I’ve been hitting a few of the Connecticut freestones the past few weeks.
With recent stockings, I have met some former wards of the state. After a long and lean winter, it felt great to be on the water and not have to worry about ice on the trails. I love chasing wild and wily browns at the Farmington, but, hey, I’m a fly fisherman. Hitting up stockies works for me, too, when I cannot get over to my favorite river.
There’s no secret to the freestones. CT DEEP publishes where they stock. Access is really easy. And, if you’re willing to walk even just 50 yards, it’s very easy to ditch the crowds.
Most people are fishing with night-crawlers. Most fly guys are throwing nymphs with surface indicators. Some are leaving their bottles of beer, cans of soda, and big tangles of mono all over the banks. So, if you choose not to get pissed off about the trash, a properly-presented tightlined nymph from below nearly always works and can bring joy to the net.
Devin’s Biot Stone has been particularly productive for me. I tie it as a size 8, and it sinks like a rock. Its segmentation, wiggly legs and color contrast seem to ring the lunch bell for stockies.
A heavy #8 Marabou jig nymph also can be effective when cast across and presented on the swing in front of rocks or along deeper channels. Then again, just chuck a Mop Fly. Noel is right: those flies are easy to tie and incredibly versatile. I find that fly is very binary: I either get no hits, or clusters of fish race to the fly. But, when it works, trout go crazy for it.
‘Tis the season for easy pickings. I hope you get a chance to get out.