|Neal Spencer with an exceptional brown|
Sulfurs are up in Riverton only now, think above the Still River and match them with #18-20 patterns. Overall, fish mornings & eves remain the prime times, with evenings still the best/fastest dry fly action. Most of the daytime dries are tiny, think #22 and smaller and fish them on long/light tippets. The exceptions to this are terrestrials, and also blind fishing attractor dries in the faster water. Same is true with nymphs, with #16-20 patterns doing most of the damage- the exceptions are #10-12 Isonychia later in the day, and big Stonefly nymphs #6-10 in the early/mid mornings. Experiment with flies that are drab, flashy, with hotspots, and without hotspots. Wets & Soft-Hackles remain effective, especially during insect activity- riffles are the easiest water to fish them in, and also where much of the hatching activity takes place. Streamer are most effective at first & last light, and mousing is pulling up some big trout after dark.
|Nick Nemergut with a 21" Bow|
Needhami #22-26 are hatching in the mornings. Still seeing Isonychia, various Caddis, and assorted cream mayflies in the eves/at dusk, and that's still the peak time of day to fish dries over a bunch of rising trout. The dam continues to release cool water (56.5 degrees at Rt 20 bridge in Riverton at 8am), which is a big part of the reason why this fishery is so good and continues throughout the summertime. The Still River runs warm in the summer, but it's coming in at only 35cfs so it's not warming up the water below where it comes in by much. You have quite a few miles of water below the dam in the mid 50s into the mid/upper 60s to choose from before you starting hitting 70 degree water. A good summer strategy is decide what the furthest downstream you want to fish, and start there in the morning to catch the lowest water temps, and then spend late morning through dark somewhere roughly between the Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford and the dam in Riverton (roughly a 10 mile stretch). When fishing downriver in Canton/Collinsville/Unionville, check water temps with a thermometer, and venture upstream to cooler water when the water temps exceed the upper 60s.
We get lots of feedback from both successful & unsuccessful customers, so I'll summarize what those doing the best are doing. The theme with dry flies during the mornings through early evenings is either tiny flies on light tippets (think #22-28 on 7x with a long piece of tippet to promote a drag-free float), or various terrestrials (especially ants & beetles, sometimes smaller hoppers). You can also blind fish riffles, pocket water, etc. with attractor dries like Mini Chernoblyls, Stimulators, etc. Other than evenings, mornings & afternoons mostly you will find sipping trout feeding on minutae in the flat water- it could be Needhami, smaller Winter Caddis, Midges, tiny Mayflies, Micro Caddis, ants, etc. If you can find holding water in the shade, that's also a big plus. Evenings see the bulk of the heavy insect hatching, with all sorts of bugs, Sulfurs (Riverton only), assorted cream-colored Mayflies, Isonychia, Attenuata, various Caddis, and more. Dry/Dropper can be a fun way to fish now: use a bigger buoyant dry (like a Mini Chernobyl or big Isonychia) and drop a #16-18 tungsten bead nymph 1-3' below the dry. Most fish will take the nymph, but you will get some bonus fish on the dry also. Tie the nymph off the hook bend. Run it closer (12-18") to the dry during insect activity or in shallow water, run it further apart (2-3') in deep water and during non-hatch periods. It's like the fun of dry fly fishing, combined with the consistent effectiveness of nymphing. Plus it allows you target fish at distance and not spook them. If you wanna target big trout on the surface after dark, try a short/heavy leader with a deer hair mouse pattern- make sure to bring a BIG landing net with you...:)
If you are nymphing (and you proably should be!), successful anglers are finding that first light to mid
|Shop guy Brayson with 20" plus of brown trout in the dark|
|Perfect 19" brown by Tommy Dzis|
Hot weather means that generally the best hatches (and fishing) are early and late in the day, when it's
Isonychia are one of the bugs that will hatch in the earlier part of the evening, remember that they are BIG bugs that live and hatch in fast water, so don't look for them in the slower pool water (think pool heads, riffles, pocket water, faster runs). The Sulfur hatch has moved upriver to Riverton above the Still River, and it's more like a #18-20 now (Dorothea). Also seeing plenty of cream mayflies (Light Cahills/Summer Stenos) at dusk in the #12-16 range, standard Cahills & Usuals work well. We are also seeing Attenuata #18-20, they are a small evening Mayfly that are often confused with Sulfurs. Attenuata are a bright greenish-yellow, almost light chartreuse color. A Rusty Spinner is a good "problem solver" in the summer, and I also like to have spinners to imitate Sulfurs & Cahills. Another good problem solver is a terrestrial imitation such as a beetle or ant, especially when there aren't many bugs hatching but you have some rising trout. Sometimes wet flies/soft-hackles are the answer when the trout are feeding just under the surface (that happens a lot, especially during peak hatch activity in the eves)- present them both on the dead-drift and the swing/twitch. You can also run them as a trailer behind a dry fly during a hatch when trout are refusing your dries.
|A rare wild Bow by guide Zach St Amand|
In July/August/September flows are normally medium to low, and many of the bigger nymphs/larva have hatched, leaving the majority of nymphs/larva at #18 and smaller (exception: Isonychia & big Stonefly nymphs). Often I find the difference between a slow day of nymphing and a double-digit outing in July is using nymphs #18 or even smaller. It can be a game changer. In general the small size is much more important than the exact fly pattern, but I'd still have several options from drab to gaudy, and in different styles/shapes/colors. You can pair them up with a bigger fly. Stoneflies #4-12 emerge in the early to mid mornings, you will see them on the rocks in the fastwater, I tend to have
While the focus for the majority of our customers seems to have shifted to dry flies, the subsurface
|Dave Moranino caught this quality Brown|
FYI we have a KILLER assortment of custom tied soft-hackles in our bins by Dick Sablitz, they are both fun & deadly to fish. We have flies to imitate all the current hatches, the most effective way to fish them is 2-3 at a time on droppers.
FYI we are now in our extended hours: 8am-6pm weekdays, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
We have Devin Olsen's hot new book "Tactical Fly Fishing", and it's really good. It cover Euro styleFlow as of Friday morning 7/26/19:
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.
|Night time was the right time for Cody, one of many|
Click this Thomas & Thomas blog link for a review I wrote about their awesome Contact 10' 8" #6 rod for Steelhead & Lake Run Trout/Landlocks:
|Johnny Stavs was all smiles with this pretty brown|
From April through October we are open 7 days a week, 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
Look for water temps to average in the upper 50s to mid 60s in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (mid/upper 50s in Riverton above the Still River), but will vary depending upon the weather, time of day, and specific location. Downriver in Collinsville/Unionville will be slightly warmer, probably mid 60s (in mornings) and into the low 70s if you venture far enough downstream on hotter/sunny days in the afternoons/eves. Check water temps with a thermometer if you are down in Canton/Collinsville/Unionville. The best time to fish downriver during hot summer weather is in the morning when water temps are lowest, especially after a cooler night. Hot, sunny days will see the biggest water temp increases. The exception to this will be during periods of high water releases from the dam, as the colder water from deep in the reservoir chills down the river for quite a ways downstream. Highest water temps will occur in late afternoon, and water temps won't significantly drop until after dark. Typically the best bug activity (and fishing) correlates to the most pleasant time of the day for us humans, which in the summer is normally early/mid morns & mid/late eves.