Greetings Compleat Anglers! It's going to be a hot one this weekend, but fortunately the fishing continues to be great. Many of our local streams have received more fish and are definitely holding their own. With plenty of anglers about moving around to lesser-known spots will keep you on the fish and give you some space. The flows on the Farmington are perfect right now, and the trout continue to be active. The Catskills have also been great, with lots of bugs coming off and plenty of rising (though picky) trout. The Hendrickson hatch is mostly over but we'll transition to some big bugs over the next few weeks which should make for some great action. The phenomenal Striper bite has continued too with good numbers of fish spread along the coast and plenty of big fish in the mix as well. In sum, it's a great time of year to be out there and there are plenty of options. Read on for more!
Rhodie is definitely seeing good numbers of fish and some larger fish have moved into the area as well. 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. 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 as we transition to more summer-like weather. 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.
Our local streams continue to benefit from stockings and there are plenty of fish in most rivers. They can be crowded, of course, so being willing to move a little bit can be especially helpful this time of year. The fish still seem 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 should push river temps up, but given how cool the spring has been we should be okay. Given the heat this weekend, I'd make sure to get to spots nice and early to avoid as much angling pressure and take advantage of the cooler morning temps. 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 big changes to the Farmy report and it has been fishing extremely well. We are past the Hendys but we've heard reports of lots of caddis and we should start seeing some of the next hatches kicking off shortly. The trout are moving into feeding lies and a wide variety of techniques will take fish. The flow out of the dam is around 140cfs and the Still has been yo-yoing around 150 or so, which makes for pretty good wading conditions. While the heat this weekend will push up water temps we should still be okay. As always, remember that the farther away from the dam you get, the warmer the water so plan accordingly. 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. And of course I'd also make sure to bring some dries so that you don't miss any great surface activity. 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.
After finally hitting some nice flows last week, the Housatonic has bumped back up around 1,000 CFS which is just at the borderline for safe wading conditions. We know how fickle this river can be, so keep an eye on the flows into next week and if it settles a bit, I would not wait. 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. The Hendricksons have been a poor hatch on this river for years so don’t expect anything great for this hatch, but as we transition deeper into the season we should start to see some other hatches arrive. 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.
Happily, the Striper bite continues to be wide open all across Connecticut. Fly anglers are getting into plenty of fish in a wide variety of locations. 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 rivers are really rounding into form. We were up there yesterday and there were tons of bugs coming off and fish rising everywhere. There are still a few remnants of the Hendrickson hatch, but right now it's mostly about March Brown's, Grey Foxes, Sulphurs, and Caddis. We should be heading into big bug time over the next week or two. The flows are holding steady though with the heat this weekend don't be surprised to see a little cool water released. As expected this time of year there are plenty of anglers on the water, but if you spread out a bit you should have no trouble locating fish. It's a great time of year to fish the Catskills, no question about it.
Reports were thinner this week about the saltwater action, but no news often means that not much has changed, and that's a good thing indeed. As we wrote last week 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.
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