Northeast Fishing Report: 12/10/21 - The Compleat Angler

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December 10, 2021

Greetings Compleat Anglers! Our saltwater fishing has largely come to a close for the year and a big thank you to all of you who contributed to this part of the report. The trout have settled into their winter behavior so picking windows and fishing nymphs will be the name of the game going forward. The Salmon river got another(!!) bump of water so anglers will likely want to wait until things drop a bit before hitting the water again to chase steelhead. Read on for more...

Connecticut

Local Streams

No change to our smaller local streams this week. Some rivers are fishing better than others but it has been a bit on the tougher side as a whole. As such you will need to cover water while deploying stealthy trout tactics. Smaller flies, light tippet, and perfect presentations are all critical to keep you hooked up. Zebra Midges, smaller soft hackles, and other assorted nymphs in a size 18 or below should get the job done. 6x tippet is mandatory for these smaller flies. 7x would not be a bad idea either depending on the size of the fly. Remember, sneaky set ups. You will also want to cover water. The days of having a high concentration of fish in a few holes are well behind us. They have most certainly spread out so a more “traditional” approach to locating trout must be used. The Shetucket and Naugatuck received more stockings of Atlantic Salmon this past week. A unique angling opportunity, these Salmon will take a wide variety of streamers and can run 20 pounds or more. The larger fish are beginning to be put in as well so now is a great time to get out there. The Naugatuck was the most recently stocked on Monday the 6th. We recommend using 8wts for these fish to beat them in a reasonable amount of time. They are all catch & release only until late December so be mindful and do your best to release them in good condition. No bait is allowed and snagging can be a problem from spin and desperate fly anglers so report any misconduct to the DEEP. If we all do our part, we can all have some good fishing into the Winter. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

Farmington River

We are now firmly into the wintering behavior pattern for trout. The fish are becoming much more lethargic and as such, the fishing has been tough. The water flows are 390 out of the dam and another 130 or so out of the Still. Not much of a change to flows from last week. We do have some rain on the way so expect those flows to bump up at least a little bit. Water temperatures are getting a bit cold and it starts to get very tough this time of year. We are seeing a low of 44 degrees (depending on where you are on the river) and a high of 45.5 for water temps. As such, the best time to be on the water is when the water temperatures are the highest. No need to get up early. The few anglers we have talked to have said it’s a few-fish-a-day type of situation. You will really need to work for them, that is for sure. The hatches are a non-factor at this point. There may be a few fish rising on warmer days, but it will be a longshot to get a fish to come up for a dry fly. Nymphs will most likely be the best option. Junk flies, larger patterns, and eggs will be some of the better options for the next few weeks. Streamers could take fish as well but typically on warmer afternoons. Spawning should be done by now so thank you to those of you who respected the fishery. The report will be essentially exactly the same for the next few months at least. While we will obviously update you on any significant changes, expect the fishing to stay relatively unchanged for the entirety of the winter. Low and slow is the name of the game.

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

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186500

Housatonic River

Up we go again. The Housey went up to 1300 CFS and with more rain this weekend, I would say it is best to stay off the river. Remember that the TMA is catch-and-release only. Water temperatures are looking good-ish. They are in the mid-to-high 40s at this point and should have the fish willing to eat, especially later in the day when the water is warmest. However, with the water getting colder by the day, I would recommend putting those streamers away and going with nymphs. Junk flies under indicators will be very effective as well. These larger “nymphs” such as mops, worms, and eggs will almost certainly take fish for the next few weeks. I would say that as long as you stay sub-surface and have a decent presentation, the fishing should be pretty good provided we get some lower water. Not much to report with Pike or Smallies. These fisheries are essentially done. While an abnormally warm day could see a good uptick in fish activity, I would say it is best to pack that gear away until the Spring.

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

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

Well, that’s all folks. It was a great year for the Connecticut coast. There were some fantastic moments and the fishing on the whole was pretty darn good. But as we get into the meat of December, the saltwater opportunities will be extremely limited. A few fish are hanging around if you know where to look but few anglers are out there chasing them. As such, we are removing this section until the Spring. Thank you to all of you who gave us intel when we were not out there ourselves. We will be tying flies and gearing up this winter because Spring will be here before you know it. Hope you are too! 

New York

The Salmon River

The Salmon River blew out again on Monday night. It came up to over 3,000 CFS and while it has come down to 1800, it is still quite high. Too high to wade safely, especially lower on the river where the flow could be closer to 2500. We recommend staying off the water until the flows get to a more manageable level. Tough season with the water thus far. The good news is that Steelhead will be in the entire system at this point and from what we are hearing the middle and even upper sections of the river have been the hot spots.

Salmon River Steelhead

Egg patterns or even bright streamers and intruder/tube flies will be the name of the game in this high water. Purples, blues, pinks, chartreuses, oranges and peaches are the colors widely regarded as the go-to’s. However, as we move into December the fish will begin to transition to Stoneflies and other assorted patterns. You will certainly want to have stones in your box at this point. Worm-style flies will work as well. Changing flies constantly will be the best way to get on some fish. This is a bit of a transitional period for Steelhead. Some of the fresher fish will eat a wide variety of flies, while fish that have been in the river a while will be far more selective. For that reason, keep a large selection on you. As the precipitation transitions to snow we will see less fluctuation in water levels and more predictable fishing. Now is a great time to get up there. There are plenty of fish in the system with more entering every day. 

USGS Water-data graph for site 04250200


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