Hello Compleat Angler friends! Our local saltwater bite continues to be great for Bluefish and Bass, and we’ve seen some impressive fish being caught! The Bass blitzes are still going strong in Rhode Island off the beaches, but things are relatively quiet on the Montauk front for this time of year. For our local freshwater anglers the Mianus and Saugatuck were stocked, as was the Housatonic. For those looking to travel upstate the Steelhead fishing has improved with more numbers pushing into the river, so focusing on the lower sections should be the most productive. The Catskill flows are ideal for those looking to wade, with fish still rising. We hope everyone has a great Halloween, and you’re treated to some awesome fall fishing! Read on for more…
This week the Bass fishing has remained good around the beaches and breachways with plenty of surface action from Westerly to Newport. 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. The main forage has been young-of-the-year bunker and anchovies. These baitfish are small. There have been some scattered shots at Albies from shore, but the consensus is that the bite has been slowing down. If you manage to find some Albies 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. 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 for those fishing from shore. A wide variety of flies and colors will work early in the morning, but as the sun comes up in the afternoon, or it’s a calm day, it’s important 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. 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 Stripers. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for boat anglers. The night-time bite is by far the best with fish in the 30-inch range a common occurrence on fly. There are a ton of options whether you are fishing from shore or by boat.
This past week we have seen an improvement in our local rivers and ponds as more places were stocked. We have some much-needed water thanks to the rain, and conditions should start to clear up on the small creeks. Flows are slightly above average (the Saugatuck is running at 66.4cfs). The streamer fishing will be good thanks to the stocking, 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. While the water remains high, I recommend trying streamers, and you can get away with larger nymphs for the time being. 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 more recently another stocking on the Shetucket, with a couple more stockings planned. 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, etc., 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 or experiment with nymphs. On sunny days look for fish sunning themselves in the tail-out of pools which can be an awesome 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 Naugatuck has increased to 241cfs in Beacon Falls, which is still below the average (397cfs). 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.
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 have done the upper river as well, 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 and egg patterns as fish are getting ready to start spawning and are looking for a high calorie meal. The West Branch Riverton gauge is reading 178cfs from dam release with the Still adding 115cfs from our recent rain, and the water clarity is slightly stained but still fishable. The streamer fishing can be productive along the banks with the water levels up. For you dry fly anglers, the trout are continuing to rise and most hatches are occurring late morning into the afternoon. Look to fish Blue Winged Olives as the prevalent hatch, with small Caddis and a few Isonychia mixed in. Small flies down to size 24 seem to be the norm. Small nymphs will also 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 these days. 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.
Flows have been steadily rising from the rain to 1120cfs, so be careful wading out there. The fishing has been great since the stocking, and many of our anglers are using a variety of techniques to bring numbers of fish to hand, and streamers are producing exceptionally well. A variety of small nymphs are working, and guys are having success if they can keep their rig clear of debris. Focusing on areas by the park and TMA should result in some fish. The most prevalent hatch will be Blue Winged Olives, a few Isonychias, and small caddis. Again, focusing on your streamers (don’t be afraid to throw larger patterns) 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 amount of Tiger Tout. 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. Floating line with a popper can also work in shallower sections.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
There have been great and consistent 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.) and 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 our shore anglers looking to get into Bass, so search the coast line for birds and bait. 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, the Connecticut River, Cos Cob, etc. Our boat anglers are having good success near shore in coves and harbors, so there is no shortage of options right now. Fall weather windows can make things tough to get out there. I recommend choosing a day with a Westerly wind, keeping in mind your low wind speeds to make casting easier. Any decent effort to locate Stripers has a high probability of success. If you are running around this area this week, keep your eyes open for blitzes and/or birds working bait. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Salmon run has tapered off, yet anglers are still seeing some fresh kings entering the system this week. Most of the Salmon that are in the river are in spawning mode. The Steelhead fishing has been improving with more numbers of fish entering the lower system. For Steelhead focus on using egg and flesh patterns, and Egg-Sucking Leeches, as there are plenty of eggs in the system for the time being. For those still looking to get their last Salmon fix in, try fishing from Pineville to Altmar, and the fly zones, where there is the most concentration of them. Cohos are still being brought to hand. The tributaries are also producing. With the colder morning temperatures underway, make sure you have a good layering system and gloves to stay warm! The flows are currently 430cfs and holding, which is below the average. On the winder days the leaf hatch has become an issue, so try throwing colors that stand out in the mix of debris.
Warmer afternoons have kept the fishing consistent despite low water. West Branch flows are 287cfs at Hale Eddy, while the East is 618cfs at Fish’s Eddy. The Mainstem at Lordesville is flowing at 1230cfs, below the average. Low flows will make it easy for our wade anglers to access spots, however this makes conditions tough for those fishing out of a drift boat. 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 and Hebes in the mix. Look to fish Olive nymphs in size 18-24, as subsurface has been the most productive especially in the mornings. For our dry fly anglers try small Rusty Spinners and focus on the slower pools and tailouts this time of year during the afternoons. Be prepared to switch flies often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill have ideal flows for wading. 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, so definitely spend some time fishing the 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.
I wish I had some more positive news on the Montauk front, but the blitzes have been extremely tough to find. If you’re heading out there check the South side of the lighthouse for Bass and Bluefish chasing Peanut Bunker near the rips. Besides that, the Albies haven’t been seen with frequency. If I were making a decision to fish somewhere this week, I would recommend a more Western area of the sound. Otherwise search the rips for Bass pushing bait to the surface and try fishing the coves and flats. Sunny skies can result in some fun sight fishing opportunities! The bite will also pick up in the fall for Bass on the Northshore, and great fishing can be had in the evenings.
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