Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

In spring, when many an angler's fancy turns to trout, those in the know head for Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. The Cornwall area on the Housatonic River in this beautiful part of the state is one of the finest trout streams in New England, with experienced instructors, guides, and suppliers on hand to hone fly casting skills for both novices and old pros on the river. Well-stocked local ponds make it even easier, all but guaranteeing success. The region also offers prime bass fishing, and plenty of activity for companions who don't share the lure of lures.

The season on the Housatonic, a blue ribbon trout stream, begins in mid-April and is at its peak by early May. Brown, brook and rainbow trout are found in abundance, drawn by the river's generous hatches of insects in spring. Old timers have their favorite spots, affectionately know by such names as Sand Hole, Spring Hole, or The Can. According to Housatonic Anglers, one of several outfitters in the area, the catch is likely to measure a foot or more. The season lasts until October.

Novices and even youngsters can be sure of their luck at the Trout Parks generously stocked by the State Department of Environmental Protection in ponds in state parks such as Black Rock, Southford Falls and Kent Falls. These are family favorites, since everyone can look forward to a catch.

Best Bass Fishing

Come summer attention may shift to small mouth bass, so plentiful in the Housatonic and in ponds in the Litchfield Hills that it is not uncommon to be able to catch 20 or 30 in a day. The bass may measure from eight to seventeen inches and are fierce fighters that take your fly eagerly, say the outfitters. The pond at Squantz Pond State Park has been voted one of America's top ten bass fishing spots.

Lures, Lessons, Lodging

Three outfitters in the area not only stock every kind of equipment and lure for anglers but will arrange for instruction, lodging, and guides who really know the river. If Dad is a fisherman (or would like to be), families need look no further for Father's Day gift ideas.

Housatonic Anglers (860-672-4457; www.housatonicanglers.com. ) offers a weekend school for beginners, based at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville. They promise no more than four students per instructor, insuring personal attention. In addition to casting instruction, the program includes four hours of supervised fishing on the river where learners can practice their new-found skills. They also offer clinics for groups of four or more, promising a variety of activities for companions as well as instruction for fishermen.

Housatonic River Outfitters (860-672-1010; www.dryflies.com.), also in Cornwall Bridge, schedules guided drift boats on the river, promising the opportunity to cast in spots where fish have never seen a fly. Experienced guides help with techniques and supply a gourmet meal before heading for a day of fishing on the river or local ponds. The store stocks over 50,000 lures and has an antique room displaying vintage fishing gear.

Housatonic Meadows Fly Shop (860-672-6064; www.flyfishct.com.), provides Orvis-endorsed guide service for full or half day trips, and group or private fly fishing and fly tying instruction for all levels. They will also take care of non-fishing companions, helping to arrange other activities such as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, mountain biking or another favorite sport in the Litchfield Hills, antiquing.

For more information on spring activities in the area, and to receive a free copy of UNWIND, a 114-page color guide to lodging and dining and other attractions, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 800-663-1273 or visit the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.