Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your fishing report for October 27th.
As you well know, we've had a lot of rain and wind throughout this fall so fishing in both fresh and saltwater has been a matter of finding the "right" days to be out on the water. Both our Connecticut and New York rivers have experienced unusually high water which has made wading on several of our rivers difficult. In the salt, it seems like it has taken a longer than usual amount of time for the action to crank up, although there have been some good moments in-between - especially with the Albies, which came on strong in early October for several weeks. There is some decent Striper action at the moment, but the Blues have been missing in action. And the huge balls of bait that hugged our beaches last fall seem to be absent as well this year.
(The Delaware East Branch at Cadosia)
In Our Rivers
In the Catskills, this rainy fall has kept the rivers unusually high. Wading has been difficult in all the Delaware branches. Both the Cannonsville Dam on the West Branch and the Pepacton Dam on the East Branch are almost at capacity - Cannonsville is currently 93.8% of capacity and Pepcaton is currently 98.9%. As a result, the primary mode of fishing has been to float - and streamer fishing has played a large part in pursuit of those buttery Delaware fall Brown Trout. If you're still planning some fall trips to the Catskills, bring a good assortment of streamers.
Best streamer Color varies from day-to-day, so have a good selection of both light and dark and let the fish tell you what's working best. And in the afternoons, look for small BWO's (#16-#20), tan and green Caddis (#14-#16) and an occasional Iso (#14), in the slow tailouts and edges of the pools, as well as in the slower pools themselves. If you're wading, both the Beaverkill and Willowemoc are at stellar wading flows at the moment. (Both rivers are open until November 30th). And there's some decent wading on the lower East Branch as well. The Main Stem is still running much too high for comfortable wading. And remember, the upper West Branch from Cannonsville Dam down to Monument pool is closed, as is the East Branch from the Pepacton Dam down to Shinopple bridge. All border waters are open to catch-and-release year-round. Here's the Catskill flow numbers:
Delaware WB at Stilesville: 1490cfs at 56 degrees;
Delaware WB at Hale Eddy: 1680cfs at 55 degrees;
Delaware EB at Harvard: 829cfs at 42 degrees;
Delaware EB at Fish's Eddy: 1520cfs at 44 degrees;
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 3580cfs at 49 degrees;
Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 470cfs at 44 degrees;
As well, things are heating up in all the Great Lakes tributaries. In New York, many of our clients are heading for Pulaski to fish the Salmon River, first for Salmon and then for the great Steelhead run. Many of our Great Lake tributaries provide amazing sport and a chance to stick huge Steelhead and salmon. (Here's a shot of Rich Saslow with a great Manistee Steelhead (tributary of Lake Michigan) he nailed this week.)
Stop by the shop and browse our full-stocked inventory of flies for Steelhead and salmon, and our huge inventory of fly-tying equipment, fly lines and heads, rods, reels and every other supply you'll need to hook up with these magnificent migratory fish!
In our Connecticut rivers, we've also had our share of high water, although the Farmington has fared much better than the Housatonic. In the Farmington, nymphing has been the ticket, along with an array of "junk" flies. For nymphing, Stoneflies (#6-#12) and a variety of the usual patterns (Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ear, Princes, Copper Johns, etc.), in sizes #14-#18 have been effective. Streamers have been scoring as well - especially as the Browns become more aggressive during spawning season. Although dry fly fishing has slowed, both Caddis (#14-#18) and BWO's (#16-#20) have done the job. For the "junk" flies, try egg patterns, mops, squirmies, San Juan worms, and Green Weenies. The Housatonic is holding a huge amount of both stocked and holdover fish, although it's high water has impeded waders for the last month. As soon as it is down to a wadeable level fishing should be lights-out! Streamers and junk patterns should work well, along with dries such as Caddis and BWO's. Most of our Connecticut rivers have received their fall stocking, including the Mianus, Mill and Housatonic. And the Naugatuck River has received it's first 2018 stocking of Atlantic Salmon!
Here are the Connecticut flows:
Farmington WB at Riverton: 444cfs in the high 40's;
Still River at Robertsville: 94cfs;
Farmington TMA: 538cfs in the high 40s-to low 50's;
Housatonic at Falls Village: 1290cfs in the mid-50's;
As an aside, I had the chance this month to check-off one item from my fishing bucket list. I got to spend a day on a lovely Chalk stream (the Itchen) in Winchester England. It was a very different environment than our freestone waters here - clear sand riverbeds with long strands of Renuncula and beds of watercress. There were some beastly Browns and I managed to get my first Grayling. Here's a couple of shots:
(The Itchen at Winchester)
In The Salt
In the Salt, it has been a month of "The thrill of victory & the agony of defeat." There have been some good patches of Striped Bass fishing - both out in the Sound and on our beaches. Our local beaches from Stamford to Fairfield have had some good moments - Holly Pond, Compo Beach, Sherwood Island, Burrying Hill, and Penfield Reef are a few key spots. I was at Sherwood Island this past Monday morning (it was 35 degrees!) and there was a good school of bass crunching bay anchovies up and down the beach. I managed to get an occasional fly on the periphery and hook up a dozen times.
(A happy client of Capt. Roger Gendron with a hard-earned Albie!)
Also, there have been good reports of Bass blitzes from Holly Pond as well as Penfield Reef. So now is the time to get out and have some fun. This time of year time of day isn't that important - and pretty much any Deceiver or Clouser pattern will get the job done. The Albie fishing was hot for several weeks from early October to now, but seems to be tailing off. Bluefish seem to be missing in action. Fish are on baby Bunker and Bay Anchovies. (As an aside, it seems to me that there is less bait around this year than there was last year.) Water temps are hovering in the low 60s but the flush of wintery weather over the past couple of weeks will bring that down shortly.)
(A Sherwood Island schoolie)
That's it for now. Now is the time to get out on your favorite trout river or out on the Sound - both can provide some great fall memories! And remember to stop by the shop for all your fishing needs. We have all the major (and minor) brands such as Sage, Scott, Loomis, Winston, TFO, Echo, Reddington, Abel, Ross, Nautilus, Hardy, Hatch, Lamson, Simms, Patagonia, Fishpond, Yeti, Rio, Airflow, Sci-Anglers, and so many more. And with winter coming on, check out our amazing inventory of fly-tying equipment and tools- we have everything to meet your fly-tying needs. Whatever your needs, we have the expertise and intel to get you hooked-up!