May 13, 2022 8 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! Fly fishing across the Northeast is great at present. The smaller stockie streams are holding their own. The DEEP has been putting fish in more frequently and at more locations this year which has essentially extended our season by a few weeks. Moving around to lesser known spots will keep you on the fish as there are tons of good locations. The Farmington is in its prime right now. 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 Hendrickson hatch is in full swing so bust out those dry flies. With a large permanent catch and release only section of water that is well patrolled by the DEEP, fly anglers love this stretch of river. It also gets fewer spin anglers which is very nice this time of year. 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 continues and is only getting better with lots of large and smaller fish 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!
Rhodie is finally beginning to see a fair number of Stripers. Some nicer fish have also been moving into the area. The salt ponds, rock piles, and back bays have been fishing consistently with fish in that 20-30 inch range. Falling tide has been the top producer (no surprise there) however, as long as the water is moving, there is a good chance of finding fish. Around Watch Hill, the bite has been more consistent than say Point Judith. However, the fish are pushing East so don’t expect that to be the case for long. Deceivers and Clousers will get the job done on any given day. You don’t need to get crazy with your fly selection. The fish are hungry after a long winter/migration so anything reasonable should get bit. We are seeing the lower light hours becoming more critical. The fish are starting to become tougher to locate during mid-day under high sun. For that reason, falling tides in the morning or afternoon are best. If it is overcast then just go whenever the tides are good.
More stockings mean more options for the upcoming week. The DEEP has stocked another 39 streams this week alone. While many of the rivers have been very crowded there are plenty of options. Many are trying to avoid the crowds and I would highly recommend it. 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. One benefit to the Spring is that there is no shortage of options in terms of rivers to fish as the state has stocked over 70 of them thus far so no need to pack into the crowded spots. 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 50s which is deal for trout to feed. For you dry fly anglers, the last gasp of 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 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.
No change to the Farmy report and it has been fishing extremely well. During 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. I find the next month or so to be some of the best fishing all 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 160cfs. The Still is coming in at 77ish. That is a little on the low side so hopefully we get some water soon. It looks like we could get precipitation this weekend so fingers crossed. 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 hatching well into the permanent catch and release only area at this point. Mimicking these bugs is a smart move. The hatch is certainly in full swing so bring those dries! Smaller black stonefly nymphs are a good option as well. Patterns in s12 and 14 tend to draw aggressive strikes. There should be some smaller bugs coming off as well. Caddis, Midges and certainly BWOs should be flying around this weekend. You can expect fish to be rising in the mornings provided the water doesn’t blow out so bring those dries just in case. Make no mistake, the fishing can be nothing short of spectacular this time of year. May is one of my favorite months. The fish are active, hungry, and there are no shortage of options as far as technique is concerned. With the increased angling pressure, now is the time to start getting to the river nice and early. If you have a favorite spot in mind I would recommend trying to get there at sun-up. It is 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 Housatonic is finally looking good! The flows are great at 700 and falling. That, coupled with great water temperatures and recent stockings mean that it is game on. We know how fickle this river can be. It goes up quickly and will stay up for a long time so if you want to fish this river, do not wait. This weekend is your window. The fly fishing only section on the TMA is where you should focus the majority of your attention. It is loaded with a lot of very nice sized fish. The recently stocked fish will take a wide variety of flies as well. All of the junk-style nymphs will certainly work as well as more natural patterns. With the cloudy conditions this weekend you can expect to see BWOs hatching and fish rising on them. The Hendricksons have been a poor hatch on this river for years so don’t expect anything great for this hatch. There are not many of them but you may see a few flying around. There could be some caddis as well, however reports on the dry fly action have been sparse. Streamers and nymphs will most likely be the way to go unless something dramatic happens. The Smallie fishing down low has been great as well. The fish are just starting to look up and willing to take poppers in the mornings and afternoons. While that will certainly take a few fish, streamers fished on sink tips will be far more productive. The Pike have begun to spread out making fishing for them tough. If you cover enough water odds are good of a sub-25 inch fish taking your fly but larger fish have been tough to come by.
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. We are hearing that the river mouths are slowing down and the fish are spreading out and keying in on any structure associated with warmer water. These areas also tend to have larger fish so keep that in mind as well. We have seen an influx of those larger 35” plus size fish moving in and while they can be tough to pin down, they are certainly here. 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. 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 fluctuation. 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.
As we mentioned last week, the Catskills river are really rounding into form. The East, West and upper Main are in the thick of the Hendrickson hatch. Although the hatch has been a bit sporadic this year, I would suspect that next week should have some great moments. It is all weather dependent but a few warm days should kick that hatch off. There have been some Apples flying around and the fish have been taking the emergers well. That has made for challenging fishing but a well-drifted Hendrickon has been taking fishing consistently. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill are a bit warmer and fishing very well. Higher water has lent itself well to streamers and nymphs but there are certainly Hendys flying around making for some spectacular dry fly fishing. If you are thinking about doing something a little different, the Catskills are a great option right now, especially on the right day.
The Striper bite continues to impress. Raritan Bay has been the epicenter of the action with fish from 20 inches up to 60 pounds being caught. The surrounding area has been inundated with fish moving into the shallows to feed making them easier targets for the 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 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 should 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 as the water rushes out on a falling tide, the fish have been stacked up and feeding heavily. It will only get better in the next few weeks as the fish continue their push East.