Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday 1/30/17 Report- winter browns & bows

A really nice looking Farmington River brown trout by Andy Lyons this past weekend. Those venturing out this past weekend gave me mixed reports, with some doing quite well. Best reports were from the nymphers, but fish were also caught on dries & streamers. River is slush-free at 8am this morning. If the river is slushy, simply head up close to the dam for slightly warmer slush-free water. And then you can normally head downriver by noon when the slush typically melts & clears out. 10 day weather looks normal with highs upper 20s to 30s, this should pick up the morning Winter Caddis hatch and get some trout feeding on the surface. Total flow is currently a medium-low 173cfs through the permanent Catch & Release in Pleasant Valley, 60cfs at USGS Riverton gauge, plus 113cfs from the Still River. Look for water temps in the 30's (mid to late afternoon water temps will be the highest, especially on sunny days).

We still have a couple of slots in Aaron Jasper's 2/4/17 "Fly Tying Outside the Box" this Saturday and Steve Culton's tying class on Sunday February 5th, "Tying Farmington River Favorites"- it runs 9am-1pm. Call 860-379-1952 to sign up for any of these classes, see "Classes, New & Reviews" for details and call the store at 860-379-1952 to sign up.

Hatches currently include Winter Caddis (mornings primarily, sometimes into early afternoon), and Midges (typically afternoons). Hatching activity has ranged from light to pretty good, depending upon the day and location.

Devin Olsen's & Lance Egan's new "Modern Nymphing" DVD's arrived at UpCountry last week and is selling fast- and they did a great job, with clear instruction and excellent cinematography (filmed by Gilbert Rowley of excellent website, check it out). Devin & Lance are 2 of the top members of Flyfishing Team USA- both scored an individual bronze medal in the World Flyfishing Championships in 2015/2016 respectively, and both years Team USA also garnered team medals (bronze & silver), so you could say these two are legit, truly world class anglers who have held their own against the best in the world (historically France, Spain, Czech Republic, and Poland). Devin's website is if you want to check it out and watch a DVD preview, he also has many insightful fly tying & fly fishing articles on there.

The new book "Nymphing The New Way: French leader fishing for trout" is back in stock again- it focuses on Euro-style nymphing using very long leaders, which is deadly indeed. The first batch sold out in a week or two. Keep your eye out for "Nymph Masters" by Jason Randall coming out in early March, and "Keystone Fly Fishing" (covering PA in detail by local guides/experts) will be available in early February.

Pat Torrey has limited availability his February "Tying the Wet Fly & Soft-Hackle" two-day class, see "Classes" page for info, call store at 860-379-1952 to sign up before it totally fills.

Winter water temps will typically be in the 30's, depending upon weather, time of day, and distance from dam- it can crack into the lower 40's during warming trends. This means trout have mostly dropped out of faster water and moved 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.

Nymphs dead-drifted down deep the most consistently effective winter flies, good patterns include: smaller nymphs sz 16-22 (Midges, Baetis/BWOs, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails, Hot Spot Attractors, Rainbow Warriors, etc.), Caddis Larva sz 14-18 (olive/green), and Perdigones #14-20 (black, olive, brown, yellow). Egg patterns are often very effective in the winter, 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.

Streamers are still catching fish, especially during low-light conditions- browns are post-spawn & hungry now, looking to bulk up. 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. 

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 state & the FRAA both stocked the upper seasonal Catch & Release section last fall also. Close to 4,500 trout were stocked in the upper 4 miles of river in fall of 2016.

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. 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.

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.