Why Fly Fishing?


A tropical saltwater fish that may be found near the water’s surface

Imagine you’ve just arrived at your favorite lake. On the bank you see one of your friends, fishing rod in hand, sitting and waiting. You visit with him for a while and find that he hasn’t seen a fish, nothing has bitten his worm, and he hasn’t seen anyone catch anything. Most bait anglers from the bank or from a dock or pier may not take into account that fish don’t feed everywhere, so they may be throwing their bait and weight in at the wrong place. Offering a juicy worm to a hungry fish will almost always result in the fish biting, but offering the worm where fish aren’t will result in no bites and an unsuccessful fishing trip.

Even those friends of yours with expensive boats filled with spinning rods and spinning baits, expensive as they might be, may have unsuccessful days fishing, because, let’s face it – there are only so many fish and you’ll want to be in the best part of that lake to get them. If all the other boats and anglers are out there, you’re going to have some crossed fishing lines. Wielding a fly rod, you’ll always be in control of your line, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone get crossed lines while fly fishing.

One of the very first things that fly anglers learn is that they can present their fish food imitations on the water’s surface, just below the water’s surface in the “surface film”, anywhere lower, and even down near the substrate (the bottom surface of a body of water). Something else that fly anglers learn almost immediately is where they are likely to find fish when fishing lakes, streams, and even seas.

We stock local rivers where approved by DEEP

Closer to home, here in Connecticut and in most of New England and New York, many rivers, especially where trout are present, are Fly-Fishing Only, or Fly-Fishing Only/Catch and Release. For instance, the Housatonic River in Northwestern Connecticut has two Trout Management Areas (TMAs.) Both are Fly-Fishing Only.

The Cornwall TMA begins just about 1 mile north of the covered bridge in West Cornwall (CT-128) ( and the Fly Fishing Only area begins at the covered bridge in West Cornwall and ends at the concrete bridge in Cornwall Bridge (CT-4.) Around ten miles to the south, the Bulls Bridge TMA (from the bridge at CT-341 in Kent, south to CT-55 in Gaylordsville) is also Fly Fishing Only. The Housatonic River in Connecticut and most of Massachusetts is poisoned with PCBs from years of dumping at a General Electric plant in Pittsfield, so don’t harvest what you catch.

The Housatonic River also hosts a Bass Management Area, which begins in the village of Cornwall Bridge and ends at the CT-341 bridge in Kent.

In order to thrive, trout need clean, cold water, food, shelter, and currents they can hold in without expending too much energy. Connecticut DEEP knows these areas exist, and it is there that the state stocks many with trout, and posts signs regulating the area as a TMA. Trout are not cheap, which is probably why we have a trout stamp, in addition to the regular fishing license. The state has also designated some lakes as Trout Management Areas and have imposed special regulations for trout fishing in those lakes. 

So, the best areas for holding trout are generally restricted to fly-fishing gear

We stock local rivers where approved by DEEP

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with conserving, improving, and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the state of Connecticut as well as making cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state.”

The above paragraph is a quote from the DEEP website. One thing they do in the “Protecting The Natural Resources" job, is to stock fish. Before America’s industrial revolution, America’s rivers were full of fish, and most could be eaten. The local Indian tribes often ate fish, catching them either by bow and arrow, spears, or weirs. A weir is a bunch of sticks or stakes, driven into a river’s bottom surface so that fish cannot pass through, effectively capturing them. A TMA, or a Trout-Management-Area, is a place designated by the state to have special regulations or limitations, such as the type of hook that may be used, a two-fish per day harvesting rule, or any number of things. Many TMA’s in Connecticut are limited to Fly Anglers only, barbless hooks, and are catch and release, meaning that after you catch a fish using a fly, you unhook it and toss it back in, so it can remain living.

Trout and Salmon need to have cold clean water to live in. If trout live in an inland lake, they stay in colder areas of the water (the deep areas) during the day and may only come up to feed during the night hours. Trout also need lots of air to breathe, and sources of food to eat. With almost any type of water body, this will change during different times of the day, different seasons, or different weather patterns.