Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday 8/15/16 River Report- Tricos!

Antoine's client Peter with a nice brownie from the weekend. Despite below normal flows, still plenty of good reports both morning in the Catch & Release area and evenings in Riverton. Balls of Trico spinners have been falling in the mornings over the past few days. This morning's flow is a total of 74cfs in the permanent Catch & Release (59cfs from the dam in Riverton plus 25cfs from the Still River). Mornings will see the lowest water temps, so start lower on the river in the A.M. when the water is the coolest, then head upriver closer to Riverton by the afternoon & evening. This will keep you in cool water all day long. Up near the dam you will not see water temps get above low/mid 60's this week, well within the trout's comfort zone.

The Tricos spinners #22-26 are falling around 8am, but that isn't set in stone- hot nights will see falls at first light, and cool nights will see them fall later. I think I remember reading 68 degrees air temps was supposedly the magic number? Just remember, trout don't read entomology books. They are hatching in the permanent Catch & Release area and are up at least as far as Pipeline/Roberts/Whittemore, but not in Riverton yet (colder water near dam delays start date of hatch up there). Needhami's are about done, but you might still see a few spinners around. Summer/Winter Caddis are still an AM hatch, averaging #20-22. Long leaders 12' or even longer, combined with long tippets will greatly aid in presenting small flies on low, flat & slow water. Please play your trout hard, land them quickly, and keep them in the water as much as possible to minimize stress on them.

Late morning through early evening is quiet in terms of hatches, but you can still hunt up a few surface risers in the major pools and feed them a beetle, ant pattern, or tiny dry. You can also blind fish the riffles with bigger dries (Stimulators, Mega Beetles, Mini Chernobyls, etc.)- drop a small beadhead nymph 1-2' below them to maximize your chances. Nymphing the faster/deeper water is your highest percentage midday tactic, and with the exception of Stoneflies #8-14 and  Isonychia #10-14, think small, as in nymphs #16-22. With the water so low, you can eliminate a lot of slower & shallower stretches. Nymphers should target medium to fast water with some chop to it. And remember, depth is a relative thing when the flow is this low- 18-24" of riffled water is plenty deep enough to hold a very nice trout. Be careful with your approach to low water trout- don't spook them before they even get a chance to see your fly.

Evenings will see Isonychia #10-14 (hatching in the fast water), Blue Winged Winged Olives #20-26, Rusty Spinners #18-26, Caddis #16-22 (tan, black, olive), Light Cahills/Summer Stenos #14-22, and Midges #22-28. Riverton will see many of the same bugs,  though with the colder water there the Tricos haven't arrived upstream yet. Evening fishing often kicks off earlier in Riverton, also due to the cooler water near the dam.

New Sage & Redington rods have arrived at the store: the hot new Sage X (replaces the ONE), the new version of the Sage ESN, and the Redington Trout Spey rods in 2-4wts are all in stock and online as well. We still have a bunch of both demo & new Sage ONE's, Circa's and ESN's on sale, priced to sell. Current stock is listed on our website if you can't make it in to the store. Our George Daniel Nymph & Streamer Clinics are coming up in September & October and are full except for the October streamer class- you can still put you name on the wait list, and we will likely have him back in 2017. George is one of the premier nymph and streamer fisherman for our generation so don't miss an opportunity to learn from the best. Give us a call to reserve a spot.

The MDC has reduced the flow from the dam lately- this is due to the lack of rainfall combined with no snowpack this past winter. I'm amazed they were able to keep the flow normal for so long, kudos to them. Unless we get a lot of rain, I suspect we will see a low release like this until maybe October.  Despite the low water, we are getting some really good reports, both in terms of numbers & size caught. The downside of fishing in low water is that you can spook trout easier and there is less good holding water. The upside is that it concentrates the trout, making it easier to locate where they are holding and when there is a hatch, many trout will feed on the surface. Don't neglect knee deep water right now, especially if it has a riffled surface- it can hold surprisingly large trout, and also more trout than you might think.

Somebody turned in a very nice camera they found in the woods recently, call the shop at 860-379-1952 if you can identify it. Despite being outside in the rain, it appears to be in working order.

Summertime Fishing Advice:
The trout have been getting caught & released for months, the water is the lowest of the year. Lower flows means it is easier to spook the trout, so a stealthy approach can be very important, especially on flat water pools and trout laying in skinny lies. Trout sipping bugs on flat water requires using better techniques to drift the fly. Use a Reach Cast, which helps present your fly to the fish before your leader, and also usually makes it easier to get a drag-free float. Longer leaders (12' and up to 15' +), lighter lines (#2-4), lighter tippets, smaller flies, proper fly selection, accurate casts, and drag-free presentations are the keys to unlocking the puzzle. Many anglers think they are getting a drag-free float, when in reality they are getting micro-drag they cannot see. Longer tippets & shorter casts will help give you a natural, drag-free presentation, and as flies get smaller you need to lighten your tippet. For all but the biggest dries, think 6x & even 7x tippet (for tiny flies like the #24 Tricos for example), for Isonychia and big foam terrestrials you can do 5x and even 4x (it's a bigger, more wind resistant fly, and you are usually fishing it in the fast water). If it's not too windy and you are able to turn your dry fly over, lengthening your tippet out to 3 or even 4 feet will do wonders for reducing drag, it will give you the same effect as dropping down 1-2 tippet sizes.

For nymphers, some of the same advice for the dry fly guys applies to you too. Longer leaders (12' or even longer, Euro-style nymphers often use 30+ foot leaders or pure mono set-ups), accurate casts, and drag-free floats are all very important. While there are exceptions (#6-12 Stonefly nymphs & #10-12 Isonychia nymphs), I frequently find smaller nymphs (no bigger than #16-20 patterns if tied on short-shank curved scud hooks, and #18-22 if tied on standard hooks) to be the key to success many days in July, August & September. Many of the natural bugs are smaller this time of year, and our highly pressured trout seem less suspicious of smaller flies too. Use a two fly rig with a bigger fly, but make your second pattern something SMALL. If one of your flies is gaudy, flashy or has a hot-spot, make sure your second pattern is drabber & more natural (maybe beadless or with a black or brown bead instead of a shiny gold, copper or silver one). Usually 5x fluorocarbon tippet is light enough, but sometimes in pressured spots (like Church Pool) I'll go down to 6x, especially if it's sunny, the water is low, and the flies are small. If you like TroutHunter fluoro tippet, they do in-between sizes: 4.5x, 5.5x & 6.5x- I use the 5.5x a lot in the summertime, and so do some of the guides. Lots of trout pile into FAST water in the summer, so make sure to make some casts there. Big Stones, many Caddis larva/pupa, and certain Mayflies all live in faster water, so put your flies where the food (and the trout) are.

UpCountry is 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 help.