July 21, 2023 12 min read

Hello Compleat Angler friends! Another week of high flows continues, with some areas being more fishable than others. Our Connecticut rivers that are currently the highest include the Housatonic and Farmington, which are currently at unsafe levels for wading. Our suggestion would be to fish our more local rivers, which are currently above average but fishable. Another option that has been holding strong for this time of year is saltwater fishing. Bass have been chasing bait up high which means that topwater and flies presented with intermediate sinking lines have been working well. There have still been large bass hanging around deep water structure and also chasing bunker near shore. Anglers that are covering ground searching for fish have been the most successful in their efforts. Flows are currently at good levels for floating the Delaware River, specifically on the West Branch, where the main hatch continues to be Sulphurs. Make sure to check flows and temperatures before deciding to fish, as a little planning will help to have a safe and successful day. The weather should improve after our thunderstorms on Friday, and should hold up throughout this upcoming week. Read on for more…


Local Rivers

Flows are on the drop again after reaching 121 cfs and the gauge is now reading around 63.8 cfs on the Saugatuck. Water levels are above average but are currently fishable. Keep an eye on your water temperatures, as the hot weather can make the afternoons pretty tough on trout. We advise refraining from fishing once the water temps pass the 70F threshold. The most consistent bug the trout are keying in on seem to be small Caddis around size 20. Try fishing the adult form or pupae if trout are rising. Nymphing and throwing dry/dropper rigs has been the most productive technique. We recommend using fluorocarbon between your nymph and dry fly. More imitative and smaller nymphs in sizes 14-24 are going to cover most of the natural forage for our trout. During these higher water events streamer fishing can be an effective method as a larger pattern will get their attention. Look to target the banks as they will be the slower seams that trout will push into. Another consideration is using larger or more flashy nymphs (such as junk flies) which will get a trout’s attention in high or off color water. For hatches, some of the main bugs you will encounter are Sulphurs, Caddis, Cahills, and more recently you will encounter some Isonychia with the most common sizes being 12-18. Other considerations are Ant patterns, Beetles, and Green Inchworms when fishing under overhanging trees or after a steady rain. For your rig, sticking to your 5x and 6x leaders will cover most dry fly/nymphing scenarios. The fish are going to be in a variety of water types, so don’t overlook the faster, more oxygenated water (under normal flows). When nymphing, let your rig swing in the current at the end of your dead drift, as this will emulate an emerging insect that the trout will sometimes key in on. Areas to consider are the Mianus, Saugatuck, Mill, and Norwalk Rivers. All local options have been stocked at this time and are holding plenty of fish. Trout Parks and ponds are also a great option to take the kids fishing as they have been stocked more recently. There are still plenty of fish to be had in our local rivers.

Naugatuck River

The Naugatuck flows are very high, reading 1300 cfs at Beacon Falls after hitting north of 8000 CFS early in the week. Flows have been steadily dropping, however the river is still too high for wading. If you are planning to fish here, keep an eye on the gauge so you’ll be ready when it drops to a more reasonable level. Once it does, focusing on the same techniques I outlined above for our local rivers should provide success as most of the insect activity will be similar. All sections of the Naugatuck around the TMAs will be fishing well and look to fish similar offerings we are using on our local streams: Sulphurs, Cahills, Caddis, Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Terrestrials. A range of sizes from 12-24 in nymphs/dries will have you covered. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure. In addition, the Shetucket was stocked more recently with trout so a wide variety of flies will work. Since third stockings occurred earlier this month on the Naugatuck, use more imitative flies as trout have become more acclimated to their natural forage. The above average flows will be a good time to throw streamers during the mornings and evenings.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01208500

Farmington River

Flows are currently high on the Farmington reading 1250 cfs on the West Branch and 429cfs at Riverton. If you decide to fish during these flows use extreme caution and stay out of the main flows, as trout will be pushed towards the banks anyways. Therefore, focusing on the slower inside seams along the bank will be most effective with streamers and nymphs. Stained and high water will allow for larger patterns, such as mops and squirmies, that can be paired with a smaller offering. Using sinking lines for streamers will help get your fly into the strike zone, especially with larger neutrally buoyant streamers. Sparkle Minnows, D&Ds, Mini Dungeons, and other larger streamers are good options to have in your box. The most active bugs in the system are going to be Caddis (Tan and Olive) in sizes 16-20, Sulphurs in sizes 16-18, Isonychia in sizes 10-12, and Midges size 20 and smaller. Other considerations are Blue Winged Olives (16-24) during overcast/rainy weather, and Terrestrials (Ants, Beetles, Inchworms, Hoppers). Some anglers are finding some larger Kamloop Rainbow Trout that were stocked by the FRAA more recently in New Hartford. In terms of fishing techniques, look to fish nymphs/streamers in the morning before most of the hatches start. Generally, 5-6x leaders and tippet will improve your odds for success for nymphing. If dry fly fishing, using a 5x-6x 12ft nylon leader, such as the Trout Hunter Finesse Leaders, will aid in a stealthy presentation and a more drag-free drift. With all the variety of bug activity, swinging wet flies can be a productive option as well. For our Trout Spey Anglers, look to fish larger streamers or intruders paired with a faster sinking tip in the morning. Once the afternoon hatches hit, fishing a wet fly swung on a less aggressive sinking tip can pull additional fish. The same can be said for those nymphing with single handers: swinging nymphs at the end of your drift can simulate an emerging insect. Other considerations should be larger Stoneflies (which can be paired with a smaller offering to help get your rig down) as well as Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Perdigones, Caddis Larvae, Hare’s Ears, and Waltz Worms. Sulphur nymphs have been active subsurface. Twitching jigged streamers through a run can also be a deadly technique, and good colors to try include olive, black, tan, and white. Your odds will be better with streamers during the morning hours. Vary retrieves, starting fast and then slowing down to see what the trout prefer. 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

Flows have dropped considerably on the Housatonic, however they are still unsafe for wading at 3280 cfs. Consider venturing on foot once flows drop below 1000 cfs. During this time focus on the slower seams closer to the banks using streamers and nymphs. You will be able to get away with using larger and gaudier patterns during this time. Once we reach average flows the Housatonic has still been experiencing fantastic hatches, with plenty of bug activity occurring in the evening. Bring a variety of nymphs: Caddis larvae and Pupae, Waltz Worms, Stoneflies, Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Golden Stoneflies, as well as junk flies (Mops and Squirmies). However, it is all about the dry fly action now. The main hatches will be Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Cahills, Sulphurs, and more recently good hatches of Alder Flies. Alder flies will be hatching from late morning into the late afternoon. Bringing a variety of Sulphur and Caddis patterns in sizes 12-20, and 16-24 BWOs, as there have been a ton of Blue Winged Olives hatching. Spinners have been seen during the evenings laying eggs, and as a rule, you can expect most of the bug activity in the afternoons and evenings. For nymphs, having different sizes of Pheasant tails, Prince Nymphs, and Hare’s Ears (#12-18) will imitate Stoneflies and a variety of Mayfly Nymphs well. Focusing on TMAs and areas by the park, especially if you’re looking for rising trout, should result in some fish during the warmer afternoons. Other fly considerations will be Midges and terrestrials. Focusing on your small Midges 18-24 should result in some success. Presentation is key, so longer leaders, stepping down to 6x tippet, and ensuring a drag-free drift are all things to pay attention to. Swinging wet flies/soft hackles is also a productive strategy when there is a hatch occurring. With water temperatures on the rise, fish are starting to spread out in the river and feed in different water types. Focusing on nymphing and streamer fishing during the mornings before any hatches is a good strategy and look for rising fish in the afternoon and into the evening. For streamer fishing, having a sinking line or sink tip is the key to success. There are plenty of fish in the river with a combination of stocked fish and holdover fish from the last stocking during the Fall. Many anglers are switching over to Smallmouth fishing due to the increasing water temperatures and have been catching good numbers.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000


Everyday has been different for the local salt game, and while many of our Stripers have continued to migrate East, there are still schools of fish hanging around. Some anglers are having great mornings catching Stripers and Blues that are chasing bunker pods. Many of these pods have moved in close to the harbors with Stripers and Blues crashing them. This tends to be an early morning, low light game, especially this past week. Stripers are starting to become active during the night, so planning around an ideal evening tide could result in some great fishing. Water temperatures in the middle of the sound are in the mid 60s suggesting warmer water nearshore and at outflows. The most productive technique this time of year will be fishing with different colored Clousers, or larger bunker imitations (Deceivers, for instance) paired with an intermediate sinking line (1.2-2ips sink rate). Switching up your retrieve speed and pausing between strips should result in fish once you find the pace the fish preferr. For the open water boat game, anglers are having success with bigger flies/poppers in the 6-8” range. For this fishery we prefer 20-30lb fluorocarbon leaders around 7’ in length. Having a shorter leader will help sink your fly when fishing sinking lines, and will reduce leader hinge especially with unweighted flies. This rig will also be easier to cast in windier conditions. A lot of schoolies are being brought to hand by our shore anglers, with some fish 30” and over in the mix. Westport beaches have seen an increase in Striper activity near shore, as well as Cove Harbor, and the outflow of Holly Pond. Resident fish have been pushing bait in coves and salt ponds, and New London is seeing schools of baitfish with Stripers underneath them. In addition, Penfield Reef will be fishing well for this time of year. The mouth of the Connecticut River has also seen an improvement in Stripers recently. Bluefish have been spotted from Old Saybrook to Greenwich, with some days being tougher to locate them. Look for nervous schools of Bunker moving quickly, and you should find fish beneath them. Bringing wire leader in at least 20lb will help avoid break-offs. If fishing by boat, you will see them finning during the mornings. Fishing poppers for Bluefish can be a blast, and while a fair number of Stripers have moved East, there are some bigger fish still hanging around deep water structure toward the bottom. Stripers have started holding around the rocky points on the Norwalk Islands. The issue is trying to get through the large number of Bluefish at the moment. Anglers that are marking fish on sonar and using the most aggressive sinking lines have been catching trophy fish in 20-40ft on 6-8” flies. If fishing the coves by boat, bring some EP Peanut Butters, Deceivers, Clousers, and Half and Halfs in the 4” range will be the most effective. Bring a variety of colors in Chartreuse, White, Olive, Blue, and Black/Purple for the evenings. Rocky points will hold Stripers especially well and look for gulls to give away the location of the bait. Fish will also be pushed on the flats during either side of the high tide. For boat anglers the beaches and coves around Southport are fishing well, as well as structure near some of the buoys, which suggests migratory fish are holding nearshore. With a lot of options available via wading or boat, now is the time to get out there! Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

New York


Flows have been steadily dropping to fishable levels, with the mainstem at Lordville running at 2030 cfs. West Branch flows have also increased with Hale Eddy currently 664 cfs, while the East Branch at Fish’s Eddy is 1050 cfs. Dry fly fishing has been hit or miss, with a variety of hatches going on depending on where you’re floating or wading. The fish should be up, and these flows will help avoid spooking trout when approaching them. This time of year, overcast coupled with cooler conditions and low wind are ideal recipes for bug activity. The main hatches are Sulphurs in sizes 16-20, Blue Winged Olives in 16-20, Caddis (Tan and Olive) in sizes 16-18, and Light Cahill in size 14. Isonychia are making an appearance in larger numbers, so it will be worth bringing those in size 12 to fish the faster water during the evenings. Look to fish Spinners in the evenings depending on what insect has been the most prevalent. Trout will be keyed into any of these bugs, so bringing a variety of patterns (especially Sulphurs) will help your odds of success. Swinging wet flies can also be a productive method to try when fish are rising and are picky. Boat anglers that are floating the upper and lower portions of the mainstem have been getting into fish and some great hatches. Water temperatures have been starting in the low-60s during the morning and reaching the high-60s by the afternoon. During the afternoons and evenings is when you will encounter most of your hatches, and anglers that are nymphing and streamer fishing in the morning are having success. During the morning hours, nymphing has been the most productive with Stoneflies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Caddis Pupa, Caddis Larvae, Waltz Worms, etc. Streamer fishing with sinking lines also continues to be good, and colors to consider are Chartreuse, Olive, Black, and White. When dry fly fishing, presenting the fly downstream, so the trout will see your fly first as opposed to the leader, will improve your odds. Adding a reach cast in can also be an effective way to get a better and longer drift, coupled with a longer 10-14” 5x leader. The Willowemoc, Beaverkill, and Neversink flows are back down to good levels for wading, and you can expect Rusty Spinners, Caddis, Sulphurs, Isonychia, and Cahill.


Striper season is still in full-swing. Stripers have inundated the South Shore, along with large schools of big Bluefish. Anglers are catching fish on topwater, and the most prevalent bait nearshore is Bunker, Silversides, and Sand Eels. When fishing by boat, focus on structure around the bays and look for birds/baitfish as Stripers will be blitzing. Bringing some poppers, like a Bob’s Banger, will result in some Blue and Striper action during dusk and dawn. Night fishing is also improving, and anglers fishing from shore are finding large Stripers as well. Looking for fish pushing bait to the surface in the rips will result in some fish 30lbs and over by boat. If there is no surface action, you can use an aggressive sinking line paired with a larger Clouser to get deeper. Fishers Island and around Gardiners have also seen Bass crushing Bunker on the surface. The back bays on the Northshore are still seeing plenty of Bluefish.

Rhode Island

Nearshore Striper fishing has been consistent, and there are plenty of schoolies in the 20-30” range. Many fish are being caught by shore and boat anglers. Fishing topwater at dusk and dawn has resulted in nice fish up to 30lbs, and the most important part of the equation is locating schools of bait. It will be worth fishing squid patterns and Sand Eels with sinking lines near structure and the rips, as there are plenty of adult Sand Eels nearshore. There has been some good fishing in Narragansett Bay. Some larger Stripers have started to show up with more frequency, and every day has been different. In Watch Hill, Stripers are inundating the beaches, breachways, and salt ponds and bigger Bluefish are cruising the beaches. Bringing larger EP Bunker patterns, topwater flies, Flatwings and Deceivers should also be considered to imitate a variety of the baitfish you will encounter. The ledges off Block Island are still fishing well, with large Stripers and Bluefish on Sand Eels in the rips. Some of the flats are seeing slot size and over fish cruising in shallow, with the most effective patterns being crab flies.