July 10, 2019 15 min read
We have had a great response from our customers regarding our fishing reports! Thank you for the positive feedback and support! We are doing our best to give all of our readers out there accurate and up to date information to help you make the most of your time on the water. Keep in mind that these reports are broad strokes. We can’t possibly cover everything in the Northeast. So, we focus on what we know, fish, our affiliated guides fish, and can get reliable information on from our customers who are actually on the water. That gives you, the reader; the best information possible. Rather than making assumptions about what is happening, the reports contain what we know for sure. We will continue to expand our network and bring you new locations as we acquire them. That being said, as summer settles in; conditions are changing. Making adjustments to where and how you fish makes all of the difference. The fishing is still great if you know where to go. Hopefully this week’s report helps you make the right decisions and keeps you on the fish.
The Catskills are still fishing well! Surprising for this time of year. Despite hot weather, the Beaverkill and Willowemoc have stayed cooler than expected. And with recent rain, we should see the fishing hold out for the next week or so. The Hatches have been a few Isonychia, a ton of Sulphurs/Yellow Sallies, Light Cahills, and assorted caddis. It is all about the Sulphurs right now. It is the most prolific hatch and despite the other bugs on the water, the fish have been keying on the Sulphurs on a regular basis. If you had to hedge your bets, than the Sulphurs are the hatch you want to focus on. It has been an afternoon into late evening hatch. The spinner fall has been outstanding and although the fish can be quite picky this time of the year; a well-presented Sulphur pattern will get hit. Like we have been saying all along, you should have a wide variety of patterns within the Sulphur family to choose from. This is not nearly as critical for other hatches as it is for Sulphurs. The fish will become quite selective and it is advantageous to have multiple options once the fish begin to come up. We recommend having multiple colors, styles, and sizes of Sulphurs to choose from. This can make all the difference. Wets have been catching a lot of fish as well. A swung duo or trio of Sulphur wets right as the hatch begins will prove worth the effort. This is method far less common than it should be and can be a great way to bide your time before a spinner fall. The water temperatures are slowly creeping up and despite good conditions at the moment; do not expect it to stay that way. Before you know it, many of the rivers throughout the Catskills will be in the mid to high 70s and fishing will shut down all together. This is most likely the last gasp of trout fishing on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc so if you have been wanting to get out on these rivers, now is the time. Provided precipitation levels are relatively normal this year. Be aware that effective July 1st, the Beaverkill River from Horton Bridge downstream to the highway overpass is now closed to all angling! This is a refuge for wild trout in the event of a drought or conditions that may be a detriment to trout survival on the Beaverkill. Although conditions are great at the moment, this restriction is now in effect regardless of conditions. To ignore these laws, one risks a hefty fine and/or suspension of fishing their license.
The Delaware is becoming increasingly more challenging. Low water, pressured fish, and the Sulphur hatch has been testing angler’s patience and skill. The fish has been good but very technical. In classic Delaware fashion, anglers are having to work hard for each fish. Long leaders, long casts, and spot on fly selection has been critical to success regardless of where on the Delaware anglers have been. The upper East and West have been the most consistent due to the colder water temps. The lower East, West and Mainstem are quite warm at this point. If you plan on going up there, focus your attention on the Upper branches. It will make all the difference and you won’t run the risk of killing fish by fighting them in water that is too warm. Be sure to have emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners in a wide range of colors. Having a few sizes will help as well. Size 16’s and 18’s should do it with maybe a 14 and 20 mixed in. As far as other hatches are concerned there are Isonychia, BWOs and, assorted caddis. A few of our anglers have had success throwing Isos during the Sulphur hatch. The fish know there are Isos around and sometimes throwing a big fly in a sea of size 18 Sulphurs can be productive. It is worth a try if you a struggling with Sulphurs. Give a s 12 White Wulff a try during the early stages of the spinner fall. That fly has been productive recently.
The real story in New York is Montauk. The fishing picked up significantly and it is the Northeast hot-spot this week. Fishing has been phenomenal the past week. Really, that whole area from Orient Point East to Napatree Point , South to Montauk including Fishers Island, Plum Island and Gardner’s Island has been on fire. Water temperatures are great, there is plenty of bait, and the big bass have shown up in hordes. If any of you Long Island Sound anglers have ever fished out there, you know how different the fishery is. It just has more fish. Plain and simple. They seem to be more concentrated on rips and structure making them much more susceptible to fly anglers. Now is a great time to go out to this area and get tight. We have a good Moon Phase coming up so plan your trip around the strongest tides and you should have no problem locating fish. This past week off of Gardner’s Island the Stripers were in tight to the shore and crushing bait. Anglers were sight casting to fish all day in skinny water and caught a bunch of Stripers. And some nice fish well over 36 inches. Blues are still a bit sporadic but certainly more consistent here. There are plenty of Harbor Blues and you will have a decent shot and running into the bigger fish right now. Expect the fishing to be constant and consistent throughout the summer off Montauk. This area holds fish and the majority of them will hold here all summer. Thats what makes this whole area so incredible. Remember to focus on the tides and rips. Along the beaches will be good fishing as well. We may have Atlantic Bonito sooner than you think so keep an eye out. Some Bonito have already been spotted and caught off of Martha's Vineyard which typically happens this early when we get a good run of fish. Catching a Bonito right now is a real long-shot but you never know. Typically they show up in August and all signs point to a good year.
As far as local conditions are concerned, things are warming up quite a bit. Local trout streams are hot and fishing has reflected that. Few if any fish have been caught as of late and like we said before, it is time to focus on tailwaters if you want any decent trout fishing. Saltwater species are distributed differently than they were a few weeks ago. As the water warms up the fish will congregate in the colder water and the bite will become much more polarized.
The Farmington fished very well this past week! Although the weekend was very crowded, the fishing was excellent! Nymphing was very effective for most of the day when then hatches were nonexistent and provided good action early. The fishing seemed to really pick up around 11 with plenty of fish brought to hand taken on sub surface patterns. A good ole’ beadhead caddis was very effective, as were perdigones in various sizes and colors. It seemed that the fish were averse to hitting anything with much flash. This is indicative of educated fish. If you plan on fishing the Farmington make sure that you take this into account. The most successful anglers are going lighter on the tippet, smaller on the flies, and holding back on those flashy patterns in favor of “buggier,” more natural looking flies. Everyone has their favorite patterns that produce early but if you are struggling to hook fish consistently then this is a good time to experiment with other patterns. Wet flies have been doing damage up there as well. A lot of the anglers on the Farmy will either go deep with nymphs and/or on top with dries. Wets are not as commonly fished. However, they are very effective. Swinging wets right now is a great way to put up some good numbers. Tandem or triple wets swung through the run at the right time can often be the most productive way to come tight. For those of you new to fly fishing, wets imitate emerging insects. With the hatches we have this time of year, a wet fly is a great option. If you time it right you will be surprised at how effective it can be. The predominate hatches at the moment are Sulphurs, Isonychia, a few Light Cahills/Summer Stenos, and a variety of caddis. Try throwing on wets that imitate these bugs just as you begin to see a few flies pop. Especially the Sulphurs or larger Mayflies. Although some fish may rise to Duns, many of the fish will stay down and take the emerging flies. A wet fly is a perfect imitation of an emerging fly that will fish deeper in the run and rise as it swung. This mimics a nymph making a break for the surface to hatch and fish can’t resist it. Dries have been fishing well too. Most of the activity is taking place late afternoon into the evening. If you are set on fishing dries then we highly recommend staying until dark. Right before the sun goes down will be the best bug activity. Many anglers leave way too early. Stay as long as you can and you will be rewarded. Mousing is another fun way to fish the Farmington this time of year. Big streamers thrown at night can also be effective. This is good way to specifically target the larger fish. Both methods have their nuances, but it is no secret that it can produce some of the biggest fish on the river. This can be a challenging time to fish the Farmington, even for the experienced angler. The fishing can be nothing short of spectacular however and the anglers that are doing really well have spent years figuring out how to adjust their flies, methods, and presentations for these highly pressured fish. A good way to learn some of these tricks is to hire a guide for the day. They can show you new water, new techniques and new flies that will improve your knowledge base. We have a few great guides on our website and Upcountry does as well. If you find that fishing is tougher this time of year take the time to work on it with a guide. It will be money well spent.
Not much has changed on the Housatonic. It is still too warm for trout despite the rain we have been getting recently. As always, we are advocates for ethical angling practices and recommend that you leave these fish alone for the rest of the Summer. They are already stressed out and catching these fish when the water is pushing 80 degrees does them no favors. They will more than likely die after release so don’t be “that guy.” As a reminder: The Thermal Refuges for trout are now in effect. The feeder streams that pump in cold water are off limits to all forms of angling. They are clearly posted so be aware and give them a wide birth to avoid hefty fine and/or suspension of your fishing license. Despite the disappearance of the trout fishery, the Smallmouth fishery has remained strong. Fishing has been great! And with recent precipitation things should just get better. All it takes is a drop of a few degrees and the bite turns on. The popper bite has picked up quite a bit. The fish are actively hitting top water pattern in the morning and in the evenings. The mid-day top water bite has been slow but throwing a baitfish pattern will get bit. The slower and deeper sections have been holding the majority of the fish and if you can find a deep hole with structure you are in the right place. The fishing has been good so move around until you find the fish. It is not wise to flog a hole for hours without any hits. Fly selection is important but if you tie on something reasonable and don’t get bit in the first 30 minutes or so then it is time to move. The Pike fishing has remained consistent. Again, not a numbers game; the Pike has fishing has been good. The name of the game is covering water. The Pike will be stacked in the deeper pools. They will be looking for the coolest water and most active in the morning and evening. Many fly anglers are not into Carp at all. And that is just fine with us. We love catching these fish. They are extremely challenging on the fly and it a great fish for sight-casting. Especially this time of year when it a bit tougher to find uncrowded trout water, Carp are a great “filler fish.” The Carp fishing has been decent recently. Plenty of fish are stacked in the shallows mudding and tailing offering exciting angling. The water needs to come down a bit for consistent carp fishing but they are certainly targetable right now. If you plan on giving it a shot, do not use anything lighter than an 8wt. These are big, strong fish and to have any chance of landing them you will want an 8wt or better. Crayfish patterns or bigger nymphs are a good choice as far as flies go. Accurate casting is key. Target one fish and put the fly as close as you can without spooking the fish. You will see the fish commit to fly and watch him eat it. Give it a half second after he eats to set the hook and hold on. Some of these fish are 20 pounds or better so be ready for a serious fight.
Saltwater fishing along the Connecticut coast has been hit or miss as is typical this time of year. It is really a time and tide game right now. Having a good tide during the early morning or late afternoon hours has been critical. There are plenty of Stripers around but as Long Island Sound warms up, the cooler hours will become more productive. There is plenty of bait around and locating birds is the easiest way to get on fish. That being said, blind casting structure with a full sink line can yield good results as well. Rock piles adjacent to deeper water with good current should hold fish this time of year. It can get a bit tricky to locate these fish so having plans B, C, and D are a must. The Bluefish are proving to be sparse just as they were last year. Unfortunately, it looks like we may be in the midst of a multi-year period of poor Bluefish numbers. We hope that we are wrong but reports have been almost nonexistent in terms of bigger Blues. That being said, the harbor blues are going strong. Off of Compo Beach has provided good action. These are a great eating size so if you want to go out and just have fun on your 8wt this is a great option at the moment. The bigger stripers are the same story. Few reports as of late. It seems that the fish have either congregated in deeper water or moved out to Rhode Island or Montauk. They are still some around but proving difficult to find. Especially on the fly. There has been plenty of Bunker at the mouth of the Housatonic but few fish on them. Despite lack luster reports this would be a good place to start looking for fish. Again, you may need to move around but at least it gives you an idea of where the bait has been.
Things across Massachusetts are warming up. Temperatures are rising and tailwaters are the most viable option. No surprise there. The Deerfield River is still cold and fishing well. The upper sections are the coldest and where the fishing has been the most consistent. The Swift is a similar story. It has dropped quite a bit and is now very wadable. The Millers and Westfield are pushing that 70 degree mark and if you plan on fishing one of these two rivers, early morning will be best. Late evening will fish well too but right before dark giving you only a few hour of solid fishing. Nymphing early in the morning will prove to be the most effective for all of these Rivers. Small beadhead caddis or Mayfly imitations will work but we recommend trying midges as well. This time of the year this fish have seen a lot of flies and will become much more selective. A size 18 or 20 Zebra Midge 8 inches behind a small caddis or mayfly can be deadly. Regardless of what flies you select, it is best to go smaller and fish flies with far less flash than you would earlier in the season. The main hatch is Suplhurs at the moment. Also flying around are Light Cahills and various caddis. If you are trying to target fish on dries, focus on Sulphurs and expect them late afternoon into the evening. Terrestrials will work in the middle of the day when not much else is happening. Fish ants or beetles against the bank. More often than not you can pick off a fish or two.
Cape Cod has a lot of area to fish and depending on where you are fishing, the action can be dramatically different in both species and numbers of fish caught. It seems like this past week was more a matter of location than anything when it came to good fishing. Buzzards Bay has been producing good numbers of fish and has been almost exclusively an early morning/late evening bite. The Canal has begun to pick up with the arrival of the new moon and should continue to improve as we approach the Full Moon this coming week. The fishing has been off in the Canal the past few weeks so it is good to see some nicer fish move in. The East end has been fishing the best and larger flies have been taking some nice fish. Pink seems to the hot color right now so make sure you have some beast flies tied in a light pink if you plan on targeting these larger fish. There are both Mackerel and Squid in and around the Canal right now so have both of these types of flies with you as well. Nantucket is finally seeing some action. It has been predominately schoolie sized Stripers with a few 30” fish mixed in as well as Harbor Blues. Great Point and the Southside beaches are seeing the most activity with early morning and afternoon bites being quite good! The flats are seeing Stripers as well but a smaller average fish. Still, this is a fun way to fish and a nice way to dust off the 8wt. There are some bigger Blues and Bass around but again, still quite sporadic. Martha’s Vineyard has been seeing much of the same as Nantucket. Anglers are seeing a few more larger Blues than elsewhere along the coast. So, if gator Blues are what you are after this may be your best bet. The salt ponds are loaded with schoolie Bass at the moment which is perfect for the shore-based fly anglers and a good option if all else fails. There have also been some Bonito caught already! We typically see Atlantic Bonito around the 4th of July during years where we have very strong runs of fish so fingers crossed! It is a good sign and hopefully we get a good push like we did last year. The hot spot on the Cape has been Monomoy. Fishing has been great recently. Both fly and spin anglers have been hammering Stripers. Fish well into the 36" range are a common right now. Weather fishing from shore or a boat, as long as you have good moving water you should be able to find fish no problem. There are a lot of squid around so keep that in mind. Baitfish patterns will certainly work but keep a few darker squid flies in the box if you are struggling. If you are fishing from a boat, target the rips and work the falling or rising tide with a full sink line. Let that fly get down deep before retrieving and it should be game on!
Maine and New Hampshire are still fishing well! Not much in the way of reports this week however, we have heard that recent rain and slightly cooler temperature have keep the trout happy. These streams are not warming up as fast as they have been in say, Connecticut making them a great option for a long weekend getaway or consistent fishing for the locals. However, water temperatures are trending upwards so keep an eye on it. All it takes is a few weeks of no rain or a week of 90 degree temps and things will shut down.
Saltwater fishing in both Maine and Hampshire are improving. Last week saw some great fishing depending on where you fished. The back bays and estuaries are loaded with Schoolie Stripers. Bigger fish have begun to show up as well but not in any significant numbers. It a long shot when it comes to the Bigger Bass but with the Full Moon approaching and tides associated with it, they could move in en masse any day now. The larger fish have been seen (at times infrequently) on the ocean side flats so in the coming week this would be a good place to start. If you do find these fish they will be very targetable on fly. Have a wide variety of flies to choose from. Green crabs, shrimp, or smaller baitfish flies are all on the menu so be prepared. Sandeels have shown up in good quantities and the Stripers are on them. There are of course Silversides around, as are small Atlantic Herring and Bunker (Pogies for the locals). The early morning bite has been the strongest recently. Stripers are being found busting bait on costal structure, beaches, and rips. Locate the birds and locate the fish still rings true but keep in mind that the birds are not always on the fish. Keep your eyes peeled and look for any surface disturbances.