July 02, 2021 8 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! This past week saw the saltwater action shift to the East. Montauk, Rhode Island, and the Cape are seeing some spectacular fly fishing right now. The large, migratory Stripers have moved in and are very accessible on fly at the moment. These fish are feeding on a wide range of bait depending on where you are fishing. Sandeels, Squid, Mackerel, and Bunker are all on the menu. The trout fishing has been tough this past week. The rivers are warming up and many of the trout fisheries across the Northeast are too warm to ethically fish. Tailwaters are the only viable options and the crowds have reflected that. Read on for more...
The Cape is fishing extremely well. There are plenty of slot and sub-slot fish in tight to shore making it a great time to fly fish from the beaches. The larger Bass will be offshore in deeper water congregating around rips and drop offs. Early mornings and afternoons have seen the most action and while it is a bit early, more larger fish are moving in by the day. Martha’s Vineyard has been one of the hot spots recently for larger Stripers. Expect the fishing to only get better over the next two weeks. The Bluefish have begun to show up as well. The numbers are building and it is only a matter of time before the fishing gets really hot. Nantucket is starting to see some gator blues and while the numbers are thin, they are around and moving in. Sandeels seem to be the “buzz bait” right now. They are plentiful and matching the hatch has paid off for most fly anglers. The Rips off Monomoy are producing a lot of fish right now as well. While most are using spin gear to get down, full sink lines with bigger Bunker, Mackerel, or squid patterns will produce. The Squid are showing up in strong numbers so be sure to have some squid patterns in the box. The Larger fish are pushing through the Canal and Cape Cod Bay will start to see more large fish as the weeks pass. The fish are just starting to get up there and the fishing forecast bodes well!
Rhode Island is the place to be right now. The big fish are all over and the fly fishing has been rock solid. The influx of large schools of Sandeels and Bunker have kept the fish on the feed. Sandeels seem to be the go-to imitation this past week. The fish are gorging on these baitfish and will continue for the next few weeks. One of the hot spots will be Block Island. The fish will be stacked amongst the rocks and will crush a well casted fly in the mornings and evenings. The Bluefish numbers have been consistent. While most of these fish are in the 2 to 4 pound range, you could run into Gator Blues off Rhodie, if you are fishing from a boat. So, best to keep some wire and flashy flies just in case. Point Judith and surrounding areas have been inundated with larger Bass. While they are difficult to locate at times, they are certainly in the area and out to Block. Watch Hill and Point Judith are seeing larger fish tucked in tight on the higher tides in the low light hours. Morning and evening hours have been fish exceptionally well, if you are in the right place. However, it seems to be more of a boat fishery for the larger fish. Covering water has been the key to success. “Searching” with a hookless popper and throwing the fly when fish respond is the most efficient method. It is prime time off Rhody right now - no doubt about it.
The Mainstem is running around 1600, the East is at 1000, and the West Branch is at 500 CFS as of 07/02. Those are good wadable levels and good flows, but you should expect the fishing to be tough. The water is warming quickly and really the only game in town will be the West Branch. The most prolific hatch will be Sulphurs. Sulphurs are prevalent in upper Main and in both branches. After Sulphurs, the majority of the insects coming off this week will be cahills, caddis, and BWOs. There are Iso Bicolors coming off as well. Fishing has been very tough recently. The fish on the West Branch have been beat up pretty good. There are a lot of anglers out there right now and the fish are educated. Having multiple patterns of one type of bug is very advantageous right now. The East and Mainstem are getting warm, so the West is by far the “best” place to fish, but expect crowds and picky fish.
The Willow and Beaverkill are low and warm. Water temps are well into the 70s, which is just too warm to ethically trout fish. We recommend staying off these rivers for the remainder of the summer, unless something dramatic happens weather-wise. If youmust fish these rivers, only fish in the early morning and evening. However it is still very warm, even in the early and late hours. It is best to give these fish a much-needed break so there will be some in the Fall and next spring. “If you love em’, leave em alone.”
Montauk, The Race, Plum Gut, and surrounding areas are the place to be. While West of there, things have been slowing quite a bit; out East has been a very different story. They are seeing some really nice fish out East. The rocks around Gardiner’s Island are seeing some great action as well. While the larger fish seem to hold in 40 feet or deeper, they are being found in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around as well to keep the rods bent, but always be prepared for a cow Striper to suck down your fly. You never know what you are going to hook. Substantial numbers of larger fish are infiltrating into Eastern New York and will continue to do so for the next 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. They have been on Bunker and Sandeel schools. Using the bait and switch with hookless poppers has been working well to catch some larger fish on fly when they are on Bunker. If they are on Sandeels, throw larger Sandeel patterns. The Bluefish have come in thick. While most are not huge, there are plenty of them. They seem to be the 2 to 4 pounders. A great 8 wt fish, but make sure you have wire on and durable flies. For the shore based anglers there have been no shortage of options. Back bays, harbor mouths, beaches, breachways, and salt ponds have all been producing. Shinnecock bay has been loaded with schoolies as well. But again, remember to fish low-light hours.
The Farmington is getting low. The flow is 227 out of the dam and the Still is putting in an additional 127 CFS. There is some rain forecasted for the next few days so we will see what that does to the flows. Fishing has been tough recently. While big fish are caught everyday, the fishing has been technical as the fish are extremely educated. The Farmington is the only game in town as far as trout streams are concerned and as such, angling pressure tends to peak right around now. 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. The strongest hatch will be Sulphurs. There are some Isos coming off as well, but it’s a trickle hatch and can be a bit muted on the Farmington. Also consider bringing the terrestrial box from now on. There are certainly ants and beetles crawling around. July seems to be “terrestrial month,” and 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 a long day. That being said, 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. That is certainly the case now. Water temps are good and the fish will be spread out into faster feeding lies. Consider deploying this tactic from now on. Especially as crowds swell to peak in June and July, it can make or break your day. 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.Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic is done for trout fishing until the Fall. The water is too warm and it is unethical to trout fish at this point. The thermal refuges are now in effect and the trout should really be left alone for the rest of summer. If you do plan on targeting trout, please do so in the mornings and call it quits by 11am. The Smallies have been more than making up for declining trout fishing. Right now, targeting these fish on surface flies is an absolute blast. Mid-day tends to find the Smallies the least active. However fishing weighted streamers with sink tips should keep those rods bent. The Pike are still holding their own and taking well-presented flies to those willing to have heavy rods all day. Covering water and matching the appropriate fly to the conditions have been the keys to success.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Western Sound has been gradually slowing for us fly anglers. It seems like there are a lot of smaller Blues around, which are making up the lion’s share of the activity out there. Schoolies are on structure as well, making them easier targets for the boat guys. The majority of the larger fish have moved to the East. There are still some straggler larger Bass around, but we are past the meat of the big fish push. The still present large fish are very scattered and pinning them down has been difficult. The next few months will prove to be the most challenging as the fish that are still around will typically be looking for deep, cold water. The bite will also be very much in the early morning-late afternoon into the evening window. Smaller Blues and schoolie Bass will make up the majority of the action for the shore-based fly anglers. But again, mornings and evenings are the bite window. Very little is happening mid-day. The majority of our serious anglers are headed East. While the Sound still provides some good opportunities on the right day; it is a good idea to look East from now on.
Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.