Hello Compleat Angler friends! The colder weather has improved nearshore saltwater fishing locally. More anglers are finding blitzing Stripers from Greenwich to Bridgeport. The most consistent Albie fishing lies a little further to the east off Old Saybrook, especially towards the mouth of the Connecticut River. The primary bait in our area is Peanut Bunker, which have been flushing out of the rivers and onto the beach fronts and which is helping our boat and wade anglers. This time of year produces some of our best Fall Striper fishing. Trout fishing remains consistent and the most productive methods have been nymphing and streamer fishing. Brown and Brook trout have just started to spawn so adding a few egg patterns to your assortment will prove useful. The Housatonic has been fishing great, the only struggle has been finding days with ideal flows for wading, as it has been getting hit with rain. Higher dam releases on the Farmington will have streamers fishing well. The Salmon River has seen a steady stream of Steelhead entering the lower to middle sections of the river, and many anglers are catching single digit numbers of fish. Read on for more…
Flows are on the drop again after this past weekend’s rain, and conditions are clear, good for wading, and slightly above average (the Saugatuck is reading 86.7 CFS). Since fish are recently stocked, a variety of flies will work, and having some junk flies (Mops and Squirmies) will certainly catch fish. Try pairing that with a smaller pattern that is more imitative of aquatic insects, as fish will be starting to acclimate to natural forage. Fish are starting to become more acclimated and will be keying in on hatches. For smaller nymphs consider Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Perdigones, Zebra Midges, Caddis Larva, and Flashback Hare’s Ears. Sticking to sizes 14-18 in these patterns will imitate most of your subsurface insect sizes. Any nymphs with hotspots will work well. One effective technique during the afternoon is to let your nymphs swing to the bank at the end of your dead-drift, as this will imitate an emerging insect. For our small river and streams we like having a shorter leader, such as the Rio Powerflex in 7.5ft. Both 5x and 6x will have you covered for most dry fly and nymphing scenarios. For dry flies one can expect a variety of Caddis in Tan and Olive sizes 16-24, Isonychia in sizes 10-12, Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-24, as well as Midges in sizes 18-20. A Parachute Adams in sizes 12-20 is a good attractor mayfly and will imitate a variety of insects that you may encounter. The leaf hatch has started up which can be tricky to keep your rig free from debris. Streamer fishing has been excellent, as less educated trout coupled with Fall spawning behavior have ramped up their aggression. Fishing streamers in above average flows can make for some good action. Your standard Woolly Buggers will work along with a variety of larger articulated flies. One of our favorite streamer lines for Fall is theAirflo Streamer Max Short,as well as theScientific Anglers Sonar Trout. The Short head loads rods well for our smaller rivers when targeting the opposite bank and it sinks the fly quickly into the strike zone. Areas that will be fishing good include the Saugatuck, Mianus, Mill, and Aspetuck Rivers. Conditions will remain overcast throughout the week with a high of 60F air temperature.
The Naugatuck was stocked with Atlantic Salmon, and more recently Trout in the Trout Management Areas. Flows are also steadily dropping but are above average, reading 571 CFS at Beacon Falls. Again, having some junk flies will catch less educated stocked fish, and look to fish similar offerings we are using on our local streams: Sulphurs, Cahills, Caddis, Tricos, Blue Winged Olives, and Midges. Bring some Tan Caddis patterns in sizes 14-18 as October Caddis will be hatching. In respect to other insects, having a range of sizes from 12-24 in nymphs/dries will have you covered. Look to fish Isonychia in the evenings in size 12 and focus on the faster water where they will be more active. Overall, the hatch to focus on will be Blue Winged Olives, which are now becoming more prevalent again, as these are ideal temperatures for both afternoon and evening hatches. Fishing drab colored Woolly Buggers will also work for more aggressive fish, especially with current flows above average. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure. In addition, the Shetucket River was recently stocked with Atlantic Salmon, and for these fish your traditional Atlantic Flies and hairwing streamers will work: Grey Ghosts, Blue Charms and Mickey Finns. Don’t be afraid to throw some larger intruders in Pink, Black, Blue, and Purple, especially after they’ve just finished stocking. Try swinging these streamers slowly as you first fish the pool, and if you don’t get any takes, switch to a faster retrieve/swing. The fish will let you know what they prefer.
Flows at the Dam were raised and are currently reading 539 on the West Branch at Riverton. The Still River is adding 198 CFS and lowering from the past rain. Water temperatures on the West are currently 55F and fluctuating in the mid-50s, ideal temperatures for trout and bug activity. Since temperatures are lowering trout are starting to begin their spawning season and bringing some egg patterns and larger streamers will prove useful fishing downstream of spawners. Please be careful though, it is best practice to avoid fishing or stepping on Redds (spawning beds) and paired spawning fish. Having a variety of different streamer colors will be the key to success: Olive, Tan, Yellow, White, Orange, and Black are all good color choices. Now is a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to break out the Skagit Heads and T Tips which will turn over larger intruders and streamers. Fishing a wet fly swung on a less aggressive sinking tip can pull additional fish during the afternoon when insects will be emerging. The same can be said for those nymphing with single handers: swinging nymphs at the end of your drift can simulate an emerging insect. Twitching jigged streamers through a run can also be a deadly technique. Your odds will be better with streamers during the morning hours but will improve all day as Fall progresses. Vary retrieves, starting fast and slowing down to see what the trout prefer. During the late morning and into the evening look for Blue Winged Olives in sizes 20-24, and Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18. If you’re fishing the hatches into the evening, consider bringing some Isonychia in sizes 12-14 and blind fish them in the faster water, as there are still some sporadically hatching. Other options to have in your box include Cahills in sizes 12-18, Midges in sizes 18-20, and terrestrials (Ants and Beetles) which will still be a viable option, especially during the afternoon. For nymphing, junk flies will catch the recently stocked Trout (Mops and Squirmies) in addition to Stoneflies in sizes 8-12. One technique is to use these larger flies as your point nymph paired with a smaller dropper nymph: Pheasant Tails in sizes 12-18, Caddis Larva 14-18, Perdigones 12-20, Hare’s Ears 14-18, and Zebra Midges in 18-24. These nymphs are all safe bets from Fall and well into Winter. In terms of rigging, look to use 5x-6x Fluorocarbon when nymphing, and Nylon 5x-7x when dry fly fishing. During normal-low flows, and especially with smaller flies, it pays off to have a stealthy leader in the 10-12’ range which will aid in getting a delicate presentation. Staying into the evening can result in some good spinner falls. With all the variety of bug activity, soft hackling can be a productive option as well.
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.
The Housatonic Trout Management Areas were stocked this week. Flows are still high, reading 2040 CFS at Falls Village. The fishing has been great as long as the flows cooperate, but unfortunately conditions are too high for wading. However, high flows are conducive for floating. When flows improve for wading, look to fish Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-24 and Tan Caddis in sizes 12-18. Other bugs to bring include Isonychia in sizes 14, Midges in sizes 18-24, as well as Flying Ants and Beetles. For nymphs bring junk flies (Mops and Squirmies) as well as Stoneflies in sizes 10-16, Caddis Larva in sizes 14-18, Zebra Midges in sizes 18-24, as well as nymphs to imitate Mayflies (Olive Hare’s Ears, Waltz Worms, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, and Perdigones) in sizes 12-18. Trout are starting to get into their spawning phase, which means that they will be looking for higher calorie meals so bringing some larger streamers will prove useful. Streamer fishing has been great of late. If you are fishing articulated neutrally buoyant streamers (Mini Dungeons, Drunk and Disorderly, Circus Peanuts, etc), you will want to pair these with a sinking line and a short 5’ leader tapered from 20lb to 10lb. For our floating line Streamer Anglers, consider drab colored Conehead Woolly Buggers paired with a 9ft 2x leader. Now is also a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to consider throwing larger patterns during the afternoon in combination with swinging wet hackles in the mornings and evenings. Pike fishing has also improved, as the dropping water temperatures will trigger them to feed more often in preparation for Winter. Throw big flies (such as a Flashtail Whistler) paired with an 8-10wt, bite wire, and some form of sinking line (my personal favorite).
The main action recently has been schoolie Stripers blitzing on Peanut Bunker around coves and harbors. With the colder weather this week, which is dropping sound temperatures, Peanut Bunker are starting to push out of the rivers and coves and onto the beachfronts. The Norwalk River has seen Stripers and Blues fired up on the surface, as well as the beaches off Westport, Fairfield, and Bridgeport. This week the heaviest concentration of fish is near Southport to Bridgeport, and the mouth of the Connecticut River, with some Bluefish and Albies still scattered in the mix. Bringing Deceivers, Clousers, and EP Peanut Bunker flies will catch fish as they’re blitzing, as these fish will not be particularly picky. In addition, if there is no surface action happening, it is worth blind fishing the points and coves. A variety of baitfish imitations will interest fish on either an intermediate or sinking line, however another effective method is covering water with a popper that will create a lot of disturbance, such as a Bob’s Banger, or larger offerings that will create sound and draw attention. Albies are currently more consistently being seen off Niantic and Old Saybrook. Some areas to focus on are the reefs and beaches off of Westport, Southport, Penfield Reef, Stratford Shoals, the mouth of the Housatonic, Niantic and off Old Saybrook. Every day has been different in terms of fish activity. For our wade anglers Old Mill in Westport has been fishing well, and there is plenty of Bait, Stripers, and the occasional Bluefish in the Pond. This time of year it is worth casting along the beaches as the bait will push out and travel along the beach with Stripers in pursuit. Other areas to consider include the mouth of the Housatonic, Calf Pasture, Penfield Reef, Veteran’s Park, and Todd’s Point. While blitzes can erupt at any time, and seemingly out of nowhere, we like to focus on mornings and evenings, low light conditions, as well as tidal movements. Our anglers have reported some impressive Bluefish being landed around 10lbs, and fishing poppers remains an effective and exciting way to get into the action, especially during first light. We recommend bringing wire leader in 20lb, knottable wire as it is easy to work with when adding a section to your leader. For your standard Striper leader, we prefer a leader 7’ of 16-20lb, and if using poppers, you may extend your leader by a couple more feet. It will also help to bring some longer full fluorocarbon leaders in 16lb for the chance of encountering Albies. This upcoming week air temperatures will be dropping which will help push bait out of the rivers and fuel more striper blitzes nearshore.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
Flows have lowered to near average on the Salmon River and are currently at 525 CFS at the Pineville Gauge. Towards the lower end of the river more Steelhead are pushing in fresh from the lake, with the occasional Brown Trout as well. Holding Steelhead are also starting to push into the Middle and Upper sections. It’s all a matter of finding pods of fish that are staging and willing to cooperate. During these average flows fish are going to be more wary when combined with pressure, so it is worth bringing some 3x fluorocarbon for Steelhead. The consensus is that anglers are finding single digit numbers of fish each day. The most popular flies are going to be different colored Glo Bugs, Stoneflies, Squirmies, Steelhead Slammers, Rushers Steelhead Nymph, Wooly Buggers and Egg Sucking Leeches. Some anglers are having success fishing large brightintruders in Pink, Black, Purple, and Blue/Chartreuse swinging the lower parts near the estuary for Steelhead.Beads in different colors will also work well (such as Chartreuse and Mottled Tangerine), so switching up flies/colors and techniques will be the key to success. As a bonus, these flies will also work on Brown Trout. Having amicro barrel swivel incorporated into your leader will help avoid splitshot sliding down your leader, as well as aid in quicker rerigging during breakoffs and snags. For our two handed anglers, Skagit has been the most productive method, and we like Rio’sSkagit Max Power head combined with either amono orcoated running line. Having a variety ofMOW Tips so you can fine tune the depth of your fly based on flows, depth, and current speed, to aid in your success. For tippet, we like usingMaxima Ultragreen in 10lb when swinging flies.
The Mainstem at Lordville on the Delaware River is currently 2610 CFS, while the West Branch at Hale Eddy is flowing at 841 CFS. The flows at Fish’s Eddy on the East are 1150 CFS. Flows have improved, opening up more sections for floating. Your main hatch will be Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-22, and look for fish rising for them during the afternoon. Water temperatures have been cooling, and are currently in the mid-40s, which means searching for rising fish during the afternoon is effective, while sticking to nymphing and streamers during the morning. Staying into the evening, you may also encounter Isonychia in sizes 12-14, Cahill in size 16, Hebes in sizes 18-20, and October Caddis in sizes 12-18. Having a leader of at least12’ of 5x-6x will help when looking for a stealthier approach for dry flies. With that said, nymphing has been the most productive of late. During the mornings nymphing or a dry/dropper rig will be an effective technique. Streamer fishing is also a viable method because Brown Trout are currently spawning. Stoneflies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Caddis Pupa, Cadis Larvae, Waltz Worms, and jig style flies (like Perdigones) are all good considerations when going subsurface. Bring some small sized Pheasant Tails (18-22) to imitate Blue Winged Olives. Don’t overlook swinging wet flies and nymphs, such as an Isonychia, at the end of your drift to simulate emerging insects. For the Neversink, Willowemoc, and Beaverkill rivers bring similar patterns and add Light Cahills to your box. Please be mindful to avoid stepping on Redds and fishing to paired up spawning fish.
Albie fishing has been winding down, with some days being more cooperative than others. Some hotspots are the rips around Montauk, off Mattituck, Plum Gut, Port Jefferson, and Fisher’s Island. Montauk has been hit or miss, and the outgoing tide has been most productive, however the numbers and school size for Hardtails hasn’t been off the charts. Most anglers are catching in the single digits. Overall, it seems like the best concentration of fish is along the Northshore, Watch Hill, and Fisher’s. Bass have been Blitzing on Peanut Bunker along the South Shore beaches as well and have started rafting in high numbers around Montauk Point. There are some Bluefish mixed in, and you may encounter them around some of the jetties and beaches. The primary baitfish will include Peanut Bunker and Bay Anchovies with some Sand Eels. Wade fishing has been hit or miss, with some anglers finding an occasional Striper or Bluefish, and finding the birds working bait has been the key to success. When fishing by boat, focus on structure around the bays and look for birds/baitfish as Stripers, Albies, or Bluefish will be blitzing. This tends to be a low light scenario. Bringing some poppers, like a Bob’s Banger, can result in some Blue and Striper action during dusk and dawn. Night fishing has held steady for Stripers, especially around docks and lights, and anglers fishing from shore are finding large Stripers off the beaches. Looking for fish pushing bait to the surface in the rips will result in some fish 30lbs and over by boat. Tide movement is crucial when looking for fish, as this will stack bait into the rips which will make for an easy meal. If there is no surface action, you can use an aggressive sinking line paired with a larger Clouser to get deeper. With the abundance of bait and different species you will encounter, we recommend bringing some Deceivers, Clousers, Sand Eel patterns, and Popovic’s Surf Candies to imitate Bay Anchovies.
Albies are still around, but in fewer numbers and they are getting tougher to find. Hot spots include Watch Hill, Point Judith, Charlestown Breachway, and the West Wall. Covering ground is the name of the game as some anglers are finding Albies in deeper water as well as along the beaches. Striper rafts have been mixed in nearshore which has proven helpful for our shore bound anglers. Every day has been different, so cover ground and look for signs of bait on the surface. This time of year, you’ll want patterns that imitate Peanut Bunker, Bay Anchovies, and Sand Eels. The ledges off Block Island are fishing well, with large Stripers and Bluefish on Sand Eels in the rips. There are plenty of Striper rafts to be found all along the Rhode Island Coast. Look for fish on top during tide movements especially at dusk and dawn. Some of the flats are seeing slot size and over fish cruising in shallow, with the most effective patterns being crab flies. If you are struggling to find hardtails, the consistent Bluefish and Striper action on topwater can save the day, as they are still nearshore in bays and salt ponds. With big Striper rafts, Bluefish to play with, and still some Albies to chase, the Fall run is on!
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