|Hefty holdover 2 Year Old brown by Dave Machowski|
The MDC cut their release by a total of by 64cfs as of 11am today. This will bring the total flow down near 200cfs. Tuesday morning 8/6 the MDC is cutting it by an additional 50cfs, bringing the dam release down into the mid 100cfs range.
The hot summer weather has broken lately, and we are once again "normal" (whatever that is anymore), with 15 day highs mostly upper 70s to low 80s, and nights down in the low 60s/upper 50s. Water temp in Riverton at the Rt 20 bridge was 60 degrees at 9am, giving you at least 10+ miles downriver to fish for trout in good water temps all day long with the current weather predictions. Water level is normal & nice at 279cfs total flow. Tricos are just starting up in New Hartford and the lower end of the permanent TMA, they will average a #24, give or take a hooksize. They are normally an early to mid morning hatch. If I remember correctly I think the spinners fall to the water at an air temp of 68 degrees? Still seeing some Needhami in the AM (hatch is getting lighter now), plus of course the Summer Winter Caddis. All the morning bugs are tiny, as in #22-26 mostly. Nymphing a big Stonefly nymph trailed by a Caddis pupa or small #18-20 nymphs in the fast water will put fish in the net in the early to mid mornings. When the Stonefly bite dries up, go to the Caddis pupa & small nymph combo. Midday is terrestrials, tiny dries, and the aforementioned nymphs. Evenings are still the prime time for hatches, with some bigger bugs on the water: Isonychia (Isos) #10-12, Light Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16 mostly (can be smaller too), and assorted Caddis #14-20. Some #22-24 Blue Wing Olives have been making occasional afternoon/evening appearances. Make sure you have some ants, beetles & assorted spinners in your fly arsenal too.
Fishing reports over the past weekend varied quite a bit, with successful anglers employing a wide variety of techniques & flies. Reports of insect hatches also varied a lot depending upon the location and time of day. Some anglers did quite well, some caught a few, and some struggled in their quest to fool picky trout sipping invisible bugs in flat water pools (probably the most technical fishing of all). Some found good hatches & rising trout, some didn't. Some picked up trout all day on nymphs. FYI fishing broken water (riffles, pocket water, faster runs, etc.) with some current speed gives you an edge because you can approach the trout closer and they don't get as good a look at your fly. You can also get away with a bit bigger flies than you can in flat water pools. A lot of small brown trout (many appear wild) are showing up in angler catches in the past 2 weeks, especially when you are nymphing the faster water. As I've mentioned before, a good summer strategy when putting in a 1/2 to full day is to start first in your most downriver planned location, and then move upriver as the day progresses and water temps increase. This will help keep you in optimum water temps all day long, and you will have better fishing. If you have a thermometer, look for water temps under 68 degrees, and optimally 65 or less. Currently you should find these temps from about the bottom of the permanent Catch & Release (Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford) up to the dam in Riverton, approximately a 10 mile stretch. If you get 70 degrees downriver, move upriver until you find cooler water. Water temps are coolest at the dam in the summer, and as the day progresses rise by about a degree every 2-3 miles on average for 10-15 miles downstream. Mornings see the lowest water temps, mid afternoon through early eves sees the highest, and the water doesn't significantly cool until after it gets dark.
Mark Swenson's next Fly Fishing 101 class will be on August 18th, 9am - 4pm. Call the store at
|DJ Clement with a handful of pretty brown trout|
The dry fly fishing on the flat pools can be very technical this time of year: most of the bugs are small, and the fish have been worked over hard for months, so bring your "A" game, a bunch of tiny flies, and a long leader with a long/light tippet. Also try terrestrials like #14-18 beetles & ants before you tie on the tiny stuff, sometimes you won't have to go super small. Fishing riffly water in the eves can give you an edge, as the trout have to make a quick decision, the bugs are bigger in the faster water, and the trout don't get to inspect your fly with a magnifying glass there. It's also the same water both Mayfly spinners & egg-laying Caddis are active in. Win-win. 6x will suffice for most of the evening bugs, and you can go 5x on your bigger dries such as Isonychia. Think 7x on the smallest dries.
Currently your highest percentage big trout tactics are big Stonefly nymphs in the early mornings, hunting big heads rising during the evening hatches, streamers at first & last light (and after dark), and night time mousing. Months of fishing pressure has wised up the better fish, so consider every big one you hook a true accomplishment. Daytime nymphing in shady spots, drop-offs and near structure can also produce the occasional bruiser- but make sure one of your nymphs is small, even big trout eat small nypmphs.
Sulfurs (Dorothea) are up in Riverton only now, think above the Still River and match them with #18-20 patterns. Most of the daytime dries are tiny, think #22 and smaller and fish them on long/light
We get lots of feedback from both successful & unsuccessful customers, so I'll summarize what those
|Nice brown by Steve Hogan|
If you are nymphing (and you probably should be!), successful anglers are finding that first light to mid morning sees big trout looking for big Stonefly nymphs (#6-10) as they emerge in low light. Pair
|Cody Varza making some "Night Moves"|
Hot weather means that generally the best hatches (and fishing) are early and late in the day, when it's
A Rusty Spinner is a good "problem solver" in the summer, and I also like to have spinners to imitate 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.
|Nice hookjaw brown by Steve Hogan's client Scott|
In mid to late summer, the flows are normally medium-low 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/Augst/September is downsizing your nymphs to #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 fast water, I tend to have my best luck with #8-10 patterns in yellow/gold to brownish colors. Isos nymphs are #10-12 right now, and they can swim in 6-12" spurts. Having said that, overall I tend to do better dead-drifting them, but I always let them swing at the end of the drift. Experiment and do whatever works best, it can change from day to day.
While the focus for the majority of our customers seems to have shifted to dry flies, the subsurface
angling with nymphs, wet flies & soft-hackles remains consistent and is often better than the dry fly
|Lots of small wild browns showing up lately- guide DJ Clement|
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
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 Monday morning 8/5/19:
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.
Click this Thomas & Thomas blog link for a review I wrote about their awesome Contact 10' 8" #6
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 low/mid 60s (even upper 60s in PM on hottest/sunny days) in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (upper 50s/low 60s AM temp in Riverton above the Still River), but will vary depending upon the weather, time of day, and distance from the dam. Downriver below the permanent Catch & Release will be 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, and venture upriver if the temps are not in the 60s- the best time to fish downriver during the summer 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. Be aware that the colder water near the dam in Riverton often means the evening bugs may start up (and end) a few hours earlier in that section.