November 21, 2017 4 min read

Greetings Compleat Anglers!  Here is your fishing report for November 21st.

The late fall/early winter is beginning to have its way with our Catskill and Connecticut trout rivers. Although you can fish through the winter in certain sections of the branches of the Delaware, and also in the Farmington and other rivers (although all these river systems become catch and release only until next spring) dry fly action becomes limited as most of the hatches are now underwater as the nymphs mature and await their spring and summer debuts. On all these rivers there are still a few Olives that can be found with an occasional fish on them, as well as winter Caddis. And yes, there are always calm winter days when you can happen upon a flat where, magically, there are heads to be had.  But most consistent trout fisherman are fishing small nymphs (BWO #20, Caddis larva and Pupa #18, Copper John #18-22, Zebra #20-#24, BH Pheasant Tail #18-#24, Prince #18-#24 which are producing most of the action. With water temperatures from the mid-40s to the low 50s the trout are more sluggish and you need to hit them on the nose, so to speak. It's a time to inspect, repair and upgrade equipment, (let Santa treat you to that new rod or reel you've been lusting for)  tie flies, tie more flies, attend workshops and demos (Compleat Angler will be hosting some of the best beginning in January)and in general reflect on this great past season and dream about future waters and coming tight on the trout of your dreams.

In Long Island Sound, for those hardy souls who enjoy braving the chills and winds of November and early December, there are still Stripers to be had, either off the beaches or, from the few more adventurous boats that are still making runs. In the Westport area, the beaches have been lights-out for the past month, with peanut bunker pushed up to the shore and droves of schoolie bass (with the occasional better fish) on them. While I have concentrated on Compo, Mill Pond, Sherwood Island and Burying Hill, beaches in Fairfield, Stamford and down to Greenwich have been very productive as well.

For me the best action off the beach has been from two hours before high tide to an hour after. Fishing has seemed to slack off in that hour when the tide is high and before it begins to recede. But if you stick around for the tide to begin to recede, your patience can be rewarded. We've had some 50-60 fish fly rod days in the past month. For me, it was all Deceiver flies that did the trick (violet and black top with white underbelly), but really, anything in your box would have worked if it resembled in any way a peanut bunker. And last week I also stumbled upon great droves of Hickory Shad - whacking my deceivers and jumping like miniature tarpon! The good news is that there are still nice bass to be had so look ahead, pick a decent weather day, layer up and catch some bass! Last week while I was fishing at Sherwood Island, a talented photographer named Michael Lello happened along and took some great shots of the action - which I share with you here (and featured image as well). Thanks, Michael!

While our trout rivers and Long Island Sound are settling in for the winter, there is still some great Steelhead action up north in Pulaski, NY. on the Salmon river. A lot of our clients have been taking some big, beautiful fish.  And beginning next week, I hope to offer you sporadic reports as to the fishing conditions, river conditions, fly information and weather up in Pulaski as well - so keep and eye out. And I'll nudge you when we have one of our great fly-tying workshops as well - last year we had tiers like Jonny King, Ben Rinker, Sal Renzuela, Mike Motyl and many others, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements here and in our e-mail blasts as well.

And finally, come in and check out our new fall/winter lines of clothing from Simms and Patagonia - some great fleeces, vests, lined shirts as well as gloves, socks, hats and every layer in-between. And for that winter trip to the Keys, Bahamas, and all points south, check out our great inventory of summer shirts, hats, windbreakers, jackets and more. We have some great new rod models from Loomis and Scott, some really neat fiberglass rods from Reddington and Scott, and some great bootfoot waders from Simms and Reddington. Our inventory of great brands like Sage, Abel, Ross, Nautilus, Hardy, Hatch, Scott, Loomis, TFO, Simms, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers, Airflow, and so much more is one of the most complete anywhere! So come in a check it all out!  

Tight Lines!