|Dave Moranino with a beauty from Wed 5/8
|Antoine guided Martha from VT to this big brown
The state stocked the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) on Thursday 5/9, and above that from Whittemore to the dam on Wednesday. If you don't catch trout this weekend, then sell your gear because you're in the wrong sport!!! Haha. Plenty of nice trout were caught this week in the high water, and conditions are even better now. The Hendrickson hatch is working it's way upstream, I'm getting reports that it's at least as far up as Beaver Pool. The best hatching is probably in the upper end of the C&R up to Pipeline/Lyman Rock or so. Mid TMA/C&R and down the hatch is starting to wind down. Also seeing Baetis/Blue Wing Olives (BWOs/Olives), especially on cloudy days. Look also for Hendrickson spinner falls on milder evenings that are dry and not too windy (cold, rain, and/or wind will all send the spinners back into the trees). A rusty spinner in #12-14 matches them, and some of the biggest trout feed on the surface during spinner falls. FYI I also often seen spinners on the water in the mid/late mornings, and sometimes right before and even during the afternoon hatch, so be observant!
With greatly improved flows, much more of the river is fishable now. I only see .15" of rain predicted for later today (Friday 5/10), nothing Saturday, and .2" predicted for Sunday. Not bad at all. Lower flows also equate to more rising trout during hatches. Hendrickson hatch is working it's way upriver, so don't fish too far downstream if you are looking for this bug or you will miss it. If you keep moving upstream as it progresses, you can fish it for a surprisingly long time period. It was light & brief in Church Pool Thursday, so it's probably waning from mid permanent TMA/C&R and below that. However, the entire permanent C&R/TMA was stocked yesterday (Thursday 5/9), so there are LOTS of trout all over the entire Catch & Release/TMA section that will be easier to catch and in need of some "education" about what fake bugs look like....:) Woolly Buggers & "Junk Flies" should do some damage for the next 2-3 weeks until they learn what is & isn't real food.
|Antoine got Kyle into this sweet brown on 5/2
|A really colorful holdover brown I got on Thursday 5/9
|"Mopping Up" on a Rainbow 5/9
FYI we went to our extended hours: 8am-6pm weekdays, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
We have Devin Olsen's hot new book "Tactical Fly Fishing", and it looks really, really good- second batch arrived recently. It cover Euro style
nymphing, plus a whole lot more. Based upon what he's learned from years of the highest level fly fishing competitions against the best trout fly fishermen in the world. It covers things in an extremely detailed way, and has some great "Case Studies" where he shows you different water type pictures with photo sequences of how they were able to successfully catch fish in them, and what adjustments they had to make in their rigging, approach, presentation & flies to find success. It's a good new option that does NOT duplicate George Daniel's two books on nymphing, but rather it compliments and adds to them.
Bigger streamers continue to pick up less but bigger fish. If you wanna throw 4-6" streamers for trophies, you are swinging for the fence and may strike out, but some days you will hit a home run and catch a giant. Smaller streamers will often catch more trout, but you are less likely to get a giant on them. Be patient and cover lots of water, change colors/retrieves/patterns/fly size. Look to softer/slower water for dry fly fishing, but be prepared to go subsurface if needed. Sometime they will eat the Black Stones on the surface, but it's very hit or miss. Junk Flies and various streamers fished slow & deep are the ticket sometimes. Experiment and the trout will tell you what they want. It can vary from day to day, and even during the same day as water temps, trout metabolism, insect activity, and light levels all change as the day progresses.
Many better fish are moving into the faster water to feed, especially in the late morning & afternoons. As water temps rise during the day, trout & bugs often get more active and it spurs the fish to feed, and they may move more into the current if there are bugs in the drift. When trout are less active due to cooler water temps and no hatching activity, it typically pushes them into the softer/deeper water of pools, deeper runs, and gentle/deeper riffles. Trout (and especially bigger ones) 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 (late morning through late afternoon) when water temps are highest. At the end of the day light levels diminish, and some of the bigger browns wait until then to feed. It's a combination of rising water temps, bug activity, and light levels that gets the trout feeding.
Junk Flies (Mops, Squirmy/San Juan Worms, Eggs, etc.) should all continue to have their moments (especially on freshly stocked trout and during high or dirty water), but also try pairing then up with some regular nymphs to give the trout a choice. Hendrickson Nymphs, Baetis/Olive/BWO Nymphs, Caddis Larva, Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears, etc. all could be good flies to pair up with a Junk Fly- the Junk Fly often acts as an attractor, and then the trout eat the more natural looking, smaller nymph. Bigger Stonefly nymphs are always on the menu and make an excellent anchor fly when you need something heavy, and just might net you a bigger fish too. If you are fishing pools that get hit hard (like Church Pool or Hitchcock), make sure to fish some drab/natural flies (no bead/black bead, no flash, no hotspot) and/or patterns that are unusual and the fish haven't seen before. Heavy pressure can make specific patterns less effective, and sometimes shiny metallic beadheads and make trout shy away, so try some nymphs with no beads or black beads. And sometimes regular metallic or colored beads work way better than unbeaded patterns, you have to experiment if you know you are over fish but aren't doing well. Of course it goes without saying that a good dead-drift is critical (but let it swing out at the drift's end, strikes often occur at that moment, especially during insect activity).
Flow as of 9am Friday 5/10/19:
Currently the total flow in permanent TMA/Catch & Release per the USGS gauge is vastly improved at 587cfs (the Still River is 207cfs), and in Riverton the in the 2 miles above the Still River the Farmington is a very fishable 380cfs. 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 decreased to 100cfs, it joins the West Branch about 3/8 mile below UpCountry near condos & sewage plant. The Still River will continue to drop every day we don't get significant rain.
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 are open 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
Look for water temps to average in the low 50s in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (low/mid 40s in Riverton above the Still River), but will vary depending upon the weather, time of day, and specific location. Long range highs average in the 50s-60s, with lows in the 40s/low 50s. Mild, sunny days will see the biggest water temp increases. The exception to this will be during high water releases from the dam, as the colder water from deep in the reservoir chills down the river. Highest temps will occur in mid/late afternoon, with sunny days seeing the biggest temperature increases- this often activates both the aquatic insects & trout. Typically the best bug activity (and fishing) correlates to the most pleasant time of the day for us humans.