Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday 8/9/15 River Report- Big Brown Parade

Wade Schools, one of our local fly tyers who does some of the Euro style nymphs you see in our fly bins , is pictured with a 20" class brown. What a beauty! We checked the spots, and it's the same fish Tommy Baranowski (of CT Fish Guides) caught a few weeks ago on an Iso dry fly. Wade nymphed this one up. He's been hooking some bigger fish recently, landing some, losing others. Some of the bigger ones hooked lately have been powering right back into their Hidey Holes and breaking people off. Every big trout has a hiding spot they go to when scared, and it almost always is a place that will break your tippet if they are able to go into it.

We are in summer mode now, meaning the best fishing will typically be early & late in the day, especially if you want to fish to rising trout in the pools. Afternoons will see the least bug activity, but you can catch trout on 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 & Summer/Winter Caddis) are still going strong, evening hatches are later & sparser. Tricos are hatching in early to mid AM in Collinsville, but not quite up to the C&R section yet. Isonychia are coming off in the C&R section after 7pm now, and they are hatching much lighter than they were 2-3 weeks ago. Evening hatches (Iso's excepted) have mostly shifted to late evening (after 8pm).  FYI 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. Same is true if you are prospecting/blind-fishing with dry flies during non-hatch periods, target the broken riffly water. Don't skip the shallow bank water, especially if it is in the shade. 6" of water can easily hold a 15-20" trout in the summertime. Prospecting with dries is a great summertime tactic for those of you who hate nymphing. Don't forget about Midges, they hatch 12 months a year, and as hatches get lighter this time of year, they once again become a targeted food source. The fish sipping in flat water that are hard to catch are often feeding on Midge Pupa.

River flow is stable and about the same, with 285cfs ( medium-low normal August flow, very wadeable) through the Catch & Release area, water temps average upper 50's in Riverton, and low to mid 60's in New Hartford, making it fishable at least down to Canton/Collinsville. Temps are lowest near the dam up in Riverton, and morning water temps are lowest of all. Trico's (#24) have begun down in Collinsville, but are not up in the Catch & Release area just yet- soon though. Needhami's averaging a #22-26 are on the water (a small brown mayfly) from about early morning until lunchtime or so- both spinners & duns are on the water so be observant. There are still Winter/Summer Caddis #22-24 in early/mid mornings with Tan Caddis in #16-20 hatching sporadically from mid/late morning through the day, and they are back on the water egg-laying in the evening (they hatch best in riffled, faster water). Isonychia are much lighter than they were but are still hatching, more toward evening now, they are running about #10-14 and hatch in the faster, choppy water (pool heads, riffles, faster runs, pocket water). Sulfurs averaging a #18-20 are hatching above the Still River up to the dam in the mid/late evening. Blue Wing Olives #20-24 are hatching in the C&R from late afternoon through evening (with spinners after 8pm). Ants & beetles in various sizes are fooling fish in the daytime, including Mini Chernobyls in #12-14. #20 cream colored Summer Stenos have been hatching in the late evenings. Other than the morning hatches (Needhami & Summer/Winter Caddis mainly), the best hatching has literally been the last 30-45 minutes before full darkness, so don't leave early!

Overall smaller is better for nymphs the past couple of weeks, with #16-20 patterns doing most of the damage. 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, and  Stoneflies (Golden, Brown) #6-12 are all working well at moments. Streamers are effective in the early AM and again toward dark- look for either low light or murky water for best results during this time of the year on the Farmington- cloudy days and after a rain are great times to throw the big flies. Mice, Rats and giant Streamers are working at night.

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.