June 17, 2021 7 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! The saltwater action has been great recently. The big Stripers have moved in thick across the Northeast with Rhode Island being the hot spot at the moment. The Western Sound seems to be cooling as far bigger fish are concerned, however they are still around and will be until the end of the month at least. Montauk has improved quite a bit over the last few weeks as has the Cape. The Trout fly fishing has begun to taper off as we approach the summer doldrums. Warming water and low flows means it's time to focus on tailwaters and leave the trout on warmer rivers alone until later the Fall. Read on for more...
The Cape continues to improve every day! There are plenty of slot and sub-slot fish 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, larger fish are moving in by the day. Martha’s Vineyard has been one of the hot spots recently for larger Stripers. The fishing will only get better over the next 2 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, there are more moving in. Sand Eels seem to be the “buzz bait” right now. They are plentiful and matching the hatch has paid off for most fly anglers.
No change to the Rhode Island report, which is a good thing. The big fish have moved in and with the moon phase right now, the fishing should be great! One of the hot spots will be Block Island. The fish will be stacked amongst the rocks and will 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 places to target Bluefish at the moment, you could run into them off Rhodie on any given day if you are fishing from a boat. There are lots of 2 to 4 pounders around, but Gators have been making appearances as well. So 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, so 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 consistent 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 1,300, the East is at 390, and the West Branch is at 580 CFS as of 06/18. Those are good wadable levels, but expect the fishing to be tough despite those good flows. The water is warming quickly and really the only game in town will be the West Branch. The most prolific hatch will be Sulphurs. They are prevalent in upper Main and as well as in both branches. Cahills, caddis, and BWOs will make up the majority of the rest of the insects coming off this week. The fishing has been very tough recently. The fish on the West Branch have been beat up pretty good. There are a lot of anglers out there right now and the fish are educated so having multiple patterns of one type of bug is very advantageous right now. The East and Mainstem are getting warm, so the West is by far the “best” place to fish, but expect crowds and picky fish.
The Willow and Beaverkill are warming up quite a bit. If you do fish these rivers, consider only fishing in the morning and late afternoon. The same hatches on the Delaware will hold true for the Beaverkill and Willowemoc.
The Stripers are headed East and West. The Western Sound seems to be slowing while Montauk is beginning to show some serious action. The Race and Plum Gut are seeing some really nice fish. While the larger fish seem to be holding in 40 feet or deeper, they are in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around 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 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. Using the bait and switch with hookless poppers has been working well in taking some larger fish on fly. The Bluefish have come in thick. While most are not huge, there are plenty of them. They seem to be the 2 to 4 pounders. A great 8 wt fish, but make sure you have wire on and durable flies.
The Farmington is looking very good at the moment. The flows are perfect, around 350 CFS with the input from the Still. With the bugs we have coming off, the fishing should be awesome. For dries, there are certainly lots of options depending on where you are 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 are essentially done. Vitreus are subsiding, but the Sulphurs are popping in strong numbers. There are some Isos coming off as well. 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 will mean a very early morning and then having to hold your spot. The water temperatures are great right now and the larger fish are beginning to spread out. There is plenty of water on this river and anglers have been doing well by fishing on the move. Fishing “B” or “C” water and hitting multiple pockets while covering water has often been the key to success. We certainly heard that last year from the Farmy Vets. Consider deploying this tactic from now on. Especially as crowds swell to peak in late May, June, and July it can make or break your day. 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 came back up after the rain on Monday. That is good news for our trout as it was getting pretty warm and the water was getting pretty low. Despite the rain, the fish will be stressed during the mid day hours. 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 however, and 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. The Smallies are the least active at midday. However, fishing weighted streamers with sink tips should keep those rods bent. The Pike are still holding their own and taking well-presented flies to those willing to use heavy rods all day. The keys to success have been covering water and matching the appropriate fly to the conditions.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The saltwater fly fishing this past week has slowed just a bit, but it has still been very good. 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: during low-light hours and high water, fish will seek out prey in the shallows. Those conditions are the most 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. There are some really big fish moving out of Connecticut right now. They will not be here for much longer.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.