Pine Meadow, Connecticut:** From Up Country Sportfishing (www.farmingtonriver.com), Grady Allen, told us that the Farmington River has been fishing well for 12- to 16-inch brown trout. “I’ve heard of a few fish over 20 inches,” he added. Grady suggests small needhami and Griffith-gnats in size 22 and 26. He added that fishing is best early in the morning until noon. During the middle of the day the fish are taking terrestrials—especially ants and beetles. The hottest fishing is in Barkhamstead in the catch-and-release section of the river. He expects the dry fly fishing to explode as the days get shorter, the water gets lower, and the air gets cooler. Grady also told us that West Hill Lake is holding Kokanee Salmon for anglers fishing maggots at night in 25 feet or water. “Get out there with a floating light and hang some maggots over the side and the fish come in,” Grady said. Although the technique sounds disgusting, “The guys who do it like it,” Grady laughed. He added that Highland Lake is putting up some nice bass for guys hitting the water early in the morning with topwater poppers and large swim baits.
Columbia, South Carolina:** Kent Parsons at Barron’s Outfitters (www.barronsoutfitters.com) in Columbia, South Carolina was sad to say that trout fishing has been slow due to low water on the local rivers. He told us that Lake Murray is the best bet for striped bass. Guys are catching the fish by down-rod fishing live or cut herring at 40 to 60 feet. The best largemouth fishing in the lake is on rocky points in 12 to 15 feet of water with Carolina rigs and large rubber worms or lizards. “When I say large I mean 7- to 10-inch worms,” Kent said, “That’s large.” He added that crankbaits have also been effective. Smallmouth fishing is best at the confluence of the Saluda, Broad and Congaree Rivers. “A lot of people have been catching them with fly rods and wooly buggers and baitfish patterns or spinning tackle with small crankbaits and small spinners,” Kent said.
Little Rock, Arkansas:** Vince Miller at Fish ’n Stuff told us that anglers are working the rock jetties of the Arkansas River with crankbaits and jigs to catch largemouth bass. “We’ve had high flows but the water dropped and the fishing has been tough,” he admitted. Vince expects the fishing to improve when the current in the river increases. “When we get some flow we’ll get some action on jigs and topwater baits,” he said. Until then, Vince suggests anglers fish the thick vegetation in the backwater sections of the river. “Guys are having better luck working frogs over the grass,” he said. Bass fishing on the bigger lakes is best at night. Vince suggests Texas rigging worms and dropping them into points and brush piles. He says that red worms work best when the moon is bright and plum baits are the ticket when the moon is low. “Just your basic dog days of summer stuff,” he said.
De Moines, Iowa:** From Second Avenue Bait House, Kathy Hughes reports that catfishing for flatheads and channels is good on the De Moines and Raccoon Rivers. She said that anglers are soaking live chubs and sunfish from the bridges in town and off the Center Street and Scott Street Dams. She suggests using a Carolina rig with a 1 to 3 ounce eggsinker sliding 18 inches above a 4/0 hook. She says the best bait is a live chub or sunfish hooked through the chin and out the nostril. “We’ve weighed flat head cats up to 45 pounds this year,” she said. Badger Creek and Big Creek Lakes are full of bluegill and bass. Kathy recommends fishing waxworms under a bobber for the bluegill while the bass are falling for large live minnows and hard baits.
Tucson, Arizona:** Eric Loeffler at Dry Creek Outfitters is sending anglers to the White Mountains north of Tucson to fish for big brown and Apache trout. “The small streams and high mountain lakes are really productive,” he said. Eric told us that heavy snows and hard rain have left the rivers and lakes in good condition for fishing. “It’s better than they’ve been in years and we’re enjoying a good year,” he said. Eric has been sending folks to Earl Park Lake with ant patterns to catch big brown trout. He suggests fishing the lake in a float tube and casting to the shore. “That’s my favorite lake,” he said. If Eric is in the mood to fish streams on foot, he heads to the west fork of the Black River for Apache trout. “It’s a unique trout with black spots like a rainbow but yellow on its ventral side like a brown trout,” he said. He told us that the fish are pretty cooperative and will take an Ausable Wulff or any attractor pattern in size 16. You can only find Apache trout in the White Mountains. For a more adventurous fishing trip, Eric suggests heading to the Colorado River. “It’s a great time to fish the river,” he said, “with big water coming out of the Glenn Canyon Dam.’ Eric said that there are 15 miles of water that can only be accessed by jet boat. Guides will run to the top of the river and beach the boat then anglers will wade the gravel bars fishing wooly buggers or parachute Adams. “Right now the cicadas are screeching in the trees,” he told us, “When they fall out of the trees the fish are ready for them.” Eric especially likes drifting down the river in the jet boat and casting into the banks with a size 8 foam cicadas. “The fish will fight over it,” he said.