Friday, July 22, 2016

Eels, a Tiny Fluke, and Connecticut River Smallmouth

The Connecticut River is a great fishery that I just haven't gotten around to learning. Now is as good a time as any to start, right? My good friend Adam has been kid-sitting for a family friend. Dylan is young and very excited about fishing, something I wish more kids would be interested in (obviously). So basically every time Adam is taking care of him Dylan just wants to go fishing. When they ended up getting some nice smallmouth the other day and I asked if he wanted to go fishing he invited me to join them. Before we went to the river though, we went up a small stream I often fish for brookies in to find Americam eels. The way to catch eels in a small stream is to fins big flat rocks with spaces under them. Then, if you know the right method, you can catch them. I'm not going to sit here and explain it to you all because I know eels are a popular bait, and I'd rather the night surf casting crowd buy their eels from the bait shop than deplete the already low numbers in our small freestone streams. We ended up catching three, two of which were returned to the stream while the smallest one was brought to Adam's house to put in one of his fish tanks. If all goes well it will get allong well with the turtle, bluegill, and bullhead that already live there before being released in the fall next year. Dylan ended up catching a little fluke in the cast net later, which we found really crazy because we are a long way from even brackish water, and it will also be released after it does a little bit of growing.

When we initially got to the Connecticut the tide was coming in. It is important to not that where we were, though it is entirely fresh water, the tidal change is the most significant source of currant, especially this time of year. So, instead of fresh water coming out of the North it was being pushed in that direction by the incoming tide. It was really ripping. I had to work to keep my streamers down. Initially I thought I should have rigged a sinking line but I extended the leader to 16 feet and that did the trick. I only had one hookup on that incoming tide, but Dylan got a little channel cat on a popup chicken rig.

When we came back from lunch it was slack tide. I got a couple nice smallmouth right away before working my way down the shoreline with big articulated streamers. The first take I got was on a 7 inch Double Deceiver, and it was a big pike. Unfortunately it took coming straight at me and was so violent that it put about three feet of slack in my line. By the time I caught up it had rejected the fly. I went back up and put on a yellow Heiffer Groomer and put my backpack back on so I wouldn't need to walk so far to re-tie again.

 I messed around at a stream outlet and got nothing, but when I began heading back up I saw what looked like a boil a feeding bass would make. I ripped the Groomer through that spot and it got trashed by a big smallmouth. It jumped and then did the typical battle. I had it to hand after about two minutes.

Unfortunately that was the last fish of the day which means Adam got skunked. That's fine though, he got a few bass the day before anyway!


  1. Yep, we need to teach the young one what it's all about. Nice smallmouth!! Love the eagle. That was a good day!!
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. Dylan doesn't need to be taught as much as some others.

  2. Well done helping the youngster out! Awesome looking smallies and very cool RE catching the eel!


    1. Thanks,
      We talked about how the day went for a while, and consensus was that it was awesome!