Housatonic River Report 6/6/22: Meanwhile, in another part of the state…

Man does not live by Farmington River trout alone. At least this man doesn’t. So Monday I headed to the northwest hills to see what was happening with the Hous. Specifically, the smallmouth.

We’re in that post-spawn-smallies-getting-too-warm-for-trout weirdness, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The water was 71 degrees at 7pm in the TMA. At 475cfs, the river, while dropping, was still a little high for my liking. It was more off-color than usual, which I thought was strange since there had been no rain events in days.

Angling activity commenced at 5pm at a mark below the TMA. In addition to this being my first smallmouth outing of the year, I was also test driving a new custom build rod. Like your humble author, this rod is different. At 10 1/2 feet, it’s long for a 6-weight. It’s a soft, slower action blank. So not what you’d expect from a standard streamer rod. But it’s perfect for the way I like to cast and fish. I had matched it with an 8-weight Sci Anglers Anadro floating line, and I was unhappy with that pairing. Once I figure out what the rod wants, those longer casts with a big bass bug will come much easier.

A baptism bass for the new rod. Looks smaller than its actual foot-long length, but the fight was terrific. He smashed a chartreuse Gurgler casted toward the bank of a frog water section below a beaver lodge. I’ll take smallmouth any way I can get them, but topwater is the bomb.

My mood was chill, so I headed to the familiarity of the TMA. Holy crowds, Batman! Cars and anglers everywhere, trying to squeeze out the last drops of trouting before the fish that don’t make it into the thermal refuges turn into trutta crisps or osprey snacks. I did a little hop-and-drop fishing with the Soft Daddy — this new stick is genius for that — but I didn’t like the water so I headed upriver. Wow. Even more crowds. I decided I would need to park and walk for some solitude, and after doing so the fishing resumed.

I’d like to tell you that I stayed ’em and that the smallmouth wouldn’t leave anything I threw at them alone, but it wasn’t that kind of night. There was a barely decent evening hatch (sulphurs, Light Cahills, caddis), although I did not try wet flies since I was committed to the streamer cause. I’d give the fishing a 3 out of 10. That is going to change as we move squarely into summer.

Once I get the rod dialed in, I’ll tell you more. Hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weather.

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