Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Willimantic River
The Willimantic River is formed by the confluence of the
Middle River and Furnace Brook in Stafford Springs,
Connecticut. The Willimantic River and the Natchaug
River flow together to form the Shetucket River. Access
is easy. State highway #32 follows along the river its
This river has several dams but only the Engleville Dam
and Engleville Lake located near its beginning in
Willimantic affects its flow. The entire river is a series of
riffles, runs and pools that hold trout year-round. There
are plenty of holdover trout.
There's a three mile long Cole W. Wilde Trout
Management Area located near the middle of the river
that's probably the best thing going for the Willimantic
River. One side of the river in this area is protected by
the Nye-Holman State Forest and Kollar Wildlife
Management Area. The large trees in these areas help
keep the water cool during the Summer.
The Willimantic River has several tributary streams that
have trout. The Hop River is stocked and provides good
fishing access along U. S. Highway #6. The
Skungamaug River is a tributary to the Hop River that's
also a beautiful trout stream. The Roaring Brook enters
the Willimantic near the Trout Management Area and
also provides good trout fishing opportunities.
The Willimantic River provides several miles of very
good trout fishing where few anglers visit. They tend to
center on the TMA which is a good section, but there
are many others that receive little pressure.
This river has plenty of aquatic insect hatches and
plenty of food that keep its trout in good condition.
There's even a good Green Drake hatch along with
Sulphurs, Hendricksons, Mahogany Duns, Blue-winged
Olives, Quill Gordons, Light Cahills, Blue Quills and
many other species of mayflies. Little Black Caddis,
Spotted and Cinnamon Caddis are very plentiful. The
holdover trout can become very selective on these
The fishing season is closed in March and the first part
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the Willimantic
The Summer slows down the fishing in the lower area of
the stream but its usually okay in the Trout Management
Fall is a good time to catch a large brown trout
Trout can be caught on warm winter days but the fishing
is usually very tough.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 1-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via