The banks of the Farmington River will be filled with people starting Saturday for opening day of trout season.
“It was a long winter. It snowed three days ago. So, people have been itching to get out,” Vincent Lodovico, a New Hartford resident, said.
Bait and tackle shops are always a busy place right before opening day as people line up for a fishing license.
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“A lot of licenses, a lot of the new five-dollar trout stamps, new fishing line, hooks, sinkers, flies, new fly line, new waiters to replace their leaky waiters. Just about anything you can think of,” Up Country Sport Fishing's Torrey Collins said.
“It’s just about tradition. I’m 59 years old and since I was five years old, this is Christmastime for us,” Jeffrey Musumano, a Bristol resident, said.
Those looking to come home with more than just fish tales should take this advice.
“Just remember that the water’s still cold even though the air temps are warming up,” Collins said. “Make sure you’re doing what you need to do to get your fly, bait, or lure down to the bottom where the fish are.”
Predicting a packed river bank, some said they’ll wait until the waters are less crowded.
“You’ll see people from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, we were just talking about the plates that we see from people who’ve made this a destination,” Lodovico said.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been here last, it used to be elbow to elbow,” added Gary Englert, who lives in Cadott, Wis.
More than a decade after he moved to the Midwest, the Bristol native said it’s a part of Connecticut he’s missed.
“It’s coming back. It’s coming back. It’s small town. It’s New England. It’s everything I grew up loving,” Englert said.
DEEP said Connecticut’s lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds will have 550,000 new trout when they’re finished stocking.