Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday 7/8/16 Report- cold water & hot trout

Customer Jordan M. with a stunning 20" flawless brown from this week, caught on an Iso dry. I'd guess this fish for being wild, it's perfect. Yesterday's rain seemed to mostly go south of here, but despite an ongoing drought, water conditions on the Farmington River remain excellent. Flow is very close to a normal summer level at 263cfs (medium-low) total flow in the permanent Catch & Release section (Pleasant Valley/New Hartford), with 16cfs of that coming from the Still River. Water temps in Riverton up near the dam range from high 40's to low 50's, and in the permanent Catch & Release section have been running from the mid 50's to low/mid 60's (depends upon time of day, weather, and distance below dam). The weather forecast for the weekend through Monday is for moderate temps in the 70's to low 80's. From Tuesday onward it gets hot, with 5 consecutive days with 90 degree plus predicted highs starting Wednesday.  Personally I'm not a fan of hot weather, but fortunately the Farmington River is a tailwater (fed by a deep reservoir with a bottom-release of cold water all summer). You should be okay with water temps right now at least as far downstream as Canton and probably even Collinsville/Unionville, but when the heat wave hits next week take water temps with a thermometer, and if it's above 68 degrees, go upriver until you find cooler water- the fishing will be better, and it will be less stressful for the trout. During hot weather I would not venture below Canton, and you may even want to stay from the C&R upstream. Also starting early in the morning will get you the lowest water temps if you are fishing downriver, and then as temps rise at lunchtime you can either knock off or head upstream to cooler water.

We have a bunch of both demo & new Sage ONE's on sale, priced to sell, get 'em while we still have 'em- current stock of them is listed on our website if you can't make it in to the store, and you can also purchase them directly off our site. We also recently received 50 pairs of Snowshoe Rabbits Feet in natural colors (cream, tan). The past couple of years they have grown increasingly hard to get from our suppliers.

The Isonychia (#10-12) hatch is at least up to the top of the permanent Catch & Release section (Campground/Whittemore) now, maybe even higher up. Remember they hatch in FAST water, so focus on pool heads, pocket water and faster riffles. They normally hatch later in the day, and the hotter it is the later they start up. Other bugs hatching include: Blue Wing Olives, assorted Caddis, Sulfurs (Riverton), Light Cahills, Stoneflies, Needhami, Summer/Winter Caddis, Ants & Beetles, Midges, Craneflies & more. Different bugs are hatching on different sections of the river, so read this paragraph if you want to hit a specific hatch. People are consistently misidentifying both the evening Olives & Cahills as Sulfurs. The Sulfur hatch is ONLY in the upper river now, I'd say your safest bet is Riverton, from about the Rt 20 bridge up to the dam- you may see some a little downstream of that, but not much below that- try Van's, Canal & Beaver Pools. We have been getting 2 batches a day, with one around 11am-2pm, and then again later in the day. Evenings have also been bringing Blue Wing Olives #18-20 to the C&R section, and some nights we've seen #12-14 Light Cahills (this batch is yellowish and has 2 tails, so don't confuse them with true Sulfurs which all have 3 tails). The evening Olives are a very light bright greenish/olive-yellow, and easy to confuse with Sulfurs from a distance. They are very light colored when hatching (almost a light chartreuse), but darken up while they drift. Look also for #10-12 Iso's hatching in the fast water, they aren't in Riverton yet, but are up to at least the top of the C&R in the Campground/Whittemore area, and quite possibly up as far as Pipeline- July is usually the peak month in the C&R for the first batch of bigger Iso's. Evening Caddis typically run #16-20 and tan is the most common color, but not the only one (black, olive/green, brown). Mornings in the C&R have been seeing Summer Caddis #18-22 hatching in the riffled water, and very good Needhami Duns & Spinners #22-26 in the morning (some days going into the afternoon). Ants & beetles of all sizes are working during the midday on the entire river. You can also blind-fish the banks, riffles & pocket water with bigger terrestrials such as Mini Chernobyls & Monster Beetles (killer new fly in our bins). For you nymphers, overall the faster water has been the most productive lately.

Iso Info:
Isonychia are a "trickle hatch", coming off one here & one there, heaviest sometime from late afternoons through the evening normally. Cooler, cloudy days can see them start earlier, hot days can push them off closer to dusk. They are a big bug, with a brown to gray-brown body (females can even have an olive cast due to the olive-green egg mass they carry) and medium to dark gray wings, and cream colored legs. They like faster water- pool heads, riffles, pocket water & rapids.  If nymphing, try both dead-drifting, swinging, and stripping them. Overall I do best on the dead-drift, but I've seen many days when the trout won't eat your nymph if you don't move it  Swinging wet flies such as a big Leadwing Coachman can be effective- the best presentation angle is standing near or on the shoreline and swinging them toward the shoreline (that is the direction the naturals migrate). We sell a variety of specialty Isonychia nymphs and dry flies to match the hatch. Some of my biggest dry fly trout have come on Iso patterns, it's probably my favorite mayfly hatch, due to the size, duration, the fast water it hatches in, and the big trout it entices to eat.

The scoop on Stoneflies:
If you look you will see big Stonefly shucks on the rocks in fast water. The larger varieties of Stones crawl out to emerge at night and in the mornings, so it can pay to hit the water with Stonefly nymphs at first light when they are most active (they crawl out at night and in the mornings on rocks in the fast water). I usually match them with #8-12 patterns in either golden/yellow or brown. Focus on the medium to fast water, that's where they live - riffles, pocket water, runs, pool heads, and rapids are the best spots to fish them. Don't neglect the edges of the stream, especially early in the morning before fishermen have walked all over the river. The bugs often migrate to the edges to crawl out, and the trout will follow them. The bigger species of Stoneflies live 2-3 years, so they are always present and are a good year 'round nymph choice when paired with a smaller nymph. I like to nymph the fast water in the morning with a big stone paired up with a #16 Caddis Pupa (usually tan).

UpCountry is looking for good trade-in fly rods and reels to sell on our website. If you are looking for some new equipment we will gladly put the value of your used gear toward new items in our store. Give us a call to make an appointment.... our prices on trade ins are typically higher than found anywhere else.

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