Journeys with Jim: No fish, lots of fun on opening day of season

Published on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 21:21


The opening day of the trout season this past Saturday was arguably one of the nicest opening days we’ve had in a few years. It was also one of the nicest days we’ve had lately, period.

Judging by a few accounts that I’d heard, it appears the Farmington River was well received by a large crowd of opening day anglers. The area of the old Hitchcock Chair Factory in Riverton always draws good numbers to the annual trout derby, with fishermen lined up shoulder to shoulder just waiting for the official 6 a.m. start time on opening day.

My own opening day started with high hopes of a great fishing adventure. I met by buddy Brad at his house just before 4 a.m. Saturday morning. Our plan was to journey south to the Housatonic River and the Derby Dam.

The tide was still low when we arrived at the dam and not predicted to rise until mid-morning. The predawn air had a bit of a chill, but we made the best of it and by the light of our headlamps we made numerous casts, hoping to entice a strike from a striped bass.

After a while, we headed back up to the truck to warm up a bit before heading downriver to the next stop at Sullivan’s Landing at the end of Caroline Street in Derby. It is at this place where the Naugatuck and Housatonic Rivers meet to continue their journey, as one, to the sea.

Within the park grounds, the area called the point is one of my favorite fishing stops. As the sunrise dawned, we were able to douse our lamps. The air started to warm, but the fishing remained cold, without a single strike.

We decided to head farther down river to Milford, just across from Sikorsky Aircraft. On this eastern shore, the channel is fairly deep and usually holds stripers, even at low tide. However, on this day, they just didn’t seem to be there or just weren’t interested in any of our offerings.

At the end of the day, about all we had to show for our efforts were a few pieces of odd looking driftwood that I collected and the shiny, rather new-looking thermos that my friend Brad found on the riverbank.

After all the heavy rain we endured on Monday, the local rivers weren’t really fishable for me Tuesday morning, so I drove across town to one of my childhood fishing spots at Birge Pond.

The place has changed some over the years, but still holds many fond memories.

The water was pretty well muddied up from all the rain, giving it the appearance of something like an extra light coffee. I fished for an hour or two without any luck; but no matter, I enjoyed my time spent there.

A few other fishermen I talked to said that they were weren’t having any success, either.

While at the pond, I noticed a Great Blue Heron and a lone Osprey, both trying their luck as well and seemingly not doing any better than I.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 21:21. Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2018 21:23.