Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday 3/13/16 Update- some nice fish getting caught!

Almost 20" Farmington River brown from Saturday on a nymph by customer Sam Morse. Nice blue cheeks on it. Got some good reports back from yesterday. 9am flow is a clear & medium 455cfs & steadily receding, water temps are running low to mid 40's, slightly cooler than that in Riverton. Sun & clouds today (Sunday), very mild with a high of 62 degrees, and not much wind. The river was stocked recently, from the dam in Riverton down to Whittemore (just above the Campground), and from just below the Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford down to the Mini-Golf in Collinsville/Unioville. The permanent C&R section (Campground to Rt 219) will get stocked in latter April. There were already plenty of trout all over the river, so this will only make the fishing better. The recently stocked trout will be the easiest to catch, the holdovers/wild ones will be pickier but bigger. It's good to have options. For the fresh stockers, the 'ol Woolly Bugger in black, olive or white is pretty deadly. So too are various nymphs, especially egg flies. A Woolly Bugger with a nymph trailed 18" behind it can be deadly- start your drift with a dead-drift, going into a swing, and then strip it back in after it's below you. Can be DEADLY sometimes, and it gives the fish options.

From now through October will will be open on weekdays 8am-6pm (instead of 5pm), weekends will remain 6am-5pm year 'roun

River looks good with a total flow of 495cfs per USGS in the permanent Catch & Release area- 304cfs from the dam in Riverton, with 191cfs from the Still River. Clarity is good. Fishing has been good in the stocked areas for browns & bows averaging 12-14". With a good chunk of the river freshly stocked now, it should help spread the pressure out, instead of all anglers congregating in jsut the 6 miles of the permanent C&R section. There are 21 miles of the Farmington River currently open to fishing until opening day. Mild weather is bringing us hatches of Early Black Stones (#12-16). We've already been seeing modest numbers of them the past 2 weeks, so it will only get heavier. When the Early Black's pop, they often skitter along the surface, sometimes leading to explosive rises. In addition to specific #14-16 black Stonefly nymph patterns, Princes in that size range can be deadly. For dries, if you have fish feeding on top, try CDC patterns & Elk/Deer hair patterns in that same size range. Try both dead-drift & skittering with the dries, often the trout will only hit ones that are moving. I've had my overall best success by nymphing with two flies in 3-5' of of medium slow to medium speed water around drop-offs, current breaks/current edges and submerged structure (rocks/trees).

Fishing has been good to excellent many days this winter, especially for the skilled nymphers, but trout have been eating dries & streamers as well. Blue Wing Olives (#22-26), Midges (#22-32 and Winter Caddis #20-24  hatch have been providing some good dry fly fishing on the warmer days, looks for this to kick into gear again as flows continue to drop. The Winter Caddis hatch is an early morning to early afternoon hatch this time of year., Mild afternoons can bring the Blue Wing Olives (#22-26) Midges #22-32 with some trout feeding on the surface in the larger pools some days. Our nymphing crew has been doing well with Green/Olive Caddis Larva #14-16, Princes #12-18, Stoneflies #8-16 (brown, black, golden/yellow), Cased Caddis #12-14, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-18, Zebra Midges #16-20 (black, red, olive), small Egg Flies, Squirmy Worms, Rainbow Warriors #16-18, and  Hot Spot Nymphs #14-16. Don't be afraid to fish bigger #8-10 Stonflies in golden or brown, there a plenty of the matching naturals in the river, they are on a 2-3 year underwater life cycle. And of course smaller #12-16 black ones imitate the Early Black Stones.

Warming water temps will cause the trout to start to spread out from the classic winter lies (slow to medium speed water with some depth) into water with a little more current. I'd still skip the fastest water, but don't be afraid to fish riffles & medium speed runs now. Look for fish around current edges, drop-offs & structure; anywhere there is a break from the faster current combined with some depth. While you may hit fish in shallow water, Ive had my best success in spots 3-5' deep.