Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday 8/31/15 Report- the "CT Slam"

Some pretty fish from this past week, courtesy of Andy Lyons. Catching all 3 species in one day (the "CT Slam") is very possible, Brook Trout are the hardest to get because there are the least number of them in the river. Rainbows love the fast water. While late August & September is a time of year when you typically have to work extra hard to catch your trout, we got some great reports from some (not all!) 0four anglers this past weekend. Flying Ants were on the water, they were small- fish #22-24 patterns to match them. Anglers venturing out in the mornings & fishing the pools saw hatches of Tricos, Summer/Winter Caddis, and Needhami (a chocolate brown bodied mayfly). Morning bugs are SMALL, so make sure your dries reflect this. By small I mean #20-24 on the Summer/Winter Caddis, and #22-26 on the Tricos & Needhami. This is very precise fishing- your casts need to be delicate (long leaders help), accurate to the inch, and drag-free (long/light tippets help a lot with this). Early to mid morning is currently seeing the best & longest hatching activity. Big #10-14 Iso's come off somewhere between late afternoon & evening, and then in the last 1/2 hour there is typically a potpourri of different bugs all out at once, so don't leave too early. Midday is the slowest, I'd recommend either working the shadelines with terrestrials and/or fishing the faster, broken water with nymphs, attractor dries & terrestrials. The midday exception would be Flying Ants, they are often on the water then, and this is prime-time in late Summer. When a mating flight of them lands on the water, the trout go a little nuts. You are most apt to see them on warm, muggy day & the day after some rain too. First light with a big stonefly nymph or a streamer would be a good tactic to nail a bigger fish. Or go out at night and fish mice, big wets or streamers.

The Farmington is an excellent medium 301cfs flow, nie & clear through the Catch & Release area/TMA. Currently the best fishing remains mornings & evenings, which correlates exactly to when the best bug activity generally is. Afternoons see very little hatching, but if you look around & move you can usually drum up a few on Midges, ants & beetles- look for sporadic risers, or blind fish terrestrials along shady banks, current seams & stucture (rocks, sunken logs, etc.). You can also nymph the faster water. Other than the big Stoneflies (#6-10) & Isonychia (averaging #12-14 now, with some up to #10), almost everything else is small, so your fly patterns, both dries & nymphs, should reflect that- beetles & ants are often an exception, with patterns in the #14-18 range usually small enough. Speaking of ants, we've been seeing tiny black Flying Ants on the water some days (not all), try matching them with a #22-24 pattern. They usually appear the day after some rain, and/or on warmer, humid days. This time of year there is typically a brief flurry of hatching activity right at the edge of darkness, so stay late. At night's end you may see tan Caddis (#16-20), varous sizes of Cahills/Summer Steno's (#10-20), small Olives (#22-26), and assorted spinners in rust/cream/olive. White Flies have been hatching in the Catch & Release secction for over a week now, they are #12-14 and come off after 8pm. The nymphs live in slow, silty pools, so I usually try to target that hatch with dries where riffles soften out into the flatter pool water. The longest hatch window is currently in the mornings, and the AM bugs (Summer/Winter Caddis, Tricos, Needhami, Midges, Olives)  average #22-26. Tricos are 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. Currently if you fish streamers, I'd recommend first & last light, and go smaller right now (#8-12). Overcast or rainy days can be above average for streamers too.

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 #16, Olive nymphs #16-20, Yellow Sparkle Prince #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 #10-14, Fox Squirrel Nymph #10-14, Prince Nymph #10-18.