Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday 7/14/17 Report- Iso's, Attenuata & big trout

Zach St. Amand guided Randy Kabakoff's son Eli into this sweet 21.5" Farmington River brown trout on Wednesday, and it appears to be a wild fish. The details: it was Eli's first time Euro nymphing, and he landed it on 6x tippet in Cortland's new Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon. Usually guides are loathe to have clients fish light tippet, but this stuff is so durbable/strong that Zach has been having his clients go light with zero issues. When you are Euro Nymphing, a lighter tippet below your sighter equals faster sinking, and with less weight.

Today (Friday) could be a good one for fishing with the overcast, on/off rain and cooler temps (mid/upper 60's)- this often gets the evening bugs active earlier in the day. It also gets the big trout out of hiding and on the feed. Ideal streamer conditions. Big browns in particular are notorious for feeding in low-light & "crappy" weather. Weather this afternoon (Friday) looks nice, and Saturday/Sunday look very good:  no rain at all for this weekend, with highs low/mid 80's and lows in the low 60's, not windy at all.

One last spot is open in Mark Swenson's "Intro to Fly Fishing" Clinic this Saturday July 15th, it runs 9am-4pm and costs $150. We didn't list this class because we filled it before we got a chance to post it. Class size is limited to 4P, so you get lots of 1-on-1 attention. Partly in classroom, partly in the river. Great way to break into the sport. Call 860-379-4371 to reserve the spot. 

Water level remains medium & ideal, little shots of rain every week is keeping the level nice. 331cfs is the total flow in the permanent C&R/TMA (275cfs from dam in Riverton plus an additional 56cfs from the Still River). Water temps are running in the 50's to mid 60's depending on distance below dam (coldest near dam in Riverton above Still River, warmer in Collinsville/Unionville) and time of day (coolest in early AM). This means that you can still fish all the way downriver to Canton/Collinsville/Unionville, albeit best summertime fishing in lower river is typically going to be mornings & eves. With ideal water levels, ideal water temps, and quite a few bugs hatching, we are seeing a lot more rising trout, especially late in the day. If you're out in the evening, stay until dark if you can or you will miss out on some good fishing. Evenings are prime hatch time, but you may find sporadic risers at any point during the day too (try terrestrials such as ants/beetles on them first). Mornings are typically treating nymphers the best (think big Stones, Caddis Pupa, attractors, and smaller #18-22 nymphs). You may also see Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24 in the early/mid AM, this is typically when the hatching of them picks up in the summertime (July/August). Fishing remains good to excellent for many anglers, with #16-18 Sulfurs in the upper river from roughly Campground all the way up to the dam (downstream end of hatch is moving upriver every day, soon it will be only above the Still in the upper 2 miles below the dam in Riverton), and good numbers of Cahills/Light Cahills all the way up too. 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). Attenuata (Blue Wing Olives) in about a #18-20 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).

Tip: don't neglect the fast water, a totally different set of bugs is active there, especially in July evenings on the Farmington River. Sometimes when the pools are slow, the pool heads, pocket water, riffles & runs are boiling with trout & hatching insects. Some bugs only hatch in fast water (Iso's, big Stones), and even bugs that hatch in slower water usually come back to egg-lay in broken/faster water.

We are seeing a #10-12 Iso hatch upstream through the permanent Catch & Release area and even reports of them well up into Riverton near the dam now. 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: Attenuata/Blue Wing Olives #18-20, Sulfurs #16-18 (Invaria & Dorothea- more upriver now, say from about Campground to the dam in Riverton), Cream Cahills/Light Cahills #12-14, Isonychia ("Iso's") #10-12, Blue Wing Olives #18-24, 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/faster broken water 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, Caddis pupa are especially active in the mornings),  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,  olive nymphs #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. The big Stonefly Nymphs crawl out in the dark and in the early AM, so keep that in mind. They also only live in fast water, especially where the bottom is cobbled with rocks for them to live/hide under. You will see their shucks on the rocks in fast water, and also often on concrete bridge abutments.