Greetings Compleat Anglers! It’s early fall here in Connecticut and in the Catskills and water temperatures in our freshwater rivers as well as in LI Sound are dropping nicely. Our Connecticut rivers and the Catskill rivers are all still low due to scarce rain this summer. However, later this week will bring several days of rain and hopefully that will lift both the Farmington and Housatonic rivers, as well as the Catskill rivers such as the Delaware system and the Beaverkill. Here’s the breakdown:
The Catskills: The Delaware system is low, especially the East Branch of the Delaware, which has been low all summer. Your best fishing bet is the West Branch, which is running around 643cfs at 54 degrees. Cannonsville Reservoir is spilling lots of sediment and the West Branch has been colored up as a result, but is definitely is fishable. There have been Olives, Light Cahills, tan caddis, and a few scattered Isos, along with ants and beetles. With the colored-up water streamers are a good bet as well. On calm, overcast days and evenings, there have been some nice spinner falls, and you can find heads here and there. Remember, these fish have been pounded all year, so they are really tough fish. During the day, stonefly nymphs, caddis nymphs, copper johns and other wets have been effective in the riffs and runs. The 600cfs release on the West Branch has also helped lift and cool the Upper Main Stem as well, which is fishing well from the Junction in Hancock down to Buckingham and below. I was in Lordville over the weekend and there were rising fish to a hatch of #18 Olives. And although the Main Stem is low at only 850cfs, the gold lining is that practically the whole Upper and Middle Main Stem is wadeable at the moment. And as the weather continues to cool, the lower stretches of Main Stem will continue to fish better and better. The Beaverkill is extremely low and almost unfishable except in the deeper pools. The runs and flats are mostly almost out of water and badly in need of rain.
Here in Connecticut, both the Farmington River and the Housatonic have also been hit by the summer’s drought and are very low at the moment. But even with the low water the Farmington has continued to fish well due to the fact that the water temperatures have stayed in the lower-to-mid 60s and therefore in the acceptable range. At the moment, the Farmington is running at only 69cfs through the TMA, so look for fish in the larger, deeper pools. There have been some small Olives, tan caddis, and scattered Isos. Ant patterns (flying ants) have been very effective along with Beetles, and small nymphs such as copper johns, along with Stoneflies #6-#10 have worked as well. The Housatonicis very low at 162cfs, but the good news is that the water temperatures are in the low 60s, so trout are beginning to come out of their summer thermal refuges. Flying ants and some scattered Isos have been effective, along with stonefly nymphs. As well, smallmouth bass fishing is still great, with poppers doing some serious business at the moment.
In the Salt, the LI Sound has been fishing well. There have been lots of reports of False Albacore blitzing on bay anchovies, silversides and other small baitfish behind the Norwalk Islands, and popping up in other areas from Greenwich to Fairfield and east. There have been some schoolie (and larger) bass in the river mouths and off the beaches, but you’ll need to be there early – usually by 7:00AM they’re gone. Out in the channels, there have been lot’s of big Blues and bass as well taking advantage of the still-heavy bunker schools. For fly-rodders, clousers, bay anchovy, silversides, and numerous other streamer imitations have been really effective, along with a variety of poppers.
Here’s the water flow info:
Delaware River East Branch at Fishes Eddy: 196cfs at 59 degrees
Delaware River West Branch at hale Eddy: 643cfs at 54 degrees
Delaware River Main Stem at Lordville: 857cfs at 59 degrees
Beaverkill at Cooks Falls: 78cfs
Farmington River through the TMA: 69cfs
Still River: 7.5cfs
Housatonic River at Falls Village: 162cfs at 62degrees