Check this 20" fatty brown trout at the top of this report by customer David Wooley from last Sunday, not bad! Zach St. Amand cannot stop catching trout, no matter the time of year or flows. Despite higher water this week from rain & snowmelt, he caught a pile of rainbows, and check out the big brown (3rd pic down) he caught last week. He's been doing most of his damage subsurface with assorted nymphs (a mix of Junk Flies and more imitative stuff like Midges, depending upon the time of day & water conditions).
Subsurface is the mainstay, just make sure to fish slow & deep, target the softer/moderate water, and expect strikes to be subtle/gentle. For dries it's mostly either Winter Caddis in early/mid mornings (the big exception to fishiing late morning to late afternoon this time of year), or Midges in the afternoons. Blue Wing Olives are pretty much done, they were light this fall. Nymphwise, Midges, egg flies, small Mayfly nymphs, big Stoneflies, and Caddis Larva have all had their moments. Junk Flies like eggs/Mops/worms have been good in the mornings, and more imitative bugs like Midges, Stones, and Mayflies have generally been better in the afternoons- makes sense because as the water temps rise the bugs get more active. Streamers are another good choice in the mornings before the bugs get moving, and also great again at the day's end when light levels drop and the bigger brown trout come out to play.
Guide & fly tyer Mark Swenson is doing a beginner fly tying class in January 2020, a two day class on 1/5 & 1/12, click the link below to go to that page, it's full now but you can get on the wait list, we may do a 2nd class if there is enough demand for it:
I've been advising people to focus on later morning to late afternoon when water temps are higher and there is more bug activity, and most of you have been doing just that. The one big exception would be the Winter/Summer Caddis, they typically hatch in early/mid mornings.
Look down several paragraphs for a brief write-up about the new T&T rods that just debuted this month: the new Contact 10' #3, the Zone mid-priced 10' #4, and the Paradigm dry fly series. All are in stock except the new Zone.
Less hatches this time of year and dropping water temps means the trout won't normally be in the faster water, so start targeting deeper runs, pools, and softer/deeper riffles. Trout may move into the heads of runs/pools/riffles as water temps rise in the afternoon, so keep that in mind. In the mid afternoons look for rising trout in the softer pool water where the riffles slow down and below that- same in early/mid AM when the Winter/Summer Caddis are popping.
Don't show up here at first light and quit at noon (unless you are fishing the Winter Caddis hatch), but rather focus on the late morning to late afternoon time slot when water temps are rising, trout metabolism peaks, and you have your best shot at finding feeding trout. It's also a hell of a lot more pleasant to fish during the milder part of the day. Sunshine can be a good thing this time of year, as sunny days see noticeably higher water temp spikes. Fish smarter and maximize your results.
Streamers can work anytime of day right now, but especially during low light. Trout, especially browns, get extra aggressive toward streamers this time of year- most are post spawn & hungry, looking to pack in some calories and put weight back on. 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.
Fall/Winter Store Hours:
8am-5pm 7 days a week
We've received a veritable pile of used rods & reels as trade-ins recently. Some are listed on our website, but many of the least expensive used rods & reels are for in store purchase only and are not listed up and can only be found by looking on our racks. Stop in the store and check it out for yourself, there are some really good deals!
Total 8am flow today (Friday) in the permanent Catch & Release is moderately high but fishable at 581cfs (282cfs from the dam, and 299cfs from the Still River)- those of you looking for lower flows should stay up in Riverton above the Still River where the flow is 282cfs (approximately the 2 miles or so from the dam to the Rt 20 bridge at Riverton Self Storage/Hitchcock). Rain tonight (Friday night) is predicted at 1-2", plus an additional 1/2" on Saturday, so keep an eye on flows- you will probably want to stay above the Still River, up in Riverton. 8am water temp in Riverton was 37 degrees- snowmelt from the rain will likely drop water temps on Saturday.
Lowest water temps are normally at first light, highest in the mid/late afternoon. Currently trout are most active when water temps are at their highest and/or moving upward, the early to mid morning period has typically been slow, fishing picks up as the day progresses and water temps rise. Afternoon water temps usually increase anywhere from one to several degrees, and sometimes all it takes is a 1 degree increase to get the trout feeding.
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.