Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday 10/5/15 Report- just another day in paradise...

Stunningly beautiful wild brown from the Catch & Release section, caught on a nymph by Wade Schools Sunday. This is the same fish we have as our cover shot on our FaceBook page (from when I caught it in July 2014), a testament to both catch & release, and also the success of the CT DEEP's Farmington Survivor Strain program in creating holdover trout, bigger trout, and wild trout. The river is about 140cfs through the permanent Catch & Release as of 8am, and they are bumping the release from the dam in Riverton an addtitional 23cfs at 9am, which should bring the total flow up close to 165cfs- this is a good thing. Plenty of positive fishing reports over the weekend, with trout coming to dries, streamers, nymphs & wets/soft-hackles. The upper Farmington in Riverton has fished best the past several days, from above the permanent C&R section right up to the dam, with quite a few trout being taken on dries, especially Tan Caddis in #14-18.

Great fall weather this week averaging in the 60's, today will be a mix of sun & clouds with highs in the mid 60's. Dropping water temps have both the trout & hatches ramped up.  Seeing the standard fall hatches now, mostly in the afternoons: Blue Winged Olives #20-26 (especially on cloudy days) along with Tan Caddis #16-18 and some Isonychia #12-14. The Farmington River Anglers Association stocked 1,100 12-14" Rainbow and Brook Trout in the upper river recently, and the MDC loaded the river with 1,100 brown trout. All of the fresh trout were stocked in the Riverton area (between Whittemore Pool & the Goodwin/Hogback Dam), and folks have been having luck with Woolly Buggers & nymphs underneath, and Tan Caddis #14-18 plus #10-12 Stimulators on top. Don't be afraid to fish gaudy nymphs (San Juans, Green Weenies, Egg flies, hot-spot flies, flashy patterns, etc.) for the fresh stocked trout, they often show a preference for brightly colored and/or flashy flies for the first few weeks. I've read that it takes an average of about 3 weeks for hatchery trout to learn how to properly identify & feed on natural food sources. Even without the stocking, fishing has been good from Riverton all the way down to Unionville for the past 2 weeks or so. For those seeking less pressure, downriver usually sees the least anglers. Remember that the entire river is C&R from the dam all the way down to the Rt 177 bridge in Unionville, about 21 miles of river, from September 1st until 6am on Opening Day in April.

We literally have a ton of sale and clearance items at the moment- rods, reels, lines, etc. We've been getting trade-in rods & reels faster than we can list them on our website, so make sure to stop in the store and take a peek, the best stuff goes fast. We just received a pile of closeout demo Scott rods from our rep, so if you are a fan, check 'em out ASAP. We also have lots of closeout rods & reels from Sage, Hardy, Winston, Redington, Echo and others. We are receiving next years products on a weekly basis, as most of the companies debut their new stuff in the early fall. This includes the new Hardy Zepherus rods, Scott Meridian rods, Redington Hydrogen and just about all of the new rods from Sage. Grady has let me slowly but surely let me beef up our book selection. There are some fantastic books available that can shortcut your learning curve big time. Take a peek, and don't be afraid to ask me (Torrey) for suggestions, I'm a book fanatic. FYI George Daniel's fantastic new streamer fishing book "Strip-Set" just came out, and it's phenomenal. Local fly tyer/guide/author/streamer fanatic Rich Strolis is prominently featured.
On the surface, Summer/Winter Caddis #20-24 are still hatching in the morning. Afternoons on milder days have been bringing Flying Ants #22-24, and every day we are seeing Tan Caddis #16-18 & Isonychia #12-14.  Lt Cahills #12-14 and Summer Stenos #18-20 are hatching before dark. The cloudier days have seen afternoon/evening hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the #20-26 range. When nymphing use a mix of larger and small flies including Black, Brown & Golden Stonefly #6-12, smaller Yellow Sally Stonefly nymphs #14-16, Hot Spot Nymphs #16-20, Wade's Clinger Nymph #16, Blue Wing Olive nymphs #16-20, Yellow Sparkle Prince #16-18, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, Caddis Pupa & Larva in both tan & olive/green #10-18, Pheasant Tails #16-20, Prince Nymph #12-16. Wets & Soft-Hackles are producing trout too, especially in Riverton with the fresh stockers.

As we move into October, 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. Experiment with streamer size- small/medium patterns often catch more trout (especially if the water is lower), and larger flies typically catch less but bigger trout. Low light is prime-time (early mornings & evenings). With floating lines, use weighted flies, split-shot, and/or sinking leaders to sink your streamers. If you are fishing unweighted flies, use sinking lines, sink-tips, sinking leader or split-shot to get your flies down. 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