February 16, 2022 7 min read

Greetings Compleat Anglers! Another good weekend is on the way with a phenomenal week to follow. Some more warm weather is right around the corner, and that, coupled with great flow and the Little Black Stones beginning to hatch, all indicates an awesome week for us fly anglers. The Connecticut DEEP has begun stocking our TMAs and the fly fishing has been solid. There are multiple small streams that have been stocked across the state and will have fish willing to take a fly. The Farmington was just stocked a well and will be another great choice this weekend. The water is warming up and the flows are perfect. The fishing should be spectacular and there could even be some bugs coming off. The Little Black Stones were coming off last weekend and fish were rising on them. So that almost guarantees that they will be popping this weekend into next week. The Salmon River up in New York looks great as well. Great flows and temps in the 40s means that the fish will be actively feeding. You can’t miss this weekend if you are strategic. Get to your spots early, bring lots of flies, and have fun. This is a rare weather window. Read on for more…


Local Streams

What a weekend for fly fishing across the state. This past weekend saw some great fishing and this weekend is looking pretty darn good as well. As a matter of fact, all of this coming week looks spectacular. With Thursday and Friday in the 50s and Saturday in the 40s we should see the bite pick back up after colder temps this week. After the stockings last week, there will be some awesome catch-and-release only fishing to capitalize on. Do not wait to get out there. Temperatures will stay nice and high this next week giving us another sweet little weather window. There will be no need to drive all over the state, either as there is probably at least one river that has been stocked pretty close to you. With the warmer temps, we will see some of the Little Black Stones flying around as well. I saw some last weekend and fish were already on them. So, if you want to get a few on dries, this week will almost certainly provide you the opportunity if you are on a river that gets them. We have a custom tied version of this fly at the shop that is deadly so if you need some flies for that hatch, we have you covered. A word on fishing this weekend. Get there nice and early. Being first to the spots will make a big difference on the quality of your fishing. The crowds have been substantial and while everyone tends to play nice and give you space, most of the good water will be occupied by 11am. Please be respectful of other anglers and remember to not high or low hole anyone. There are plenty of fish around and plenty of water to fish. Another reminder that the fish will be pretty educated by Saturday so very small streamers, wet flies, or smaller nymphs will be the most productive. Many will go out there and throw flies that are too large. Start with size 10, 12, or 14 with your streamers and size 14, 16, 18, and 20 for your nymphs or wets. Now with the stocked rivers covered, the other rivers across the state will be fishing very well too with the bump in temperature. Wild trout streams or others with holdovers will see some great conditions this weekend and into next week. However, these fish will still be very educated and spread out so deploy educated trout tactics. 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 and 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 fish have most certainly spread out so a more “traditional” approach to locating trout must be used. Remember that all TMAs are all catch and release until mid-April. Please report any poaching. When the state stocks, there tend to be a lot of poachers that come out of the woodwork. Especially spin anglers. As such, please report any misconduct to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

Farmington River

We have another great weekend/week to come on the Farmington. That coupled with a recent stocking this Friday 02/18 means the fishing should be darn good! The warm weather is returning on Thursday and will have the fish jazzed up. Friday looks like it will be about as perfect as you can ask for in mid-February. Saturday and Sunday look a bit colder but then into next week it looks prime. The water should get back up to around 38 degrees and that will get the fish actively feeding by mid-day. The warmer days preceding it will compound the fish activity and that, coupled with some intermittent cloud cover, should make for a banner day in February. The flow out of the dam is great at 224 cfs. The Still is coming at 150 making flows perfect! Everything has lined up for pretty epic conditions. Nymphs will most likely be the best option. Smaller patterns that closely mimic natural forage are the best bets however, junk flies and attractor patterns should produce as well as these fish will be actively searching for food. Streamers are a low percentage option at this point but with the warmer water we could see that bite turn on as well. I would err on the side of caution and use smaller patterns if you decide to strip meat. Fish will still be congregating around those deep holding lies but will certainly begin working up toward the heads of these pools to feed. So, target these areas. Walking pace water speed with a nice riffle up top and a deep hole below with froggy water is exactly what you are looking for. There should be some bugs coming off as well. Little Black Stones, Caddis, Midges and maybe a BWO or two should be flying around. I would not be surprised if fish were rising so bring those dries just in case. Beautiful weather, perfect flows, and great water temps all indicate that fishing should be nothing short of spectacular, especially for February. Normally you don’t need to get up early to fish this time of the year but for Saturday, I certainly would. Get to your favorite spot and hold it. Good luck! Keep in mind: all TMAs are Catch and Release only. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

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Housatonic River

The Housey is running at around 1000 cfs and slowly coming down. That is a bit high and less than ideal for the weekend/week we have coming up. I would not be in a hurry to rush out there as most anglers will be avoiding this river due to flows. Water temperatures will certainly bump up with the weather we have forecasted but with the Farmington looking IDEAL, I would opt to use the Housey as a backup plan. If you do decide to give it a shot, later in the day when the water is warmest will be the most productive. With the higher water, streamers or larger nymphs would not be a bad choice. Junk flies should produce and while any reasonable nymph has a shot of getting hit, larger patterns in the 8 to 12 size range should be best. Not much to report with Pike or Smallies. These fisheries are essentially shut down for the winter. While an abnormally warm day could see a good uptick in fish activity, I would focus on trout for the next few months. Keep in mind: all TMAs are Catch and Release only. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

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New York

The Salmon River

Flows are still looking good this weekend and with warmer temperatures into next week, this will be a great time to get onto some late winter Steelhead. The flow out of the dam is around 430 cfs. The warmer air will certainly increase water temperatures. That, coupled with overcast conditions, should have the fish on the chew. This is another good weather window for February. And as everyone knows, this is big fish season. That means that the odds of hooking a 15lb+ Steelhead this weekend and into next week are quite high. So, you will absolutely want to be on the water this week. The middle and upper sections of the river are still the hot spots. They have the most concentrations of fish and lower water levels. There have been some great flurries of fish activity on the Salmon River over the past week as the temperatures have been slowly rising. There are lots of relatively unpressured fish in the system and any half decent effort up there should result in hook-ups. Egg patterns will still work and are a must have up there. Purples, blues, pinks, chartreuses, oranges and peaches are the colors widely regarded as the go-tos. However, the fish have transitioned to other prey items. You will certainly want to have stoneflies in your box at this point. Worm style flies will work as well and even smaller streamers will have their moments. Changing flies constantly will be the best way to get on some fish. 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. This weekend looks perfect. We may not get another window like this all winter so don’t wait! Go now!

USGS Water-data graph for site 04250200