November - 2011

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFreniere

The November 4th 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



The Farmington Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be hosting the annual Angling Gear Tag Sale on Wednesday evening, November 2nd, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Farmington Community and Senior Center located at 321 New Britain Avenue, Unionville.  The Center is located approximately .8 miles downstream (southeast) of the Rt. 177 Bridge and adjacent to the river in the same complex as the Farmington Police Department. 

This is an off-season event with many bargains and tag sale pricing.  Individuals with excess items including fresh and saltwater fly and spinning rods, lures, flies, fly tying supplies and equipment, books, videos, clothing and other related gear are welcome as exhibitors.  It’s a great time to clean out your closet, and FVTU will be happy to accept donations.  There is no charge for buyers or exhibitors, but each seller is responsible for his/her own items.  Potential exhibitors should contact Bill Case at (860) 678-7245 to reserve table space on a first come, first served basis.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for exhibitors and 6 p.m. sharp for buyers.

Because of rush hour traffic in Unionville, we recommend avoiding the Rt. 177 bridge area and Rt. 4 if possible.  Alternatives include coming in via Rt. 10 to Meadow Road, driving through the meadows and taking a right onto New Britain Ave.  For those coming in via I-84 westbound, take Exit 38 to Rt. 6 (which becomes Scott Swamp Rd.) to the now closed Parson’s Chevrolet complex, turn north onto New Britain Avenue and drive 3.5 miles to the Center.  Those coming from the south or via I-84 eastbound, take Exit 37 and drive north to Rt. 6, then turn left and head west to the closed auto dealership as above.

Minutes from the October Meeting

The following are the minutes of the October 5, 2011 meeting of the Naugatuck/Pomeraug Chapter of Trout Unlimited which was held at the Naugatuck Savings Bank on 87 Church Street, Naugatuck:
- Those in attendance were:
 Marty Petersen (Naugatuck), Bob Nikituk (Seymour), Glenn LaFreniere (Watertown),  Ernie Ludwig (Cheshire), Harry Misunas (Watertown), Dave Peck (Southbury), Ed Dearborn (Woodbury), Gary Zoelak (Seymour), Steven Farnham (Watertown), Phil Maxwell (Woodbury), Larry Wolff (Southbury), Bob Perrella Jr. (Southbury) and Al Concilio (Beacon Falls).
- President Glenn LaFreniere convened the meeting at 7:15 P.M.
Minutes of the September 7th meeting were read. Motions were made, and the minutes were accepted.
 Steve Farnham gave the treasurer's report: The T.U. checking account has $1,852.87. The T.U. savings account has $9110.00. Motions were made, and the treasurer's report was accepted.

- Dave Peck reserved the community room at the Southbury Stop & Shop for Wednesday night fly tying through the remainder of the year. As soon as Stop & Shop gets next year's calendar, he'll reserve the community room for Wednesday night through March or was it May of 2012.???? 
- Marty Petersen told the group about our experience on Sportsman's Day, Sept 24th at Sessions Woods. Steve Farnham mentioned that perhaps our chapter could set up the teepee at next year's event. 
- Meghan Ruta, the water protection manager of the Housatonic Valley Association, has a biomass assessment of the Shepaug River scheduled for October 15, 2011 with a rain date of October 22nd. The event will be free. Those wishing to participate are asked to meet at the Roxbury town hall at 9:30 A.M. It should be over by 1 or 2 P.M.
- Al Concilio has a fly fishing registration set up at the Beacon Falls library. If enough interest is shown, Al will set up an introductory to fly fishing session.
- Glenn gave a report on hurricane Irene's affect on the 'bend of the river' park. The benches survived, but the river itself has changed. We'll have to relearn how to wade this area.   
- Reminder: Our T.U. banquet is scheduled for November 11th at J.J. Sullivan's in Ansonia. The tickets are $35 for an individual and $65 for a couple.
- Al Concilio gave a handout that outlined the Trout in the Classroom project at Polk school. He asked the club to donate $200 needed for incidentals for continuation of the T.I.C. project. Since this is an objective of our T.U. chapter, Steve Farnham made a motion to give Al Concilio $400 in support of the project. A motion was made, seconded and accepted. 
- Letters/requests for funding for equipment have been or will be sent to the Connecticut Community Foundation for planned kids events. Equipment such as
rods, reels, vises, hooks, feathers/hackle will be needed.      
-  The meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM. Motions were made, seconded and accepted.
These minutes are respectfully submitted by Bob Nikituk.


   hendrickson dry.jpg

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.

Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Program                by Bob Gregorski

The following is a brief history of the program and some of my experiences releasing more than one hundred of “the leapers”.

“Look at the size of those salmon”. “What brutes.” “They are too beautiful to put into the river.” Those were a few of the exclamations made by Trout Unlimited members who helped with the first stocking of broodstock Atlantic salmon into the Naugatuck River in the fall of 1992. Back then Ernie Beckwith the DEP Inland Fisheries Director bestowed me with honor of stocking the first salmon into the river. It was a wonderful and fulfilling time. Scores of people and the press were there to capture the moment. Several long-time Trout Unlimited members and I had been working to restore the river since the late 1970’s. The Naugy was one of the two rivers chosen to receive the no longer needed Atlantic salmon broodstock. The river and its riparian habitat had made a significant comeback from earlier times when it was one of the most polluted rivers in the country. One reward from the DEP was to create a broodstock Atlantic salmon fishery for Naugatuck River. The Shetucket River was selected in the eastern half of the state. The DEP made it clear this program was a trial one and would be evaluated annually. If old, breeder salmon were available and anglers benefited from having the fisheries, then it would continue. It was evaluated closely and extensively. The surveys and evaluation reports concluded that the program was a great success.

Well it has continued without interruption since the fall of 1992. And the beat goes on. Those early years were learning experiences for most anglers. On most fall weekends, anglers from New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont joined Connecticut anglers and fished the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers for the large salmon; some weighed as much as 25 pounds. Note: Crowded waters and few salmon made hooking one unlikely. Releasing a few hundred salmon into the Naugatuck River, which is 39 miles long, made catching one difficult. Those that were caught and harvested, and eventually most were, left fewer fish for other anglers.

Going back to those early days, I was fortunate to have played a role in developing some of the current regulations. I worked with the late Jim Moulton who was the Director of Inland Fisheries at the time to develop the “delayed harvest” (Catch & Release October 1 through November 30) and extended season. It made good sense to have several anglers catch the same fish, since there were so few. And to extend the season through March 31 gave anglers a chance to catch a holdover in early spring.

Years later, I had input about new regulations as a member of the DEP Fisheries Advisory Council of the Bureau of Natural Resources then chaired by Bureau Chief Ed Parker. Lures were approved to catch salmon. No additional weight could be added to spin line or fly tippet, and all lures must have one free-swinging hook, which makes it difficult to snag fish.

Fishing for Atlantic salmon legally and hooking one is a rewarding experience. When you hooked a monster, most of the time it got away. Over the years, I have released more than 100 salmon in the Naugatuck River. Roughly, my hook-up to land ratio has been three to one. I have fished the river from October through March and have caught them on at least a score of different fly pattern and sizes including a dry fly. I have never used a net or tailer to land a salmon. Fishing for these broodstock is quite different than fishing for wild Atlantic salmon. The wild fish fight many times harder than these hatchery-raised fish.

Tips: Use a 7, 8 or 9 weight fly rod eight or nine feet in length, with anti-reverse reel loaded with at least 50 yards of backing and at least six-pound test leader.  I use a weight-forward floating line and add a sink-tip of appropriate length and weight to get the fly about a foot below the surface. Vary the drift and retrieve technique and fly pattern until you experience action. Please use a barb less hook and land the salmon as quickly as possible during the Catch and Release Season.

Where to catch them---Atlantic salmon broodstock stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck rivers are released into three designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas: between Scotland Dam (Scotland) and Occum Dam (Norwich) on the Shetucket River; 2) the “Campville Section” of the upper Naugatuck River from Route 118 downstream to the Thomaston Flood Control Dam (Litchfield-Thomaston); and 3) the “Beacon Falls Section” of the lower Naugatuck from Prospect Street (Naugatuck) downstream to Pines Bridge Road (Route 42 bridge, Beacon Falls.1)
Anglers are allowed to fish for salmon in the Naugatuck River from the confluence of the East and West Branches (Torrington) downstream to the Housatonic River (Derby). Anglers may also fish for Atlantic salmon in the Housatonic River downstream of Derby Dam. On the Shetucket River, anglers can fish for salmon downstream from the Scotland Dam (Windham) to the Water Street Bridge in Norwich (the first bridge upstream of Norwich Harbor).

In the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only through November 30. From December 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one. During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure. Also, from October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon.

The regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon stocked into lakes and ponds will be posted at each water body. Anglers can also contact the DEP Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH) for more information. All other regulations, including those for broodstock salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers, can also be found in the 2011 Connecticut Angler’s Guide. Guides are available from some Town Clerks, many bait & tackle stores, or by contacting the DEP Inland Fisheries Division. The Angler’s Guide, Weekly Fishing Reports and news releases can all be found on the DEP web site at:    

Mount Tom Pond                        by Bob Gregorski

  • Legal Methods: Angling and Ice Fishing – Fishing with hook and line. May include fishing with bait, flies or lures.
  • Open Season: Third Saturday in April through last day in February.
  • Minimum Length: None
  • Daily creel limit: 1 Atlantic salmon

    CT Broodstock Atlantic Salmon
    “That was a big salmon!” I said to myself after seeing a large fish break water and hearing its return to the river. My heart rate increased. I was anticipating hooking my first salmon of this season as I waded out to the center of the Naugatuck River to get within casting distance. I worked a fly that has caught many salmon out to the where the salmon had risen. I made about 30 casts with no follows or hits, so I changed to an attractor fly. I’ll call it Popsicle. I’ve used it several times, but never hooked a salmon with it. My Fishing Angel suggested it, so who’s to argue with an angel.

    After another 25-30 uneventful casts over the same water, I began working my way down river. I knew there was at least one large salmon in the one hundred yards of river I was fishing. That was enough motivation to continue.

    About 15 minutes later and 20 yards downriver, there was a big swirl behind the Popsicle. Evidently I pulled the fly away from a large fish when it attempted to bite it. My heart renewed a quick beat and I heightened my alertness. That fish was only about 15 feet away. A few casts later, as the Popsicle swimming about three quarters across the current, a salmon grabbed it. A few seconds after I set the hook, Salmon salar-“the leaper”- was airborne with the Popsicle hooked to its lower jaw. I had a close-up view. It was a hen about 34 inches long and 14 pounds heavy. She took off across river leaping a second, third and fourth time. I doubted I would land her on the Popsicle’s barb less hook. She expended so much power and energy as she headed upriver. I played her with line on the reel making sure there was no slack fly line.

    I wanted to land and release her as soon as possible before she got exhausted and could not be resuscitated. I waded back toward shore to put myself in an area of quiet water while keeping the line taught. She resisted my trying to steer her into quiet and shallow water by going airborne a fifth and sixth time. What a sight! And there were no other people to see the action. There’s always the possibility of the hook coming out when the angle on the line changes, but I took the chance in order to get her in a position where I could release her. When I changed the angle on the rod, she let me know she wasn’t going to make it easy by going airborne about two feet and coming down broadside on the river surface with a resounding splash.

    I was lucky the hook remained in her jaw until I was able to get her in some shallow, quiet water. I placed my rod on a boulder, reached down and lightly touched the fly and it came loose from her jaw. We looked at each other momentarily. I firmly grabbed her in front of her tail, lifted her out of the water long enough to point her upriver and held her so the current moved into her mouth and out her gills. She was exhausted! After a few minutes, I let her go. I saluted her and thanked her for the entertainment. She responded, with one broad stroke of her tail she swam off into the faster water. I looked skyward and thanked my Fishing Angel. That scenario took place recently on the Naugatuck River. Note: I do not use a landing net; my fly rod was a nine-foot, seven-weight with eight-pound test leader. My estimate of the salmon’s length and weight is accurate because I have my first steelhead trout that I caught mounted on a wall at home; she is thirty four inches long and weighed fourteen pounds. The salmon was a mirror image of my steelhead.

    Recently the first of its annual stockings of surplus broodstock Atlantic salmon for 2010-2011 was completed. The Shetucket River received 100, Crystal Lake (Ellington) 45 and 45 for Mount Tom Pond (Morris-Litchfield-Washington) and 100 salmon into the Naugatuck River. Broodstock salmon at the Kensington State Fish Hatchery are spawned to provide eggs for the CT River Atlantic Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program. The surplus broodstock DEP is stocking in 2010 range in size from 4 to 20 lbs each. Following spawning later this fall, the DEP expects an additional 700 salmon from the Kensington Hatchery will be available for stocking in November.

    Anglers should be aware that the regulations for broodstock Atlantic salmon released into lakes and ponds are different from the regulations for salmon in the Naugatuck, Housatonic and Shetucket Rivers. In each lake, the regulations for methods, seasons and minimum lengths for salmon are the same as for trout in that specific water body but the daily creel limit is one salmon per day. As such, specific regulations for salmon fishing in Crystal Lake, Mount Tom Pond, Mashapaug Lake and Beach Pond can be found in the 2010 Connecticut Angler’s Guide.

    Next week, I’ll present a short history of the Broodstock Salmon Program in Connecticut and some of my experiences catching them since 1992.

  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.