Housy, we have a problem

It used to be that you’d show up at the Hous in the July with a fly rod and a Woolly Bugger and you couldn’t keep the smallmouth off your fly. You might try to keep count, but somewhere after the second dozen it all became a blur. If you were fishing early morning or late afternoon, with the sun tucked safely behind the hills, entire stretches of the river would light up. At dusk, the river was boiling.

Those days are over. At the very least, the Housatonic River smallmouth population has been dramatically reduced. At the worst, we have a crash.

The fishery has been in decline for several years now. Marks where I was catching dozens of bass five years ago began their slide around 2019, and now it’s to the point where I’m catching one…or two…or none. This isn’t a localized problem; I’ve been covering water from Falls Village, way above the TMA, down to Kent. Miles and miles of river. And the fish just ain’t there.

I’ve got some calls into the CT DEEP to discuss the situation, and I’ll let you know what I find out. In the meantime, save your fishing chips for other rivers.

This video is from 2018. That late afternoon, I took bass after bass after bass on a Gurgler…then at dusk, I really got good. I fished this mark last night and in 45 minutes all I could manage was two fish.

10 comments on “Housy, we have a problem

  1. Greg Tarris says:

    Thanks for making it your interest and ours to find out what is going on.

  2. Joe F. says:

    Very disturbing indeed, and thank you sir for raising awareness. However, I just read a Housy River report today Jul 20 (or at least very recently) stating the smallie bite is on fire and there are tons of hungry fish. Fake news? (I haven’t been up there this season to experience it for myself.)

  3. Manny says:

    Oh man …. what is going on? Loved going up to the Housy in summer.

    Thanks for the update Steve.

  4. Ed Albrecht says:

    Too bad about the Smallies. Use to love fishing for them using Whoolie buggers and crayfish look alikes. The fun just got better when you could go in with cutoff and wetwade. Love your articles keep them coming,, although We have moved to be near the Smokies, still enjoy the articles.

  5. Ray Hamilton says:

    I agree. Fished yesterday and had one take.

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