Fly-Fishing: Shops on Connecticut rivers get new managers

There are two fantastic trout rivers just over the state line in Connecticut, the Farmington and the

There are two fantastic trout rivers just over the state line in Connecticut, the Farmington and the Housatonic, and there’s a well-established fly shop on each one: Housatonic River Outfitters in Cornwall, and UpCountry Sportfishing in New Hartford.

A recent shake-up might invite comparison to Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees to manage the Red Sox. Torrey Collins, the manager at Housatonic River Outfitters for 13 years, took over as manager at UpCountry Wednesday.

In truth, the Yankees-Red Sox comparison doesn’t hold up. Many western New England anglers are fans of both rivers and both shops. There’s no bad blood between the two businesses, and Collins is leaving HRO on good terms with its owner, Harold McMillan.

Grady Allen, owner of UpCountry, simply “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Collins said. “I think it’s just a better opportunity. And sometimes, you need a change after you’ve been at one place for a long time. I’m excited. It’s something new.”

Like many of his customers, Collins fishes both rivers and appreciates each for its own characteristics.

The Housy is big, rocky and tough to wade, like a western river. Because its upriver impoundments are managed on a “run-of-river” basis, it often flows high and muddy after big storms. In the summer, it gets so warm that trout flee for cooler waters and smallmouth bass take over — but trout return for some great action in the fall.

“You don’t always get the conditions you want there, but when they line up, you can get some really excellent fishing, like we’ve been having the whole month of September,” Collins said.

The Farmington, on the other hand, is more predictable.

“It’s a classic bottom-release tailwater fishery,” Collins said. “It stays cool enough to fish in the summer, and it doesn’t freeze in the winter, so you have a 12-month fishery. They’re both great rivers. They each have a different flavor.”

Collins will be succeeded at HRO by Tom Deletka, a fly business veteran who formerly ran Fall Mountain Outfitters in Torrington.

Cohen at CDFF

Pat Cohen of Cobleskill, who in recent years has become one of the most recognized names in the fly tying world, will discuss his deer hair fly-tying technique at the Oct. 15 meeting of the Capital District Fly Fishers at VFW Post 8692, 140 VFW Drive in Albany.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. with the fly-tier’s corner, and Cohen’s presentation will begin at 7. The meeting is free and open to the public. The club’s website is

Delaware talk at TU

Adam Franceschini of West Branch Angler will give a presentation on fishing the Delaware River system at the Clearwater chapter of Trout Unlimited’s monthly meeting Oct. 20 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, just off Everett Road in Albany.

Fly-tying begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting and talk.

The chapter has received a large donation of new fly-tying materials from a shop that went out of business, and will sell them at low prices at its monthly meetings to raise funds. Its website is The meeting is free, and the public is invited.

Categories: Sports

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