Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday 10/13/15 Report- foliage time

Check out this beautiful Brook Trout caught by customer Jo Tango- 14" male, colored up for the fall. Both the trout & the foliage are very colorful, it's that time of year. Water temps have been running mid 50's to low 60's lately, just about perfect, look for them to drop a little more as the upcoming weather cools down. With the low/clear fall flows (pretty typical for this time of year on all CT trout streams), use longer leaders (12' or even longer), wear drab clothing, be stealthy in your approach, and on average use smaller flies & lighter tippets (fluorocarbon is less visible than monofilament). Streamers would be the exception to the small fly rule. Lots of good reports & happy anglers lately. Main hatches in the afternoons are Isonychia, Tan/brown Caddis, and small Blue Wing Olives. Mornings will keep seeing Summer/Winter Caddis. October trout get aggressive, so streamers are catching fish- play with colors & retrieves, some of my fall favorites are white, yellow, black and olive. Sometimes in the normally low/clear waters of fall, especially on sunny days, slimmer old-school traditional patterns will outfish the typical modern bulkier flies. Try Baby Brown Trout, Grey Ghost, Black Ghost, Muddler Minnow, Mickey Finn, etc. Riverton (from just below the dam down through Whittemore) was recently stocked with well  over 2,000 brown, brook & rainbow trout 12" and bigger, and not surprisingly has been fishing good up there.

The river is 119cfs total flow through the permanent Catch & Release, with 103cfs coming from the dam.  Plenty of positive fishing reports over the holiday weekend, with trout coming to dries, streamers, nymphs & wets/soft-hackles. Blind-fished dries are working well, so don't limit yourself to the technical math-the-hatch flat water/small fly scene. Bigger dries such as Stimulators #10-12 and Isonychia #12-14, working well as searching flies. The upper Farmington in Riverton has fished very well, from above the permanent C&R section (Whittemore) right up to the dam, with quite a few trout being taken on dries, especially Tan Caddis in #14-18. The cloudier days have seen afternoon hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the #22-26 range. When nymphing use a mostly smaller flies including Zebra Midges #18-20, 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. The exception to the smaller nymphs would be stoneflies- try brown, golden, and black patterns in #8-14. Wets & Soft-Hackles are producing trout too, especially in Riverton with the fresh stockers.

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.

As we move into the 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. 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