Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday 10/9/17 Report- fall is back

Here's a colorful Farmington 'Bow to start your week, nice trout are still showing up regularly for those fishing what the trout want to see. Caddis have been the glamour hatch of late by far, and Caddis dries/emergers/pupa have been the ticket. Even some of the hardcore nymphers have been blind-fishing Caddis dries in the riffly water and doing surprisingly well. Don't wait for a "hatch", you can successfully blind fish them in likely looking spots. Low fall flows makes this a great tactic, and if you really want to up your odds do Dry/Dropper with a small beadhead nymph tied off the hook bend. Ideally look for water with some current and a broken surface, it's hard to blind-fish the flat water without spooking the trout, plus they get waaaay too good a look at your fake bugs. 

The Farmington River Angler's Association will be stocking the river with 1,000+ trout on this Tuesday October 10th. We are all set now with volunteers to help with the stocking, a big thanks to all who signed 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. Please support these 2 good causes.

Cooler weather is moving back in this week, 15 Day Forecast highs will average mid 60s to low 70s, with lows in the 40s/50s. Total flow in the permanent Catch & Release went up slightly to 85cfs. Rain predicted for this afternoon should hopefully raise the Still River up a bit more and increase the total flow from there down, including in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA. Look for long range water temps ranging from mid 50s to low 60s- 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 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- 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 a some Lt Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16, and Blue Wing Olives #22-26 in the evening, plus an occasional Giant October Caddis #8-12. If you look on the rocks in fast water, you will 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 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), 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.