Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday 5/20/16 Report- March Browns, Vitreus, Caddis & 2 big browns pix

Water levels are normal- medium, clear and very nice: 344cfs in the permanent C&R section (New Harford/Pleasant Valley), with 278cfs from the dam in Riverton, and 66cfs from the Still River. Water temps are averaging mid/low 50's- colder near the dam, and higher downriver (Collinsville/Unionville) in the late afternoons.

Big beautiful 21" probable wild brown by nympher etraordinaire Andy Lyons. Fish like this get your heart racing. See bottom of report for another recent big trout. Hatching activity and water temps are excellent. March Browns/Gray Fox #12-14 have now joined the fray in the permanent C&R section, Grady saw a bunch in the New Hartford section Thursday, hatching was heaviest around 6pm. It's probably safe to assume they are up at least as far upstream as Church Pool, and I'd guess further up than that with the mild weather here now. This is typically a "trickle hatch" that starts mid/late afternoon, one here and one there straight through the evening (similar to Isonychia). FYI they hatch is faster water, they live under the rocks in pocket water. The nymphs migrate to the edges about 1 week prior to hatching. Hatch typically goes close to 4 weeks. You can use a specific nymph pattern subsurface, or fish a Hare's Ear/Fox Squirrel nymph. You can even blind fish the dries, trout will be on the lookout for them in the late afternoon/early evening. Caddis are all up & down the river, both #16-18 green/olive bodied & #14-18 tan ones- they are active from mid/late morning right into the evening. Larva, pupa, wet flies/soft-hackles, and dries are all possibilities with the Caddis, depending upon the time of day and whether they are hatching or egg-laying. A pupa or soft-hackle hung 12" off the back of a dry can be deadly when they are rising to Caddis. Vitreus, a #12-16 pseudo Sulfur-type mayfly, are hatching from anywhere from the Still River downstream to Unionville and below, they typically hatch between late afternoon & evening (can be earlier on cooler, cloudier days). In addition to matching dries like the Usual and others, wets/soft-hackles work great during that hatch, as the winged dun pops out of the nymph on the stream bottom & swims to the surface, so a swung orange to yellow bodied wet can be a real fish-catcher.

Most Caddis look tan when in the air, so make sure to catch one in hand and flip over to look at the body color. When in doubt, try both colors, the trout will tell you which one they prefer. Nymphing the medium to fast water with #14-16 Caddis pupa is deadly, and swinging wet flies/soft-hackles are also very effective when they are both hatching and egg-laying. Also, this bug is frequently most active in low-light conditions with mild air temps (mild & cloudy/drizzly days can be fantastic), but don't rule out midday hatches in the sunshine either. On really bright sunny days, Caddis normally get more active when the sun drops low on the horizon & shadows appear. Hendricksons are basically done, only a very few hatching in the upper 2 miles near the dam in Riverton (water temps are colder up there). Evening pinner falls (#12-14 rusty spinner), however, can go a good week beyond the hatch.

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The 6+ mile permanent Catch & Release section was recently stocked in late April with 6,000 trout (including 1,000 large Two Year Old Survivor Strain Farmington River Brown Trout), as you might imagine its been fast & furious there at moments. Many anglers are doing well lately, with quite a few landing larger trout- both recently stocked and holdovers. Move around if you aren't doing well, the trout are literally all over. Also play around with techniques, because dries, wets/soft-hackles, nymphs & streamers are all catching at moments. Don't be afraid to venture outside of the C&R section, there are plenty of trout outside of it. The Two Year Old Farmington River Survivor Strain brown trout that the state recently stocked have a clipped adipose and a chartreuse green elastomer tag behind their left eye, and they typically average 14-18" are are unusually fat when stocked. The adults/yearlings are right eye red for 2016, and they will typically run 6-12". Some of these will hold over and become, big beautiful trout, so don't complain while you are catching 6-8" Yearling Survivor Strain browns, they are future trophies with fantastic genetics and will be extra pretty when they grow to a larger size.

Nymphing has been a very consistent way to catch trout when they aren't rising, and some truly large fish are getting caught on them. It's how I (Torrey) personally catch most of my bigger trout.  Underneath the water use March Brown Nymph #12-14, Caddis Pupa #14-16 (tan, olive/green, brown),Olive/green Caddis larva #14-16, Hare's Ear #12-16, Fox Squirrel #10-14, Triple Threats #14-16, assorted Soft-Hackles #12-16 (in green or Hare's Ear for Caddis pupa, yellow or orange to imitate Vitreus), Prince Nymphs #14-16, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-18, Strolis Rock Candy (olive, green) 10-12, Black Stoneflies #12-16, Golden Stoneflies #8-12, Zebra Midges #18-20 (black, olive), and Hot Spot Nymphs #14-18.
Big beautiful Farmington River female brown trout caught recently by customer Don Rose.