October 04, 2019 9 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! The word this week is that we're in a bit of a lull. We had been hoping that last weekend would bring a big push of Albies, especially with favorable tides and lots of bait, but things stayed middling. It seems this year was a bit of an off year for the most part. That said, anglers who are willing to work for it are still getting into some saltwater action. It's just not easy pickings. Fortunately, the trout fishing has started to pick up in earnest so you're not out luck if you want to get on the water. Read on for details...
Most of the true trout rivers across New York are now closed to all types of 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, 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!
No change for the Delaware. The fishing remains consistent. Ants are still taking fish and there will be Isos, Midges, Tricos, October Caddis, BWOs, and assorted caddis. The spinner fall has been strong with a lot of fish coming up during the late evening hours. For these larger flies, it seems that the Light Cahill is the hot fly. There are plenty of Cahills at the moment and the fish seem to be taking this fly a bit better than other bugs hatching in the evening. The next few weeks should see some great fishing but things are 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 BWOs but nymphs or streamers may be your best bet in the weeks to come.
Montauk is fishing well but the weather this past weekend kept a lot of anglers off the water. It was clear skies but the wind drove the seas up and it was pretty sloppy out there, especially Sunday. Reports are 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. This week saw an increase in False Albacore which was a welcome sight. You are almost guaranteed to find them but they are proving difficult to find in any real numbers. Some anglers have had great days on the water while others got skunked on hardtails. The Lighthouse still seems to be the hotspot. It is far and away the best spot in the immediate area and plenty of fish were caught there this week. It seems like things are improving after a week or so of tough fishing. 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 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. Having 3 fly rods rigged for each species and making the most of each pod of fish you find will ensure an action packed day. There are plenty of fish to be caught. 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 spending time working the Bass and Blues while keeping an eye out for those hardtails.
Nothing new on the Farmington. The fishing is still good and should improve as things cool off a bit and angling pressure subsides. A few larger fish being brought to hand but most of the fish are 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. The Farmington is fishing well and October is a great time to get out a get in some of the last fishing of the year.
As to be expected the Housatonic is fishing very well. The word is out and anglers from all over have descended on the stream to take advantage of the last month of good weather. The crowds were substantial this weekend but the fishing was great. Smallmouth and Pike are actively feeding as the water temperatures subside. The trout are happy and rising making the dry fly fishing probably the best in the state right now. Nymphs will take fish but why do that when the fish are coming up? The fish were on olives, hebes, and taking spinners in the evening. The Hebes were the hot fly but they were hitting emergers so make sure you have some wet flies. A dry dropper has been deadly we past few days with a hebe emerger as the trailer. You will see some Isos as well but that really depends where you are on the river. It seems the hatches are somewhat localized so make sure you have a bit of everything.
This week was more of the same for the Connecticut coast and 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. As the week progressed more fish began to show up. However, 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 Albies 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.
It has been feast or famine off of Rhode Island. Some fly rodders are catching plenty of Albies while others have had nothing to show for a full day on the water. These fish are spread out and it is all about covering water while the tide is moving. There is an element of luck right now as well. They don’t call them “Funny Fish” for no reason. Albies have their own agenda and many spots that typically hold Albies have been devoid of life. On the flip side areas that you would never expect to have fish, have fish this year. So, check the hot spots but don’t be afraid to ditch the game plan and try something totally different. Early morning and late afternoons are showing the most fish while a few mid-day pops are the norm. This week saw in influx of fish and the Albie fishing has been fairly good, especially in the past few days. They are still a bit scattered but this weekend should prove fruitful to those who give it a shot. If you plan on chasing Albies this weekend, you are almost guaranteed to find them between Watch Hill and Point Judith. Just cruise the coast and keep an eye out. But be prepared to do a lot of running and gunning. Block and Fisher’s have some good action too. Some of our customers are waiting for “the big push” but we recommend giving it a shot this weekend. You can’t wait forever and if we are in the midst of an off year, you may miss them all together. 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. Believe it or not, Bonito are still being caught off Rhode Island. They are hanging around longer than they typically do which may have to do with the number of fish around this year.
October is often a great month on the Deerfield and anglers are seeing quality dry fly action in the evenings. The river could use a little more water but it is still plenty fishable. Streamer fishing should pick up again in earnest and it's a great time to swing for big browns. Get it in now while you can!
The Cape has seen a bit of a lull recently. Striper fishing has slowed a bit and smaller schoolies seem to be the most prevalent. They are still up and blitzing but it is not what it was like a few weeks ago. A similar story with False Albacore. They are just not as prevalent as they were a few weeks back and for whatever reason, they are not grouped up in large numbers. It is smaller groups and they have quite finicky. However, fishing has improved quite a bit this week with a good push of fish late in the week. Be prepared to burn some fuel and cover a lot of water but you should be able to find fish fairly easily. There are also plenty of Bluefish around if you are looking to bend a rod. It seems like they are everywhere but nothing too big - Harbors and Cocktails mostly.
Same story for the Vineyard. Albie numbers had taken a nosedive and had been quite difficult to locate and even harder to hook. There were smatterings of fish here and there, but things really slowed down last week. Anglers were reporting quick pops of a few fish that rapidly exit the area. However, things have picked up slightly and an influx of fish this week saw plenty of fish caught. The last 3 or 4 days have been good with lots of fish popping in a variety of locations. It seems we are getting a good push of fish and this weekend should see some great fishing if the Easterly wind doesn’t mess things up too badly. Stripers and Blues are keeping fly anglers busy despite the smaller average size. Stripers over 30” are sparse but 20 to 25” fish are fairly abundant. Blues are of that Harbor/Cocktail variety and a good way to bide your time during weak tides or during the middle of the day.
Not much of a change from last week. We would say that Nantucket has the best Albie fishing in the Northeast at this point. It has been real hit or miss everywhere including the Montauk Light however, Great Point and the surrounding area has seen some good Albie fishing. We are seeing much more consistent fishing than elsewhere along the East Coast. It seems like on any given day the fish have been up and feeding well. For fly anglers, it has been far easier locating and hooking fish than it has farther to the West. Now is a great time to be out on Nantucket, that’s for sure. Stripers have been holding steady with blitzes a common occurrence in the mornings and afternoons. During the middle of the day the Blues have been keeping anglers busy with the occasional blow up of Albies. Shockingly, Bonito are still being taken with some regularity. They have stuck around late this year which has been a welcome surprise for fly anglers.