Caught this pretty holdover Farmington River Survivor Strain Two Year Old brown trout Wednesday on a #8 stonefly nymph. The clipped adipose and dye mark behind the left eye showed it to be stocked in spring 2015. I was well outside the permanent Catch & Release area, so this fish migrated a ways after he was put in. The 75+ degree day sure brought the fishermen out, it was so pleasant wearing only a lightweight fishing shirt on top & being perfectly comfortable. Water temps in the afternoon reached the mid 40's. This weekend looks great, with highs in the low 60's, and a mix of sun & clouds. The river was stocked last week, from the dam in Riverton down to Whittemore (just above the Campground), and from just below the Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford down to at least Canton/Collinsville. The permanent C&R section (Campground to Rt 219) will get stocked in latter April. There were already plenty of trout all over the river, so this will only make the fishing better. The recently stocked trout will be the easiest to catch, the holdovers/wild ones will be pickier but bigger. It's good to have options. For the fresh stockers, the 'ol Woolly Bugger in black, olive or white is pretty deadly. So too are various nymphs, especially egg flies. A Woolly Bugger with a nymph trailed 18" behind it can be deadly- start your drift with a dead-drift, going into a swing, and then strip it back in after it's below you. Can be DEADLY sometimes, and it gives the fish options.
From now through October will will be open on weekdays 8am-6pm (instead of
5pm), weekends will remain 6am-5pm year 'roun
River looks good with a total flow of 495cfs per USGS in the permanent Catch & Release area- 304cfs from the dam in Riverton, with 191cfs from the
Still River. Clarity is good. Fishing has been good in the
stocked areas for browns & bows averaging 12-14". With a good chunk
of the river freshly stocked now, it should help spread
the pressure out, instead of all anglers congregating in jsut the 6 miles of the permanent C&R section. There are 21 miles of the Farmington River currently open to fishing until opening day. Mild weather is bringing us hatches of Early Black Stones (#12-16). We've already been seeing
modest numbers of them the past 2 weeks, so it will only get heavier.
When the Early Black's pop, they often
skitter along the surface, sometimes leading to explosive rises. In
addition to specific #14-16 black Stonefly nymph patterns, Princes in
that size range can be deadly. For dries, if you have fish feeding on
top, try CDC patterns & Elk/Deer hair patterns in that same size
range. Try both dead-drift & skittering with the dries, often the
trout will only hit ones that are moving. I've had my overall best success by nymphing with two flies
in 3-5' of of medium slow to medium speed water around drop-offs, current
breaks/current edges and submerged structure (rocks/trees).
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 continue to drop. The Winter Caddis hatch is an early
to early afternoon hatch this time of year., Mild
afternoons can 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 Green/Olive Caddis Larva
#14-16, Princes #12-18, Stoneflies #8-16 (brown, black,
Caddis #12-14, Quasimodo
Tails #14-18, Zebra Midges #16-20 (black, red, olive), small Egg Flies, Squirmy Worms, Rainbow Warriors #16-18, and
Hot Spot Nymphs #14-16. Don't be afraid to fish bigger #8-10 Stonflies in golden
or brown, there a plenty of the matching naturals in the river, they
are on a 2-3 year underwater life cycle. And of course smaller #12-16 black ones imitate the Early Black Stones.
Warming water temps will cause the trout to start to spread out from the classic winter
(slow to medium speed water with some depth) into water with a little more current. I'd still skip the
fastest water, but don't be afraid to fish riffles & medium speed runs now. Look
for fish around current edges, drop-offs & structure; anywhere
there is a break from the faster current combined with some
depth. While you may hit fish in shallow water, Ive had my best success in spots 3-5' deep.