May 23, 2018 5 min read

Greetings Compleat Anglers!  Here is your fishing report for May 23rd.

Our feature picture was taken yesterday - I took a trip back to my hometown in New Jersey and had a few minutes to stroll along the banks of the little hometown creek I fished as a boy - and learned that you can go home again!  There were still some nice fish sipping lazily along the far bank - pretty as a picture! 

Also, moving forward, each week I'll be featuring a special fly, guide, river - something special and worthy of extra mention. If you have any suggestions that you feel deserve mention you can e-mail them (along with a picture) to me at Thanks!   Check out this week's featured fly toward the end of this report!

The past week's fishing in the Northeast continues to be good-to-light's out!  Beginning in Connecticut waters, the West Branch of the Farmington River has been fishing really well with lots of bugs on the water with fish on them, as well as great nymph activity. There are BWO's (#18) up-and-down the river and the fish are on them. The Hendricksons are now only in the Riverton area, with Rusty Spinners (#14-#16) still throughout the TMA. As well, there are still good numbers of tan caddis (#16-#18) all over the river. Water temperatures have been in the mid-upper 50s. Many fishermen are having good success nymphing in the deeper (knee-deep-to-waist-deep) runs (use a split shot to get your nymph down.) Key nymphs are olive and tan caddis pupa (#14-#128), Olive nymphs (#16-#18), Pheasant Tails (#14-#20), Zebras (#16-#22), Mops (#8-#12), Stoneflies (#6-#12), and Frenchies (#14-#20).  When the water fluctuates upward throw streamers such as Wooly Buggers, Sculpin Helmuts, Zonkers, and Cone-head Muddlers.Water levels on the Farmington are ideal for wading, so be sure to get out and take your shots!

Rob Nichols from Housatonic Anglers reports that the Housatonic River has been fishing great at around 1200cfs. His clients have been catching lots of good fish on Caddis dries and streamers as well. Rob expects the coming week to bring really productive fishing and lots of rising trout. There are reports of some March Browns on the water so be sure to have a few in your box. Key nymphs are Green Caddis Pupa, Pheasant Tails, Stoneflies, Hare's Ears, Mops, Scuds, and March Browns. For streamers, try Wooly Buggers in black and olive, Zonkers and Cone-head Muddlers. 

Most of the smaller Fairfield County streams are also fishing well. Driving past the Saugatuck, the Norwalk River, the Mianus and the Mill confirmed that they are all healthy and slightly swollen from the recent rash of rain - but clear and very "fishy" looking. This coming week is a great week to give one of these rivers a shot. Try floating a tan or Apple Caddis  (#14-#18), or swinging a nymph - perhaps a Caddis Pupa (#14-#18), Pheasant Tail (#14-#18), Scud (#14-#18), or Mop, as well as some smaller streamers such as a Wooly Bugger (black or olive), Zonker, or Cone Head Muddlers. 

Here are the flows for our Connecticut rivers:

Farmington West Branch at Riverton:  154cfs in mid-upper b50's;

Still River at Robertsville:  154cfs at low 50s;

Farmington through the TMA:  307cfs in the upper 50s;

Housatonic at Falls Village:  1210cfs in the upper 50's;

Saugatuck River at Ford's Road: 150cfs

Norwalk River in Wilton:  63cfs

Pootatuck River at Sandy Hook:  82 cfs

Up in the Catskills, fishing has been lights-out with some beasts being taken. Ben Rinker, from East Branch Outfitters reports that the recent rains have brought the rivers up and given them some color, but even in the off-color water there have been heads and fish have been taken on dries such as Caddis patterns. Both the Delaware East Branch and Delaware West Branch have been off color, but are now beginning to clear. There are still some Hendricksons (#14)  to be found, as well as March Browns (#10-#12). There are still large falls of Rusty Spinners (#14( and the fish are all over them.) As well, look for BWO's (#16-#18) - even in the off-colored water there have been fish rising to them. The Delaware Main Stem is very high and slightly off-color now, but earlier in the week our very own Bob Reichert floated it and nailed this beautiful Brownie - congratulations Bob!


Here's another shot from last week - David Nelson into a good fish on the Delaware East Branch.

The Beaverkill and Willowemoc have been fishing very well with lots of action on Tan Caddis (#14-#18), Apple Caddis (#14-#16), Rusty Spinners (#14-#16), March Browns (#10-#12) and a few left-over Hendricksons (#14). They have been muddied-up by the recent rains, but are beginning to clear now. (Much of that runoff drops down to the Delaware East Branch and subsequently the Main Stem as well.) Water temps in these lovely Freestone waters are in the mid-upper 50s - just about perfect. And the wading has been ideal! 

Flows for the Catskill River are as follows:

Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 2740cfs @ 52 degrees;

Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy:  2040cfs at 48 degrees;

Delaware Main Stem at Lordville:  6860cfs at 52 degrees;

Beaverkill at Cooks Falls:  1270cfs in the mid-50's

In Long Island Sound, the fishing continues to be good. Captain Roger Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters  reports although the past weekend's strong winds and rain stirred up the Sound making fishing somewhat unfishable and sluggish, there was still a trophy to be taken as one of Capt. Roger's Junior anglers proved (picture below).

Roger reports that as high pressure pushed back into the area things improved greatly. As the week began and water temperatures rose and tides dropped, there was continuous action on both flies and spin gear around local river mouths. The bass are here, with more arriving daily. Roger is also on the lookout for Blues which are due shortly. My good friend, Jack Denny (picture below) and his cohorts down in New Jersey are crushing Blues - they are off the beaches in good numbers and moving North!

Flies of choice are the familiar ones: Clausers and Deceivers are the keys at the moment. 

Our featured fly this week: Check out these exquisite Squimpish treats tied by David Nelson:

Whether you are planning a trip to Connecticut or Catskill waters, or planning to hit the beaches on the Sound, stop by the shop to be sure you have everything you need - leaders, tippets, floatant, flies to name just a few. Is your line old and casting poorly? Do you have the right line for the area you'll be fishing?  Boots leaking? Need some casting tips or a recommendation for a Guide? Or simply some local advice on best places to try?  Always better to be prepared in advance!  We have all the major brands - Sage, Scott, Winston, Loomis, Reddington, Echo, TFO, Hardy, Abel, Nautilus, Ross, Hatch, Simms, Patagonia, Korkers, Rio, Airflo, Sci-Anglers and so many more. And a huge inventory of flies for both fresh and salt water (many tied right here in the USA by local Masters)  and also a massive inventory of fly-tying equipment - feathers, synthetics, vices, tools - everything! 


Have a great week and we hope to see you in the store and on the water!