Monday, June 4, 2018
What a difference a day or two makes: July weather two days ago, and 46 degrees & cloudy at 8am this morning, wow. Cloudy with a high of 57 today, and then temps go back into the upper 60s and 70s starting Tuesday. Look for good Blue Wing Olive & Vitreus hatches today. These are also great conditions for streamer fishing.
Bugwise, we are still mainly seeing Caddis, Blue Winged Olives, and Vitreus (Pink Lady) in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R/TMA). Getting reports of light numbers of March Browns/Gray Fox and Sulfurs (Invaria) hatching downriver (Canton/Collinsville/Unionville). June is usually the big Sulfur month. Even though I haven't seen many March Browns (MB's) up by our shop, I've been catching trout on March Brown type nymphs (think big Fox Squirrels & Hare's Ears, as well as specific MB nymphs). The nymphs get active & migrate shoreward about 1-2 weeks before they begin hatching. When the MB hatch begins in ernest, it's a sporadic and light afternoon evening hatch, one here one there kinda deal. But.... the spinners fall en masse right at dusk. Cloudy, cool rainy days like today (Monday) have seen very good hatches of small Olives. Vitreus also love crappy, overcast weather and will start hatching in mid to late afternoon on these kind of days (normally more toward evenings, even later on hot days).
When trout haven't been rising, Caddis Pupa & Blue Wing Olive nymphs have been getting the job done, and big Stonefly nymphs 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 remain dominant hatches in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R/TMA). Sulfurs & March Browns/Gray Fox are light are hatching downriver (first in Collinsville/Unionville/Farmington and work there way upstream). Vitreus #14-16 (see pic on below right) remain a 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, and they sorta are, 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). #18-22 Blue Wing Olives remain a good hatch, especially when it's overcast, they have been all up and down the river.
Water level is medium and at a total flow of 469cfs at 8am in permanent Catch & Release/C&R/TMA (319cfs in Riverton plus 150cfs from the Still River). Looks like we got the brunt of the rain Sunday night, about an inch in total. We needed it, the tribs are low as it's been dry here the past few weeks. Still River is rising, but it will peak & drop very fast, especially now that all the trees are leafed out and sucking up lots of water. Water temps are going into the mid/upper 50s in the afternoons (even higher downriver), especially on sunny/warm days (mid 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 this spring 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.
-Permanent Catch & Release: Caddis (olive, tan) #16-18: X-Caddis, Elk Hair, CDC Caddis, etc.; Vitreus #14-16: Usual, parachutes, Sulfurs; Baetis/Blue Winged Olives: #18-20 emergers, parachutes, CDC, Sprouts, rusty spinners; Winter Caddis: #18-24 pupa & adults.
-Downriver (Canton/Collinsville/Unionville): Sulfur #16 (Invaria): Usual, Comparaduns, parachutes, emergers; March Brown/Gray Fox #10-14: Comparduns, parachutes, emergers, spinners.
Olive & Tan Caddis Pupa #14-18, Olive Nymphs #16-18, 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/
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.