A good looking holdover Farmington River brown trout caught by customer Sam Morse, well below the permanent Catch & Release (C&R) section. He managed some nice holdover & wild browns in the 16-19" range over the weekend on Stonefly Nymphs. This brown has a serious motor on it, look at the size of the tail!
Today is the first official day of spring, and with highs 48-50 today & tomorrow, it will certainly feel like it. Still a pile of snow on the ground though, so it looks more like winter. The good part is that when it melts, it will really help fill the reservoirs up. Best fishing lately has been in the areas that were recently stocked (no surprise there!), from Whittemore to the dam in Riverton (stocked 3/13, about a 4 mile section), and from below the Rt 219 Bridge in New Hartford down to the 2nd & lower dam in Collinsville (stocked on 3/9). The permanent C&R section (6+ miles, from the bridge abutment above Campground at the tail of Whittemore down to Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford) gets stocked after Opening Day, and has plenty of holdover & some wild trout in it already if you are looking for quality over quantity. A lot of spots still aren't plowed, so stop by the shop for the latest on access points. Church Pool, of course, has a plowed out parking lot. Lately the stocked sections are fishing way better than the permanent C&R, and the fresh stockers in those areas are also making the other trout bite better too, probably due to competition.
Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release
area is a moderate 244cfs (161cfs from dam in Riverton,
plus 83cfs from the Still River). With normal flows here lately, some
normal sized nymphs (#14-16)
are working, along with the smaller #18-20 Midge Pupa/Larva & Pheasant Tails that have
been so effective the past month. Even some good reports on big #8 Mop
flies lately too, especially on the recent stockers. Bigger Stones #8-12 are pulling less but bigger fish. If you are looking for rising trout, target the soft
water in the big wide pools (generally Caddis in AM, and Midges &
Stones in afternoons, but that is a very general rule and varies from
day to day).
We have been receiving mass quantities of various products literally
every day. Louis Gaudet is back here full-time now, and even with 3 full
time employees, and 4 part-time, it's still hard to keep up with
product ordering & restocking. We are receiving a big
Hareline/Spirit River fly tying materials order later today, and Wapsi should be arriving in the latter part of this week. I'm both
restocking and adding in new products/colors/sizes of materials. Cool
new wading boots in from Korkers, lots of new rods and so many other
Winter & Early
Stones are all hatching, especially on milder/sunny days- Tiny Winter
Black Stone sz 18-24
(Capnia), Early Black sz
14-16, and Early
Brown sz 14-16. Trout do rise to the Stones at moments for sure, and we
have some great flies here tied & designed by Don & Bruce to
imitate them. However, nymphal imitations are the more consistent
producers. Bruce has a new Early Black Stonefly nymph pattern out that
we just put in the fly bins. Specific Stonefly nymph work well, as do
generic flies like Princes, Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears. Despite "the
saying the prime fishing in the winter
is 11am-3pm, I often do best from mid-afternoon until dark, when water
temps are normally highest (except during times of heavy snow melt).
Other bugs to look for include Winter Caddis sz 18-24
into the afternoon), and Midges sz 22-32 (typically afternoons). For
Midge larva & pupa nymphed deep, think black, olive, red, or yellow
(yellow doubles as an imitation of certain small Caddis larva too). The
Winter Caddis hatch best after cool to cold
nights, mild nights actually make for light hatches of them. Stones
usually hatch better on mild/sunny days. Nymphing
remains the most consistent producer of trout, but streamers are have
been effective as well (just remember to fish them slow & deep
first, and if that doesn't work, strip them in faster).
Good nymph choices include: nymphs sz 12-18 (Princes, Quasimodo Pheasant
Tails, Hare's Ears, Baetis/BWOs, etc.), Hot Spot Nymphs #14-18 (Triple Threat, Frenchies, etc.), Rainbow
Warriors sz 16-20, Midges sz 16-22 (black, olive, red), Yellow Larva sz
18, Squirmy Worms (pink, red, worm tan), Winter/Early Stones
sz 14-18 (black, brown), Caddis Larva sz
12-18 (olive/green, yellow), Cased Caddis sz 8-16, and Perdigons sz 14-20
(black, olive, brown,
yellow). Egg imitations are often very effective in March and into April, so make sure
to have some egg flies (small Glo
Bugs/Sucker Spawn/Otter Eggs) in your arsenal. Don't rule out bigger
Nymphs sz 8-14 (brown, golden/yellow, black) and #8 Mops, sometimes
bigger nymphs will also pull
bigger fish. Anytime the water comes up or gets off-color, think
bigger/gaudier flies (Stones, Mops, Squirmies/San Juans, egg flies,
Streamers have been very productive lately. 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
both swinging and slow retrieves are good choices. Experiment though,
sometimes even in cold water the trout will respond to a fast retrieve,
but overall in cold winter they like it slower. March is normally a great
month for slowly swinging streamers though, it's a fun & relaxing
way to fish and cover water both thoroughly and efficiently.
"Keystone Fly Fishing" (covering PA in
detail by local guides/experts) is out now, and it's an incredible book
if you want to explore that state (and trust me, you do!).
Almost 600 pages of detailed info by 9 different PA authors, tons of
beautiful color photos and fly suggestions, numerous stream maps & a
great PA hatch chart, this book is the new Pennsylvania fly fishing
bible. They don't sugar coat things either- streams that were once
famous & great but aren't anymore are described accurately, and if a
stream is marginal, they will tell you that it isn't worth fishing
after a certain date in the spring. If you ever wanted to explore PA,
this is the book to get.
Devin Olsen's & Lance Egan's new
"Modern Nymphing" DVD's are available now and selling
fast, once again we are almost out. They did a great job, with clear
excellent cinematography (filmed by Gilbert Rowley of flytying123.com-
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
tacticalflyfisher.com 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 in stock again- it focuses on Euro-style nymphing using
very long leaders, which is deadly indeed. The first 2 batches sold out
fast. Keep your eye out for "Nymph Masters" by Jason Randall
coming out in early April (they keep changing the release date though).
The MDC did their fall trout
stocking in early November, typically they put in 1,000+ fish. 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, and that entire section is C&R from September until Opening Day April 8th.
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
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
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.