May 16, 2018 7 min read

Greetings Compleat Anglers!  We have lot's of ground (or water) to cover today! And lot's of reports and great pics of awesome fish from our guides, staff and customers on Connecticut and Catskill rivers and L.I. Sound.

It was a good week on the Farmington River, as water flows were ideally low and water temperatures were perfect (mid-50's). (That has changed with last night's storm cells, but we'll return to that in a minute.)  There were BWO's (#18), and some Hendricksons which were slowed from the colder air temperatures of last weekend. There were good Rusty Spinner falls (#14-#16) and consistent nymphing activity. In addition, there were tan caddis (#16-#20). Many nice fish were taken on top on Hendricksons, BWO's and caddis imitations. Even more fish were taken on effective nymph imitations such as Hendrickson (#12-#14), Olives (#16-#18), Pheasant Tails (#12-#20), Caddis Pupa (#14-#18), Zebra Midges (#16-#22), Caddis Larva (#14-#16), Stoneflies (#6-#12), and Frenchies (#16-#20).  Keep your eyes out for the rusty spinners - they have been showing up in early afternoons through the evening and will continue to do so even after the duns have slowed down considerably.  I mentioned above that Farmington flows have changed considerably since yesterday, which will, of course, affect the fishing as well as your wading possibilities.  Here's today's Farmington flows:

Farmington West Branch at Riverton:  226cfs

Still River at Robertsville:  817cfs

Farmington River through the TMA(C&R):   1543cfs

These flows should drop quickly as the Still River runs off, and barring any really heavy rains over the next few days.

(Below) A sweet Delaware River 'Bow taken on a Rusty Spinner

Rob Nicholas from Housatonic Anglers reports that the Housatonic River has been fishing well on nymphs and streamers and that there have been caddis hatching. There have been reports of Hendricksons still in decent numbers and, as with the Farmington, dry fly activity over the past week has been good with reports of fish looking up at tan caddis (#14-#18) and Hendricksons (#14-#16). On the Hendricksons, the fish can be picky so be sure to bring both the lighter (female) and darker (male) shades. (The male shade is imitated by the Red Quill.) Effective nymphs are Pheasant Tails (#14-#18), Hendrickson (#12-#16), Hare's Ear (#14-#16), Stoneflies (#6-#12), Princes (#14-#18), Copper Johns (#16-#22), Zebra Midges (#16-#22), as well as streamers such as zonkers, Wooly Buggers, Cone-Head Muddlers and other streamer varieties. And don't forget to have some egg imitations, Mops, and San Juan Worms in your box as well.

Last night's rains brought the flows on the Housatonic up as well, and this morning's flow at Falls Village is now 1760cfs in the mid-50's.  So wading will be difficult to dangerous for the next day or two until the river falls adequately to prior levels. If you are out and about on the river, be careful and look to your streamer box - streamer fishing should be very effective at those flow levels.

Jeff Yates, from Fly Fishing CT   reports that Fairfield County streams have continued to offer strong activity and that dry fly fishing is starting to pick up in the afternoons and evenings. The Mianus River in Stamford is still holding good numbers of trout - especially in the fenced areas where fewer people access the water. The Norwalk River has trout spread throughout and recently received another 600 stocked fish during a Mianus Chapter of TU youth fishing event. Jeff advises to focus on the areas between Orem's Diner and the Wilton TMCA. The Saugatuck fish have "certainly become more educated due to fishing pressure" but there are still plenty to be had. The Mill River in Fairfield and Easton has benefitted from the new, expanded year-round catch-and-release regulations which extend all the way down to the Merritt Parkway at Exit 46. And finally, Jeff says that anglers are having great luck using a "dry dropper" set up with either a large (size #12-#14) Caddis or Mayfly dry pattern on the surface and a weighted nymph (Pheasant Tail or Bead-Head Caddis Pupa) suspended about 19-24 inches below the dry fly. Small streamers and micro-buggers are also performing well. If you love to fish local waters, give Jeff a call - he'll turn you on to some great places and put you over some lovely trout!  Thanks, Jeff, for that great report!

Here are current flow levels for a few of the smaller streams:

Sauatuck River at Ford's Rd. (TMA):   123cfs

Norwalk River in Wilton:L  51cfs

Mill River in Hamden:   99.9cfs 

OK, now for the grown-up stuff!  Fishing has been lights-out in the Catskill rivers including all three Delaware branches, the Beaverkill and the Willowemoc.  Lot's of our staff and customers spent the last week on the Delaware Main Stem and East Branch, as well as the Beaverkill. All three Delaware branches have been experiencing blizzard hatches of Tan Caddis (#14-#18). In addition, there have been significant Rusty Spinner falls (#14-#16), Hendrickon duns (#14-#16), BWO's (#16-#18), a few Paraleps (#16-#18).  Finally, on all the Delaware branches and the Beaverkill and Willowemoc we are beginning to see some Apple Caddis (#14-#18) as well. We have some great imitations at the shop, so stop in an pick up a few for your box. On my last two East Branch floats, interestingly, we have encountered the best dry fly fishing in the faster water such as the tail-outs of long flats or the tail-ends of riffs. Also, we're running into more Rainbows that we've encountered in past memory, even taking into consideration that we're working faster, more oxygen-rich water. Bob Reichert and Sal Renzuella floated with Ryan Furtak from Crosscurrent Guide Service  and spent two great days on the Main Stem this week. They had lots of heads and saw great hatches of caddis as well as strong spinner falls.

Bob Reichert took this Beast on the Main Stem - WHOA - way to get it done!

I may have mentioned that last week Jonny King had a banner day on the Delaware East Branch with fourteen fish - and at least half-a dozen of them in the 20"+ category. Here's a couple of Jonny's fish - check out these hogs!

I was lucky to float the Delaware East Branch this week with guide Ben Rinker from East Branch Outfitters and customer and friend Frank Corrente.  We had a grand day with continuous Tan Caddis Hatching as well as Hendsricksons and some Olives as well. Towards the afternoon there were large falls of Rusty Spinners and the fish were on them. We took a dozen-and-a-half beautiful Browns and Rainbows - many from 17" -20" - mostly on Hendrickson duns and later in the afternoon on Rusty Spinners.  Presentation was the name of the game - to one spinner-sipper I made almost 60 casts until I got one to float just right and the fly was eagerly inhaled.....Here's one of the bank-sippers:

This amazing river system is one of the only systems on the East Coast where on a given float, you can take a dozen wild Browns and Rainbows in the 17"-22" category (with an exceptional hog to 25"+). While out on the East Branch, we ran into David Nelson who was having a banner day wading and working for big fish along the banks. David scored some lovely trout on Rusty Spinners and Hendricksons. And Jim Wilson reported taking some big Browns this week as well.  Here's Frank Corrente getting the job done on Monday:

And here's Ben Rinker landing Frank's fish:

Here are current Catskill River flows:

Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy:   2350cfs at mid-50's

Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy:   1060cfs at 45 degrees

Delaware Main Stem at Lordville:   5090cfs at mid 50's

Beaverkill at Cook's Falls:   1390cfs in the mid-50's

In LongIsland Sound fishing is still good - even after the cold and unsettled weather from last weekend. Captain Roger Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters reports that, despite some of the less enjoyable weather conditions, there are still lot's of fish to be had. Roger says that early morning tides are flooding through the end of the week and that he has adapted his strategies to hunt in more shallow water with some resultant vigorous strikes erupting on the flats! There were lots of schoolies with a nicer fish or two mixed in. Roger also mentioned that several fish carried lice, indicating their recent arrival and confirming that the run has begun!  Thanks, Roger, for that great update - give Roger a call if you'd like to experience some great Striped Bass and Bluefish action!  Check out the awesome Striper that customer Jim Coley bagged on his last trip out with Roger. Great going, Jim!

As you can see, whether you're hunting trout or searching for Stripers and Blues, it's all happening NOW!  So throw your gear in the car and find a nice section of water to spend some time on. And if you need more information on the where's/how-to's come on in and speak to us. We can hook you up with some great guides, get you some great casting tips, fix you up with all the right flies, leaders, tippets, and accessories you'll need to get the job done.

And while you're visiting us here at the shop, check out all the great rods, reels, waders, boots, lines, clothing and accessories from such major brands as Scott, Sage, Winston, Loomis, TFO, Echo, Reddington, Abel, Nautilus, Ross, Hardy, Hatch, Simms, Patagonia, Rio, Airflow, Sci-Anglers, and so many more. And check out our full inventory of both freshwater and saltwater flies (many tied right here in the USA!) and our full line of fly-fishing materials for both fresh and saltwater.

Until next time, stay dry and keep your lines tight!