Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday 6/6/16 Report- Sulfurs, rising trout & good fishing

Check out this unusually colored & beautiful Rainbow that one of Antionne Bisseux's clients caught Sunday morning. Good fishing reports all weekend, including the rainy Sunday. The overcast, cloudy, mild & wet conditions had the Caddis hatching like crazy, and some #18-20 Blue Wing Olives were in the mix too (look for them on crappy overcast days, not so much on sunny days). We are seeing more rising trout in the past couple of days, after a week or so of slower surface activity. We fared just fine with the rain, we certainly needed some. The flow bumped up about an extra 100cfs, coming all from the Still River, and it will drop back down fast. Flows in the 200-600cfs range are optimal & very fishable on the Farmington River. Water is at a medium to medium-high flow this morning, relatively clear with a light stain to it, 442cfs total flow in the permanent C&R section (New Harford/Pleasant Valley), with 298cfs from the dam in Riverton, and 144cfs from the Still River. Water temps have been averaging low/mid 50's in the C&R section - colder than that up near the dam in Riverton (above the Still River, which runs warm), and higher downriver (Collinsville/Unionville) in the late afternoons on warm/sunny days. You will probably see a slight bump in water temps the next day or two, with the additional water coming from the Still River, which runs warm. 10 Day Forecast looks great, with highs mostly in the 70's, and nights averaging in the 50's and even down into the 40's! High in the upper 60's for Wed/Thurs, I like it. The latest is that Sulfurs are FINALLY moving into the C&R section now (they were already hatching downriver in Canton/Collinsville/Unionville), and we are seeing more rising trout once again- see paragraph below for additional info on that. Nymphing remains an excellent & consistent producer, with skilled nymphers giving us great reports. We are also seeing March Browns/Gray Fox, assorted Caddis (tan is the dominant one), and Vitreus (Pink Lady). Crappy days with clouds & rain have seen some Olives hatching too.

Local guide and Joe Humphrey's disciple Mike Carl has 2 classes coming up in very near future:
1) Small Stream Class, Saturday June 11th,10am-2pm, 3P max class size, cost is $100, and...
2) Dry Fly Class, Saturday June 18th, 10am-2pm, 5P max class size, cost is $100
     -call UpCountry at 860-379-1952 to sign up for either class

Sulfurs have moved into our section of the river! I hit a modest hatch of them Friday night in New Harford. Saturday night they were not yet up as far as the Campground, but they should be all the way to the top of the C & R section any day now. Mostly #16's is what I was seeing, with a few #14's in the mix too. If I had to guess, these are the Invaria Sulfurs. I did well imitating them with #16 Quasimodo Pheasant Tail style nymphs (it's a flashback PT tied on a curved scud hook). Even in the upper part of the C&R section where I did not see Sulfurs Saturday night, the trout still showed a strong preference for a #16 Sulfur sized nymphs.

March Browns/Gray Fox #10-14 are currently a nice hatch on the Farmington. This is typically a "trickle hatch" that normally starts mid/late afternoon, one here and one there straight through the evening (similar to Isonychia), typically heaviest in the early evening. FYI they hatch in faster water, as they live under the rocks in pocket water. The nymphs migrate to the edges about 1 week prior to hatching. Hatch typically goes close to 4 weeks. You can use a specific nymph pattern subsurface, or fish a Hare's Ear or Fox Squirrel nymph. Blind fishing dries in the broken water can work too, as trout will be on the lookout for them from late afternoon onward. If you like to fish wet flies/soft-hackles, standing near the shoreline and swinging a March Brown wet fly back toward the banks can also be very effective when they are emerging in the latter hatch of the day.

Caddis are all up & down the river, both #14-18 tan ones & #16-18 green/olive bodied- they are active from mid/late morning right into the evening. Larva, pupa, wet flies/soft-hackles, and dries are all possibilities with the Caddis, depending upon the time of day and whether they are hatching or egg-laying. A pupa or soft-hackle hung 12" off the back of a dry can be deadly when they are rising to Caddis.

Vitreus (aka Pink Lady/Pink Cahill, Pale Evening Dun, etc.), a #12-16 pseudo Sulfur-type mayfly, are hatching from anywhere from the Still River downstream to Unionville and below, they typically hatch between late afternoon & evening (can be earlier on cooler, cloudier days). In addition to matching dries like the Usual and others, wets/soft-hackles work great during that hatch, as the winged dun pops out of the nymph on the stream bottom & swims to the surface, so a swinging orange or yellow bodied soft-hackles/wets can be very effective in broken water. Hare's Ear bodied soft-hackles and Partridge & Green soft-hackles work great to imitate the Caddis- either swung, dropped under a dry, or dead-drifted deep in a nymph rig with split shot (or with a weighted nymph).

Most Caddis look tan when in the air, so make sure to catch one in hand and flip over to look at the body color. When in doubt, try both colors, the trout will tell you which one they prefer. Tan/light brown, however, IS the predominant color right now. Nymphing the medium to fast water with #14-16 Caddis pupa is deadly, and swinging wet flies/soft-hackles is also very effective when they are both hatching and egg-laying. Be aware that this bug is frequently is most active in low-light conditions with mild air temps (overcast, warm, cloudy/drizzly days can be fantastic), but don't rule out midday hatches in the sunshine either, especially on a cold rivers below dams like on the Farmington River. On really bright sunny days, Caddis normally get more active when the sun drops low on the horizon & shadows appear.

UpCountry is 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 help.

The 6+ mile permanent Catch & Release section was stocked in late April with 6,000 trout (including 1,000 large Two Year Old Survivor Strain Farmington River Brown Trout). Many anglers are doing well lately, with quite a few landing larger trout- both recently stocked and holdovers. Move around if you aren't doing well, the trout are literally all over. Also play around with techniques, because dries, wets/soft-hackles, nymphs & streamers are all catching at moments. Don't be afraid to venture outside of the C&R section, there are plenty of trout literally all over the river. The Two Year Old Farmington River Survivor Strain brown trout that the state stocked in 2016 have a clipped adipose with a chartreuse green elastomer latex tag behind their left eye, and they typically average 14-18" are are unusually fat when stocked. The adults/yearlings are right eye red for 2016, and they will typically run 6-12". Some of these will hold over and become, big beautiful trout, so don't complain while you are catching 6-8" Yearling Survivor Strain browns, they are future trophies with fantastic genetics and will be extra pretty when they grow to a larger size.

Nymphing has been a very consistent way to catch trout when they aren't rising, and some truly large fish are getting caught on them. Subsurface effective patterns include: March Brown Nymph #10-14, Caddis Pupa #14-16 (tan, olive/green, brown), Olive/green Caddis larva #14-16, Hare's Ear #12-16, Fox Squirrel #10-14, Triple Threats #14-18, assorted Soft-Hackles #12-16 (Hare's Ear or green for Caddis pupa, yellow or orange to imitate Vitreus), Prince Nymphs #14-16, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-18, Strolis Rock Candy (olive, green) 10-12, Black Stoneflies #12-16, Golden Stoneflies #8-12, Zebra Midges #18-20 (black, olive), and Hot Spot Nymphs #14-18.