800 Followers Contest is closed. Winners announced soon!

I will draw winners this week and notify you by email. Thank you to everyone who entered, and for your continued support and readership!

Cheers, fellow currentseamers. Actually, I’d better not — I’m writing right now.

ASGA Fireside Zoom Chat 9/16 @ 7pm: State of the Striper

From the American Saltwater Guides Association: “Join the ASGA team for a Fireside Chat focused on the current state of the Striped Bass! The chat will be LIVE this Wednesday, 9/16 at 7pm. Tune in via Zoom or Facebook Live! This is a great way for members of the fishing community from all backgrounds to learn something new, ask questions and be a part of the dialogue.” Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtcO2sqzMjHNczidcP8mqBjyfM2113PGFw

It’s a Great Eight Hundred Followers Celebration!

Happy Tuesday, fellow Currentseamsers. Happy September, too. Where did the summer go? Seems like just yesterday I was heading out to Block with Jenks for some early summer stripers. Anyhow: Thank you for being part of the Great Eight Hundred! To celebrate, we’re doing our customary flies-tied-by-Steve giveaway. Here are the rules:

1) No purchase necessary.

2) You must be a follower of currentseams to enter. (If you’re not one already, you become a follower by clicking on the “Stay current with currentseams”  Sign Me Up button on the home page.)

3) To enter, leave a comment on this thread that responds to these questions: 1) How are you managing with the pandemic? Are you fishing more or fishing less? One entry per person. Deadline for entering is 11:59pm September 15, 2020. Three winners will be chosen at random. The winners will be notified in the comments section of this thread or by email, and will be responsible for sending me their address so I can ship the flies out. Sorry, I can only ship to U.S. addresses.

4) All decisions by me are final.

Thanks again for reading and following currentseams.

As Mick Jagger said, “You could be mine you could be mine all mine…”

Farmington and Housatonic River Conditions: Got them late summer, low-water blues

Despite yesterday’s storm showers, the northern part of the state is officially in a stage 2 drought. You don’t need me to tell you that — one look at the brown, desiccated patches (formerly known as lawns) in your neighborhood is the signature. Some rain tomorrow from Laura remnants may make a slight dent.

The Farmington remains viable, if a little low. MDC reduced the flow to 125cfs out of the gate. The Still is warm and painfully low, so it isn’t offering any help. At least the water coming out of the dam is still cold! The Hous isn’t much better flow-wise; this week it was in what I call “rock garden mode.” Naturally, not being a tailwater, the water temps are vastly higher than in the Farmington.

Challenging conditions for angler, for sure. I have a few tips to offer.

Pick and choose your time slots wisely. Earlier, later, and dusk/dark are the best times to target. I’ve recently experienced situations where I couldn’t buy a late afternoon strike; at dusk, the same water begins to simmer and it’s a fish on nearly every cast.

Go deep. It’s almost counter-intuitive: the water is low, so the fish must be looking up, right? Sometimes it doesn’t play out that way. If you think you’re uncomfortable in low water, the fish are even more so: stacked into deeper pockets, slots, runs, and pools. Holding on the bottom. And that B-word can be a difference maker. Sometimes a strategically drifted bottom presentation is your best bet.

Fish the hot water. You’ve heard me mention this before. If the water is white, bubbling, roiling, and boiling (think riffles and pocket structure) you should be fishing there.

Old Reliable dry/dropper — big/small. Get a Wiggly, Chernoble ant, hopper, cricket, big Isonychia dry — and drop a small (16-22) soft-hackle or nymph off the hook bend or on a dropper tag. This is a great searching method and a very effective way to cover two parts of the water column.

Catch ’em up!

Loch fishing, Scotland, August 2019. We need a few soakers like this.

Found on the Housatonic: One Spiffy Landing Net

Someone lost a landing net on the upper Housatonic, and I have it. It’s a nice net, but it’s been in the water for sometime (it was mostly submerged). Describe its general size, frame shape/material/color, and net material/color and we’ll arrange a reunion.

Also found on the Hous.

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Another terrific Witek striper/ASMFC essay, that fly you asked for, the 800 contest, and smallies on the brain

Out favorite dysfunctional — or is that non-functional? — committee met this week to begin formulating its future plans for striped bass. In another insightful essay, Charles Witek asks the question, “How Do you Define Success?” Suffice to say, the ASMFC grades itself on an absurdly low curve.

So where’s that Gurgling Sand Eel pattern you asked for? On its way. No, really. I’m hoping by the weekend.

Also coming soon: the official 800 followers celebration. Get your comments ready!

Last but not least, it’s been a tough summer due to drought and heat, but I fish in cycles, and right now I’ve got smallmouth on the brain. Big time. Nonetheless, to the Farmington I go. Guiding today.

Warm, low water doesn’t bother him. He liked the look of a TeQueely.

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Steve Culton Fly Fishing Zoom Presentations

Even though it’s the middle of summer, it’s not too early to start thinking about your fly fishing club’s fall/winter meeting schedule. I know a lot of groups are playing it safe and holding virtual meetings — I’m right with you on that. In fact, I can help. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, you can still hold a meeting and host a national-level fly fishing speaker.

I’ve been using the Zoom platform, and it translates well to a virtual meeting. I give my talk — you can choose from an extensive fly fishing presentation menu — and then I do a Q&A session for your members, just like I would if I were there. Some members can’t make the session? No worries! I let you record the session and keep it on your website or YouTube channel for two weeks.

Best of all, this a ideal way to expand your fly fishing speaker horizons, whether you’re in a nearby state or several time zones away. I’ve already filled two dates in September.

For rates and to book me, please call 860-918-0228, or email me at swculton@yahoo.com.

Zoom is the new presentation normal. It’s also the next best thing to being there. This was part of a series I hosted this spring.

TFSB_Poster

 

Another great essay by Charles Witek on striped bass management policy failure

If you fish for and love striped bass, Charles Witek is a national treasure. He stays on top of nearly every important meeting, issue, and decision regarding striped bass stock management, and reports back to us. Here’s a terrific essay from his blog, One Angler’s Voyage, “ASA Striped Bass Webinar Omits Key Rebuilding Issue.”

I can’t remember the last time I took a legal fish. Might have been Block last summer.

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800 Followers and Growing

According to today’s tally, there are 807 people officially following currentseams.com. The number tends to go up and down a little every week, but as most of you know, I do a fly giveaway contest every 100 followers. This isn’t the official announcement — I’ll be making it sometime in the next few weeks — but I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for your loyal readership. I truly appreciate it.

It’s almost contest time! You too could be the proud owner of fly swag like this.

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Stripers Forever “Release A Breeder Club”

This just arrived in the mail and it seems like an artifact from another age. While I’m proud to say that I’m a three-time member (all on the fly while wading, which makes it even more of a challenge) it didn’t happen last year and I don’t see it going down this year, either. Of course, I’m quite willing to be proven wrong.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Stripers Forever is an organization whose mission is to make the striped bass a gamefish. The “Release A Breeder Club” was started years ago to encourage anglers to release stripers over 36″. In today’s climate, that’s a no-brainer. Plus, you get a spiffy certificate to display your worthiness. Keep the fight short, keep ’em wet, let them do their job to repopulate the East coast!

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