Greetings Compleat Anglers! The fly fishing for trout has been tough this past week. Low water and warmer temps along with bright sun has made it a challenge. Some anglers did well but many were faced with challenging conditions. Fortunately, the saltwater fly fishing more than made up for it, with a ton of really nice Stripers taken recently. Big fish are being found all along the East coast with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island being the hot-spots.
The Cape has been coming into its own. The Bass have moved in and the Squid bite is on! The rips have been fishing well and the Mackerel have also moved in. They are in very strong numbers and the larger Bass have been on them. There are plenty of slot and sub-slot fish in tight to shore making it a great time to fly fish from the beaches. The larger Bass will be offshore in deeper water congregating around rips and drop offs. Early mornings and afternoons have seen the most action and while it is a bit early, more larger fish are moving in by the day. Martha’s Vineyard has been one of the hot spots recently for larger Stripers. Expect the fishing to only get better over the next 3 weeks. The Bluefish have begun to show up as well. The numbers are building and it is only a matter of time before the fishing gets really hot. Nantucket is starting to see some Gator Blues and while the numbers are thin, they are around and moving in.
Rhode Island is fishing extremely well right now. The big fish have moved in and with the moon phase right now, fishing should be great! One of the hot spots will be Block Island. The fish will be stacked amongst the rocks and willing to crush a well casted fly in the mornings and evenings. The Bluefish numbers have been consistent. While the Long Island back bays seem to be the best place to target these fish at the moment, you could run into Blues off Rhodie on any given day if you are fishing from a boat. So it is best to keep some wire and flashy flies, just in case. One of the best Cinder Worm hatches is imminent! The Full Moon is on the 25th and the days leading up to it will have the worms coming out in droves. The June Full Moon is one of the best and most constant times to try to fish this hatch. So, if that is something you are thinking about, now is the time to begin preparations!
The Mainstem is running around 2,400, the East is at 600, and the West Branch is at 1,000 CFS as of 06/11. Aside from the East, those are great levels. Despite good flows, expect the fishing to be tough. The water is warming quickly and the only real game in town will be the West Branch.
The March Browns have shown up in good numbers from the upper Main and into the East and West. They have been very consistent and the fish are certainly on them. There are various caddis hatching as well. Size 16, 18, and 20 olive and tan caddis are must-haves. BWOs in a size 18 or 20 are very important as well. BWOs are a great fly to throw when nothing else is working. Sulphurs have made an appearance on the Main, East, and West. These will be a size 16. Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, Slate Drakes, Grey Foxes, Pink Ladys, and Grannoms are also in town. Make sure you have options up there.
The Willow and Beaverkill are warm. If you do fish these rivers, consider only fishing in the morning and late afternoon.
New York and especially Long Island, has been fishing very well. There are a mixture of smaller Bass, larger Bass and Gator Bluefish up for grabs. The large Blues have begun their exodus out of the bays and into deeper water. While you still may find a straggler or two, most of these fish will be in deeper water by now. They are seeking out the warmest water. If you locate these fish on a high and falling tide, the action should be stellar. These are awesome fish to target on fly and while it may take some searching, if you do run across these fish, you should have no problem hooking up as long as you strip the fly as fast as you can.
A proven tactic is to search with a hookless popper and tease the fish in close to get a shot with the fly. Make sure you are using 10 wts as these fish can tip the scales at 15 pounds or more. Not only that, but large and flashy flies are key, making 10 the minimum weight rod for these situations. The Stripers have been literally all over the place. While the larger fish seem to staying in 40 feet or deeper, they are being found in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around as well to keep the rods bent, but always be prepared for a cow Striper to suck down your fly at this time of year. You never know what you are going to hook! Substantial numbers of larger fish are infiltrating into New York and will continue to do so for the next month. So, keep those larger flies in your box and with any concerted effort, you should be able to get into some larger class fish! They have been on Bunker schools. Ssing the bait and switch with hookless poppers has been working well in taking some larger fish on fly. There are great tides coming up this week so if the weather holds, it is time to get out there!
The Farmington is looking very good at the moment. The flows are perfect, around 400 CFS, and with the bugs we have coming off the fishing should be awesome. For dries there are certainly lots of options depending on your location on the river. There are lots of tan and green caddis coming off. Expect to see the caddis coming off in the mornings and fish rising on them in the softer sections or eddies. BWOs are always a factor as well, especially on cloudier days. The March Browns and Grey Foxes are well into the catch and release section of the river. The Vitreus and the Sulphurs have shown up in strong numbers. Consider bringing the terrestrial box from now on, as there are certainly ants and beetles crawling around. While July seems to be “terrestrial month,” during the middle of the day, fishing an ant or beetle in the blind can be surprisingly effective. If nothing else, it is a great searching pattern that will move fish and allow you to get a bead on them. From there you can deploy a more precise tactic or drop a nymph below it. Church, Chair Factory, Halfords, Greenwoods, Pipeline, and the Boneyard are all putting up some really nice fish. These bigger, wild Browns are what you go up there for, but getting these spots will mean a very early morning and a long day. That being said, there is plenty of water on this river and anglers have been doing well by fishing on the move. According to the Farmy Vets, fishing “B” or “C” water and hitting multiple pockets while covering water has often been the key to success. As crowds swell to peak in late May, June, and July using this tactic can make or break your day. The water temperatures are great right now and the larger fish are beginning to spread out. As mentioned before the Farmington has a long Catch and Release Only section making it a great choice this time of year. While you can expect a lot of spin anglers to be up there as well, there is plenty of water to fish where there will be fewer anglers around.Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic has come down and is at a nice wadeable level. However, things are warming up quite a bit. The thermal refuges are now in effect and the trout should really be left alone for the summer. If you do plan on targeting trout, please do so in the mornings and call it quits by 11am. The Smallies have been more than making up for declining trout fishing. They are hammering poppers in the mornings and afternoons. Right now, it is great to target these fish with surface flies, which is an absolute blast. Mid-day tends to find the Smallies the least active. Fishing weighted streamers with sink tips should keep those rods bent however. The Pike are still holding their own and taking well-presented flies to those willing to have heavy rods all day. Covering water and matching the appropriate fly to the conditions are the keys to success.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The saltwater fly fishing this past week has been awesome. Blues and Bass are everywhere. Some really large fish have been brought to hand recently by fly anglers. Large poppers and beast/hollow flies are responsible for most of the action. However, the water is warming quickly, which means the fish will begin to head deeper. This will be true for the entire Northeastern coast as a general rule. The fish will tend to hold near deep water as far as structure is concerned. However, there is one caveat to that which is: they will be seeking out prey in the shallows, only during high water and low light conditions. That is when the water is the coolest and the light advantageous for feeding. While the fish will feed later in the day in deeper water, if they are on shore they will only feed during low light hours. Keep that in mind. Go early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you are fishing from shore. With that out of the way, there are some really big fish moving into Connecticut right now. They are out in deeper water on Bunker schools. Utilizing the bait and switch method with a hookless popper is the best option if you are on these fish. A big white fly 8/0 or bigger thrown on a 10 to 12 wt is where you want to be.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.