Greetings Compleat Anglers! Here is your fishing report for September 6th.
We're kinda on a cusp at the moment. On both our New York and Connecticut rivers, we've had weeks of unbelievable heat which has, in general, driven water temperatures into red-line zones. Yet in the Catskills, heavy rains caused consistent dam releases on the tailwaters keeping the rivers cool and high and resulting in some off-the-charts streamer fishing and pretty great dry fly action as well. As the rivers drop the streamer fishing has slowed, (along with the bug activity) so it takes a little longer to find an active head here and there. Here in Connecticut, water temperatures on the Farmington and Housatonic have been extremely high - over 70 degrees in parts of the Farmington below Riverton. Bugs, in general, have been similar across both states and in all the rivers we generally fish, Isos, Cahills, Olives, and the occasional Sulphur, summer Paraleps, summer Caddis and Heptagenias fill out the menu. Also, in both New York and Connecticut, be on the lookout for flying ants, especially on rainy, soggy, cloudy days. On hot days, swinging an Iso wet (perhaps a Leadwing Coachman or Dark Cahill) in the riffs and faster water can prove fruitful. (The faster water is more oxygenated and the fish tend to hold there during bouts of heat.) I've always believed that the effectiveness of a swung wet imitates an emerging bug - trout love to crush it as it swings straight towards the bottom of the drift and raises in the water column. So yeah - as I mentioned in the beginning, we're on the cusp - awaiting those crisper fall days (and nights) that will cool down the water and stimulate some great fall action.
(Below, the riff at Fireman's Park on the Delaware East Branch last week.)
Here's some flow and temperature information:
Delaware West Branch at Stilesville: 1110cfs at 62 degrees;
Delaware West Branch at Hale Eddy: 1280cfs at 62 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Harvard: 592cfs at 49 degrees;
Delaware East Branch at Fishs Eddy: 973cfs at 59 degrees;
Delaware Main Stem at Lordville: 2180cfs at 62 degrees;
Beaverkill at Cook's Falls: 213cfs at 69 degrees
For the moment, probably best to avoid the Beaverkill as daytime water temperatures over 70 degrees have the fish stressed pretty heavily.
As you can see from the above, most Catskill tail-water water temperatures and levels are about as ideal as you could wish for at the moment. I fished the Delaware East Branch last Tuesday - it was high, cold and crystal clear. I decided to wade only the riffs, and both swung some wets and blind-fished some dry Cahills and Isos. I had a really nice time with some lovely Rainbows from 12" to 16" - a few on the swung wets and the rest on the blind-fished dries.
This week, with the lowering water, its been a little more sparse. Sal Renzuella, from Riverkeeper Guide Service email@example.com on the Delaware West Branch yesterday and reported seeing Olives, Isos and Heptagenias, but said that the day was a humid and soggy one and the fish seemed pretty shut down. Likewise, a friend of mine that fished the Farmingtonthis week reported, in general, a lack of bugs and very slow action. It feels like were in a period where it can vary from day-to-day, so as they say, "you don't know unless you go!"
Here's the Connecticut flow readings:
WB Farmington at Riverton: 324cfs at 68 degrees;
Still River at Robertsville: 18cfs;
WB Farmington through the TMA: 342cfs at 67-70 degrees;
Housatonic at Falls Village: 418cfs at 70+ degrees;
The smaller Connecticut/Fairfield county streams are all extremely low and warm at the moment, including the Saugatuck, Mianus, Norwalk and Mill rivers.
It's fun to illustrate what fishing's like at this time on the other side of the "Pond" in England. A good friend of mine is a passionate Trout and Grayling angler and regularly haunts the chalkstreams in the UK and Ireland. Over there, every inch of water has to be licensed - no free or public water in the UK! (We really take all our amazing public water here for granted!) (European anglers would kill to have the freedom to roam that we have.) My friend took the shots below last week on the famous River Ichen - as lovely a chalkstream as they come. And that's him, Richard Dinnadge, with a lovely Ichen wild Brown:
Notice the abundant beds of water cress and other streambed foliage. (A far cry from our Eastern freestone waters.)
In Long Island Sound, things have been quite here in Fairfield County. Our man, Pat Fowler, was up in Rhode Island earlier in the week and had a field day getting the job done with some great Bonito. (Hey Pat, how about inserting one or two of those great Bonito shots into this report???)
Here in Fairfield County, there has been plenty of bait - Silversides, Bay Anchovies and Bunker, and there have been some Bass and Harbor Blues on them along the reefs, with some occasional good action on surface poppers and crease flies. I took my grandson out this past Labor Day and we found plenty of Snapper Blues to keep a 5-year old busy (and his Grandpa too!) But the Bass and Bluefish action along the beaches is still pretty non-existent. There have been some big Bass taken in deeper waters on Bunker bait as well as bigger surface plugs. The pic below of the joyful angler was supplied by Captain Roger Gendron of Connecticut Island Outfitters firstname.lastname@example.org.But all-in-all, the big Bluefish seem to be missing in action, and the Albies and Bonito haven't made their appearances quite yet. Stay tuned!
As you're preparing for your fall trips, do stop by the shop and check out our amazing inventory of all the major brands including Ross, Aibel, Sage, Hardy, Nautilus, Lamson, Hatch, Tibor, Reddington, Scott, Simms, Winston, Loomis, St. Croix, Echo, Patagonia, Yeti, Fishpond, Rio, Airflow, Sci-Anglers, Cortland, and so many more! Looking for flies, fly-tying materials, tools and accessories? We have it all, including a dazzling selection of both saltwater and freshwater flies. If you're heading for warmer waters, we carry a full selection of flies for Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit and every other species around. And with fall rapidly approaching, check out our great selection of Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead patterns - many tied right here in the good ole' USA by master tier Mike Motyll!
Well, that's it for now! Here's wishing you tight lines, and I hope to see you on the water!