Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday 8/18/17 Report- big browns & AM Trico hatches

Matty B with an awesome Farmington River brown trout he caught this week. There are plenty of big trout scattered throughout the river,  but catching them is often not easy. Fishing early & late will give you the best shots at big fish. Bugs/hatches vary from night to night, so be flexible. Isonychia are still good in fast water in the evenings, and are a nice big bug in contrast to the other mostly smaller bugs, plus the better trout seem to really key in on them.

Just arrived this week, the brand new Scott G rod (this replaces the G2). This is not the original G rod, but rather the new incarnation in this series using the latest graphite & high-tech construction. Louis that work here has been fishing a prototype of the new G in the 9' #4 version, and he feels it is one of the finest 9' #4's he has ever fished. FYI we also have the new Sage Spectrum series of reels here now, and they are impressive. We've also received tons of new fly tying materials in recent weeks, and a book order came in this week (plus we got in 2 BIG collections of used books, and most are up on the shelves now).

Tricos #22-26 have started up recently and are on the water in early to mid mornings. If I remember correctly, the spinners like to fall at an air temp of 68 degrees.  So far they have been light in numbers but have been seen as far up as pipeline.  The other major hatches are Needhami #24-26 & Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24 in the mornings, Isonychia #10-14 in the latter part of the day (5pm 'till dark), and small Blue Wing Olives (BWO's) #22-26 & Cahills #12-14 in the eves- stay until dark & beyond for the best evening dry fly action. There are still some Sulfurs averaging #18 in Riverton ONLY (from about Hitchcock/Rt 20 bridge up to the dam).  

Remember that Isonychia are a fast water bug, so look for hatching activity there. Nymphing is still mostly smaller flies in the #18-22 range, exceptions being Stoneflies #6-12 (brown, golden/yellow), Isonychia #10-14, and Caddis Pupa & Larva #14-18. 

Ants, Beetles and Hoppers have been working well in the afternoons, when hatch activity is low.  We are also starting to see some decent numbers of  lying ants #22-24 in the afternoons on the more humid/warm days.

Summertime bugs are smaller on average, so when nymphing make sure to downsize your flies. #18-22 nymphs are often the key to success, with fly size more important then the exact pattern (although I prefer either a little flash or a fluorescent hot spot in my small nymphs). Some days small flies are the difference between struggling to hook trout versus catching a bunch. The two main exceptions would be Isonychia nymphs #10-14, and big Stonefly nymphs #6-12. Iso's are typically active later in the day, say late afternoon through dusk. The evening Cahills are also bigger at #12-14, and can be nicely imitated with either a Fox Squirrel or Hare's Ear nymphs. The big Stonefly nymphs emerge by crawling out onto rocks overnight and in the early mornings, making early/mid mornings prime to fish their large imitations for larger trout. If you do have a big fly on, make sure you also have another pattern in your rig no bigger than a #18, it's more in line with what they are seeing this time of year.

Top Dry Flies: Blue Wing Olives #22-26, Needhami #22-26 (mornings), Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24 (mornings in permanent C&R/TMA), Sulfurs #18, (Riverton only), Cream Cahills/Light Cahills #12-14, Isonychia #10-14, Beetles & Ants #14-18, Summer Dark Caddis #16-22, Tan Wing/Olive body Caddis #16-18, and an all Tan Caddis #16-18 . The best dry fly activity has generally been in the riffles and the upper end of pools including Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool, Greenwoods and the Boneyard. Try also blind-fishing with attractors such as Mini Chernobyls #12-16, Stimulators #10-16 & Hippy Stompers #16-18.

Nymphing has typically been the most productive method from late morning through early evening (when the insect activity is sparsest) and is accounting for the lion's share of truly big fish,  using patterns like Caddis Pupa #14-18 (tan, olive-green- Caddis pupa are especially active in the mornings), Antoine's Perdigons #16 (various colors), Attractor nymphs #14-18 (Frenchies #14-18, Egan's Red Dart #14-16, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, etc.), big Stoneflies #8-12 & Pat's Rubber Legs #8-10 (especially in the mornings), Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-22,  BWO nymphs #16-20, Isonychia #10-14 (mid afternoon thru eves), Fox Squirrel Nymphs #12-16, and Zebra Midges #16-22.