Greetings Compleat Anglers! Location, Location, Location. The popular adage applied to real estate holds true to fly fishing as well. If you are in the right location, the fishing can be awesome right now. For the saltwater species, the further East you go, the better. Montauk, Rhode Island, and out toward the Cape have been spectacular with Full Moon tides driving aggressive feeding behavior in larger Stripers. It has been a low light game however. Early and late have been good with the night-time bite being the best. The schoolies have been all over the place as well, less location dependent but certainly sensitive to lower light hours. Gator Blues have amassed out East as well. They have typically been in deeper water but are a viable option for boat anglers. Freshwater has been all about location as well. Most of the smaller rivers are way too low and warm to ethically fish at this point. Water temperatures are 67 degrees or higher meaning it is time to give these rivers a break. However, tailwaters across the Northeast are still fishing very well. While most are low, the water is nice and cold which is keeping those trout comfortable and feeding. The dry fly fishing has been great with plenty of bugs around to keep those fish looking up. You certainly have to pick your spots and be cognizant of things like time and tide but if you take these things into consideration, the fishing is just as good as it was two months ago. Read on for more...
Rhodie is the place to be at the moment. As the majority of large migratory Stripers continue to head East, they have holed up off of Rhode Island 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 Full Moon tides, suggests some pretty awesome fishing in the coming days. Lower light hours are absolutely critical as we get deeper 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. Unless it is overcast then fish whenever the tides are good. The night-time bite has been the hottest with big fish willing to hammer large poppers or bigger streamers. While certain areas tend to be hot-spots, make no mistake, they are peppered all over the place. It is always a good idea to have some 10wt or 11wts with some larger flies ready to go. The salt ponds such as Ninigrit are still producing good numbers of Stripers. While the majority are smaller, schoolie sized fish some bigger fish have been sneaking in at night to feed on the smaller forage. The other option is the Gator Blues which are all over the place. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for boat anglers. However, off the jetties and beaches you could run into fish at any given time so be prepared with wire leader and sacrificial flies. The beaches and back bays have also been producing well, again, during low light hours. The night-time bite is by far the best with fish in the 30’s a common occurrence on fly. There are a ton of options off Rhody at the moment, and whether from shore or boat, the fly fishing is great right now.
The Farmington is the only game in town at this point. Without a doubt it is the best option for trout fishing in the entire state. With all of the small streams burning up, low, and poached out, tailwaters are the only viable option if you want good trout fishing. The Farmington is our premier trout fishery and the months of July and August are when you find out why. Plenty of healthy fish with abundant populations of forage in consistently cold water all equate to a great fishery throughout the summer. While angling pressure is something to contend with, this is THE place to be right now. However, flow out of the dam is around 87cfs. The Still is putting in a another 70 cfs. That is very low and far from ideal. We desperately need some water. Water temps are fluctuating depending on the air temperatures but this weekend should be around 56 degrees during the afternoon. The farther away from the dam you get, the warmer the water will be so consider staying higher up. The fish are beginning to become very educated. Angling pressure and low water equal super spooky fish. As such, smaller, more natural flies have been producing the best. For dry fly anglers Sulphurs are still hanging in there up in Riverton. The Isos have been trickling out in the C&R section 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 isn’t super low. Terrestrials are also becoming a factor. Ants and Beetles will start to take fish so definitely have those in the box at this point. Wet flies are also starting to be very effective for trout spey anglers. The fish are active, hungry, and there are no shortage of options as far as technique goes. The only hindrance is the water levels which have been making it more challenging. On a more positive note, we are hearing that crowds have not been horrible the past few weeks. This is a welcome change from earlier in the season, and certainly last year. While I would still recommend getting to a favorite spot early in the morning, I don’t think you will need to kill yourself to find good water. 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. Remember that many anglers may be dry fly fishing and could be fishing 50 feet up and down from where they are standing. So, when in doubt ask them what their game plan is and see if it is ok to slide in above or below. I can’t believe I need to put this in our reports but two of our employees have been low holed in the past weeks and numerous customers have been telling us how inconsiderate other fly anglers have been. You know who you are if you have been doing this. Let’s keep it clean out there. Good luck! Keep in mind: Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
Keep in mind: Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic was starting to get low before the rain we received this week. The flows are around 400cfs and falling. That is a good flow but the warm water means one thing. It’s time to give the trout a break. Thermal refuges have been in effect for a month and, with water temps getting over 67 degrees by the afternoon; it is unethical to trout fish at this point. That being said, flows are great for wading. 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 8wt rod with an intermediate sink or sink tip line will get the job done. This is a great time to target these fish and double digits are not uncommon.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
We are at the tail end of our Spring/Early Summer Striper season in Connecticut. This last Full Moon will more than likely see the last gasp of the larger fish feeding at night or during the low-light hours. While there are certainly bigger fish around and the live bait guys are getting them to the boat, fly anglers seem to be struggling. The fishing seems to be waning in general so now is the time to get your last licks in. After this weekend, the water will continue to warm and the fish will head for deeper water or push East to Rhode Island. The farther we get off the Full Moon, the more difficult the fishing will get. However, even with larger fish moving out of the area there will be plenty of schoolies around to target. There is plenty of bait around as well so a multitude of flies should work. Falling tide has been the most productive (no surprise there) but the rising should still produce as well, especially from a boat. We are seeing good surface activity early in the mornings with smaller 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 really 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. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Catskills are fishing well though are challenging. Angling pressure and warming temperatures is creating a feast-or-famine type of situation out there. Some rivers are fishing exceptionally well whereas others are quite tough. 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 what system you are on. After that comes the BWOs and assorted caddis. Terrestrials are coming into their own as well. Ants and Beetles are on the menu and can often take fish when nothing else will. As such, you will want to bring a good variety of files. Be prepared to switch flies often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill are getting very warm and really starting to slow down. I would stay away from these rivers at this point. The Catskills are still a great option right now on the right day. Another positive is that crowds seem to be dwindling. There have not been mobs of anglers up there making it a great weekend spot.
The further East you go the better the fly fishing will be at this point. 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 where the water is colder. 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 at the moment. There are large fish pushing in daily and if you want a larger Striper, Montauk and the surrounding area is the place to be. The key is to fish during low light hours, and, especially with the Full Moon, these fish are far more active at night. You can get schoolies throughout the day but those fish over 30” really begin to shut down when the sun gets 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 as well. 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 also plenty of Gator Blues around. An awesome target on fly, the tease-and-switch with a popper is a great way to connect with Blues over 10lbs. The forecast looks great for the weekend so this will be a great time to capitalize on the Full Moon tides.
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