FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Opening Day of fishing season was not kind to even some of the most experienced fishermen Saturday. Anglers and fishing experts gave varying reasons, but all agreed that it will be harder to land a fish this year.
Bill Foreman of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the state stocked the normal 400,000 fish in rivers, ponds and streams across the state. But drought conditions and warmer water temperatures may make it more difficult for fishermen to track down the fish. He said the eastern part of the state was hit the hardest by drought, but landing “the big one” might still be harder than usual in the Fairfield County area.
That seemed to be the case Saturday, as Bill During of Westport said he was catching more tangles in his line than fish. During, who was fishing with members of his family in the Saugatuck River off Newtown Turnpike in Wilton, had his own theory.
“It’s the warm winter that’ll keep the fish away,” said During, who describes himself as a lifelong fisherman. “The trout like to be in colder water. The water never got that cold this winter, so they’re going to want to find colder water. That means they go to deeper water where they’re harder to catch.”
During, a Fairfield resident and teacher at Stamford High, said he had been going to that particular spot on the Saugatuck for three years. He said this year was the first time he had failed to reel in a fish. The seven other fishermen who lined the Saugatuck nearby had also come up empty.
Foreman said that despite the recent lack of rain, he still anticipated the season to go off without a hitch. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a press release that it still planned to stock as many as 600,000 trout across the state and 600 Atlantic salmon. But the department advised that if the drought continued, those numbers could change.
Downriver from During was his father-in-law and Westport resident Joe DeFelice. During said his father-in-law is “the best fly-fisher I know,” but he had yet to get a nibble.
“A lot goes into fishing,” DeFelice said. “It takes plenty of patience. And I’m running out of it.”
Did you have better luck on opening day of fishing season? Send a picture of your catch to reporter Eric Gendron!