June 04, 2021 8 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! The big Stripers have moved in all across New York and Connecticut. Fly anglers are successfully targeting these fish in a bunch of different locations using very large flies. The Cinder Worm hatch is approaching and now is the time to begin preparations. The trout fishing has been hit or miss depending on where you are. The larger rivers across the Northeast are your best bet right now as they have cooler water and better hatches. Read on for more!
Rhode Island is fishing very well right now. Over the weekend cold temps and rain kept most of the water, but with the warming trend we have right now, expect the bite to pick up. We are hearing that fish can be found all along the coast in a wide variety of locations. River mouths are hot right now with constant action during the falling tide. The Salt ponds have begun to heat up as fish push in to feed on baitfish. Larger migratory fish are beginning to work in as well. One of the hot spots will be Block Island. There are murmurs of big fish already beginning to show up. While it may be a tad early, it is certainly worth spot-checking your big bass spots at this point. The Bluefish have begun to show up as well. 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 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 catch this hatch. So, if that is something you are thinking about, now it is the time to begin preparations.
The Mainstem is running around 2,000, the East is at 850, and the West Branch is at 1,000 CFS as of 06/04. These numbers are a little low, but they are still good flows for wading and floating. 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 size 18 or 20s 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, and East, and lower West. These Sulphurs will be size 16. The big news is the arrival of the Green Drake and to a lesser extent Isonychia. These larger bugs were on the Mainstem last week and into the weekend. Expect to see them moving up the East and West in this coming week. There is some spectacular dry fly fishing on the Delaware right now!
The Willow and Beaverkill have come up after this past weekend’s rain. The Beaverkill is around 455 and the Willow is at 120. The rain yesterday and today should keep those flows stable or increasing. March Browns, Sulphurs, and caddis will be the most prolific hatches. You can expect to see some Drakes as well, but don’t count on this hatch for these smaller rivers.
New York, especially Long Island, has been fishing very well. There is a mixture of smaller Bass, larger Bass, and Gator Bluefish up for grabs. The large Blues have moved into the back bays of Long Island and are aggressively feeding before the spawn. 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 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 10wts 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 all over the place. While the larger fish seem to be in 40 feet of water or deeper, there are some being found in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around as well to keep your 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. There are substantial numbers of larger fish infiltrating into New York currently and will continue for the coming 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. Using the bait and switch with hookless poppers has been working well to get 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 has been fishing well despite the cold and rainy weekend. Early this week the dam is putting out just over 250 CFS with an additional 150 or less from the Still River. That was just about perfect, however with Thursday’s and Friday’s rain we are seeing the water coming up. That could certainly change things as far as hatches, water clarity, and fish activity. It may be wise to bring a meat stick with you if you plan on heading up there this weekend. 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. You may also see a March Brown or two down lower, but we are not hearing much yet with that hatch. The Vitreus and the Sulphurs have both shown up in strong numbers. I would say that these two bugs will be your safest bet as they are being seen from Satan’s Kingdom up to the Still River. Also consider bringing the terrestrial box from now on. 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 then having to hold it. However, 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. The water temperatures are great right now and the larger fish are beginning to spread out. Consider deploying this tactic from now on - especially as crowds swell to peak in late May, June, and July. 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.
Well, our week-long window of wadable water levels has slammed shut. The rain this weekend kicked the Housey up to over 2,500 CFS and the rain we had Thursday and Friday will keep the water high. However, if you can get out on a drift boat, the hatches have been substantial. Cahills, Isos, BWOs, and assorted caddis are all coming off in great numbers. Sulphurs have joined the fray and it is a dry fly angler’s paradise out there right now. A wide variety of nymphs will take fish on this river, if the hatches are a bit stifled due to the bump in water. Mayfly, stonefly, midge, and caddis imitations will all have their moments. A pheasant-tail type pattern imitating a March Brown is a good starting point, as is a beadhead caddis. If you are fishing faster and heavier water, a big ole stonefly nymph is tough to beat. If you do see fish rising, they will likely be on caddis. Size 18 tan or olive caddis are good options until the mayflies show up again. The Pike are still holding their own and taking well-presented flies to those willing to use heavy rods all day. Covering water has been key to success as has matching the appropriate fly to the conditions. The Smallmouth have really come into their own as well. They are hammering poppers in the mornings and afternoons. Right now is the best time 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.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
We are in a bit of a transitional period for Connecticut saltwater fly fishing. While Stripers were looking for the warmest water in previous months, now the opposite holds true. The water is warming rapidly and Striped Bass will be seeking out cooler water, which means that they will begin to head deeper. This will be true for the entire Northeastern coast as a general rule. However, there is one caveat to that which is: they will be seeking out prey in the shallows, but only during high water and low light conditions. While the fish will feed later in the day in deeper water, if they are near 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.