Northeast Fishing Report: 7/23/21 - The Compleat Angler

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July 22, 2021

Greetings Compleat Anglers! Fishing has been tough for the trout fly anglers the past week. Very high water and dangerous conditions kept most off the water. The Farmington for example, is unfishable. With many of our better rivers in flood stage, we recommend staying off the water. If you do venture out there, a flotation device is strongly recommended. Please be careful out there. The Delaware is too high to wade, but the drift boats have been doing very well with very little competition from other anglers. The Saltwater side of things has been very good to excellent this past week. While the Western Long Island Sound has been a bit tough, out East is a different story. Blues, Bass, and Bonito are all up for grabs if you know where to go. Read on for more...

 

Massachusetts

The Cape is fishing quite well. The water has cleared up and the action has picked right back up. There have been Bass and Blues right on shore - it is a great time to fly fish from the beaches and flats. Sandeel and smaller baitfish patterns are just what these fish are looking for. The larger Bass will be just offshore in deeper water congregating around rips and drop offs. Early mornings and afternoons have seen the most action. The larger fish are definitely in the area thick by now. We are hearing that most outings to target these larger fish have been paying off. Martha’s Vineyard has been a hot spot recently for large Stripers. The Bluefish have begun to show up as well, but the most recent development is the arrival of Bonito. They have been caught on the South end of the Vineyard. It is a bit early, but the action has been consistent - consistent enough to make it worth a snoop around if you are looking to get on Bonito. Nantucket has been seeing more and more gator Blues. Matching the hatch has paid off for most fly anglers. Bonito have shown up here as well. The Rips off Monomoy are still producing a lot of fish right now. 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 as such, Cape Cod Bay will start to see more and more large fish as the weeks pass. At this point the fish are pretty thick up there. The Cape/Massachusetts is a great place to be right now. There are a lot of options, everything from Big Striped Bass to Bonito!

Compleat Angler Fishing Report Striped Bass

Rhode Island

Saltwater

Rhode Island has recovered from the storm. Water clarity is good, which means the fishing is turning on. With the Full Moon approaching and the good tides associated with it, expect some good fishing. There are still plenty of Bunker and Sandeels around. There has also been an influx of Mackerel, which are becoming more numerous each day. Anglers were throwing the big stuff with great results. Rhodie should still fish very well next month. 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. Mornings and evenings have been fishing exceptionally well if you are in the right place. However, it seems to be more of a boat fishery for the larger fish and covering water has been the key to success. There are reports of Bonito trickling in as well. While most of these fish are being seen to the North, there were a few taken off Point Judith in the past week. It’s a bit early, but now is the time to begin preparations. The Bones and Albie will be here before you know it!

 

New York

The Delaware

The Mainstem is running around 7000 and rising, the East is at 3400, and the West Branch is at 4300 CFS as of 07/22. These are good levels across the board. While those levels are too high for wading, those of you on drift boats will be in hog heaven. This bump will also cool the water down quite a bit, which is a very good thing. I would say that the East, West, and Upper Mainstem will all fish well this weekend. The streamer fishing should be pretty darn good in the morning and afternoon. Don’t worry dry fly anglers, dries will still be coming off too. The most prolific hatch will be Sulphurs. They are prevalent in upper Main and in both branches. Iso Bicolor, caddis, and BWOs will make up the rest of the insects coming off. Fishing has been very good this past week with the much-needed bump in CFS. The fish are nice and happy with the higher water. They are comfortable and rising very well. This increased water will push a lot of waders out and leave plenty room for the drift boats.

Delaware Brown Trout

Saltwater

No change to the New York report. Montauk, The Race, Plum Gut, and surrounding areas are the place to be. The water has cleared up from the storm and with the Full Moon tides, the fishing should be great. From now on, the further East you go, the better it should be - in theory. The rocks around Gardner’s Island are seeing some great action. While the larger fish are holding in 40 feet or deeper, they are in the shallows in the early morning and late evening hours. There are plenty of schoolies around to keep the rods bent, but always be prepared for a cow Striper to suck down your fly this time of year. You never know what you are going to hook! There are substantial numbers of larger fish in and around Eastern New York. 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 in taking 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. Gators have been found out in deeper water and while it may take some searching, they are certainly around. For the shore-based anglers there is no shortage of options: Back bays, harbor mouths, beaches, breach ways, and salt ponds are all producing. Shinnecock bay has been loaded with schoolies as well, but again, remember to fish low-light hours. 

 

Connecticut

Farmington River

No good news for the Farmington. The river is still blown out in a big way. The flow is 1800 CFS out of the dam before any input from the Still and the Still is putting out an additional 400. With those flows we recommend staying off the river as it is extremely dangerous and unfishable. However, when the water comes back down expect some great fishing. We have no new information regarding hatches. We can only assume it will be similar to the conditions we had before the flood. 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. Caddis will hatch throughout the day and into evening as well. BWOs are always a factor as well, especially on cloudier days. The strongest hatch will be Sulphurs. There are some Isos coming off, but it’s a trickle hatch and can be a bit muted on the Farmington. Consider bringing the terrestrial box from now on, as there are certainly ants and beetles crawling around. July is the “terrestrial month,” and fishing an ant or beetle in the blind can be surprisingly effective during the middle of the day. 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 the reason we fish at these great “big fish spots.” However, crowds will mean a very early morning and a long day. That 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 is the key to success. Water temps are good and the fish will be spread out into faster feeding lies. 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.

 

USGS Water-data graph for site 01186000

Housatonic River

The Housey is running over 7000 CFS, which is an extremely dangerous water flow. Stay off the Housatonic. Trying to fish this river right now is really a gamble. On top of these flows, the water is too warm, which makes it 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. Once, and only once the water subsides to under 1000 CFS will there be a great fly fishing opportunity for Smallmouth Bass. The flood will have cooled off the water a bit and once things clear up, the Smallie bite should be pretty darn good. I would expect these fish to be willing to take almost anything after a few weeks of very high water.

Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

The tropical storm that rolled through Friday gave us what is most likely to be a last gasp of big Striper activity for the Summer. Cooler water temps and cloud cover after the storm had fish tucked in tight and taking big flies. Since then, the action has petered out with most of the fish vacating the area. The tide is not great either. While there are always bigger fish somewhere, expect them to be tough to pin down.

Long Island Bluefish

It seems like smaller Blues are making up most of the activity out there. Schoolies are on structure and that makes 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 few 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 remaining fish will typically be looking for deep, cold water. The bite will be in the early morning and late afternoon/evening windows. Smaller Blues and schoolie Bass will make up the majority of the action for shore-based fly anglers. But remember, there will be  very little 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 may not be a bad idea to look East from now on.

Keep in mind: Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.


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