Monday, June 27, 2016

Thursday 6/30/16 Report - Cold water is keeping the trout happy.

Yet another very nice trout on an Isonychia, this one caught by guide Zach St. Amand. Isonychia are still hatching the strongest below the permanent Catch & Release section (especially Canton / Collinsville). July is normally the month when see very good hatches of Isonychia in the C&R area, usually sometime between 4pm & dark. Sulfurs are mostly hatching from the upper end of the C&R (Campground Pool) up to the dam in Riverton They are averaging a #18. We are still getting 2 batches a day, with one around 11am-2pm, and then again in the evening.

Evenings have also been bringing Blue Wing Olives #18-20, and #12-14 Cahills which present on the river in a deep yellow. The evening Olives are a very light bright greenish/olive-yellow, and easy to confuse with Sulfurs from a distance. They are very light colored when hatching, but darken up while they drift.  Mornings have been seeing Summer Caddis #18-22 hatching in the riffled water, and very good Needhami Duns #22-26 hatching into the afternoon.  Ants & beetles of all sizes are working during the midday. You can also blind-fish the banks, riffles & pocket water with bigger terrestrials such as Mini Chernobyls & Monster Beetles.

Total flow is about 260cfs (medium-low) in the permanent Catch & Release section (Pleasant Valley/New Hartford), with 13cfs of that coming from the Still River  This past week I've been getting water temps between 50 and the low 60's from Riverton down to Canton, depending upon distance from dam & time of day (coldest up near dam) In the afternoons & early to mid evenings I've had my best nymphing success with Sulfur nymphs. Caddis pupa & big Stonefly nymphs are ruling the mornings, fish them IN the fast water. Stonefly nymphs are also productive in the early eves.

The scoop on Stoneflies:
If you look you will see big Stonefly shucks all over the rocks in fast water. The larger varieties of Stones crawl out to emerge at night and in the mornings, so it can pay to hit the water with Stonefly nymphs at first light when they are most active (they crawl out at night and in the mornings on rocks in the fast water). I usually match them with #8-12 patterns in either golden/yellow or brown. Focus on the medium to fast water, that's where they live - riffles, pocket water, runs, pool heads, and rapids are the best spots to fish them. Don't neglect the edges of the stream, especially early in the morning before fishermen have walked all over the river. The bugs often migrate to the edges to crawl out, and the trout will follow them. The bigger species of Stoneflies live 2-3 years, so they are always present and are a good year 'round nymph choice when paired with a smaller nymph. I like to nymph the fast water in the morning with a big stone paired up with a #16 Caddis Pupa.

Isonychia are a "trickle hatch" on the Farmington, coming off one here & one there, heaviest sometime from late afternoons through the evening normally. Cooler, cloudy days can see them start earlier, hot days can push them off closer to dusk. They are a big bug, with a brown to gray-brown body (females can even have an olive cast due to the olive-green egg mass they carry) and medium to dark gray wings, and cream colored legs. They like faster water- pool heads, riffles, pocket water & rapids.  If nymphing, try both dead-drifting, swinging, and stripping them. Overall I do best on the dead-drift, but I've seen many days when the trout won't eat your nymph if you don't move it  Swinging wet flies such as a big Leadwing Coachman can be effective- the best presentation angle is standing near or on the shoreline and swinging them toward the shoreline (that is the direction the naturals migrate). We sell a variety of specialty Isonychia nymphs and dry flies to match the hatch.

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