Friday, June 9, 2017
Unlike the Catskills and other areas in the northeast, the Farmington River is in very fishable shape- 451cfs & dropping in the permanent Catch & Release area in BarkhamstedNew Hartford/Pleasant Valley (318cfs in Riverton above the Still River). Fish are rising at moments (especially in the evenings). Of late the best dry fly action has been late afternoon until dark, which correlates to the bug activity/hatching- as the hot weather moves in Sunday through Tuesday, this will be even more true. Nymphing has been the most consistent & productive method of late, but all methods are working at moments. Streamers & wet flies/soft-hackles are both catching fish too. During the daytime, nymphers are finding success using things like Caddis Pupa #14-16, attractor/hot/spot nymphs #14-18 (Frenchies, Triples Threats, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow, Warrior, etc.), Sulfur nymphs #16 (you can use a Pheasant Tail or a specific imitation), Stonefly nymphs #8-12 (brown, golden, black), and anything resembling a March Brown/Gray Fox in #10-12 (other than a specific imitation you can use a big Fox Squirrel or Hare's Ear).
If you are nymphing, look for the medium to fast broken water, and focus on edges/transitional zones: seams between fast/slow water, cut banks, rocks that break the current, drop-offs, spots where 2 or more currents converge together, etc.. You are looking for spots with good current that will deliver an above average amount of bugs to the trout, while at the same time providing a current break and overhead cover (this includes both objects they can hide under as well as a broken/ripply water surface that obscures them from predators like birds) and refuge from the current.The Prime Lies, where you have some depth/overhead cover, current bringing in food, and also a current break, will typically hold the biggest trout as they will use their size to dominate the most desirable spots.
Sulfurs #16, Vitreus #14-16 (Pink Lady/Pink Cahill/Pink Sulfur) & #10-14 March Browns/Gray Fox are all hatching now on top of the olive/green and tan bodied Caddis #14-18 (both with tannish wings) we've been seeing the past 2 weeks. Caddis are all up & down the river, and the Sulfurs, March Browns & Vitreus are at least as far up as the top of the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA and up to Pipeline, but NOT as far as Riverton (upper 2 miles above the Still River to the dam, basically Rt 20 Hitchcock bridge up)- the water from the dam is cold so hatches happen weeks later up there. FYI all Caddis look tan in the air, so make sure to capture one before you make a decision on the body color. If you cannot grab one, then look for spider webs that have Caddis stuck in them. Trout can sometimes get very specific on body color when it comes to Caddis. FYI the Vitreus are an Epeorus species, just like the Quill Gordon- they have only 2 tails, and the duns hatch out of the nymph near the stream bottom and swim to the surface, making flies like a Partridge & Orange a good choice to swing during the hatch.
The long awaited book "Nymph Masters" arrived recently, and it's really good! Author Jason Randall fished with a bunch of the top nymphers in the USA (guys like George Daniels, Pat Dorsey, Joe Humphreys, etc.), and then wrote this book about his experiences. He codified what he learned into a systematic approach covering all styles of nymphing.
We recently received a huge closeout of Hardy Jet and Shadow fly rods which can be found in store and on our website on our Used Gear and Specials page. If you are looking for a great fly rod at at a great price, the Hardy rods are hard to beat and are available in most sizes. We still have some closeout Sage ONE's left.
Current flies to have:
Caddis pupa (olive/green, tan) #14-18, Caddis dries #14-18 (olive/green, tan- X2 Caddis, Elk Hair, CDC Caddis, Emergent/Crippled Caddis, etc.), Vitreus #14-16, Usual #14-16, March Brown/Gray Fox #10-14, Sulfur #16, Baetis/Blue Wing Olive dries & emergers #18-22 (on cloudy days), Midges #20-26. Subsurface try Caddis pupa #14-18 (olive/green, tan), March Brown Nymph #10-14, Hare's Ear #10-14, Frenchies #14-18, Sulfur Nymph #16, Pheasant Tails/Quasimodos #14-20, Caddis Larva #10-16 (olive, green), Baetis/Blue Wing Olive nymphs #16-20, and #8-12 Stonefly nymphs (gold, brown, black). Make sure to also try Hot Spot & Attractor Nymphs #14-18, and Mops. Streamers have been very effective at moments (especially early, late, on overcast days, and when water is high or murky) on both the fresh stocked trout and also the big holdover and wild fish. Experiment with colors & retrieves to find what will attract the trout- olive, black, and white are good starting points, but also try brown, tan, and yellow or combinations thereof.