Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday 10/23/17 Report- peak foliage?

Quite a few anglers took advantage of the pleasant weather over this past weekend. We are probably near peak foliage color, as I imagine rain Tuesday day/night will knock a bunch of leaves down, but there are still many trees covered in green leaves. Here's a recent brown, one of many by a client of local guide Zach St. Amand. They did well downriver, nymphing with small Blue Wing Olive nymph patterns. Small nymphs are often a key to success this time of year. Still seeing more Tan Caddis than any other bug, with both the adult (dry) and pupa (subsurface) producing trout. Of late, mid/late mornings and late afternoon until dark have been the peak fishing times, but nymphing & swinging wets/soft-hackles can pick up fish anytime of day. We're getting into that egg fly time of year, so make sure to try some, especially during non-hatch times.

Although our tent sale is over, we still have many select closeout items on sale from Simms, Korkers and FishPond. We still have some closeout Sage rods & reels, plus some Hardy rods too.

Some anglers are targeting the recently stocked trout in Riverton, while others are chasing holdover and wild trout in the permanent Catch & Release/TMA below it, even way downriver too. With water temps averaging mid to upper 50s throughout the entire river, you can fish as far downstream as you like- the further you go down, the less anglers. Easiest fishing is upriver in Riverton, where the FRAA stocked 1,200 trout on 10/10 (mostly 12-14" Brooks & Bows, with about 20 large Brookies in the mix).

10am Update: 
Total Flow in the permanent Catch & Release was increased to about 105 cfs. They are letting water out of Otis Reservoir in MA to lower the lake level, so MDC upped dam release in Riverton from 65 to 92cfs, and the Still River is putting in an additional 13cfs. The lower water of Fall will change the places that you fish but bring easy wading, and plenty of rising trout and good dry fly fishing when bugs are hatching. It's more efficient for trout to feed on the surface during a hatch when the water is shallower/slower. The easiest spots to fish will be where you find a combination of riffled water and depth (anything over knee deep is optimal, look for darker colored bottom to indicate depth). The most technical fishing will be in slow, flat water when fish are sipping tiny bugs.

Don Butler's Beginner Fly Tying course is this November over 2 days (11/11 & 18)- click on "Classes, News & Reviews" in top website toolbar to see detailed info on it. Call store at 860-379-1952 to sign up. 

During the lower flows that Fall often brings, it's easy to read the water and figure out where the trout are, and it congregates the fish. Use a more stealthy approach, stay a bit further away from the trout and wade with more care. A longer/lighter tippet (3-5' of 6x-7x) will greatly assist in getting a drag-free float with your #16 and smaller dry flies (5x is fine for bigger bugs like Isonychia). Dry/Dropper with a buoyant dry trailed by a small beadhead nymph 1-3' below it is tailor-made for low water. It keeps you further away so you don't spook the trout, and offers them a choice of feeding on the surface or eating a nymph below it. During hatches keep dropper nymph 8-18" below your dry, and during non-hatch times 1.5-3 feet away (distance depends upon water depth/speed).

Tan Caddis #14-18 remain the bug we're seeing the most of. The October brood of Isonychia are averaging a #14 or so. Still seeing a few Lt Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16 9(eves), and some Blue Wing Olives #22-26 are hatching in the evening (and on cloudy days), plus some October Caddis #8-12 (dusk). If you look on the rocks in fast water, you will still see big Stonefly nymph shucks, as well as #14-20 Yellow Sally Nymph shucks. Much of the best dry fly activity has been in the riffles and the upper end of pools such as Pipeline, Roberts, Whittemore, People's Forest, Church Pool, Greenwoods and the Boneyard.

5x-6x flurocarbon tippet should be about right, depending upon fly size. If you haven't yet tried it, the Cortland Ultra Premium Fuorocarbon tippet is amazing, by far the strongest out there with the most abrasion resistance, stretch, flexibility & clarity. Total game-changer, and an extra-good choice if you like to nymph with lighter tippets. Use patterns like Tan Caddis Pupa #14-18, big Stoneflies #6-12 & Pat's Rubber Legs #6-10 (especially in the mornings), Antoine's Perdigons #16 (various colors), Egg Flies #10-18 (yellow/pink/orange), Yellow Sally Nymph #14-18, Attractor nymphs #14-20 (Frenchies #14-18, Egan's Red Dart #14-16, Rainbow Warrior #16-18, etc.), Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-22,  BWO nymphs #16-22, Isonychia #12-14 (mid afternoon thru eves), Fox Squirrel Nymphs #12-16, and Zebra Midges #16-24.

November 15th, local guide Antoine Bissieux, "the French Fly Fisherman", will be the presenter at the monthly FRAA meeting- he will be talking about French "secrets" to improve your trout fishing. The French are some of the most skilled river trout fishermen in the world, as evidenced by the winning record of the French team in the World Flyfishing Championships. Both presentations are FREE and will up your fishing knowledge, all are welcome to attend. Location is Unionville Senior Center, meet & great begins at 6:30, with the meeting starting at 7pm.