February 2018

Tidal River Report

If you have a small trailerable boat available you can now enjoy some local fishing on the lower Housatonic River but watch out for icebergs! I prefer to start fishing the river again by the middle of March when fish start spreading out to the mud flats and can be caught more readily casting crank baits and flies instead of deep jigging for them in their winter holding holes in the Shelton area. Right now you will do best with a 3/4 ounce jig head and 6 inch white sluggo swinging the plastics near the bottom in the deeper areas.

Freshwater Report -

The Farmington River continues to impress me with the quality of fish it produces every single month of the year, being a tailwater the fishing holds strong throughout the winter but fishing above Riverton is always a good bet until we get a solid warming trend. It wont be long until we see Hendrickson's but right now get your reading glasses out if you want to fish dry flies! Size 22-28 midges are the norm as well as some slightly larger caddis in the 18-22 size range. For a more productive outing I recommend fishing a tandem nymph combo with a size 10 black stonefly nymph as an anchor fly and then experiment with size 16-18s in either a pheasant tail, tellico or brassy pattern.

A 20" survivor strain Farmington River brown trout hooked on a size 12 parachute Hendrickson dry fly!

Interested in Fly Casting instruction for fresh or salt water? Captain Chris Elser is a certified casting instructor and will be offering lessons and instruction throughout the season. Take advantage of one-on-one personalized instruction at any location that is convenient for you! He has all the tackle and can also incorporate a lesson into a trip out on the Sound.

Captain Chris Elser has been writing the Western Long Island Sound fishing reports since April of 2006, you will surely get detailed information on fishing for Stripers, Bluefish, False Albacore and more! Pick up the new isue for the latest info!

Tight Lines!

Heather above with a 52.5 inch striper taken on a red tube and gulp imitation sandworm trolled up on light tackle with a Lamiglas Tri-Flex conventional and Avet MXL reel!


A healthy 16" holdover rainbow trout taken on a pheasant tail nymph in a headwater riffle.

This false albacore was 6 oz. from being a state record at just over 14lbs. and was caught on Sept. 29, 2009 near Milford, CT. It was my personal best fat albert! Let's hope they stack in tight again!

Bonito can be expected in August, it was an epic year in 2009.



My big fly rod fish above was taken July of 2009 on a 15 inch all black spun deer hair pattern tied by Peter Viviano, Jr. - check out all of his selection at www.fishflyes.co

A pristine wild brown trout that fell for a traditional wet fishing the Pomperaug River in early May!

A vew off the stern with twin 250 HP 4 stroke power to get us to the fishing grounds comfortably and fast!

The new rig is finally home - well new to us anyway!
This boat is well kept 2005 26 foot Regulator that will get us to the fishing grounds safely in almost any conditions.

Always take the time to take a kid fishing, nothing like getting kids outdoors and away from all of the electronic distractions these days....enjoy the outdoors and please respect your environent!

Hunter's first Sea bass!

July - CJ with another big bass



All images and text - Copyright 2018 - Elser Guide Services, LLC



Captain Elser with a cow bass landed on an eel his final trip of the 2017 boating season at Thanksgiving time!

Above - Colton's epic 45 inch striper caught on a tube and worm!


Big fly rod bass on an 18 inch eel pattern!

TJ was happy after landing his first albie ever!

Hunter finally got to take the helm while Colton wasn't looking!

On the same day he started out with several 32-34" stripers as well, good start to the fall of 2017 fishing action!

A 30+ lb. Striper taken near Stratford!

A 10 lb. fluke taken near Westport, CT

Zach caught this beauty on a tube and worm rig in less than 30 feet of water.

Above is what the 10lb. doormat coughed up when we got it in the boat! Go big or go home as they say!

A gorgeous wild brook trout from a small local stream, we landed over a dozen without even using a hook...just a worm with a knot around it, the ultimate way to not harm them :-)

October - Future "sharpie" or I could almost classify 3 year old Colton as a sharpie already! Proud of my little grand sons!

October - Captain Elser with one of many false albacore landed throughout the month in our local waters!

August - Captain Elser with a 58lb. LI Sound cow bass that inhaled a 2lb. bunker in 10 feet of water!

July - Heather with a chunky 47lb. linesider in some dense fog!