Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday 8/21/15 Report

My girlfriend Mandy with the biggest fish from yesterday, an adipose-clipped left eye orange Two Year Old Survivor Strain trout, caught on a #6 Golden Stonefly nymph. Interesting day. We had to work for our fish, but did well overall. Our best nymphs were small Blue Wing Olive nymphs, tan/brown Caddis pupa, and smaller attractor nymphs. The biggest one I hooked stayed unseen on the bottom, shaking his head. He eventually made a sudden run, heading toward a jumble of rocks, and when he reached it my line flew back into the tree behind me. Oh well. We picked up some small wild trout, including both browns & brookies. Late afternoon, in the pocket water, I saw Iso's & Tan Caddis. There where tons of big Stonefly shucks on the rocks- I counted 28 on one rock! Early AM is a great time to nymph stonefly water like that with a big #6-10 matching pattern, as night & early/mid mornings is when they crawl out to emerge. Trout were rising to Iso's & Caddis where I was. There were sipping small stuff in the flat pools, Midges maybe? There were piles of Summer/Winter Caddis in early to mid morning, and the trout were rising to them. In the afternoon, I was photographing a trout and my iPhone decided to go for a swim. It washed downstream and I never did find it, despite searching for 1 1/2 hours. Boo.

This time of year there is typically a brief flurry of bugs right at the edge of darkness, so stay late! The longest hatch window is currently in the mornings, and the AM bugs are all small (as in #22-26). Tricos are in the Catch & Release section now. This is a very early morning hatch (more of a spinner fall actually)- be in place no later than 6-7am, it's usually done by mid-morning (9-10AM'ish). They average a #24. The Farmington is 316cfs and clear through the Catch & Release area (TMA) as I write this at 8:30am, but rain earlier this morning with more forecast on & off for today will eventually bring it up to some degree. As of now not enough to radically change anything. We've been in great shape, but lord knows the brooks & small streams needed some rain. Today (Friday) would be a good one to throw a medium to large streamer in search of a big trout, we will be overcast all day.

Currently, the longest & heaviest rising activity will typically come from before daybreak to noon & after 5pm (the closer to dark the better in the evenings). Afternoons will see the least bug activity, but you can catch trout on midges, beetles & ants if you move around and look for rising fish- don't neglect banks and shadelines. You can also blind fish the riffled water. Morning hatches (Needhami, Tricos, Summer/Winter Caddis & Midges) are still good. Isonychia are coming off in the C&R section, generally best after 5pm- look for them to hatch in the faster, broken water, NOT in the smooth pool water. Blue Wing Olives #20-24 and cream colored Summer Stenos #20 are hatching in the from late afternoon through later evening. Tan Caddis #16-20 (mostly toward the smaller sizes) are hatching sporadically, especially mid/late mornings, and in the evening. They are most active in riffled water, not so much the slow/flat stuff. And don't forget about #22-28 Midges, they hatch 12 months a year and often responsible for those midday flat water sippers that are so difficult to catch. A pupa pattern dropped 1 foot off a visible/buoyant dry will sometimes fool them, try also the classic Griffith's Gnat.

Many of you ask were the big trout are.... the answer is everywhere and where you are not. The best trout have grown big by avoiding the easy places to be caught. In general they will be on the bank away from a major access to the river. and in areas that are hard to get to but provide protection. A spot where a big trout will reside usually has a big trout there year after year so if you catch one there.... it or its brother will be there in the future. If you are nymphing with a 2 fly rig, make sure one of your nymphs is small, as in #18-20 (#16 can be small enough if tied on a shorter shank scud style hook). This time of year when flows are at normal summer levels (say 150-350cfs ), the trout really key into smaller nymphs, as that is what is mainly available. The exceptions would be Isonychia & Stoneflies, they are both bigger bugs. Also, nymphing the broken, faster water will greatly outproduce nymphing the softer, slower runs. Focus on medium to fast choppy water, and don't neglect the calf to knee-deep sections. Currently effective nymphs include: Hot Spot Nymphs #14-20, #10 Tungsten Carotene Jig, Wade's Clinger Nymph #14-16, Olive nymphs #16-20, Yellow Sparkle Prince #14-18, Sulfur Nymph #16-18, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, Caddis Pupa & Larva in both tan & olive/green #10-18 (#14-18 on the pupa), Jig nymphs #10-16, Pheasant Tails #16-20, Isonychia Nymphs #10-12, Fox Squirrel Nymph #10-14, Prince Nymph #10-18.

The brand new Scott Meridian saltwater rods arrived at UpCountry (we have #7-10 in the rack), and to say they are impressive is an understatement. They won Best of Show in their category at the recent annual Fly Tackle Dealer/ICAST show. They are in the same vein as the popular Scott Radian series, in that they have tremendous power and are very castable, without being pool cues. They are exceptionally light in the hand, with blanks so thin in the butt section they look more like trout rods. Scott uses cutting edge technology to create a rod that has an incredibly fast recovery rate to generate line speed, as opposed to just making a stiffer rod that takes more effort to cast and has no feel. I was super impressed when I picked them up. Come by and cast one and tell us what you think.