Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your fishing report for October 20th.
The last few days have been great October "Blue & Gold" days to be on the water - either salt or fresh! The good news is that the unseasonably warm air temperatures have made it lovely to be on the water. But the bright sun adds a level of difficulty to fishing our freshwater rivers, many of which are already low and clear, making for some fidgety fish, although at this time of year, it doesn't affect our saltwater fishery quite as much. And this spate of great weather is said to continue through the weekend so wherever and however you fish, now is the time to get out and take advantage of it!
In our Catskill rivers, fishing has been steady, although certainly not "fast." The West Branch of the Delaware has had very healthy flows from the Cannonsville Reservoir which has kept the Main Stem high and happy as well. The West Branch still has a good amount of color due to the turnover of the reservoir, and this color extends into the Main Stem as well. Due to the color and height, streamer fishing in the West Branch is still effective, but there is still enough clarity to fish dries when the fish are up. The sunny days this week have slowed down risers during the daytime so look for shady areas of river and especially into the late afternoon and evenings (keep in mind that the evenings come quickly these days!) The East Branch has remained low and clear, (although the Upper East Branch has some of the coolest water temperatures in the system.) On all three branches, small Olives, Caddis and Hebes, along with the occasional Iso Spinner have been the main menu. Also, ants and beetles continue to be effective fished along the banks and in shady areas in all three river branches. As of this morning, the Main Stem is running at 1310cfs which makes wading a good choice.
Catskill flows are as follows:
Delaware East Branch at Harvard: 69cfs at 49 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 201cfs at 51 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Stilesville: 969cfs at 58 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy: 1110cfs at 57 degrees;
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 1310cfs at 55 degrees;
Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 82cfs at 50 degrees;
In Connecticut, our rivers have been low but still nicely fishable. The West Branch of the Farmington continues to fish nicely. The upper river was just recently stocked by the FRAA with 1200 Brook and Rainbow trout. The low water makes wading easy - look for the deeper spots and remember that good fish can hold in extremely shallow water - even an indentation of a foot of more can hide some great fish. Afternoons and evenings still produce some great rising fish, and dries such as Tan Caddis (#14-#18), Isos (#14), BWO (#20-#26), along with the occasional Yellow Sally (#14-#18) and Isos (#14) have been "go-to" patterns. And don't forget to bring along some ants and beetles to fish against the banks as occasionally fish that refuse your standard dry fly patterns will take a whack at an ant or beetle. During the day, look for water with good current and depth, and fish small nymphs and wets such as Pheasant Tails (#18-#20), Caddis Pupa/Larva (#14-#18), Zebras (#20-#24), and egg patterns. In the Housatonic, key dry fly patterns have been BWO (#16-#24), the occasional Iso (#14) and ants and beetles as well. Wets have included BWO emergers, soft hackles, Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears, amd Iso nymphs fished in the riffles and pocket water. In the morning when insect activity is slow, try a streamer in the deeper runs and water with good current. The Housatonic flow of 258cfs makes wading very attractive.
Connecticut flows are as follows:
WB Farmington at Riverton: 66cfs at 58 degrees;
Still River at Robertsville: 14cfs
WB Farmington through the TMA: 80cfs at 58 degrees;
Housatonic at Falls Village: 258cfs at 55 degrees;
In Long Island Sound the fishing continues to improve. For the last three days I have been banging the beaches with some pretty good results. Fish are in closer now - especially bass, and there are some good fish to be had. Tuesday and Wednesday morning there were lots of fish blowing up in the coves and off the jetties - frustratingly too far for a fly-caster on the beach. However, there were huge, swirling schools of bait (small peanut bunker or bay anchovies - perhaps 1 1/2 inches) all along the beaches and great numbers of schoolie bass were on them making some great sport on an 8WT rod. At one point the swirl surrounded me and a small bass came up and crushed one a foot from my wader! Both Mill Pond inlet and Compo beach produced some fun action in the morning, from about an hour before high tide to an hour after. The bright sun didn't seem to matter. On Compo, I had a pod of huge Albies blow up about 50 yards beyond my furthest (meager) cast - so all I could do was watch as they tore up bait for several minutes. But the action was pretty consistent.
If you're lucky enough to be out in a boat, Captain Roger Gendron from Connecticut Island Outfitters reports great schools of bait with water temperatures still in the low 70s along the beaches. Roger reports that fishing along the reefs is still hot producing lots of mixed-bites and some hefty Bass. Also, Roger says there are still nice fish in the harbors and channels and that this is the time of year that you can fish all day on both sides of the tide. If you're thinking of chartering a guide/boat, you can contact Roger at the above e-mail address.