Friday, May 12, 2017
Friday 5/12/17 Report- Flow Reduction update, weekend rain, and what it all means
Afternoon flow update:
The Farmington is currently about 300cfs above Riverton and will drop to about 470cfs downstream through the Catch and Release- it was 998 total flow this morning, but MDC stepped release from 800cfs down to 600cfs, then down to 430cfs, and finally down to 279cfs between noon and 2pm today (Friday). They had increased the release to 800cfs this week due to an overfull Colebrook Reservoir & anticipation of well over an inch of rain Saturday afternoon & evening- 1/4" in the afternoon, and up to 1" plus Saturday night. This reduction is creating a window of better water conditions. Friday evening & Saturday morning may be your best window of fishing this weekend- the flow will be down, and it's not supposed to start raining until about noonish on Saturday. Sunday will be rough if we get all the forecasted rain, it will make the river high & off-color from the Still River and below- in that case your fishable option would be the upper 2 miles ABOVE the Still River in Riverton, it stays clear above there and should be at a reduced level until they bump the release back up on Monday.
The flow cut today will not only make Riverton fishable again, but it will also boost the river water temps (that's a good thing this time of year) downriver, as the water from the dam is much colder (mid 40s) than the water coming from the Still River (low/mid 50s). Monday they will probably bump the flow back up to get reservoir down, the current reduction is too keep the river from getting too high this weekend- when we get substantial rainfall, the Still River jumps up high fast (and fortunately drops quickly too).
Hendricksons are still the main hatch, with good hatching reported from Collinsville/Canton up through the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA, with rumors of light hatching up in Riverton. Some of the larger pools (Whittemore, School Bus, Church, Greenwoods, Boneyard, the Wall, Black Bridge, etc.) may have rising trout today (Friday), you are looking for spots without a lot of current. This is an afternoon deal, usually coming off sometime between early & late afternoon (2-4 pm is typical, but can vary from day to day), with a spinner fall in the evenings. However, sometimes the spinners mix with the afternoon hatch, and sometimes they fall in the mid/late mornings. The spinners are fickle and don't like cold temps, wind or rain. The hatch, however, comes off every afternoon regardless of the weather. Dunno why, but this is one hatch where the trout seem extra particular, so make sure to cover ALL stages/variations- nymphs, soft-hackles/wets, emergers/cripples, duns (light & dark), and spinners (some with yellow egg sacks too). If they don't rise where you are fishing, be prepared to fish nymphs and/or wets/soft-hackles- I catch some of my biggest trout every year on Hendrickson nymphs and #12-14 Pheasant Tails.
The state stocked the permanent Catch & Release/TMA on 4/28 with the larger & obese Two Year Old Survivor Strain Brown Trout, and on 4/21 they put in the adults/yearlings. The upper river from Whittemore to the dam was also restocked within the past week. The 2 Year Olds they stocked in the TMA have a left eye red elastomer, and the yearlings/adults have a right eye orange elastomer- all have a clipped adipose fin. The entire river has been stocked top to bottom multiple times now, and there are literally trout everywhere- if you don't catch fish now, you have no excuses anymore! Haha. Many above average holdover and even some wild trout were landed recnetly both in and out of the permanent TMA/C&R. It's a combination of rising water temps & bug activity. We are seeing more & more bugs on mild afternoons including Hendricksons, Blue Wing Olives, small dark Caddis, Midges, etc.
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Most of the peak bug activity is in the afternoons, but depending upon the day you may see insects in the AM & PM: Hendricksons & Hendrickson Spinners (rusty) #12-14, Baetis/Blue Wing Olives #16-18, Midges #20-26, and a few Paraleps/Blue Quills #18, plus assorted small dark Caddis. If you find mayflies hatching & rising trout, emergers will often outfish traditional dun dry flies- fish #12-14 Hennys in emergers, duns (both light & dark) & spinners (rusty). Hendrickson nymphs #12-14, Frenchies #14-18, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-18, Caddis Larva #12-16 (olive, green), Baetis/Blue Wing Olive nymphs #16-18, and bigger #8-12 Stonefly nymphs have been hot of late, especially in the AM. Make sure to also try Attractor Nymphs #14-18, Mops, San Juan Worms/Squirmies, Green Weenies, and Egg Flies. Streamers have been very effective on both the fresh stocked trout and also the big holdover and wild fish. Experiment with colors & retrieves to find what will attract the trout- olive, black, and white are good starting points, but also try brown, tan, and yellow or combinations thereof.