Hello Compleat Angler Friends! Another wonderful week of fishing has many people happy and eager to get back out on the water. Our local trout streams have been consistent, with good fishing still at the Saugatuck, Mianus, Mill, and Norwalk rivers. The Housatonic has been fantastic this week with many trout happy and rising. Our anglers are catching fish on Caddis, March Browns, Sulphurs and Blue Winged Olives as the main course for dry flies. Water temperatures have spread the fish out in a variety of water types, so it pays to fish the faster water, especially with your Sulphur dry flies. We also have more good news on the saltwater front, as Bunker have pushed near our shores, and anglers are finding larger Bluefish crashing the schools. Striper fishing remains consistent, with beach anglers catching schoolies and some larger fish in the mix. Sand Eels are still close to the beaches and are hatching in the mornings, and Stripers will be on them if there is tide movement. Clousers, Deceivers, Epoxy Sand Eels, Flatwings, and large Bunker patterns are all fooling fish. The Connecticut River has been fairly slow which suggests that fish are on the move, but there have been improvements in Rhode Island and New York. Read on for more…
Flows are still fairly low, and most of our rivers are below average. For example, the Saugatuck flows are currently 91.5cfs which is an improvement from last week thanks to some rain. Since flows are still low, a stealthy approach when wading runs will prevent alerting trout and compromising the section you’re fishing. Downsizing flies during these flows is recommended, and using nymphs with brass beads in certain slower and shallower 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 are going to 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 Sulphurs, March Browns, Blue Winged Olives, and some Cahills are starting to hatch 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, Beetles, 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.
The Naugatuck flows have raised a bit but are still below average of 477cfs at Beacon Falls for easy wading. Focusing on the same techniques I outlined for our local rivers will help your chances as most of the insect activity will be similar. All sections of the Naugatuck around the TMAs will be fishing well so look to fish similar offerings we are using on our local streams: Sulphurs, March Browns, Cahills, 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 more recently with trout so a wide variety of flies will work. Since third stockings occurred earlier this month on the Naugatuck, use more imitative flies as trout 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.
A lot of sections on the Farmington are now holding fish, so anglers have a variety of options and water types. Most areas were stocked for the fourth time this month so there are plenty of fish. A release in flows has the West Branch at 184cfs, with the Still River adding 97.2cfs. Water clarity is good and overall, the flows are below average. The West Branch water temperatures are starting in the mid-40s, reaching the low 50s by the afternoon. These are ideal temperatures for trout and bug activity. Trout are spreading out in different water types, so now is the time to target the faster pocket water. During the afternoons and evenings look to fish Blue Winged Olives in the smaller sizes down to size 24. Hendricksons are tapering off and mostly hatching upriver. During warmer days, it is best to stay into the afternoon and evening if you’re timing the Hendrickson hatch, since they will be 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 and don’t overlook fishing these patterns in the faster water. 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 also be productive since the fish are spread out. Anglers that are looking to target larger holdover fish will have increased odds fishing smaller nymphs during these flows. And junk flies (mops, squirmies, etc) will work for recently stocked fish. In terms of fishing techniques, 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: swinging nymphs at the end of your drift can simulate an emerging insect. 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. Sulphur nymphs have been active subsurface. For streamer fishing, warmer water temperatures will have the trout more aggressive 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.
Flows have gradually dropped throughout the week to 718cfs on the Housatonic at Falls Village. The Housatonic was stocked as well as the Shepaug. The fishing has been excellent of late, with plenty of bug activity occurring in the evenings. Bring a variety of nymphs: Caddis larvae and Pupae, Stoneflies, Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Golden Stoneflies, as well as junk flies (Mops and Squirmies). The larger junk flies will perform well during high water and on stocked fish. 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 16-24 BWOs will have you covered for the warmer afternoons, which is when you can expect the large hatches. Spinners have been seen laying eggs during the evenings, and, as a rule, you can expect most of the bug activity in the afternoons and evenings. For nymphs, having different sized Pheasant tails, Prince Nymphs, and Hare’s Ears (#12-18) will imitate Stoneflies and a variety of Mayfly Nymphs well. Focusing on areas by the park and TMA’s, especially if you’re looking for rising trout, should result in some fish during the warmer 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 pop off is a good strategy and then look 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.
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 lately. Our anglers indicate that fish are spread all over the river, above the I-95 bridge 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 retrieve 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. Because it will reduce leader hinge, having a shorter leader will help sink your fly when fishing an intermediate line, especially with unweighted flies. This rig will also be easier to cast in windier conditions. 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. The Bunker have moved in closer to shore and there are plenty of Bluefish underneath them. The Bluefish have been spotted from Old Saybrook to Greenwich. Look for nervous schools of Bunker moving quickly, and you should find fish beneath them. If fishing the coves by boat, bring some EP Peanut Butters, Deceivers, Clousers, and Half and Halfs in the 4” range which will be the most effective. Bring a variety of colors in Chartreuse, White, Olive, Blue, and Black/Purple for the evenings. Rocky points will hold Stripers especially well and look for gulls to give away the location of the bait. Fish will also be pushed on the 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. 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.
Flows have dropped considerably on the Delaware, with the mainstem at Lordville running at 1300cfs. 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. Hendricksons 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 at success. The river will be improved for wading at these flows, and temperatures on the mainstem are in the mid 50s. The afternoons and evenings are 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 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 this time of year.
Striper season is underway, and the fishing has been heating up. Stripers have inundated the South Shore, along with large schools of big Bluefish. Anglers are starting to catch fish on topwater, and the most prevalent bait nearshore is Bunker, Silversides, and 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. Montauk is seeing a big push of Stripers, and there has been a ton of squid nearshore recently as most of the action continues to push in from the West.
Nearshore Striper fishing has been consistent, and there are plenty of schoolies in the 20-30” range. Many fish are being caught by shore and from boat anglers. Squid patterns and topwater will be working well, especially on Cape Cod. Fishing topwater at dusk and dawn has resulted in nice fish up to 30lbs. It will be worth fishing squid patterns with sinking lines near structure and the rips. Trophy Stripers have made an appearance in many areas, with most of them being caught near Narragansett Bay and the Canal. In Watch Hill, Stripers are inundating the beaches, breachways, and salt ponds and bigger Bluefish are cruising the beaches. Bringing larger EP Bunker patterns, topwater flies, Flatwings and Deceivers should also be considered to imitate a variety of the baitfish you will encounter.
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