Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday 6/16/17 Report- Sulfurs, Caddis, Olives & plenty of trout

Yours truly (Torrey) pictured with a flawless brown I plucked out from a kill & grill spot outside the Catch & Release on Wednesday, from among a pile of stocked rainbows. It's amazing how many holdover & wild browns exist OUTSIDE of the TMA/C&R. Remember that on days when it's crowded. Most years I get my biggest brown trout in the open water where guys can catch & kill. Caught nymphing with a Caddis Pupa. Saw a good Sulfur hatch that evening around 7pm- not much rising where I was until it was almost dark, but they were smashing #16 Pheasant Tails/Sulfur Nymphs. Mandy & I picked up a lot of cookie-cutter fat stocker 'Bows in the 15-16" range, and they fought like little demons. Medium to fast broken water was where we did best nymphing, and the best hatching seemed to also be in riffly areas. No surprise there, as riffles harbor the most nymphs & larva.

Some good reports from customers during my last 2 days off, with nymphers still having the best/most consistent action, but some people doing well on top fishing to risers with Blue Wing Olives (BWO's) & Green Caddis. Louis continues to pound fish up to the surface blind-fishing Mini Chernobyls. The overcast weather through this weekend should be good for the hatches, especially BWO's. Farmington River is at a very nice level and about normal for mid June- a medium 357cfs in the permanent Catch & Release area in BarkhamstedNew Hartford/Pleasant Valley (318cfs in Riverton, with an additional 39cfs from the Still River). Water temps are running 50's to low/mid 60's- coldest up near the dam in Riverton.

Fish are rising at moments (especially in the evenings).  Terrestrials insects are now active, and we're getting good reports on ants & beetles. Of late the best dry fly action has typically been late afternoon until dark, with plenty of exceptions though- some days have seen late morning Sulfur hatches (guess the bugs don't read entomology books....). Nymphing remains by far the most consistent method, but all methods are working at moments. Streamers & wet flies/soft-hackles are both catching fish too- early, late, and/or cloudy moments have been best for streamers. When streamer fishing midday in the sun, look for shade & structure along the banks. During the daytime, nymphers are finding success using things like Caddis Pupa #14-18, 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). And the controversial Mop Fly continues to produce at moments too. It's a good "clean up" fly to use in a run after you fish it with your normal nymphs.

Nymphers should 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 several 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.