Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday 10/16/17 Report- feels like fall....sorta

Still getting good fishing reports from many anglers, both those targeting holdovers as well as recent stockers. Pictured is a burly 20" brown caught on a #20 Pheasant Tail this morning by customer & friend Tymon, aka "Shaggy Brimtopps", he reports also picking up fish on a tan Caddis pupa. Tan Caddis #14-18 remain the dominant hatch lately, but there are still Isonychia averaging about a #14. Other bugs too, scroll down report for detailed hatch info.

The FRAA (Farmington River Angler's Association) stocked the upper river (Riverton) on 10/10 with about 1,200 Brook & Rainbow Trout, including a few trophy Brookies! 

Don Butler's Beginner Fly Tying course is this November over 2 days (11/11 & 18)- click on "Classes, News & Reviews" in top website toolbar to see detailed info on it. Call store at 860-379-1952 to sign up. 

This week Wednesday 10/18 at the October FRAA meeting, the speaker will be local guide Zach St. Amand, speaking about how he approaches fishing the Farmington River through the seasons and varying conditions. 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 this week, 10/18 at the FRAA meeting. Please support these good causes.

10 Day Forecast highs range from mid 50s to mid 70s, with nights mostly in the 40s. Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release is stable at 87cfs. Water temps are mostly running in the 50s, but will vary depending upon weather, river location, and time of day. This makes the entire river from Riverton to Unionville fishable for trout- head downriver if getting some elbow room is your #1 priority. The low water of late has some positives: 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 like this, and only fish the better water where there is some decent current & depth. Depth is a relative thing, when flows are down, a 2' pothole in a 1' riffle can hold a big trout. An upside to low water is that it's easy to read the water and figure out where the trout are, and it congregates the fish. Use a more stealthy approach, combined with 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 water depth).

Plenty of Tan Caddis #14-18, and Isonychia averaging a #14 or so. Still seeing a few Lt Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16, and some Blue Wing Olives #22-26 are hatching 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, and an extra-good choice if you like to nymph with lighter tippets. 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 #16-22, Isonychia #12-14 (mid afternoon thru eves), Fox Squirrel Nymphs #12-16, and Zebra Midges #16-24.