Greetings Compleat Anglers! Well this weeks' fishing report is going to be a bit shorter than usual, given all of the rain and wind we've had in the Northeast. Not surprisingly, most of our trout rivers have been blow out from here all the way up to the Great Lakes. Check out those gauges below, which will tell you the story in an instant. With more rain in the forecast you'll want to keep an eye on those flows and we'll see how much things are able to settle over the weekend. Saltwater anglers haven't fared much better on account of the wind, and we've had few reports this week. A few intrepid souls have braved the conditions and managed a few fish for their efforts, but most anglers have been waiting things out until the wind dies down and the fish regroup a bit. Here are the details.
The cape and south shore got hit pretty hard by the recent noreaster, which left many people without power. As such, fishing took a bit of a backseat and reports are thin. As we wrote last week, the Albies were really on the way out and the storm may have been the final buzzer on this season's push of fish. We'll see. Fortunately, there should be some decent striper action to fill the void once the conditions settle down again, and excellent post-storm fishing has been a bit of a pattern over the last few seasons. Expect smaller fish around with some bigger fish blitzing in the mornings and afternoons. Fishing structure during low light hours will prove fruitful and as always, run around looking for Blitzes. Full sink lines and larger baitfish patterns will take larger fish if you are fishing from a boat. Rock piles, rips, and beaches will find lots of smaller Bass feeding on small bait. Poppers have been taking fish in the mornings off the beaches. The Bass have been blitzing more frequently as well. They are being found all around the Cape, feeding on bait. Early morning and late afternoon have been the most productive. Your best bet is to run and look for birds if you are fishing by boat. The other option will be to check multiple spots on a falling tide if you are fishing from shore. Beaches and back bays are putting up good numbers of Stripers as the water cools, but don’t spend too much time in one spot if you don’t get on fish. Bass are on the move and could be there one day, gone the next. Move around until you locate some fish. Keep an eye on the forecast too which is showing signs of more rain and wind. Stay safe out there!
Last week we wrote that the Striped Bass have taken center stage, and that's likely to remain the case once conditions settle down again. The Albies had been making a bit of a comeback, but we've likely seen the last good window for hardtails. Fortunately, the striper blitzes should pick up again. The Western end of Rhode Island around Watch Hill had been the hot spot with large concentrations of Peanut Bunker so we'll have to see if that materializes again. The tease-and-switch around rock piles in the mornings and afternoons had been moving some 30 pounders on the right day, so that should be worth a shot again too. Larger Bluefish have been a bit scarce. A real shame as there should be Gators blitzing in every mooring field and harbor along the coast this time of year. The Race has been the most constant location for larger Blues as of late, but these fish are pushing West as well. Expect to find them blitzing in deeper water as they work around Long Island or down the Long Island Sound. Your best bet will be to keep your head on a swivel and cover water. There should be plenty of opportunities out there as long as the wind allows. Have at least 3 rods rigged, one each for Blues, Bass, and Hardtails as you could run into all of the above on any given day. Especially if it is a tough day, you will not want to pass up any opportunities you come across, regardless of species. Making the most of the weather windows, and not passing up on every available opportunity will make the season. We are approaching the end of Fall run, so make the most of the next week or so. It will be over before you know it.
Last week marked the end of the salmon run in the Great Lakes, and we were bemoaning how quickly it goes. Of course, this week we had an entirely different challenge with blown out conditions being the culprit. Mid-week saw CFS top the 2,000 threshold, and it has stayed high in the intervening days. Not surprisingly that has made for very tough conditions with few reports, though we had started to get word on anglers having more run-ins with steelhead. While the main push of Steelhead will be mid-November, you can always get in on some early season action if you have a hankering to get up there. Just expect to work for them. We had also been hearing reports about anglers getting very large browns with surprising regularity in the lower and middle sections. This is shaping up to be a great year for big, lake-run browns. The story over the next few days will be all about the flows and the weather, and how quickly things are able to drop into more comfortably fishable conditions. As usual after high water, the fish may have moved around quite a bit, so we'll just have to see how things shake out. Keep an eye on the forecast and on those gauges.
A short report this week, as the Mainstem crested 30,000 CFS (!!!) and the West Branch topped out at 8,000 at the height of the storm. Fortunately, levels are steadily dropping back into more fishable levels and the weather cooperates anglers should be back in business shortly.
As we have been reminding folks, new regulations have made it possible to fish after the October 15th closing date so long as it is done on a catch-and-release basis. While the fishing can be challenging at times, it's a wonderful opportunity to spend time on the river with great foliage and fewer crowds. As conditions settle down a bit, we expect things to pick up more or less where they left off. BWOs are a strong contender for the most productive, especially on the cloudier days. Dropping down to size 18, 20, or 22 for the BWOs had been very effective pre-storm. Light Cahills, Hebes, Attenuatta, and caddis will make up the rest of the insects coming off. The best practice is to be prepared with multiple sizes of multiple patterns with the emphasis on smaller sizes. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. As the cooler night time temperatures bring the water temperature down, we will start to see more of a mid-day bite.
We'll have to see how things fare off Montauk once the weather is more accommodating. Will the storm push the bait out, or bring it in? We'll find out shortly. As we wrote last week it has been a tough year off Montauk for Albies and we've likely seen the end of things on that front. However, the Bass and Blues should make up for it, as they were blitzing on Peanut Bunker and Anchovies all over the point and the surrounding area before the storm. As the bait move south the fishing may get tougher but if we get decent weather it should be well worth getting out there. There should be some Gator Blues in the area as well. You just need to be willing to move around. Sitting in one spot hoping for something to happen can pay off, but it seems that the anglers who are doing very well are the ones that are covering water.
The local and smaller streams had been going strong but have been thoroughly blown out. Best to wait and let things settle before getting out there again.
Rain, rain, rain, that's been the story on the Farmington this week. We've got high flows which will make the angling very tough until things drop so keep an eye on the gauges. As we noted last week, the DEEP also stocked the Farmington recently in the C&R section, so if stockie bashing is your thing, that would be a good spot to check out when things settle. Your best bet for wild or holdover fish (really anything over 15 inches) would be to fish above the Still or below Halfords. Greenwoods or the Boneyard will be the better options down lower. Just remember that the farther down you go, the warmer the water. Down below Satan’s Kingdom will typically have some bigger fish this time of year as that water cools. Not a well-known spot by most, some of the largest fish come out of here each year. A little PSA about the Farmy: The Browns and the few Brookies will begin spawning any day now. They have certainly already begun to stage and pair up. If you have any respect for this fishery and the wild Browns that this river is famous for, then it is best to leave the fish alone. If you see a Redd, move on. If there is an area where you know spawning is occurring, give it a wide birth. We see it every year. Short-sighted anglers targeting spawning fish for the hero shots on Instagram. While I understand that these big fish are tempting to target, it’s pretty lame to actually do so. Be smart and just leave spawning fish alone. If you see someone ripping fish off Redds, give them a friendly reminder that they could be single-handedly preventing the creation of hundreds of wild Brown Trout by disturbing fish while they spawn.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housy is running around 3,000 CFS which will mean patience on the part of anglers. Some of the smaller tributaries may be a better bet until the flows drop a bit. The DEEP has also stocked the TMAs last week and that should result in some darn good fly fishing once it does. Remember it is catch and release only. Water temperatures are looking good as well. They are in the mid to low 60s. At this point, as long as you handle fish with care you should be alright to fish. I would recommend streamers if you plan to fish this week. The fresh fish should be more than happy to whack a well fished streamer. Junk flies under indicators will be very effective as well. These larger “nymphs” such as mops, worms, eggs, and weenies will almost certainly take fish for the next few weeks. I would say that as long as you stay sub-surface and have a decent presentation, the fishing should be lights out. Cooler temperatures have resulted in an uptick in Pike and Smallmouth activity over the past week. The Smallies have been very active. Streamers fished on sink tips and full sink lines have been taking quite a few fish. The largest bass have been below the TMA, but there are a lot of fish above the TMA despite their smaller size. The Pike had become much more active before the storm so we'll have to see how things shake out next week. Now is a spectacular time to fish the Housy once the flows cooperate as it's a beautiful river this time of year.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
Not much to report this week on account of the poor weather as wind kept most anglers off the water. Before the storm, the Albie fishing had been very good and the Striper fishing had been outstanding both in numbers and size. The bass had been up on structure with good water depth around it and from the beaches and from shore it had been about as good as you could ask for. The cooler water temperatures had been driving fish in tight and pushing bait into feeding zones. We will have to see what impact the storm has and whether it spreads things out and pushes the action further south. With any luck we'll still have good fishing post-storm and some nice weather windows to take advantage of.