Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday 7/7/17 Report- plenty of bugs & trout

Got a very late start yesterday, but from the moment I stepped into the water in the permanent TMA at 6:45pm the trout were on the bite. There were tons of Blue Wing Olives about a #20, in the air along with Cahills/Light Cahills #12-14, a few #10 Potamanthus & Isonychia ("Iso's"). Cannot complain as I ended up with about a dozen in under 2 hours- Pheasant Tails & attractor nymphs (such as Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Perdigons, etc.) did the trick for me.  I find myself fishing more & more flashy/gaudy nymphs as the years go by, and I seem to be catching more & bigger fish too. Pictured is the best one I landed at 18", a good looking holdover brown. It was about a 3:1 ratio of browns to rainbows. Water temp at 7pm was 59 degrees.

The Farmington is at a great level- 303cfs in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA (275cfs from dam in Riverton plus an additional 28cfs from the Still River). Water temps are running low/mid 50's to mid 60's depending on distance below dam (coldest near dam in Riverton above Still River, warmer in Collinsville/Unionville).  With water levels now at a normal level and quite a few bugs hatching, we are seeing a lot more rising trout. If you're out in the evening, stay until dark if you can or you will miss out on some good fishing. Evenings are still prime hatch time, but you may find sporadic risers at any point during the day too. Fishing remains good to excellent for many anglers, with #16-18 Sulfurs still a solid hatch, and good numbers of Cahills/Light Cahills too. They are now both all the way up into Riverton. In the permanent TMA/C&R, look for these bugs in the evening, and maybe a little earlier up in Riverton (colder water near dam there). Blue Wing Olives in about a #20, give or take a size, have been a frequent evening sight- look for the matching size rusty spinners at dusk (they change from olive to rusty brown when they molt to spinners).

We are now seeing a fishable #10-12 Iso hatch at least as far upstream as the permanent Catch & Release area. Isonychia are a fast water mayfly, so look for them in riffles, pocket water & pool heads- you won't see them popping in the slow to medium speed pool water. Hatch time can start as early as late afternoon and go as late as dark, typically peaking in early/mid evening. Both the nymph and the dries fish well for this hatch. The nymph is an unusally good swimmer, so try both dead-drifting & swinging it, at moments I've even done well making short strips and retrieving it like a small streamer. July is normally the big Iso month in the permanent C&R/TMA, but they will be present to some degrees straight into mid-fall (they just get smaller).

We are closing out our Sage Salt, Sage Accel, Sage Bolt,  Sage Approach and Sage 4200 series reels, both in store and online and can be found on our Used / Store Specials page. These rods are being discontinued to make room for Sage's 2018 lineup which will be announced in a couple of weeks. Our closeouts are first come first served and won't last long so don't wait to come in or place an order.

Cortland's "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon Tippet is now in stock in 3x-8x. This stuff has literally been flying off the shelf since it arrived last week. So far customer & guide feedback on this new product has been exceptional. No hype or exaggeration, it literally is the world's best fluorocarbon tippet, hands down. Grady and I have both fished it now, and we found it to be super strong, unusually flexible, hold & knot like a champ, very abrasion resistant, have excellent clarity, and just is an amazingly durable tippet. The combination of high break strength, stretch, and perfect plasma optical quality outer finish make it hard to break off fish & flies, and despite the slightly higher price tag, most using it report they go through it at about half the rate of normal tippet due to it's amazing durability. 

Hatches continue to be good: Sulfurs #16-18 (Invaria & Dorothea), Cream Cahills/Light Cahills #12-14, Isonychia ("Iso's") #10-12 (as far upstream as New Hartford & progressing upriver), Vitreus #14-18(Riverton only), March Browns #10-12 (Riverton only), Blue Wing Olives #18-22, Summer Dark Caddis #16-22, Tan Wing Olive bodied Caddis #16-18, and spinners/spent wings of all the above (especially #18-22 rusty spinners at dusk). The best dry fly activity has been in the upper end of the pools including Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool, Greenwoods, the Wall, and Town Bridge. Terrestrials, ants & beetles are working as well, especially midday when other hatches tend to be sparse. Try also blind-fishing with attractors such as Mini Chernobyls #12-16 & Hippy Stompers #16-18.

Nymphing has been good to excellent for many using things like Caddis Pupa #14-18 (tan, olive-green),  Antoine's Perdigons #16, attractor/hot-spot nymphs #14-18 (Frenchies, Triples Threats, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow, Warrior, etc.), big Stoneflies #8-12 (Pat's Rubber Legs in coffee/black, Golden Stones, etc.) Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #16-20, Isonychia #10-14, Fox Squirrel Nymphs #12-16. The Mop Fly continues to produce good results, and is a good pattern to play "clean-up batter" with in a nice run after you've fished your usual nymphs, it'll often score you 1-3 extra fish.