A winter Farmington River brown trout caught on a dry fly by local guide Zach St. Amand. Trout can be caught 12 months a year due to 21 miles of water here that never closes, and also due to the bottom-release dam the Farmington stays fishable in it's upper reaches even during cold snaps. As long as the weather isn't too cold, we are often fishable down through the permanent Catch & Release/TMA, and even below it. Nymphing is most consistent, but there is a surprising amount of dry fly & streamer action possible. Our Winter Caddis hatch occurs most mornings this time of year, and more often than not brings trout to the surface.
These 2 classes still have room but are filling fast now: Don's "Beginner 2-Day Fly Tying"
class on January 7 & 14, and Rich Strolis' "Tying Streamers for
Everyday" on February 11. See "Events" for details, and call
860-379-1952 to sign up.
Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release/C&R/TMA is low & fishable at 97cfs at the moment (55cfs from the dam in
Riverton, plus 42cfs from the Still). Rain today (Sat 12/24) will increase flows from the Still River and downstream- not a bad thing when the release from the dam is 50cfs. Weather looks mild through midweek, and in the 30's after that, so I'd imagine we will be fishable from the dam down through the permanent Catch & Release/TMA in Pleasant Valley/New Hartford. The water from the dam runs slightly warmer in the winter (and
colder in the summer), and so normally tends not to freeze or slush-up
in the upper 2 miles or so. With the lower flow this winter, we will be
more prone to slush & ice during cold snaps as you get downriver, away from the dam.
So be flexible in your game plan, and look for warming trends to get the
permanent C&R thawed out. When present, morning slush often clears
out by the afternoon on sunny/warmer days.
Right now hatches are: Winter Caddis sz 18-24 in
the mornings (sometimes going into the afternoon), and Midges sz 24-32
in the afternoons. Blue Winged
Olives sz 24-28 are basically done, but you MIGHT still see a few on milder
Water temps will typically be in the 30's now that winter temps are
here, depending upon
weather, time of day, and distance from dam- it can crack into the lower
40's during warm/sunny spells.
This means trout have mostly dropped out of faster water and moved
into their deeper, slow to moderate current winter lies. Colder water
leads to a
trout metabolism, which means they don't need to eat as much. They
look to conserve energy by holding in water with less current, that also
has some depth (for security). However, they will often move into
riffles at the pool heads to feed on nymphs/pupa/larva when sunshine
raises the water temps at midday, which both increases their metabolism
and gets the bugs more active.
FYI the new book "Nymphing The New Way: French leader fishing for trout"
is now in stock at UpCountry, and it looks really good. Update:
temporarily sold out, but give us your name & phone # and we will
call you when it's back in stock (probably early January 2017).
are still catching fish, especially during low-light
conditions- browns are post-spawn & hungry now,
looking to bulk up before winter goes into full effect. Experiment with
colors & retrieves to
find what's best at any given moment (it changes). I would also try to
make your presentations mostly slow & deep due to the cooler water
both swinging and slow retrieves are good choices. The hot streamer rig
has been a weighted streamer with a soft-hackle or nymph trailed off the
hook bend 18" behind . Typically the smaller trailing fly
catches most of the trout, but some days the streamer does most
of the business. This rig allows you to cover a lot of water and present
your nymphs/wets in water that would normally be hard to nymph.
water temps typically make nymphs dead-drfited down deep the most consistently effective
flies, good patterns include: smaller nymphs sz 16-22 (Midges, Baetis,
Tails, Hot Spot Attractors, Rainbow Warriors, etc.) and Caddis Pupa sz
16-18 (tan, brown)
and Larva sz 14-16 (olive/green). Egg patterns are
very effective, so make sure to have some egg flies (small Glo
Bugs/Sucker Spawn/Otter Eggs) in your arsenal. Although smaller nymphs
have been more consistent than bigger ones, don't rule out Stonefly
Nymphs sz 8-14 (brown, golden/yellow, black), sometimes they will pull
The MDC did their fall trout
stocking in early November. This batch was stocked in the upper river
from the Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton downstream to Whittemore Pool.
The Holidays are now upon us. This season please think of
the small businesses that you frequent and support them. UpCountry
values your business and has some holiday specials to share with you.
Simms Headwater Waders are now $249.99.... $100 off. Hardy Lightweight
series reels are now $130.00 for LRHs.....reg price was $249.99. Simms Tee Shirts
size large are buy one get one free. We have a limited selection of Simms &
Umpqua Packs and Vests 40% off. In addition to these items, UpCountry
will price match just about any sale or deal you can find on the
internet.... we appreciate your business and recognize that sometimes a
deal will pop up online that you can't resist.... just bring it to our
UpCountry acquired a ton of Simms closeouts that are on
sale. There is still a large selection of Men's
& Women's: Gore-tex jackets, packs, slings, shirts, pants, tee
shirts, and a few shoes/wading boots/waders. Sizes are limited (the
Men's is mostly in Large, and the Women's is all in Medium) and there
only a couple of each item so when they are gone they are gone.
We are 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.