Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday 12/11/15 Report- great fishing weekend

Healthy brown landed yesterday by guide Mark Swenson, big enough to go past his 16" net opening. Geez, is it December or October? Highs in the upper 50's the past couple days, nights in the 40's, and temps will stay like that through this week, with Sunday hitting 63 degrees, wow! Water temps were in the mid 40's yesterday afternoon. Flow is a medium-low 221cfs total in the permanent Catch & Release area (179cfs from the dam in Riverton). Winter Caddis excepted, normally you want to focus on the late morning through mid-afternoon period December through March, but with these air & water temps, the fishing the past 2 days has surprising been best in the early to mid morning, even subsurface. Interesting. Nights have been in the 40's, so the water is hardly cooling off at all overnight. Good fishing reports keep rolling in over the past week, with fish coming to nymphs, streamers & dries. Quite a few 16-18" fish reported by anglers, with some up to 20 inches.  Nymphers are catching the most and having the more consistent action (no surprise there), however dries & streamers have both been very effective at moments. Mild weather combined with nice flows has been driving some above average December fishing by warming the cold water up and speeding up the trouts' metabolisms.

Fish are rising in the mornings to Winter Caddis #20-24, and in the afternoons to small Blue Wing Olives #22-28 (light hatch), and Midges #22-32 - these insects will continue be the main hatches through December, with the Olives tailing off. If you are nymphing in the early to mid monrings, try egg patterns, Squirmy Worms & big stoneflies. Streamers are another good choice in the mornings, but fish them slow & deep, don't rip them in fast like you would in May or October as water temps are colder now and trout are more lethargic, make it easy for them to "catch" your fly. If your primary goal is numbers, go with medium sizes (#6-8), or go bigger if you want a crack at the biggest trout, but are willing to catch less and forgo some of the small to medium fish.  Assorted smaller nymphs in the #16-20 range are some of the more consistent fish catchers right now- try Flashback WD-40's, Zebra Midges (black, olive, red), and Pheasant Tails. Caddis Larva in #14-16 too, there are TONS in the river. Also try attractor nymphs in #12-18 (Prince, Rainbow Warrior, Yellow Sparkle Prince, Lightning Bug, etc.).

Other suggested flies include the following nymphs: Yellow Stoneflies #8-16, Black Stoneflies 8-14, Fox Squirrel Nymph #12, Hot Spot Baetis #16-20, Olive nymphs #16-22, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, Tan Caddis Pupa #14-16, Green/Olive Caddis Larva #14-16, Pheasant Tails #16-22, Prince Nymph #12-18. Play with colors on your streamers, lately some of the better ones have been white, olive, and brown. Nothing lighter than 2-3x on your streamers (for average sizes streamers), and go heavier if you are tossing big ones. 5x fluoro is a good average for your nymphs, and 5x-7x tippet for your dries (depending upon size), with 6-7x being more the norm right now due to the small size of the flies & flat water they hatch on. Long tippets help with both dries & nymphs: it will give you "S" curves to get a drag-free float with dries, and it will sink faster with less weight when nymphing.
We just scheduled our second & final Don Butler beginner tying class for this winter, it will be 2 day course, January 9th & 16th, 10am-3pm, cost is $125 per person. Call 860-379-1952 to sign up, class size is limited. See Events/Classes for more details.

Our apartment is now closed for the season, and will be available again starting in April 1 2016.

24" Farmington nighttime streamer caught brown, by DEEP Brian this fall. Judging by the tail I'd say it looks like a big breeder from this spring that managed to elude the catch & kill crowd. Well done Brian.