Hello Compleat Angler friends! We’ve had another drop in flows this week, and low water has been the name of the game so far this summer. Fortunately, cooler air temperatures have kept water temperatures at a fishable level on many of our local rivers. With Spring Stocking schedules complete, there are a lot of options available with plenty of trout. In addition, things are looking hopeful with rain expected from this weekend into next week. Hatches that you can expect to see this weekend and into the following week are Caddis, Cahills, Sulphurs, and some Isonychia. There are also plenty of Ants out this time of year, so it is worth bringing some terrestrials. On the local saltwater scene, there are still Bunker schools around, mainly seen off Westport, with Bass and Bluefish hanging under some. Many of the larger fish have continued to migrate East, however there is still plenty of action to be had. Everyday has been different, with some anglers finding great fishing on top in the morning, while others struggle to produce. The deep water fish are still being marked and caught around structure, however this is a game of quality over quantity.
Flows have receded again on our local rivers, with the Saugatuck reading 27.4cfs. Our anglers are reporting some great local fishing and that the trout are up and happy eating on the surface and just below. Cooler morning air temperatures have improved the water temperatures keeping them a little colder. The most consistent bugs the trout are keying in on seem to be small Caddis around size 20. Try fishing the adult form or pupae if they are slowly sipping. Since flows are still relatively low, generally a stealthy approach when wading in the runs will help to not alert trout and compromise the section you’re fishing. Downsizing flies during these flows and water clarity 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 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, Caddis, Cahills, and more recently you will encounter some Isonychia with the most common sizes being 12-18. Other considerations are Ant patterns, Beetles, and Green Inchworms when fishing under overhanging trees or after a steady rain. 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, therefore don’t overlook the faster, more oxygenated water. When nymphing, let your rig swing in the current at the end of your dead drift, this will simulate an emerging insect trout will sometimes key in on. Areas to consider are the Mianus, Saugatuck, Mill, and Norwalk Rivers. All local options have been stocked at this time and are holding plenty of fish. Trout Parks and ponds are also a great option to take the kids fishing as they have been stocked more recently. There are plenty of fish to be had in our local rivers.
The Naugatuck flows have also lowered to 133cfs at Beacon Falls which makes for easy wading. Focusing on the same techniques I outlined for our local rivers will help result in success as most of the insect activity will be similar. All sections of the Naugatuck around the TMAs will be fishing well and look to fish similar offerings we are using on our local streams: Sulphurs, Cahills, Caddis, Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Terrestrials. A range of sizes from 12-24 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 there is a nice variety of water types to target. Most areas were stocked for the fourth time this month so there are plenty of fish. Flows were lowered to conserve water at the dam which brings the West Branch in Riverton to 68.9cfs, with the Still River adding 39.6cfs. During these low flows, fishing dry flies and dry/dropper rigs are good choices. Water clarity is good and overall the flows are below average. The West Branch water temperatures are starting in the mid-40s, reaching the mid 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 smaller sizes down to size 24. During sunny warmer days, it is best to stay into the afternoon and evening if you’re timing the hatches, since this will give you the best chance at hitting the spinner fall. Bring a good variety of Caddis in sizes 14-20 in tan and olive as they are hatching on most sections of the river. Sulphurs are also hatching on most of the river now in sizes 12-16 and don’t overlook fishing these patterns in the faster water. This will be the most prevalent hatch for this time of year, so it will help to bring a variety of smaller and larger sizes (14-20). Bring some emergers, cripples and spinners, as you will most likely see spinner falls during the evenings, and all stages throughout the day. Isonychia are also starting to hatch in the lower sections, so fish this pattern in sizes 8-12 in the faster water during the evenings. 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 productive this time of year because the fish are spread out. Anglers that are looking to target larger holdover fish will have increased odds by fishing smaller nymphs during these flows. Junk flies (mops, squirmies, ect) will work for the recently stocked fish. Some anglers are finding some larger Kamloop Rainbow Trout that were stocked by the FRAA more recently in New Hartford. In terms of fishing techniques, look to nymph/streamer fish in the morning before most of the hatches start. Generally, 5-6x leaders and tippet will improve your odds of success while nymphing. With the variety of bug activity, swinging wet flies can be a productive option. 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 (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, trout aggression will increase with warmer water temperatures, so try fishing articulated flies paired with sinking lines and a short leader. Twitching jigged streamers through a run can also be a deadly technique, and good colors to try include olive, black, tan, and white. 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 slightly decreased to 397cfs on the Housatonic at Falls Village, which is providing anglers with easier wading. The Housatonic was stocked as well as the Shepaug. The Housatonic has still been experiencing fantastic hatches, with plenty of bug activity occurring in the evening. Bring a variety of nymphs: Caddis larvae and Pupae, Waltz Worms, Stoneflies, Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Golden Stoneflies, as well as junk flies (Mops and Squirmies). However, it is all about the dry fly action now. The main hatches will be Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Cahills, Sulphurs, and more recently good hatches of Alder Flies. Alder flies will be hatching from late morning into the late afternoon. Bring a variety of Sulphur and Caddis patterns in sizes 12-20, and 16-24 BWOs, as there have been a ton of Blue Winged Olives hatching. 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 as well. Focusing on areas by the park and TMAs, especially if you’re looking for rising trout, should result in some fish during warmer afternoons. Other considerations will be Midges and terrestrials. Focusing on your small Midges in size 18-24 should result in some success. Presentation is key, so use longer leaders, stepp down to 6x tippet, and make sure to get a drag free drift. Swinging wet flies/soft hackles is also a productive strategy when there is a hatch occurring. 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 is a good strategy and look for rising fish in the afternoon and into the evening. For streamer 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. There are plenty of fish in the river with a combination of stocked fish and holdover fish from the last stocking during the Fall. Smallmouth and carp are starting to become more active in the larger and slower sections of the river and lake systems.
Everyday has been different for the local saltwater game, while many of our Stripers have continued to migrate East, there are still schools of fish hanging around. Some anglers are having great mornings catching Stripers and Blues that are chasing bunker pods. Stripers are 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, or larger bunker imitations (Deceivers, for instance) paired with an intermediate sinking line (1.2-2ips sink rate). Switching up your retrieve speed and pausing between strips should result in fish once you find the pace the fish prefer. For the open water boat game, anglers are having success with bigger flies/poppers in the 6-8” range. For this fishery we prefer 20-30lb fluorocarbon leaders around 7’ in length. Having a shorter leader will help sink your fly when fishing sinking lines, because it will reduce leader hinge, especially with unweighted flies. This rig will also be easier to cast in windier conditions. A lot of schoolies are being brought to hand by our shore anglers, with some fish 30” and over in the mix. Westport beaches have seen an increase in Striper activity near shore, as well as Cove Harbor, and the outflow of Holly Pond. Resident fish have been pushing bait in coves and salt ponds. And Penfield Reef will be fishing well for this time of year. During the morning hours fish can be seen hitting Sand Eels on the surface, and while this hasn’t been a regular occurrence, look for birds diving on them close to the beaches and sandbar ledges. Bluefish have been spotted from Old Saybrook to Greenwich, with some days being tougher to locate them. Look for nervous schools of Bunker moving quickly, and you should find fish beneath them. Bringing wire leader in at least 20lb will help avoid break-offs. If fishing by boat, you will see them finning during the mornings. Fishing poppers for Bluefish can be a blast, and while a fair number of Stripers have moved East, there are some bigger fish still hanging around deep water structure towards the bottom. The issue is trying to get through the large number of Bluefish at the moment. Anglers that are marking fish on sonar and using the most aggressive sinking lines have been catching trophy fish in 20-40ft on 6-8” flies. If fishing the coves by boat, bring 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. 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 boat anglers the beaches and coves around Southport are fishing well, and so is the structure near some of the buoys, which suggests migratory fish are holding nearshore. 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.
Again, flows have dropped slightly, with the mainstem at Lordville running at 937cfs. West Branch flows at Hale Eddy are currently 538cfs, while the East Branch at Fish’s Eddy is 275cfs. Dry fly fishing has been hit or miss, with a variety of hatches going on depending on where you’re floating or wading. This time of year, overcast coupled with cooler conditions and low wind are ideal recipes for bug activity. The main hatches are Sulphurs in sizes 16-20, Blue Winged Olives in 16-20, Caddis (Tan and Olive) in sizes 16-18, and Cahill in size 14. Isonychia are making an appearance in larger numbers, so it will be worth bringing those in size 12 to fish the faster water. Look for Spinners in the evenings. 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 average temperatures are dropping thanks to cooler weather. Boat anglers that are floating the upper and lower portions of the mainstem have been getting into fish and some great hatches. Water temperatures have been starting in the low-60s during the morning and reaching the high-60s by the afternoon. 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, Waltz Worms, etc. Streamer fishing also continues to be good with sinking lines, and colors to consider are Chartreuse, Olive, Black 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 in 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 Rusty Spinners, Caddis, Sulphurs, Isonychia, and Cahill.
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 catching fish on topwater, and the most prevalent bait nearshore are 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. Looking for fish pushing bait to the surface in the rips will result in some fish 30lbs and over.
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 boat anglers. Squid patterns and topwater will be working well, especially toward Cape Cod. Fishing topwater at dusk and dawn has resulted in nice fish up to 30lbs. It will be worth fishing squid patterns and Sand Eels 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. There has recently been a huge push of bait nearshore, with Bass and Bluefish on Bunker schools. 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. The fishing is also heating up in Narragansett Bay and Block Island, with large Stripers on Sand Eels in the rips.
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