|Chris Kornatz (@cgkallday) with a gorgeous wild brown|
#12-14 nymphs in medium to dark brown remain a hot ticket lately, they imitate the Hendrickson
|One of Derrick's (@ctfishguides) recent clients with a high quality holdover|
Bruce Marino/Grady Allen collaboration, tied by Bruce himself. FYI higher flows knock quite a few Cased Caddis into the drift, it's definitely an underfished fly pattern. Streamers continue to be productive, and give you a shot at some of the bigger trout. Play around with size, color & style of streamers, and experiment with your retrieve until you find the winning combo for that day. Be aware that color preferences for streamers can change throughout the day as light conditions change.
|It's greening up behind the shop! 5/6/19|
|Paul Battipaglia (@ctripset) and a pretty brown|
|Zach & extra beautiful big wild brown, wow!|
|Sweet 18" Bow by Greg Hallam|
During high flows, stick mainly to the major wider pools/runs, and look also for inside turns that break the current. High flows push trout closer to the banks, out of the heavy current. Find a current break that's close to where they normally hold, and you will find trout. Don't make the classic mistake of wading out in high water, I see anglers walk right through the fish all the time in high water, it's a rookie mistake that many veteran anglers make. Look for the current edges and fish the transition between the fast & slow water. Again, don't walk through the prime holding water! Rule #1 is find the fish and fish where they are, and Rule #2 is don't spook them! Rule #3 is fish something they want to eat, and Rule #4 is present it in such a way they they will eat it.
It's true that high water can make things tougher and hurts the dry fly fishing, but.... the trout you do manage to fool fishing subsurface are often the above average fish we all want to catch. They feel secure to come out of hiding in the higher flows that hide them from predators, plus the higher/faster flows knock more food loose and deliver it to them at a faster rate. While we fishermen tend to prefer more moderate flows, believe me the big trout luvvv high water. Just have to find the current breaks/softer water, and you will find the trout. You also often want to upsize your flies & tippet. Medium to large streamers in various colors (olive, black, white, brown, etc.) are good, as are nymphs such as big Stoneflies #6-10, Cased Caddis, #12-14 brownish nymphs (imitate Hendricksons), Frenchies, and Junk Flies (Mops, eggs, worms, Weenies). I generally wouldn't go smaller than #14-16 nymphs at the moment, not until the water drops. Having said this, in clear/high flows if there is heavy bug activity on smaller bugs like Blue Wing Olives, a #18-20 matching nymph may be in order.
Nymphs & streamers continue to catch most of the trout, especially the bigger ones. If you are targeting freshly stocked trout, make sure if you are nymphing that one of your flies is a "Junk Fly"- Mop, Squirmy Worm, Egg Fly or Green Weenie. Pair it up with a more regular, natural looking fly (Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, etc.). Small to medium streamers such as Woolly Buggers can be lethal on fresh stockers too, make sure to play with colors (Rainbows usually LOVE black FYI).
FYI we went to our extended hours: 8am-6pm weekdays, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
We have Devin Olsen's hot new book "Tactical Fly Fishing", and it looks really, really good- second batch arrived recently. It cover Euro style
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.
Streamers continue to pick up less but bigger fish. If you wanna throw 4-6" streamers for trophies, you are swinging for the fence and may strike out, but some days you will hit a home run and catch a
giant. Smaller streamers will often catch more trout, but you are less likely to get a giant on them. Be patient and cover lots of water, change colors/retrieves/patterns/fly size. Look to softer/slower water for dry fly fishing, but be prepared to go subsurface if needed. Sometime they will eat the Black Stones on the surface, but it's very hit or miss. Junk Flies and various streamers fished slow & deep are the ticket sometimes. Experiment and the trout will tell you what they want. It can vary from day to day, and even during the same day as water temps, trout metabolism, insect activity, and light levels all change as the day progresses.
Many better fish are moving into the faster water to feed, espeically in the afternoons. As water temps rise during the day, trout often get more active and feed, and may move more into the current if there are bugs in the drift. When trout are less active due to cold water temps, it typically pushes them into the softer water of pools, deeper runs, and gentle/deeper riffles. But they (and especially bigger fish) will often slide up into the heads of pools/riffles/runs into the somewhat faster water to actively feed. This is most common later in the day (late morning through late afternoon) when water temps are highest. At the end of the day light levels diminish, and some of the bigger browns wait until then to feed. It's a combination of rising water temps, bug activity, and light levels that gets the trout feeding.
Junk Flies (Mops, Squirmy/San Juan Worms, Eggs, etc.) should all continue to have their moments (especially on freshly stocked trout and during high or dirty water), but also try pairing then up with some regular nymphs to give the trout a choice. Hendrickson Nymphs, Early Stones, Caddis Larva, Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears, etc. all could be good flies to pair up with a Junk Fly- the Junk Fly often acts as an attractor, and then the trout eat the more natural looking, smaller nymph. Bigger Stonefly nymphs are always on the menu and make an excellent anchor fly when you need something heavy, and just might net you a bigger fish too. If you are fishing pools that get hit hard (like Church Pool or Hitchcock), make sure to fish some drab/natural flies (no bead, no flash, no hotspot) and/or patterns that are unusual and the fish haven't seen before. Heavy pressure can make specific patterns less effective, and sometimes shiny metallic beadheads and make trout shy away, so try some nymphs with no beads or black beads. And sometimes regular beadheads work way better than unbeaded patterns, you have to experiment if you know you are over fish but aren't doing well. Of course it goes without saying that a good dead-drift is critical (but let it swing out at the drift's end, strikes often occur at that moment, especially during insect activity). Slowly/deeply fished streamers are still connecting up with big trout, and some mornings have seen trout rising to Winter Caddis in early/mid mornings, and Midges after that.
Flow as of 8am Monday 5/6/19:
Currently the total flow in permanent TMA/Catch & Release per the USGS gauge remains high at 1,120cfs (the Still River is 411cfs & dropping), and in Riverton the in the 2 miles above the Still River the Farmington is high at 709cfs. The Still River joins the Farmington River about 1/4 mile below Riverton Rt 20 bridge, roughly 2 miles below the dam. East Branch release was decreased from 500 down to 200cfs, it joins the West Branch about 3/8 mile below UpCountry near condos & sewage plant- this makes the river even higher from there down. The MDC emailed us this morning, they are only cutting the flow by 2cfs today, so it's virtually unchanged. We could see more flow cuts any day this week though. The Still River will continue to drop every day we don't get significant rain.
Click this Thomas & Thomas blog link for a very recent review I wrote about their awesome new Contact 10' 8" #6 rod for Steelhead & Lake Run Trout/Landlocks: https://thomasandthomas.com/blogs/news/torrey-collins-contact-1086
Check out this link to my blog post on 10 of my favorite books on a variety of subjects:
http://www.farmingtonriver.com/classes-news-reviews/10-of-torreys-favorite-books-december-2018/ I'll be doing more blog posts on recommended books in the future, there are many great books out there.
|A favorite image of mine Matt Supinski used in "Nexus"|
We are open 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends.
Look for water temps to be somewhere in the upper 40s/low 50s (low 40s in Riverton above the Still River), but will vary depending upon the weather, time of day, and specific location. Long range highs average in the 60s, with lows in the mid/upper 40s. Mild, sunny days will see the biggest water temp increases. The exception to this will be during high water releases from the dam, as the low 40 degree water chills down the river. Highest temps will occur in mid/late afternoon, with sunny days seeing the biggest temperature increases- this often activates both the aquatic insects & trout. Typically the best bug activity (and fishing) correlates to the most pleasant time of the day for us humans.