Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday 9/28/15 Report- Fall is here!

They aren't all monsters- check out this tiny but very pretty wild brown caught by Wade Schools. Such a pretty fish, and maybe someday a pretty big trout. Wild trout have superior genetics (they are the ones that have beat the odds by surviving & reproducing), and are more apt to hold over and reach larger sizes then hatchery fish. Fall weather here now is welcome to  most of us, and the cooler nights & days are dropping water temps and improving hatches and getting the trout feeding. The Farmington River remains at a low but relatively normal flow for September, 115cfs in the permanent Catch & Release. Think longer leaders (12' or even longer), smaller flies, lighter tippets, and be stealthy in your approach, as it's much easier to spook fish in low water. Cloudy weather today should mean some Blue Winged Olives in the #20-26 range. Fishing reports have been good since the weather cooled down, with many trout in the 12-18" range reported. The Farmington River Anglers Association stocked 1,100 12-14" Rainbow and Brook Trout in the upper river on last Wednesday and the MDC loaded the river with 1, 100 brown trout last Friday- the fish are all at least 12", and some are up to about 18"! All of the fresh trout are in the Riverton area (between Whittemore & the dam), and folks have been having luck with various streamers, Woolly Buggers, assorted nymphs & larger caddis patterns on top when targeting them. Other than the standard generic nymphs (PT's, Hare's Ears, Princes, etc.), also try egg flies, San Juan/Squirmy worms, and flashy nymphs on the fresh stockers. They often respond better to gaudy flies until a few weeks goes by and they get dialed into natural food sources. Even before last week's stocking we started getting improved reports, from Riverton all the way down to Unionville. Water temps have been averaging low to mid 60's lately, and they will continue to creep downward as we move into fall. Rain is predicted this week, from Wednesday on & off through Sunday, so this will ultimately increase & improve the flow it's been a very dry August & September so far. Lord knows the brooks and small streams need some water. We are fortunate to be a bottom realease tailwater with a nice deep reservoir that gives us a relatively steady flow of cool water, even when other rivers are almost dry. It also buffers us during heavy rains.

UpCountry is in the middle of a giant fly rod and reel clearance sale. We are loaded with sale rods and reels from Sage, Winston, Redington, Hardy, Lamson, Ross, and more that need to be cleared out by the end of October. If you are thinking about a new rod for yourself or a gift for Christmas, now is a great time to buy as they are 30 to 50% off of the original retail. Only a few of the items are listed for sale on our website as we are holding them back for our loyal customers instead of shipping them out to who knows where. We have also received much of our spring merchandise early and have in stock the new Scott Meridian, the new Sage Little One, Pulse, Mod, and Bolt, plus my own favorite the new Hardy Wraith and Zepherus freshwater rods, and Zepherus SWS saltwater rods. In reels we have just recieved the 2016 Lamson Guru, 2016 Sage Click, Redington Zero and the Ross Animas.
Summer/Winter Caddis #20-24 are on the water in the mornings through midday. Afternoons have been bringing Flying Ants #22-24 and Tan Caddis #16-18. Lt Cahills #12-14 and Summer Stenos #18-20 have been hatching just before dark. The cloudier days have seen afternoon/evening hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the #20-24 range. If you are nymphing, think #16-20 mayfly and midge patterns for most of your offerings, but include  Isonychia #12-14 and Stones #6-12 in the mix as well. When nymphing, focus on the medium to fast choppy water, and don't skip knee-deep spots. Currently effective nymphs include: Yellow Sally nymphs #14-16, Hot Spot Nymphs #16-20, Tungsten Sunk Ant #16, #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 #12-14, Prince Nymph #10-18.

As you move into early fall, trout (especially bigger ones) turn to larger food items like minnows & crayfish, or in the case of this river also Salmon Parr. Look for snags, big rocks, fallen trees, undercut banks, drop-offs, current seams, shady  banks, etc.- anywhere you think a bigger than average trout might hide. Cover lots of water and change streamer color & presentations until the trout tell you what they want at that moment (it can change from day to day, and even during the same day as light conditions change). Streamer colors of tan, olive, and white are a great starting point. Play around with the angle you cast & your retrieve. Currently, with the lower water, smaller streamers are best overall. Low light is prime-time (early mornings & evenings). Streamer fishing normally picks up in October as we get closer to brown trout spawning time, they get more aggressive. Dropping water temps and shorter days also gets them to put the feedbag on.  - Torrey