October - 2011

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFreniere

The October 5th meeting is at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the, Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT. For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or or visit


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The Naugatuck/Pomperaug Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding free fly tying classes in the Community Room at the Southbury Stop & Shop, located in the K-Mart Plaza (exit 15 off I- 84). Classes will be held Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 P.M. November thru March (NO CLASSES WILL BE HELD THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH).

Classes are free and open to the public. If you don’t have material/equipment the chapter will provide it for you to use during class.
Everyone is welcome, young, old, beginner or experienced.
Questions --- contact Mike, 203-232-3091.

TYING FLIES -- A QUIET, GENTLE SPORT            by Bob Gregorski

"The fly fisherman who knows nothing of his flies is as great an anachronism as the painter who knows nothing about his paints.  More, he is a bad man in business.”
 - J.W. Dunne.  

The late J.W. Dunne was a well known British fly dresser who originated many May fly patterns and is the author of Sunshine and The Dry Fly.  Izaak Walton and his book THE COMPLEAT ANGLER that was first published in 1653 is better known to anglers. “More Directions how to fish for, and how to make for the Trout an Artificial Minnow and Flies, with some Merriment" is the title of Walton’s chapter V.   Most fly fisherman own a copy of one of the many editions of  The Compleat Angler, at least one fly publication, an Orvis and L.L. Bean catalog, a collection of magazine articles, and a fly fishing video.  If you fly fish for any of the following species: trout, Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon, steelhead, stripers, bluefish, false albacore, bonito, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish and pike, then you probably have a good supply of flies and an extensive collection of research materials.  

In the two centuries that anglers have been flyfishing, a few thousand fly tiers created thousands of fly patterns.  There are at least 10,000 different trout flies that attempt to replicate approximately 300 insects in the entomology listings for the trout food chain.  The listing of Atlantic salmon flies exceeds 1600 patterns.  And, the relatively new sports of steelhead and Pacific salmon fishing has quickly accumulated a roster of around 700 different "ties," then there are patterns for catching bass, sunfish, pike and many marine species including bluefish, striped bass, Atlantic bonito and false albacore.  The catalog of freshwater flies includes at least 16,000 different "dressed hooks."   The litany of fly- types for each fish species of grows daily.  If you are a fly rodder and don't tie, you are missing one of the most satisfying aspects of fly fishing--catching a fish on a fly that you have tied.  All "dressed-hook fishers" love to see a trout grab a floating fly; that's why some "wand wafters" become dry-fly purists.

Dry flies are meant to represent flies that float on or in the surface.  Dries used for trout range in sizes 10 to 28.  Here are most of the types of dries: fan winged, all-hackle, coffin, parachute, caddis, poppers, hoppers, Wulffs, irrestibles, elk wing, thorax, humpy, ants, midges, and gnats.  There are too many dry flies to even suggest a starting list.  You determine which dry flies should be in your fly box by the rivers and seasons you fish, and the fly sizes that are best for them.  A novice fly-rodder should defer fishing dry flies until he/she has learned the rudiments of the sport.

Then there are a variety of wet flies; flies that do not float on the water’s surface. The types include: nymphs, wets (winged and hackle only), woolybuggers, bucktails, streamers, terrestrials and weighted flies. Novices can learn to fly fish more productively when using wet flies for any species or using tiny, foam floating flies for panfish. 

There are flies that are used primarily in freshwater streams and rivers, lakes and ponds and in all types of saltwater environments.  There are flies that are categorized by the species they are used to catch. They include: panfish, pike, black and calico bass, trout, striped bass, bluefish, bonito, false albacore, steelhead, Pacific salmon and Atlantic salmon.  
Some forms of fly fishing are a form of art; a gentle sport with beauty in the casting. And, some forms of fly tying are a form of art with feathery beauty created on a hook.  Tying classic Atlantic salmon flies is an art form. Men and women that are primarily fly fisherman and fly tiers are fascinated with classic salmon flies.  Every classic salmon fly has its own history. The aesthetics fly materials and techniques are small works of art.  Truly they were created originally by the old masters for fishing particular rivers and lochs.  That began in the fifteenth century on a small scale.  The evolution of the “classic salmon flies” grew more rapidly in the late 1700’s and has become a niche in the fly fish community worldwide.  Hundreds of flies with names ranging alphabetically from The Barkworth to The Parson to The Rosy Dawn to The Wormald can be found in Classic Salmon Fly Books.   They are strikingly beautiful.

Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies (CASF) are flies that were created and used initially to catch Atlantic salmon.  Historically, CASF were anglers fishing Scottish rivers, Irish rivers and lochs, Welsh and English rivers tied flies.  Note: The Gary of Loch Ness is a large salmon fly for the Loch Ness River.

Now these beautiful, meticulously tied flies are displayed in picture frames and under glass in domes.  Most anglers admire the eye-pleasing composition of colors, not just fly fishers. 

FIRST TIME CATCH                                                      by Bob Gregorski

Last October during one of my fishing adventures, I fished one of my favorite tributaries to the Connecticut River.  As I drove up to the river a large fished leaped out of the water to greet me.  Its silver colored sides gleamed in the sunlight.  My heart pressure increased greatly! 

The fish was located beyond the reach of my fly rod, so I grabbed my trusty mid-weight spinning outfit out of back of my van and walked quickly to the best casting location.  My heart rate increased more when I saw fish busting over a large area of the river, some within casting range. What I could identify were schools of harbor blues (3-5 pounds), snapper blues (7”- 9”) and hickory shad (12”-16”) feeding on a variety of small bait. 

In the next hour I hooked harbor blues and hickory shad and lost a number of fish that I could not identify.  I did not set up to catch snappers.  At one time, movement in the water about ten feet from me caught my attention.  I looked down and saw a least a hundred fish, which I was sure, were not hickory shad, blues or stripers.  A cast ahead of the school resulted in a solid hook up.  The fish fought well for several minutes before I landed it.  I couldn’t believe an Atlantic menhaden had grabbed the single bare hook of the silver and blue Kastmaster.  It was a solid 16” bunker.  It was the first one I had ever caught with a lure. I took the hook out of its mouth, examined the handsome fish with its dark shoulder spot and smaller dark spots on its sides and released it.

During the next two hours, the surface activity continued as did my catch and release of fish.  When my arms felt they needed a break, I looked at my watch.  I had fished continuously for three hours. Right through lunch, and I rarely skip lunch.  The surface activity was still in full motion.  Reluctantly, I decided to leave the excellent fishing and beat the heavy traffic on Route 9 and I-84.  As I was leaving, I thanked the fish and the Fishing Guardian Angel for the enjoyable time.

  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 web site.

Trout Unlimited's Mission

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