|Zach's client Bruce with a big hook-jawed brown|
|Vinnie Badaracco and a pretty brown|
Early Black Stones (and Early Brown too now) have been active for several weeks now, and the holdover & wild trout are definitely taking notice. The freshly stocked trout that went in recently (above and below the permanent Catch & Release/TMA) will be receptive to a variety of flies, especially things like Woolly Buggers and "Junk Flies" (Eggs, Mops, Worms, Green Weenies). Look also at moments for trout rising to Winter Caddis (early/mid morns), Midges (late AM & afternoons), and Black Stones (afternoons). Hope for dries, but expect to fish subsurface with nymphs & streamers. Water is cold but temps are increasing, reaching the upper 30s)/low 40s most days, so fish slow and deep. Remember that highest water temps occur in mid/late afternoon, and sunny days will
see the biggest water temps increases.
|Another view of Vinnie's beautiful fat brownie|
While I still recommend focusing on the moderate speed water with some depth in March, this is just a starting point. Some of the better trout are moving into the faster water to feed in the afternoons. As water temps rise in the afternoon most days, trout often get more active and feed, and may move more into the current if there are bugs in the drift. When trout are less active due to cold water temps, it typically pushes them into pods in the softer water of pools, deeper runs, and gentle/deeper riffles. But they (and especially bigger fish) will often slide up into the heads of pools/riffles/runs into the somewhat faster water to actively feed. This is most common later in the day (afternoons) when water temps are highest and light levels diminish. It's a combination of rising water temps, bug activity, and light levels that gets the trout feeding.
Water temps have risen and are now averaging upper 30s to low 40s. Nymphing is the #1 producer in these type of conditions, as there are lots of nymphs in the drift now, but browns are hungry in March and sometimes want a big bite like a streamer. Many days Church Pool has been offering up morning dry fly fishing in the slower water (some days great, and some slow)- look for mornings that are not windy, preferably following a cold night. You may also see Midges sometime between late morning and the afternoon. Other than the Winter Caddis, I usually target the late morning to late afternoon period for the most comfortable temps & best fishing (higher water temps = more active bugs & trout). The low light of the last hour often brings bigger browns out of hiding too.
Flow as of 9am Friday 3/22/19:
Total flow in permanent TMA/Catch & Release according to USGS gauge is 447cfs and rising a bit (the Still River is 274cfs and creeping upward), and in Riverton above the Still River the Farmington is medium-low at 173cfs. The Still River joins the Farmington River about 1/4 mile below Riverton Rt 20 bridge, roughly 2 miles below the dam. East Branch release was increased from 100 to 200cfs at 9am this morning- it joins the West Branch about 3/8 mile below UpCountry near condos & sewage plant.
Click this Thomas & Thomas blog link for a very recent review I wrote about their awesome new Contact 10' 8" #6 rod for Steelhead & Lake Run Trout/Landlocks: https://thomasandthomas.com/blogs/news/torrey-collins-contact-1086
Check out this link to my blog post on 10 of my favorite books on a variety of subjects:
http://www.farmingtonriver.com/classes-news-reviews/10-of-torreys-favorite-books-december-2018/ I'll be doing more blog posts on recommended books in the future, there are many great books out there.
|A favorite image of mine Matt Supinski used in "Nexus"|
We will be open 8am-5pm, 7 days a week. In April we will go to 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends .
Look for water temps to average somewhere in the upper 30s/low 40s, but will vary depending upon the weather, time of day, and specific location. Highest temps will occur in mid/late afternoon, with sunny days seeing the biggest temperature increases- this often activates both the aquatic insects & trout. After colder nights, it may be wise to wait until late morning, thereby giving water temps a chance to rise a degree or two, which will get the trout (and bugs) more active- streamer fishing can be an exception to this, as it's not hatch-related, as can nymphing with egg patterns or other "Junk Flies" like worm patterns & Mop flies, or flashy attractor-type nymphs that stimulate a reaction bite.nes were pushing 3.5-4 pounds. They are now spread out nicely above & below the stocking points.
-Winter Caddis: #18-24 pupa & adults (early/mid AM, this is main/major winter hatch)
-Midges #20-28 (late morns through afternoons, light hatch)
-Tiny & Early Black Stoneflies #14-22 (mostly underneath, but sometimes gets fish on the surface)
-Early Brown Stoneflies #14-16
-Black Stone/Black Nymphs #14-18
-Brown Stone/Brown Nymphs #14-16
-Large Stoneflies/Pat's Rubber Legs #6-12- gold/yellow, brown, black
-Mop Flies #8-12 (various colors, especially cream/tan)
-Egg Flies #10-18 (various colors: yellow, pink, orange, etc.)
-Blue Lightning Bugs/Copper Johns #14-16
-Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #14-20
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-16
-Cased Caddis #8-16
-Antoine's Perdigons (various colors) #12-18
-Attractor/Hot-Spot nymphs #14-18 (Haast Haze, Pineapple Express, Frenchy, Triple Threat, Pink Soft Spot Jigs, Carotene Jigs, Egan's Red Dart, Rainbow Warrior, Prince, etc.).
"Junk Flies": nymphs for high/dirty water, winter fishing, freshly stocked trout, or when there is no hatch and standard nymphs aren't working:
-Squirmies/San Juan Worms/G-String Worms #10-14 (pink, red, worm brown)
-Egg Flies #10-18
-Green Weenies #10-14
Cortland's "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon tippet has a glass-smooth Plasma finish and is by far the best and strongest stuff out there: it has 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/
-Report by Torrey Collins