Nice Farmington River brown trout by local guide Zach St. Amand, caught on a Cased Caddis pattern while Euro Nymphing with his new T&T Contact 11' 3" #3 rod- he said the mild weather of late pushed some fish into water with some decent current. In my experience, milder days will pull some trout up into the riffles as water temps rise & peak in the afternoons (also the most comfortable time of day to fish). Hatches currently include Winter Caddis (mornings primarily, sometimes into early afternoon), and Midges (typically afternoons). Hatching activity has ranged from very light to pretty good, depending upon the day and location.
Flow is currently a nice medium 205cfs total in the permanent Catch &
Release/TMA/C&R in Pleasant Valley/New Hartford (62cfs at USGS
Riverton gauge, plus 143cs & from the Still River)- river
is low & fishable in Riverton, and medium downstream from the Still River and in the
permanent C&R. Fishing has been good lately with the milder temps, and the weekend weather looks angler-friendly with afternoon highs in the upper 40's/low 50's, and lows above freezing. This means slush and shelf ice will be zero problems, and you won't have to deal with your guides icing up. Depending upon time of day, look for water temps to range from mid 30's up to the low 40's for the next few days (mid to late afternoon water temps will be the highest).
Devin Olsen's & Lance Egan's new "Modern Nymphing" DVD's should be arriving at UpCountry Monday afternoon on 1/23- I've personally previewed it, and they did a great job, with clear instruction and excellent cinematography (filmed by Gilbert Rowley of flytying123.com- excellent website, check it out). Devin & Lance are 2 of the top members of Flyfishing Team USA- both scored an individual bronze medal in the World Flyfishing Championships in 2015/2016 respectively, and both years Team USA also garnered team medals (bronze & silver), so you could say these two are legit, truly world class anglers who have held their own against the best in the world (historically France, Spain, Czech Republic, and Poland). Devin's website is tacticalflyfisher.com if you want to check it out and watch a DVD preview, he also has many insightful fly tying & fly fishing articles on there.
The new book "Nymphing The New Way: French leader fishing for trout"
is finally back in stock again- it focuses on Euro-style nymphing using
very long leaders, which is deadly indeed. The first batch sold out in a
week or two. Keep your eye out for "Nymph Masters" by Jason Randall
coming out in early March, and "Keystone Fly Fishing" (covering PA in
detail by local guides/experts) will be available by early February.
We still have some availability in Aaron Jasper's 2/4/17 "Fly Tying
Outside the Box" and 2/25/17 "Dry/Dropper Tying & Fishing" classes.
Rich Strolis' "Tying Streamers for
Everday" on February 11 is almost full now. Call
860-379-1952 to sign up for any of these classes, see "Classes, News & Reviews" for more
Pat Torrey has limited availability his February "Tying the Wet Fly
& Soft-Hackle" two-day class, see "Classes" page for info, call
store at 860-379-1952 to sign up before it totally fills. We also just
posted up a Steve Culton class for Sunday February 5th, "Tying
Farmington River Favorites"- it runs 9am-1pm, leaving you plenty of time
to go to your Super Bowl Party & watch the big game.
approach, and move if you aren't catching fish or the fishing slows
down. Don't be a one-spot
angler, keep showing your flies to new
fish and your catch rates will improve. Morning Winter Caddis hatches
have varied, with some mornings seeing heavy hatching & rising
trout, and other mornings having minimal hatching- you need cold nights to get good hatches. We've also been
seeing Midges some afternoons. Regardless of whether you find risers,
consistently productive if you know how to do it, and slowly/deeply
fished streamers are also picking up fish (sometimes bigger trout).
FYI the water from the
dam runs slightly warmer in the
colder in the summer), and so normally does not to freeze or slush-up
in the upper 2 miles or so, even during really cold snaps. Often,
especially on sunny days, if there is morning slush in the
permanent Catch & Release are, it clears out by lunchtime.
Right now hatches are Winter Caddis sz 18-24 in
the mornings (sometimes going into the afternoon), and Midges sz 24-32
in the afternoons. Winter Caddis are the "glamour hatch" this time of
year. Ideally look for days that are not windy if you want to target
Water temps will typically be in the 30's, depending upon
weather, time of day, and distance from dam- it can crack into the lower
40's during warming trends.
This means trout have mostly dropped out of faster water and moved
into their deeper, slow to moderate current winter lies. Colder water
leads to a
trout metabolism, which means they don't need to eat as much. They
look to conserve energy by holding in water with less current, that also
has some depth (for security). However, they will often move into
riffles at the pool heads to feed on nymphs/pupa/larva when sunshine
raises the water temps at midday, which both increases their metabolism
and gets the bugs more active.
are still catching fish, especially during low-light
conditions- browns are post-spawn & hungry now,
looking to bulk up. Experiment with
colors & retrieves to
find what's best at any given moment (it changes). I would also try to
make your presentations mostly slow & deep due to the cooler water
both swinging and slow retrieves are good choices. The hot streamer rig
has been a weighted streamer with a soft-hackle or nymph trailed off the
hook bend 18" behind . Typically the smaller trailing fly
catches most of the trout, but some days the streamer does most
of the business. This rig allows you to cover a lot of water and present
your nymphs/wets in water that would normally be hard to nymph.
water temps typically make nymphs dead-drifted down deep the most
flies, good patterns include: smaller nymphs sz 16-22 (Midges, Baetis/BWOs,
Tails, Hot Spot Attractors, Rainbow Warriors, etc.), Caddis Larva sz
14-18 (olive/green), and Perdigones #14-20 (black, olive, brown,
yellow). Egg patterns are often very effective in the winter, so make sure to have some egg flies (small Glo
Bugs/Sucker Spawn/Otter Eggs) in your arsenal. Although smaller nymphs
have been more consistent than bigger ones, don't rule out Stonefly
Nymphs sz 8-14 (brown, golden/yellow, black), sometimes they will pull
The MDC did their fall trout
stocking in early November. This batch was stocked in the upper river
from the Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton downstream to Whittemore Pool.
The state & the FRAA both stocked the upper seasonal Catch &
Release section last fall also. Close to 4,500 trout were stocked in the
upper 4 miles of river in fall of 2016.
Simms Headwater Waders are now $249.99.... $100 off. Only a few pairs left!
UpCountry acquired a ton of Simms closeouts that are on
sale. There is still a large selection of Men's
& Women's: Gore-tex jackets, packs, slings, shirts, pants, tee
shirts, and a few shoes/wading boots/waders. Sizes are limited (the
Men's is mostly in Large, and the Women's is all in Medium) and there
only a couple of each item so when they are gone they are gone.Simms Tee Shirts
size large are buy one get one free.
We have a limited selection of Simms &
Umpqua Packs and Vests 40% off. In addition to these items, UpCountry
will price match just about any sale or deal you can find on the
internet.... we appreciate your business and recognize that sometimes a
deal will pop up online that you can't resist.... just bring it to our
We are always looking for good trade-in fly rods and reels to sell on our
website. If you are looking for some new equipment we will gladly put
the value of your used gear toward new items in our store. Give us a
call to make an appointment.... our prices on trade ins are typically
higher than found anywhere else.
If you like our fishing report, please consider buying your gear from
us. We generally ship the same day, for free anywhere in the country on
all but the smallest orders. Our shop can only exist with your patronage.