May 19, 2023 10 min read

Hello Compleat Angler Friends! Good news for our saltwater anglers is that Stripers have infiltrated a lot of the beaches and coves around Westport. Look for boils as these fish are hitting Sand Eels on the surface. The cold front should dissipate by Sunday, which will give way to temperatures in the low 70s. The saltwater fishing has been great leading up to the new moon, and we are seeing quality Stripers caught on the fly. The cold front didn’t have enough time to affect the fishing negatively, so there are plenty of options for wade and boat anglers. Bluefish have started to show up sporadically, and it should be a couple of weeks before they show up with more frequency. Our local trout fishing has been steady, and since flows have dropped considerably one tip would be to use more drab and smaller offerings. While Hendricksons are tapering off on the Farmington and Delaware, Sulphurs and March Browns are picking up where they left off, especially in the lower sections. Read on for more…


Local Rivers

Flows have consistently dropped this week, and most of our rivers are below average. For example, the Saugatuck flows are currently 58.4cfs. Since flows are low, use a stealthy approach when wading in the runs so as to not alert trout that you’re there and compromise the section you’re fishing. Downsizing flies during these flows is recommended and using nymphs with brass beads in certain slower and more shallow sections will avoid snags during your drift. Pairing a nymph on a dry dropper rig will help with a more subtle presentation to avoid any splashing of indicators. More imitative and smaller nymphs in sizes 14-24 will cover most of the natural forage for our trout. This certainly doesn’t mean streamers and larger/more attractive nymphs won’t work, but it is usually best to try these patterns in the morning. For hatches, some of the main bugs you will encounter are Paraleps, Blue Winged Olives, Hendricksons, and Sulphurs for Mayflies in sizes 12-18. Hendricksons are starting to taper off and give way to March Browns. There are plenty of Caddis hatching, so bring a variety of sizes from 14-20. Other considerations are Ant patterns, and Green Inchworms when fishing under overhanging trees. For your rig, sticking to your 5x and 6x leaders will cover most dry fly/nymphing scenarios. Fish are going to be in a variety of water types, so don’t overlook the faster, more oxygenated water. Good areas to consider are the Mianus, Saugatuck, Mill, and Norwalk Rivers. All local options have been stocked at this time. Trout Parks and ponds are also a great option to take the kids fishing as they have been stocked more recently.

Naugatuck River

The Naugatuck flows have also dropped to a below average of 321cfs for easy wading. Focusing on the same techniques I outlined for our local rivers will help result in success as the water is clearing. All sections of the Naugatuck around the TMAs will be fishing well and look to use the same offerings we are using on our local streams: Sulphurs, March Browns, Stoneflies, Caddis, Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Terrestrials. A range of sizes from 16-24 in nymphs/dries will have you covered. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure. In addition, the Shetucket was stocked with trout more recently so a wide variety of flies will work. Since third stockings occurred earlier this month on the Naugatuck, use more imitative flies as the fish have become more acclimated to their natural forage. With the increase in water temperature now is a good time to throw streamers during the mornings and evenings.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01208500

Farmington River

A lot of sections on the Farmington are now holding fish, so there are a variety of options and water types. Most areas were stocked for the third time earlier this month. A drop in flows has the West Branch flows at 228cfs, with the Still River adding 66cfs. Water clarity is good. The West Branch water temperatures are in the mid-40s, with warmer temperatures downriver. These are ideal temperatures for trout and bug activity. As mentioned, trout are spreading out in different water types, so now is the time to target the faster pocket water as well. During the afternoons and evenings look to fish Blue Winged Olives in the smaller sizes down to 24. Hendricksons are tapering off and mostly hatching upriver. During the sunny days, it is best to stay into the afternoon and evening if you’re timing the Hendrickson hatch, as they are most prevalent then. Bring a good variety of Caddis in sizes 14-20 because they are hatching on most sections of the river. Sulphurs are starting up on the lower sections of the river in sizes 12-16 as well. Bringing smaller midges in sizes 18-24, and Winter/Summer Caddis in the same sizes should also be considered for morning hatches. Terrestrials are another option to have in your box this time of year. Fishing dries in faster water can be a productive technique this time of year, though anglers that are looking to target larger holdover fish will have better odds fishing smaller nymphs during these flows. In terms of timing, look to use nymphs/streamers in the morning before most of the hatches start. Generally, 5-6x leaders and tippet will improve your odds for success for nymphing. For our Trout Spey Anglers, look to fish larger streamers or intruders paired with a faster sinking tip in the morning. Once the afternoon hatches hit, fishing a wet fly swung on a less aggressive sinking tip can pull additional fish. The same can be said for those nymphing with single handers as swinging nymphs at the end of your drift can simulate an emerging insect. For fly selection, stocked fish will take a variety of junk flies (Squirmies, Mops, larger nymphs with hotspots). Other considerations should be larger Stoneflies (which can be paired with a smaller offering to help get your rig down) as well as Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Perdigones, Caddis Larvae, Hare’s Ears, and Waltz Worms. For streamer fishing, trout aggression will increase with warmer water temperatures, so try fishing articulated flies paired with sinking lines and a short leader. Your odds will be better with streamers during the morning hours. Vary retrieves, starting fast and then slowing down to see what the trout prefer. 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

Flows have gradually dropped to 646cfs on the Housatonic at Falls Village. The Housatonic was stocked as well as the Shepaug. The TMA by Bull’s Bridge will be fishing well. Bring a variety of nymphs: Caddis larvae and Pupae, Stoneflies, Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, as well as junk flies (Mops and Squirmies). The larger junk flies will perform well during high water and on stocked fish. Golden Stoneflies will start hatching soon so it is a good idea to bring nymphs in sizes 6-12. The main hatches will be Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Cahills, and Sulphurs. Bringing a variety of Sulphur and Caddis patterns in sizes 12-20 and BWOs in sizes 16-24 will have you covered for the warmer afternoons, which is when you can expect the hatches. Spinners have been seen during the evenings laying eggs, and as a rule, you can expect most of the bug activity in the afternoons and evenings. For nymphs, having different sizes of Pheasant tails, Prince Nymphs, and Hare’s Ears (#12-18) will imitate Stoneflies and a variety of Mayfly nymphs well. Focusing on TMAs and areas by the park, especially if you’re looking for rising trout, should result in some fish during the afternoons. Other considerations will be Midges and terrestrials. Focusing on your small Midges 18-24 should result in some success. Presentation is key, so use longer leaders, step down to 6x tippet, and make sure to get a drag free drift. With water temperatures on the rise, fish are starting to spread out in the river and feed in different water types. Focusing on nymphing and streamer fishing during the mornings before any hatches start is a good strategy and follow that up by looking for rising fish in the afternoon and into the evening. For streamers fishing, having a sinking line or sink tip is the key to success. Trout are starting to become more active with the increase in water temperatures, so don’t overlook the faster water. During high water events, the fish will be pushed closer to the bank, which is a good opportunity to fish larger streamers paired with a sinking line. There are plenty of fish in the river with a combination of stocked fish and holdover fish from the last stocking during Fall. Smallmouth and carp are starting to become more active in the larger and slower sections of the river and lake systems.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000


While anglers have been catching Stripers on the Housatonic, some of the action has slowed down. However, you can expect to catch fish during the tide movements. Fishing the incoming tides has been the ticket recently. Our anglers indicate that fish are spread all over the river, above the I-95 bridge all the way down to the mouth. Stripers are also starting to become active during the night, so planning around an ideal evening tide could result in some great fishing. The most productive technique this time of year will be fishing with different colored Clousers paired with an intermediate sinking line (1.2-2ips sink rate). Bringing brighter and flashier offerings, switching up your retrieving speed and pausing between strips should result in fish once you find the pace the fish prefer. For this fishery we recommend 20-30lb fluorocarbon leaders around 7’ in length. Having a shorter leader will help sink your fly when fishing an intermediate line, and will also reduce leader hinge, especially with unweighted flies. This rig will also be easier to cast in windier conditions, an added bonus. A lot of schoolies are being brought to hand, with some fish 30” and over in the mix. Westport beaches have seen an increase in Striper activity near the beaches, as well as Cove Harbor, and the outflow of Holly Pond. During the morning hours fish can be seen hitting Sand Eels on the surface. There are a lot of adult Silversides around the Norwalk Islands, and larger fish are being caught around rock structures. If fishing the coves by boat, some EP Peanut Butters, Deceivers, Clousers, and Half and Halfs in the 4” range will be the most effective. Bring a variety of colors in Chartreuse, White, Olive, Blue, and Black/Purple for the evenings. Targeting shallow areas with darker mud bottoms will prove useful, as these areas will warm up quicker during the morning hours. Fish will be pushed on these flats during either side of the high tide. For our boat anglers the beaches and coves around Southport are fishing well, as well as structure near some of the buoys, which suggests migratory fish are holding nearshore. Larger 40” and over Stripers are being marked and caught using big flies, and this is a game of quality over quantity. For the most part they are in deeper water toward the middle of the sound. Those that are putting in the time and effort are being rewarded. For this type of fishing having the fastest sinking lines available in 10-12wt, as well as large flies from 6-10” in length will be your best shot at a trophy. They will be chasing Bunker near the surface on occasion. Some anglers have been finding Bluefish out towards the Middle Grounds. With a lot of options available via wading or boat, now is the time to get out there! Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

New York

Salmon River

Things are slow on the Steelhead front as the run winds down, however anglers are finding some great smallmouth in the lower sections of the river stripping/swinging streamers. Flows in Pineville are currently 264 cfs.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000


Flows have dropped considerably on the Delaware, with the mainstem at Lordville running at 1300cfs. The West Branch flows at Hale Eddy are currently 477cfs, while the East Branch at Fish’s Eddy is 578cfs. The dry fly fishing has been great, with a variety of hatches going on depending on where you’re floating or wading. The main hatches are March Browns in sizes 10-12, Sulphurs in 14, Blue Winged Olives in 16-18, and Grey Fox 12-14. There is an abundance of Caddis (Apple and Tan) in sizes 16-20. Hendrickson are tapering off, although some spinners can be found on the upper stretches. Trout will be keyed into any of these bugs, so bringing a variety of patterns will help your odds of success. The river will be improved for wading at these flows, and temperatures on the mainstem are in the mid 50s. During the afternoons and evenings is when you will encounter most of your hatches, and anglers that are nymphing and streamer fishing in the morning are having success. During the morning hours, nymphing has been the most productive with Stoneflies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Caddis Pupa, Caddis Larvae, etc. Streamer fishing also continues to be good with sinking lines, and the colors to consider are Chartreuse and White. When dry fly fishing, presenting the fly downstream, so the trout will see your fly first as opposed to the leader, will improve your odds. Adding a reach cast can also be an effective way to get a better and longer drift, coupled with a longer 10-14” 5x leader. The Willowemoc, Beaverkill, and Neversink flows are at a good level for wading, and you can expect March Browns, Sulphurs, Caddis, and some Hendrickson in the upper stretches. Having some Rusty Spinners is always a good option for this time of year.


Striper season is underway, and the Striper fishing has been heating up. Stripers have inundated the South Shore, along with schools of Bluefish. Anglers are starting to catch fish on topwater, and the most prevalent bait nearshore is Bunker, Silversides, and more recently Sand Eels. When fishing by boat focus on structure around the bays and look for birds/baitfish as Stripers will be blitzing. Bringing some poppers, like a Bob’s Banger, will result in some Blue and Striper action during dusk and dawn.

Rhode Island

More migratory Stripers are starting to show up around the beaches, and anglers are reporting more activity, especially around Cape Cod. The good news is that squid have started to show up, and their numbers will increase as water temperatures continue to warm. Fishing topwater at dusk and dawn has resulted in nice fish up to 30lbs. Fishing the tidal estuaries and salt ponds will still be productive, and using smaller baitfish imitations (such as Peanut Bunker and Silversides) should work until most of the Herring run arrives. Pretty soon it will be worth fishing squid patterns with sinking lines near structure and the rips. Bringing EP Peanut Butters, Clousers, Deceivers, and Flatwings will have a variety of baitfish species covered. Fishing the Herring run will produce some larger fish slot size and greater. The overall trend is that there is more large Striper activity and plenty of schoolies to catch along the beachfronts. There are also schools of Bluefish showing up so bring some wire leaders.