June 06, 2018

Greetings Compleat Anglers!  Here is your fishing report for June 6th. So much to cover today - fishing is hot!  Now is the time!  Whether your cup of tea is trout, pike, striped bass or bluefish, there's fantastic activity on your favorite Connecticut or Catskill river or on Long Island Sound. All of our guides are reporting tight lines and happy clients. For trout anglers, the recent cool weather front has done wonders for water river temperatures which were on the rise. So both the trout and bugs are happy and active. As well, Long Island Sound is on fire with both gator Bluefish and Striped Bass!

Our featured image this week is of a beautiful Green Drake which found it's way from the river to the garden of Delaware River guide Ben Rinker. There are many more on the water! 

In Connecticut, guide Sal Renzuella of River Keeper Guide Service  netroutbum@gmail.com reports great action this past week on the Housatonic River. Sal reports the fish were on Cahill emergers, duns and spinners big time! Sal says that the March Browns and Gray Fox are pretty much done although the fish will still take a straggler here and there. Isos and Brown Drakes are beginning to make an appearance so be sure to have some Isos in your box as they are "trout candy"!  We have some great Iso imitations tied by Mike Motyl in the shop. The recent rains have done wonders for both the water level and temperature which is in the mid 60's. There are also reports of Alder flies (Zebra Caddis) on the Housatonic which always produce great action. Best patterns for the coming week - for dries Light Cahill (#14-#16) (in dun, emerger and spinner forms), Tan Caddis (#16-#18), Alder Fly (#14-#18), Sulfur (#14-#18), Iso (#12-#16) (in dun, emerger and spinner forms), and BWO (#16-#18).  For nymphs try a Hare's Ear (#14-#16), BH Pheasant Tail (#14-#18), Olive Nymph (#16-#18), Dark Cahill wet (#14-#16) (an old traditional wet fly pattern that is still amazingly effective), and smaller nymphs (in sizes #16-#22) such as Copper John, Zebra, and Frenchie.)

 

On the Farmington River, Guide Jeff Yates from Fly Fishing Connecticut  guide@flyfishingct.com reports that with the recent warm weather, clear skies and moderate flows, anglers have been flocking to the Farmington and the fishing pressure has certainly made the trout more challenging to come by. Jeff suggests focusing on the faster riffle currents with a double nymph rig and strike indicator. As the lead fly on this rig try fishing a large, heavy nymph (such as a Stonefly) and a much smaller (size #18-#20) Caddis emerger, mayfly or a pattern such as a Zebra or Frenchie dropped off it. A lighter tippet (such as a 6X) will help with finicky, educated fish. Jeff also suggests hanging on the slower pools until dark for some excellent dry fly action. You'll find Caddis (#16-#18), Sulphurs (#16) BWO (#18-#22), Vitreus (#14-#16) and a few March Browns and Gray Fox still lingering.

On other Fairfield County rivers, Jeff reports good action on most local streams. On the Norwalk, Mianus, and Saugatuck the trout are looking up and hitting surface flies. Jeff suggests Parachute Adams and Parachute Sulphurs (#14-#16), and Light Cahills and White Wulffs (#12-#14). Try fishing a dry/dropper rig during the day - dropping a small Flashback Pheasant Tail or BH Caddis in size #16 and #18 about 12-18 inches below the dry. Be sure to have some 6X tippet on hand for the more finicky fish. Jeff also reports that on the Mill River, long casts, light leaders and bushy Caddis dries have been scoring well.

Connecticut River flows are as follows:

WB Farmington River at Riverton:  291cfs in mid-60s;

Still River at Robertsville:  155cfs

Farmington River through the TMA:  446cfs in the mid-60s;

Housatonic River at Falls Village:  810cfs in the high-60s;

Saugatuck River at Ford's Road (Westport): 5.58cfs

Norwalk River in Wilton:  26cfs

In the Catskills, the rivers have been on fire!  Water levels are perfect for wading on all the rivers, and the recent cold front has cooled the rivers and made the trout very happy!  On all three branches of the Delaware River, the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc there has been a smorgasboard of flies.

I was on the Delaware Main Stem on Monday and we saw lots of Caddis, March Browns, Gray Fox, Sulphurs, Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, a few Isos and Cahills - in short, the trout have a huge fly pallet to choose from. (Both the West Branch and East Branch are experiencing the same hatches, although key hatches vary on all three branches. For instance, while there were a smattering of Green Drakes on the Main Stem, they were much heavier on the West Branch.)  The key fly on Monday was a little Caddis Pupa in size #16. I lingered as the evening came on, with my longtime guide and friend, Ben Rinker from East Branch Outfitters  info@eastbranchoutfitters.com, in a lovely tail-out in the Upper Main Stem (photo above) and as the shadows flowed out from the banks we found ourselves sitting in Ben's Hyde boat with big, wild Main Stem Browns sloppily slurping Caddis all around us. Ben suggested the perfect fly, a #16 Caddis Pupa, and I took four lovely Browns from "18-"20 inches. The last fish tore downstream and had almost all my backing gone when we lifted anchor and finally boated him 500 yards downstream from where he rose. Here's a shot of him in the dark:

Here's the Caddis Pupa pattern that was so deadly - (come into the shop and we'll match it.) 

As well, the riffs and faster water were alive with rising fish - we took a number of lovely rainbows on both Caddis and Iso patterns, When things slowed down, I tried swinging a Dark Cahill wet (#14) and stuck a couple of great Rainbows. Here's one who couldn't resist a swung wet:

Nymphs are also always consistently effective in these rivers - patterns such as Stoneflies (#6-#12), Pheasant Tails (#14-#18), Prince (#14-#18), Hare's Ear (#14-#18), Flashbacks (#16-#18), and wets and soft-hackles are all killing. With the onslaught of Isos beginning to come on, a Leadwing Coachman wet can be deadly - especially dropped off a dry pattern. Fish are still hanging in water with good flow - so try those patches of softer water in-between the fast flow of an upper riff, or the tail-out of a riff or flat where water speed begins to pick up. Here's a perfect example:

And finally, there are thousands upon thousand of Golden Stoneflies (#4-#8) clinging to the streamside grass along both the Main Stem and East Branch - so keep a couple of Stonefly imitations in your box! When these large flies are on the water it can be chaos. A great pattern is the CDC Stone tied by Jonny King - (we have a good supply at the shop.) Here's a Perla adult waiting to take flight:

Catskill water flows are as follows:

Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy:  706cfs at 54 degrees;

Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy:  575cfs at 46 degrees;

Delaware Main Stem at Lordville:  1640cfs at 56 degrees;

Beaverkill at Cooks Falls:  339cfs at 60 degrees;

In Long Island Sound, fishing continues to be strong.  Captain Roger Gendron from Connecticut Island Outfitters  info@ctislandoutfitters.com  reports that the gator Blues have rolled into the Sound. Roger reports that the Blues were offshore this week sliding across the surface like partially submerged submarines, making sight-casting really exciting. These fish are really big as well (check out the below photo taken by Roger).

Roger also reports that the Striped Bass action is still strong and we now appear to be in the thick of the spring run. The water temperatures are still perfect, there are lots of bait schools (Bunker, Silversides, Sand Eels) which are providing great attraction for many migrating fish. If you're hankering to get out in the water and chase some of these crazy, wild fish, give Roger a call at 203-216-0991- you'll have a great time on the water and come back with a sore arm! If you prefer to bang the beaches, early mornings or dropping tides are your best bets for both Blues and Stripers - try the river mouths, or any of the beaches from Greenwich North might provide you with some great action, Any of the Deceivers, Clausers, Sand Eel or Bay Anchovy patters will do the trick - and don't forget to keep some poppers or crease fly patterns in your box!

Finally, if you're the parent of a child aged 12-17 who loves trout fishing (or have friends who have) here's a great way to enhance their love of the sport, hone their skills, foster an awareness of conservation and let them experience this amazing sport in wild rivers and pristine environments while enjoying lovely accommodations and  making great friends. All the while they are coached by some of the best and most inspiring fly-fishing pros and guides in the business!

Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) and the Bill Canfield Fly Fishing School partner on a great summer camp program in Hancock, NY that teaches kids (ages 12-17) about the sport of fly fishing and the importance of river conservation. All of these skills will be taught by some of the very best nationally known guides and anglers on the Delaware River system.

1st time Camp participants will learn how to gear up before getting on the water with a new complementary Orvis fly rod and reel outfit.  Fly casting, fly tying, techniques & presentation, basic entomology, and river ecology are all part of the curriculum. With a little luck, our campers will also learn how to safely handle and release fish after they are caught in one of the local ponds or on the river.

There is also be an advanced session for return campers to build on the skills they have already learned.  Field trips to renowned Catskill fly fishing camps plus a full day fishing trip to private waters on the famed Beaverkill River are also planned.

By the time our kids leave the camp, they will be well versed in the basic elements of fly fishing and will have gained a new appreciation for the value of protecting our fragile natural resources. This single experience will very likely trigger a lifelong passion for angling adventure and a commitment to natural resource conservation.

Camp will offer two separate one week sessions:

June 24 - July 1, 2018 (registration deadline is June 1)

August 5 -12, 2018

Each week will offer a beginner course and an advanced course.

Our kids will be staying at the fabulous French Woods Sports and Arts Center summer camp and will have access to all of the amenities of this beautiful facility (see www.fwsportsarts.com). 

For more info, e-mail info@fudr.org, or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bill-canfield-fly-fishing-camp.

And finally  (whew!) for all the amazing fishing listed above, you're sure to need rods, reels, boots, waders, fly lines, leaders, tippets, flies, fly-tying equipment, clothing, accessories - along with great intel and tips! So come into the shop and talk with Scott, Bob, Pat, Scotty, or me - we'll make sure you have everything you need and know where to go to have the best chance of hooking up. We carry all major brands such as Sage, Scott, Winston, Loomis, Hardy, TFO, Echo, Abel, Hatch, Nautilus, Ross, Simms, Reddington, Korkers, Fishpond, Patagonia, Regal, and so much more!

Hope to see you on the water!

Len


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