Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday 5/18/18 River Report- Hendricksons up, Caddis down

Extra pretty blue-cheeked brown by Andy Lyons, this fish has all the earmarks of a wild fish. Whenever I get a wild fish like this out of the Farmington River, I always feel a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, especially if I pull it out of catch & kill water. Andy is able to regularly catch fish like this all over the river, because he's a skilled fisherman who has more than paid his dues on this river. And that's the secret.

Water level is very fishable for the weekend at 452cfs and dropping at 8am (171cfs in Riverton plus 281cfs from the Still River). Water temps are going into the mid/upper 50s in the afternoons, especially on sunny/warm days (upper 40s in Riverton above the Still River).

Hendrickson hatch is mostly upriver now, I wouldn't go any lower than about the Campground, and upriver from there to the dam is the safest bet of all. Spinners are still falling in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R/TMA) at least as far down as New Hartford, and that too will mover upriver just like the afternoon hatch. #16-18 tan wing/olive green body Caddis have become a legit hatch in the permanent C&R area and downriver through Collinsville/Unionville and below.  Also still seeing #18 Blue Wing Olives.

When trout aren't rising, the nymphing has been very good (if you know how to nymph!). Water temps well into the 50s has pushed many trout into the calf to waist deep riffled water and good catches are being made- ideal scenario for tight-line/Euro/short-line/contact nymphing with a pair of weighted nymphs and/or some split shot to get your flies down. There are so many stocked trout literally all over the entire river, that sometimes it's hard to get past the recently stocked fish and get your flies to the better holdovers & wild fish. A good problem to have I guess. Venturing as far as possible away from the easy stocking points can help.

The permanent catch & release (C&R/TMA) has been heavily stocked recently with the two year Survivor Strain brown trout and many thousands of smaller yearling/one year old browns. The rest of the river outside of the permanent TMA/C&R has also been stocked MULTIPLE times. Suffice it to say the river is loaded with trout from Riverton down to Unionville and below- stocked, holdover & wild. If you aren't catching them, it's not because you aren't over trout. Streamer fishing has really picked up lately.

Pat Torrey's first two "Fishing Wet Flies & Soft-Hackle" classes filled up fast, so we scheduled a 3rd one on June 2nd, 2018 (click on class name to go to a description of it). This one is now full, but we are taking names for a possible additional class.

Tan Winged/Olive Bodied Caddis #16-18: X-Caddis, Elk Hair, CDC Caddis, etc.;  Hendrickson: #12-14 emergers, Sprouts, parachutes, Catskill-style, rusty spinner, Comparaduns, etc.;  Baetis/Blue Winged Olives: #18 emergers, parachutes, CDC, Sprouts, rusty spinners;  Winter Caddis: #18-24 pupa & adults.

Olive & Tan Caddis Pupa #14-18, Hendrickson Nymphs #12-14, Olive Nymphs #16-18, Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-20, Midges / Zebra Midges #16-22, 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, bigger Stoneflies #6-12, Pat's Rubber Legs #6-10, Antoine's Perdigons (various colors, especially olive, black) #16, and Attractor / Hot-Spot nymphs #12-20 (Pineapple Express, Frenchy, Triple Threat, Pink Soft Spot Jigs, Carotene Jigs, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow Warrior, etc.).

The "New" Cortland Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon tippet is 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:

The streamer bite has really picked up. Try #6-14 patterns, especially in colors like white, black or olive- other colors are good too, and it pays to experiment. If you're specifically targetting larger trout, go bigger, but expect to catch less fish. Water temps are into the mid/upper 50s now, which means you can speed up your retrieve. Play around with your presentation & retrieve and see what works. If you listen, the trout will tell you what they want. Think Zonkers, Woolly Buggers, Bruce's Yellow Matuka, Dude Friendly, Ice Picks, Mini Picks, Mop Heads, Slump Busters, Sculpin Helmet patterns (for a weighted sculpin imitation), etc.

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.