Greetings Compleat Anglers! Fishing conditions continue to impress across the Northeast. The states are still stocking weekly and most rivers are fishing well. The last week has been tough with high water but the weather looks great for the next week despite some rain in the forecast. The Farmington is still fishing very well. After borderline flood stage last week, the flow has been cut back and things are looking great for the weekend. It was 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 with the bump in water temp. The Salmon River is down to about 1000. That will 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 drop-backs. The phenomenal Striper bite has had many putting those 3s and 5s way in favor of 9s and 10s. The Connecticut and New York bite has been white hot. Lots of both large and smaller fish have been caught in numerous locations. The water has warmed up quite a bit over the past week and the Stripers have responded accordingly. Now is the time to get in on some of the best Striper fishing all year. Read on for more!
No change to the local stream report. Fishing across Connecticut has been stellar. The water levels have come down after the blowout last week and fishing has picked back up. Everyone has been getting into some awesome action and with so many streams stocked, there have been plenty of places to get on fish without crazy numbers of other anglers. The Mianus, and Saugatuck have been mobbed, often with no parking available, let alone places to fish. However, other rivers across the state have been far less crowded with even better fishing. The key this time of year is to move around to lesser known rivers. That will ensure a productive and relaxing day on the water. The fishing in the 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 warmer weather is a positive trend as it will warm that water up into the 50s which are Ideal conditions for trout to feed. For you dry fly anglers, the Stoneflies have been coming off on sunny days. They should be coming off on a regular basis at this point making for some awesome dry fly fishing. There is nothing like early season dry fly fishing. 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 on 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 states 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 really coming into its own. This is the time of year when fishing tends to get really hot. The next month or so I find it to be some of the best fishing all year. The trout are shaking off the winter sluggishness and become very active. They hold in feeding lies and a wide variety of techniques will take fish. The flow out of the dam is around 800 cfs. The Still is coming in at 200ish. That is a pretty high but it is falling. It is certainly a good streamer flow. 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 your best bets, however junk flies and attractor patterns should produce as well since these fish will be actively searching for food. That is doubly true for the stockies that will try anything once. 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 speed with a nice riffle up top and a deep hole below 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 on them on the warmer mornings. So bring those dries just in case. Make no mistake, the fly fishing can be nothing short of spectacular this time of year. April and May are my favorites. Normally you don’t need to get to the river super early this time of the year but if you have a favorite spot in mind, I certainly would. It is almost time to start playing those games to try and beat other anglers. Good luck! Keep in mind: 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 coming down. 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 now. 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 Striper bite is wide open all across Connecticut. Fly anglers are getting into plenty of fish in a wide variety of locations. River mouths are a favorite right now as the concentrations of fish is very high. However, crowds will be substantial so be prepared for that. The fish have already begun spreading out and keying in on structure associated with warmer water. These areas also tend to have larger fish as well so keep that in mind. There is plenty of bait around as well so a multitude of flies should work however a Clouser Minnow is tough to beat right now. The fish are feeding very aggressively after a long and cold winter so don’t get too caught up on fly selection. As long as it’s close it will get bit. The falling tide has been the most productive (no surprise there) but the rising will still produce as well. The fish tend to be more diurnal this time of year and large fish can be regularly taken mid-day. So, no need to fish at night. Really all that matters is tidal fluctuations. As long as the water is moving, you will have feeding Stripers (provided you are in the right area). Any decent effort to locate Stripers has a high probability of success. Pick your weather windows and the fly fishing should be lights out. The bite is white hot.
The Salmon River
The Salmon River is at a good level right around 1000cfs. There have been some great flurries of fish activity recently but the water levels have kept most off of the water. The bite should start picking back up any day now. 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 point. 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.
Stripers, Stripers, Stripers! They are here and fly anglers have been making the most of it. The spawning fish have been moving into the Hudson with the smaller males in tow. Raritan Bay has been the epicenter of the action with fish from 20 inches up to 60 pounds being caught right now. The surrounding area has been inundated with fish moving into the shallows to feed making them easier targets for fly rodders. Coney Island Beach and Great Kills Beach have seem some awesome fishing as have Breezy Point, Fort Tilden, Rockaway Beach and East Atlantic Beach (Jones Beach). Some seriously big fish have been caught in these areas recently so if big Stripers are your thing, look to these areas for a shot. Really this whole area will be producing for the next few weeks so now is the time to get after it. Jamaica Bay has been another hot spot. Bait is piled up in there and Stripers are back in there gorging on anything they can find. Especially on a falling tide, as the water rushes out the fish have been stacked up and feeding heavily. It will only get better in the next few weeks but Striper season has officially started.
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