Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Dom Falcone, Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFreniere\\


February 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT. Frank Plona will present "Is this the best trout stream in Southern New England?". For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or or visit

2-12-11 Catskill and Mid Hudson TU Flyfest and Ice Capades.

4-02-11 Rosce Chamber of Commerce is having a Season Opener at Junction Pool .You can call the museum at 845-439-4810

ICE FISHING -- A Sport People Play By Bob Gregorski

It was a pleasant morning at Mount Tom Pond. Its ice surface wore a three-inch blanket of snow; the sun was shining with 30-degree air temperature and the best condition-NO WIND! A blizzard was predicted for early evening, so Carpe diem! The fish should be active as the storm front approached. Well! That's a hypothesis.

It was quiet for the first three hours. One pickerel came through the ice and a few unproductive flags. Then-- "Flag", an angler shouted aloud. All the anglers within hearing distance yards on the ice scanned their tip-ups to see if a flag was waving in the air. I looked up at my five tip-ups; none showed small piece of red cloth waving above it. The tip-up with the waving flag belonged to one of the anglers next to where my cousin Dave and I were jigging. The ice angler to whom it belonged walked briskly across the snow-covered ice to the tip-up. He removed his gloves, looked down into the hole, saw the line moving away, lifted the tip-up out of the water, placed it on the ice near the hole, grabbed hold of the moving line and pulled it hard. A fish pulled back hard. A smile showed on his face as he began a hand-over-hand retrieval of the line. Soon a fat Mount Tom Pond brown trout weighing about three pounds was resting on the ice.

Note: A flag is a brightly colored piece of cloth or vinyl that is connected to the top of the spring-metal that is released when the tip-up reel moves. Most of the time the release is from a fish pulling line off the reel. On windy days, strong winds could unhook the spring-metal. This is called a wind-flag.

For more than 60 years, I have fished through the ice on frozen surfaces ranging from small ponds to large lakes. I continue to enjoy this winter sport, although much of the equipment used today is improved. What is the same is standing outdoors on frozen water during winter weather and conditions.

I no longer use a spud to chop holes, a hand-power or a gas-powered auger. When I reached my senior years, enough was enough. I purchased an electric powered auger that has a small, built-in battery when fully charged will drill scores of holes. Its medium-weight, easy to carry, is quiet and has no gas fumes. It fits perfectly in my new sled.

I retired the toboggan-ice fishing equipment carrier that I made 30 years ago. It was heavy with metal runners and needed too much repair and. My new lightweight "sled" is made of polypropylene. It's waterproof and possibly would float. Has lots of room inside and easily fits in the back of my mini-van. I have pulled it easily through and over snow and ice.

I replaced my homemade ice tip-ups, which had the reel above the ice with ones that have the reel below the water. The line on the newer model stays wet under water compared to the above model where wet lines froze to the spool.

After the holes are cut and cleared and tip-ups ready, the hooks are baited. Live shiners or other species of baitfish should be lively. So, one needs a bait bucket. I still have the galvanized, two-part one I used as a boy. The inner part has holes on its side. There are a variety of bait buckets available today.

To get the bait out of the bucket one should a minnow dipping net. Anglers should minimize handling live bait so not to injure them. We rarely carried the bait bucket from hole to hole. In the early years, we would place several shiners in a clean Crisco can to which a handle was added. It was much lighter than the bucket filled with water and bait. Now I use a small, flexible "plastic" container. After all the tip-ups were set, only a couple of shiners were kept in the can. When a flag went up, the anglers carried the lightweight can to the hole.

Today, anglers fishing through the ice use all kinds of equipment to make holes and clear them. There are a variety of tip-ups and jigging rods available. Some anglers use LCD Fish Finders to locate fish and a few use underwater video cameras. There are many imitation baits and scores of lures that jiggers use. Portable ice shelters are not popular in Connecticut, but each winter a few more are seen on the ice. Fishing through the ice is a winter sport that some people believe cures Cabin Fever.


Here’s an example what equipment ice anglers use--above and below water tip-ups, hand-auger, ice particle strainers, jigging rod, bait bucket and minnow net.

Photo by Bob Gregorski


Free Fly Tying -- It’s fly tying season. 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 February 9, 16 and 23.

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, they will be provided. Now is the time to fill your fly box for this year’s fishing seasons. Stop & Shop is off exit 15 West/East on RT. 84.

For more information contact Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103.


During the 2010 session of the General Assembly, legislation was approved and signed into law in April reducing many of the fees for sportsmen’s licenses and permits. This was followed in June by legislation authorizing a credit to be applied against the fee for any 2011 sportsmen’s license, permit or tag when purchase of a license, permit or tag had been made at the higher prices in place between October 1, 2009 and April 14, 2010. The credit amount will be the difference between the higher amount paid during that time period and the amount set by the new fee structure established April 14, 2010. For information about these credits, please visit the DEP website license fees and credits page:

Membership Renewals:
Recent changes have been made to TU's policy toward membership renewals. Individual chapters no longer receive a portion of each renewal. As such, please send renewals directly to TU national or renew on the website.

Trout Unlimited's Mission

To conserve, protect and restore North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watershed.