Northeast Fishing Report: 12/3/21 - The Compleat Angler

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December 03, 2021

Greetings Compleat Anglers! As we head further into winter the fishing opportunities are indeed getting fewer and farther between. But in many fishers there are still pockets of opportunity to get out there and have a reasonable shot at fish. And at long last we are finally getting more reasonable flows up in the Great Lakes, giving anglers better conditions than they saw for virtually all of November. Read on for more...

Connecticut

Local Streams

Not much of a change to the local stream report. 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 high concentrations of fish in a few holes are no more. 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 around Thanksgiving. A unique angling opportunity, these Salmon will take a wide variety of streamers and can get to 20 pounds or more. 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 the fish in good condition. No bait is allowed and snagging can be a problem from the 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

No change to the Farmy report. The water has come down and is at a good fishable level. The fish are beginning to transition into wintering behavior and are becoming much more lethargic. The water flows are 390 out of the dam and another 130 or so out of the Still. Water temperatures are getting a bit cold and it starts to get very tough this time of year. The best time to be on the water is when the water temperatures are the highest. No need to get up early. We are hearing the fishing has not been great. The few anglers we have talked to have said that “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 lackluster at this point. Some assorted caddis, BWOs, and midges. 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 the warmer afternoons. A reminder that some of the fish may still be spawning. As such, if you have any respect for this fishery and the wild Browns that this river is known for, it is best to leave the fish alone. If you see a Redd, move on. And if there is an area where you know spawning is occurring, give it a wide berth. While I understand that these big fish are tempting to target, it’s pretty lame to actually do so. Be smart and just leave spawning fish alone. If you see someone ripping fish off Redds, give them a friendly reminder that they could be single handedly preventing the creation of hundreds of wild Brown Trout by disturbing fish while they spawn. 

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

The Housey is down to a fishable level! Finally! The river is running around 1100 CFS and slowly coming down. While that is a smidge high, it is certainly fishable. The recent-ish stockings and little pressure due to high water should mean the fishing will be great as the water comes down. Remember that the TMA is catch and release only. Water temperatures are looking good. They are in the 40s at this point and should have the fish quite active, especially later in the day when the water is warmest. I would recommend streamers once that water gets below 1000 CFS. 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. Cooler temperatures have resulted in a downshift in Pike and Smallmouth activity. Streamers fished on sink tips and full sinking lines are taking some Smallmouth but expect to work for them. The largest bass have been below the TMA however there are a lot of fish above that despite their smaller size. The Pike have been a challenge as well and while they are still hanging in there expect to work for them. While getting a bit cold, they are still eager to eat when water temperatures are warmest. Now is a great time to fish the Housey. Cooler temperatures and active trout mean that if you are methodical, you should have some great fishing. 

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

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

It is starting to get tough out there. We are at the very end of our Striper season. There are a few locations that are fishing pretty well but by and large, it has been a grind. Most of the fish have moved out of the area, boats are out of the water, and it is getting quite cold. The back bays, salt ponds and estuaries should still have some fish hanging around on the right day. If you are fishing from shore, smaller baitfish flies are all you need. Smaller Clousers will work as well. The Fall Run is just about over and with mild-ish temperatures during the day, now is the time to get on the water to make the most of the end of the season.

Long Island Sound Striped Bass

If your boat is still in the water, it is all about locating the birds and surface activity for the next few weeks. The Terns and Gulls will be all over the blitzing fish looking for an easy meal. Locate the birds, locate the fish. If you are fishing from shore, that is always a good thing to look for, however there could be a lot going on under the surface with very little indication up top. Probe likely spots and if you are not getting bit in the first 30 minutes, move. We have not seen or heard of any Blues around but you never know. Some trailing fish could pop up in their likely haunts. Best to keep a few flashy flies in the box just in case. Smaller Blues have been scattered primarily in deeper water. This will be the last week (maybe two) before the season is truly done. On a warmer day, it may be worth getting out there and giving it a shot. You never know, you could catch a December Striper. 

New York

The Salmon River

The Salmon River has come down to about 1000 CFS and is now running 950 out of the dam. It will be over 1000 below Pineville but a marked improvement from the last month. All of November was essentially blown out with flows at over 2000 on the low end. But with the water levels falling the fishing should pick right back up. The good news is that Steelhead will be in the entire system at this point. From what we are hearing the middle and even upper sections of the river have been the hot spots. 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-tos. However, as we move into December fish will begin to transition to Stoneflies and other assorted patterns.

Salmon River Steelhead

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 of flies 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

Saltwater

That’s all folks! It was great season off of New York. There were some awesome moments this year but as with all good things, they must come to an end. Most of the fish have migrated South and fishing is essentially over. While there are still some fish pushing through that can be caught on the right day, most anglers have put their rods away until next year. Thank you to all who contributed to our reports this past year. We could not do it with your help and look forward to seeing you out on the water next year. 


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