Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your fishing report for June 20th.
Here we are one day from the longest day of the year and summer conditions prevail everywhere! If you're out on a trout stream now is the time to linger into dark. Many of the summer hatches, such as Sulphurs, some Caddis, Cahills and Stoneflies hatch at dark and later so if you leave too early you'll be missing some great action. This proved true for us on Monday on the Delaware East Branch, but we'll get to that a little bit later. In both Connecticut and New York, most trout rivers are low and are warming up, so keep an eye on water temperatures. Remember, as water temperatures approach 70 degrees, the trout become stressed and its best to give them a rest. As well, at this time of year many trout are holding in faster, more oxygenated water in depths of no more that 1-2 feet. In such water, look for the little seams of softer water or the small depressions in the river bottom - that's where you'll find some great fish holding. It seems like overnight we're solidly into the summer hatches - Sulphurs, Olives, Cahills, and Isos, so be sure to have these flies in your box along with a selection of spinners such as Rusty spinners, Cahill & Sulphur spinners and Iso spinners. And finally, on those days that the bugs seem to be hiding, don't hesitate to swing some wets and soft hackles or drift a nymph - there's always some neat stuff going on underneath the surface!
(photo below): Sometimes, its the lovely parrs that indicate the health of the river, as the baby brown trout from the Delaware West Branch illustrates. (See you in a few years!)
In Connecticut, rivers are low and in full summer mode. The Farmington River is running low but it's tailwater water temperatures have been ideal - in the mid-40's in the Riverton area and in the mid-50's through the TMA. There have been Sulphurs (#16), Caddis (olive and tan) (#16) , Vitreus (#14-#16), Olives #20-#24), and some March Brown spinners on the water, as well as some Light Cahills (#12-14) on the lower stretches. Remember to stay late! There have been some great flushes of Sulphurs after dark. And when the surface action is slow, try working a nymph such as a Caddis Pupa (#14-#16), Pheasant Tail (#14-#18), Frenchie (#18-#20), Zebra (#18-#22), Sulphur, Olive or Stonefly., along with traditional wets and soft hackles. As I mentioned above, try targeting some of the stretches of faster, more oxygenated water and look for those little seams of soft water and slight depressions in the river bed to target.
Rob Nicholas, from Housatonic Anglers email@example.com reports that the Housatonic has been low and warm. Great for wading but too low to float. Trout fishing has been good in the early AM and late afternoons and evening. Water temperatures are now approaching the 70's and Rob cautions that at this point it may be best to give the river a rest and let the Bass and Pike fishermen have their day. If we get some cooling rain or lower air temperatures, then certainly give the trout a shot - there have been Cahills (#14-#16), Sulphurs (#14-#18), Stoneflies (#6-#12), and tan Caddis (#16-#18) on the water.
As well, the smaller streams are low and warming. The Saugatuck, Norwalk and Mill Rivers are very low and it's best to fish them in the early morning or late afternoon/evenings. Best bets are small dries such as a bushy Caddis fished with a small nymph dropper such as a Copper John, Zebra or Frenchie in sizes #18-#22). Also, ants and beetles are beginning to be very effective. Underneath, small Caddis Larva, Scuds and other bottom-dwellers take some nice fish as well.
Connecticut river flows are as follows:
Farmington West Branch at Riverton: 268cfs at mid-40's;
Still River at Robertsville: 41cfs;
WB Farmington through the TMA: 309cfs in the mid-50's;
Housatonic at Falls Village: 423cfs at high 60's-low-70's;
Saugatuck at Ford's Road, Westport: 5cfs;
Norwalk River in Wilton: 17cfs;
In New York, the Catskill rivers are also going into summer mode. This past Monday I fished the West Branch and East Branch of the Delaware River with guide Ben Rinker from East Branch Outfitters firstname.lastname@example.org On the West Branch, water temperatures were in the mid 50's and there were sporadic hatches of Sulphurs, Isos, Olives and Light Cahills. Fishing was extremely technical and the fish were as picky as summer Delaware River fish can be. Many, many fish simply refused everything we threw at them and going down in tippet size brought no relief. In the morning, when bugs were sparse, I swung a small Dark Cahill wet and took a couple of nice fish. In the late afternoon, just as bugs were beginning to emerge and heads were becoming a little more accommodating some large and nasty storms crashed in and literally blew us off the water. When they passed, the West Branch was littered with debris from the blow, and we decided to drive up to the upper East Branch (photo below).
Water temperatures were nice and cool in the mid-50s, and as dark approached we had hatches of almost everything - Sulphurs, Isos, Olives, Cahills, Coffin Flies, Caddis - you name it. Fishing into a black void is exciting and nerve-wracking, but we took a few really nice fish on big Caddis imitations and White Wulffs.
If you're planning to fish these rivers, keep in mind that under current conditions most of the fishable water is either on the Delaware West Branch or upper Delaware East Branch - this is where you'll find the coolest water temperatures. Keep your eye on water temperatures on the lower East Branch and Main Stem - they are approaching 70 degrees and these are morning temperatures!
Best dry fly bets on this river system are Sulphurs (#14-#16), Isos (#12-#14), Cahills (#14), Olives (#14-#20), Coffin Flies (#10-#12), and occasional Drakes and Stoneflies. (Photo of Sulphur below by Ben Rinker)
When bugs are scarce, try swinging a wet or soft hackle such as a Cahill (#12-#16), Leadwing Coachman (#12-#14) or drifting a nymph such as a Pheasant Tail (#14-#18), Caddis Pupa (#14-#18), Stonefly (#6-#12), or a Copper John, Frenchie or Zebra in sizes #16-#20). As with Connecticut rivers, many of best hatches are now occuring in the evening and after dark so don't be in a hurry to leave the river!
Catskill water flows are as follows:
Delaware River West Branch at Stilesville: 390cfs at 44 degrees;
Delaware River West Branch at Hale Eddy: 460cfs at 49 degrees;
Delaware River East Branch at Harvard: 180cfs at 62 degrees;
Delaware River East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 350cfs at 68 degrees'
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 1000cfs at 69 degrees;
Long Island Sound
In Long Island Sound, fishing continues to be good. Captain Roger Gendron from Connecticut Island Outfitters email@example.com reports that with all the sunny weather we've been having some good results have come from using sinking fly lines and getting down to where the bass have been holding.
Captain Roger reports that there have been some good Bluefish near shore mixed in with schoolie bass gorging on sand eels. As well, many of his clients have been having some good action with Fluke and Porgies as well.
For bass, best fly bets are Clousers, Sand Eel imitations, Deceivers and when the fish are on top, poppers and crease flies. There have been some beastly bass taken in mid-sound, but mostly chunking on bait fished in deeper water. If you're banging the beaches, as always, early mornings and late evenings are best, and look for outgoing tides. There are still plenty of schoolie bass hunting silversides and sand eels along the beaches and river mouths.
And don't forget to stop by the shop for all your angling needs. If you're looking for rods, reels, boots, waders, fly lines, clothing, fly-tying materials, accessories, leaders, tippets, luggage - you name it, we've got it! We carry all the major (and minor) brands such as Sage, Scott, Winston, Hardy, Reddington, TFO, Loomis, Abel, Ross, Nautilus, Tibor, Hatch, Echo, Galvin, Simms, Patagonia, Rio, Sci-Anglers, Airflow, Yeti, Regal and so many more!
That's it for this week, folks. Hope to see you on the water!