Home Waters

The “home waters” of the CVTU are myriad – though if you ask around a table of members you’ll get list of rivers and still water that includes the Housatonic River, Candlewood Lake, Pond Brook, the Pootatuck River and Deep Brook. Additionally, you’ll likely get a fair amount of folks who make more than the occasional visit up to the Farmington River.

Current regulations for these waters can be found at the Connecticut Angler’s Guide.

Deep Brook TMA – Including the Pootatuck River

Overview

The Deep Brook TMA is one of only eight Class 1 Wild Trout Management Areas in the State of Connecticut. This TMA includes the Pootatuck River 1/2 mile upstream and 1/2 mile downstream from its confluence with Deep Brook.

The Pootatuck River and Deep Brook are primarily Brown Trout and Brook Trout fisheries although the occasional Rainbow Trout will make it’s way downstream from stocked water. There are also reports of the occasional Tiger Trout caught in the area. Generally, Browns populate the lower sections of Deep Brook with Brookies found further upstream.

The Candlewood Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited focuses much of its resources on conserving and restoring this important fishery. Several projects are currently underway including shade tree planting and bank restoration.

Regulations

No Closed Season. Catch and Release Only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures and flies only.

Access

At the end of Commerce Road there is a parking lot. The Pootatuck River is accessed via a path leading along Tom Brook. Follow the path or fish upstream to Deep Brook.

Housatonic River

Overview

The Housatonic River is a diverse fishery from its mouth in Long Island Sound north into the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Of particular interest to Trout Unlimited members are the two Trout Management Areas located in northwestern Connecticut.

The most famous section of the river is the Housatonic River Trout Management Area which houses an awesome trout fishery. The fish are not as large as those found in tailwaters such as the Farmington but they can certainly be numerous.

The Housatonic is not a tailwater so summer flows can be very low and water temperatures can rise into the low seventies. Of course, as the trout fishing wanes, smallmouth bass fishing can become quite good.

Also note that because of historical pollution from industry farther upriver the State of Connecticut advises against eating fish caught in these sections of the Housatonic.

Regulations

In the TMA: No Closed Season except for thermal refuges between June 15 and August 31, as posted. Catch and Release Only. Fly Fishing only in the 3 miles north of the Route 4 bridge, as posted.

Access

Stop by Housatonic River Outfitters located at Cornwall Bridge, CT for recommendations on where to fish and current hatch/conditions. There are many pullovers along Route 7 providing ample access to the river.

Flow Data (real time)

Farmington River

Overview

The Farmington River doesn’t have the big river feel of the Housatonic but as a tailwater it provides some great habitat for trout — Rainbows, Browns, Brookies and the occasional Tiger.

The West Branch Farmington’s habitat is primarily attributable to two factors. The water flow that is released from the Goodwin Dam above Riverton, Connecticut provides water that is temperature stable throughout the year — not too warm in the summer and not too cold during the winter. The Still River, which enters the West Branch of the Farmington just below Riverton, provides nutrients to the relatively sterile water released by the dam. Together, these factors make for excellent trout fishing for miles below Riverton.

The State of Connecticut stocks much of the river system, though holdovers and wild trout are common. From the Goodwin Dam downstream nearly twenty miles to the Route 177 bridge in Unionville the entire river is a Trout Management Area, though most anglers concentrate their efforts on the water between the dam and the Route 219 bridge in New Hartford.

Regulations

From the Goodwin Dam downstream to the old footbridge abutments at the tailout of Whittemore’s pool about 1.4 miles downstream from the confluence of the Still River, the river is open year round. This section of the river is a seasonal catch and release only TMA from September 1 until Opening Day, after which there is a daily creel limit of 2 fish, 12″ minimum length through August 31st.

From the footbridge abutments downstream to the Route 219 bridge in New Hartford, the river is a year round catch and release TMA, with only barbless hooks allowed. This section of the river holds many of the most famous pools and runs on the river.

From the Route 219 bridge in New Hartford all the way downriver to the Route 177 bridge in Unionville, the river again becomes a TMA with seasonal regulations. Open year round, it is catch and release only water from September 1 until Opening Day, after which there is a daily creel limit of 2 fish, 12″ minimum length through August 31st.

Access

Along both East River Road and West River Road above Pleasant Valley there are many pull-offs. The same is said for the river along Route 181. Also, there’s a dirt road off of 181 near the junction with Route 44 that leads to several good pools. There are several good fly shops along Route 44 in New Hartford including Upcountry Sport Fishing and there’s also the Orvis Store in Avon.

Flow Data (real-time)

Add the two flows together to get the approx. flow in the TMA.