Connecticut Fly Fishing

This tiny state is well-known for its status as one of the original 13 colonies. Most people also know that it’s the choice of residence for many powerful politicians and other members of the rich and famous upper echelon.

Connecticut also boasts another distinction – it offers fly fishermen a rich and diverse angling experience. With the state’s fish stocking program depositing over a million trout among the various waters statewide, not counting the other species that are stocked as well, fly fishing is alive and well in the Constitution State.

Connecticut Fly Fishing Map

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CT - Farmington River: 41.912369, -72.988358
CT - Housatonic River: 41.823223, -73.374870
Stony Brook (Class 3 WTMA): 41.500388, -72.173649
Shunock River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.447517, -71.891769
Negro Hill Brook (Sessions Woods) - Class 3 WTMA: 41.726749, -72.957930
Roaring Brook (Class 3 WTMA): 41.670578, -72.566727
Pease Brook (Class 3 WTMA): 41.597697, -72.193339
Norwalk River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.278820, -73.444283
Furnace Brook (Class 2 WTMA): 41.825752, -73.356667
Fenton River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.810429, -72.219376
Farm River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.322651, -72.841118
East Branch Naugatuck River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.857121, -73.129189
East Aspetuck River (Class 3 WTMA): 41.670261, -73.358711
Beacon Hill Brook (Class 3 WTMA): 41.466862, -73.017441
Salmon Brook (Class 2 WTMA): 41.718361, -72.594597
Blackberry River (Class 3 WTMA): 42.011902, -73.290909
Wachocastinook Creek (Class 1 WTMA): 42.005199, -73.460702
Deep Brook (Class 1 WTMA): 41.785617, -73.408113
Eightmile River (Class 1 WTMA): 41.600799, -72.903969
Macedonia Brook (Class 1 WTMA): 41.756680, -73.492233
Hawley's Brook (Class 1 WTMA): 41.241792, -73.343483
Merrick-Beaver Brooks (Class 1 WTMA): 41.684021, -72.109901
Mill River (Class 1 WTMA): 41.241039, -73.253860
Quinnipiac River (Class 1 WTMA): 41.620880, -72.874344
Tankerhoosen River (Class 1 WTMA): 41.840553, -72.439599
Housatonic River (Upper TMA) : 41.946724, -73.366700
Housatonic River (CRFFO Section) : 41.858391, -73.374960
Housatonic River @ Falls Village (USGS Gauge): 41.957222, -73.369720
Housatonic River (Lower TMA) : 41.675476, -73.509870
Housatonic River @ Gaylordsville (USGS Gauge): 41.653056, -73.490280
Farmington River, CT: 41.990310, -73.019150
Farmington River (TMA - Upper Boundary) : 41.942299, -73.012365
Farmington River (TMA - Lower Boundary) : 41.878360, -72.977113
Farmington River (Seasonal TMA - Upper Boundary) : 41.877332, -72.978341
Farmington River (Seasonal TMA - Lower Boundary) : 41.755777, -72.886686
Farmington River (Hogback Road): 41.971975, -73.018216
Farmington River (Hitchcock Pool): 41.962602, -73.017862
Farmington River (American Legion): 41.932430, -73.002541
Farmington River (Whitemore Pool): 41.944537, -73.015480
Farmington River (People's State Park): 41.923419, -72.996876
Farmington River (Church Pool): 41.912705, -72.986941
Farmington River (Greenwoods Pool): 41.899690, -72.987349
Farmington River (Boneyard Pool): 41.893301, -72.981341
Farmington River (Ovation Pool): 41.884084, -72.980461
USGS Gauge - Still River @ Robertsville, CT: 41.967770, -73.034440
USGS Gauge - Farmington River @ Riverton, CT: 41.962770, -73.018050
USGS Gauge - Farmington River @ Unionville, CT: 41.755830, -72.887220
PENDELTON HILL BROOK NEAR CLARKS FALLS, CT: 41.474822, -71.834236
WILLIMANTIC RIVER AT MERROW RD. NEAR MERROW, CT: 41.824011, -72.312847
WILLIMANTIC RIVER NEAR COVENTRY, CT: 41.750654, -72.265635
NATCHAUG RIVER AT MARCY RD. NEAR CHAPLIN, CT: 41.816169, -72.106169
MOUNT HOPE RIVER NEAR WARRENVILLE, CT: 41.843709, -72.168966
FENTON RIVER AT MANSFIELD, CT: 41.833194, -72.242781
NATCHAUG RIVER AT WILLIMANTIC, CT: 41.720100, -72.195575
SHETUCKET RIVER NEAR WILLIMANTIC, CT: 41.700376, -72.182022
LITTLE RIVER NEAR HANOVER, CT: 41.671765, -72.052298
SHETUCKET RIVER AT TAFTVILLE, CT: 41.570003, -72.046244
QUINEBAUG RIVER AT QUINEBAUG, CT: 42.022319, -71.955629
QUINEBAUG RIVER AT WEST THOMPSON, CT: 41.943567, -71.899597
FRENCH RIVER AT NORTH GROSVENORDALE, CT: 41.978464, -71.900514
LITTLE RIVER AT HARRISVILLE, CT: 41.927844, -71.930008
QUINEBAUG RIVER AT PUTNAM, CT: 41.909475, -71.913864
QUINEBAUG RIVER AT JEWETT CITY, CT: 41.597492, -71.984094
YANTIC RIVER AT YANTIC, CT: 41.558709, -72.121467
CONNECTICUT RIVER AT THOMPSONVILLE, CT: 41.987319, -72.605367
STONY BROOK NEAR WEST SUFFIELD, CT: 41.960839, -72.710486
BROAD BROOK AT BROAD BROOK, CT: 41.913897, -72.549700
WEST BRANCH FARMINGTON RIVER NEAR NEW BOSTON, MA: 42.078861, -73.072883
WEST BRANCH FARMINGTON RIVER AT RIVERTON, CT: 41.962873, -73.017606
HUBBARD RIVER NEAR WEST HARTLAND, CT: 42.037500, -72.939328
BUNNELL (BURLINGTON) BROOK NEAR BURLINGTON, CT: 41.786209, -72.964826
FARMINGTON RIVER AT SIMSBURY, CT: 41.869706, -72.797244
FARMINGTON RIVER AT TARIFFVILLE, CT: 41.908283, -72.759353
CONNECTICUT RIVER AT HARTFORD, CT: 41.769094, -72.667550
NORTH BRANCH PARK RIVER AT HARTFORD, CT: 41.784439, -72.708056
HOCKANUM RIVER NEAR EAST HARTFORD, CT: 41.783155, -72.587311
COGINCHAUG RIVER AT MIDDLEFIELD, CT: 41.520233, -72.706531
CONNECTICUT RIVER AT MIDDLE HADDAM, CT: 41.541766, -72.553145
SALMON RIVER NEAR EAST HAMPTON, CT: 41.552321, -72.449253
EIGHTMILE RIVER AT NORTH PLAIN, CT: 41.441669, -72.332678
EAST BRANCH EIGHTMILE RIVER NEAR NORTH LYME, CT: 41.427517, -72.334778
CONNECTICUT RIVER AT ESSEX, CT: 41.351483, -72.384367
CONNECTICUT RIVER AT OLD LYME, CT: 41.312598, -72.345917
INDIAN RIVER NEAR CLINTON, CT: 41.306172, -72.531033
QUINNIPIAC RIVER AT SOUTHINGTON, CT: 41.603472, -72.883200
QUINNIPIAC RIVER AT WALLINGFORD, CT: 41.450264, -72.841275
MUDDY RIVER NEAR EAST WALLINGFORD, CT: 41.435608, -72.779492
MILL RIVER NEAR HAMDEN, CT: 41.420414, -72.902658
SALMON CREEK AT LIME ROCK, CT: 41.942315, -73.390953
TENMILE RIVER NEAR GAYLORDSVILLE, CT: 41.658764, -73.528683
HOUSATONIC RIVER NEAR NEW MILFORD, CT: 41.593150, -73.449567
STILL RIVER AT ROUTE 7 AT BROOKFIELD CENTER, CT: 41.465822, -73.403203
SHEPAUG RIVER AT PETERS DAM AT WOODVILLE, CT: 41.719575, -73.292603
POOTATUCK RIVER AT BERKSHIRE: 41.406547, -73.273183
POOTATUCK RIVER AT SANDY HOOK, CT: 41.419250, -73.282100
NONEWAUG RIVER AT MINORTOWN, CT: 41.575850, -73.178467
WEEKEEPEEMEE RIVER AT HOTCHKISSVILLE, CT: 41.557708, -73.215353
POMPERAUG RIVER AT SOUTHBURY, CT: 41.481939, -73.224572
HOUSATONIC RIVER AT STEVENSON, CT: 41.383803, -73.166639
NAUGATUCK RIVER AT THOMASTON, CT: 41.673708, -73.069553
NAUGATUCK RIVER AT BEACON FALLS, CT: 41.442300, -73.062283
ROOSTER RIVER AT FAIRFIELD, CT: 41.179819, -73.219002
MILL RIVER NEAR FAIRFIELD, CT: 41.165475, -73.270008
SASCO BROOK NEAR SOUTHPORT, CT: 41.152874, -73.305950
SAUGATUCK RIVER NEAR REDDING, CT: 41.294540, -73.395120
SAUGATUCK R BELOW SAUGATUCK RES NR LYONS PLAIN, CT: 41.245514, -73.349236
ASPETUCK RIVER AT ASPETUCK, CT: 41.228742, -73.324119
SAUGATUCK RIVER NEAR WESTPORT, CT: 41.170731, -73.364817
SAUGATUCK RIVER AT ROUTE 1 AT WESTPORT, CT: 41.140894, -73.363033
RIDGEFIELD BROOK AT SHIELDS LANE NR RIDGEFIELD, CT: 41.314089, -73.492894
NORWALK RIVER AT SOUTH WILTON, CT: 41.163767, -73.419544
FIVEMILE RIVER NEAR NEW CANAAN, CT: 41.174322, -73.511078
STAMFORD HURRICANE BARRIER AT STAMFORD, CT: 41.037042, -73.534289
RIPPOWAM RIVER AT STAMFORD, CT.: 41.066111, -73.549272
BYRAM RIVER AT PEMBERWICK, CT: 41.027297, -73.661750
Hogback dam pool: 41.988600, -73.019700
Beaver pool: 41.974600, -73.021500
Canal pool: 41.971700, -73.018500
Vans pool: 41.968900, -73.016900
Hitchcock Chair pool: 41.963200, -73.017500
Lymans Rock pool: 41.959000, -73.018000
Pipeline pool: 41.955400, -73.014700
Whittemores pool: 41.945700, -73.016700
Hawes pool: 41.940000, -73.005000
Campground pool: 41.933900, -72.999800
Hemlocks pool: 41.927800, -73.002600
High Bank Rapid: 41.924100, -73.000100
Spring Hole: 41.921500, -72.997600
School Bus pool: 41.919300, -72.993300
Halfords Run: 41.917400, -72.989100
Church pool: 41.910300, -72.987000
Drive-In pool: 41.903200, -72.988200
Morgan Brook pool: 41.901400, -72.987300
Greenwoods pool: 41.897400, -72.983100
Central Riffle: 41.894300, -72.980700
Morning Drift: 41.892200, -72.980400
Bone Yard Pool: 41.889000, -72.981200
Ovation pool: 41.883300, -72.981500
219 Bridge pool: 41.878400, -72.977700
The Wall: 41.877800, -72.976800
Black Bridge pool: 41.877900, -72.964600
Six Ds Run: 41.868900, -72.959000
Satans Kingdom Rapid: 41.861300, -72.957400
Rainbow City pool: 41.842300, -72.939600
Natchaug River: 41.832760, -72.094250
Still river, 20170513-Son: 41.965000, -73.027800
20170513-Son: 41.781100, -72.921300

Get the DIY Fly Fishing App to get turn-by-turn directions to access points shown on the map above and real-time stream flow conditions.

Connecticut's Best Fly Fishing Spots

From the coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the rivers, streams, and lakes that make up the rest of the state’s waters, there is much to choose from. Here are a few favorites that are sure to give the novice and the expert fly fisherman an invigorating challenge.

Farmington River

This 46-mile waterway in the northwest portion of the state is considered one of the best trout fisheries in Connecticut. The area below the Hogback Dam down to Riverton is the most productive for fly fisherman, holding healthy quantities of stocked, wild, and holdover rainbows and browns. It’s not unusual to land 15-inchers, or even fish up to 20+ inches.

The west branch of the river offers deep pools, lively riffles, and runs and pockets. There is a trout management area that begins a mile above Route 318 and runs four miles down to the Route 219 bridge. The slow pools, pockets, and runs in this section offer a productive experience to beginners and veterans alike, and the tree-lined banks give shade in high sun. As you move downstream the water becomes warmer, although there are still plenty of fishable pockets until you reach about to Collinsville.

Fishing access to the Farmington is good, as roads run alongside the river most of the way. There are access points at Beaver Pool, Ovation, Hitchcock Chair, and various locations down to Collinsville. The trout management area typically yields the largest fish, but it’s also heavily fished and the trout in this area require a close fly match. Still, no matter where you are on the Farmington you’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a lively population of trout to play with.

Visit our DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Farmington River for more information.

The Shetucket River

This 18-mile long tributary of the Thames River runs approximately 20 miles through the eastern part of the state. This waterway offers the unique opportunity to land browns, rainbows, and brookies, as well as Atlantic salmon. Wading is good along Highway 32 below Willimantic, and from Scotland Dam downstream about four miles you’ll have the best chance for salmon.

There is also good trout fishing along the Little River, a tributary of the Shetucket which joins up with the river in Versailles. This area is stocked with trout and offers a combination of pools, riffles, and runs. The most productive stretch lies in the Pudding Hill Wildlife Management Area above the Hanover Reservoir.

The Housatonic River

This river meanders for nearly 150 miles throughout western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Between the Falls Village dam and Housatonic State Park is an area that is stocked with 9000 fish twice per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. While the flow of the Housy – as locals affectionately call it – used to be controlled by releases from the dam, it is now a natural flow river which means the trout are more evenly distributed and the waters are much more hospitable to anglers.

From the area around West Cornwall at Route 112 and Route 7 there is a Trout Management Area that runs down to the Route 4 Bridge. As the TMA continues from the covered bridge at West Cornwall, it gets faster and offers lovely pockets, deep pools, and classic runs. Some of the pools in this stretch are actually named – such as the Garbage Hole, Monument, The Elms, and many more. Pockets here can yield large fish, making this 10.4-mile section one of the most popular fly fishing destinations on the Housy.

In addition to stocked trout, the Housatonic also plays host to smallmouth bass and pike, giving unique fishing opportunities for boaters, particularly when the water flow is heavy.

Visit our DIY Guide to Fly Fishing the Housatonic River for more information.

The Naugatuck River

For those seeking a bit of variety, the Naugatuck offers the opportunity to fly fish for Atlantic salmon. This tributary of the Housatonic follows along Route 8 for the most part, ultimately emptying into the Housy. The state stocks salmon during October and November.

There are two sections to consider when fly fishing here – between exits 23 and 26 on Route 8, and exits 40 to 41. The first area tends to be deeper and swiftly flowing, presenting a challenge to waders. There is a bridge pool at Pines Bridge Road which is a good place to begin, although it can also be crowded. The second area is located at a narrower stretch of the river – about 20-40 feet – but there can be fish holed up in the large pools here.

From October 1 through all of November, this area is a catch-and-release only. From December 1 until March 31 you can keep one salmon per day. You can only use an artificial, single-hook fly.

Coastal Fishing

If you’re looking for a little variety, check out Long Island Sound. Between Greenwich and Fairfield you will find no shortage of public access points (like Compo Beach and Pennfield Reef) from which to try your hand at a little saltwater fly fishing action. These spots can yield that prized striped bass cruising the shoreline looking for an easy meal. You may also encounter bluefish, flounder, or black sea bass.

Best Time to Fly Fish in Connecticut

Connecticut offers year-round fly fishing action in most lakes and ponds, while the fishing season for rivers and streams runs from the third Saturday in April through the end of February.

The most productive months on the Farmington are from April through the end of October. The Housatonic offers the best dry fly fishing in May, June, September, October, and November, with a variety of standard hatches taking place during this time.

For the Shetucket, spring is best for trout, while summertime can be a challenge. Fall yields the larger browns, and winter is excellent for Atlantic salmon. Salmon on the Naugatuck is also best during the wintertime.

What You Will Need When You Get There?

Bring along your typical gear, including waders, a hat for sun protection, a rain jacket with hood, a vest or pack to carry your small items, polarized sunglasses for seeing into the water, nippers or nail clippers and other accessories, snacks, water, and a wading staff for unpredictable tailwaters. You’ll also want fleece waders for the Naugatuck along with a pair of fingerless wool gloves in order to withstand the chill of the waters during salmon season.

On the Housatonic you’ll want a 9-foot 5 weight rod with a 4X tippet and 9-foot leader. Trout fly line and streamer stripper sink tip fly line will both serve you well. The hatches here can include hendricksons, cahills, March browns, blue-winged olives, mayflies, and caddis. You’ll want some stonefly nymphs, pheasant tails, caddis larvae, and woolly buggers.

On the Farmington a 10-foot 5 weight rod with 6X tippet and 9-foot leader is a good choice, along with trout fly line and clear sink tip fly line. Keep a variety of flies on-hand – emerging caddis, blue-winged olive, midges, sculpins, ants, pheasant tails, classic nymphs, and stonefly nymphs.

On the Naugatuck you could encounter 20+ pound, extremely strong salmon that put up the good fight. You’ll need a 7 to 9 weight rod equipped with a mid- to large-arbor reel with hefty backing and drag system. Use a 6 to 7.5-foot leader, and play around with different streamer patterns – from bright, to smaller bead-head nymphs. Depending upon how the fishing pressure is affecting the salmon at any given time, you may have to try different approaches.

If fishing the coast, make sure you’ve got a good 8 or 9 weight with a large reel and ample backing. An intermediate sinking line is best, with leaders of at least 12 pound test weight. Keep steel leaders on-hand just in case, as the bluefish are a bit toothy.

Connecticut Fishing Regulations

People age 16 and up require a fishing license in the state of Connecticut. For residents ages 16 and 17 the cost for an inland license is $14. From age 18 up you’ll pay $28 per year. Permits to fish all waters in the state cost $16 for those age 16-17 and $32 for adults. Senior citizens (age 65 and up) can obtain a free inland or marine waters license. Non-residents may purchase an inland waters license for $55 or an all waters license for $63, or a marine waters license for $15. Non-residents also have the option of purchasing a three-day inland fishing license for $22, or a three-day marine waters license for $8.

Connecticut may be small – in fact it is the third smallest state – but as far as exciting options for anglers, it is mighty.