Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday 6/1/18 Report- good fishin'

Recent Farmington Brook Trout with a mouthful of Mop fly. Brookies have been showing up regularly of late, especially outside of the permanent Catch & Release (C&R). Mops are a hot-or-not fly, some days crushing fish, and other days they won't touch it. I like to use it as a "clean up batter" pattern.  If I'm in a run that I feel holds a lot of fish, after I fish it with my usual flies, I'll give one last pass through it with the Mop, and that usually leads to at least an additional fish or two.

Rumors of a few March Browns & Sulfurs way downriver, but I haven't had a report of enough to call them legit hatches yet. Anytime now though. Overast days like today (Friday) have seen very good hatches of Olives #18-22. Vitreus also love crappy, overcast weather. When trout haven't been rising, Caddis Pupa & Blue Wing Olive nymphs have been getting the job done, and big Stonefly nymphy are working in early to mid morning. A variety of attractor/hot-spot nymphs have been very effective also, including Antoine's Perdigon series. Catching trout is not always about exactly matching the hatch (but sometimes it is, especially during a hatch when trout are surface feeding), it's about getting a trout's attention and enticing them to eat your fly. The best nymphing has been in medium to fast water with some chop to it- just look for current breaks, seams between fast & slow water, drop-offs and structure. Wet flies & Soft-Hackles have been catching plenty of trout too, we have a good selection of them.

Vitreus, assorted Caddis, and Blue Wing Olives reamin the dominant hatches in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R/TMA). Sulfurs & March Browns/Gray Fox are the two next up-and-coming hatches, they start downriver first in Collinsville/Unionville/Farmington and work there way upstream. Vitreus #14-16 (see pic on below right) remain the major evening hatch in the permanent TMA/C&R and below, they are also known as the Pink Lady/Pink Cahill/Pink Sulfur/Pale Evening Dun/Orange Sulfur/Yellow Quill, etc.- the egg mass in the females gives them a pink/orange glow in their abdomen, the males are more of a pale yellow. They are in the Epeorus mayfly family, just like the Quill Gordon, and they have two tails (not 3). Many people call them a Sulfur, but they are not a "true" Sulfur in the classic sense (Invaria is is usually the first Sulfur we see, 3 tailed and #14-16 with a yellow body, June being the peak month for them). And just as with the Quill Gordon, the winged Vitreus dun emerges from the nymph at the stream bottom & swims to the surface, which can make a Partridge & Orange, Partridge & Yellow or other yellow/orange/cream bodied wets/soft-hackles good flies to swing during the hatch. #16-18 Caddis (tan, olive) are hatching well in the permanent C&R area and downriver throughout the rest of the river. (nymphers-  make sure to fish the pupa in the fast water, it's lethal). #18-20 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. There are still light Hendrickson spinner falls in the upper permanent Catch & Release, but that too is moving upriver.

Water level is great at a total flow of 355cfs at 8am in permanent Catch & Release/C&R/TMA (309cfs in Riverton plus 46cfs from the Still River). Water temps are going into the mid/upper 50s in the afternoons (even higher downriver), 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!! Caddis pupa #14-16 nymphed in the faster water has been lights out when they are active. 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.

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: #18-20 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:

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.