Norwalk river fishing

Norwalk river fishing DEFAULT


What are “Thermal Refuges”?

During the hot summer months, heat-stressed fish in major rivers, particularly trout, often seek cool-water refuge by congregating at the mouths of tributary streams where cooler water is entering. A number of these cool-water refuges on the Housatonic River, Naugatuck River, and Salmon River have been identified and under current regulations are closed to all fishing from June 15 through September 15, inclusive. These closures are intended to protect fish from any additional stress during periods of very warm water temperatures. In due to high water temperatures and low river flows, DEEP issued emergency declarations temporarily closing eight locations on the West Branch and mainstem Farmington Rivers and extending the closure at one location on the Housatonic River. The closed areas are delineated by signs posted by DEEP.
How’s my waterway (accessible at helps users quickly find information on the condition of their local waters using a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer. This tool provides results within seconds using EPA’s water quality assessment data. Check out the condition of your local waterbody today!

Fishermen cast their lines into Norwalk River for trout on Opening Day

Local fishermen were awake early Saturday morning, spinning their reels and casting lines in the Norwalk River for the official start of fishing season at 6 a.m. Despite the dreary, rainy weather, the section of the Norwalk River behind the Wilton Family Y remained a popular destination for anglers.

"It was nasty this morning, but you still had a lot of people out here this morning," said Kevin Delinski, a Norwalker who spent the day fishing with his father, Pete Delinski.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has released about , trout into rivers and lakes and ponds in advance of the start of fishing season. The DEEP says it plans to release a total of approximately , trout during its spring stocking.

"Opening Day is an exciting time for Connecticut's many trout anglers, and they can look forward to exceptional fishing this season," said Susan Whalen, deputy commissioner of DEEP, in a prepared statement.

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Greenwich resident Annibal Puente used the occasion to try out his new reel in the section of Norwalk River behind the Village Market in Wilton. He said he didn't catch anything, but back at the Wilton Family Y anglers were reeling in fish after fish.

"We hit it pretty hard this morning," Paul Paris said.

Paris and Jeno Dodaj, two avid fishermen who fish in the same spot yearly from 6 a.m. to sundown, said they were worried that Hurricane Sandy would change the conditions in the water behind the Y.

"Unfortunately, something like that could create whole new pools in the water," Paris said.

Aside from a few downed trees that lay in the water, the storm didn't have an adverse affect on the stretch of the river behind the Y, Paris said.

Paris said it is still the "hottest spot on the river."

"Our first six or seven casts, we caught fish," he said.

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Trout season has become much more rewarding

The opening day was accompanied with paticularly cold weather for a mid-April morning, where temperatures were in the 30s. Light snowfall was forecasted for the afternoon.

“The fishing isn’t going too well for us. We haven’t had a bite or a nibble all morning,” said Jerry Torino, New Haven resident. “By this time last year, we were catching five to ten fish. I don’t think the government stocked the waters this year.”

Torino and his friends have been meeting up and coming to the Norwalk River in Wilton every year for the past 25 years. His friends are from the New Haven and Wallingford areas, but they love their spot on the Norwalk River right next to the Riverbrook Regional YMCA, located at Danbury Rd., Wilton.

“It’s great to fish and hang out here. All day, no one bothers us,” said Torino.

Delinski and his group had much better luck than Torino and his friends, who were situated a few hundred feet away. Delinski and his family and friends had already caught five rainbow trout by around 8 a.m.

“The Connecticut hatcheries shut down this year, so most of the fish here are from Massachusetts and New York,” he said. “The fishing season lasts until the end of the year, but April and May are the best months to go. When the trees start growing back, the fishing spots along the river are harder to get to and fish from.”

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But this year, there is a bigger incentive to participate in the trout fishing season.

“We’ve actually caught two rainbow trout that were tagged,” said Delinksi. “Black Hawk (charter sport fishing company) tagged a few fish all over Connecticut for today and those who catch them can call in and win prizes.”

Delinksi said that he and his group won two trips on the Black Hawk charter boats for a day of fishing. He also said that the other prizes included a $ sonar machine, a one year fishing license subscription and the grand prize being $5,

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since a.m. this morning,” said Captain Greg Dubrule, owner of Black Hawk. “This has been just absolutely amazing. We tagged trout through Connecticut, with 30 being in the Norwalk River and the responses I have been getting are just phenomenal. A few people have called saying that for next year, they want to donate money to help stock these rivers with even more tagged fish, where the prizes are more for the kids to get them out fishing and having fun.”

Dubrule said that for next year, because of the response he has gotten this year, he will be increasing the fish he puts into the Connecticut rivers. The cash and prizes for this year’s opening day have totaled to $17,

“Next year, I will be putting in 15 times the amount of trout. We have the blessing of the DEEP (Department of Energy & Environmental Protection), but next year they will never know what hit them!” said Dubrule. “Out of all the fish we have stocked for today, we’ve already seen percent returned of what we put in. Hopefully this will help extend the trout season, as its a bit of a ‘flash in the pan’ where after the first week, people lose interest.”

Dubrule has been working with Raymarine Fishing Electronics, Fisherman’s World (located at 2 Fort Point St.) and Dockside Electronics (located in Mystic), who have all donated money and prizes for the event — dubbed the “trout-a-thon” by Dubrule.

“The financial impact will be quite substantial as having people go out and fishing one or two times more than they normally do will really benefit the fishing industry here,” said Dubrule.

Black Hawk is the name of a charter fishing boat that is owned and captained by Dubrule. Black Hawk is located in Niantic, and can be reached on their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram pages, or by calling () For more information, please visit their website at

Mianus TU: Sea Lamprey Return To The Norwalk River After More Than 125 Years

Norwalk River Fishing Spot

NORWALK RIVER (includes Factory and Millers Ponds), Ridgefield-Redding-Wilton-Norwalk (T BN) Intermittent sections from Haviland Road (Ridgefield) to Riverside Avenue (Norwalk). WILD TROUT MANAGEMENT AREA (Class 3) Entire stream in Wilton and Ridgefield upstream of Wolf Pit Road: Trout: 9” minimum length. The Norwalk River is a river in southwestern Connecticut, approximately 23 miles long. The word "Norwalk" comes from the Algonquin word "noyank" meaning "point of land". The Norwalk River originates in ponds located in Ridgefield, Connecticut. These ponds empty into Ridgefield’s approximately acre "Great Swamp". The river continues through Ridgefield, and is augmented by the "Great Pond" ( feet above sea level), one of the purest lakes in Connecticut due to its being fed by underwater springs. The river is closely paralleled by US 7 as it flows southward through Branchville, Georgetown, Wilton, and Norwalk, where it is joined by the Silvermine River and then flows into Norwalk Harbor and finally into Long Island Sound. Recreational fishing continues to be a popular sport along the course of the river, in addition to oystering at the river’s mouth in Norwalk.

The Norwalk River is a river in southwestern Connecticut, approximately 23 miles long. The word "Norwalk" comes from the Algonquin word "noyank" meaning "point of land".


Fishing norwalk river

Norwalk River

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Blackfish Fishing (Tautog) - Norwalk, CT - Instructional
The Norwalk River is a relatively small stream running from the Great Swamp in Ridgefield to the Long Island Sound in Norwalk. For the majority of its roughly mile length, the Norwalk is publicly accessible, with only two short sections of private property currently posted No Trespassing.

The river is easy to get to as it parallels Route 7 for most of its length, with many easy parking areas. The best sections of the river runs from Wolfpit Road in Wilton north to Topstone Road near the Redding and Ridgefield town lines.

Despite the ease of access, the Norwalk is a challenging river for two main reasons. For much of its length, the river width is fairly narrow, ranging from 10 to 20 feet, and is well overgrown with trees, shrubs and other vegetation. This makes for ideal cover and protection for trout, but can be maddening for fly fishermen. Additionally, the river is heavily loaded with softball-size cobblestones, making wading a bit tricky.

Thanks to more than a decade of work by the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited and other conservation organizations and agencies, however, the Norwalk supports one of the best populations of wildly spawning brown trout in lower Fairfield County. The state also stocks the river with more than 5, adult trout each year, including some that range from 2 to 10 pounds.

What to use

Like other area streams, the Norwalk River has an abundance of insect life providing prolific hatches. In recent years, water quality degradation has caused the state to list the river as "impaired" and some insect hatches appear to be in decline, but fishing is still excellent in late April, May and June.

Unlike the Mianus and Saugatuck Rivers, the Norwalk River does not have a Trout Management Area, meaning the season runs from the third Saturday in April through the end of February.

Because of its narrow size, the Norwalk is best fished with a short rod and light lines. A 7-foot 3- or 4-weight is best, and rods up to 8-foot, 6-inches can be used. A 9-foot 4- or 5-weight will likely mean more time untangling your fly from the trees than catching trout.

An angler goes fly fishing on the Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut
Success while fly fishing on the Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut with a nice brown trout
A large broodstock brown trout from the Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut
The Norwalk River's best insect hatches comes in late May and early June when the sulphurs and light cahills swim to the surface and fly into the air to mate. The hatch starts late in the day, typically after 7 p.m., but at times the sky will be blotted out with masses of insects. Prior to flies beginning to show in the air, trout focus on emerging nymphs. An unweighted pheasant tail nymph, or similar mayfly emerger pattern works best.

As with most small streams in the area, there is an abundance of caddis fly larva in the Norwalk River, so an elk hair caddis is a good choice, and bead-head caddis pupa are extremely effective.

Getting there

It is fairly easy to find places to fish the Norwalk River as it parallels Route 7. Some of the most popular spots are in Wilton, and the best fishing starts north of the Wolfpit Road bridge.

Parking is readily available in Wilton Center, at Merwin Meadows Park on Lovers Lane off Ridgefield Road, at the Wilton YMCA, in Cannondale and points north. Spend a half-day driving along the river and you will quickly learn these and many other locations.

An angler releases a brown trout while fly fishing on the Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut
The Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut offers fly fishing for wild brown trout
A heavy hatch of sulphurs and light cahills on the Norwalk River in Wilton Connecticut

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