The Squannacook’s Peter Bertozzi wildlife area is an awesome stretch. Access is easy and the trout are willing when they’re there.
I’ve spent quite a few outings fishing various parts of the river, and I’ve concluded that the Bertozzi stretch is the best by far (I tomorrow will write about some other good spots). This area of the river is stocked amply in the spring and autumn. It’s a great stretch if you’re teaching someone new.
Keep an eye on the stocking schedule update. Last year, DFW started stocking there the third week in April. You won’t need any special gear. The usual 5x leader and some basic flies should more than cover it.
It’s a very pleasant drive out to Groton, MA. The Bertozzi area is easy to miss, and it took me some sleuthing to find it.
Here: the GPS coordinates to a dirt parking lot. Blink, and you’ll miss the sign below. Park there, rig up, and follow the trail to the river.
The dirt trail will eventually fork to the left or the right. I go left and I head towards the southern part of the river and work my way up. There’s a major oxbow in the river, and going left takes you below the oxbow.
You’ll soon get to the river. There are some great nymphing runs. Float the ol’ indicator and work your way up. If you can, remember to fish the far bank. Many of the stockies hang out there to avoid the anglers.
Above the last riffle is the tail-out section of the oxbow. Some trout hang out there. A streamer here could do well.
There also is a decent stretch above the oxbow, but my advice is that you cross the river to fish it, as that is the best way to reach some very good and deep stretches. Just note that there’s a fair number of underwater branches in that area. But, that’s where the trout hang out!
You’re fishing for fresh stockies, and so, the usual stuff will work. I’d swing a Woolly Bugger early in the season, and, then, nymph with the usual SJWs, Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears. You can leave the small flies in the car, and that will be a refreshing change from the Swift!
Last, Charlie Shadan at the Evening Fly Shop in Pepperell knows well the Squannacook. He’s a great guy, too.