May 10, 2024 9 min read

Hello Compleat Angler Friends! Rain showers have kept flows near average levels, and more showers are expected into the weekend, with the exception being Saturday. Our freshwater anglers have been having a fun season enjoying the Hendrickson hatch. On the Delaware the hatch is continuing strong, while the hatch is moving upriver on the Farmington signaling the beginning of the end. The other prevalent hatch has been Tan/Olive Caddis in sizes 16-18, and Blue Winged Olives in 18-20 during overcast days. All our local small streams have been stocked with a few select rivers receiving their second stocking, so there are quite a few fish to be had. Everything is in good shape besides the Housatonic which is currently above 1000 CFS. Things continue to improve in the saltwater, and there is a mix of migratory and holdover Stripers. The most prevalent bait are Silversides and Herring, while Bunker should show up any week now. Read on for more…


Local Rivers

This week we had a small bump in flows from the rain, which has kept overall flows near average levels. For instance, the Saugatuck is reading 100 CFS, so all our options are ideal for wading, clarity, and bug activity. Fish will be looking up with more frequency so dry flies to bring include Hendricksons (Red Quills) in sizes 12-14, Tan and Black Caddis in sizes 16-18, Blue Winged Olives (especially on overcast days) in sizes 18-20, Midges in sizes 20-14, Ant patterns, and Small Black Stoneflies (although less frequent now) in sizes 14-18. For low and clear water we recommend using9’ leaders in 6x. Having a drag free drift is especially important now that stocked trout are keying in on the natural insects in the river. That said, some rivers have recently received a second stocking so these fresh fish will be more forgiving in terms of fly selection. Nymphing will be most productive in the morning, and it will help having a variety of different bead sizes (in brass and tungsten) or split shot, as it will help using lighter weight in the slower pools. Some of our favorite patterns include Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Caddis Larvae, Waltz Worms, and Perdigones in sizes 14-18, as well as Zebra Midges in sizes 18-20. Streamer fishing will be hit or miss, and during these flows it will help to have some small Woolly Buggers in Olive, Black, and Brown. Sometimes switching to odd colors such as Chartreuse, Purple, and Pink can get an additional fish or two. During the afternoons and into the evenings fishing emergers and swinging soft hackles can be an effective technique.Areas to consider are the Saugatuck, the Mill River in Fairfield, the Aspetuck River, and the Norwalk River. Plenty of ponds and lakes were also stocked, which is a good opportunity to take the kids fishing. Some areas are seeing a second round of stocking so there are a ton of options no matter where you are in the state.

Naugatuck River

Naugatuck flows have increased more significantly compared to other local options after this past week’s rain. Flows are currently above average, reading 1320 CFS at Beacon Falls, so we would recommend waiting until flows drop a bit. All sections of the Naugatuck were stocked, and the TMAs have received their second round of stocking already. Now that the fish have been in the system for a couple weeks they are keying in on more naturals as well, and coupled with lower flows, they will be rising with more frequency. Look to fish Small Black Stoneflies, Hendricksons, Midges, Caddis, and Blue Winged Olives as your main hatches. With respect to other insects, having a range of sizes from 12-24 in nymphs/dries will have you covered. Bring similar patterns that you would use on the rest of our local rivers in the streams report above. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01208500

Farmington River

Flows on the Farmington River have increased slightly from this past week’s rain, and the West Branch in Riverton is currently reading 206 CFS while the Still River is adding 203 CFS. Flows are still ideal for wading and clarity, as well as hatch activity. For hatches, one factor to consider is where you are fishing, for instance the Hendricksons are currently hatching with more frequency upriver as the lower river tapers off. Generally, the best time for Hedricksons, which will be in sizes 12-14, is during the afternoon and into the evening when you may encounter spinner falls. Other options to bring include Tan/Olive Caddis in sizes 14-18, and Midges in sizes 20-24. During overcast days Blue Winged Olives will be more prevalent in sizes 16-18. It will also be worth bringing some Ant Patterns and hoppers. During these flows we recommend using 9’ or greater leaders in 5x-6x. The holdovers and wild fish are going to be more difficult but persistence and a more natural selection of flies will help even the odds. Nymphing is going to be the most productive method during the morning before most of the hatches start. For nymphing, you will want to bring Pheasant Tails or another Hendrickson imitation in sizes 12-20, Caddis Larva 14-18, Perdigones 12-20, Hare’s Ears 14-18, Waltz Worms in 14-18, and Zebra Midges in 18-24. In terms of rigging, look to use 5x-6xFluorocarbon when nymphing. Smaller nymphs in sizes 18-20 will pair well on a dry/dropper rig. For Streamer fishing you’ll want to bring some Wooly Buggers and jig style streamers in sizes 8-10 in a variety of colors: Olive, Black, White, and Brown. Fishing articulated flies on a sinking/sink tip line can be another useful tool to include in your arsenal. Weighted Sculpin patterns are another consideration and can be fished on a floating line. Now is a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to use Scandi heads and polyleaders during these average flows. Try swinging some wet flies onless aggressive sinking tips, as insects will become more active during the afternoon.Remember to not high or low hole anyone. Let’s be respectful to other anglers. Good luck! Keep in mind:Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186500

Housatonic River

Increased flows from this past week’s rain have made conditions trickier for wading, and currently Falls Village is running at 1420 CFS. We would recommend waiting until the flows drop below 1000 CFS. Anglers that are fishing during these recommended flows are finding good numbers of fish after the couple rounds of stockings. So far hatches have not been heavy, so nymphing and streamer fishing have been the most consistent. That said, you may start to see some Hendricksons in sizes 12-14, Midges in sizes 18-24, Small Black Stoneflies in sizes 14-18, and Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-20. Dry fly fishing should only get better as flows decrease and water temperature increases. For nymphing, consider bringing Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Scud patterns, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Waltz Worms, Perdigones, and Yellow/Golden Stoneflies in sizes 12-18. For smaller nymphs, Zebra Midges in 18-24 will fool fish under most conditions. Streamer fishing can also be a fun and productive technique. If you are fishing articulated neutrally buoyant streamers (Mini Dungeons, Drunk and Disorderly, Circus Peanuts, etc), you will want to pair these with asinking line and a short 5’ leader tapered from20lb to 10lb. For our floating line streamer anglers, consider drab colored Conehead Woolly Buggers paired with a 9ft 2x leader. Now is also a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to consider throwing larger patterns during the afternoon in combination with swinging soft hackles in the mornings and evenings. Trout Spey is a good way to cover and search water, especially in the wider stretches. During the mornings nymphing still remains the most effective method. For nymphing with an indicator (we’ve had great feedback on theOros Stike Indicators), a 9ft taperedfluorocarbon leader in 5x-6x is recommended. Nymphs to consider bringing include Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Waltz Worms, Perdigones, and Yellow/Golden Stoneflies in sizes 12-18. For smaller nymphs, Zebra Midges in 18-24, will fool fish under most conditions.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000


Holdover fishing at the mouth of the Housatonic continues to be good for our wade anglers as more fish push down to the lower section of the river, many are small schoolies however some anglers are finding larger fish in the mid 30” range. This week the incoming tide has been more productive. For this fishery we recommend using a 9 or 10wt rod paired with an intermediate sinking line. For your leader a shorter 7.5ft section of 20-30lb will turn over easily when paired with a Clouser. For colors consider bringing Olive and White on clear sunny days. If the river is stained, bringing brighter colors such as Chartreuse and White will help stand out in dirty water. Larger Herring Patterns are also a consideration this time of year especially for our boat anglers fishing near the rivers as holdovers filter into the sound. There have been some Stripers filtering around the coves, harbors and around the mouths of rivers. Fishing further towards the Western portion of the sound has been the most consistent, from Darien to Rye NY. Focusing on rocky structures and points when fishing from a boat is crucial, and it can also be productive to wait until the flats warm during the afternoons and into the evening. The first of the migratory fish have shown up, and you may find these fish in deeper water structure chasing Herring on the surface. If there’s no surface activity, marking fish with sonar and using full sinking lines will also work. For this fishing we recommend a 4-6” Deceiver in Blue/White. Bunker schools should be arriving soon. Please be safe out there and respectful to other boaters!

New York

The Catskills

Flows have dropped on the Delaware River throughout this past week, and conditions are good for clarity and wading. Currently the Mainstem at Lordville is reading 1890 CFS with a water temperature fluctuating between the mid-50s to low 60s. The West Branch at Hale Eddy is 698 CFS while the East Branch is 775 CFS at Fish’s Eddy. The prevalent hatches have been Hendricksons in sizes 12-14, and Apple and Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18. On sunnier days you can expect to encounter the Hendrickson hatch later in the day and into the evening, while Caddis have been numerous throughout the day. Other hatches you may encounter include Blue Winged Olives in sizes 16-20 (especially on overcast days), a few Blue Quills in sizes 14-16, and you may start to see March Browns in sizes 10-12. It will help to bring a variety of options, as there are many different bugs hatching throughout the day, and trout will change which flies they are keying in on. Bring different stages of Apple Caddis, from the spent adult to the pupae riding lower on the surface film. Most anglers are fishing streamers and nymphs during the high water and during the morning, and are bringing a few fish to hand, so bring some articulated streamers paired with a sinking line. Some streamer colors to consider are White, Yellow, Chartreuse, Black, Olive, and Brown. For nymphing, consider Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Perdigones, Waltz Worms, etc., all in sizes #14-#20. During the warmer afternoons you may have luck swinging soft hackles. During the cooler mornings stick to your subsurface patterns until the afternoon when you may see some fish starting to rise in the slower pools. Dry fly action has been a hit or miss, but when it’s on there have been a ton of bugs and fish happily rising. Anglers have been finding some good size Brown Trout around 20” and there are more Rainbow Trout being brought to hand. Both the Beaverkill and Willowemoc are in good shape for wading.

New York Saltwater

Holdover Striper fishing has seen an improvement while anglers are still waiting for migratory fish to show up in more numbers. The good news is that Bunker schools have arrived along with some migratory fish, and things are starting to improve on the North Shore. Focusing on the bays and salt ponds is going to be your best bet unless you’re able to find these first pods on Bunker. The most prevalent bait in these areas is Silversides. For the back bays you will want to bring some smaller Clousers in #2 and a variety of colors, small Deceivers, Sand Eel patterns, and Grass Shrimp. Fishing poppers early in the morning on a floating line can be a blast, such as Bob’s Bangers and Gurglers. Most of the holdovers you will find are in the 20-30” size with a few high 30” in the mix. During the afternoon warming flats can be a good option to sight fish for cruising Stripers. If searching for migratory fish, bring some larger flies to imitate adult Bunker paired with a sinking line to cut below the schools. Look for signs of nervous and faster moving bait as Stripers will be pushing below them. Bluefish are starting to show up in the mix as well. Depending on your tide, night fishing has been great. Out in Montauk Stripers are along the South Shore to the Lighthouse with the most prevalent bait being Herring and Shad.

Rhode Island Saltwater

Again, sticking to the salt ponds and bays is going to be the most productive for holdover Stripers, and don’t overlook the beachfronts near these areas as Stripers filter out with the tide. Anglers are also starting to find migratory fish moving in with the increase in bait, and some larger fish 35” and over are being caught. While the larger fish are still few and far between, the squid run should help improve things and we can expect it in a few weeks along with the arrival of some Bluefish. The flats in bays and coves are a good choice to sightfish as they are the first areas to warm during the afternoon.