July 04, 2024 11 min read

Hello Compleat Angler Friends! Our local rivers and streams are back down to below average flows, so make sure to check your water temperatures to avoid fishing 68 degrees and above. Sticking to the morning hours is a safer bet, and in good news we are expecting rain on Saturday which will help temperatures a bit. The best option for our freshwater fisheries continues to be the Farmington, and our anglers are reporting some exceptional dry fly fishing as the Sulphur hatches continue with regularity. Now is the time to fish for alternative species on the Housatonic as flows are low and warm, and there has been some great Smallmouth Bass, Pike, and Carp fishing. Our Saltwater fishing continues to hold up in the Sound, especially in the deeper water structure. Around the Norwalk Islands water temperatures have warmed, so your best action will be during the morning hours. If you happen across fish blitzing, they will either be chasing Sand Eels or Adult Bunker on the surface. If you’re fishing by boat it helps to cover ground, as anglers are finding Stripers and Bluefish crashing on bait towards Middleground, as well on the Northshore towards Long Island.

Read on for more…


Local Rivers

Flows are back down to below average on all our local rivers and streams. For instance, the Saugatuck is flowing at 31.4 CFS. Because of the low flows and the air temperatures, water temperatures are going to be high into and stress fish. If you decide to fish, we recommend fishing in the morning hours after a cool evening when water temperatures will be at their lowest. You can expect the normal hatches for this time of year, including Blue Winged Olives (especially on overcast days) in sizes 18-20, Ant Patterns, Sulphurs and Light Cahills in 12-18, Tan Caddis in 16-20, and Midges in 18-24. You will see rising fish during the afternoons and evenings, however some of these fish have gotten picky. With that said there are plenty of fish still in the rivers from the Spring stocking. Sticking to nymphing during the early hours of the morning is a safe bet until you start seeing hatches and fish rising which will occur later in the morning. During the early hours you will most likely encounter Caddis and Midges. Some of our favorite nymph patterns include Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Caddis Larvae, Waltz Worms, and Perdigones in sizes 14-18, as well as Zebra Midges in sizes 18-20. If you decide to streamer fish, using small Woolly Buggers in White, Chartreuse, Black, Olive, Grey, and Brown will all do the trick. Streamer fishing will be more successful in the early mornings and especially after the weekends rain. Areas to consider are the Saugatuck, the Mill River in Fairfield, the Aspetuck River, and the Norwalk River. Plenty of ponds and lakes were also stocked, which is a good opportunity to take the kids fishing.

Naugatuck River

Flows on the Naugatuck also dropped to below average levels, reading 194 CFS at Beacon Falls. Check your stream temperatures as they will approach 68 degrees and over during the afternoon. Temperatures below this threshold will give you the green light to fish without stressing trout. Dry fly fishing is steady with the main hatches being Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18, Blue Winged Olives (especially on overcast days) in sizes 18-20, Midges in sizes 20-24, and Ant Patterns. Sulphurs and Light Cahills are hatching with more frequency in sizes 16-18. For nymphing the usual suspects will work well, Caddis Larvae, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Waltz Worms and Perdigones in sizes 16-18. Also consider bringing Zebra Midges in sizes 18-24, Mop Flies, and Squirmies. All sections of the Naugatuck were stocked, and the TMAs have received their second round of stocking already. Now that the fish have been in the system for a couple weeks they are keying in on more naturals as well, and coupled with lower flows, they will be rising with more frequency. The Naugatuck is a good alternative for areas with more crowds/pressure. Be mindful of stream temperatures and keep most of your fishing to the morning hours when water temperatures are at their coolest.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01208500

Farmington River

Flows were slightly bumped on the West Branch of the Farmington River, reading 318 CFS at Riverton. The Still River is adding a trickle of 32.2 CFS. Water temperatures are great for hatch activity, fluctuating between the high 40s and low 50s on the West Branch, and you will encounter Tan Caddis in sizes 14-18, along with Blue Winged Olives in 18-20, and Midges in 20-24. Sulphurs and Light Cahills are hatching on most of the river in sizes 14-16 in great numbers, and Isonychia have started hatching in the lower river in sizes 10-12 in the faster water. It will also be worth bringing Ants, Beetles, and Hoppers. Hatches have certainly improved, especially with Sulphurs, and larger fish are being caught on the surface. It will help to bring a variety of Sulphurs including cripples, emergers, and spinners. During reduced and normal flows with good clarity, we recommend using 9’ or greater leaders in 5x-6x for dry flies. Swinging wet flies, such as a Caddis Pupae, can be effective since Caddis are currently the most active, and this can be an effective afternoon searching technique. The holdovers and wild fish are going to be more difficult but persistence and a more natural selection of flies will help even the odds. With that said anglers are finding some quality fish and are having good success. Nymphing is going to be the most productive method during the morning before most of the hatches start. For nymphing, you will want to bring Pheasant Tails and Prince Nymphs in sizes 12-20, Caddis Larva 14-18, Perdigones 12-20, Hare’s Ears 14-18, Waltz Worms in 14-18, Golden Stoneflies in sizes 8-10, and Zebra Midges in 18-24. Since stocked trout have been in the system for a while, we recommend using smaller and more imitative nymphs that match their wild forage. In terms of rigging, look to use 5x-6x Fluorocarbon when nymphing. Smaller nymphs in sizes 18-20 will pair well on a dry/dropper rig. For Streamer fishing you’ll want to bring some Wolly Buggers and jig style streamers in sizes 8-10 in a variety of colors: Olive, Black, White, and Brown. Fishing articulated flies on a sinking/sink tip line can be another useful tool to include in your arsenal. Weighted Sculpin patterns are another consideration and can be fished on a floating line. Now is a good time for our Trout Spey anglers to use Scandi heads and polyleaders during these average flows. Try swinging some wet flies on less aggressive sinking tips, as insects will become more active during the afternoon. 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

The Housatonic River flows are still below average, reading 328 CFS at Falls Village. While flows are ideal for clarity and wading, river temperatures are also high. Make sure to check your stream temperatures if trout fishing, the green light to fish is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do trout fish stick to the mornings when river temperatures are at their coolest. The most recent development is the Alder Fly hatch has started up, along with the usual suspects being Tan Caddis in sizes 14-18 in abundance. Other considerations are Blue Winged Olives in sizes 18-24 (on your overcast days), March Browns in size 14, Sulphurs in sizes 14-16, and Light Cahills in sizes 12-18. Nymphing and streamer fishing will be most productive in the mornings until hatches start. For nymphing, consider bringing Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Caddis Larvae, Scud patterns, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Waltz Worms, Perdigones, and Yellow/Golden Stoneflies in sizes 12-18. For smaller nymphs, Zebra Midges in 18-24, will fool fish under most conditions. For nymphing with an indicator (we’ve had great feedback on the Oros Stike Indicators), a 9ft tapered fluorocarbon leader in 5x-6x is recommended.  Streamer fishing can also be a fun and productive technique. If you are fishing articulated neutrally buoyant streamers (Mini Dungeons, Drunk and Disorderly, Circus Peanuts, ect), you will want to pair these with a sinking line and a short 5’ leader tapered from 20lb to 10lb. For our floating line streamer anglers, consider drab colored Conehead Woolly Buggers paired with a 9ft 2x leader. This time of year is great for Pike and Smallmouth fishing. For Pike consider using a 8-10wt rod rigged with a sinking line, bite wire, and a larger streamer such as a Flashtail Whistler. They can be found lurking around coves and the slower weedier sections of the Housatonic. Smallmouth fishing is also excellent right now, and some anglers are finding double digit numbers using Woolly Buggers with a sink tip line on 6 and 7wt rods.

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000


Striper action continues to be steady even though are approaching mid-summer conditions which can slow the bite a bit. There are still Stripers holding in some of the deeper water reefs with their primary forage being Sand Eels and Bunker that are sporadically moving through our area. Most of the action, especially on the surface, has been during the early hours of the morning, with anglers finding nice Bluefish in the mix from 10-15lbs. The fish have spread into areas further East in Connecticut along the shorelines and ledges into Old Saybrook. Our boat anglers are also finding fish migrating towards Middleground and other areas in the mid sound, whether it’s Stripers crashing bait or Bluefish finning. If fishing on foot, focus your search on areas around the Norwalk Islands, the beaches off Westport (sand Eels), and the coves and mouths of Rivers. The mouth of the CT River has seen more Bunker showing up and the Striper bite has improved. So many options are fishing well that it helps to cover ground until you find the birds active on bait. For our saltwater fishery we recommend using a 9 or 10wt rod paired with an intermediate sinking line. For your leader a shorter 7.5ft section of 20-30lb will turn over easily when paired with a Clouser or other larger wind resistant flies. For colors consider bringing Olive and White on clear sunny days. If the water is stained, bringing brighter colors such as Chartreuse and White will help stand out in dirty water. For our boat anglers bringing larger Bunker to juvenile Silverside Patterns and Sand Eels will be key as there is a variety of bait and sizes. Some of the salt ponds, such as Holly Pond and Old Mill, are seeing steady Striper fishing, with Silversides being the predominant forage. It will be worth fishing these spots during the evening this time of year. Focusing on rocky structures and points when fishing from a boat is crucial, and this time of year you will find Stripers cruising the flats early in the morning. Some fish are starting to leave the deeper water ledges in favor of moving east, however you may still find fish crashing bait during the mornings. If there’s no surface activity, marking fish with sonar and using full sinking lines will also work. For this fishing we recommend a 4-6” Deceiver in Olive/White. Please be safe out there and respectful to other boaters!

Hot Flies:

Deceivers in various colors


Peanut Bunker Patterns

Custom Tied Baby Bunker (Super Realistic!)

Medium Sized Bunker Flies

Bob’s Banger (Stripers and Bluefish)

Larger Herring Flies


Good Fly Lines For Spring/Summer:

SA Full Intermediate

Rio Outbound Short (Good for big flies and big winds)

Rio Striper (Good all-rounder)

Airflo Universal Cold Salt



Rio Striped Bass Leader


New York

The Catskills

Flows on the Mainstem of the Delaware have dropped back down to below average levels, reading 1080 CFS at Lordville with water temperatures fluctuating in the high 60s to low 70s. The West Branch at Hale Eddy is flowing at 538 CFS while the East Branch at Fishes Eddy is flowing 431 CFS. Both options are also below average, and if you decide to fish sticking to the West Branch will yield the most ideal water temperatures. Dry fly fishing has been a hit or miss, which depends on the forecast and what insects the trout are keying in on. Overcast days coupled with cooler nighttime temperatures will result in better hatch activity. And this past week coupled with the bright sun fish were on small size 24 Blue Winged Olives. Other hatches you may encounter include Tan Caddis in sizes 16-18, along with Sulphurs in sizes 16-18, Light Cahill in size 14, and Isonychia in sizes 10-12. Bringing a variety of these insects is crucial as they will key in on any stage of these hatches. Presentation is also crucial in these lower flows, and you will want a downstream presentation so fish will see your fly first. During the overcast days Blue Winged Olives are more prolific in sizes 16-24. You can expect to encounter Sulphurs in the evening, so it is worth staying until dark. Fishing Isonychia during the evenings in faster water can be effective at times. Streamer fishing will be tricky during these flows, but swinging soft hackles and emergers, as well as nymphing and dry/dropper rigs. For nymphs we recommend bringing Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Perdigones, Waltz Worms, etc... In sizes #12-#20. Nymphing during the sunnier afternoons has been the most productive. If trout are on Caddis, try fishing some emergers just below the surface film if they’re refusing the adult. The smaller rivers and streams outside of the tailwaters are currently too hot to fish.

New York Saltwater

Eaton’s Neck and other areas along the North Shore still have some Migratory and resident Stripers chasing Sand Eels and Bunker along the shorelines with more Bluefish now in the mix. Anglers are also doing well further East into Plum Gut, The Race, and Gardiners Island which means a fair number of fish are traveling East. Striper fishing in the harbors and coves continues to be good as they gorge on smaller Sand Eel offerings. Along the South Shore beaches and into Montauk Stripers have been in the surf and holding in deeper water structure, when they’re blitzing on top, they’re either on Sand Eels or Adult Bunker. There are also plenty of 6-10lb Bluefish pushing bait at the head of the rips during all hours of the day. However, fishing early in the morning will give you a better chance at finding Stripers on the surface. Squid patterns are also working in the rips. The salt ponds, coves, and flats are also fishing well so there’s plenty of options and fish in different scenarios. For the back bays you will want to bring some smaller Clousers in #2 and a variety of colors, small Deceivers, Sand Eel patterns and Crabs. Fishing poppers early mornings on a floating line can be a blast, such as Bob’s Bangers and Gurglers. Most of the holdovers you will find are in the 20-30” size with a few high 30” in the mix. If searching for migratory fish, 40” and over that have shown up in more numbers, bring some larger flies to imitate adult Bunker paired with a sinking line to cut below the schools. Look for signs of nervous and faster moving bait as Stripers will be pushing below them. Bluefish can be a blast on big poppers, and some anglers are finding larger ones up to 15lbs. Depending on your tide, night fishing has been great. Smithtown has also seen an increase in action with Stripers chasing both Bunker and Sand Eels. There are tons of great options now!

Rhode Island Saltwater

The Striper fishing in Rhode Island continues to be consistent. Narragansett Bay, Providence, and Newport have seen good topwater action with the primary bait being Sand Eels and Adult Bunker. The worm hatch in the salt ponds also continues to be consistent towards the evenings. While far and few, some Bluefish are also being caught. Both the flats and bays around Cape Cod have been steady, however some of the bays with warmer water temperatures are starting to shut down. Both Watch Hill and Point Judith are also seeing more migratory fish with the largest being up to 40”. Buzzards Bay, Providence, and Newport are fishing consistent with Stripers blitzing early mornings. The salt ponds are seeing some great Cinder Worm hatches with Stripers gorging on them. Rhode Island has heated up in terms of size and numbers of Stripers, so there’s tons of great options available.