Greetings Compleat Anglers! The fishing continues to impress across the Northeast. The states are still stocking weekly and in the catch-and-release sections the fishing has been spectacular. The last week was tough with colder temperatures but with a warm-up in progress, the weather looks great for the next week despite some chance of rain. The Farmington is still fishing very well. After hitting borderline flood stage last week, the flow has been cut back and things are looking great for the weekend. It is one of the most recently stocked rivers and reports have been great over the past few days. While most of the fish being caught are stockies, there have been some nicer wild fish caught thanks to the bump in water temp. The Salmon River is down to about 1000 and that should create a really nice window to fish this weekend. Anglers have been getting into some really big fish recently and now is a great time to get up there. For the rest of the Northeast, you certainly need to pick your days but provided the weather is 40 degrees or warmer, the fly fishing should be good or great. All in all, the trout fishing has been awesome. Read on for more!
There is some awesome fishing across Connecticut right now, bordering on spectacular. The State continues to stock the waters of Connecticut with over 80 rivers/streams and another 70+ lakes/ponds having been stocked so far. Most of the stocking has been in the last three weeks and the fishing has been nothing short of spectacular. We are seeing 5 or more streams stocked per day when the weather is good. Most of the rivers that will get fish have already received them so second rounds of stocking should be imminent. The fly fishing in our smaller local streams is as good as it will get all year. I cannot stress that enough. If you are new to fly fishing or want to put up some good numbers, now is the time to get out there. There is no shortage of options in terms of rivers to fish. Another benefit to this time of year is that the fish are very willing to hit a wide variety of flies. Mops, worms, PTs, Hares Ears, streamers, soft hackles, and other assorted larger nymphs will work great for these fish. The next month will be the best fish we will have and, as such, it is wise to focus your attention on these rivers for the time being and then move on once opening day occurs and the rivers are fished out. With the recent rain we have gotten, the flows should be very good. The warmer weather is another positive trend as it will warm that water up into the 50s which is ideal for trout to feed. For you dry fly anglers, the Stoneflies have been coming off on warmer days. They should be coming off on a regular basis at this point making for some awesome dry fly fishing and there is nothing like that early season surface action. So, if you want to get a few on dries, this week will 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 in the quality of 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. Remember to not high or low-hole anyone. We have been seeing a lot of anglers being disrespectful and crowding anglers who are already fishing in a spot. There are plenty of fish around and plenty of water to fish. If someone is fishing a hole, just move on and find other open water. If there are no holes open, get there earlier next time or wait until one opens up. 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.
The Farmington is fishing quite well. 5 stockings thus far have kept those rods bent for most who have been out there. A lot of stocking has been done up by the dam but down further into the permanent Catch and Release area, there have been some larger wild Browns caught during the upswing in temperature. The fish have been actively feeding by mid-day and it seems like everyone is getting into fish. The flow out of the dam is around 300 cfs. The Still is coming in over 500. However, that number could go up with the rain we have predicted for Sunday. I would not expect it to blow out but that is certainly high. Water temps are fluctuating depending on the air temperatures but after Sunday expect them to be just North of 40 degrees. 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 since these fish will be actively searching for food. That is doubly true for the stockies that will try anything once. 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 make sure to target these areas. Walking pace water 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 the fishing should be nothing short of spectacular. 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.
No positive changes to the Housey. The river is running at around 2000cfs and going up. I would recommend staying off the water for safety reasons. Most anglers will be avoiding this river due to flows. If you have a drift boat, that is a different story but do not wade this river at the moment. Remember that 1000 or below is widely regarded as the safe flow. Water temperatures will certainly bump up with the weather we have forecasted but with the Farmington fishing so well, why risk it on the Housey? If you do decide to give it a shot once the water comes down, later in the day when the water is warmest will be the most productive. With the higher water, the drift boat anglers have a good opportunity this weekend. 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.
The Salmon River
The Salmon River is still a little high at 1100cfs. Certainly fishable. If you decide to fish, make sure you are higher up on the river to get lower flows. There have been some great flurries of fish activity on the Salmon River over the last week but recently the water levels have kept most anglers off the water. The bite should be good once the water comes back down provided the weather stays warm. There does seem to be some precipitation on the way so you will want to keep an eye on that. Smaller Steelhead egg imitations will start to work as the fish are beginning to stage for spawning. However most of these fish have transitioned to other prey items. You will certainly want to have stoneflies in your box at this poin and worm style flies will work as well. 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. The drop-backs are not too far away and we are hearing that fishing is improving on the whole. If we get a good drop in water it will certainly be worth the drive up.
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