Fall/Winter Store Hours:
7 days a week
FYI we've received a veritable pile of used rods & reels as trade-ins recently
. Some are listed on our website, but many
of the less expensive used rods & reels are for in store purchase only
and are not
listed up. Please don't call the store to ask us to go through the ones not listed
as we will not
ship those ones out, plus we are too busy to go through everything we have. Stop in the store and check it out for yourself, there are some really good deals!
Glad to see we keep getting regular shots of rain and the low to super-low water of the late summer/early fall is over. Only bummer is the rain yesterday/overnight, combined with 40-50mph wind gusts, knocked most of the leaves off the trees. Still a little
pretty foliage left, but not a whole lot. Flow is up but fishable for sure today, and you always have the option of Riverton above the Still River if you want lower/clearer water. Flows are dropping today and river should be in excellent shape this weekend (guessing 400-500 Saturday, and 300-400 Sunday). Air temps are moving to November normal now, with weekend highs around 50, and lows around the freezing mark, and not too windy at all. No need to get here at the crack of dawn, wait until mid/late mornings when the water temps rise and the bugs & trout get more active. Plus it's a much more comfortable time of day to be out. Junk Flies (eggs, Mops, Squirmies, Green Weenies) will be top choices this weekend, along with streamers. Expect to see some tan Caddis & small Blue Wing Olives in mid/late afternoon- match them with dries if you find risers, or go underneath with the corresponding pupa & nymphs. The entire river from Riverton to
Unionville continues to fish
well, so don't limit yourself to
section or pool, it's literally all good.
Pics in this report include a big 2 Year Old Survivor Strain brown up top, caught by local guide Mark Swenson. Below that is another of the big ones Rick Baker caught, and 3rd down is a perfect wild fish by Derrick Kirkpatrick's client Michael.
Total 8am flow today (Friday) in the permanent Catch & Release was 652cfs & dropping (209cfs from the dam, and 443cfs & dropping from the Still River). 8am water temp in Riverton was 55 degrees- this will decrease with the colder weather moving in now. Lowest water temps will be at first light, highest will be mid/late afternoon. Currently trout are most active when water temps are at their highest and/or moving upward.
Successful flies & tactics lately have included quite a variety of patterns: streamers,
nymphs, "Junk Flies" (eggs/Mops/worms), dries, and wets/soft hackles.
Junk Flies have been working well during non-hatch times & moments
when flows bumps up due to rain. Streamers can work anytime
day in the Fall, especially early & late in the day during low
light. Trout, especially browns, get extra aggressive toward streamers
this time of year. Go with bigger streamers for less but bigger trout,
or small to medium for better numbers but smaller trout- 3" long (give
or take) would
be the in-between size choice for the best of both worlds. Main hatches
are Tan Caddis (mostly #16-18) & Blue Wing Olives (averaging #22-24 of
late). Overall the
best insect activity is in the
afternoon to dusk period when air temps are more pleasant. Cold nights
mean that early morning can be slow due to big water temp drops
overnight, so if you start early try bugs & techniques that are not
hatch dependent during that time slot: streamers, or Junk Flies (Mops,
Squirmy Worms, and especially Egg Flies). As water temps rise in the
afternoons, both bugs & trout get more active. Soft Hackles
sometimes work quite well when Caddis are hatching.
Trout are spawning, so watch out for redds (light
colored patches of gravel in riffly areas where the
female browns dig a
depression in the gravel to lay their eggs). Several points: 1) please
leave the spawning trout alone so they can make more wild trout, 2)
spawning is very stressful, so don't add to their stress by catching
them, and 3) don't walk on the redds or you will crush the eggs and kill
them- some eggs end up in the light colored redd, but many end up slightly below
them, maybe 3-10 feet or so. Fish in the darker/deeper water downstream
redds and there will likely be hungry, egg-eating non-spawning trout
there . An egg fly can be absolutely lethal as they are a calorie-dense
high-value food item for trout, they cannot escape/swim away, and bigger
trout love them.
FYI we now carry Fasna Jig hooks, we have the F-415 in stock in sizes
#14-20 (we will expand out all the way up to #10 in the future). They
are high quality, stronger than average, come 30 to a pack, and similar
in shape/design to the ever popular Hanak 450 (which is wide gap/short shank/curled in point). Be aware they run about a
size smaller than marked compared to the Hanak 450
(i.e. the #16 is more like a #18, and so on)- compared to a standard
jig hook they are a full TWO
sizes smaller FYI.
Check 'em out if you are looking for a smaller jig hook with a wide gap,
shorter shank with a turned in barbless point. These hooks won't
bend out when you are playing a bigger trout- many comp style hooks are
medium wire, and when you combine that with a wide hook gap (especially
on the smaller hook sizes) and a big trout, the result can be a lost
fish when the hook bends.
Dropping temps & shorter days make the trout go on the
feed & get more aggressive- don't forget
about those streamers, Fall
is prime time
for them. Trout are getting caught on a mix
streamers, nymphs, and wets/soft-hackles. Be flexible in your approach,
cover water, experiment and you should be successful. Or conversely be a
stick-in-the-mud one-trick pony, and you may get skunked if you try to
force feed unwilling trout the flies & techniques they have zero
interest in- the choice is yours. Being adaptable/flexible
is a major key to success, especially if the water is high, low, cold or dirty.
Check out local guide/writer/blogger Steve Culton's article on the
Farmington River in the latest issue of Eastern Fly Fishing
even a big picture of yours truly in the article, but check it out
The MDC stocked the upper river in Riverton on 9/17, and on 9/9 CT
fisheries stocked from Satan's
Kingdom down to the Rt 177 bridge in Unionville, as well as below that
too. There are also plenty
of holdovers and some wild trout throughout the river, so don't limit
yourself to only the recently stocked areas.
you want a really sweet streamer specific rod, check out the T&T
Exocett SS series, they are grain rated at 160, 200 & 250, and are all great
Farmington River streamer rods and come with Recoil guides (click this
to go to the T&T Exocett SS page).
Dropping water temps
& shorter days has the Fall streamer bite in full swing.
Trout get more aggressive in the this time of year due to spawning,
plus it seems like Mother Nature programs them to eat more in
for leaner times in the Winter. Some keys to successful streamer
fishing: change pattern styles & fly color until you figure what
turns the trout on. Historically good
fall colors include yellow, brown, white, and olive. An all yellow
streamer, or yellow as a
secondary color paired with a predominately different color fly (such as
brown) can be lethal in the Fall. Try different casting angles, it's
not always down & across- frequently across & up is a better
angle. Experiment with your retrieves, although more often than not a
faster retrieve is better in the Fall until the water temps get really
cold, then you typically slow it down. Cover lots of water, you are
looking for the aggressive fish- at any given moment, only a percentage
of the fish are willing to eat a streamer, and you need to present your
fly to those fish. The more trout you show your flies, the more you will
be a stick-in-the-mud or your catch will be severely limited.
The low light periods of dawn & dusk are typically the best
streamer bites, but overcast days are good and as we get further into
Fall the bite can often be good all day as trout aggression ramps up.
different size flies. Yes, on average, bigger flies will catch bigger
fish, but some days the trout (even the bigger ones) don't want big
flies. Or try a two-fly rig, with either a smaller, unweighted streamer
or a nymph behind a weighted streamer- this will get you some of those
trout that move for your bigger streamer but won't eat it. In lower
flows a floating line with a weighted streamer
will get you deep enough,
but if flows are medium to high you may want to use some sort of
sinking line or leader to get your fly deeper. Use heavy enough tippets
so that you don't break off fish on the strike- I typically go 0x on my
bigger streamers (you can go even heavier with really big flies), and
even on average sized ones (#6-8) I wouldn't go below about 2-3x as trout hit
streamers HARD. You can fish normal ize streamers on your #4-5 rods
for sure, but.... if you want dedicated streamer stick a #6-7 rod with a medium-fast to fast action will do a
better job casting, setting the hook, playing bigger fish, and throwing
If you are into Euro Nymphing, check out the new Rio Tactical Euro Nymph
Leader. Rio still offers their original/standard Euro
Leader (we sell an obscene
amount of these). Two main differences between them: the Tactical
version is both significantly thinner, as well as longer. (14 feet
versus 11-12 feet). The Tactical has a very thin butt diameter of .012" (that's 1 size bigger than 0x)
down to 2x (.009"), tied to a 4x (.007") Sighter (indicator) colored
line section. Their standard Euro leader has a thicker butt (I'd guess
around .018"?) down to 0x (.011"), tied to a 2x (.009") Sighter. What
does this all translate too? Thinner leaders promote a better drift by
giving you less sag/bow, more sensitivity, letting you fish further
away, and are better with lighter nymphs. Longer leaders are also
stealthier and let you fish further away. The downside? Thinner butt
sections are harder to cast/turn over, a bit less accurate, and thinner
Sighters are a bit harder to see (but better if you need to dunk them in
deep water because they create less drag). If you are not very experienced with the Euro techniques
and/or have difficulty casting, stick with the original standard Euro
leader, but if you are fairly accomplished and looking to up your game
try the thinner/longer Tactical version. FYI both leaders end with a
tippet ring at the end of the Sighter, and then you build them out with
the proper length of approporiate sized tippet to match the conditions
& flies (4x-6x for standard leader, and 5x-7x for the Tactical).
As of September 1st, the entire Farmington River from the
dam in Riverton for 21 miles downstream to the Rt 179 bridge in
Unionville is now Catch & Release until Opening Day in April 2020.
f you see anybody keeping fish in this section, please call the CT
DEEP at 1-800-824-HELP and report the violation. Even if they are not
able to respond to it on time, the info goes into their database and
helps to create better/more policing of the area in the future.
St. Amand, one of the top local guides and frequent flyer in our big fish pictures,
is leading a trip with Andes Drifters to Patagonia for big wild
trout, February 8-15th 2019. He still has some availability, call him at 646-641-5618 to find out more or to get onboard.
8am-5pm, 7 days a week through March.