Zach St. Amand's hunch yesterday proved correct, culminating in the fat 25" rainbow you see pictured here, caught subsurface on a small Midge pattern. 2nd pic down is the view out back this mornnig, a Winter Wonderland. The winter weather and snow has scared most anglers away, but trout are still being caught on nymphs, streamers & dries. Sunday looks like the nicer day this weekend, with some sunshine and a high of 36- flow is medium and very nice. Subsurface is the most consistent, 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. Seeing a few Blue Wing Olives, but not many. Nymphwise, Midges, egg flies, small Mayfly nymphs, and big Stoneflies 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:
Current hatches include Winter/Summer Caddis, Midges, and a few small Olives. Lately
the Winter Caddis & Midges have been better hatches than the Olives
FYI. Other than the early/mid morning Winter Caddis, the
other bugs are afternoon deals. Generally afternoons have provided the
fishing (higher water temps = more active trout & bugs). The most
consistent action, and especially for bigger fish, has been subsurface
with nymphs & streamers. Good nymphs include Junk Flies (eggs,
worms, mops), Stones, Caddis larva, Midges, Olive nymphs & small
Pheasant Tails. Nymphwise, Junk Flies have dominated the earlier part of
the day, and
generally nymphs that imitate bugs have been better in the afternoons.
Makes sense, as that's when most of the real insects are active. With
streamers, experiment with colors & retrieves, and make sure to get
them deep. Colder water normally means slower retrieves/swinging
presentations will generally outfish a faster strip when it comes to
streamers- but there will still be occasional moments the trout want a
faster strip, so make sure to experiment.
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 when the
Midges & Blue Wing Olives get active, so keep that in mind. In the
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
FYI we are well stocked with almost everything you need to tie flies and
the proper gear to fish for Great Lakes Steelhead, just ask and we are
happy to help.
Don't show up here at first light and quit at noon, 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.
Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmies) are still top producers almost anytime of
day, especially when nothing is going on (they are independent of
hatching insects). Midges #22-28 have been the main afternoon hatch, and
we are also seeing a few Blue Winged Olives (BWOs) #22-26. Before &
during the afternoon hatches, the nymphs/pupa that
imitate them can be very effective- usually something in #18-20 will get
the job done, even though the adults
of both are typically smaller than that. The entire river from Riverton
Unionville continues to fish
well, so don't limit yourself to
section or pool, it's literally all good.
Streamers can work anytime
day right now, but especially 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.
Fall/Winter Store Hours:
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 i
n 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!
Thomas & Thomas has debuted their Paradigm series of moderate
action, dry fly type rods, along with a new Contact 10' #3, and a Zone
10' #4. We have most of those rods in stock now, except for the Zone 10'
#4. Zach St. Amand has been beating up the new 10' #3 Contact and
it. Grady & I were impressed with the Paradigms, they are on
moderate action/somewhat softer side, but they cast beautifully from up
close to far out and will protect lighter tippet. FYI the Paradigm
series won "Best New Dry Fly Rod" in the 2020 Fly Fisherman magazine
Gear Guide! 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.
Total 8am flow today
(Friday) in the permanent Catch & Release is medium and very normal at 343cfs
(240cfs from the dam, and 103cfs from the Still River).
8am water temp in Riverton was 39.5 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, 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.
A few trout are still spawning (FYI it can go as late as early/mid January), 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. You need to avoid stepping on the redds
straight through March or you can crush the eggs that have not yet
hatched. 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. Please do not target fish on redds, or fish that are actively spawning
Let them do their thing and hopefully make more wild trout, it's not
sporting to pull them off a redd. Spawning is stressful, so don't add to
their stress. There are lots of non-spawning fish behind them that are happy to eat
We now have Fasna F-415 Jig hooks in stock in sizes
are high quality, stronger than average, come 30 to a pack, priced at $7.25, and similar
in shape/design to the ever popular Hanak 450 (which is wide gap/short shank/curled in point). 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.
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. I will be carrying this hook all the way up to a #10 in the future.
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.