Despite being one of the smallest states, Connecticut offers ample fly fishing opportunities both in stocked streams and lakes and along the coastline. Anglers will find plenty of brilliant fly fishing spots to catch brown trout, striped bass, and even Atlantic salmon!
Here’s our guide to fly fishing in the Constitution State! Find out what you need to fish in Connecticut, get up to date on the local regulations, and discover the hottest Connecticut fly fishing spots!
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Best Places to Fly Fish in Connecticut
If you’re not sure where to go fly fishing in CT, here’s all the info you need to know! From the popular Farmington River to saltwater fishing on Long Island Sound, we’ve recommended the top fly fishing spots for you:
1. Farmington River
Farmington River is one of the most well-known fishing spots in Connecticut, with 46 miles of fantastic trout waters. It’s a tailwater fishery with just the right conditions for trout to thrive, making it the most trout-dense waters in Connecticut.
It’s stocked regularly with adult brown trout that reach 12-14 inches, although some can grow to 20+ inches long. Native wild trout can also be found in the waters here, too.
Summer is the peak season for fishing the Farmington River, although you will find high numbers of canoes, kayaks, and boats on the river during these hotter months.
The most productive stretch of the Farmington River is between Riverton and New Hartford, just below the 200-foot Hogback dam. You can access the river anywhere along this section, but take note of the fishing regulations. There are two Trout Management Areas to maintain the healthy trout populations on the Farmington River.
The upper Trout Management zone is where most fly anglers flock – it stretches for 4 miles and is particularly popular for dry fly fishing. This area is very productive but it is busier, meaning that the fish can be tricky to tempt. You’ll need to match the hatch carefully here to catch those wily trout. It’s catch and release only here, and make sure you use barbless hooks.
2. Naugatuck River
The Naugatuck is a brilliant trout stream where you’ll also have the opportunity to fish for Atlantic salmon. The fish grow big on this river, so arm yourself with a 7-9 wt rod and a good amount of backing in case you snag a fish that just wants to run!
Weighted nymph patterns work a treat for the Naugatuck trout, while the salmon go crazy for big leech patterns.
Salmon are stocked in October and November, and it’s catch-and-release only during these months. You can take one salmon a day from December through March but may only use an artificial fly with a single hook.
3. Shetucket River
Located in eastern Connecticut, the Shetucket runs for 18 miles. These waters offer excellent fishing for brook trout, rainbows, big browns, and the elusive Atlantic salmon. If you’re hunting salmon, the best spot to head to is the four miles below Scotland Dam.
Trout anglers prefer the Shetucket tributary, Little River, for the diverse underwater structures, riffles, and deep pools. The section below the Hanover Reservoir offers the best pickings.
4. Housatonic River
Head to the Housatonic River for the first-class trout fishing, as well as opportunities to catch pike and smallmouth bass! It’s exciting to go white water rafting on the Class I and II waters, and the fishing prospects are great too.
Public access is available at the Housatonic Meadows State Park, which the DEEP generously stock in the spring and fall with 9,000 fish. Also known as the Housy, you’ll find trout all along this river.
The Trout Management Area below at West Cornwall has some of the best Connecticut fly fishing in the state. Fish the pockets and pools here with weighted nymphs and streamers, and you’ll easily lure the trout out of their hiding places.
5. Moosup River
The Moosup River is a catch-and-release-only river and a superb spot for fly fishing. Fly fishing is only permitted on the lower section, where regular trout stocking makes this a top Connecticut river for anglers. Make sure you’re aware of the local regulations before heading out.
You can access the Moosup River from East Main St, River Street Road, and Water St. Bridge. Classic trout fly patterns are particularly productive, and you’ll catch plenty of healthy-sized fish on the Moosup River.
6. Kent Falls Brook Trout Park
Located in the Housatonic Valley, Kent Falls Brook Trout Park is stocked annually with 1300 trout. It’s calm enough to fish dry flies effectively, but the nymph fishing is also great here.
If you’re a beginner, the Kent Falls Brook Trout Park is an ideal spot to grow your skills and hone your techniques. The stocked fish aren’t fussy, and a 3/4 weight rod is perfect for hauling them in.
There are several easy access points at the footbridge, the corner pool, and the covered bridge, among others.
7. Long Island Sound Coastal Fishing
If you’re more of a saltwater fly angler, head to the Long Island Sound. You’ll find plenty of public access points between Fairfield and Greenwich. There, you can try your hand at catching the local striped bass, as well as flounder, bluefish, sea bass, and even false albacore.
It’s possible to fish from the shore, but you’ll see lots more action if you head out on a boat. Kit yourself out with an 8/9 weight saltwater rod, an intermediate sinking line, a strong leader, and some big flies, and you’ll be all set!
Connecticut Fishing License
There are a variety of fishing license options for Connecticut, depending on whether you only want to fish inland or also along the coast. Anyone aged 16 or over must have a license, although there are half-price options for 16-17 year olds. The resident inland permit costs $28, while the All Waters permit costs $32.
The non-resident season inland license will set you back $55, but there’s also a 3-day permit which costs $22. If you want to fish both inland and saltwater, the All Waters non-resident license costs $65. You can check out all the prices here and find out which permit is best for your needs.
You can buy your license online or from participating tackle shops, town halls, and DEEP offices across the state.
Connecticut Fishing Regulations
Before you head out, you’ll need to make yourself aware of the CT fishing regulations. From daily bag limits to minimum sizes, fishing seasons, and which lures you can use, you can find out all you need to know on the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection website.
For example, the daily creel limit for smallmouth and largemouth bass is 6 per angler per day, while the creel limit for common carp is 5. You can take up to 5 trout per day, but you may need to buy a Trout Stamp, too.
The trout season in Connecticut runs from the second Saturday in April until the last day of the following February, although you can fish the tidal waters all year round.
Connecticut Fishing Reports
The easiest way to stay up to date on the conditions of the lakes, rivers, and tidal waters of Connecticut is by checking out the fishing reports.
The DEEP website is updated weekly with the latest reports from across the state from spring to winter, so you can find out what the fish are doing and what the water conditions are. You can also find detailed reports from experienced anglers on The Fisherman website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I fly fish in CT?
You can fly fish in CT at loads of great spots, from rivers and streams to the fantastic coastline. Some of the best places to fly fish are the Farmington River, Housatonic River, and the Shetucket River.
Can you catch salmon in CT?
You can fish for salmon in CT on the Naugatuck, Housatonic, and Shetucket Rivers. Just check the regulations – most of the time, you can only fish for Atlantic salmon with a single, free-swinging hook on an artificial fly.
The Wrap Up
Don’t be discouraged by the size of the state, because the Connecticut fly fishing scene is lively and rewarding! Now you know what it has to offer, so what are you waiting for? Grab your fly rod, your gear and flies and set off for one of the top locations we mentioned above!
Drop us a comment to let us know which spot you’ll go to first, or let us know your recommendations if we missed anything off! As always, we’d love it if you could give this article a share on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our other fly fishing location articles on Fly Fisher Pro too!