8am-5pm 7 days a week
A bit nippy this morning, but it's supposed to get into the low 50s. Temps will be similar through Thursday, then they take a nosedive, so get out in the next few days if you can. Water level is fantastic, and over the weekend quite a few bigger trout were landed. It was more of a quality over quantity weekend I'd say, and smart/successful anglers started late and focused on the afternoon period when water temps were highest and the trout & bug activity was at it's peak. Assorted nymphs & streamers produced most of the big fish, and some anglers reported decent numbers of rising trout in mid/late afternoon.
Top pic is Justin Barden with a 21" streamer brown, next down is his buddy Chris K. with a solid fish. 3rd pic is Derrick of CT Fish Guides with one of many 17-19" browns from yesterday, and 4th pic is Mark Herron with a quality fish. FYI all the fish pictured here were caught later in the day, those who went out at the crack of dawn had a slow morning. Let the water temps warm up and you will have better fishing. Nymphs from Junk Flies to Caddis Pupa to Olive nymphs caught the lion's share of the fish.
Thomas & Thomas is debuting their Paradigm series of moderate action, dry fly type rods, along with a new Contact 10' #3, and a Zone 10' #4. We just received samples/demos of the new Contact & Zone 10 footers, and should be getting in Paradigms in 9' #4 & #5 mid/late week. Grady & I were impressed with the Paradigms, they are on the moderate action/somewhat softer side, but they cast beautifully from up close to far out and will protect lighter tippet. The Contact 10' #3 feels awesome in the hand, and it's a more portable length than it's longer brothers. Due to it being shorter than the 10' 8" & 11' 3" models, it has a crisper action that would make it a very good choice for someone who likes to tight-line/Euro nymph, but also likes to throw fly line with dries, wets, and small/medium streamers.
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 are not shipping 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!
Total 8am flow today (Monday) in the permanent Catch & Release was 338cfs & dropping (198cfs from the dam, and 140cfs & dropping from the Still River). 8am water temp in Riverton was 51 degrees. 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.
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 of the 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.
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 of dries, 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- there's even a big picture of yours truly in the article, but check it out anyways...:)
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.
If 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 preparation 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 catch. DON'T 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. Try 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 bigger flies.
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) tapered 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. If 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.
Zach 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.