June 07, 2024 10 min read

Hello Compleat Angler Friends! No major changes have happened for our freshwater fishing in local rivers and streams besides seeing lower flows. The fishing and hatches have been great, and there are plenty of fish being caught using a variety of techniques. Tan Caddis in sizes 14-18 have been the local star of the show. The Housatonic has been fishing great now that flows are easy for wading and temperatures are still good. In fact, all of our options in Connecticut are fishing well, however flows are lower than average across the state so low water tactics are in play. This usually consists of longer leaders, sometimes smaller flies, and a stealthier approach when wading. Saltwater fishing has been really heating up locally and in Rhode Island and New York. Another push of larger Stripers has moved in, and they are being found more locally on the Connecticut shoreline. The most prevalent bait is Sand Eels and Adult Bunker, which are fueling blitzes during low light conditions. Look for fish popping on Sand Eels right off the beaches during the mornings, and fish pushing Adult Bunker around deeper water structure, in coves, and around the mouths of rivers. There are more large Bluefish up to 15lbs that can be a lot of fun using poppers and larger flies with wire leader. We are certainly into the peak of our season with so many options available on both saltwater and freshwater fronts! Read on for more…


Local Rivers

Flows have gradually dropped down below average for our local rivers and streams this past week, so low water tactics are in play. For instance, the Saugatuck is reading 49.2 CFS. Fishing continues to be good thanks to the last of the spring stockings, and anglers are catching fish on a variety of flies and presentations. For dry fly fishing one can expect a fair amount of Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18, Blue Winged Olives (especially on overcast days) in sizes 18-20, Midges in sizes 20-14, and Ant Patterns. Sulphurs and Light Cahills are hatching with more frequency in sizes 12-18. With flows lower and ideal water temperatures there have been fantastic Caddis hatches with fish up and willing to cooperate. Look for more hatch activity during the evenings. Stocked fish are now rising on naturals, so it will help to bring a more natural variety in forage (as opposed to Mops and Squirmies). If you’re fishing near low hanging trees, trout will be keying in on green inch worms. For low and clear water we recommend using9’ leaders in 6x. Having a drag free drift is especially important now that fish have seen a fair number of flies. If you get a rejection it’s either the fly or your presentation. Nymphing will be most productive in the morning, and it will help to have a variety of different bead sizes (in brass and tungsten) or split shot to adjust for depth and flow speed. Some of our favorite patterns include Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Caddis Larvae, Waltz Worms, and Perdigones in sizes 14-18, as well as Zebra Midges in sizes 18-20. Streamer fishing is holding up very well, and many anglers are finding fish using Wooly Buggers and other small streamers. The hot colors are currently White, Chartreuse, Black, Olive, and Grey. Streamer fishing can prove a little trickier in lower flows, so stick to smaller sizes. During the afternoons and into the evenings fishing emergers and swinging soft hackles can be an effective technique.Areas to consider are the Saugatuck, the Mill River in Fairfield, the Aspetuck River, and the Norwalk River. Plenty of ponds and lakes were also stocked, which is a good opportunity to take the kids fishing.

Naugatuck River

The Naugatuck River is also lower than average which makes conditions clear and easier for wading. Flows are currently 268 CFS at Beacon Falls. As a result dry fly fishing has improved with the main hatches being Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18, Blue Winged Olives (especially on overcast days) in sizes 18-20, Midges in sizes 20-14, and Ant Patterns. Sulphurs and Light Cahills are hatching with more frequency in sizes 16-18. For nymphing the usual suspects will work well, Caddis Larvae, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Waltz Worms and Perdigones in sizes 16-18. Also consider bringing Zebra Midges in sizes 18-24, Mop Flies, and Squirmies.All sections of the Naugatuck were stocked, and the TMAs have received their second round of stocking already. Now that the fish have been in the system for a couple weeks they are keying in on more naturals as well, and coupled with lower flows, they will be rising with more frequency. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01208500

Farmington River

Flows have dropped and are now holding steady on the West Branch in Riverton at 210 CFS while the Still River is adding 62.5 CFS. Flows are ideal for wading and water clarity is good with water temperatures fluctuating in the mid-40s to low 50s in Riverton, and slightly warmer downriver. Water temperatures and conditions are great for hatch activity, and there has been an improvement in dry fly fishing. The main hatch now is Tan and Olive Caddis in sizes 14-18, along with Blue Winged Olives in 18-20, and Midges in 20-24. March Browns have been hatching in sizes 10-12, and Sulphurs are now hatching on most of the river in sizes 14-16. It will also be worth bringing Ants, Beetles, and Hoppers. During reduced and normal flows, we recommend using 9’ or greater leaders in 5x-6x. Swinging wet flies, such as a Caddis Pupae, can be effective since Caddis are currently the most active, and this can be an effective afternoon searching technique. The holdovers and wild fish are going to be more difficult but persistence and a more natural selection of flies will help even the odds. That said anglers are finding some quality fish and are having good success. Nymphing is going to be the most productive method during the morning before most of the hatches start. For nymphing, you will want to bring Pheasant Tails and Prince Nymphs in sizes 12-20, Caddis Larva 14-18, Perdigones 12-20, Hare’s Ears 14-18, Waltz Worms in 14-18, and Zebra Midges in 18-24. The most recently stocked fish will more readily take Mop flies and Squirmy Worms. In terms of rigging, look to use 5x-6xFluorocarbon when nymphing. Smaller nymphs in sizes 18-20 will pair well on a dry/dropper rig. For Streamer fishing you’ll want to bring some Wooly Buggers and jig style streamers in sizes 8-10 in a variety of colors: Olive, Black, White, and Brown. Fishing articulated flies on a sinking/sink tip line can be another useful tool to include in your arsenal. Weighted Sculpin patterns are another consideration and can be fished on a floating line. Now is a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to use Scandi heads and polyleaders during these average flows. Try swinging some wet flies onless aggressive sinking tips, as insects will become more active during the afternoon.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.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186500

Housatonic River

The Housatonic River flows are currently below average, reading 434 CFS at Falls Village, so clarity and flows will be great for fishing this weekend. Since water temperatures are still cool enough for trout the fishing has been great, with anglers finding good hatches and catching fish with a variety of techniques. The most recent development is that the Alder Fly hatch has started up, along with the usual Tan Caddis in sizes 14-18 in abundance. Other considerations are Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-24 (on your overcast days), March Browns in size 14, Sulphurs in sizes 14-16, and Light Cahills in sizes 12-18. Look for most of your hatch activity and spinners in the evening. During the mornings and afternoons fishing streamers and nymphs has been the most productive, and there is a high density of fish thanks to Spring Stockings. For nymphing, consider bringing Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Caddis Larvae, Scud patterns, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Waltz Worms, Perdigones, and Yellow/Golden Stoneflies in sizes 12-18. For smaller nymphs, Zebra Midges in 18-24, will fool fish under most conditions. Streamer fishing can also be a fun and productive technique. If you are fishing articulated neutrally buoyant streamers (Mini Dungeons, Drunk and Disorderly, Circus Peanuts, etc), you will want to pair these with asinking line and a short 5’ leader tapered from20lb to 10lb. For our floating line streamer anglers, consider drab colored Conehead Woolly Buggers paired with a 9ft 2x leader. Some anglers are also finding some nice smallmouth fishing streamers. Now is also a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to consider throwing larger patterns during the afternoon in combination with swinging soft hackles in the mornings and evenings. Trout Spey is a good way to cover and search water, especially in the wider stretches. During the mornings nymphing still remains the most effective method. For nymphing with an indicator (we’ve had great feedback on theOros Stike Indicators), a 9ft taperedfluorocarbon leader in 5x-6x is recommended.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000


Striper action continues to increase with a few Bluefish showing up as well. The most prevalent bait is currently Silversides, Sand Eels and larger Bunker pods, and fish can be found on top when you find the birds and bait in low light conditions. Another larger class of fish has arrived thanks to the last full moon cycle, and more migratory fish are showing up along our side of the sound. The fish have also spread into areas further East in Connecticut along the shorelines and ledges into Old Saybrook. Focus your search on areas around the Norwalk Islands, the beaches off Westport (sand Eels), and the coves and mouths of Rivers. Most of the fish being landed by our fly anglers are small schoolie sized to mid 30” fish, with some 40” and over landed although less common. So many options are fishing well that it helps to cover ground until you find the birds active on bait. For our saltwater fishery we recommend using a 9 or 10wt rod paired with an intermediate sinking line. For your leader a shorter 7.5ft section of 20-30lb will turn over easily when paired with a Clouser or other larger wind resistant flies. For colors consider bringing Olive and White on clear sunny days. If the water is stained, bringing brighter colors such as Chartreuse and White will help stand out in dirty water. For our boat anglers bringing larger Bunker to juvenile Silverside Patterns and Sand Eels will be key as there is a variety of bait and sizes. Some of the salt ponds, such as Holly Pond and Old Mill, are seeing more action recently with Silversides being the predominant forage. Focusing on rocky structures and points when fishing from a boat is crucial and it can help to wait until the flats warm during the afternoons and into the evening to see more Striper activity in these spots. The deeper water ledges are receiving more fish, and sometimes they may be on top crashing bait. If there’s no surface activity, marking fish with sonar and using full sinking lines will also work. For this fishing we recommend a 4-6” Deceiver in Olive/White. Please be safe out there and respectful to other boaters!

New York

The Catskills

Flows have gradually dropped this past week, and all options are lower than average with the exception being the West Branch. Currently the Mainstem at Lordville is 1330 CFS with water temperatures increasing into the high 60s. Temperatures are reaching the zone where fishing for trout will put additional stress on these fish on the Mainstem and East Branch, so look to fish these areas after colder evenings and instances of rain. The West Branch is going to be cooler, with flows currently reading 547 CFS which is just slightly below average. Hatches have been hit or miss depending on the weather, and the high bright sun will diminish dry fly opportunities until the evening. Look to bring Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18, along with some March Browns in sizes 10-12, Sulphurs in sizes 16-18, Isonychia in size 10, a few Green Drakes in size 8, and Grey Fox in size 12. During overcast days Blue Winged Olives are more prolific in sizes 16-24. You can expect to encounter Sulphurs in the evening, so it is worth staying until dark. Fishing Isonychia during the evenings in faster water can be effective at times. Streamer fishing will be tricky during these flows, but swinging soft hackles and emergers, as well as nymphing and dry/dropper rigs. For nymphs we recommend bringing Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Perdigones, Waltz Worms, etc., all in sizes #12-#20. If trout are on Caddis, try fishing some emergers just below the surface film if they’re refusing the adult. Anglers have been finding some good size Brown Trout around 20” and there are more Rainbow Trout being brought to hand. Both the Beaverkill and Willowemoc are in good shape for wading and are giving up some impressive fish as well.

New York Saltwater

Eaton’s Neck and other areas along the North Shore have been fishing well with migratory and resident Stripers chasing Sand Eels and some Bunker that are starting to push in. Anglers are also doing well further West into Rye. Sand Eels are also starting to show up in the harbors. Along the South Shore beaches and into Montauk Stripers have been in the surf and holding in deeper water structure and when they’re blitzing on top they’re either on Bay Anchovies, Butterfish, or Adult Bunker. Squid patterns are also working in the rips. The salt ponds, coves, and flats are also fishing well so there are plenty of options and fish in different scenarios. For the back bays you will want to bring some smaller Clousers in #2 and a variety of colors, small Deceivers, Sand Eel patterns and Crabs. More recently Cinder Worms have been prevalent. Fishing poppers early mornings on a floating line can be a blast, such as Bob’s Bangers and Gurglers. Most of the holdovers you will find are in the 20-30” size with a few high 30” in the mix. If searching for migratory fish, bring some larger flies to imitate adult Bunker paired with a sinking line to cut below the schools. Look for signs of nervous and faster moving bait as Stripers will be pushing below them. Bluefish numbers have increased with fish up to 15lbs which can be a blast on big poppers. Depending on your tide, night fishing has been great. Smithtown has also seen an increase in action with Stripers chasing both Bunker and Sand Eels. There are tons of great options now!

Rhode Island Saltwater

Squid are starting to show with more consistency in the rips around Point Judith, so it’s time to bring some squid patterns and sinking lines. More large migratory fish have been filtering in this week, especially around the bays chasing Adult Bunker. Narragansett Bay, Providence, and Newport have improved with topwater action. Both night and daytime fishing along the beachfronts is improving, and anglers are catching fish more consistently. While far and few, some Bluefish are being caught. Both the flats and bays around Cape Cod are seeing an improvement as well, and our anglers are catching some fish in the mid 30”. Both Watch Hill and Point Judith are also seeing more migratory fish with the largest being up to 40”. Buzzards Bay, Providence, and Newport are fishing consistent with Stripers blitzing early mornings. The salt ponds are seeing some great Cinder Worm hatches with Stripers gorging on them.