Happy October Compleat Anglers! High winds last week kept a lot of our anglers off the saltwater, but the good news is this week the weather is shaping up to get out there! We have had some stellar Albie fishing in the Sound this season, and sometimes after high winds the Albies will start to feed heavily if the bait is still out there. Striper fishing also continues to impress. Out east the Albie fishing has been consistent, and should only get better as October progresses and the majority of the fall run arrives. Trout fishing on the Housatonic is great, streamer season is underway, and we have been seeing a good hatch of Isonychia. Delaware river flows have increased, and more fish are being brought to hand fishing streamers. The dry fly fishing continues to be good on the Farmington, and with recent stockings many anglers have been getting into fish. The Salmon river has seen the majority of the fish concentrated mid-river, but there are pods of kings still trickling in daily. An occasional steelhead or brown has also been reported. Hopefully everyone has been having a great fall season, as now is the time to get out there with numerous options and techniques. No change yet on our local small streams, but the rain has brought some much-needed water to these systems. Read on for more…
Rhode Island is the place to be for Hardtails, and the bite continues to be good. The False Albacore are in thick and peppered all over the place. Shore-based fly anglers have been getting into fish by blind casting the jetties. Boat anglers have also been having a ton of success. We are hearing of double digit days from pretty much everybody so the bite is wide open! There have been a few hot-spots and if you locate one of these it is almost a guarantee you will find them. Now is the time to be putting some hours on the engine and hunting down some hardtails. This upcoming week we’re looking at an improvement in the weather with more manageable winds. 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. The main forage has been young-of-the-year bunker and anchovies. These baitfish are small. By that I mean an inch or less, so smaller albie-style flies are key. These fish have been super picky and will not hit anything larger. You must “match the hatch” perfectly here to have any shot of a hookup. I can’t stress that enough. Good spots to focus on are the mouths of bays and inlets, as well as jetty walls. As we know, the Fall can be fickle, but the weather has been improving for this upcoming week. 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, 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. 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 boat anglers. So, if a big Blue on the fly is what you are after, give Rhody a shot. The key is locating larger bait. There is so much small bait along the coast that going further out will put you in range of larger bait that these fish are feeding on. The beaches have also been producing. Again, during the low light hours. 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 off Rhody at the moment. Whether from shore or boat, the fishing is great right now.
With the lowering temperatures of fall officially underway, Connecticut Fish and Wildlife have stocked Atlantic salmon on the Naugatuck and Shetucket. Trout fishing should also start to improve in these areas. Since these fish are recently stocked, try a variety of flashy streamers and wooly buggers in pink and purple, as well as your traditional salmon patterns: Blue Charms, Grey Ghosts, ect. 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-outs of pools for a fun 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 has jumped up to 191cfs in Beacon Falls. As a reminder, the 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 on the Farmy, with some having a tougher time than others. DEEP stocked the river between New Hartford and Unionville, so try fishing junk flies in this section until the fish become educated. Think wooly buggers, mop flies, and general attractor nymphs with hotspots. Now is a great time to fish streamers too as the fish are getting ready to start spawning and are looking for a high calorie meal. The West Branch Riverton gauge is reading 68.9cfs with the Still adding 144cfs and dropping. For you dry fly anglers, trout are continuing to rise, and the majority of the hatches are occurring in the late morning and 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 also a factor. Ants and Beetles are taking fish along the heavily wooded banks, so definitely have those in the box. 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. The conditions are good this week, with air temperatures around the mid-60s. Once the leaf fall starts this can make conditions tough, as there is a lot of debris in the water. We are hearing that the crowds have picked back up and that finding a decent spot to fish can be an issue, especially on weekends. I would recommend getting to a favorite spot early in the morning to find good water or try fishing a weekday if you have the chance. Remember to not high or low hole anyone. Many anglers may be dry fly fishing and could be fishing 50 feet up and down from where they are standing. So, when in doubt ask them what their game plan is and see if it is ok to slide in above or below. 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.
The Housatonic is at a good wadeable flow at 1380cfs. However, be mindful of the flows when you decide to go, because the water has been on the rise. Temperatures have lowered enough to push the surviving trout out of the thermal refuges. The fishing has been great since the stocking, and many guys are using a variety of techniques to bring good numbers of fish to hand and streamers are producing exceptionally well. Focusing on areas by the park and TMA should result in some fish. The 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 and Isonychias. There have been some great Isonychia hatches now so definitely have some in your box. Terrestrials are also still around so it would be wise to carry some ant patterns with you. 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.
With high wind this past week, not many of our anglers have been able to get out on the salt. Some bluefish are being caught, and there have been scattered reports of Albies. You will need to motor around quite a bit to locate them but if you burn enough fuel, you should be able to find them. We have some great weather in store this week to get out on the sound. Sometimes after stormy weather the Albies will be feeding heavily. Larger bass activity has been reported, especially during the evenings. The back bays and salt ponds should see plenty of fish pushing in on the rising tide and feeding on the falling, with the primary forage being peanut bunker and bay anchovies. At night look to stand out and fish some darker and larger flies, your EP Peanut Butters in purple and black, as well as a Black Tabory Snake Fly. Dawn and Dusk have been great producers so time those with the falling tide and you should have good shot at locating feeding Stripers. Some days are good while others are a bust, but in general the fishing has been consistent. There has also been increased surface activity early in the mornings with smaller fish blitzing on Silversides and other assorted small bait. That is especially true out toward Niantic where the fishing is significantly better than the Western Sound. There are a ton of Albies out there right now. There have also been some Bluefish in the mix. Some smaller harbor Blues have mixed in with the Bass blitzes and larger Gators out in the middle. It seems that the Larger Blues have increased in number over the past few weeks and have been providing some exciting tease-and-switch action. 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. The Bonito have shown up in Connecticut in stereotypically sporadic fashion, but overall in low numbers. Out toward Niantic they have been more prevalent but there were fish this week off Darien and Greenwich so keep those 9 or 10wts ready with some Albie-style flies. If you are running around this area this weekend, keep your eyes open for blitzes. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Salmon are running up the rivers and the long-awaited season has certainly started. Kings, and more recently Cohos have been taken in the past 3 weeks, with the last week really seeing a good push of fish that have spread throughout the system. Some pods of fish are sporadically moving up the lower section, but not too much activity has been reported in the estuary. There was a lot of activity last week with the increase in flows, but now a lot of those fish are staging mid-river, with the Pineville gauge reading 603cfs. Focusing on this section is your best bet for salmon. However, the run is not over and there are still pods pushing up the lower sections. Steelhead are also starting to run too, with reports of hookups in the lower section of the river, as well as an occasional brown trout being brought to hand. If you do decide to head up to the Great Lakes, any of the tributaries should have fish in them at this point. Average flows have opened up most of the river for easy wading. A wide variety of Egg flies and Woolly Buggers will take fish. Larger and brighter is better, especially for kings. Now is the time to start stocking up/tying your steelhead patterns such as Estaz Eggs in a variety of colors and Stoneflies. The fishing will continue to build until mid-October so now is the time to get in on the action. Look to transition to steelhead from mid-October and into the winter. For our serious winter anglers having a good pair of half-finger gloves is a must!
Steady rain this past Wednesday has increased the flows a bit, with the Mainstem at Lordesville reading 1750cfs. West Branch flows are at 351cfs at Hale Eddy and dropping, while the East is 584cfs at Fish’s Eddy. In general, the most prevalent hatches continue to be BWOs, while the larger bugs hatching are Isonychias and Cahills. There will be varying degrees of hatches depending on what system you are on. Look to fish Olive nymphs in size 18-24, as well as the larger Stonefly nymphs . For our 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 been prevalent and can often take fish when nothing else will. As such, you will want to bring a good variety of files and be prepared to switch often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill temperatures have improved for trout, and both have seen an increase in flows. 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 sinking lines, even in lower flows. For our wading anglers using trout spey rods, now is a great time to swing larger patterns.
We have some great weather in store for this upcoming week in Montauk. 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. Bass foams are still occasional at best but look for more consistent Bass blitzes as October progresses. Those fish will start to push in and take over where the Albies left off. The name of the game is covering ground to find the schools. While there are plenty of fish scattered all over the New York coast, the epicenter of the action will be out toward the Hamptons and Montauk where the water is colder thanks to the cold evenings. 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 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. 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 as well for sight fishing opportunities. Most of the larger fish seem to be taken by boat anglers as these fish are usually 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. The forecast looks good for the weekend so this will be a great time to capitalize on the late Summer bite. The most dramatic change has been the arrival of the smaller bait that is now very prevalent off of Montauk. The Bass have been on them and throwing a fly that is very close to a natural baitfish has been absolutely critical. A fly 1 inch in length or less is an absolute must.
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