Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday 9/12/16 Report- cooling off!

Pictured is my car thermometer when I pulled into the shop a little before 8am this morning- lows bottomed out locally in the 40's last night! It's finally starting to feel like the end of the summer, fall is in sight. After the hot, dry summer we just had, this is a good shift in the weather. Now we just need some serious rain. Long Range Forecast shows only two days cracking 80, otherwise it's all highs in the 70's, and lows averaging in the 50's. Finally, a consistent stretch of normal weather. Not only is this good news for the trout, river temps & hatches, but it is also a hell of a lot more comfortable to fish in. For those of you who were concerned about water temps and the trout, I'd said we are comfortably over the hump now. We are still receiving many good fishing reports, with big trout both seen feeding and sometimes caught too. Mornings & eves are still the peak hatch and fishing times, but trout can be caught midday also on nymphs & blind-fishing terrestrials and attractor dries.

The Farmington remains a low but definitely fishable 81cfs through much of the upper river (74cfs from the dam, with an additional 7cfs from the Still River). The Goodwin Dam (Hogback) in Riverton is still releasing cold water out of the bottom of the reservoir. That, combined with cooler nights and days have been keeping the river from the Goodwin Dam downstream to New Hartford cold enough to maintain the trout without any problems. However, we are still recommending fishing closer to Riverton in the afternoons and evenings where the water is the coldest to protect the trout from being overstressed- afternoons & eves please fish from the Campground/Whittemore up to the dam. Remember too the state recently stocked from Whittemore up to the dam. I like to start downstream in the mornings, and then work my way upstream as the day progresses, so I'm always staying in nice, cool water. The state (DEEP) closed all tributaries to the Farmington this summer from New Hartford and downriver through Collinsville/Unionville/Farmington through September 15th so that they can act as thermal refuges to any trout seeking colder water to survive. You are not allowed to fish within 100ft of the signs at the mouth of any brook or stream that enters the river. In our opinion this did not go far enough... please refrain from fishing altogether south of New Hartford unless you are targeting smallmouth. We should be over the hump now in terms of water temps, even downriver through Canton and maybe even below that, but let's give it another week of this cooler weather until we start fishing below New Hartford.

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. The entire river from Riverton to Unionville is catch and release from Sept 1 - Opening Day so these trout should stick around to add to the already good numbers of fish in the upper river.  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 from Riverton to New Hartford. 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 (Riverton), Tan Caddis #16-18, Summer Steno/Light Cahill #16-20, Rusty Spinnners 18-24. Smaller nymphs #16-20 are a good choice anytime.

Summertime 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 July, August & September. 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.