October 11, 2019 11 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! Our report is a bit sparser this week thanks to some tough weather that kept anglers off the water in many places. Wind and tide made for some serious swells borderline dangerous conditions in a few places, and we're keeping our eyes on the forecast for this weekend to see if things calm down a bit. Sunday looks the most likely, so fingers crossed. Fortunately, the trout fishing has been excellent, just as last week, and anglers coming back from the Housatonic in particular, have had glowing reports. So there are still some good angling options in the region. Read on for details!
Most of the true trout rivers across New York are now closed to all types Angling. There are a few exceptions such as Special Trout Management Areas, Great Lakes Tribs, and a few wild trout streams. However, as of October 1st, most of our favorite streams are closed and will not open again until April 1st. This gives the fish a much needed break during spawning and the hard months of Winter. Some streams will close the 15th so this will be the last weekend for many of the streams throughout the state, if you plan on fishing anywhere in New York State, be sure to look up the DEC regulations for that particular stream to avoid a fine or suspension of your license. We will be removing this section of the report after this week until rivers open back up. We hope you had a great season!
The Delaware is certainly winding down. We have about a month left before the fish become quite lethargic and begin to hunker down for the winter. The hatches are also subsiding quite a bit. There will be various caddis well into October as well as BWO. Nymphs have been taking quite a few fish and streamers have been very productive.
The West is very off-color and turbid making streamers really the only option. Some really nice fish have been caught recently using streamers, and that may be your best bet in the weeks to come. Keep in mind that the entire West Branch and much of East Branch will be closed on the 15th. If you plan on fishing the Delaware at any point past the 15th be sure to check the regs.
Montauk is fishing well but the weather this past week kept a lot of anglers off the water. The wind drove the seas up and it was pretty sloppy out there. A Northeast wind gusting to 46 knots with 12 to 14 feet seas was downright dangerous. Obviously, nobody fished Wednesday or Thursday. Friday was not much better. Things will begin to calm down this weekend. Before the weather deteriorated reports were the same as last week. Sporadic action. Albies were around but scattered, Stripers and Blues could be found blitzing along the beaches but with a smaller average size. False Albacore are proving difficult to find in any real numbers. Some anglers have had great days on the water while most anglers are finding it hard to locate them. The Lighthouse still seems to be the hotspot. It is far and away the best spot in the immediate area yet despite that fact, not much has been happening there. It seems like we are not going to get a break on Albies this year and are approaching the end of the run. Unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be somewhat of a bust year. The Bass have been smaller but numerous, and the Blues are the same thing. Lots of smaller fish. It seems like we are in a bit of a lull. With all of that said, the action is pretty consistent when combining all three species. The anglers who have been doing well are covering a lot of water, capitalizing on anything that pops up, and not leaving productive areas too soon. One thing that many anglers are doing is bypassing Stripers in hopes of Albies and if it is an off day then you could go home with a goose egg. Our recommendation is to spend time working the Bass and Blues while keeping an eye out for those hardtails. We recommend fishing elsewhere this weekend. You may be able to get out on Sunday but keep an eye on the forecast. And if you do plan on going be aware that there is a small craft advisory for Montauk and the surrounding area.
Our local streams across the state have been stocked and despite lower water early in the week the fishing has remained great. We had a good bump of much needed rain as well this week that improved the fishing as well. The Trout Management Areas are now catch and release, single hook, artificial only until the second weekend in April so if the poachers don’t get in and stripmine the rivers we could have a good long stretch of some great fishing. These stockie streams will fish well through the winter and it’s a great way to get out for a few hours will into December. Be mindful of the health of the fish and do your part to ensure a speedy release. That way we all have plenty of fish to catch all winter. The State has also begun to stock Broodstock Atlantic Salmon. Love them or hate them, both the Naugatuck and the Shetucket rivers have been stocked with the first run of fish. Typically a heavily poached fishery, the Atlantics normally don’t last long despite being a catch and release until December 15th. So, if you want to get in on the action and catch some fish over 5 pounds, and some that are much larger, now is the time. There are specific rules and regulations regarding the Atlantic Salmon so brush up on the regs before you head out. We recommend a 6, 7 or even 8wt for these fish. They jump, run, and fight pretty hard. They do all the things a wild Atlantic will do, just at half speed and for half as long. So make sure you bring the appropriate gear.
Same story on the Farmington as last week. The fishing is still good and should improve as things cool off a bit and angling pressure subsides. The rain this week bumped the water up a bit and the fishing responded accordingly. A few larger fish are being brought to hand but most of the fish are in that 11-14 inch range. Smaller dries such as caddis, BWOs and midges are taking their fair share of fish. Ants will take fish during the day and wets have been quite effective recently. There are still plenty of freshly stocked fish that have yet to fully grasp the difference between a junk fly and a natural food item so throwing those flies throughout the day should yield a few fish as well. As we settle into October the streamer bite will pick back up, especially if we get a good increase in CFS. So, keep an eye on those gauges. The Farmington is fishing well and October is a great time to get out a get in some of the last good fishing of the year.
The Housatonic is the place to be right now. Phenomenal fishing is being had by all. Dries, nymphs and streamers are all taking plenty of fish and 40 fish days are not uncommon for seasoned anglers. The leaves are changing and as Fall takes hold, beautiful scenery and pleasant temperatures make this river a truly enjoyable place to fish. The water bumped up with the recent rain but, as expected, subsided to nice wadable levels. Those anglers who have recently spent the day on the Housey are driving home with smiles on their faces. Crowds have been a little tough as the word is clearly out, but there is plenty of water to fish and plenty of fish to be caught. If you can get out on a weekday that is ideal. Trout are being taken on a wide variety of dries depending on the day. Blue Winged Olives, a few Isos, a few Light Cahills, and Hebes are hatching right now making them the go to flies this time of year. There are also assorted caddis hatching so having a few different sizes, patterns and colors is not a bad idea. But keep in mind that these should be your fall-back patterns. A Rusty Spinner in a size 12 or 14 fished in the evening has been productive. As far as nymphs go, there really isn’t one hot fly. The standard stuff will work as long as you have a few patterns and sizes to choose from. A beadhead caddis in tan s16 or 18, Pheasant Tail/Hare’s Ear sizes 12 to 18, a few smaller stonefly nymphs, and some junk flies thrown in will be all you need. Some smaller nymphs such as zebra midges and scuds in sizes 18 to 22 might be nice to have if the fish are picky that day.
This week saw more of the same for the Connecticut coast and most of Long Island Sound. There were some Albies caught over the weekend into this week. Fish were seen off of Middletown, Norwalk, and Old Saybrook but in small groups. The Long Island side seems to have more fish but they are not necessarily popping up in the same places every day. They could be anywhere on any given day and the anglers who have been hooking up are either burning a ton of gas or getting really lucky. This past weekend had fish at Port Jefferson but it was sloppy and getting on the fish proved difficult. Off Port Jeff the fishing improved throughout the week and fishing was much more consistent. Long story short, things are certainly picking up but the fish have been spread out. Many of our customers this week hooked up on multiple Ablies so they are definitely out there. Almost all of them were with spinning gear indicating they were having quick shots at smaller schools of fish. So be prepared for that. Check the typical spots but don’t be afraid to make big moves to locate them. The Bunker are as prolific as we have seen in a long time. You can’t run out there for more than 5 minutes without coming across a school. Few have any larger predatory fish on them however. Schoolie Stripers are still rocked up on structure but a few blitzes have been spotted in the early morning hours. Harbor and Cocktail Blues are all over the place so it would be good to bring an 8wt just to mess around while scanning for Stripers or Albies.
Well, nasty weather has kept all but the most determined anglers off the water. Winds out the Northeast gusting to over 30 knots and waves over 8 feet pretty much says it all. When the weather has calmed down a bit early morning and late afternoons have been showing the most fish activity while a few mid-day pops are the norm. That goes for Stripers, Blues and Albies. Albies have really not materialized whatsoever. They are still scattered and not nearly as numerous as they should be. This weekend should prove fruitful to those who give it a shot but expect to work for it. Block Island, Fisher’s, Point Judith and Watch Hill are good spots to check. We are in the midst of an off year, no doubt about it. And, in all likelihood, we are at the tail end of the run. We only have about 2 more weeks left if we are lucky. So, let’s hope the tail end of the run is strong. The Bass and Harbor Blues are pushing bait into the rips and along the beaches. The action has been good with some larger fish mixed in. Again, it seems that the early morning and late afternoon tide pushes are when everything is happening. If you are out this weekend we don’t recommend bypassing any surface activity. If you are dead set on finding Albies, more power to you but bypassing blitzing Bass or Blues may leave you with nothing more than an empty fuel tank. This is not a good year to be selective. Be opportunistic.
Trout fishing has been good in Western Mass over the past week, with good fishing on the Deerfield, Swift, and Millers, among others. We've heard pretty decent reports of good dry fly fishing in the afternoon, and streamers continue to be effective as well. Flows have generally been wade friendly across the board, offering anglers plenty of opportunities to cover water and find fish.
Unfishable conditions this week kept our reports to a minimum. Before the high winds and corresponding turbulent seas, the word on the water was much of the same. Some Albies around but not many. Schoolie Stripers could be found on the beaches in the mornings and evenings blitzing on bait. Blues are fairly prolific despite their small average size for the most part. I am sorry we do not have a better report. Not much has changed and the weather has kept everybody off the water. The weather forecast looks better-ish for next week.
Not much to report on the Vineyard. Weather has kept anglers off the water. Expect the same report as Cape Cod. There has been no significant changes to last week report aside from Albie numbers dipping back down. You still have a great shot at running into fish but they are spread out. Bass are still a viable option as are Bluefish.
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There are still some False Albacore hanging around and earlier this week numbers were strong. The weather has kept reports to a minimum. This weekend looks pretty nasty too so maybe take the weekend off. There are some Stripers being caught along the beaches in the mornings as are Harbor Blues. If you really have the itch to get out there, Sunday will be the day. Who knows what this weather will do to the Albie fishing. I would suspect that it won’t help things any but maybe it won’t affect anything. Fingers crossed.
Guide Nate Hill of Hill Country Guides has the latest from Maine and New Hampshire:
Well we had September for the record books as to very high numbers of fish landed on our floats. We had many days with multiple doubles to the net and 40 even 60 fish days were the norm. Now that October is here we are still getting high numbers of fish but we have also been getting into bigger trout. With water temps in the 50’s on almost all of our waters and rain bumping flows the larger browns and rainbows have awaken and our trophy trout trips are in full gear!
The epic Isonychia hatches are still coming off on warmer days and BWO’s have begun on our cooler days. We had rising fish yesterday but they were tough and we did better with nymphs. Fish have transitioned form the fastest water to mid depth and mid speed riffles. Streamers are beginning to become more important as well.
The Saco is getting a good bump of rain as I write this report. This means now is the time to throw big flies for big fish. If you are going to try this on foot a type five sink tip works great along with a 6 or 7wt high quality rod like the Helios 3D. From the boat we prefer full sink streamer lines like the Orvis Depth charge or Airflo streamer max. I like bright flies in brown trout colors this time of the year. A drunk and disorderly in orange, tan and yellow is hard to beat. Look up Mike Schmidt at www.anglerschoiceflies.com if you are looking to get your hands on some high quality brown trout streamers. I’ve been using his flies for years now and they move in the water just the right way to trigger the predatory instincts of alpha trout.
Guide Kyle Schaefer has the latest from Maine:
A Nor’easter has been cranking through Maine as of a couple days ago. Seas are up and messy but the storm moves out Saturday after several days of a hard east/northeast blow. Big Bass are still being caught in southern Maine and mackerel are still the top item on the menu for surface feeds. It’ll be anybody's guess what this storm does to the fishing but I am optimistic we’ll have a few more good productive fall days left before the weather continues to deteriorate.