Greetings Compleat Anglers! The fly fishing continues to impress across the Northeast. States are still stocking weekly and in the catch-and-release sections the fishing has been spectacular. The last week has been tough with colder temperatures but with a warm-up in progress, the weather looks great for the next week despite some rain in the forecast. The Farmington is still fishing very well. After hitting borderline flood stage last week, the flow is back up and you may want to wait a few days for that water to come down. Above the Still it should be more manageable if you decide to fish. Just be very careful wading. 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 50 degrees or warmer, the fly fishing should be good or great. All in all the trout fishing has been awesome. Read on for more!
The fly fishing across Connecticut has been stellar. Everyone has been getting into some awesome fishing and with so many streams stocked, there have been plenty of places to get on fish without bumping elbows with 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 fly 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. Unfortunately, this weekend is opening day. The second Saturday in April is when it becomes legal to kill fish in many of the TMAs (not all of them). A few weeks after that the rivers will be completely devoid of fish so get your licks in now. Pretty soon the fly fishing will dry up as the worm drowners rip fish out daily. The warmer weather is a positive trend as it will warm up that water into the 50’s which are ideal conditions for trout to feed. For you dry fly anglers, the Stoneflies have been coming off on sunny days and they should be coming off on a regular basis at this point making for some awesome 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 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 really coming into its own. With opening day this Saturday, and smaller stockie streams getting completely cleaned out by worm drowners, the permanent Catch & Release Only section on the Farmington becomes very attractive. This is also the time of year when fishing tends to get really hot. The next month or so I find to be some of the best fishing all year. The trout are shaking off the winter sluggishness and become very active. They hold up in feeding lies and a wide variety of techniques will take fish. The flow out of the dam is around 600 cfs. The Still is coming in at 1200ish making it blown out below it. That is high but not horrible above the Still and certainly a good streamer flow. The Still should come down quick so provided we do not get any more substantial rain, the river should be fishable in few days. 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 since these fish are 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 during 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 3000 cfs 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, it will be the most productive later in the day when the water is warmest. With the higher water, drift boat anglers have a good opportunity this weekend and 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 still shut down. 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 very high at 4000cfs. That is basically blown out. 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 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 too. 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 so 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 the fishing is improving on a whole. If we get a good drop in water it will certainly be worth the drive up.
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