Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday 3/15/16 Report- more big trout

Well Sam Morse had a pretty dam productive weekend, here's ANOTHER big one from him, this one in the 20" class, and if I had to guess I'd say it's wild. He landed another very nice one right before that. He's paid his dues, and he's reaping the rewards of time spent on the river. He said he had his best luck this past weekend Euro Nymphing with #14 Princes, Pheasant Tails, and hot-spot nymphs. 

Currently the flow is clear at 301cfs in Riverton below the dam, 209cfs from the Still River, giving us a total flow in the permanent C&R section of 510cfs. Water temps are averaging low to mid 40's, slightly cooler than that in Riverton below the dam. The river was stocked about 2 weeks ago 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 sometime shortly after Opening Day in 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- experiment with colors, it can make a BIG difference sometimes and can change during the day. Various nymphs, especially egg flies, are also quite effective on recently stocked trout. A #6-10 Woolly Bugger with a #14-16 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

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 just the 6 miles of the permanent C&R section. Ive been getting good reports from the dam in Riverton all the way down to Collinsville. 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).When the Early Black's pop, they often skitter along the surface, sometimes leading to explosive rises.Prince nymphs & Pheasant Tails in that size range can be deadly underneath. Try both dead-drift & skittering with the dries, often the trout will only hit ones that are moving. Overall I've had my most consistent 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 (not all) 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 dry fly fishing on the warmer days. The Winter Caddis hatch is an early morning to early afternoon hatch this time of year., Mild afternoons that aren't too windy 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 scoring with Green/Olive Caddis Larva #14-16, Hendrickson-type nymphs #12-16 (brown mayfly nymphs such as Pheasant Tails, Brown Euro Jigs, Heavy Hitter PT's, etc.), Princes #12-18, Stoneflies #8-16 (brown, black, golden/yellow), Cased Caddis #12-14, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-18, Zebra Midges #16-20 (black, red, olive), small Egg Flies, Squirmy Worms, Rainbow Warriors #16-18, and  Hot Spot Nymphs #12-16. Don't be afraid to fish bigger #8-10 Stoneflies in golden or brown, there a plenty of the matching naturals in the river, they are on a 2-3 year underwater life cycle. Last week my biggest trout (18") came immediately after tying on a #8 stone.
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.