Fishing Report: August 1st - The Compleat Angler



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August 01, 2018

Greetings Compleat Anglers!  Welcome to August!  Here is your fishing report for August 1st.

(Our featured image this week is a lovely sunset over the West Branch of the Delaware River (just above Shehawken.) A lonely raft drifts along looking for those last-minute rises during the "lightening round.")

Well, we can't exactly calls these August days "dog days." Fishing in our Connecticut and New York trout rivers, as well as in Long Island Sound, is still too good to put away the rods.  Lot's of rain has kept our rivers at decent heights although most rivers have fallen and we still need to keep an eye on water temperatures. And for the next few days we're looking at showers and thunderstorms so water levels may vary depending on the location and severity of the rain. But hatches have been good and consistent on both our Connecticut and New York rivers (depending which section of the river you're on)  though water temperatures have varied dramatically - so its good to stay aware of what the conditions are in the section of river you're fishing.  But in both Connecticut and New York rivers there are some lovely fish being taken and our clients have experienced some great moments on the water in the past couple of weeks.  Let's begin with the flow charts:

Connecticut Rivers:

Farmington River WB at Riverton:   214cfs at 49 degrees;

Still River at Robertsville:  41 cfs;

Farmington River WB through the TMA:  255cfs at 63 degrees;

Housatonic River at Falls Village:   397cfs in the high 60s/low 70s

Saugatuck River at Ford's Road:  7cfs;

Norwalk River in Wilton:  15cfs;

Catskill Rivers:

WB Delaware at Hale Eddy:   648cfs at 49 degrees;

EB Delaware at Fishs Eddy:  840cfs at 65 degrees;

EB Delaware at Harvard:  235cfs at 57 degrees;

Mainstem Delaware at Lordville:  1580cfs at 65 degrees;

Beaverkill at Cooks Falls:  403cfs at 64 degrees;

Here in Connecticut fishing in the Farmington River continues to be good with some great fish being taken.  The water levels are perfect and the water temperatures are great (49 degrees in Riverton and low 60s throughout the system.)  There are good hatches of Olives (#16-#20), Caddis (#20-#24), Isos (#12-#14), Sulphurs (#16-#20),as well as ants and beetles. Dry fly/dropper combos continue to take lots of fish - use a small (#18-#20) nymph such as a Zebra, Copper John, Frenchie, etc.) under a bushy dry (Caddis, Adams, etc.)  As well, nymphing has also been very effective. Best patterns are Pheasant Tails, Caddis Pupa and Larva, Prince, Hare's Ear, various mayfly patterns, Zebra, Frenchie, Copper Johns, etc.

The Housatonic River is currently flowing at 397cfs but water temperatures are high (in the 70s and above) so not so great for trout fishing. Give the trout a rest (they are stressed as the temps climb above 68) and stick to the Smallmouths - they'll give you a huge bang for your buck!

Connecticut's small brooks and creeks received a great water infusion from the recent rains but levels are now dropping quickly. Still, there are still plenty of fish scattered throughout the pools and deeper glides and runs in the Saugatuck, Norwalk, and Mill rivers. Terrestrials such as ants and beetles, as well as small nymphs such as scuds, caddis, Zebra, Copper Johns, and Frenchies are all a good bet. As in the larger streams, a dry fly/dropper combo is a great bet. Look for those small deep spots in a riff or glide - and along the bank as well.

In the Catskills, the fishing has been good but tough. I floated the Delaware West Branch on Monday with Ben Rinker from East Branch Outfitters  and water levels and temperatures were perfect. We chose to float the lower river (in spite of the fact that the Sulphur hatches were strong on the upper river) - we just wanted to get away from the upper river flotilla - and find some more quiet water. Hatches were very sparse in the lower river - so we spent the first part of the day swinging a small wet fly (Dark Cahill #14) in the riffs and we took some good fish. On the way down we started banging the banks - blind fishing with a big, fluffy Isos. It was amazing how the beautiful West Branch Browns were pinned so tightly to the bank -  and we took and also missed several gluttonous hogs (here's one):

Towards dark we finally started to see some Sulphurs and Olives and had some good but sporatic moments trying to feed Sulphurs to picky fish. The upper river (down from Stilesville) has had some great Sulphur hatches - many of our clients have reported lots of rises and even more really picky fish. With Sulphurs especially, fly size and color really matter as well as drift - even the slightest micro drag spells disaster. Sal Renzuella from Riverkeeper Guide Services fished the upper Delaware West Branch on Monday as well. Sal had bugs all day - plenty of Sulphurs and lots of bank sippers - so you can see how different conditions can be on two different sections of the same river. The upper West Branch runs much colder and thus the hatches can be much affected. If you are planning to fish the Delaware West Branch, be sure to have some Sulphurs, Olives, Isos and Cahills in your box. You may be able to get away with 4X tippet but most anglers are using 5X.  Here's a sweet WB Brown from one of our Delaware River regulars - one of a dozen or so from a great day on the river:

Even though all the Catskill rivers received great rain infusions, many are still warm - so best to leave the lower Delaware East Branch, Main Stem and the Beaverkill alone until water temperatures drop. Stick to the Delaware West Branch or upper East Branch - both are nicely cool and have good hatches and happy fish. 

In Long Island Sound, Captain Roger Gendron from Connecticut Island Outfitters reports that he is still getting some respectable striper action on the reefs - both fly and spin. However, he has been getting some fish out of 2'-3' of water on the very beginning of the flood tide. Also, as the water started moving, Roger says that he had some sight-casting to swirling fish on the flats, including some hilarious top-water takes.

Roger reports that last Friday he saw some Bass attack some snapper Blues that were crunching minnows near Penfield Reef. And finally there were a few Bluefish in the mix, in slightly deeper water, while he was on the bottom looking for Bass. They were Harbor Blues in the 2-3 pound class. Roger comments that there is small bait everywhere and the terns are diving over them - and occasionally fish below the bait balls.  While there is still some small bait near the beaches, action has been slow - perhaps still a bit too early for beach anglers.

So that's the story for today. As always, drop by the shop for all your angling needs. Looking for info/intel on what, when and where the fish are?  Want to hone your casting skills with our very own Scott Loecher (the "Fish Doctor"). Need flies, lines, leaders, rods, reels for your next trip to the Keys, the Gaspe', Kamchatka, Cuba or the Seychelles?  We can assist you in finding great new reels, rods, lines, boots, waders, clothing, luggage, flies, fly-tying equipment and tools, leaders, nets, wading staffs, and all accessories. We carry all major (and minor) brands such as Sage, Simms, Abel, Ross, Lamson, Hatch, Hardy, Gavin, Reddington, Scott, Winston, Echo, Loomis, Patagonia, TFO, Yeti, St. Croix and so many more.

Until next time, hope to see you on the water!



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