Mother Nature adds spice to fishing season's opening weekend

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Mon., Apr. 18, 2011
Nicholas and Zachary watch as dad, Dan Duchesneau, baits a hook during the opening weekend of fishing season. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Nicholas and Zachary watch as dad, Dan Duchesneau, baits a hook during the opening weekend of fishing season. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Mother Nature added some flavor to the freshwater fishing opening weekend for 2011. Joe Nero, who was fishing on April 17 at Diana’s Pool along the Natchaug River in Chaplin, said that he and his party set up camp on Saturday at nearby Peppertree Campground. “We got there late, so we got a bad site,” he said. “It was on the side of a hill.” Nero and his party fished Diana’s Pool on Saturday. “The fishing was really good,” he said. “People were pulling them out left and right.”

Saturday night brought a storm with high winds, lightning and torrential rains. “We left our stuff and bailed,” said Nero. “We went to my buddy’s house.” When the group returned to the campground in the morning, “Ours was the only campsite that wasn’t under water,” said Nero. “The people that got the good sites, they must have been 3 or 4 feet under water.”

Nero’s group decided to return to Diana’s Pool on Sunday, where the water was moving swiftly and running several feet higher than average. “See that rock over there?” said Nero. “The water was probably 3 or 4 feet lower than that yesterday. It’s gone up about 6 inches in the two hours I’ve been here.” Nero said that the fish weren’t biting as well as they had been the day before, though he pulled out a smallish rainbow trout a few seconds later.

The swollen, rushing rivers sent other fishermen looking for quieter waters. Hebron’s Gay City State Park is another area regularly stocked by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. On Sunday, grassy areas and picnic tables were submerged due to the overnight downpours, and fishermen were lined up along the shores of the pond.

“The rivers are raging today,” said Paul Badeau, fishing with his buddy, Marc Apfelbaun.

Joe Davis was using power bait to fish for rainbow and brown trout. “I came here today for a little while, to kill some time,” said Davis. “This is a nice place to fish, though I’ve never seen the water this high before.” Davis hadn’t caught anything yet in Hebron, but he’d had plenty of luck the day before in Union. “There were nine of us,” he said. “We all caught our limit. Then we had a nice dinner.”

Dan Duchesneau wasn’t able to make opening day, because he was busy doing a Cub Scout activity with his boys. So they packed up their fishing gear on Sunday, and headed out to Gay City pond. Zachary, 5, Nicholas, 7, and Nathan, 9, said fishing on opening weekend was a tradition they shared with their dad. Last year Nathan caught a pike, one of the fish that are native to the pond. Asked if he’d had any luck the previous year, Nicholas said, “Yup. I caught a brook trout and I caught a turtle.”

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