Hello Compleat Anglers! Fall is underway, and we have seen an improvement in our local trout streams. Early Fall stocking has started, so the fishing on the Housatonic and the lower sections of the Farmington should be getting better by the day. Atlantic salmon stocking has also started on the Naugatuck and Shetucket rivers. There haven’t been any significant changes to the smaller freestones yet. The local Albie fishing has been great, with bigger stripers also coming in to feed on the smaller forage in the evenings. Now is the time to break out the 10wts and get out on the salt with the fall run arriving early in the western sound. In Montauk and Rhode Island the fishing has been excellent with more albies showing up daily. We are also starting to see Bluefish filtering into Montauk. Read on for more…
Rhode Island is the place to be for Hardtails. The False Albacore are in thick and peppered all over the place. Shore-based fly anglers have been getting into fish by blind casting the jetties consistently. Boat anglers have also been having a ton of success. We are hearing about double digit days from pretty much everybody so the bite is wide open! There have been a few hot-spots and if you locate one of these it is almost a guarantee you will find them. Now is the time to be putting some hours on the engine and hunting down some hardtails. Striper blitzes and rafts feeding on tiny bait have been a regular occurrence in the mornings and afternoons, and this week we are hearing reports of bigger bass being brought to hand. The main forage has been young-of-the-year bunker, porgies, and anchovies. These baitfish are small. By that I mean an inch or less so smaller albie-style flies are key. They will not hit anything larger. These fish have been super picky. You must “match the hatch” perfectly here to have any shot of a hookup. I can’t stress that enough. Good spots to focus on are the mouths of bays and inlets. As we know, the Fall can be fickle. The fishing has recovered relatively quickly from the poor weather this past weekend. So, you’ll want to get out as soon as possible to get in on some Albies. The next 3 weeks will be the bulk of the migration so now is the time to get out there. The wind for the rest of this week is manageable with some rain potentially mixed in. A wide variety of flies will work early in the season. Everything from smaller Deceivers and Surf Candies to Bonito Bunnies will work so don’t be afraid to experiment. The fish will tell you what they want. Back to the Stripers, the salt ponds, inlets, and back bays are still producing good numbers of fish. Block island has been seeing some gator blues, as well as some large albies. They have been found mostly in deeper water making them a more viable target for boat anglers. So, if a big Blue on the fly is what you are after, give Rhody a shot. The key is locating larger bait. There is so much small bait along the coast that going further out will put you in range of the larger bait that these fish are feeding on. The beaches have also been producing during low light hours. The night-time bite is by far the best with fish in the 30-inch range a common occurrence on fly. There are a ton of options off Rhody at the moment. Whether from shore or boat, the fly fishing is great right now.
With the lowering temperatures of fall officially underway, Connecticut DEEP stocked Atlantic salmon this week on the Naugatuck and Shetucket. This is a unique opportunity to catch large fish especially since the trout fishing hasn’t seen a considerable improvement. Since these fish are recently stocked try a variety of flashy streamers and wooly buggers in pink and purple, as well as your traditional salmon patterns: Blue Charms, Grey Ghosts, etc. We recommend a 9’ 6-8wt rod with a sink tip line or polyleader to get the fly into their zone. On sunny days look for fish sunning themselves in the tail-out of pools which can provide a fun sight fishing opportunity. During colder mornings, a slowly swung streamer is a good strategy. The water has been low at 80cfs, so be stealthy as you approach the pools and wade. As a reminder, this fishing is catch and release until 12/6 with a single hook fly. Please report any poaching to law enforcement, 860-424-3333.
Water temps have decreased enough to open up the majority of the river to ethical fishing temperatures. As a result, DEEP stocked the river between New Hartford Unionville, so try fishing junk flies in this section until the fish become educated. The West Branch Riverton gauge is reading 60.5cfs with the Still adding 13.9cfs, so low water continues to keep the more educated trout wary. As such you will need to switch flies often, move around a lot, and get unorthodox with your approach. For dry fly anglers, the Isos and Cahills have been trickling out in the C&R section and popping in the late afternoon. You can expect fish to be rising in the mornings on BWOs and assorted small caddis. The Tricos are popping now as well and the fish will be on them. Small flies down to size 24 seem to be the norm. Terrestrials are also a factor. Ants and Beetles will take fish so definitely have those in the box. Small nymphs continue to produce, and as fall progresses the streamer fishing will start to pick up. Wet flies are also effective for trout spey anglers. There is no shortage of options as far as techniques go. The hindrance is the water levels and angling pressure which have been making it quite challenging. We are hearing that the crowds have picked back up and that finding a decent spot to fish can be an issue, especially on weekends. I would recommend getting to a favorite spot early in the morning to find good water. Remember to not 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. Remember that many anglers may be dry fly fishing and could be fishing 50 feet up and down from where they are standing. So, when in doubt ask them what their game plan is and see if it is ok to slide in above or below. I can’t believe I need to put this in our reports but let’s keep it clean out there. Please report any suspicious activity and poaching to DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Housatonic is at a great flow. It is at 361cfs and ever-so-slightly falling, allowing for wadeable flows. Temperatures have lowered enough to push the surviving trout out of the thermal refuges. Unfortunately, a lot of the thermal refuges dried up during this summer’s drought, which has killed a fair number of fish. The good news is the state recently stocked some areas, so the fishing has been good and now is the time to throw streamers. On top, the most prevalent hatches will be Blue Winged Olives and Isonychias but there are still terrestrials around so it would also be wise to carry some ant patterns with you. The bass fishing continues to be good as well.
Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The False Albacore have shown up in the Sound in targetable numbers, with some days producing double digit numbers of fish. Port Jeff has been the hot spot (no surprise there) but we have had fish as far West as Greenwich and around the Norwalk Islands. While they are pretty thin, they are here! You will need to motor around quite a bit to locate them but if you burn enough fuel, you should be able to find them. Larger Bass activity has been reported, especially during the evenings. The back bays and salt ponds should see plenty of fish pushing in on the rising tide and feeding on the falling, with the primary forage being Peanut Bunker and Bay Anchovies. Dawn and Dusk have been great producers so time those with the falling tide and you should have good shot at locating feeding Stripers. Some days are good while others are a bust but in general the fishing has been consistent. There has also been increased surface activity early in the mornings with smaller fish blitzing on silversides and other assorted small bait. That is especially true out toward Niantic where the fishing is significantly better than the Western Sound. There are a ton of Albies out there right now. There have also been some Bluefish in the mix, with some smaller harbor Blues mixed in with the Bass blitzes and larger Gators out in the middle. It seems that the Larger Blues have increased in number over the past few weeks and have been providing some exciting tease-and-switch action. Just note that lower light hours are key so you’ll want to get up early or stay out late. It makes a big difference. Tidal fluctuations are also becoming far more important. The strongest tides of the month are when you should really be focusing your attention 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. Just remember that it may take considerable effort to locate them. The Bonito have shown up in Connecticut in stereotypically sporadic fashion. Out toward Niantic they have been more prevalent but there were fish this week off Darien and Greenwich so keep those 9 or 10wts ready with some albie-style flies. If you are running around this area this weekend, keep your eyes open. You could run into them any day from now until October. Please report any poaching to the DEEP by calling 800-842-4357.
The Salmon are running up the rivers and the long-awaited season has certainly started. Kings, and more recently silvers, have been taken in the past 3 weeks, with the last week really seeing a good push of fish that have spread throughout the system, the with majority of the concentration being lower to mid-river. Over the past day the river level has increased to 1600cfs due to rainfall, which has been dropping and the water clarity is improving. If you do decide to head up to the Great Lakes, any of the tributaries should have fish in them at this point. If you’re up there and the water is high and stained, focus on the inside slower seams which will serve as traveling lanes. Regardless of which river you decide to fish, stay lower toward the mouths of these rivers to find the highest concentration of fish. A wide variety of Egg flies and Woolly Buggers will take fish. Larger and brighter is better, especially in high, stained water. The fishing will continue to build until mid-October so now is the time to get in on the action.
Average water temperatures for the Delaware have been in the mid 50’s, and there was a minor bump in flows that are slowly dropping. Overall the flows have been good with the mainstem reading 1480cfs at Lordsville. West Branch flows are at 452cfs at Hale Eddy and dropping, while the East is 779cfs at Fish’s Eddy. In general, the most prevalent hatches continue to be BWOs, while the larger bugs hatching are Isonychias and Cahills. There will be varying degrees of hatches depending on what system you are on. Flying Ants have been prevalent and can often take fish when nothing else will. As such, you will want to bring a good variety of files and be prepared to switch them often. The Willowemoc and Beaverkill temperatures have improved for trout, and both are at good flows for wading. The Catskills are a great option right now as the fall progresses. Another positive is that crowds seem to be dwindling. There have not been mobs of anglers up there making it a great weekend spot. But stay on the tailwaters, stay up high, and pick the right days. If you do that you could still have some decent late-season fly fishing. As flows increase with the rain look to fish streamers.
The past week Montauk Albie fishing has been consistent, with little effect from the past weekend blow. Some mornings the fish have been up and down quickly crashing on bait, so if this is the scenario, instead of running and gunning, wait for the fish to come to you. 10wt rods are the standard out here, with either full intermediate or sinking lines. Bluefish are also in decent numbers along the North side. The lighthouse and Gardner’s Island are the two hot-spots that historically get the highest concentrations of fish. Be sure to check the other rips that form when the tide starts moving. The Albies have been on small Bay Anchovies, around 1” in length, but as the season progresses look to throw adult Bay Anchovy imitations. The Long Island side of the Sound seems turning on out toward Orient Point. Bass foams are still not prevalent, and Albies have also been a hit or miss. The name of the game is covering ground to find the schools. 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 where the water is colder thanks to the cold evenings. The Stripers are moving inshore and offshore to feed on the numerous baitfish species abundant in the area at the moment. The key is to fish during low light hours as these fish are far more active at night. You can get schoolies throughout the day but those fish over 30” really begin to shut down when the sun gets high. When it comes to flies, try black and purple for low light conditions and white or white and olive for brighter conditions. You will certainly want some very small patterns if you do find those larger Bass Blitzes. They are almost certainly on micro-bait. The beaches are seeing good action in the mornings and afternoons and the salt ponds and inlets are also a very good option as well. Most of the larger fish seem to be taken by the 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. The forecast looks good for the weekend so this will be a great time to capitalize on the late Summer bite. The most dramatic change has been the arrival of the smaller bait that is now very prevalent off of Montauk. The Bass have been on them and throwing a fly that is very close to a natural baitfish has been absolutely critical. A fly 1 inch in length or less is an absolute must.
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