Friday, May 25, 2018
8am to 3pm
The holiday weekend is at hand, many of you have started a day early to make it a four day vacation. I'm jealous :). I hit the river from 1pm to 7:30pm on this past rainy Tuesday. I stayed out of the permanent Catch & Release (C&R) and found some rare May solitude. The trout cooperated, including 4 Brookies, quite a few Rainbows (some sizeable), some stocked & Two Year Old Browns, 2 wild Browns, and one big Sucker. Witnessed a very good Vitreus hatch in the evening. Fish of the day came near the end, it was the 19"+ Brown pictured, and it came out of a spot that is heavily fished by the catch & kill crowd. Appears to be either wild or a multi-year holdover, either way it was a beautiful trout. I caught the Sucker pictured below shortly after the brown, and for a minute I thought I had a 20"+ Brown, haha. 'Ol Rubber Lips.
Our new employee Jake & myself (Torrey) helped Harding Hatchery stock a bunch of Rainbows for the New Hartford Derby yesterday- 500+ at 12-14", and 50+ large obese ones. Should be some happy anglers this holiday weekend.
Vitreus #14-16 have joined the fray as an evening hatch, also known as Pink Lady/Pink Cahill/Pink Sulfur/Pale Evening Dun/Orange Sulfur- the egg mass in the females gives them a pink/orange glow in their abdomen. They are in the Epeorus mayfly family, just like the Quill Gordon, and they have two tails (not 3). And just as with the Quill, the winged dun emerges from the nymph at the stream bottom & swims to the surface, which can make a Partridge & Orange a good fly to swing during the hatch. #16-18 Caddis (olive, tan) are hatching well in the permanent C&R area and downriver throughout the rest of the river. (nymphers- make sure to fish the pupa!). #18 Blue Wing Olives remain a good hatch, especially when it's overcast, they have been all up and down the river. Hendrickson hatch is confined to Riverton now, I wouldn't go any lower than Hitchcock, and their spinners (rusty) are still falling in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R/TMA) at least as far down as Campground/Whittemore, but that too is moving upriver just like the afternoon hatch. Although Grady reported seeing spinners last night in the center of New Hartford (219 bridge area) around 6pm.
Water level is a nice medium flow, total of 382cfs and dropping at 8am in permanent Catch & Release/C&R/TMA (288cfs in Riverton plus 94cfs and dropping 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).
When trout aren't rising, the nymphing has been good to very good for many of our customers. If you don't know how to nymph effectively, learn!! 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.
Caddis (olive, tan) #16-18: X-Caddis, Elk Hair, CDC Caddis, etc.; Vitreus #14-16; Hendrickson (Riverton only): #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, Olive Nymphs #16-18, Hendrickson Nymphs #12-14 (Riverton only), Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-20, Midges / Zebra Midges #16-22, 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) #12-18, 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.).
Cortland's "Top Secret" 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: http://www.farmingtonriver.com/cortland-top-secret-ultra-premium-fluorocarbon/
The streamer bite remains good. 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.