Meet Dan Laffin from CT Trout Company
Fishing the Farmington River in Connecticut.
“Providing an exceptional guided experience for anglers of all skill levels”
What is your first fishing memory?
I think my first fishing memory is fishing from the beach on Cape Cod when I was about four. My memory is vague but from what my father told me I insisted on bringing my little push button rod to the beach and to everyone’s surprise, I actually hooked something. The one thing that really sticks out in my mind is how disappointed I was when I lost it. My first fly fishing memory is from when I was about nine. My father brought my brother and I to the Housatonic River to fish for trout at the Push Em Up Pool. It was really hot and we spent most of the day swimming and catching smallmouth bass on woolly buggers. To this day it remains my favorite place on the river.
What is your favorite fly?
Picking one fly as my favorite is really tough. No flies work all the time and every fly works sometimes but I have a few I really enjoy fishing:
In the fresh water, a lot of fly fisherman will say woolly buggers, or adams, or pheasant tails. I’ll defer back to the fly I enjoy fishing the most. I’d call that fly Russ Maddin’s Circus Peanut. It’s a big articulated streamer that really seems to get a ton of aggressive eats when I’m floating. There’s nothing like watching a 20+ inch brown chasing down your fly and trying to kill it. The circus peanut in olive, chartreuse, and black has accounted for some of my biggest fish on the Farmington.
For stripers in the salt, I feel that every fly is the right fly as long as that fly is a chartreuse and white clouser minnow.
I coordinate the Northeast Chapter of an organization called Rivers of Recovery. We work to reduce the symptoms of PTSD and TBI Through fly fishing. As a combat wounded vet, I attended the program when it first started in 2008 out in Utah on the Green River and I really credit it with aiding in my recovery and turning my hobby of fly fishing into and obsession. A few years ago I started a chapter of the program here in the Northeast to show local veterans that there is a ton of opportunity to learn the sport in their own backyard. In our first year we put 10 veterans through the program and last year we more than doubled that number, sending 25 veterans on trips in the region. We’ve had some great successes and several of our participants have become pretty hardcore fly fishermen. It’s been really cool to see these guys grow as anglers.
Best Advice to New Fly Fisherman?
The best advice I can give to a new fly fisherman is to get out and fish whenever you can. There is no substitute for time on the water. Aside from that, several companies offer free classes for beginners that can shorten the learning curve a ton. If you live by a piece of water that you plan to fish frequently, hire a local guide to show you the hot spots, good flies, and effective techniques for that area. Doing all of these things will make your time on the water much more enjoyable, and you’ll probably catch more fish too.
If you are looking for a guide for the Farmington River in Connecticut – Call Dan 203.676.0117
Sportsmens Compass has compiled a resource page for the Farmington River – Click Here
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