Greetings Compleat Anglers! The tailwaters across the Northeast are in their prime. While they are some of the only options out there, the fishing has been awesome. Cold water, lots of hatching bugs, and plenty of trout in the rivers mean that our tailwaters are fishing about as well as they can. Sulphurs and Cahillis are two main hatches at the moment. These bugs are popping off in the afternoons and evenings. There will also be caddis, BWOs, and midges as well. On the saltwater side, the further East you go; the better the fishing. Rhode Island and Montauk are hot spots right now. Large migratory Stripers are calling these areas home for the summer and fly anglers who have been putting in the time are hooking fish over 30lbs. Schoolies can be found all over the Northeast. Early morning blitzing is a common occurrence as the fish feed on Sandeels and other assorted small baitfish. The Gator Blues have headed East as well. They are most often in deeper water. Fly anglers have been teasing them up with large poppers and then throwing the fly behind it. That has been very effective in getting Bluefish over 12 lbs to hand. Read on for more…
Rhodie Island is becoming the place to be. As the majority of large migratory Stripers continue to head East, they have holed up off of Rhoadie making it one of the epicenters of the big Bass game. There are big fish all over the place right now. That, coupled with the approaching New Moon suggests some pretty awesome fishing in the coming week. Lower light hours are absolutely critical as we get further into Summer. The fish are starting to become tougher to locate during mid-day and high sun. For that reason, falling tides in the early morning or evening are best. However, if it is overcast, go whenever the tides are good. The large migrators are definitely in the area and making Rhodie their summer home. While certain areas tend to be hot spots, make no mistake; they are peppered all over out there. It is always a good idea to have some 10 or 11 wts with larger flies ready to go. The Cinder Worm hatch is pretty much over, but we are hearing that popular spots such as Ninigret Pond are still producing good numbers of Stripers. The other option is the Gator Blues which are all over the place right now. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for the boat anglers. However, you coud run into the fish at any given time off the jetties and beaches, so be prepared with wire leader and sacrificial flies. There are a ton of options off Rhody at the moment. Whether from shore or boat, the fly fishing is great right now.
The Farmington is, without a doubt, the best option for trout fishing in the entire state at this point. With all of the small streams burning up and poached out, tailwaters are the only viable option if you want constant trout fishing. The Farmington is our premier trout fishery and the month of June is when you find out why. Plenty of healthy fish with abundant populations of forage in consistently cold water makes it a great fishery throughout the summer. While angling pressure is something to contend with, it is THE place to be right now. The flow out of the dam is around 170 CFS. The Still is coming in around 30 CFS. That is on the low side, but still a great flow for dries and nymphs. We could use some water, so hopefully we get some more rain soon. Water temps are fluctuating depending on the air temperatures, but this weekend should be just shy of 53 degrees during the afternoon. The farther away from the dam you get, the warmer the water will be. So, starting down low in the morning and moving up in the afternoons can be very effective. Nymphs will most likely be the best option - no surprise there. The fish are beginning to become very educated so smaller, more natural flies have been producing the best. For dry fly anglers, Sulphurs and Cahills are the most prolific hatch at the moment. Smaller Sulphurs in a size 18 are taking fish. The Cahills are larger, around a 12, and popping in the late afternoon. You can expect fish to be rising in the mornings on BWOs, small caddis, and midges - provided the water doesn’t blow out and the wind isn’t ripping. So, bring those dries just in case. Make no mistake, the fly fishing can be nothing short of spectacular this time of year. The fish are active, hungry, and there are no shortage of options as far as techniques. We are hearing it has been very crowded on the river as of late. This weekend will be no exception, so if you have a favorite spot in mind I would recommend trying to get there at or before sun-up. It is time to start playing those games to beat other anglers there. 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 is 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. Good luck!
Keep in mind: Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic is starting to get a little low. The flows are around 350 CFS and falling. That coupled with warming water will see this river start to get challenging in the weeks to come. That being said, flows are great for wading. We know how fickle this river can be. It goes up quickly and will stay up for a long time so if you want to fish this river, do not wait. This weekend is another great window. 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. More natural patterns are becoming key as the fish get more and more angling pressure. There will be some Sulphurs and Cahills flying around. There will be a ton of caddis and BWOs as well. Definitely bring the dry fly box. As long it is not too windy, the bugs should come off. That being said, nymphs will most likely be the way to go for most of the day. While the trout fishing has been getting tough, the Smallie fishing down low has been spectacular. The fish are looking up and willing to take poppers in the mornings and afternoons. Transitioning to streamers fished on sink tips will be far more productive for the rest of the day. We are in the prime month for Smallies. Water temps are perfect and the fish will take any reasonable streamer. This is a great option when conditions are less than ideal or other rivers are just too crowded. A 6 to 8 wt rod with an intermediate or sink tip line will get the job done. This is a great time to target these fish with double digit numbers not uncommon.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Striper activity has picked back up after last week’s lull. It seems the better tides have kicked those fish back into gear. There are certainly fish around and any effort to get on them should pay off. The big migrators are pushing through and while they can be tough to pin down, they can be found if you know where to look. There is plenty of bait around, so a multitude of flies should work. Falling tide has been the most productive (no surprise there), but the rising will also produce - especially from a boat. We are seeing good surface activity early in the mornings with fish blitzing on silversides and other assorted small bait. The one major change is that the fish are becoming much more light-sensitive. Mid-day is seeing very little action, while the low light hours are producing well. So get up early or stay out late - it makes a big difference. Tidal fluctuations are also becoming far more important. The strongest tides of the month are when you should be focusing your attention for shots at larger fish. However, 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. There have also been some very large Bluefish around as well. It can take some effort to find these fish, but if you do, they will smoke almost any reasonable fly. These fish are big, so be sure to use the 10 wt. Pick your weather windows and the fly fishing should be lights out.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Catskills are fishing well, but the fishing is challenging. Angling pressure and warming temperatures are creating a feast and famine situation out there. Some rivers are fishing exceptionally well, whereas others are quite a challenge. The key to success seems to be locating colder water, fishing at the opportune times, picking the right days to go, and targeting the prime locations. It is certainly a bit of a guessing game as conditions change daily, but if you hit it right, the fly fishing can be spectacular. For hatches, the larger bugs will be Isos, Cahills, and Sulphurs. There will be varying degrees of hatching depending on where you are fishing, but most of the areas will have these bugs. After that comes the BWOs and assorted caddis. As such, you will want to bring a good variety of files. Be prepared to switch flies often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill are a bit warmer and really starting to slow down. There are similar hatches for these rivers and while the flows are good across the board, you will still want to focus on the mornings and afternoons as the water will be the coolest. The Catskills are a great option right now on the right day. This weekend it could be a bit of a zoo up there, but there will certainly be some awesome fly fishing opportunities.
The further East you go, the better the fly fishing will be. The Long Island Sound seems to be slowing quite a bit. While there are plenty of fish scattered all over the New York coast, the epicenter of the action will be out toward the Hamptons and Montauk. This is where the majority of the fish will spend the summer, moving inshore and offshore to feed on the numerous baitfish species abundant in the area. There are large fish pushing in daily and if you want a larger Striper, Montauk and surrounding area is the place to be. The key is to fish during low light hours, especially with the Full Moon. Fish are much more nocturnal in the summer months. You can get schoolies throughout the day, but those fish over 30” really begin to shut down when the sun get high. It is wise to start throwing larger flies at this point. They don’t have to be huge, but flies 4 inches or bigger seem to be the go-to. Use black and purple for low light conditions and white or white and olive for brighter conditions. The beaches are seeing good action in the mornings and afternoons. The salt ponds and inlets are also a very good option. Most of the larger fish seem to be taken by boat anglers as these fish are hanging around deeper structure. Teasing fish up with a popper and then throwing the fly has been the most productive way to get these fish. There are plenty of Gator Blues around, which are an awesome target on fly. The tease and switch with a popper is a great way to connect with Blues over 10 lbs. It is a pretty nasty forecast this weekend, so if you do head out there, be safe and maybe stay tucked in tight.
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