Greetings Compleat Anglers! There are great options for both fresh and saltwater at the moment. We have some good weather for the weekend as well so take your pick. The Farmington is hot right now. After high water last week, the flow has been cut back and things are looking great for the weekend. With multiple stockings and the wild browns becoming very active, the fishing has been very good. There are more and more wild fish being taken as those water temps continue to climb so you can expect a good mix of fish. The Salmon River is running about 900 and there have been plenty of places to get on fish without crazy numbers of other anglers. We have 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. It is the tail end of the Steelhead spawn so I would not wait. There is also some killer Smallmouth fishing up there right now as well. The phenomenal Striper bite has had many putting those 3’s and 5’s away in favor of 9’s and 10’s. 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 few weeks and the Stripers have responded accordingly. Now is the time to get in on some of the best Striper fly fishing all year. Read on for more!
The last stockings of the season are taking place over the next week or two. The Saug, and Mianus got fish recently and while these fisheries will be a bit of a zoo, they should fish well for the next few days. Many are trying to avoid the crowds. The key this time of year is to move around to lesser-known rivers which should ensure a productive and relaxing day on the water. One benefit to the Spring is that there are no shortage of options in terms of rivers to fish as the state has stocked over 70 of them. 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 up that water into the 50’s which is ideal for trout to feed. For you dry fly anglers, the Stoneflies could still be coming off occasionally. It is the tail end of this hatch but there may be a few still flying around. 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 and 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.
No change to the Farmy report. The Farmington has been fishing extremely well. The past few weeks you have had to pick your days but when flows are good, the fishing has been awesome. 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 of the year. The trout are moving into feeding lies and a wide variety of techniques will take fish. The flow out of the dam is around 230 cfs. The Still is coming in at 200ish, and that is just about a perfect flow. Together with the warmer temps and sunny conditions, all signs point to red hot fly fishing this weekend. Water temps are fluctuating depending on the air temperatures but this weekend should be just shy of 50 degrees during the afternoon. The farther away from the dam you get, the warmer the water will be so starting down low in the morning and moving up in the afternoons can be very effective. Nymphs will most likely be the best option. No surprise there. Larger patterns such as junk flies and attractor patterns should produce as these fish will be actively searching for food. That is doubly true for the stockies that will try anything once. Anglers are reporting Hendrickson-style nymphs as being one of the hot patterns at the moment. Hendricksons are close to hatching so mimicking these bugs is a smart move. A few adults have been seen down low so the first good hatch of the year is imminent. Smaller black stonefly nymphs are a good option as well. Patterns in size 12 and 14 tend to draw aggressive strikes. There should be some smaller bugs coming off as well. Little Black Stones are still hanging in there. 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.
The Housy is still too high. We just cannot catch a break on the Housey this season. The river is running at around 1600cfs and coming down. However, with rain in the forecast for next week, 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 I would 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 should be the most productive. With the higher water, 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. While an abnormally warm day could see a good uptick in fish activity, it is just too high to safely fish. With the Farmington fishing so well, I would recommend fishing there this weekend. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
No change to last week’s report. 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 concentration of fish is very high. However, crowds may be substantial so be prepared for that. The fish have already begun spreading out and keying in on structure that’s associated with warmer water. These areas also tend to have the 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 or Deceiver 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 are 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 should have a high probability of success. Pick your weather windows and the fishing should be lights out. The bite is white hot.
The Salmon River
The Salmon River is at a good level right around 900cfs and there have been some great flurries of fish activity as well. The bite is hot with fish on the spawn and dropping back. 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 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. The drop-backs are here and we are hearing that the fishing is improving on the whole. If we get a good drop in water it will certainly be worth the drive up. Remember not to target actively spawning fish. There are plenty of fish around so let them reproduce. The Smallmouth bite had turned on as well. The Smallies are moving into the river and staging to spawn. Down toward the mouth the fishing has been darn good with some really nice fish in the mix. A secondary but equally spectacular fishery, Smallies are a great option if the late season Steelhead refuse to cooperate.
It is still on the early side for the Catskills as the latitude and altitude keep that region much cooler than the coast. However, there has been some good fish activity in the past week. The Delaware is waking up from its winter slumber and while the main is fairly inactive as far as hatches go, the branches beginning to see Hendricksons. I would suspect that next week or the week after should see that hatch begin in earnest. It is all weather dependent but a few warm days should kick that hatch off. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill are a bit warmer and fishing well. Higher water has lent itself well to streamers and nymphs but there should be Hendys flying around any day now. If you are thinking about doing something a little different, the Catskills are a great option on the right day.
Stripers, Stripers, Stripers! They are here and fly anglers have been making the most of it. 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 seen 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 at them. 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 the 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.
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more …