Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday 4/5/15 Early Report:

Open Easter Sunday 6am-3pm.

The Farmington is 220cfs from the Goodwin Dam in Riverton, downstream to the confluence of the Still River leaving us with a few miles of good fishable water. In addition, the DEEP was back stocking more trout throughout the river yesterday. The Farmington is 1,020cfs through the permanent TMA/C&R section in Pleasant Valley/New Hartford due to rain and snow run off. The dirt road into Greenwoods & Boneyard is once again drivable now that the snow is gone. Best action yesterday, due to the high water and winds were streamers such as Rich Strolis's Ice Pick, Jack Smola's Wooly Jack, plus heavily weighted nymphs including larger stoneflies, green and olive caddis larva, Hendrickson nymphs, and Pink/Silver Lightning Bugs.

Fishing reports have varied greatly, depending upon the day and who you talked to, with some anglers doing quite well. Those who found pods of freshly stocked trout racked up the biggest catches, but some bigger holdovers mixed in for some anglers. Fish a spot, but if it's not producing, move on, don't linger. Lately the more water I cover, the better I do. I might come up empty in 2-3 spots, and then bang fish in the 4th. Nymphs & deeply/slowly fished streamers are the most reliable fish catchers in the cooler waters of the early season, especially when flows are up. The dry fly guys have been back at it and catching some fish at moments (ideally look for days without much wind). Big flat pools like Church, Greenwoods, Whitemore, Campground & Beaver Pools are your best bets if you want to fish dries. The Caddis (AM) & Midges (afternoons) can bring trout to the surface, but Stones fluttering on top (sz 14-18) can bring trout up too. With the Caddis & Stonefly dries, try both dead-drifting them and also lightly twitching them. Tiny Winter Black Stones (sz 8-24) & Early Black Stones (sz 12-16) have been all over the river lately. Seeing some Early Brown Stones (#14-16) as well as Midges (sz 20-28) in the afternoons.

Subsurface, it's not too early to start fishing Hendrickson nymphs, they get active and end up in the drift a good month before the hatch begins, and Bruce Marino ties us a DEADLY nymph for this- ask and we will point you toward it Hendrickson nymphs catch me a lot of BIG trout in April. The nymph can also pull double-duty as an early season stonefly. Early Black & Early Brown Stoneflies (sz 12-16), Pheasant Tails (sz 12-18), olive/green caddis larva (sz 8-16), cased caddis larva (sz 8-16), midge larva/pupa (sz 16-20, especially in red), attractor nymphs (sz 12-18 in Red Headed Stepchild, Copper Johns, blue Lightning Bugs, Yellow Prince, Rainbow Warrior, and egg flies (sz 10-18) are still a good choice (rainbows & suckers are both spring spawners in March/April, contributing fish eggs to the drift),  etc. Don't be afraid to fish some some gaudier/flashy/attractor-type nymphs, the trout sometimes show a preference for them, doubly true for recently stocked trout. If you are fishing streamers, remember that a slower presentation (swinging and/or slow stripping & twitching) matches up with the slower trout metabolism due to cooler water temps- but as always, play with your presentation and let the trout tell you how they prefer it, they may still want a bit faster strip at moments. Try using a floating line and bouncing/hopping a weighted Fishskull Skulpin Bunny on the bottom- use a 0x-2x tippet with this pattern & method, that fly is heavily front-weighted and rides hook point up. If you are using unweighted or lightly weighted streamers, use something to get them down- sinking line, sink-tip line, sinking leader, or split shot. Slow & deep is typically the name of the game until water temps get up near 50 degrees (usually mid/late April).

Beginner Fly Fishing Course with guide Marla Blair on April 25, May 2, June 20, and July 25th:
These beginner classes are limited to 4 people, run from about 7am-4pm. Please contact Marla directly at 413-583-5141 or at Cost is $175 per person, and she can provide any equipment you might need for no additional charge. You will learn about the elements of fishing: equipment/supplies, reading the water/finding fish, what trout need, hatch/fly selection, knots, river etiquette, casting, line control & presentation. No kids under 13. Coffee & muffins provided, please bring a bag lunch, raincoat & vaild 2015 CT fishing license.

Visit us at our new: UpCountry Sportfishing Facebook page for daily reports, photos of big fish and information about the Farmington River community.

We are looking for good used fly rods and reels for trade and purchase. If you have some equipment that you don't like bring it to the store to turn it into something shiny and new. Call to make an appointment for an appraisal or to make a deal.