Fishing Derby - Opening Day April 8th from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.
Historic Riverton Fishing Derby Provides Much More Than the Big Catch
RIVERTON, CT – There is something for everyone at this year's Riverton Fishing Derby, Saturday,
April 8th on the West branch of the Farmington River--beginning with the traditional hearty pancake
breakfast at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department and punctuated by the Fishing Derby and the
awarding of a bevy of outstanding prizes. Activities, along with the fish, will be jumping in this
quaint village in the Town of Barkhamsted, Connecticut.
As usual, the Grand Prize is a Hitchcock chair, which carries on a tradition of many years through
the generosity of the Hitchcock Chair Company, whose retail store is located right in Riverton.
Many of the trophy fish will be caught in the shadow of the original Hitchcock Chair Factory which
sits along the West branch of the Farmington River, just above the bridge in Riverton. In addition
to the stenciled Hitchcock chair, other prizes include half-day guided fly fishing tours by Orvis
as well as gifts from local merchants.
The excellent fishing on this branch of the Farmington is partly attributable to its distinction as
a National Wild & Scenic River. But what makes it a popular trophy fish destination for anglers who
choose to fish here on Opening Day is that the previous Friday evening, more than 100 trout are
released into the river in Riverton. These fish were purchased through the funds provided by the
Farmington River Angler's Association, the Trophy Trout Club from Bristol, the Connecticut Horse
Cremation and individual donors. The Barkhamsted Historical Society is also an enthusiastic sponsor
For the second year in a row, the Trophy Trout Club has secured two sections of the river for the
Kids Derby. Both sections are in Riverton. The new, second section provides a much easier access
point for younger kids and a more open area to fish from. Members of the Trophy Trout Club will be
on hand to assist kids while they fish.
The River is also stocked by the State prior to Opening Day so that makes for lots of trout in
The Derby, which is open to the public, begins at 6 a.m. at the sound of a bell and ends at 10 a.m.
Contestants bring their catches to the Riverton Fire Department for the official weigh-in. Upriver
from the Riverton Bridge, a section of the flowing waters is set aside for a “Kid's Derby,” which
is open to youths under the age of 16 who are able to hold their own fishing poles. Special prizes
are awarded to these young contestants.
For those who need to purchase a fishing license, the easiest way to do so is to visit the
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsman licensing at
https://www.ct.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales. Fishing licenses are also available from town
clerks at http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/fishing/general_information/townclerkretailagents.pdf.
For more information on the Riverton Fishing Derby, call the Riverton General Store at