November - 2012

Newsletter of the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter
Trout Unlimited

Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski, Glenn LaFreniere

hendrickson dry.jpg

Upcoming Events


Monthly meetings are at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the, Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck,   For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or or visit Guest Speaker November 7, 2012 will be Jesse Hunter Gardziel who is Chairman of the National Youth Leadership Council for Trout Unlimited. Gardziel will address the future for Trout Unlimited through setting youth initiatives, which will be addressed with chapters around the state and country.

TU Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter # 281 2012 Banquet 36th Chapter Anniversary

The 2012 annual fundraisers for the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter Trout Unlimited will be held November 9. The evening program will be: appetizers 6:00 pm -7:30 pm, dinner 7:30 followed by door prize awards, bucket raffles and silent auction. The affair will be held at MOLTO BENE (formerly J.J. Sullivan’s) located at 557 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia. Tickets will be $35 per person and $65 per couple. For ticket information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or

Free Fly Tying ClassesThe 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 from 7 to 9 pm on November 14 and 28 and Wednesday evenings through 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. For more information contact Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or

Angling gear tag sale.

Glenn Lafreniere

Fishing in Bad Weather

As I stood on a floating dock moored on the Niantic River, the cold westerly wind pierced my heavy duty: undershirt, flannel shirt, hooded sweatshirt and flannel-lined pants. The dock swayed back and forth and up and down as waves plowed into it. I spread my legs apart to get a firm stance. I didn’t want to get dunked into the cold water. After a cast into the westerly wind, I turned my back to it and began reeling. I held the spin rod down close to the water to minimize the strong wind from making a large belly in the line above the water. After a few turns of the reel handle, I felt a hard tug on the line. I set the hook. The fish pulled to my right. As I cranked in some line, it went airborne. The beautiful hickory shad, that was about 16 inches long, put up a good fight breaking water two more times before I landed it. I took the white jig-head dressed with a white curly tail from its bottom lip, thanked it for the entertainment and returned it gently to the river.

During those few minutes, I forgot how uncomfortable I felt. My heart pumped double time creating more body heat. I tightened the drawstring cords on my hood and continued casting from west to east in a semi-circle. I was familiar with this spot and knew that shad, stripers and bluefish could be anywhere. I caught seven or eight more shad most of them on the silver and green willow leaf teaser (dropper) I had connected about 18 inches above the jighead.

The wind slowed a bit, so I went to my Sienna and set up my 7-weight fly rod. Tied on a green and white # 10 bucktail to the 6-pound leader and began casting. I had to work hard casting into and across the westerly wind. I was able to cast the #7, weight forward, floating fly line out to far enough. I hooked, landed and released several more hickories measuring 14” to 16”. My bare hands were cold and wet, my body was about to shiver and the strong cold winds continued rocking my casting platform, so I decided to have a sandwich and hot coffee in the warmth of my minivan. As I left the dock, I thanked my Fishing Angel for an exciting fishing foray.

I made one more stop at another tidal river spot on the way home. The cold wind was in my face and seemed to have intensified. I made about a twenty casts before calling it a day. I could not use my fly outfit at this spot, but managed to catch a schoolie striper about eighteen inches long.

Fish feed while weather conditions are uncomfortable for anglers. For the most part, my fishing experiences during terrible weather has been good to excellent. Here’s why I went fishing that day. Some areas in Connecticut had snow falling for the first time this year on Tuesday, October 27. Some towns in New York and Pennsylvania received snow depths from a few inches to more than a foot that evening. The thought of winter got me motivated to go fishing the next day. Water levels of inland rivers and streams were high, dirty and had lots of leaves and small branches floating in them. Not a good water conditions for fishing. Plus the weather prediction was for temperatures in the low forties with winds from 10 to 25 miles per hour. Fishing a few tidal rivers for shad, bluefish and stripers was a better option. I chose places where I would have some protection from the cold westerly wind. Remember, it had snowed to our west Tuesday night.

Most anglers do not fish when the weather and water conditions are unfavorable. Usually, there is some species available where the conditions for anglers are tolerable. The bottom line is -- being outdoors and not having to work are incentives to fish.

The following two scenarios illustrate two extreme weather conditions (extremely hot and extremely cold) during which I hooked big fish.

One extremely hot day, Red Cattey (Mr. Pike) and I started fishing Bantam Lake for pike early in the morning. By noon, we had not landed a pike. It was about 95 degrees with no breeze. We were about to quit at one o’clock when I hooked into a monster northern pike. After battling it for several minutes, its tail hit the anchor line and it leaped out of the water shaking its head side-to-side. The mini-alligator was between 44 and 48 inches long. My heart was pounding. When it hit the water head first, the lure came out. It was the largest pike I had ever hooked. And it may still be in the lake, only five pounds heavier.

On a cold note, my long-time fishing partner Frank McDonald and I have fished the Salmon River in Pulaski and Altmar, New York during the winter. The river is in the Snow Belt east of Lake Ontario. We have stood in the Salmon River’s near freezing water for most of the day while the air temperature was below freezing and the wind-chill factor was 10 to 20 degrees below zero. At times the “water” was slush and barely moved. We have fished in near blizzard conditions and trudged through two feet of snow to get to the river. You had to be a little crazy. But, over the years we caught large steelhead trout up to fourteen pounds. That was the attraction. Thankfully it was not a fatal one.

Fish feed while weather conditions are uncomfortable for anglers is an understatement.

  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 cold water fisheries and their watershed.