Even for a fisherman, it was a very wet summer

Wet.

That’s the word to describe the fishing scene in 2022.

May The spring stocking of the Housatonic took place when the river was pretty high. Terrific if you’re in a boat. Us perambulators had to bide our time and wait for a more reasonable flow. And wait, and wait, and wait.

June For a few days toward the end of June, the extremely high Housatonic River got down to the 600 cfs mark.

Opinions vary, but my rule of thumb for fishing the Housatonic River on foot is to cease and desist when the flow gets over 600 cubic feet per second.

Yes, there are places where it’s possible to wade safely at flows above 600 cfs. And yes, it is possible to do well at fuller flows by targeting the banks, where the fish go because they don’t like struggling against the current anymore than you or I do.

July In early July we got about two months’ worth of rain in two weeks. The river reached flood stage twice between July and September.

I was in warm water lake mode at that point, and the extra water didn’t bother me. In fact, I think it improved things, as I caught an immense largemouth bass on a cheap Tenkara rod designed for carp fishing. I named it Mongo. A couple nights later I caught Mongo’s younger brother, Mingo.

August  For a change of pace, it rained some more. I did venture out on the Housatonic with an actual boss fisherman who writes articles for fishing magazines. We thought we could target smallmouth and take advantage of the white fly hatch, without getting swept away.

We got the last bit right, but only just. A post-fishing look at the gauge revealed it had actually gone up significantly during the three hours or so we were fishing, from a little higher than I like (750 cfs) to over 1,000 cfs.

September  I spent most of my quality fishing time on the Esopus and associated streams, with steady if not spectacular results.

October The Hous was stocked again, so the spring stockers were joined by still more stockers. That means that if the flow ever comes down, there will be a lot of hungry trout around.

 

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