Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday 6/26/17 Report- attack of the big browns....

..And the big trout photos just keep on rolling in: here is customer DJ Clement with a very impressive well over 20" Farmington River brown trout, caught on a #16 nymph. It looks flawless, I suspect it's a wild fish. Customers are giving us nice fish pix at a faster rate than we can post them! Fun problem to have. Good fishing reports from Louis & Zach St. Amand last night, with plenty of nice trout landed on both nymphs & dries. Good Sulfur hatches, plus a fair amount of Cahills too. MDC reduced the flow by 25cfs at 9am this morning. Dry fly fishing has been steadily picking up as the hatches gear up and the water slowly but steadily gets lower. This small flow cut will do nothing but improve the dry fly fishing, as lower flows = more rising trout.

Cortland's "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon Tippet is now in stock in 4x-7x, and we are adding in 3x and 8x this week. This stuff has literally been flying off the shelf since it arrived 3-4 days ago. So far customer & guide feedback on this new product has been exceptional. No hype or exaggeration, it literally is the world's best fluorocarbon tippet, hands down. Grady and I have both fished it now, and we found it to be super strong, unusually flexible, hold & knot like a champ, very abrasion resistant, have excellent clarity, and just is an amazingly durable tippet. The combination of high break strength, stretch, and perfect plasma  optical quality outer finish make it hard to break off fish & flies, and despite the slightly higher price tag, most using it report they go through it at about half the rate of normal tippet due to it's amazing durability.

The river continues to slowly drop and is about normal for today's date, and at 8am it was clear & medium at 339cfs in the permanent Catch & Release  (C&R/TMA) area in Barkhamsted/New Hartford/Pleasant Valley (298cfs in Riverton, with an additional 41cfs from the Still River). MDC cut the release by 25 cfs at 9am today, that will reduce the total flow in the C&R down to about 315cfs or so. Water temps are running low 50's (Riverton) to low 60's (afternoon/eve in Collinsville/Unionville)- coldest up near the dam in Riverton. I got 57 degrees for a water temp in the TMA/C&R last night at dusk.

We are now in what I used to call "Crazy Time" when I worked at the Housy, meaning there is quite a large variety of bugs hatching, depending upon exactly where you're standing. This week we've seen: Sulfurs #16-18 (Invaria & Dorothea), Cream Cahills #12, regular Cahills #14 (creamy yellow), still a few Vitreus #14-16, March Browns #10-12, Blue Wing Olives #18-22 (cloudy day/low light, also rusty spinners in the same sizes), Potomanthus #10, all sorts of Caddis from #14-22 (tan, olive/green, black, brown), and spinners of all the above mayflies. Starting to see a few big #10-12 Isonychia in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release, not enough to call it a true hatch yet, but downriver in Canton/Collinsville/Unionville they are a legitimate hatch (typically 4pm until near dark). The wide variety of bugs can make it tough to figure out what they are eating, because it constantly changes throughout the day, and varies depending on how far below the dam you are! But it's a fun problem to solve. Look to the bigger/wider pools for your best shot at rising fish- Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, Mathie's Grove (School Bus, Spring Hole), Church, Greenwoods, the Wall, Town Bridge Pool, etc. Don't neglect terrestrials, ants & beetles are working, especially midday when other hatches tend to be sparse. Remember that Riverton lags a few weeks behind the permanent C&R due to the colder water near the dam (and above the warmer flowing Still River). I don't have as good a handle on the hatches up there, but Caddis #14-18 (olive/green & tan) are a major hatch there for sure, some Vitreus #14-16, and quite possibly some #16 Invaria Sulfurs (if not now, than anytime soon). Van's, Canal & Beaver Pools would be your highest percentage to find rising trout.

Good nymphers are consistenly catching fish, and some big ones too. Streamers & wet flies/soft-hackles are working at the right moments- early, late, and/or cloudy moments have been best for streamers. When streamer fishing midday in the sun, look for shade & structure along the banks. During the daytime, nymphers are finding success using things like Caddis Pupa #14-18 (tan, olive-green), attractor/hot-spot nymphs #14-18 (Frenchies, Triples Threats, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow, Warrior, etc.), Sulfur nymphs #16 (you can use a Pheasant Tail or a specific imitation), #16-20 Pheasant Tails, Stonefly nymphs #8-12 (brown, golden, black), and anything resembling a March Brown/Gray Fox in #10-14 (other than a specific imitation you can use a big Fox Squirrel or Hare's Ear). And the controversial Mop Fly continues to produce at moments too. It's a good "clean up" fly to use in a run after you fish it with your normal nymphs.

The long awaited book "Nymph Masters" arrived recently, and it's really good! Author Jason Randall fished with a bunch of the top nymphers in the USA (guys like George Daniels, Pat Dorsey, Joe Humphreys, etc.), and then wrote this book about his experiences. He codified what he learned into a systematic approach covering all styles of nymphing.

We recently received a huge closeout of  Hardy Jet and Shadow fly rods which can be found in store and on our website on our Used Gear and Specials page. If you are looking for a great fly rod at at a great price, the Hardy rods are hard to beat and are available in most sizes. We still have some closeout Sage ONE's left.

Current flies to have:
Sulfur #16-18 (emerger, dun & spinner), Light Cahill #12-14, Caddis pupa (olive/green, tan) #14-18, Caddis dries #14-18 (olive/green, tan- X2 Caddis, Elk Hair, CDC Caddis, Emergent/Crippled Caddis, etc.), Ants #12-20, Beetles #12-18, Vitreus #14-16, Usual #14-16, March Brown/Gray Fox #10-14, Baetis/Blue Wing Olive dries & emergers #18-22 (on cloudy days), Midges #20-26. Subsurface try Caddis pupa #14-18 (olive/green, tan), March Brown Nymph #10-14 (big Fox Squirrel Nymph or Hare's Ear works too), Hare's Ear #10-18, Frenchies #14-18, Sulfur Nymph #16, Pheasant Tails/Quasimodos #14-20, Caddis Larva #10-16 (olive, green), Baetis/Blue Wing Olive nymphs #16-20,  Midges #18-22, and Stonefly nymphs #8-12 (gold, brown, black). Make sure to also try Hot Spot & Attractor Nymphs #14-18, and Mops.