Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your first fishing report for the Spring 2018 season!
Before I begin the report a quick reminder: DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR (NEW) CONNECTICUT TROUT STAMP! Even if you already have a current license you need the trout stamp in addition. Several anglers have told me that they've already been checked while on the river, so it is wise to have one. (They are available online, even if you have already purchased your license online.) And the monies collected go straight towards maintaining the Connecticut hatcheries.
Most rivers have been stocked! The Mianus TMA area was stocked yesterday, and the river is open to C&R fishing from Merriebrook Lane Bridge upstream.
The Saugatuck Fly fishing TMA along Ford Road in Westport was stocked last Thursday. The fishing there has been hot - lot's of stockers in the 11'-13' range plus a few nice holdovers as well. A number of you have told me that there have been some 30-40 fish days on the river! Small nymphs, egg patterns, and small streamers have accounted for most of the fish. Right now there are still some "pockets" of fish due to the stocking, but over the next few days, with some added precipitation, the fish will begin to spread out a bit more.
The Farmington River has been stocked over the past two weeks (except for the permanent C&R area.) From the Goodwin/Hogback Dam down to RT 177 in Unionville/Farmington the river is open to C&R only. Water flow through the TMA section is 433cfs and the water temperature is still in the high 30's. Look for early black stoneflies (#14-#22), although most of the action at this time is on nymphs and streamers. Nymphs such as scuds, zebra, and caddis larva, along with egg patterns, san juan worms, green weenies, wooly buggers and mops are really effective. Fish them deep and slow. Streamers such as Zonkers, Wooly Buggers and Sculpin patterns are also effective fished low and slow.
The Norwalk River does not have a C&R season and is currently closed until opening day.
The Housatonic has not yet been stocked, but is running high and clear, and there are some great holdover fish to keep you busy. Water flow at Falls Village is 1070cfs. Water temperature is in the high 30's. Again, look for little black stoneflies, but most of the patterns mentioned above for the Farmington River will be effective on the Housatonic.
In the Catskills, the reservoirs are healthy - all in the 92-94% full range. There is still some snowpack on the ground, which will help the rivers maintain good flow through April. Currently, The East Branch of the Delaware at Fishs Eddy is running 810cfs at 37 degrees. The West Branch of the Delaware at Hale Eddy is running 316cfs at 37 degrees. And the Delaware Main Stem at Lordville is running 1440cfs at 36 degrees. Catch & release fishing is currently allowed on the border waters until April 1st when the entire river system is open. There have been a few stout souls who have ventured out for a chilly float, and a few decent fish have been brought to net on streamers fished low and slow - with even more fished following or striking short. For the fish to be really active, the magic water temperature number is 50 degrees - and that needs to be maintained over several weeks. As well, look for little black stoneflies beginning at mid-day. Also, nymphs such as Pheasant Tails, Zebras, Caddis Pupa, stoneflies, caddis larva, scuds and streamer patterns such as Wooly Buggers, Sculpins, Alwives, and muddlers should be effective now as well.
The Beaverkill is running clear at 295cfs at Cooks Falls.
If you haven't yet, its time to go over your rods and reels, clean your fly lines, lube your reels (if necessary), sort out your flies and boxes and be sure you have ample leaders, tippets, and floatant! Check your waders for leaks! Come in to the shop to round out your fly boxes - we have everything, including Mike Motyl's amazing new Thunder Flies in all patterns. Is it time to treat yourself to a new fly line? Or perhaps a new reel...we have all the major brands including Sage, Ross, Hatch, Nautilus, Hardy, Lamson, Reddington and so many more. And to keep you warm in the icy-spring breezes, we have lots of great insulated clothing from Simms and Patagonia -
Here's to a great season, and many more fishing reports filled with stories and pictures of great fish!