November 08, 2019

Greetings Compleat Anglers! The striper fishing continues to be great up and down the New England coast and we've heard great reports of good sized fishing being landed. Sure it's colder out there, but many anglers are being rewarded for their efforts, including many shore-based anglers. And of course the trout fishing still offers some nice opportunities to land a few fish before winter descends. Read on for details!

New York

Saltwater

The Striper fishing continues to be outstanding and blitzing fish can be found all along the coast right now. The South Shore and the Long Island Sound side are both fishing very well. Anglers have been finding fish right against shore feeding on Peanuts. This has been great for shore-based anglers. The fishing is about as good as it gets. Around Montauk point it is the same story - high concentrations of bait and Stripers. The blitzes have often been huge and could be just offshore or right against the beaches. The birds will often tip you off to where most of the activity is concentrated so keep an eye peeled (there may not be birds on every school of fish though). The bigger Bass have definitely moved in and some anglers are catching them on the fly. It is very much an early morning and late afternoon bite when it comes to these larger bass. The smaller fish will typically feed whenever the tide is good and the bait is moving. Another new development is the arrival of big Blues. Double digit size class fish are moving in and can be easily caught on a fly at this point.  They will be gorging on Bunker so look for surface activity and you should have no problem hooking a few of these Gator Blues. It’s all starting to happen and fishing should be lights out for the next few weeks. 

Connecticut 

Freshwater

Things have slowed down quite a bit on the stockie streams. As we said last week, it is time to downsize your flies and slow down that presentation. One option is to swing wets. This will be very effective if they are fished correctly. A nice slow swing with a few short jerky strips is a nice way to start out. Sometimes the fish will hit the fly on the strip and sometimes on the swing. Pay attention to this and adjust your presentation accordingly. Size 12 all the way down to 18 or even 20 are the sizes we recommend. The other option is going right to indicator nymphing. The style nymph does not really matter, the fish will eat a wide variety of patterns at this point. The key is size. They could eat anything from a size 16 to 22. At this stage in the fish’s education I would focus on smaller but bright flies. They seem to still respond positively to bright and flashy flies. That should remain the case for the next 2 weeks or so until they become extremely selective. Switch flies regularly. If you know where the fish are, hold a spot and figure them out. Determine the color and size the fish are willing to take and apply that to other locations. Doing so will keep your rod bent all day. The Naugatuck and Shetucket have tapered off a bit. Pressure and inevitable poaching seems to have kept the action sparse and light. The DEEP will stock again sometime in the near future so keep your ear to the ground. If you are really hankering to get on these fish then going a few days after they have stocked is critical.

Farmington

The Farmington is continuing to fish well. There have been some nice fish taken on both streamers and nymphs recently. A few fish in the twenties have been brought to hand as well. It seems like mid-day on is when the majority of the action is happening. This makes sense as the water will be warmest during these hours and the fish will become much more active. Mornings have been pretty slow with a few fish taking a nymph here or there. This late afternoon bite signals the transition to a Winter behavior pattern for these trout. Focus the majority of your attention on the deeper runs and water that is not quite as fast. When the water is warmest, there will still certainly be fish up top in the faster water associated with deeper holes but the fish will be moving to their winter holding lies after spawning. These are typically the deeper and slower sections of the runs. As we get further into November consider targeting these areas with streamers or getting down deep with nymphs. The colder the water gets the more and more fish will stack in these deep runs and hunker down for the winter. We have done very well this time of year targeting water adjacent to these deep runs. As always, be mindful of the redds please! For you dry fly anglers out there, it’s all about the caddis. There are a variety of species hatching at the moment. Having a tan caddis in sizes 16 down to a 22 and in some different patterns will have you covered. There are midges and BWOs popping as well. These tiny flies will be prevalent all day so be prepared for when the fish key in on them. Size 22 should be all you need. It is getting pretty tough out there if you want to fish dries. I would recommend keeping an eye on the forecast and going on the warmest days on any given week and potentially fishing a dry secondary to something subsurface.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

Housatonic

The Housey has been a bit of a challenge recently. With higher water, big streamers have been very effective. Guys with the right rods and lines have been doing very well fishing these larger flies, especially in the afternoons. Nymphing has been taking its fair share of fish as well but with higher water wading has been difficult not to mention getting flies down to the fish. There has been very little action on dries this past week. A few fish are coming up but the hatches are tailing off as the temps drop. If the water drops below 500 then we should see the fishing pick back up a bit before winter behavior for trout really settles in. Who knows what the next few weeks will bring with snow in the forecast. The Smallmouth fishing has remained good if you can get to the fish. The high water has kept most anglers off the river. However, Smallmouth have a similar temperature tolerance as trout do, so if the water comes down soon, we should see an uptick in Smallmouth activity. They have been hitting streamers fairly readily for those who have been out there on drift boats but have been difficult to target from shore. The Pike fishing has been good recently. Cooler temps mean the fish are becoming much more active. They are leaving the deeper holes and actively searching out prey. The next month should see some great Northern Pike fishing for those anglers willing to put the time in. As it gets colder Trout, Pike, and Smallies will hunker down in the deepest sections of the river and become quite lethargic. So, if we get a good window in the next few weeks, capitalize on it. Before you know it, it will be December and the fishing will shut down.

Our friend Pogo Pike also sent us the following report:

Pike fishing is still good, as long as you are not afraid to bear the elements. Water temps are 47 degrees in northern Connecticut and about to drop with the upcoming cold snap. You have to fish slow and deep but the bite is on! The Housatonic is in great shape, the water clarity is good and the flows have dropped nicely since the big rains last week.

Pogo will also be doing an hour presentation on Tuesday November 12th in New Canaan at 7pm at the Mianus TU Chapter. All things Pike and Musky on the fly will be presented.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

The Striper fishing has remained lights out. We had reports from all along the Connecticut coast of Blitzing Bass on both sides of the tide. Some very nice fish have been caught on the fly recently as well. The Fall Run is in full swing in Connecticut and the fishing should only get better in the coming weeks. The rising tide has been productive but it seems like the falling tide has been really getting those fish up and feeding. At this point, time of day is somewhat meaningless. The larger Bass will still have an affinity for lower light but with shorter days and lower light in general, larger fish are much more susceptible later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon. The Peanut and adult Bunker are starting to move in earnest now. They have come out from the harbors and salt ponds and will be found tucked in tight to shore as well as in deeper water as they move South. As a result, the fish are in tow and feeding aggressively. You are almost guaranteed to see birds working and intermittent pops offshore in about 40 or 50 feet of water. At this point it could be Bass, Harbor Blues, or larger Gators. It is worth running over to any bird activity and checking it out. You never know what is below it this time of year. Shore-based anglers have been catching a bunch of Stripers pretty much everywhere you can legally fish, so it is time to get out there! 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is Fall fishing in full swing! Right now it is common to find fish blitzing on the beaches. Stripers are all over the place and some really nice fish are being caught as well. Fish up to 28 inches are common and should be easy to find on the right day. Stripers larger than 28 have been caught as well. Granted not many by fly anglers, but they are a real possibility at the moment. The big Blues have also shown up. This is the time of the year when you can get some really big fish, and from shore. So make sure you have some big and durable flies as well as some wire.

Massachusetts  

Saltwater (Cape Cod & The Islands)

The Striper bite, just like elsewhere in the Northeast is picking up. Blitzes are a regular occurrence and it is only a matter of time before the larger fish show up. Fishing from shore is becoming more and more advantageous and the next few weeks should see some fantastic fishing if the weather holds. The weekend is looking great so we recommend getting out there. Now is the time of year to capitalize on good weather windows which we have this weekend. So keep your ear to the ground, be vigilant of the forecast, and go fishing sooner rather than later.


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