Northeast Fishing Report: 9/10/2021 - The Compleat Angler

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September 10, 2021

Greetings Compleat Anglers! We feel for the trout anglers out there. Even with good amounts of precipitation across the Northeast, the water is too warm to ethically trout fish. It looks like that will not change anytime soon as water temperatures remain in the high 60s and low 70s. However, many have transitioned into saltwater and are doing very well. The early push of False Albacore saw many fly anglers getting their first fish of the season. The hot spots have been the Cape, Islands, Rhode Island and Montauk. The fishing was lights out last week. Since then, a few good storms have stunted the run. We are hearing that many of these fish have vanished. Until the water clarity improves it could be a grind out there. Montauk will be a safe bet this weekend as it tends to recover faster. Striper blitzes are a common occurrence and filling the void nicely. Blues are still a great option and with some larger fish around the Race, these gators are great "filler" fish as conditions recover. Read on for more...

Massachusetts

The Albies are still the hot fish off of Massachusetts right now. The fish seem to be pushing West. All around the Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Cape, Albies have been caught with regularity. They are now outnumbering the Bonito by a lot and are the most consistent hardtail. The Bonito have slowed quite a bit for some reason. Before the storm fish were off of the Vineyard and Nantucket in solid numbers. For both Bonito and False Albacore, the Hooter and the Bonito Bar are always hot spots and good places to check, but at this point they are scattered all over. Fish were also being caught around Falmouth, Woods Hole, Naushon Island, and into Buzzards Bay.

Pat with False Albacore on the Fly

The Islands are certainly the epicenter of the Hardtail push at the moment. This Weekend will hopefully see things pop off. The storm this past weekend seems to have stunted the action a bit. However, the fishing should be good this weekend - I emphasizeshould. Bluefish have been prevalent around the Cape and Nantucket. A lot of smaller fish are around with some bigger fish blitzing on Bunker. The Stripers are still very much around and fairly easy to pin down. Fishing structure during low light hours should prove fruitful. Full sinking lines and larger baitfish patterns will take larger fish. Rock piles, rips, and beaches will find lots of smaller Bass feeding on small bait. Poppers have been taking fish in the mornings off the beaches. Monomoy is still a great place to target Stripers. The next few weeks will see Hardtails move in thick - provided the weather does not do anything crazy. The Vineyard, Nantucket and the Cape will be the hot spots so plan your trips now!

Rhode Island

Saltwater

The storm this past weekend did Rhode Island no favors. The False Albacore seem to have vanished. Boats running from Watch Hill to Narragansett and back were blanked this week. We talked to multiple anglers who were hunting hard and came up empty this week. I suspect water clarity is to blame. The Stripers are still around and blitzing occasionally, but it has definitely been slower the past week. The bait is still around though, so when the water quality improves things should return to normal. Bay Anchovies and Peanut Bunker are the two primary forage species for Bonitos and Albies so be prepared with flies that mimic both. It seemed like there were more peanuts to the East and there were more Bay Anchovies to the West toward Watch Hill. That could of course change. Block Island is still putting up some really nice Stripers. Typically a baitfishing spot, you can still target these fish on fly with the tease and switch method early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bass blitzes are a common occurrence. Like the Albies, they are feeding on Bay Anchovies. These fish are very selective, so be sure to have small anchovy flies with you or risk blanking on an acre of Bass. On the whole, the Fall Run is shaping up nicely. The storm cooled off the water and it should drive the fish in tight once the clarity improves. The presence of thick and numerous bait schools, as well as a variety of species, is exactly what we want to see this time of year. Once things recover, if you locate the bait, you will find the gamefish. Keep your head on a swivel and cover water. Having at least 3 rods rigged, one each for Blues, Bass, and Hardtails is a wise decision as you could run into all of the above on any given day. We recommend 10 wts across the board but 9 wts will be alright as well. Let’s hope things recover soon.

 

New York

The Salmon River

The Salmon River is down and running around 500 CFS. There have been good pushes of Kings and Cohos over the past week. While the numbers are not huge, it seems as though most anglers are getting into some great fishing. Even a few Steelhead have been caught in the lower sections of the river. Now is the time to really get serious about planning a trip up there as the fish are pushing into the river on a daily basis. While late September will typically have the most fish on this river, getting on these fish early provides a few benefits. First off, these fish will be as “fresh” as they can get. They are brighter, stronger, and certainly more attractive to the eye. The fight on fresh Kings is very different from the fight of a “mud shark” which has been in the river for quite a while. They are more explosive with far more runs and jumps. Secondly, there will be far fewer anglers to contend with. The Salmon river is famous for its astronomically huge crowds and while that will be unavoidable in the coming weeks, getting to the party early will ensure a much more pleasurable fishing experience. If you plan to get in on the early season action, the lower sections of the river will be far more productive. If you are new to the Salmon fishery, 8 and 9 wts are ideal. Something 10 feet or longer to help mend line and drift correctly is necessary. Big and bright flies are the most popular. Giant egg style patterns or even bright streamers will work. Pinks, Chartreuses, Orange and Peaches are the colors widely regarded as the go-tos. This is a phenomenal fishery and a blast when the fish are running. Now is the time to begin heading up there. The big push could only be a week away. You just never know and there are already fish running up the river. It’s game time in Pulaski!

The Delaware

The Mainstem is running around 2000 CFS and is now falling. The East is at around 1000 CFS, and the West Branch is at 700 CFS. These are good wadable levels for the West, but the Main and East are too high. Boats only for those two branches. The crowds seem to be dwindling, which is also a good thing. However, fishing has been tough and months of pressure are making it even more challenging. For flies, nothing has changed in the past week. BWOs are a strong contender for the most productive - especially on the cloudier days. Dropping down to size 18, 20, or 22 for the BWOs has been very effective of late. Iso Bicolor, Light Cahills, and Caddis will make up the rest of the insects coming off. Flying Ants will be a factor as well. There has been a good “hatch” of these guys recently, so bring a few cinnamons with you. The best practice is to be prepared with multiple sizes of multiple patterns with the emphasis on smaller sizes. Terrestrials are not a bad option. The key moving forward is going on the right days. Low water and bright sun are the exact opposite of what you are looking for. Cloudy days and any dip in temperature are ideal. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.

Saltwater

New York fared about the same as Rhodie with the storm - not great. While there was an uptick in Striper activity with the cooler water, it put the Albies down. Reports were sparse this past week. Not a whole lot going on out there as far as Hardtails go. However, the water should clear up faster here than other locations along the coast. Once it does, the hot spot will be the Lighthouse and area immediately surrounding it. The rip that forms on the lighthouse will suck bait into it and Albies will be waiting to ambush them. Remember that there will be other boats there. This is not a run-and-gun fishery. To be safe, stack up current and drift down. The Albies will come right to you. Once you get to the end, motor back up current well outside of the other drifting boats and stack back into the queue. Aside from Albies, the Bass have been blitzing on peanuts and Anchovies as well.

Fly vs Bait

The bait is on the move, headed South for their migration. The Bass will intercept them and blitz on the surface making them easy targets for fly anglers with the right flies. There will most certainly be some Gator Blues in the area. The beaches will have Stripers on them as well. Remember that these fish are on smaller bait and having flies that match these anchovies, spearing, and silversides is key. These Stripers get very picky and will not hit larger patterns. We will have to see how things shake out after the storm. Things will certainly recover, but how long will it take? That is the question. With Albies off of Mass at the moment, I would give it another week or two and there should be Albies all over Montauk. Time to get ready!

Connecticut

Farmington River

No change to the Farmington report. We are seeing 69.5 degrees for the water temperature high in Riverton. That is well above an average temperature this time of year. In case you missed it, here is what we have found out, explained in last week’s report.Water coming out of the dam is at 67.9. On the 21st the water peaked at 72 degrees in Riverton! What we are hearing from the Metropolitan District of Connecticut (MDC) is that due to weeks of dumping water, there is no more thermal stratification in the reservoir. The water is warm from top to bottom and because of that, we will not see trout friendly water temperatures until the Fall. Yikes! All of that releasing of water was due to high rainfall this past July. As a result, the water turnover has been so great that the deepest water has not been given time to cool down which has led to a reservoir-wide stagnation of temperature. That does not bode well for the months to come. The flow is around 1200 CFS out of the dam before any input from the Still. The Still is putting out around an additional 200 CFS. That is very high. The river is essentially blown out. Even before the hot water temps, fly fishing had been very tough the past few weeks. One fish days were not uncommon and few larger fish have been taken. Even the euro-nymphing mob was having difficulty. That, coupled with months of relentless angling pressure were starting to show as the fish are ultra-selective. With the most recent revelations regarding water temperatures and reservoir temperatures, we are recommending fishing elsewhere until things stabilize. We will keep you posted on any developments or changes as they arise, but for now fishing the Farmington is not a responsible angling practice. This will be the report for the foreseeable future. We will update you on any changes but for now, please give the trout a break.



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 Housy has dropped to around 1800 CFS. That is too high to wade. Remember, that the water is too warm to ethically trout fish. The thermal refuges are now in effect and the trout should be left alone for the rest of summer. However, we have a great fly fishing opportunity for Smallmouth Bass. Once the river drops and the water clears up the streamer bite for Smallies should be pretty good. These fish will hit poppers in the morning and evening with mid-day being a streamer game. Fish the deeper holes and runs with sinking lines and smaller streamers. Anything in a size 2 or smaller with some weight should get the job done. The Pike fishing seems to have picked up a bit with the increase in water and cooler temps. However, the bite window is narrow. Early mornings and late in the evening will have the highest odds of success. Remember to cover a lot of water - that is the key with Northerns. We have a few cloudy days this weekend, which should make it a bit better for Pike fly fishing.  

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

USGS Water-data graph for site 01199000

Saltwater

No change to Connecticut. It has been tough out there, especially in the Western Sound. Really the move has been to fish early and late on structure adjacent to deeper water. Rock piles, points, reefs, and even harbors should be holding good numbers of schoolie Stripers depending on the day. Smaller Blues will be prevalent as well. These fish will typically be out in deeper water, given away by birds and blitzing. However, of late it seems as though these fish have disappeared a bit. A good target for 8 wts, these fish can keep the rod bent on the tougher days if you can locate them. The larger Blues are around, but seem to be on the bottom. The really dedicated anglers have been getting into some really nice Stripers on fly at night. While we won’t spot burn these guys, any area with deeper drop-offs or channels near points will be worth a few casts during a falling tide. There are plenty of smaller Stripers mixed in to keep things interesting. I would say that this is the best approach in the coming weeks for some great action. You never know - there are just enough big fish around to make it worth it. Out toward Niantic it has been a bit better. The Bass have been found foaming on Bay Anchovies. While these fish have been selective, they are perfect targets for fly anglers as smaller flies are a must. Some Albies have been moving into the area and while the storm this past weekend seems to have driven the fish out, I would expect them to rebound soon. If you are fishing Connecticut this weekend into next week, the further East you are, the better.

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


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