Greetings Compleat Anglers, and Happy July 4th! Here is your Holiday fishing report.
We are in summer conditions in all Connecticut and Catskill rivers and Long Island Sound. Whether you are in Connecticut and planning a trip to the Farmington River or Housatonic, or you are in New York and fishing the Croton watershed or the Catskill waters, the drill is all pretty much the same. Regardless of where your planning to fish, the best bet is to follow the cold-water releases and stay with the tailwater rivers. In Connecticut, the Farmington River, in New York, the Croton watershed or the Delaware system are good bets. Even then, you need to keep an eye on water temperatures as the middle and lower areas of the tailwaters warm with the consistent summer heatwave we've been having.
Fly hatches on all the rivers are pretty uniform right now. Look for Sulphurs (#14-#18), Light Cahill (#14) (pictured below), BWO (#14-#20), Caddis (tan or olive) (#14-#18), Isos (#10-#12), and occasionally Yellow Drakes (#12-#14). As importantly, look for spinners from those hatches and try to keep at least some spinner imitations that resemble Sulphur spinners, Light Cahill spinners, and Isos (either Iso spinners or Rusty spinners ) in your box. As well, be prepared to stay late - many of the best and thickest hatches are happening at or after dark. If you leave too early, you could be missing the best activity of the day.
As well, all rivers are at great heights for wading, even with the increased releases in the Catskills streams (below).
If you are on the river and bugs are scarce, try swinging a wet fly or soft hackle in the riffs or swifter sections of the river. Or look for those faster glides to bounce a nymph off the bottom. With the warmer conditions, the trout will hang in the faster, more oxygenated sections of the river - even in water that's only a foot or less. Look for depressions in the shallower sections of riverbed where a fish can hold, or those little patches of softer water in-between the riffled water - and work them carefully. (below, a riffle Rainbow taken on a fluffy White Wulff on the upper Delaware West Branch.)
If you fish the Catskill waters, you should be aware that the New York DEP has mandated an increased release for both the Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs; not to improve the fishing (which it does) but especially to bring thermal relief to the fish to relieve the stressed conditions they are under. Here's the Announcement from the DEC:
Update on Water Releases for Upcoming Weekend
Good Afternoon Everyone! As we all know, the temps are going to soar the next few days, and we wanted to give you an update from NYSDEC.
They have requested an increase of 300 cfs from Cannonsville, taking it from 415 cfs to 715 cfs. This increase will start Saturday afternoon, and will be maintained until at least Monday afternoon. They will re-evaluate the conditions and weather forecast on Monday, and the release will likely be extended to provide some mitigation on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. They also said they are keeping an eye on the East Branch and will possibly request a thermal release from the Pepacton.
Here is the current flow and temperature information for Connecticut and Catskill rivers:
Farmington River West Branch at Riverton: 248cfs in the high 40s;
Still River at Robertsville: 31cfs;
Farminton River TMA: 279cfs in the mid-60s;
Housatonic River at Falls Village: 456cfs at 70 degrees;
Saugatuck River at Ford's Road: 9 cfs;
Norwalk River in Wilton: 18cfs;
Delaware East Branch at Harvard: 242cfs at 61 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 452cfs at 69 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Stilesville: 637cfs at 46 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy: 664cfs at 46 degrees;
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 1290cfs at 71 degrees;
Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 128cfs in the high 60's;
(If you're planning to fish any of the Catskill rivers at the current time it is best to restrict your fishing to the Delaware West Branch or upper Delaware East Branch. The lower Delaware East Branch, Main Stem and the Beaverkill are all too warm at the moment and the fish in those waters are highly stressed.)
With our river temperatures warming and trout fishing becoming more restricted to cooler sections of water, now is the time for everyone who loves chasing bass, pike and other warm water species. The Housatonic River in Connecticut, sections of the lower (upper) Delaware River in the Catskills, as well as hundreds of our local lakes and ponds are teeming with big Small and Largemouth Bass, Pike, Bluegill, Carp, Walleye, Yellow and White Perch and other species just waiting to crush a topwater popper, hit a streamer imitation or suck-in a fishy wet/nymph. Check out this fatty Largemouth that our friend Lenny scored from a Connecticut pond:
(Below) A nice Pike recently captured in the Housatonic:
Finally, A Reminder
If you have children from the ages of 12-18, please keep in mind that the second session of the Bill Canfield Fly Fishing Camp is coming up August 5th-12th. This is an amazing chance for both beginners and experienced young people to learn from some of the best in the business. Here's some info and pictures from the June session:
Young people get a chance to learn proper casting techniques, fly-tying, entomology, wading, gear selection and care - as well as having access to some primo private water to fish! Here's a couple of shots from the June session:
In Long Island Sound, the fishing has been "on & off." Captain Roger Gendron from Connecticut Island Outfitters firstname.lastname@example.org reports that with the warming water, the shore bite has slowed and is probably best restricted to the early-daylight hours. With lots of bait schools near shore, Captain Roger's advice is to "fish the rising tides with the rising sun."
Effective flies have been topwater plugs, crease flies, deceivers and Clouser patterns, (along with some sand-eel and silverside imitations for those moments when there aresand eels and silversides in the vicinity.
And don't forget to stop by the shop and check out all the latest in equipment, clothing and accessories. If you're looking for new rods, reels, waders, boots, flies, fly-tying materials and tools, lines, leaders, clothing, luggage, and other accessories - all from the major brands such as Scott, Loomis, Sage, Winston, Reddington, Echo, TFO, Hatch, Nautilus, Ross, Abel, Hardy, Lamson, Patagonia, Yeti, and so many more. We have a huge selection of both saltwater and freshwater flies - many tied right here in the USA by master tier Mike Motyl. So stop by and take a casting lesson from our very own Scott Loecher, or get all the info/intel you need from Scott, Bob, Pat, Scott L. or myself. We hope to see you soon!
Well, that's it for this week. If you're out on the water, try to keep cool and hydrated, and have fun out there! Hope we meet on the water!