Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday 9/16/16 Report- plenty of trout

I played around yesterday with very small but quick-sinking Spanish Perdigon nymphs and a very light & very long leader yesterday with guide and friend Antoine Bissieux. Small nymphs fished on 6x fluorocarbon were the ticket, I had my best success with a #20 fly. Drifts had to be drag-free, and the takes were mostly very subtle, we had to be on our "A" game. Pictured is my fish of the day, a very colorful 17" rainbow. At the days end I hooked & lost several BIG browns in a row, grrrr. That's fishing, I guess it's better to "have loved and lost", haha. Overall a good day. Quite a few fishing rising in the evening, saw #12-14 White Flies were still hatching in the Church Pool, and there were also big #12 Isonychia ("Isos") hatching sporadically in the fast water from late afternoon to the evening, clouds of tiny Midges too.

The Farmington is still lower than normal but definitely fishable at 81cfs the permanent Catch & Release area (76cfs from the dam, with an additional 5cfs from the Still River). Water temps have been averaging low/mid 60's, cooler nights & days have been keeping the entire river cool. The CT DEEP tributary closure lifted today, so you can fish anywhere now. I think it's safe to say you can fish the entire river in the mornings, but if you are downriver, say in Collinsville/Unionville, please take water temps with a thermometer in the afternoons to ensure they are under 70 degrees, preferably 68 or less. I got 64 degrees in Church Pool last night, and 64.5 below the dam in Riverton in the afternoon.

UpCountry has just acquired $30,000 of Simms closeouts that are now on sale. There is a huge selection of Mens & Womens: Gore-tex jackets, packs, slings, shirts, pants, tee shirts, shoes, wading boots, and waders. Sizes are limited and there are only a couple of each item so when they are gone they are gone. In addition to the Simms items we will be closing out Lamson Litespeed Reels, Sage "One" Rods, Scott A4 rods, and Temple Fork Outfitters Deer Creek Spey rods. There is also a large selection of used freshwater/saltwater rods and reels from Sage, Orvis, TFO, Redington, Scott, Winston, including some that are not listed for sale on our website. The fly tying bargain bin is currently overflowing with saltwater bucktails, necks, saltwater hooks, Mustad freshwater hooks and more.

The Farmington was stocked with 2,000 trout for Labor Day. All of the trout were put in the area from the Goodwin Dam in Riverton, downstream to Whittemore Pool which is at the northernmost point of Peoples State Forest, above the Campground. Fishing has been good in the morning with Tricos #22-26 (still going but getting near the end) close to Riverton, and Summer/Winter Caddis #20-24. The best afternoon dry fly action has been best using terrestrials. Ants, Beetles, Hoppers and Mini Chernobyls have been excellent for bringing trout to the surface even if they are not rising. Evenings are seeing Blue Wing Olives #20-24, Isonychia #12-14 (fast water only), White Flies #12-14 (C&R up to the dam), Midges #24-28, Tan Caddis #16-18, Summer Steno/Light Cahill #16-20, Rusty Spinnners 18-24. Smaller nymphs #16-22 are a good choice anytime.

Late Summer/Early Fall Low Water Fishing Advice:
The trout have been getting caught & released for months, and the water is the lowest of the year. Lower flows means it is easier to spook the trout, so a stealthy approach can be very important, especially on flat water pools and trout laying in skinny lies. Trout sipping bugs on flat water requires using better techniques to drift the fly. Use a Reach Cast, which helps present your fly to the fish before your leader, and also usually makes it easier to get a drag-free float. Longer leaders (12' and up to 15' +), lighter lines (#2-4), lighter tippets, smaller flies, proper fly selection, accurate casts, and drag-free presentations are the keys to unlocking the puzzle. Many anglers think they are getting a drag-free float, when in reality they are getting micro-drag they cannot see. Longer tippets & shorter casts will help give you a natural, drag-free presentation, and as flies get smaller you need to lighten your tippet. For all but the biggest dries, think 6x & even 7x tippet (for tiny flies like the #24 Tricos for example), for Isonychia and big foam terrestrials you can do 5x and maybe even 4x (it's a bigger, more wind resistant fly, and you are usually fishing it in the fast water). If it's not too windy and you are able to turn your dry fly over, lengthening your tippet out to 3 or even 4 feet will do wonders for reducing drag, it will give you the same effect as dropping down 1-2 tippet sizes.

For nymphers, some of the same advice for the dry fly guys applies to you too. Longer leaders (12' or even longer, Euro-style nymphers often use 30+ foot leaders or pure mono set-ups), accurate casts, and drag-free floats are all very important. While there are exceptions (#8-14 Stonefly nymphs & #12-14 Isonychia nymphs), I frequently find smaller nymphs (no bigger than #16-20 patterns if tied on short-shank curved scud hooks, and #18-22 if tied on standard hooks) to be the key to success many days in late summer/early fall. Many of the natural bugs are smaller this time of year, and our highly pressured trout seem less suspicious of smaller flies too. Use a two fly rig with a bigger fly, but make your second pattern something SMALL. If one of your flies is gaudy, flashy or has a hot-spot, make sure your second pattern is drabber & more natural (maybe beadless or with a black or brown bead instead of a shiny gold, copper or silver one). Usually 5x fluorocarbon tippet is light enough, but sometimes in pressured spots (like Church Pool) I'll go down to 6x, especially if it's sunny, the water is low, and the flies are small. If you like TroutHunter fluoro tippet, they do in-between sizes: 4.5x, 5.5x & 6.5x- I use the 5.5x a lot in the summertime, and so do some of the guides. Many trout pile into FAST water in the summer, so make sure to make some casts there. Big Stones, many Caddis larva/pupa, and certain Mayflies (Isonychia for example) all live in faster water, so put your flies where the food (and the trout) are.

UpCountry is always 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.

If you like our fishing report, please consider buying your gear from us. We generally ship the same day, for free anywhere in the country on all but the smallest orders. Our shop can only exist with your patronage.