Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday 9/21/15 Report- nice & cool

Much cooler weather blew in yesterday morning, it went into the LOW 40's last night! Pictured is my car thermometer about 8am this morning. I'm wearing a light fleece, and I like it! Long range highs will be in the 70's, even high 60's, with nights averaging in the 40's-50's. Cooler weather in September inevitably improves the hatches & drops water temps- both are good things. Look for improved Iso hatches. While I don't see any rain at all in the 10 Day Forecast, they are calling for rain after that in the 15 Day Forecast, finally.

The Farmington River Anglers Association will be stocking 1,100 12-14" rainbow & brook trout this Wednesday September 23rd- we now have enough volunteers, thanks in advance to those of you helping us. The Farmington River remains at a low flow but normal for September level (late summer/early fall sees lowest flows on average)- it's 128cfs in the permanent Catch & Release section this morning, with 117cfs coming from the dam in Riverton. Use lighter tippets (6x-7x is typical for dries) for the next couple of weeks until October's rains deliver a higher flow. For nymphs I use mostly 5x or 5.5x fluoro for all but the biggest nymphs (no lighter than 6x for the smallest nymphs). We use fluorocarbon for better abrasion resistance & lower visibility. Longer leaders help keep your fly line further from the trout. I'd recommend 12', and you can go longer (15 foot plus) if you are a good caster. Lighter line weights help too, as they make less commotion when they hit the water- now is a great time to fish your #2-4 weight rods. Wear drab clothing that blends into the backround to be stealthy, and try not to cast directly over the trout's heads. Drab colored fly lines can help, I personally tend to avoid fluorescent fly lines. The Moss color on the front 40' of the Rio Gold fly lines we carry is a great balance between stealth and still being visible to the angler.

Morning is still bringing some Tricos #22-26, Needhamis #20-26, and Summer/Winter Caddis #20-24. We are probably on the tail end of the Trico's & Needhami's. Cooler nights/mornings means the AM hatches will both start & end a bit later than they have been. The best midday hatches have been Flying Ants #22-24 and Tan Caddis #16-18 (look for medium to fast choppy water for the Tan Caddis). Lt Cahills #12-14, White Flies #12-14, and Summer Stenos #18-20 have been hatching just before dark. Flying Ants #20-24 have been on the water almost every day the past 2 weeks. The cloudier days have seen afternoon/evening hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the #20-24 range. If you are nymphing, think #16-20 patterns  (Isonychia & big Stoneflies would be the exception, with Isonychia running #12-14 and Stones #6-12). Iso's are active in later afternoon to evening, and Stoneflies crawl out at night and in early to mid mornings. 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 late summer/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). As far as streamer colors, olive and white are 2 of the more consistent colors on this river and are a great starting point, and tan is another excellent color. Try also black, brown, yellow, gray and other colors or combinations of 2 colors. Don't be afraid to go "Old School" and fish a traditional pattern like a Grey Ghost, Black Ghost, Mickey Fin, Hornberg, etc.- fish see less of the older streamers and may take them more readily. 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 also gets them to put the feedbag on.  - Torrey