting it from Canaan, VT going south, our fishermen and guides have had some good days of late.

Tall Timber fishing guide Mickey Cunliffe has been getting in to some fish with his clients, and done a good job chronicling their exploits. Nymph rigs are still doing very well (the brook trout that was caught and released in the picture above was tricked with a nymph) and are probably your best bet for getting in to numbers of fish.

The combinations are endless, and you could certainly experiment with your set up. Probably the best way to go is with a heavily weighted beadhead nymph up front (Prince, Pheasant Tail, Copper John) with a lighter nymph trailing behind (Soft Hackle Pupa, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Egg patterns, Worm patterns, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Midge patterns, etc.). Switch things up when you have to and make sure you adjust for the depth of the run that you’re fishing frequently – slow & low is your mantra. Don’t forget it.

brown-releaseHowever, streamers can still do very well right now, so make sure you have some of Chuck Degray’s excellent Soft Hackle Streamers with you when you head to the river. They come in an assortment of colors, and while his gray and white soft hackle streamers are the most devastating, his olive edition has been a revelation this year. We sell them at Tall Timber, but you can also go directly to the source and get them from Chuck at his North Country Fly Shop off of Back Lake Road in Pittsburg.

If you stop in over there and he’s not around, it’s probably because he’s busy guiding clients on the river, and Chuck has been doing a fair amount of drift boat trips lately. While nymphs have been doing great business on the drifts going south from Canaan, VT to Columbia, NH, streamers can also do some damage in certain parts of the river as well.

Fly fishing purists also love the drifts for the ability to target rising trout as well, and BWO patterns have been solid lately, with the Purple Haze probably being the best option of all. Just remember to bring different sizes in case the trout are being particularly picky (which is quite common in the slower moving sections), and don’t forget your 5x and 6x tippet and magnifying glasses for tying these patterns on.

This is also the time of year for terrestrial fishing on the Connecticut as wellCinnamon Ants (sz. 16) and Hoppers of all colors and sizes (I like the many foam hopper patterns out there right now). Bang ’em up  against the banks as you head down river and give them a twitch and look out – the strikes can be violent from hungry trout. The great thing about hopper fishing is that they often get normally wary trout motivated enough to come up and feed, and it can be awfully exciting when that happens.

Fall fishing’s not too far away now, and you know what? The season ends October 15, less than two months away. Hard to believe, and I hope you’ve taken some time out of your schedule to be on the water this year. If you haven’t, give us call and we’ll find some kind of accommodation for you (could be a broom closet, but … you’ll be fishing).

Give us a call at 1-800-835-6343 if you need to get away!

Happy eclipse everybody!

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