August 30, 2019 10 min read
Greetings Compleat Anglers! The latest word on fishing in the region is that it's all about saltwater, with the Bonito fishing having been some of the best in yars and with the first hints of Albacore in the offing as well. While the striped bass fishing has gotten a little more sporadic, anglers have also been doing very well with Blues in certain areas. If you don't have plans to get out there in the next few weeks you may regret it!
The Catskills are still low and warm. We have had a few cooler nights and some rain so the fishing should be decent this weekend. However, it is pretty late in the season and reports from the river are sparse at best. For the Beaverkill and Willowemoc there are still some Isos hatching as well as Sulphurs/cream colored mayflies. Late afternoon has proven to still be the best dry fly opportunities. There are also midges, assorted caddis, and BWOs hatching as well depending on where on the river you are fishing. Nymphing has been productive early with Iso nymphs and small Sulphur nymphs as well. If conditions hold this weekend should be decent fishing but expect the bite to tail off toward mid-day. Be aware that effective July 1st, the Beaverkill River from Horton Bridge downstream to the highway overpass is now closed to all angling.
Not much of a change on the Delaware. It is still low and technical. The cooler nights and a bit of rain will certainly help the fishing pick up a bit but do not expect a dramatic change in quality. Small cream colored mayflies are still hatching regularly as are Isonychia. BWOs have been fishing very well taking quite a few fish lately. Those cloudy days we had this past week had the BWOs coming off hard and the fish were keyed in on them in a big way. The Delaware is still fishing well despite the pressure and conditions. The Upper East and West is where you want to be if you are thinking about going up this Labor Day weekend. There are plenty of smaller sub-fourteen inch fish being caught so consider bringing a 4wt. Larger fish are still being taken but it seems they are fewer and farther between these days. It still certainly worth the trip up there and persistence will most definitely pay off.
Montauk is still fishing very well. Big Bluefish have arrived en masse and are a good option at this point. They are being found early in the morning and late afternoon on top harassing bait. The action off the beaches had picked up a bit in the past week with schoolie Stripers and Harbor Blues hitting silversides, sandeels, or peanuts. This is a great time to do some wade fishing. Larger Stripers seem to have tailed off a bit. Reports are that the numbers are down and trying to target these bigger fish on the fly has been difficult. The Rips and rock piles are certainly holding fish so if you have any chance, early in the morning with a full sink line and a giant fly will be your best bet. Bonito are around albeit sporadic at times and there have been False Albacore sightings. It is still a bit early for Albies but a few have been taken right at the Lighthouse. There are Bay Anchovies around so it is only a matter of time. Albie fever has already taken hold and anglers are preparing for the mad rush. Now is the time to tie those flies and keep your ear to the ground. We will see a good push of Albies any day now!
The Farmington is still low. Too low. As of Tuesday, the 27th, the CFS was 66! It has been holding at 71 CFS with the Still river only pumping 16 CFS as of Thursday the 29th. It has been confirmed that the DEEP has been shocking the river this week so many of those great holes in the C&R section will be picked clean. They stay in the C&R area and work their way down hitting all of the major holes. The big fish will all be yanked out and the smaller fish will be very stressed. So, with that in mind, consider going above or below the C&R section if you plan on fishing this weekend. The discarded fish may have recovered by the weekend but expect few if any larger fish in these holes. In our experience, the shocking really does a number on these honey holes and the fishing will not fully recover until next season when new fish move into these holes again. So, keep that in mind. If you absolutely have to fish the C&R area, the upstream stretches will fish marginally better as they are typically hit earlier in the week. As far as flies are concerned, it is all about small bugs right now. Tricos, BWOs, Midges, and assorted caddis are all popping early in the A.M. These flies in sizes 20, 22, 24, and even 26 will improve your chances of a productive day on the water. Many of the fish being taken lately are on these smaller dries in the morning. Some of the larger bugs will be the occasional Light Cahill and Isonychias which will pop late in the afternoon/evening. Terrestrials will take fish as well during the heat of the day. Having a variety of all of these patterns is key. Dropping down to 6, 7, or 8x is imperative with these smaller flies. We had slightly cooler temperatures earlier this week which will improve conditions slightly. Fishing on the Farmington is challenging right now. Small bugs, low water, educated fish, and DEEP shocking will test even the most seasoned anglers. However, fewer and fewer anglers are on the water making it much more pleasant to get out there. And there are still plenty of fish to be caught.
The Housatonic Smallmouth bite is still going strong. Early in the morning has been great. Smaller streamers stripped through deeper holes will almost always result in multiple hook ups. The Pike fishing picked up a bit as well with the rain last week. The cooler temperatures earlier this week helped the Pike bite as well. The Housey water levels went up and the flow was over 300 CFS last week which was a much-needed bump in water. As a result, the bite for Smallies and Pike turned on and carried through the weekend. The water is subsiding and hopefully will not drop below 150. The fishing should remain great this weekend especially for Smallmouth. Pike may be a bit temperamental but still a viable option. Remember, the Thermal Refuges for trout are in effect, and will be for the rest of the Summer.
The Connecticut coast has remained good this past week. Fishing has been fairly consistent but it is certainly becoming more of a boat game as shore fishing has really begun to tail off. Over the weekend the WICC Greatest Bluefish Tournament On Earth took place and some really big fish were weighted. The winning fish topped out at 21.29 pounds! There were two fish in the 15 pound range and three fish in the 14 pound range taking 2nd through 6th place. Four out of six of these fish were weighed in Old Saybrook so that give you a good idea of where to find these larger fish. They seem to be out East in greater numbers and I would venture a guess that The Race is a good place to look for these monster Blues. Farther West we are seeing bigger blues but much more sporadically. They are being found everyday but it has been very hit or miss. There are plenty of schoolies up on top in the early morning and Harbor Blues are everywhere. There have been a few Bonito reports recently. Despite Bonito being all over the place out East, they have been sparse off of Connecticut. An angler caught some Bonito off of Stamford over the weekend. Port Jeff has had some fish as well. Rhode Island seems to be where the majority of the action is. We have some great tides coming up so things should pick up a bit over Labor Day Weekend.
Reports have been pretty sparse this week as the main rivers in Western Massachusetts are in typical mid-August conditions. The Swift is our usual go-to when conditions are tough, but plan on company as many other anglers will be thinking similarly. It's a good time of year to do a little scouting and prep for some fall fishing, when the temps finally drop.
Well with a few cooler nights we're on the cusp of the trout fishing rounding back into fall form. Over the next week or so anglers should start to see the fishing pick up on the deerfield, and some great fall streamer fishing should be in the offiing. It's a great time to get back on the upper section an enjoy the foliage along with increasingly frisky Browns.
Monomoy is still fishing well! The rips, flats and beaches are still producing great numbers of fish. The early morning top water bite has remained solid when the weather permits and fly anglers are catching plenty of fish on top when they time it right. Fish up to and above 30 inches are being taken on a regular basis which is well about what most fly anglers are seeing around the rest of the Northeast. Sandeels remain the predominant forage, however Bunker are certainly around depending on the day. As we creep into fall and some cooler conditions we will see the typical influx of bunker over the next few weeks and the fish should really key in on them. Early morning on the flats has tailed off a bit but is still a good option if you are on foot. The Monomoy Beaches have been consistent as well. Early mornings have had Bass pushing bait right up on shore and are easily cast too with a fly rod. If you are going to fish the beaches be prepared to walk a bit to find the fish. However, once you do it should be fast action with multiple hookups.
The Bonito are still around and I would venture to say that we are in the peak of the run. Maybe a few days past it. There have been a lot of anglers on these fish and the fishing has been hot. They are all around the island and it seems that no matter where you are, you can locate them fairly quickly. That rising tide has been key but as long as there is moving water you should have no problem locating fish. Schoolie Stripers are still going strong and Harbor Blues seem to be all over the place. Bigger Stripers have become a bit sparser for the fly anglers and the larger Gator Blues have been prevalent.
Abbie Schuster, of Kismet Outfitters, confirmed the quality of the bonito fishing and the good prospects for a strong albie run:View this post on Instagram
Every time we get one of these gems I am so blown away by how beautiful they are. #kismetoutfitters #marthasvineyard #catchandrelease #thomasandthomasflyrods #patagoniaflyfishing #fishpond #costadelmar #seewhatsoutthere #kickplastic #whyknotfishing #yeti #cheekyfishing #cortlandline #saltwaterfishing #flyfishing
A post shared by Abbie Schuster (@abbie.on.the.fly) on
The Bonito Bar is still the hot spot. There are a lot of fish being caught right now and I would guess that we are at the peak of the run or just past it. Brightly colored bunny flies have been taking the majority of the fish. The rising tide has been outproducing the falling and with great tides coming this weekend, expect the fishing to be quite good (that is if the weather holds up). Big Blues are being found around the bar as well while the Stripers seem to have moved into deeper water. There are still plenty of schoolies tucked in close to shore but no reports of larger fish.
Corey Gammill of Bill Fisher Outfitters, confirms that Albies are starting to show, a welcome addition to the already great Bonito fishing.
Fishing right now is excellent. Our bonito fishing continues to be the best in years with bones out on the bonito bar and all over great point and the harbor. Flies and lures are both incredibly effective. We still have a load of small bass around and fishermen are constantly catching SLAMs, which is incredibly rewarding.
Lastly, we have had albies in our waters for a week now. We are just seeing groups popping that we can target, but for the most part they are parto f the mix and will be caught randomly, that said, they are getting everyone excited for the months ahead.
The Bonito bite is still going strong. There are a lot of Bonito around and fishing has been spectacular they are typically mixed in with the blues making for fast and furious action. Newport and Narragansett seem to be the hot spots and it is safe to assume that we are at the peak of the run. Big Gator Blues are in thick and fish upwards of 16 pounds have been caught on a regular basis. The Striper fishing off of Block Island remains strong. Early morning blitzes of both Bass and Blues are a common occurrence and are often accompanied by birds making them easy to spot. These will typically be smaller schoolie sized variety with the larger Stripers staying down deep. Small poppers have been taking a lot of fish early and with the tides we have coming up this weekend we should see some good fishing all along the coast. Off to the East, False Albacore have been spotted. We are hearing scattered reports of fish popping up around Newport. Block and Montauk have seen a scattering of Albies as well so it is only a matter of time. There are as many Harbor Blues as you want to catch out there at the moment. These are certainly not the focus of most fly anglers but they can keep that rod bent during the midday lull.
Maine and New Hampshire
The reports we've received are that cooler temps have kept the trout angling solid in Maine and New Hampshire. The Saco has been good, with terrestrial having proved successful over the past week, and the Andro has been fishing very well too. Isonychia have been active as well as some BWO and caddis hatches, which are starting to pick up a bit, offering some quality dry fly fishing as we head into the early fall.
Kyle Schaefer, of Soul Fly Outfitters, sent us the following note about conditions in southern Maine at the moment:
Bait is beginning to pour out of our estuaries giving stripers the cue that the fall is approaching. Stripers are shifting gears on the flats from looking down for crabs and shrimp to chasing small baitfish patterns. The pogy schools are still attracting big bass but the weather rolling through the past week or so has been changing fish patterns and keeping anglers on their toes. It's starting to feel like fall around the southern Maine coast with cooler temps and some fall-like weather patterns beginning to creep in.