Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday 12/16/16 Report- Christmas is coming

Check out the new for 2016 Nautilus X reels, made in the USA- lightweight, beautiful, with a killer drag, starting at $275 in the #4/5 size. In stock now at UpCountry, for your favorite fisherman, or maybe for yourself?

We still have some availability in Don's "Beginner 2-Day Fly Tying" class on January 7 & 14, and Rich Strolis' "Tying Streamers for Everyday" on February 11. See "Events" for details, and call 860-379-1952 to sign up.

Flow remains low, but thankfully not as low as a month ago- it's 96cfs in the permanent Catch & Release/TMA in Pleasant Valley/New Hartford as of this morning (52cfs at USGS gauge at Riverton Rt 20/Hitchcock/Self Storage bridge, plus 44cfs from the Still River). Hatches include: Winter Caddis sz 18-24 in the mornings (sometimes going into the afternoon), and Midges sz 24-32 in the afternoons. Blue Winged Olives sz 24-28 are almost done, but you might still see some on milder afternoons. Water temps will typically be in the 30's now that winter temps are here, depending upon weather, time of day, and distance from dam- it can crack into the lower 40's during warm/sunny spells. This means trout will drop out of faster water and move into their deeper, slow to moderate current winter lies. Colder water leads to a slower trout metabolism, which means they don't need to eat as much. They look to conserve energy by holding in water with less current, that also has some depth (for security). However, they will often move into moderate riffles at the pool heads to feed on nymphs/pupa/larva when sunshine raises the water temps at midday, which both increases their metabolism and gets the bugs more active. During cold snaps, river can slush-up/freeze-up (especially in slower sections) and become unfishable at moments, so check before you drive here. If that happens, normally you can fish the upper 2 miles in Riverton, from Hithcock/Rt 20 bridge up to the dam, it typically stays ice-free/slush-free there. The only wildcard is the below normal release & low reservoir levels this year, we will have to see how that affects things during cold snaps. When present, often morning slush in the permanent Catch & Release/TMA clears out by the afternoon on sunny days.

FYI the new book "Nymphing The New Way: French leader fishing for trout" is now in stock at UpCountry, and it looks really good.

Streamers are still catching fish, especially during low-light conditions- most (but not all) browns are post-spawn & hungry now, looking to bulk up before winter goes into full effect. Experiment with colors & retrieves to find what's best at any given moment (it changes). I would also try to make your presentations mostly slow & deep due to the cooler water temps, both swinging and slow retrieves are good choices. The hot streamer rig has been a weighted streamer with a soft-hackle or nymph trailed off the hook bend 18" behind . Typically the smaller trailing fly catches most of the trout, but some days the streamer does most of the business. This rig allows you to cover a lot of water and present your nymphs/wets in water that would normally be hard to nymph.

Colder water temps typically make nymphs dead-drfited down deep the most consistently effective flies, good patterns include: smaller nymphs sz 16-22 (Midges, Baetis, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails, Hot Spot Attractors, Rainbow Warriors, etc.) and Caddis Pupa sz 16-18 (tan, brown) and Larva sz 14-16 (olive/green). Egg patterns are very effective, so make sure to have some egg flies (small Glo Bugs/Sucker Spawn/Otter Eggs) in your arsenal. Although smaller nymphs have been more consistent than bigger ones, don't rule out Stonefly Nymphs sz 8-14 (brown, golden/yellow, black), sometimes they will pull bigger fish.

The MDC did their fall trout stocking in early November. This batch was stocked in the upper river from the Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton downstream to Whittemore Pool.

The Holidays are now upon us. This season please think of the small businesses that you frequent and support them. UpCountry values your business and has some holiday specials to share with you. Simms Headwater Waders are now $249.99.... $100 off. Hardy Lightweight series reels are now $130.00 for LRHs, and $110 for Featherwights.....reg price was $249.99. Simms Tee Shirts size large are buy one get one free. We have a limited selection of Simms & Umpqua Packs and Vests 40% off.  In addition to these items, UpCountry will price match just about any sale or deal you can find on the internet.... we appreciate your business and recognize that sometimes a deal will pop up online that you can't resist.... just bring it to our attention.

UpCountry acquired a ton of Simms closeouts that are on sale. There is still a large selection of Men's & Women's: Gore-tex jackets, packs, slings, shirts, pants, tee shirts, and a few shoes/wading boots/waders. Sizes are limited (the Men's is mostly in Large, and the Women's is all in Medium) and there are only a couple of each item so when they are gone they are gone.

We are 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 patronage.