July 08, 2022 8 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! We hope you had a great 4th of July last weekend and had the chance to get out on the water with friends and family. The word this week is fairly similar to last week's, namely, that while the options are starting to shrink a bit, there is still great fishing to be had if you pick your spots carefully. Tailwaters continue to be the best bet for trout anglers, and getting to spots early and fishing in the cooler part of the day should prove successful. We're also seeing some other fun options emerge too, such as the bass fishing on the Housatonic. Getting bass to come up and hit poppers is a blast this time of year. In the salt, the action continues to shift East but we've been pleasantly surprised at how good the fishing has stayed in the Connecticut area. We are still getting good reports from anglers who are getting lots of hookups. Just keep an eye on the tides and try to get out there when the light is low and you should be in business. In short, even though the summer doldrums aren't too far away, there are still plenty of options at present, so it's a good idea to make the most of them before things quiet down a bit. Read on for more...
Rhodie continues to fish incredibly well. As the majority of large migratory Stripers continue to head East, they have holed up off of Rhodie making it one of the epicenters of the big Bass game. There are big fish all over the place right now. Lower light hours are absolutely critical as we get deeper into summer and the fish are starting to become awfully tough to locate during mid-day and high sun. So look for falling tides in the early morning or evening if you can. The large migrators are definitely in the area and making Rhodie their summer home. While certain areas tend to be hot spots, make no mistake - they are peppered all over. It is always a good idea to have 10 or 11 wts with larger flies ready to go. The Cinder Worm hatch is pretty much over, but we are hearing that popular spots such as Ninigret Pond are still producing good numbers of Stripers. The other option is the Gator Blues, which are all over the place right now. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for boat anglers. However, you could run into the fish off the jetties and beaches at any given time, so be prepared with wire leader and sacrificial flies. There are a ton of options off Rhodie at the moment. Whether from shore or boat, the fly fishing is great right now!
The Farmington, without a doubt, continues to be the best option for trout fishing in the entire state at this point. Even with lower-than-usual flows and increasing temps, the river continues to offer remarkably consistent trout fishing - another reason why this river is so popular as we head into July. Plenty of healthy fish with abundant populations of forage in consistently cold water makes it a great fishery throughout the summer. While angling pressure is something to contend with, it is THE place to be right now. The flow out of the dam is around 170 CFS and the Still is coming in around 20 CFS. That is on the low side, but still a great flow for dries and nymphs. Water temps are fluctuating depending on the air temperatures, and the farther away from the dam you get, the warmer the water will be. So, starting down low in the morning and moving up in the afternoons can be very effective. Nymphs will most likely be the best option - no surprise there. The fish are beginning to become very educated so smaller, more natural flies have been producing the best. For dry fly anglers, Sulphurs and Cahills are the most prolific hatch at the moment. Smaller Sulphurs in a size 18 are taking fish. The Cahills are larger, around a 12, 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 doesn’t blow out and the wind isn’t ripping. So, bring those dries just in case. Make no mistake, the fly fishing can be nothing short of spectacular this time of year. The fish are active, hungry, and there are no shortage of options as far as techniques. We are hearing it has been very crowded on the river of late. This weekend will be no exception, so if you have a favorite spot in mind I would recommend trying to get there at or before sun-up. It is time to start playing those games to beat other anglers there. Remember not to 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. Good luck!
Keep in mind: Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic is starting to get a little low and hot. The flows are in the low 300 CFS range at this point and slowly falling. That, coupled with warming water as we head into the heat of the summer, should see this river become pretty challenging in the weeks to come. One positive, of course, is that the flows are great for wading. Going forward the fly fishing only section on the TMA is where you should focus your attention as it should still hold some very nice sized fish. The recently stocked fish may still take a wide variety of flies but at this point more natural patterns are key as the fish have seen some angling pressure. There will be some Sulphurs and Cahills flying around and a ton of caddis and BWOs as well. Definitely bring the dry fly box. As long it is not too windy, the bugs should come off. That said, nymphs will most likely be the way to go for most of the day. While the trout fishing has been getting tough, the 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 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, especially when conditions are less than ideal or other rivers are just too crowded. A 6 to 8 wt rod with an intermediate or sink tip line will get the job done. This is a great time to target these fish with double digit hauls not uncommon.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The saltwater fly fishing continues to hang on for the state of Connecticut. We are certainly getting to the tail-end of the best few months of the year, but the action has been pleasantly good. of late. You may need to move around to find the fish but there are certainly fish around and any effort to get on them should pay off. Many of the big migrators have pushed through and while they can be tough to pin down, they can still be found if you know where to look. There is plenty of bait around too, so a multitude of flies should work. Falling tide has been the most productive (no surprise there), but the rising will still produce as well - especially from a boat. We are seeing good surface activity early in the mornings with fish blitzing on silversides and other assorted small bait. The one major change is that the fish are becoming more light-sensitive, with midday seeing very little action and low light hours definitely producing the best. So, get up early or stay out late! It makes a big difference. Tidal fluctuations are also becoming far more important as well, so you should really be focusing your attention on the strongest tides of the month 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. There have also been some very large Bluefish around. It can take some effort to find these fish, but if you do, they will smoke almost any reasonable fly. These fish are big, so be sure to use the 10 wt. Pick your weather windows and the fly fishing should be lights out.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Catskills are still fishing well, but the conditions have become more challenging. Angling pressure and warming temperatures have made the fishing less consistent. On cooler days with the right weather, the fishing has been outstanding, but others can be quite a challenge. As we wrote last week the key seems to be locating colder water, fishing at the opportune times, picking the right days to go, and targeting the prime locations. Not surprisingly this tends to favor savvy anglers who are familiar with this watershed. That said, while the conditions can be a bit of a guessing game if you hit it right, the fly fishing can be spectacular. There will be varying degrees of hatching depending on where you are fishing, but most of the area will have Isos, Cahills, and Sulphurs. After that comes the BWOs and assorted Caddis. You will want to bring a good variety of files and be prepared to switch flies often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill are a bit warmer and really starting to slow down. There are similar hatches for these rivers and the flows are good across the board, but you should focus on the mornings and afternoons as the water will be the coolest. A member of our team was up there several days ago, hit the weather just right, and was rewarded with a tremendous Sulfur hatch that made for nonstop action. So keep an eye on the forecast and if the conditions look favorable, go for it.
Not much change to what we wrote last week, namely, the further East you go, the better the fly fishing will be. Long Island Sound seems to be slowing a bit as the action shifts east. 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. 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, especially with the Full Moon. Fish are much more nocturnal in the summer months. You can get schoolies throughout the day, but the fish over 30” really begin to shut down when the sun get high. It is wise to start throwing larger flies at this point too. 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 and olive or just white for brighter conditions. The beaches are seeing good action in the mornings and afternoons. The salt ponds and inlets are also very good options. 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 plenty of Gator Blues around, which are an awesome target on fly. The tease and switch with a popper is a great way to connect with Blues over 10 lbs. It is a pretty nasty forecast this weekend, so if you do head out there, be safe and maybe stay tucked in tight.