Monday, February 29, 2016

Tuesday 3/1/16 Report Quick Update- Upper river was stocked with trout today.

The upper river, from the dam in Riverton down about 4 miles to Whittemore Pool (just above the permanent Catch & Release area) was stocked on Tuesday 3/1. Needless to say, fishing reports in Riverton were excellent. Not sure on their stocking schedule, but I would not be surprised if they stock below the permanent Catch & Release area in the next few days (don't quote me on this, it may or may not happen this week- we will update you when we know it's been stocked). So if you want easy fishing for fresh stockers, head upriver. If you want holdovers & wild fish and are willing to work a little harder for them, fish the permanent C&R stretch for some real quality fish. If you get your ass kicked, go upriver for the stockers. Something for everyone, America, what a country! Haha. Starting next week on Monday 3/7, will will be open on weekdays until 6pm (instead of 5pm), weekends will remain at 5pm year 'round.

People have sent me several pictures off some really nice fish caught this past weekend, check out this specimen of a Farmington River brown trout caught by local guide Derek Kirkpatrick of CT Fish Guides, what a beauty. Lots in here this size, you just have to pay your dues and you will eventually get some bigger ones. River is now in fantastic shape, total flow per USGS in permanent Catch & Release area is 490cfs, with 138cfs from the dam in Riverton, and 352cfs & dropping from the Still River. Clarity is very good. Fishing improved over the weekend, with Saturday slow and Sunday noticeably improved as flow dropped and temps warmed. Today is setting up with some excellent conditions- flow is medium & clear, with mild temps hig of 53!), Tuesday will be 46 with sun & clouds. No snow on the ground whatsoever, which is good for fishing (snowmelt on mild/sunny winter days can drop water temps and shut down the bite, but we don't have to worry about that at all now). We've been seeing the #18-20 Tiny Winter Black Stones (Capnia) for at least a couple weeks now, and a few Early Winter Black Stones (#12-16) showed recntly, so you might think about adding a #12-20 thinly tied Black Stonefly nymph to your rig, or maybe a Prince or black Pheasant Tail in that size range to your rig. The shelf ice and all the snow are now gone, so snowmelt won't be an issue anymore. This winter I've had my overall best success by nymphing with two flies in 3-5' of slow to medium speed water around drop-offs, current breaks/current edges.

Fishing has been good to excellent many days this winter, especially for the skilled nymphers, but trout have been eating dries & streamers as well.  Blue Wing Olives (#22-26), Midges (#22-32 and Winter Caddis #20-24  hatch have been providing some good dry fly fishing on the warmer days, looks for this to kick into gear again as flows return to normal shortly. The Winter Caddis hatch is an early morning to early afternoon hatch this time of year., Mild afternoons bring the Blue Wing Olives (#22-26) Midges #22-32 with some trout feeding on the surface in the larger pools some days. Our nymphing crew has been doing well with Zebra Midges #16-20 (black, red, olive), Green/Olive Caddis Larva #14-16, Cased Caddis #12-14, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-18, small Egg Flies, Squirmy Worms, Rainbow Warriors #16-18, Hot Spot Nymphs #14-16 & Stoneflies #8-14 (brown, black, golden/yellow).

Most of the Farmington trout are in winter lies (slow to medium speed water with some depth). Skip the faster water and focus on pools, deeper pockets, moderate riffles, and deeper runs. Look for fish around current edges, drop-offs & structure; anywhere there is a break from the faster current combined with some depth. Trout are cold blooded so in the winter they don't have to eat as much and conserve energy by moving out of the faster water and holding in slow to moderate water. Having said that, when nymphing we are still hitting a lot of fish in medium speed water, especially where moderate riffles start to drop into deeper water. While you may still hit fish in knee-deep water, spots with 3-5 feet of depth seem to be holding the lion's share. Trout will often pod up this time of year, so where you find one, there may be a bunch more. Nymph slow & deep and expect strikes to be subtle. Get your streamers well down into the water column using weight or sinking lines/leaders and don't fast strip them, but rather swing, twitch, and slow retrieve them. Winter trout like their streamers slow, deep & easy to catch. You can even nymph small to medium sized streamers under a strike indicator.

Aaron Jasper is doing a tying class on Saturday March 5th on "Tying Weighted Euro Anchor Flies", see "Events/Classes" page for more info.