OCTOBER - 2010

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Marty Petersen , Dom Falcone, Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFrenier.

Monthly Meeting

The next meeting will be the first Wednesday of October at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT. The speaker for the October 6th meeting will be Dr. Frank Schildgen who will demonstrate his Easy Knot and other knots that anglers may use. For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or or visit

Annual Banquet/Fund Raiser

The 2010 Annual Banquet/fund raiser will be held Friday November 5 at J.J. Sullivan's in Ansonia (same place as last year). That evening the annual fundraisers for the Chapter are the Banquet Bucket Raffle and Silent Auction. There was no Main Raffle in 2009 or 2010. Save the date.

Fly Tying Classes

Once again the fly tying season is upon us. The Naugatuck/Pomperaug chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding fly tying classes Wednesday evenings at the Southbury Stop & Shop from 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on the following dates. November 10, 17 & 24 and December 8, 15 & 22.

Classes are free and open to the public. If you have your own gear bring it. If you don't have fly tying supplies, vise, hooks, hair and feathers, you can use ours. Now is the time to fill your fly box for next season!!!! Stop & Shop is off exit 15 West/East on Rt. 84.

National Hunting & Fishing Day

The five representatives from our chapter that demonstrated fly-tying at the September 25, 2010 National Hunting & Fishing Day at Sessions Woods were: Marty Petersen, Jack Brophy, Dave Peck, Bob Nikituck and Dom Falcone.

Chapter Master Fly-Tiers demonstate the
expertise— L-R Marty Petersen, Dave Peck and Dom Falcone
A member of the Congress Rough Riders is shown taking part in shooting competition.

These two young rifleman demonstrated they could hit the bullseye using a 22 rifle.
This youngster is being instructed on how to hit a bullseye.This sharp shooting youngster hit most of his targets.
This sharp shooting youngster hit most of his targets
Photos by Bob Gregorski


Hickory Shad by Bob Gregorski

“ Having any luck catching snappers (bluefish)’, I shouted across the narrow river to the angler on the other side. “No.”, he responded. “If you want to catch hickory shad, put on a small silver lure or a jighead’, I suggested. The angler tied on a small silver lure and in the next hour I saw him land three shad. That scenario took place last week at the SSS River (the name is fictitious and represents good fishing for Shad, Stripers and Snappers)

During the two hours I fished there the last week, I released one striper, several snapper blues and at least a score of hickory shad. That was my first Triple Specie Saltwater catch of the season.

When there are schools of stripers and shad or snappers available at the SSS River and lower Connecticut River, I often will fish with a medium weight spinning outfit using 8 pound test monofilament line and jighead dressed with a curly tail and a willow leaf shad lure tied about 18 inches above the jighead. My first introduction to using Willow Leaf lures was on the lower Farmington River in Windsor back in the 50’s. The current in that section of the river was moderate and gave the lure great action. It was used during the spring run of American shad. But later I found that the hickory shad loved it. I use white or chartreuse jighead/curly tail and a silver/chartreuse or silver/pink willow leaf. I need to use 8 pound test because fishing at my favorite two locations means lifting fish about six feet out of the water, otherwise six pound test would do.

I look forward to fishing for hickory shad called Poor Man’s Tarpon and here’s another scenario that shows why. “Fish on!” I shouted to fishing partner Frank McDonald. “ Look, it breaks water like a small tarpon.” The 17-inch silvery colored fish leaped several more times out of the water before I landed and released it. During the next two hours we released at least 25 shad measuring up to 18 inches.

We were fly casting for bass, blues or shad in the Niantic River while standing in McDonald’s “Green Fishing Machine” (GFM). It was about dusk and the tide was moving pods of bait fish from Niantic Bay into the river. A good time to connect with fish. It wasn’t long after we launched the GFM that we spotted fish breaking on the surface. Hickory shad were actively feeding, but the bass and blues weren’t. The “little tarpon” saved us from being “skunked” that evening.

Hockories are lots of fun to catch, particularly when bass and blues are not in the area you are fishing. Many anglers fish Catch & Release for hickories. Some anglers target hickory shad for sport or to use them as bait for large stripersThe Connecticut record weighed 3.25 pounds. These “mini, tarpon-like fish” hit and fight hard, breaking water many times. Anglers loose some shad due to them having soft, tender mouths which do not hold a hook well.

Here’s a brief description of the shad. Alosa mediocris: Bluish-green above; sides whitish-silver; dark spot at the shoulder; bottom lip protrudes beyond upper lip. Note: The lips are even for American shad. Like all members of the herring family, they spawn in freshwater and live mostly in saltwater. Range from Nova Scotia to northern Florida. Adults weigh up to 3 pounds. They are a good food value, but are bony and difficult to fillet. They are available in Connecticut waters from mid-April through early December. My logbook shows the earliest and latest catches to be April 14 and December 7.

Use light spin or fly tackle. Spinning line 4 or 6 pound test with willow leaf with split shot up ahead or small jig head (1/8-1/16 ounce) with plastic curly tails or bucktail jigs will catch lots of shad. Fly rodders use 5 wt. to 7 wt. outfits, 6-pound tippets and small bucktails or streamers. White and chartreuse are favorable colors. Many anglers use freshwater outfits when fishing for hickory shad. Technique: In waters that are moving, cast directly across and let the lure or fly drift or use a slow retrieve. In quiet water, cast and retrieve fast in warm water and more slowly in colder water.

Taking youngsters fishing for hickory shad is a lot more exciting for them than fishing for snapper blues. Both species fight hard, but the shad are much larger and do aerial displays, which every one likes to see, and the larger ones will make your reel drag sing.

HICKORY SHAD Locations: hickory shad have been caught in the lower sections of the Connecticut River at the Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch/Fishing Pier and the DEP Marine Headquarters Fishing Pier and in the Mystic, Niantic, Lieutenant, Black Hall, Back, Pawcatuck, Saugatuck, Hammonaset, Mianus and Housatonic rivers and various beaches, bays and estuaries. In Rhode Island, have been present in the larger salt ponds and their breach ways (Ninnigret, Quonny, Weekapaug and Point Judith), Narrow River and areas in Narragansett Bay.

Fish That Climb Ladders Bob Gregorski

The DEP Fishways 2010 report received recently indicated that “all activity has ceased at small coastal fishways and most have closed and fish counters pulled. These fishways have also passed trout, suckers, bass, carp and other species.”

The following was edited from the four page Fishways 2010 Report and contains the significant information in the report.


Notes: Atlantic Salmon—The total return is 50 includes one at Leesville and 4 at West Springfield. Ten were released above Holyoke; two made to the Wilder on the CT River in Vermont; one of those made to Townshend Dam (West- VT).

Rainbow Fishway (Farmington) -- 4 salmon, 560 American Shad, 8 Alewife, 15 Blueback Herring, 3,100 Sea Lamprey, 3 Sea Run Trout and 171 American Eel

Holyoke Fish Lift -- 41 Salmon, 163,491 American Shad, 76 Blueback Herring, 353 Gizzard Shad, 293 Striped Bass, 39,782 Sea Lamprey. The totals last year were 74 Atlantic Salmon and 161,095 American Shad and 21,403 Sea Lamprey.


Greeneville (Shetucket R., Norwich) -- American Shad 2,461, Alewife 156, Gizzard Shad 859 and Striped Bass 1.

Kinneytown as of 6/22 (Naugatuck R., Seymour) -- American Shad 3, Gizzard Shad 38, Sea Lamprey 4, Sea Run Trout 30 and American Eel 652.

River Herring-- Moulson Pond ( Eightmile River) had the greatest number this spring: Alewife 10,000s and 488 Sea Lamprey

The highest five river herring runs of ten fishways are:

Brides Brook (Brides Brook, East .Lyme) Alewife 164,149

Capello Pond (East River, Guilford) Alewife 32,651

Branford Supply Pond Dam (Queach Brook., Branford) Alewife 50,668 (season over)

Bunnells Pond (Peqonnock R., Bridgeport) Alewife 1000s

Mianus River Pond (Mianus R., Greenwich) Alewife 93,077 and Blueback Her 7,028

This is a report generated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection/ Inland Fisheries Division- Diadromous Program. For more information, contact Steve Gephard, 860/447-4316. For more information about fish runs on the Connecticut River call the USFWS Hotline at 413/548-9628 or visit the USFWS website at For more information about Atlantic salmon, visit the Connecticut River Salmon Association at

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