October 21, 2022 10 min read

Hello Compleat Angler friends! The local saltwater bite has been hot, with plenty of Bass and Bluefish near shore. This past week we’ve been seeing bigger bass in the mix in the 40” range, with bluefish up to 12-15 lbs. Now is a great time to pick a day with ideal winds and get out there, the water temperatures are ideal! The other significant improvement has been on the freshwater side, and CT DEEP has been stocking more of our local rivers and ponds. For anglers traveling to the Great Lakes, the salmon runs are tapering off but Steelhead season is starting in earnest. Overall, the flows are looking more ideal for wading this week, and the water clarity is improving, especially on the Housatonic. With colder morning temperatures look for prevalent hatches during the afternoons on most of our rivers. Read on for more…

Rhode Island

The fall run continues to be good in Rhode Island, with lots of opportunity to catch Bass and Bluefish close to the beaches and breachways. Striper blitzes and rafts feeding on tiny bait have been a regular occurrence in the mornings and afternoons, and this week we are hearing reports of bigger bass being brought to hand (Cape Cod has been seeing some of these larger bass as well). The main forage has been small young-of-the-year bunker and anchovies. There have been some scattered shots at Albies from shore, but boat anglers are having the most success. These fish have been super picky and are on small bait. You must “match the hatch” perfectly here to have any shot of a hookup, I can’t stress that enough. The Bass will be more forgiving with fly selection, but size is more important for those Albies. Good spots to focus on are the mouths of bays and inlets, as well as the jetty walls. October is the bulk of the migration so now is the time to get out there. A wide variety of flies and colors will work early in the morning, but as the sun comes up in the afternoon, or if it’s a calm day, make sure to downsize your fly. Everything from smaller Deceivers, Surf Candies, to Bonito Bunnies will work so don’t be afraid to experiment, the fish will tell you what they want. Back to the Stripers, the salt ponds, inlets, and back bays are still producing good numbers of fish. This is a great time of the year to sight fish for Stripers on sunny days. Block island has been seeing some gator blues, as well as some large Albies. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for the boat anglers. The night-time bite is by far the best with fish in the 30-inch range a common occurrence on the fly. There are a ton of options off Rhody at the moment. Whether from shore or boat, the fly fishing is great right now.


Local Rivers

This past week we have seen an improvement in our local rivers and ponds and more places were stocked. We also have some much needed water thanks to the rain, so conditions should be clearing up on the small creeks. Happily, the state has also started their Fall stocking programs. The streamer fishing will be good, so try some wooly buggers, as well as a variety of nymphs. Once the fish become educated, fishing things like smaller 18-20 zebra midges will help your catch rate. For our Stillwater folks, a lot of the ponds have been stocked, which means now is a great opportunity to take the kids fishing.


With the lowering temperatures of fall officially underway, Connecticut Fish and Wildlife stocked Atlantic salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket. The Naugatuck and Shetucket were also stocked with trout. Since these fish are recently stocked, try a variety of flashy streamers, hot spot nymphs, mops, and so forth until the fish become educated. For Atlantic Salmon try wooly buggers in pink and purple, as well as your traditional salmon patterns: Blue Charms, Grey Ghosts, etc. The fish will vary in size from five to ten pounds. We recommend a 9’ 6-8wt rod with a sink tip line or polyleader to get the fly into their zone. For those of you that aren’t new to the Atlantic Salmon game, fish them like you would any other Atlantic salmon fishery, but don’t be afraid to upsize your fly experiment with nymphs. On the sunny days look for fish sunning themselves in the tail-out of pools for some sight fishing opportunity. An increase in flows will tend to spread these fish out. During the colder mornings, a slowly swung streamer is a good strategy. The water is down to 150cfs in Beacon Falls, and is now running at average flows. As a reminder, fishing is catch and release until 12/6 with a single hook fly. Please report any poaching to law enforcement, 860-424-3333.

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Farmington River

The fishing continues to be good, with some having a tougher time than others. DEEP stocked the river between New Hartford and Unionville, and now they’ve also done the upper river, so try fishing junk flies in these sections until the fish become educated. Think wooly buggers, mop flies, and general attractor nymphs with hotspots. Now is a great time to fish streamers as fish are getting ready to start spawning and looking for a high calorie meal. The West Branch Riverton gauge is reading 85cfs from dam release with the Still adding 50.6cfs so the water is clearing. For you dry fly anglers, trout are continuing to rise, and most hatches are occurring late morning into the afternoon. The Isos and Cahills have been trickling out in the C&R section and popping in the late afternoon. You can expect fish to be rising in the mornings on BWOs and assorted small caddis. Small flies down to size 24 seem to be the norm. Terrestrials are tapering off this time of year though small nymphs will continue to produce. For our Trout Spey anglers, swinging wet flies can be productive, but don’t be afraid to throw larger intruder style patterns. There is no shortage of options as far as techniques go. With the colder mornings, try fishing streamers and nymphs until most of the hatches start up in the afternoon. Once the leaf fall starts this can make conditions tough, as there is a lot of debris in the water. I would recommend getting to a favorite spot early in the morning to find good water or try fishing on a weekday if you have the chance. Brown trout are starting to spawn now so please be mindful to stay clear of lighter colored patches of gravel, which are their spawning beds (redds). Remember to not high or low hole anyone. Let’s be respectful to other anglers. Good luck! Keep in mind: Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

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Housatonic River

Flows are dropping on the Housatonic and clearing, which is allowing for more wadeable flows at 1360cfs. However, still err on the side of caution when wading. The fishing has been great since the stocking, and many of our anglers are using a variety of techniques to bring good numbers of fish to hand, and streamers are producing exceptionally well. A variety of small nymphs are working, and guys are having success as long as they can keep their rig clear of debris. Focusing on areas by the park and TMA should result in some fish. Bass fishing continues to be good, so now is a great time to fish for both species. The most prevalent hatches will be Blue Winged Olives emerging and Isonychias. Again, focusing on your streamers and nymphs during the colder portions of the day is a good strategy, and look for rising fish in the afternoon. Our anglers have reported that the state has stocked a significant number of Tiger Trout. Now that the temperatures are dropping and with the anticipation of winter it’s a good time to think about Pike fishing. These fish should be aggressive so look for them in coves with weed beds, as well as ledges. 8-10wt rods are standard with some form of sinking, intermediate, or sink tip line with a large streamer. Some good flies are Flashtail Whistlers, larger EP Flies, and Deceivers. A floating line with a popper can also work in shallower sections.

Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

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For our anglers fishing in the annual Tightlined Slam Tournament for the Western Sound portion, we hope you had a fun weekend of fishing! If you haven’t heard of this tournament, there is both a Western and Eastern sound division held at different dates. Both tournaments are dedicated to raising money and awareness for the conservation of our fisheries and marine resources. Check them out at www.tightlinedslam.com.

There have been great reports of Stripers and Blues in our area, with some of our anglers getting into occasional Albies towards the middle of the sound. Plenty of Bass are being found nearshore on a variety of bait (peanut bunker, bay anchovies, ect.) with some quality fish brought to hand. Larger Bass of 40 inches and over are being found in some of the blitzes near shore, with the majority of Bluefish being found in deeper water around the 12-15 pound range. This is good news for shore anglers looking to get into Bass. Be mindful of your tides, and fishing near lowlight hours (dusk and dawn) will bring the most success. Some hotspots right now are the shorelines around Southport, the Norwalk Islands, near the mouth of the Housatonic, and the Connecticut River. Again, lower light hours are key so get up early or stay out late. It makes a big difference. Tidal fluctuations are also becoming far more important. The strongest tides of the month are when you should really be focusing your attention for shots at larger fish. However, as long as the water is moving, you will have feeding Stripers (provided you are in the right area). Any decent effort to locate Stripers has a high probability of success (just remember that it may take considerable effort to locate them). If you are running around this area this weekend, keep your eyes open for blitzes and/or birds working bait. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

New York

Salmon River

The flows have dropped to 430cfs at the Pineville gauge. Not much to report in the lower section, with the occasional fresh couple of fish entering the system. It seems most of the King run has tapered off and now anglers are switching over to Steelhead. The lower river has been seeing a few fish, as well as a couple of Atlantics brought to hand and the occasional Brown Trout. Most of the Salmon that are in the river are in spawning mode. For Steelhead, focus on using egg and flesh patterns, as there are plenty of eggs in the system right now. For those still looking to get their last Salmon fix in, try fishing from Pineville to Altmar as well as the fly zones, where there is the most concentration of them. Cohos will still be mixed in with them too. The tributaries are also producing and are worth a look. With the colder morning temperatures underway, make sure you have a good layering system and gloves to stay warm!

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The Catskills

Flows have been receding from the most recent rain. West Branch flows are at 223cfs at Hale Eddy, while the East is 3618cfs at Fish’s Eddy which has received most of the rain. The Mainstem at Lordville is flowing 1040, slightly below the average. In general, the most prevalent hatches continue to be BWOs in the afternoon. There will be varying degrees of hatching depending on what system you are on with some Isonychia in the mix. Look to fish Olive nymphs in size 18-24. For dry fly anglers, Olives in the same sizes are most of the hatch, with a few Isonychia, Cahills, and Caddis popping towards the evening. Flying Ants have tapered off. As such, you will want to bring a good variety of files and be prepared to switch flies often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill still have high water for wading but are shaping up. The Catskills are a great option right now as the fall progresses. Another positive is that crowds seem to be dwindling. The streamer fishing has started to pick up as well so definitely spend some time fishing those sinking lines, even in low clearer flows. For our wading anglers using Trout Spey rods, now is a great time to swing larger patterns. Fishing streamers and nymphs in the morning is a good tactic until the hatches become prevalent in the afternoons.

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Again, Albies have been hit or miss, but the mornings have been the best. Some mornings the fish have been up and down quickly crashing on bait, so if this is the scenario, instead of running and gunning, wait for the fish to come to you. 10wt rods are the standard out here, with either full intermediate or sinking lines. Bluefish are also in decent numbers along the north side. The North Rips by the lighthouse and Gardner’s Island are the two hot-spots that historically get the highest concentrations of fish. Be sure to check the other rips that form when the tide starts moving. The Albies have been on small Anchovies, around 1” in length, but as the season progresses look to throw adult Anchovy imitations. The Long Island side of the Sound seems to be turning on out toward Orient Point. Fisher’s Island has a ton of bay anchovies with Bass feeding on the surface, so your best bet is to check the coves that have a good push in tide tight to the shoreline. The bass are starting to push in and take over where the Albies left off. The name of the game is covering ground to find the schools. Montauk has proved to be tough this past week in terms of weather windows and concentration of Albies, but the Albies remain over by the lighthouse. The Stripers are moving inshore and offshore to feed on the numerous baitfish species abundant in the area at the moment. The key is to fish during low light hours. These fish are far more active at night. You can get Schoolies throughout the day but those fish over 30” really begin to shut down when the sun gets high. When it comes to flies, try black and purple for low light conditions and all white, tan/white, and olive/white for brighter conditions. You will certainly want some very small patterns if you do find those larger Bass Blitzes as they are almost certainly on micro-bait. The beaches are seeing good action in the mornings and afternoons. The salt ponds and inlets are also a very good option for sight fishing as well. Most of the larger fish seem to be taken by boat anglers as these fish are hanging around deeper structure. Teasing fish up with a popper and then throwing the fly has been the most productive way to get these fish.