Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday 10/6/17 Report- Caddis, caddis, caddis....

A Farmington River Isonychia on the back railing of our store, photo courtesy of Louis Gaudet. Still seeing them later in the day in #12-14. Caddis have been the best bugs on the surface during the day. Most common is the Tan Caddis #16-18, October Caddis #8-12 and the smaller Winter/Summer Caddis #18-22.

 The Farmington River Angler's Association will be stocking the river with 1,000+ trout on Tuesday October 10th. They are looking for volunteers to help stock. Call the shop at 860-379-1952 to sign up.

This month the FRAA speaker on Wednesday 10/18 will be local guide Zach St. Amand, speaking on fishing the Farmington River. And November 15th, highly skilled 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. 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.

Looks like mild weather will be here for today through Tuesday. Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release is 75cfs. Water temps have been in the upper 50s/low 60s lately, making the entire river from Riverton to Unionville fishable for trout.  Significant rain events will increase the flow in the Farmington River below it.  The lower water has led to plenty of rising trout and good dry fly fishing when bugs were hatching- it's easier and more efficient for trout to feed on the surface during a hatch when the water is shallower.

Cherry pick during low flows and only fish the better water where you have 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).

Terrestrials (beetles, ants & hoppers) currently remain a good midday choice. You can even combine a buoyant dry with a small beadhead nymph for a Dry-Dropper combo. Tie 1-3' of tippet to the dry fly hook bend, and run the beadhead nymph on the other end. Go longer (2-3') when there is not much hatching and/or you are fishing deeper water, go shorter (12-18") when there is hatching activity and/or you are fishing shallower water.

Other bugs:
We are seeing some Lt Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16, Blue Wing Olives #22-26 in the evening. 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). The best dry fly activity has often been in the riffles and the upper end of pools including Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool, Greenwoods and the Boneyard.

Use patterns like big Stoneflies #6-12 & Pat's Rubber Legs #6-10 (especially in the mornings), Tan Caddis Pupa #14-18, Antoine's Perdigons #16 (various colors), 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.