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Tangled Lines

In which we stock the stream

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How to excite a lugubrious trout

On Sunday morning, May 6, the Housatonic River, as measured by the United States Geological Service gauge at Falls Village, was humming away at a hearty 1,410 cubic feet per second.
In highly technical terms, this is a lot of water, moving at a good clip. It makes life difficult for the wading angler.
And, of course, it’s raining. Again.
The focus of my early-season fishing has been small streams that harbor brook trout. Two of them cannot be named in this space. (I found them, and so can you.)

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Standing in the icy water pretending it is spring

SOMEWHERE IN NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT — My fishing season officially began Saturday, Feb. 24, when a healthy 8-inch brook trout took a big rubber-legged stonefly nymph at the tailout of a deepish pool in the Stream That Shall Not Be Named.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Trout season doesn’t start until the second Saturday in April.”
That’s true, for waters covered by general regulations.
But the Housatonic and Farmington Trout Management Areas are open year-round. 

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A rare but sad sight: salmon spawning in Salisbury

I got an email on Halloween inviting me not to a costume party but to behold the strange and rare sight of sockeye salmon trying to spawn in a tiny little brook that runs through Ed and Betty Tyburski’s property on East Twin Lake in Salisbury.
The Tyburskis have owned the house for more than 50 years and they’ve never seen anything like it.
The brook is seasonal. When it rains, it runs.
And it rained buckets a couple days earlier.

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Friend to the fishermen

The trout and small-mouth bass fishing on the Housatonic River has been very good lately. The flows are low, the water temperature ditto and the ambulatory angler can get to a lot of places normally only accessible by boat.
The Farmington River has also been low, because the reservoir that feeds the famous catch-and-release area of the West Branch is low.
All the Catskill rivers, with the exception of the Esopus (like the Farmington, the Esopus relies on reservoir flows) are low.

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Catching up with biggie smalls in the Housatonic River

By the time you read this I will have returned from a week on the Esopus Creek in New York, after catching record numbers of trout, splitting several cords of firewood by hand and generally being manly.
The summer on the Housatonic River has been excellent. In sharp contradistinction to last summer, it has been raining at regular intervals, and the river has not dipped below 200 cubic feet per second at Falls Village.

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Adventures with mops, nymphs and my pal Thos

I am pleased to report that my attorney, Thomas Gallucio of Reston, Va., successfully caught and released several fish during a recent visit.
Thos has been my most disappointing student over the decades. But he’s a stubborn fellow, and I couldn’t help noticing that he has somehow ironed out the fatal kinks in his fly-casting.
He developed new ones instead.
The first triumph was a giant, man-eating perch. Playing this leviathan into the canoe was an epic struggle of at least 30 seconds. Man vs. wild animal. Who will prevail?

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Truly Tangled: A beginner learns to cast

By Michael Duca
You know the guy. He decides he’s going to learn how to fly-fish. He spends a weekend at the Orvis School in Millbrook, is dazzled by the embedded complexity of the sport — the equipment, the methods, the etiquette. Taking full advantage of the special discount extended to the newly anointed “graduates,” he buys a lot of high-end gear at the conveniently located in-house store. And never goes fishing again. 
I am that guy.

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A cold plunge on a hot day, if you can find flowing water

Picking a place to fish is usually a pleasant task if you live in the Northwest Corner. Should I go to the Farmington and stalk big trout? Ditto the Housatonic, with the summertime addition of small-mouth bass?

Should I creep around a mountain brook for natives? Or a medium-sized trout stream for a mix of stocked and stream-bred trout?

But all those questions assume that said rivers and streams have water in them.

And lately, they haven’t had much.

Oh, the joys of the Tenkara rod

Back in February I received a handsome gift from my occasional fishing buddy Ian Davison: a Temple Fork Outfitters 10-foot 6-inch rod — the Soft Hackle.
It’s an unusual rod in that it uses no reel. Instead it has a fixed length of line.
Oh, and it telescopes out. When collapsed it’s about the size of a piccolo.
(We now pause while you Google “piccolo length.”)

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