Mass Bass Adventure - Update 2

Greetings from the Mass Bass Adventure,

We have just arrived at Nickerson State Park here in Cape Cod. We are excited for a change in scenery and fishing opportunity, but we will miss the Housatonic and its abundant fish population. A lot has happened since the first day of the trip and we are pumped to see what lies ahead! The days spent on the Housatonic were full of fish, laughs, and maybe a little rain as well.

The first day on the Housatonic, and our first full day of the trip, was spent fishing for smallmouth bass and hold-over brown trout. The section of the river we fished was directly next to camp. There was little sleep the night before, to say the least. Luckily, the water levels were just right to throw topwater flies. All the boys caught fish --a  lot of fish to be more precise. After counting up each boy’s fish total, we realized the group caught over 100 smallmouth throughout the day! Over 100 fish in a day is an impressive feat. The guides were excited to see the boys use their own knowledge and newly acquired knowledge to accomplish this goal.

That night consisted of a delicious burrito feast, a campfire filled with the day’s stories, and melty s’mores as a nightcap. Unfortunately, we were met with rain that night and it would not let up for the next two days. The second day of fishing was the group’s pike float. We rose early and ate a hardy meal of fried egg, cheese, and sausage McMuffins topped with Sambal Oelek Chili Sauce. The chili sauce is a new fan favorite! With the canoes loaded up and 9 weights in hand, we embarked on the land of toothy pike to play our hand against legendary, prehistoric beasts. Due to the rain, the river was two feet higher and off-color. Due to the change in water conditions, the pike were unwilling to take part in our game. Instead of beating the pike into oblivion, we switched to bass-specific tactics. Big largemouth bass and crappie were caught on topwater poppers and hopper patterns. This trend extended for the entire afternoon. Once off the river, we headed back to camp and ate a delicious chicken stir fry feast and talked about the day’s events.

After two days of heavy rain, the Housatonic was no longer accessible to fishing. The group decided to head to the famous Farmington tailwater to see if a couple of hungry, wild trout would be willing to eat a fly. The group pulled up to the Farmington with a lot of excitement. There was not a spot on the windows of the van that wasn’t filled with smooshed faces and moon-saucer eyes. The Farmington proved to be generous, and our day’s bounty was plentiful. Many trout were caught. Some of the trout range up to eighteen inches. With high spirits, the group headed off to get a scoop of much-deserved ice cream before heading back to camp for the night. The group headed to bed, eagerly awaiting to start the next chapter of the trip on the flats of Cape Cod.

On the morning of our travel day, the guys enjoyed a healthy breakfast of oatmeal varying in many flavors such as apple cinnamon and sugar, cinnamon and spice with sugar, and maple brown sugar with extra sugar added. This was the perfect breakfast before a long car ride. We are now in Cape Cod doing various tasks such as laundry and grocery shopping. The rain is gone, and the sun is shining. The boys are pumped to get out on the flats and fish for some striped bass!

Stay tuned for the next update. We’re pumped to catch some stripers and share some laughs.


Until next time,


Hunt, Braden, Sean, and the boys

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204