Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Naugatuck River
The Naugatuck River is a tributary of the Housatonic
River located in Western Connecticut. The river flows
through several towns starting with Torrington, to
Waterbury, and down to Shelton. In the upper portion, a
few sections of the river looks like you are in remote
woods but most of the river clearly reveals that you're in
busy, suburban sections of the state.
Waterbury marks the big turning point from what is a
beautiful, clean, well maintained trout stream into a river
that was abused for years by sewage treatment plants.
Hopefully, new plants are preventing the old problems
with the water quality at this date in time. In addition, the
removal of several dams along the way has made a
huge difference. The cities along the stream have all
made attempts to improve the water quality over the
past several years. The aquatic insect population has
greatly increased since these improvements took place.
The Naugatuck River is easily accessed in most places
and some require hiking into. State highway #8 parallels
the entire river. This is a four lane highway but many
pull-offs are available for fishing access. Access above
the Thomaston Dam in Thomaston, is provided by a trail
that runs along about four miles of the upper river.
The state stocks brood stock Atlantic Salmon in the river
each October. Most of them range from five to ten
pounds but they can be much larger. Both the upper
and lower sections of the river are stocked and there
are several popular spots where anglers fish for them
but many of them move around in the river after being
There are two designated Trophy Trout sections.
There are approximately twenty-five stocked small
tributary streams to the Naugatuck River. The Beacon
Hill Brook from Route 63 in the town of Naugatuck
downstream to the Naugatuck River, is a wild brown trout
The fishing season is closed in March and the first part
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the Naugatuck
The summer slows down the fishing in the lower area of
the stream but its usually okay in the upper sections of
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. Winter is best for the salmon
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
Naugatuck River Connecticut
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
Floating 4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5X, Nymphing: 71/2 ft., 3 or 4X,
Dry fly: 5X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X, Streamer
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4, 5 or 6 Size Fly Lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.