June 28, 2019 9 min read
Well Compleat Anglers, here's our last report for the month of June. The fishing has remained excellent across much of the Northeast, more so than usual thanks to the cooler spring and plenty of bait found out in the sound. We don't know how long it will last, so it's a good time to get out there and make the most of it. You never know when things will start to get challenging. For saltwater folks, we're coming up on the new moon which is the best time to take a shot at a big fish. Don't miss it! Here's the roundup from south to north...
The Catskills have seen a few hot days, though are likely to see some light rain over the weekend to freshen things up a bit. Fishing conditions here continue to be really really good. The prolonged spring has allowed for an extended period of great fishing with plenty of bugs coming off and reasonable flows (for the most part). Enjoy it now while you can before summer weather sets in and the fishing gets trickier. Sulphurs continue to produce well along with Iso's, but anglers are still seeing sporadic hatches of other bugs including Green Drakes, Caddis, March Browns, Olives, and Yellow Sallies. Anglers should also start bringing some terrestrials with them too if they haven't already (especially ants and beetles).
Water levels on the Delaware have been up slightly though are settling. Depending on the extent of the rain this week, it may bump back up again a bit. Sulphurs have been the most reliable hatches on both branches and the mainstem this week though you will still see some Isonychia and possibly some Green Drakes, March Brown spinners, or Blue Sedge Caddis depending on location. Again, given the prolonged spring-like weather you should be prepared for a little bit of everything since some hatches are being found outside of their typical dates on the calendar. It's a great time to get out and take advantage of it.
We're still hearing reports of some big bass moving through Long Island sound and since we're also coming up on the new moon, it should be anglers' best shot in the month of June for nabbing a trophy fish. There have been reports of plenty of sand eels and other bait around, including bunker which have been a reliable means of finding good sized fish. As we head into hotter weather bigger bass are likely to head out to deeper water, so it's a great time now to see if you can get into a great fish and take advantage of the new moon.
As we wrote last week, conditions on local stockie streams are pretty tough so we won't be including much info for them during the next stretch of summer. However there is still plenty of good fishing to be had around the state, so options abound.
Our friend and guide Pogo Pike writes that the smallmouth fishing has really kicked into gear in the Northern part of the state and that he's having great action:
This week water temps are ranging from 70 to 74 degrees depending on the day and water depth of the lakes and rivers. Pike are going deeper and need to be handled with care during the heat of the day but eating well. Can you say SMALLMOUTH? They are very active and eating top water like champs, game on! Rivers have come down and clarity is great, the rain this week has been keeping the rivers in excellent condition with a bit of fresh water to keep the fish happy!
As with last week, conditions on the Farmington remain excellent with good water temps and flows. If anything, the only complaint about the Farmy is that it's getting fished pretty hard though we don't blame anglers for flocking here. Folks are having success with both dries and subsurface flies, and anglers will, in many cases, have the choice of fishing what they prefer since there are so many good options. For dries, the Vitreus are starting to wind down, but anglers are having success with March Browns, Isonychia, Sulphurs, and the seemingly ubiquitous caddis. In the evening sulphurs and spinners are working well. We're also heading into the summer so terrestrials should be ramping up, especially ants and beetles. For subsurface flies many of the usual suspects are working well including Caddis pupa and mayfly nymphs like Pheasant Tails and Hare's ears. Remember that the fish on the Farmy are getting worked fairly hard and may be pretty wary, so we're heading into the most technical part of the year. Be careful with presentations and you may want to lengthen leaders when fishing dries. It requires a little extra diligence but is often worth it - there are plenty of hungry fish in this river!
A nice bump of rain has shot the Housatonic up around 1,000 CFS though it should settle quickly over the next few days. The Hoosy is a nice alternative to the Farmington at this point in the year - sure the trout fishing isn't as concentrated, but there is plenty of variety and, in high water especially, the fish should be more spread out and less pressured. Last week trout anglers were doing well with nymph patterns (Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears, Beadhead Caddis, etc.) though the dry fly fishing is what many anglers are hitting the Hoosy for. Sulphurs have been producing particularly well (as they were last week) though a variety of dries have fished well. As the thermostat rises, focus on early mornings and evenings. And if you are looking to mix things up the bass and pike fishing is always a great option.
Scott was just out fishing this morning and ran into plenty of sand eels which remains a good sign. The fishing remains fairly similar to last week's report, which is to say, excellent, with healthy mixes of schoolies and large fish. As with further south in New York, it's a great time to take advantage of the new moon and take a shot at a trophy. Above, Captain Ian Devlin hoists one of the many fish he's been putting clients into, and while a boat helps, shore fishing has remained very solid of late as well. The takeaway is don't delay!
Trout fishing conditions continue to be excellent on some of Western Massachusetts' favorite rivers, including the Westfield, Deerfield, Millers, and Swift. It's the same story as with other watersheds in the region, with the prolonged spring leaving temps cool and flows stronger than usual. As the heat increases the main thing will be to shift fishing to earlier and later in the day, and to skip the bankers hours than you could get away with in the early part of the season. Also, July stocking from the DFW isn't too far away, and that should put some more fish out there to chase. It's shaping up to be a productive early summer.
The deerfield continues to fish well with healthy flows. Eric Gass, of GS Outfitting, has been seeing good action including some large 20+ fish. Dry fly action has improved over the last two weeks and has been more consistent. Eric has been doing well with larger attractor dries and covering lots of water. The Deerfield remains a good option for wading or floating, though as always, keep your eyes on the water release schedule.
Word on the Cape and surrounding islands is that the fishing, which strengthened last week, continues to be outstanding. It's all centered around bait of course, and squid, sand eels, and mackerel have kept the schoolie action going. There are plenty of big fish too, though they can disappear again quickly so there is a little luck in being at the right place at the right time.
From Buzzards Bay up through the canal, on both sides of the cape and on the North Shore, the fishing story has been consistent. Target rips and estuaries to find schoolies, while the bigger guys are usually in deeper water and may need to be coaxed up.
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On Martha's Vineyard, Abbie Schuster of Kismet Outfitters, reported earlier this week that the fishing has been very good and with plenty of bait to sustain the action:
It's been very good and we're finally seeing some blues! We have been getting blues from both shore and the rips. We even caught over a 11 pounder yesterday that brought us to the backing multiple times!! Poppers in the rips have also been working well. Bigger fish are moving in more and more everyday. Small sand eels are also starting to show up and the fish are starting to key in to them.
Corey Gammill, of Bill Fisher Outfitters, reports the following from Nantucket, a bit of bright news in what has been an otherwise tough stretch for the island with the recent disappearance of year-round resident and fisherman Vitaly Filiutovich:
As you have read in the reports all season long we are having the best striper season in memory. This is largely because of the large amount of bait in the water. Now one might ask, we have been hearing about bait being overfished for years, why is it now so solid? The big reason is the squid laid their mops early and many of eggs were able to hatch before the squid boats got to them and thus our water now has immature and mature squid in it, which is a striped bass dream. Our water also has some herring, as well as mature, and the first signs of immature, sand eels. An early spring helped our baitfish and both fishermen and stripers are benefiting.
Our fishery is also starting to fill in with Bluefish, Fluke and SeaBass. I would not say these fish are thick yet, but they are coming and the fluke in particular are getting more and more abundant by the day and are definitely worth fishing for. And we have also had the craziness of June, where in the last few weeks two different bonito have been caught and one tarpon has been casted to...Yup. Craziness, but fun. So if you are wondering if you should go fish, go fish!
From the beach, the southeast side has a lot of fish, but also a lot of weed. Most of the fishing right now is focused on the south shore from Tom Nevers to Cisco. Throughout the whole stretch fish any spot that looks fishy. What does that mean, well, wherever there is a shallow spot or white water, fish on the down-tide side of that shallow spot. If this doesn’t make sense, come in and ask…. But there are lots of fish and they are still aggressive. These fish are attacking bombers as well as soft plastics.
From the boat, the western edges are still producing as are the southeastern edges. Both have a ton of fish and are loaded with life. As discussed with a friend this week, there is “an explosion of life” out there. There have even been a few whales spotted on the south side. Great Point has been producing as well, which is exciting. It has not been hot and heavy, but it is producing. bluefish and bass. Sankaty has also been good to fishermen who are fishing down deep. Those looking to push to cape cod, there are also bass up at handkerchief shoal.
As you go fish this coming week, please make sure to stay safe. We hope everyone takes this week to relax, celebrate and be thankful for what they have and where we live and please donate some positive thoughts to our fellow fisherman Vitaly.
Nate Hill, of Hill Country Guides, reports that the fishing has stepped up a level in Northern New England, thanks to some warmer weather. He writes:
The fishing is great right now, and frankly, all rivers are fishing well. Dry fly fishing on the Saco has been good with gray drake hatches most days. Ellis is also fishing well. Nymphing and streamers have been effective when the water is higher with yellow sallys and mayflies coming off during warmer weather.
For those getting ready to head to Maine for part of the summer, we're about to head into the prime time of Maine's striped bass fishing. Sure, we've seen schoolies show up in rivers and estuaries in the southern part of the state, including a few fish in the 30" range, but the bigger bass still haven't been seen yet in substantial numbers. It's a nice time of year to get out there and chase some schoolies to get things going, but we'll have more information soon once things kick into gear in earnest.