Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday 10/13/17 Report- FRAA stocked 1,200 trout

The FRAA (Farmington River Angler's Association) stocked the upper river on Tuesday 10/10 with about 1,200 Brook & Rainbow Trout averaging 12-14" this past Tuesday, including a handful of trophy Brookies! Break out the Woolly Buggers (black, olive, white), Soft-Hackles & Wets- trout should be aggressive toward swung & stripped flies for the first week or two. After the fish get more educated, dead-drift small nymphs & egg flies for them. Caddis #14-18 remain the dominant hatch up & down the river, and Isonychia are still hatching (averaging about a #14 now).

This month the FRAA speaker this upcoming Wednesday 10/18 will be local guide Zach St. Amand, speaking on fishing the Farmington River. And November 15th, local guide Antoine Bissieux "the French Fly Fisherman" will be the presenter- he will be talking about French "secrets" to improve your trout fishing. The French are some of the most skilled river trout fishermen in the world, as evidenced by the winning record of the French team in the World Flyfishing Championships. Both presentations are FREE and will up your fishing knowledge, all are welcome to attend. Location is Unionville Senior Center, meet & great begins at 6:30, with the meeting starting at 7pm. 

Douglas rod & reel raffle (Sky 9' #5, Nexus 5/6 reel, and Airflo line) tickets are still for sale to support Rivers of Recovery and Warriors & Quiet Waters, winner will be drawn 10/18 at the FRAA meeting. Please support these  good causes.

10 Day Forecast highs are upper 50s to low 70s, with nice cool nights averaging 40s to low 50s. Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release remains 85cfs. Water temps are most running in the 50s, so the entire river from Riverton to Unionville is fishable for trout. The low water has led to easy wading, and plenty of rising trout and good dry fly fishing when bugs are hatching- it's easier and more efficient for trout to feed on the surface during a hatch when the water is shallower/slower.

Cherry pick during low flows this, and only fish the better water where there is some flow & depth. Depth is a relative thing, when flows are down, a 2' pothole in a 1' riffle can hold a big trout. The upside to low water is that it's easy to read the water and figure out where the trout are, it congregates the fish, and if there is a good hatch you will typically see plenty of rising trout. Use a more stealthy approach, and use longer leaders. Stay a bit further away from the trout, wade slowly & carefully, and if you have a lighter line weight rod (#2-4) now is the time to use it for a more delicate presentation. A longer/lighter tippet (3-5' of 6x-7x) will greatly assist in getting a drag-free float with your #16 and smaller dry flies (5x is fine for bigger bugs like Isonychia). Dry/Dropper with a buoyant dry trailed by a small beadhead nymph 1-3' below it is tailor-made for low water. It keeps you further away so you don't spook the trout, and offers them a choice of feeding on the surface or eating a nymph below it. During hatches keep dropper nymph 8-18" below your dry, and during non-hatch times 1.5-3 feet away (distance depends upon average water depth).

Lots of Tan Caddis #14-18 hatching, and Isonychia averaging a #14 or so. We are seeing a few Lt Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16, and Blue Wing Olives #22-26 are hathching in the evening (plus an occasional Giant October Caddis #8-12). If you look on the rocks in fast water, you will still see big Stonefly nymph shucks, as well as #14-20 Yellow Sally Nymph shucks (look for them on downstream side of rocks, shucks will be very light in color). Much of the best dry fly activity has been in the riffles and the upper end of pools including Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool, Greenwoods and the Boneyard.

5x-6x flurocarbon tippet should be about right, depending upon fly size. If you haven't yet tried it, the Cortland Ultra Premium Fuorocarbon tippet is amazing, by far the strongest out there with the most abrasion resistance, stretch, flexibility & clarity. Total game-changer. Use patterns like Tan Caddis Pupa #14-18, big Stoneflies #6-12 & Pat's Rubber Legs #6-10 (especially in the mornings), Antoine's Perdigons #16 (various colors), Egg Flies #10-18 (yellow/pink/orange), Yellow Sally Nymph #14-18, Attractor nymphs #14-20 (Frenchies #14-18, Egan's Red Dart #14-16, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, etc.), Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-22,  BWO nymphs #18-22, Isonychia #12-14 (mid afternoon thru eves), Fox Squirrel Nymphs #12-16, and Zebra Midges #16-24.