Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Sea Trout Grind

There is a handful of people who are successfully targeting sea run brown trout in CT and I am not one of them. I have caught one and seen about a dozen. They are truly a holy grail-ish fish and are much harder to catch on the fly than conventional tackle in small water given their tendency to run away at the slightest sound.

That's why Rik and I were using long light leaders today. I had a 12 foot leader to 6x on my 5wt and a 15 foot leader to 4x on my 8wt. Turning over the 12 footer on a short glass rod in the wind... not so fun. But I made it work and covered water a carefully and quietly as I could. The first river we fished had some gorgeous and super fishy water but low water and the lack of stocking last fall brought into question how likely it would be that we would catch anything. Also we could probably have done better on the outgoing tide. Satellite imagery had given me the impression that the water we were going to fish would be slack and so have a good current on the strong incoming tide we had, but instead it had a significant gradient and the incoming tide had a filling affect... no good for fishing, there wasn't a strong current to hold fish to structure.

Now, this spot was GORGEOUS! just some of the prettiest coastal water I have ever fished. But it is recognizable and not too pressured or trashed yet. I am therefore too concerned about the sanctity of this stretch of water to post photos of the more gorgeous spots; places I can't wait to fish in a couple weeks. And I'm sure it will yield some giant stripers in May too.

Once the current in the stretch of water we were working halted we moved on to another stream. Neither of us had fished or even seen this stretch of river. The first spot we stopped at was almost unfishable. The second was much better, and after swinging a red tag wet on the downstream side of a stone bridge and getting no grabs we marched across the road to the upstream side. Almost the second the stream was in sight I spotted a finning trout against the far bank. It looked like a large fish. I carefully got into position to cast at it but by the time I was there it had moved on, probably chasing mummichogs. Brief shots are usually what you get with sea run trout in CT and just seeing one was a heck of a special thing.

Sea trout fishing in CT is a grind, it takes patience and commitment and lots of research. We didn't catch any today, but for me a pair of stripers kept the skunk off.

I've had my best fortune on sea trout streams in early spring, so the next four weeks could give up the goods. Who knows.


  1. Tides, weather and chance encounters. Your right about patients and commitment to sea run trout.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. And it's not just normal fishing patience and commitment. It's just a crapshoot half the time.