November 25, 2022 9 min read

Happy Thanksgiving Compleat Angler friends! We hope you are all enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season paired with some good company and food! If you’re able to sneak out in between the festivities, the most notable fishing is our local saltwater bite, especially near Stratford and the Housatonic river where Bass have been feeding heavily. Westport and Norwalk coves have also been fishing steadily. Weather windows have proved tough to get out there, so a little forecast planning can go a long way. The freshwater scene is all about the Blue Winged Olives now and into winter, and the average fly size has been #20-26. Focus on the afternoon hours and into the evening if you’re planning on some dry fly action. Otherwise, streamers and nymphs will continue to produce. Read on for more…

Rhode Island

Blitzes that have been seen in regularity this fall have been tapering off. While not completely gone, they have been on a hit-or-miss basis. Migratory fish have been passing through while the holdovers have been congregating near the bays. The size of these fish has beena mixed bag, and they are taking advantage of the Herring and Mackerel schools, so bring those larger fly patterns. With the anticipation of the Herring Run, our local guide, Ian Devlin, has been tying up some great Herring patterns in the store. A lot of this action has been happening near Westerly, with reports of large fish in the mix. The Peanut Bunker action is still going strong near the breachways and salt ponds, especially around Weekapaug, so there is still opportunity for wade anglers to search the beaches for Bass pushing bait onto shore. For our boat anglers, you should run into fish covering ground off the beaches, with a focus on points that provide some rocky structure, as well as the mouths of bays and entrances to salt ponds. Definitely consider your wind for this weekend, which is NW switching to WSW 15-20mph. These winds might be more conducive to enjoying some Thanksgiving leftovers.


Local Rivers

The Saugatuck is flowing at 33.3cfs and holding steady, so the rivers have improved in clarity and are free of leaf debris. As we mentioned last week the most recent news is state stocking of Seeforellen Strain Brown Trout in local Lakes and Ponds. These are large Brown Trout averaging 15lbs with some 20lb fish stocked. With all of our TMAs stocked for the fall time, areas to focus on include the Mill, Saugatuck, Farmington, and Housatonic rivers. Try an assortment of smaller nymphs and streamers in the morning. And look for Blue Winged Olive hatches during the afternoons.


Connecticut Fish and Wildlife has done another round of stocking Atlantic Salmon in the Naugatuck TMA, as well as the lower section (Waterbury to Beacon Falls). Cold mornings can make conditions tough, so make sure you have a good layering system of warm clothes until the sun comes up. The increase in temperatures will make these Salmon more active. The Naugatuck and Shetucket were also stocked with trout. Now that the trout have been in these rivers for a couple weeks, as they become wary switch over to your smaller and more imitative patterns. For Atlantic Salmon try Woolly 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 paired with a sink tip line or polyleaders to get the fly into their zone. Some sections of these rivers are conducive to Spey fishing. Most of these fish are 2-3 years old (2-5lbs), while the older broodstock (10-15lb) are stocked in fewer numbers. 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 the sunny days look for fish sunning themselves in the tail-out of pools for a fun sightfishing 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 flows have dropped to 203cfs. 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.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

Farmington River

Now is a great time to fish streamers and egg patterns as most of the Brown Trout have spawned and are looking for a high calorie meal. Hot headed jig streamers, such as black with an orange bead, are a good option for this time of year. The prevalent hatch is still Blue Winged Olives. With colder average night/daytime temperatures, the majority of the action will occur in the afternoon. The West Branch Riverton gauge is at 243cfs from dam release with the Still adding a meager 61.1cfs. Water temps have been in the high 40’s. For you dry fly anglers, trout are continuing to rise, and most hatches are occurring late in the morning into the afternoon. Look to fish Blue Winged Olives as the prevalent hatch, with small Caddis mixed in. Small flies down to size 24 seem to be the norm. This means presentation is key, so use longer leaders and consider stepping down tippet size to 6x, while also being mindful to have a drag-free drift. 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. With the colder mornings, try fishing streamers and nymphs until most of the hatches start up in the afternoon. Switching up streamer techniques and trying the low-and-slow approach may be the key to success. Spend time fishing the deeper and slower runs. Some Brown trout are in late spawning mode 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.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

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Housatonic River

Flows have receded to 786cfs, which is better news if you’re wading this weekend. In other good news, not much has changed fishing-wise on the Housatonic. 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 rigs clear of debris. Egg patterns will work now as most of the Brown Trout are finishing up spawning. Focusing on areas by the park, especially if you’re looking for rising trout, and TMAs should result in some fish. The most prevalent hatch will be Blue Winged Olives until the winter, and I would bring a variety of sizes in the adults and emergers. Focusing on your small sizes 20-24 should result in some success. Presentation is key, with longer leaders, stepping down to 6x tippet, and making sure you have a drag free drift. 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 and into the evening. For nymphs, bring a variety with the focus being scuds and stoneflies, with a smaller offering as a dropper. Our anglers have reported that the state has stocked a significant number of Tiger Trout. 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.

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Peanut Bunker are still the most prevalent bait occurring in the Western portion of the sound along the beaches. The bite is starting to pick up at the mouths of our river and salt ponds, and fishing near Stratford will result in running into some epic Bass blitzes. Try focusing on a slower retrieve with the colder water temperatures, with a strip and pause to imitate a wounded baitfish. The mouth of the Connecticut river has been great this season, and is still producing Bass blitzes with some over-slot size mixed in. Plenty of Bass are being found nearshore on Peanut Bunker and Silversides in the 2-4” size range, and some quality fish are being brought to hand around Norwalk and Westport. This is good news for our shore anglers still looking to get into Bass, so search the coastline for birds and bait. Both sides of the tides have been consistent. Some other areas to consider right now are the shorelines around Southport to Bridgeport, the Norwalk Islands fishing by boat, and Cos Cob. Some of the fish around the Norwalk Islands and Westport have been cruising in shallow water, so look for surface disturbance/tailing. Our boat anglers are having good success near shore in coves and harbors, so there is no shortage of options right now, especially sight-fishing near the beaches. Colder nights/mornings can create a slow start to the early bite. 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.

New York

Salmon River

Most of the Salmon in the river are in spawning mode/dying, so there are plenty of eggs and flesh in the system for our Steelhead anglers. The Steelhead fishing has proven consistent with chrome fish pushing in daily along with the occasional Brown Trout. We are now starting to see Steelhead up in Altmar, which indicates they’re spread throughout the river. Nice size Steelhead are being caught by boat anglers. Water temperatures have been in the high 30’s in the morning, and there have been reports of steady Steelhead fishing in the lower river throughout the day. Every day has been different, for most days a couple of Steelhead have been brought to hand, but some days are producing double digits. For these fish, focus on using egg patterns: Glo-bugs, Estaz, Sucker Spawn, as well as Egg-Sucking Leeches. Don’t forget about Stonefly patterns, those will continue to work all winter when the Salmon activity dies off. Being adaptable and switching up techniques/flies often results in the most success. Don’t be afraid to fish the faster water. For our Spey anglers try a variety of colors: black, purple, blue, brown, and pink work well. For those still looking to get their last Salmon fix try fishing Altmar to the Lower Fly Zone, where there is the most concentration of them. The tributaries are also producing big Brown Trout, and Steelhead should start to push in soon. There are still some late run Coho in the mix. With the colder morning temperatures underway, make sure you have a good layering system and gloves to stay warm! The flows are currently 628cfs in Pineville. Air temperatures will be in the 40’s for this week.

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The Catskills

With colder temperatures, the morning has been a nymphing-based game. West Branch flows are 334cfs at Hale Eddy, while the East is 745cfs at Fish’s Eddy. The Mainstem at Lordville is flowing at 1370cfs, and overall flows have been lowering this week. Current average water temperatures are in the high 30s on the main. Please be mindful of trout spawning beds (Redds). We realize that these flows make things easier for wading, but because the fishery is now open all year round these eggs are susceptible to being crushed by wade anglers. In general, the most prevalent hatches continue to be BWOs in the afternoon, with some good hatches reported. 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, BWO emergers, and focus on the slower pools and tailouts this time of year during the afternoons. Blue Winged Olives will be the main hatch as winter approaches. If fishing the Willowemoc and Beaverkill, try some smaller Woolly Buggers and other streamers. For our wading anglers using Trout Spey rods, now is a great time to swing emergers and small intruders. Fishing streamers and nymphs in the morning is a good tactic until the hatches become prevalent in the afternoons.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000


Some better news for this week is that the Albie fishing has started to pick up again, so a late bite is in-store for this season. Bass are continuing to Blitz off the beaches and near bays. There has been a steady pick of fish surf fishing at night and during the daytime tides. In Montauk, search the Southside for blitzes of Bass with Bluefish still in the mix. The Most prevalent bait on the East End has been Silversides, with Peanut Bunker mixed in. Bring some larger patterns for the occasion when Bluefish and Bass are on Chub Mackerel. The bite has also picked up on the Northshore for Albies, and great fishing can be had in the evenings for Bluefish and Bass. Blitzing stripers can also be found around the Nassau area, so be armed with your peanut bunker imitations. For boat anglers, covering ground is critical to run into blitzing fish. Other areas to consider are a little more West towards Orient Point and Port Jefferson.