Friday, February 23, 2018

Sunday 2/25/18 Farmington River Report- Is it April or February?

Andy Lyons with a photogenic brown from Wednesday, caught on a Stonefly nymph.

Total flow in permanent Catch & Release is 632cfs and dropping. This is a little above normal but fishable for sure (298fs from the dam, plus 334cfs & dropping from the Still River). If you are looking for lower flows, head upriver to Riverton, above the Still River. flow is medium in that section.

The 15 Day Forecast is very mild, with four days in the 50s, and ten days in the 40s. The mild weather is normally good for winter fishing, as it bumps the water temps up, triggering more trout & bug activity. Water temps have been creeping into the low 40s and even mid 40s on warmer days. Nymphing, as always will produce the most trout this time of year. Other than the Winter Caddis hatch which sometimes start up by 7am, there isn't a big reason to start at daybreak. Mild overnight air temps, above freezing will get bug and fish activity going earlier than on cold mornings. I normally focus on the late morning to late afternoon time slot, with my biggest trout often coming in the last two hours of daylight. Rising trout have been chowing on Midges and Winter Caddis in the major pools. Streamers have also been working well, particularly in medium paced water around the rocks and logs.

Midges dominate the hatches this time of year, mostly dark colored (black/gray). If you are nymphing them subsurface use flies in the #16-24 range. They normally pop during the mildest part of the day, typically in the afternoons, but will sometimes start in late morning when it's mild. We are now starting to see the Tiny Winter Black Stoneflies (Capnia), they run small on our river, from about #18 to 26. They create some dry fly fishing, and more importantly smaller skinny black nymphs that imitate them, take trout this time of year.  With the mild temps of late, look for Early Black Stones #14-16, typically the nymphs are more useful than the dries. The Winter Caddis #18-24 is typically an early to late morning phenom in February providing some surface activiy. 

Nymphing: Midges / Zebra Midges #16-24, Skinny Nelson #18, Egg Flies (yellow/pink/orange) #10-18, Squirmy Worms / San Juan Worms (pink, red, worm tan),  Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16, Cased Caddis #8-16, Mop Flies (various colors, especially cream/tan) #8-12 , Stoneflies #6-12, Pat's Rubber Legs #6-10, Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #16-22, Antoine's Perdigons (various colors) #16, and Attractor / Hot-Spot nymphs #14-20 such as the Pineapple Express, Frenchie, Triple Threat, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow Warrior, etc, 
5x fluorocarbon tippet should be about for most nymphs, depending upon fly size, with 6x for the smallest ones. If you haven't yet tried it, the Cortland Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon 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- here's a link to purchase it off our site:

"Fishing Wet Flies & Soft-Hackles with Pat Torrey" clinic is scheduled for April 28th, 2018, 10am-4pm. Call the store at 860-379-1952 to sign up. Click on the link for to a detailed description of the event.

If you have some equipment gathering dust in your closet, our shop is "hungry" for trade-ins. We give fair market value toward new equipment in the store..... no waiting for your item to sell, just bring your used fly rods, reels, and fly tying equipment  to us and we will turn it into something shiny and new for the upcoming season. Please call ahead for an appointment.

New Stuff:

The new Thomas & Thomas Contact 10' 2" #2 rods arrived recently, and we have a loaner/demo version of it you can borrow and try out on the water. My initial impression is: these rods are fantastic! They retained the fighting butt, and they built some real power into the lower half of the rod so you still have plenty of big fish fighting capability, even though it's only a 2 weight rod. The softer tip will nicely protect 6x-7x tippet for those of you who like to fish lighter line (it sinks your nymphs faster and with less weight). Despite the more flexible/softer tip section, the rod recovers quickly and dampens nicely. Joe Goodspeed, the rod designer, told me he is using some special material in this rod that makes it incredibly durable. Follow the link to check out this awesome new rod: Thomas & Thomas Contact 2wt

Simms new 2018 version of the G3 wader is 190% more breatheable (!), 30% more puncture resistant, has fleece-lined handwarmer pockets with side zips, a velcro docking station for a fly patch, and a G4-style reinforced seat/butt area. And the best part: NO price increase! They are now better than the G4 Pro Wader, but at a much lower price. We also have their new redesigned versions of their Freestone, Guide & G3 vests.