Northeast Fishing Report: 10/8/21 - The Compleat Angler

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October 08, 2021

Greetings Compleat Anglers! This past weekend was the 2021 Tightlined Slam Tournament in Western Long Island Sound. Team Compleat Angler took the Striper on Fly division for another consecutive podium finish. Congratulations guys! The saltwater fishing has been very good across the board. Albies are still out East in good numbers and heading West. Rhode Island seems to be the epicenter of the action with Albies on both sides in strong numbers. Montauk has seen flurries of actively as well though a slower season so far compared to a normal year. The Stripers have been making a big showing recently as well and there lots of fish around in a range of sizes. They can be found on beaches, rock piles, blitzing on bait or in the back estuaries. The Striper fishing is heating up for sure. The Blues have been hit-or-miss but areas like Plum Gut have plenty of fish around. The trout fishing is trending well too, with cooler water, some rain, and recent stockings causing many trout anglers to breathe a sigh of relief. The Catskills, for example, are fishing very well and things are looking up across the board. Read on for more...

Pat Fowler Champion Striped Bass Tightlined Slam Tournament

Massachusetts

Albies are still around despite being pretty late in the season. I suspect they will not be around for much longer, however. Right now, any concerted effort to locate these fish should still pay off. Both the Vineyard and Nantucket still have some fishing hanging around even as the majority are pushing West. Bluefish have been prevalent around the Cape and Nantucket as well, mostly smaller fish with some bigger fish blitzing in the mornings and afternoons. The Stripers are still very much around and are fairly easy to pin down. Fishing structure during low light hours should prove fruitful and using full sinking lines and larger baitfish patterns will help take larger fish. 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, and the Bass have been blitzing more and 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. If you are fishing by boat your best bet is to run and look for birds, and if you are fishing from shore, you’ll want to check multiple spots on a falling tide.

Rhode Island

Saltwater

Well, after a two-week long lull with the Hardtails, they have come back. Clearer water and calm weather seems to have made all the difference. Wednesday of last week saw numbers of fish increasing and by the weekend it was a wide-open bite. The weather was not great but if you were able to get out there the fishing was very good. We had a small front move through on Monday and that seemed to slow things back down for a day or two but reports are that the False Albacore are still around. Stripers blitzes are going strong as well. It is looking good for Bass in the weeks to come. Bay Anchovies and Peanut Bunker are still the two primary forage species for Bass and Albies so be prepared with flies that mimic both. The Stripers in particular are very selective when they are on Anchovies so be sure to have small anchovy flies with you or risk blanking on an acre of Bass. Block Island seems to have slowed quite a bit. While there will still be some fish around, it is certainly time to look West for larger fish. They will be on the move and not so inclined to hold in one spot as they do in the Summer. So move around and check a lot of different locations keeping in mind that if a spot is devoid of fish one day, it could fish well the next. Your best bet will be to keep your head on a swivel and cover water. There should be plenty of opportunities out there. Having at least three rods rigged, one each for Blues, Bass, and Hardtails is a wise decision 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. The Fall run seems to be back on track and the Stripers will soon take center stage as the Albies depart the area.

New York

The Salmon River

We’re getting great reports from the Salmon River, and the Salmon run is on and in full swing! Everyone we have talked to has smiles on their faces, reporting awesome fishing. Good water levels have kept a steady stream of fish pushing upriver and making the fishing far better than this time last year which, if you remember, had very low water and tough fishing. The Salmon River is still running around 500 CFS. The Cohos took center stage last week. Lots of big silvers pushed up and anglers had a blast catching fish up to 15 pounds. Cohos tend to come in waves and can be very unpredictable so that was a welcome surprise. There are still plenty of Kings however. They are all the way from the mouth of the river to the upper fly. The freshest fish will be down in the lower stretches but there are plenty of fish all over. There have also been more and more Steelhead caught as well. While it is still quite early, this time of year always presents the possibility of catching some nice Steelhead. There have been quite a few larger browns taken as well, with fish over 28” being caught on a regular basis. Some Atlantics are being caught as well. Now is the time to get up there. If salmon is your target, there are only 2 weeks left! Giant egg style patterns or even bright streamers will work. Pinks, Chartreuses, Orange and Peaches are the colors widely regarded as the go-tos. This is a phenomenal fishery and a blast when the fish are running. Now is the time to begin heading up there. It’s game time in Pulaski!

The Delaware

The Mainstem is running around 4300 CFS and is now falling. The East is at around 2000, and the West Branch is at 1700 CFS as well. Too high to wade across the board but great news for drift boat anglers. With the higher water, I would expect the fishing to be quite good as the fish tend to let their guard down when the water goes up. Overcast or cloudy conditions are best. For flies, nothing has changed in the past week. BWOs are a strong contender for the most productive especially on cloudier days. Dropping down to size 18, 20, or 22 for the BWOs has been very effective of late. Iso Bicolor, Light Cahills, Hebes, Attenuatta and caddis will make up the majority of the rest of the insects coming off. The best practice is to be prepared with multiple sizes of multiple patterns with an emphasis on smaller sizes. Remember, low water and bright sun are the exact opposite of what you are looking for. Cloudy days and any dip in temperature are ideal. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. Location is key and making the right call on where to fish has been the key to success coupled with having a good selection of bugs. Cooler night time temperatures are also bringing that water temperature down so we will start to see more of a mid-day bite fairly soon.

Saltwater

It was a decent weekend off Montauk. While the weather deteriorated well past predicted conditions, if you were out there you probably had some decent fly fishing. False Albacore have been popping up all around the lighthouse. We are not seeing the huge blitzes we are used to but at least they are around. The fishing is certainly better than it was two weeks ago. The water seems to have cleared up and conditions have stabilized which is why things have been trending in the right direction. I would venture to guess that this weekend off Montauk should be pretty good for Hardtails. The Lighthouse will still be the epicenter of the action once the fish really show themselves. The rip that forms on the lighthouse will suck bait into it and Albies will be waiting to ambush them. There are high concentrations of fish here making them an easier target than in other areas. Aside from Albies, the Bass have been blitzing on peanuts and Anchovies as well. The bait is on the move, headed South for their migration. The Bass will intercept them and blitz on the surface making them easy targets for fly anglers with the right flies. There are some big fish tucking in tight recently too. The cooler water has allowed those fish to come right into the rock piles just off shore making them available to fly anglers. This weekend should be a good one weather-wise. There will most certainly be some Gator Blues in the area and the beaches will have Stripers on them as well. Remember that these fish are on smaller bait and having flies that match these anchovies, spearing, and silversides is key. These Stripers get very picky and will often not hit larger patterns.

Connecticut

The DEEP have stocked multiple rivers around the state of Connecticut. It is about 2 weeks earlier than usual making it a great early Fall fishing season thus far. No longer will you need to wait for the Housey to go down or slog it out on the hard-hit Farmy. There are many smaller rivers that have some great fly fishing opportunities right now. The only rivers that will get fish this Fall will be the Trout Management Areas and that is because they are all catch-and-release as of September 1st. They will remain that way until the second weekend in April, allowing anglers to catch and release trout all winter. As such, be vigilant and watch for poachers. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357. For flies, many of these fish will be very accommodating. Smaller streamers and junk flies are always a good starting point. If the fish are harder hit, smaller Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, and even midges can get those fish biting again. Cover water and once you locate a pocket of fish, work it and figure out what the fish are keying in on. There should be a few more stockings which will make for some great Fall fishing closer to home. Dust off those 3 weights, it’s Fall stockie season.

Farmington River

No change to the Farmington report. The impact of shocking efforts and dramatic water fluctuations have resulted in difficult fishing that continued this week. Most anglers we have talked to have been able to get a few fish to hand but all are reporting challenging conditions. The good news is the Farmington water temperature is slowly coming down. We are seeing a low of 65 degrees in the morning and a high of 68 later in the day. Not great but trending in the right direction. While it is still getting quite warm during the day, if the temperatures hold you could safely fish in the mornings. Just be very cognizant of your cut off times. I would say that if you are off the water by 12pm you would be within the bounds of ethical fishing. The DEEP cut the water way back for shocking, so the Farmy is running around 440 out of the dam with the Still putting in another 75. That is just about ideal. The DEEP also recently stocked the Farmington in the C&R section so if stockie bashing is your thing that would be a good spot to check out. 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 one 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. The hatches are lackluster at this point with some assorted caddis, BWOs, midges, and maybe flying ants. Nymphs will most likely be your best option, and smaller patterns like midges. We still recommend waiting a few weeks to let the flow return to normal and allow the fish to settle back. But if you absolutely have to go fishing, then as long as you are off the water by 12 you should be ok.

Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

Housatonic River

The Housy is running around 4000 CFS. While that is too high to wade, it should come down soon. The water temperatures are close to appropriate for trout fishing. 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 once the river gets below 1000 CFS. Larger nymphs such as mops and assorted junk flies should work well too. Cooler temperatures have resulted in an uptick in Pike and Smallmouth activity over the past week. The Smallies have been very active. Good water levels (albeit high) have kept the bass happy. Streamers fished on sink tips and full sink lines have been taking quite a few fish. The largest bass have been below the TMA however there are a lot of fish above that despite their smaller size. We are also right on the cusp of some really good fly fishing for Northern Pike. As the water cools down, the fishing will steadily improve. The fish will become more active and when conditions are right, the odds of success will be high. The bite window is still very much mornings and afternoons however, though that will begin to change as the water temperatures drop. It will become more of a mid-day bite later in the Fall.

Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

This past weekend was the Tightlined Slam Tournament in the Western Sound. Team Compleat Angler took the Striper on the Fly Division for a second consecutive podium finish. Thank you to Taylor for putting together this tournament which supports a great cause.

Tightlined Slam Tournament - The Compleat Angler Team

The fishing in the Sound was pretty good this weekend. There were lots of Stripers around and some really nice sized fish. They are currently up on any structure with good water depth around it. Some fish over 40” are around but you will need to work for them. From the beaches and from shore, the Striper fishing is improving. The cooler water temperatures are driving fish in tight and pushing bait into feeding zones. The next few weeks should see some of the better fishing we have all year. The Fall Run is happening and now is the time to get on the water. Blues have been few and far between. Some smaller 20-25” fish have been taken around Stratford Shoals but larger fish have been almost nonexistent in the Western Sound. Out East toward the Race, larger Blues and Bass are more prevalent, as are the Albies. False Albacore have been found from Niantic to Stratford as well. This week especially we have heard multiple reports of lots of them West of Middle Grounds. Out toward the mouth of the Housatonic is probably a good place to start looking. Numbers seem to be pretty darn good with few boats on them. At this point, any concerted effort to locate Albies in the Western sound should pay off. A few fish have been caught off Penfield Reef as well. Your best bet for the next week or so is to keep an eye out for any surface activity. This time of year, you never know what you could run into. Definitely keep 3 fly rods rigged for all 3 species.

Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.


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