Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your fishing report for August 22nd.
(Our featured photo is a freestyle salmon fly I tied on a 5/0 blind-point hook. Learning how to tie fully-dressed salmon flies is a lifelong pursuit and I am still very much a student. So I apologize for indulging myself but moving forward I'll be featuring flies tied by many of our fine local tiers so I thought I'd get the ball rolling.)
Rain, rain, rain. That's pretty much been the story over the past couple of weeks. All of the Catskill rivers (except the upper Beaverkill and Willowemoc) are unwadeable. Both Cannonsville Dam on the Delaware West Branch and Pepacton Dam on the Delaware East Branch are spilling. Because the surface reservoir water is warm both Delaware branches are warm in the upper sections. However, as days slip by without additional rain, the spill is lessening and the releases from both reservoirs are cold so gradually the water temperatures are getting back to normal. Even with the extremely high and off-color water Sal Renzuella from Riverkeeper Guide Service email@example.com was out with a couple of Compleat Anglers along with the streamer guys who were floating on the Delaware West Branch and took some great fish (check out the beautiful Brown that our man Nate stung in the West Branch last week - one of several that crushed his streamers):
As well, even with the high, dirty water, towards evening there were dry flies in the softer water and our own Bob Reichert took this beautiful dry-fly Raibbow:
Catskill river are gradually coming down as reservoir spills diminish and the rain stays away. Although too high for wading, the Delaware West Branch, East Branch and Main Stem are becoming nicely fishable if you're floating - with good clarity - and still high enough for some great streamer fishing as well as rising fish.
On the Beaverkill, Willowemoc, Delaware East Branch, Delaware West Branch and Delaware Main Stem, look for small Olives, Cahills, and scattered Sulphurs, as well as an occasional Iso, Caddis and summer Paraleps. With the off-color water, black streamers have been the ticket, but as the water clears white and olive should as work well. If you're fishing nymphs or wets, dropping one 16-24 inches below a big, bushy dry (such as a Caddis) is a good bet, and fishing a sink-tip line will certainly help get your fly down to where the fish are. Big Stoneflies, Caddis, soft hackles, trout speys, San Juan Worms, Mops, and Egg patterns should work as well.
Our man Scott Bennett was getting it done on the Upper Beaverkill over the weekend. Scott reports that the water was at May levels, high and clear. Scott said that while there wasn't a lot of bugs, they took bushels (figuratively) of wild Brookies on dry flies, and Scott also took some beautiful Browns on streamers. As usual, Scott eschewed any picture taking, so no hero shots for this report.
Here's Catskill Flow information for today:
Delaware West Branch at Stilesville: 2440cfs at 71 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy: 3260cfs at 58 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Harvard: 2220cfs at 63 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 4100cfs at 64 degrees;
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 7530cfs at 63 degrees;
Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 1350cfs at 63 degrees;
Willowemoc at Livingston Manor: Unavailable, but high and clear and in the 60's;
In Connecticut, the West Branch of the Farmington was less affected by the rains. Although there was a good bump in water levels over this past weekend (mostly from the flow from the Still River) the area just below the dam in Riverton stayed clear and nicely wadeable. However, like in the Delaware, those few anglers who ventured into the river below where the Still River flows in experienced some great streamer fishing, as well as taking some hogs (Browns) on Mops, San Juan Worms, Stoneflies, Green Weenies, and Egg patterns. For the most part, the river stayed stained (tea-colored). At this time is is clear and nicely wadeable. Dry fly possibilities are Sulphurs, Cahills, small Olives and Isos, as well as midges, ants and beetles. And keep your eye out in the mornings for Tricos - it's getting to be that time.
The Housatonic River is currently running 2300cfs at Falls Village at around 70 degrees. There is still some good Smallmouth Bass fishing and there are trout to be had but they are pretty stressed at these water temperatures. But September, with it's cooler nights should bring the water temps down to a great level and trout fishing will steadily improve.
Here are the Connecticut flows:
Farmington West Branch at Riverton: 272cfs in the 50s;
Still River at Robertsville: 120cfs;
Farmington TMA: 392cfs in the mid-60s;
Housatonic at Falls Village: 2300cfs in the low 70s;
In Long Island Sound, things have been pretty quiet. For the most part, the Bluefish seem to missing in Action. There have been a few scattered Bass along the beaches - mostly schoolies - and it's even been slow with the bait chunkers in the deeper waters. Everyone is impatiently awaiting the fall weather and the (hopefully) arrival of Albies, along with schools of Bass and Bluefish. There's a huge amount of bait - Silversides, Bay Anchovies and Bunker - the schools are everywhere - but alas, there's not a whole lot of fish on them.
That's it for this week, folks. As usual, don't forget to stop by the shop for all your angling needs - rods, reels, fly-lines, waders, boots, clothing, luggage, fly-tying equipment and tools, leaders, tippets, accessories, trout, salmon and saltwater flies and so much more. And check out our huge selection of caps! We have all the major (and minor) brands such as Scott, Sage, Winston, Reddington, Loomis, St. Croix, Echo, TFO, Abel, Hardy, Nautilus, Hatch, Ross, Tibor, Lamson, Rio, Airflow, Sci-Anglers, Patagonia, Regal, Simms, Yeti, Fishpond, and so much more!
See you on the water!