Friday, August 9, 2019

Wednesday 8/14/19 Farmington River Report

Good reports coming from the catch & release area of Trico Spinners (#22-26) falling in the mid morning, the early morning has been bringing Winter/Summer Caddis (18-24). From late morning through the afternoon, Blue Wing Olive (#20-24), Ants (#14-18), Beetles (#14-16), Chernobyl Ants (14-16) have been strong. The Evenings are bringing  Isonychia (#12-14) and Cream Cahills (#14) ase well as Summer Stenos (#18-20). Water levels remain low due to lack of rain but it has been making the dry fly fishing more prominent.

Mornings & eves remain the peak fishing times, with dry fly fishing arguably better/easier in the evenings (more & bigger bugs), however water temps are coolest in the mornings and it's a great time to nymph the fast water then. Although Isonychia hatches are light now, you can blind fish them in the riffles in late afternoon/evening and bring trout up to them, even if you don't see them on the water. They are a big bug that hatch all summer long here, and the trout get used to them and anticipate the hatch. 

Tricos will be with us for the next couple of weeks. They are tiny and will average a #24, give or take a hook size. Tricos are normally an early to mid morning hatch/spinner fall.  FYI with Tricos, the spinner fall is normally the main event. 

Fishing broken water (riffles, pocket water, faster runs, etc.) with some current speed gives you an edge because you can approach the trout closer and they don't get as good a look at your fly. You can also get away with a bit bigger flies than you can in flat water pools. A lot of small brown trout (many appear wild) are showing up in angler catches in the past 2 weeks, especially when you are nymphing the faster water. As I've mentioned before, a good summer strategy when putting in a 1/2 to full day is to start first in your most downriver planned location, and then move upriver as the day progresses and water temps increase. This will help keep you in optimum water temps all day long, and you will have better fishing. If you have a thermometer, look for water temps under 68 degrees, and optimally 65 or less. Currently you should find these temps from about the bottom of the permanent Catch & Release (Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford) up to the dam in Riverton, approximately a 10 mile stretch.

Mark Swenson's next Fly Fishing 101 class will be on August 18th, 9am - 4pm. Call the store at 860-379-1952 to sign up, cost is $150, space is very limited.

The dry fly fishing on the flat pools can be very technical this time of year: most of the bugs are small, and the fish have been worked over hard for months, so bring your "A" game, a bunch of tiny flies, and a long leader with a long/light tippet. Fishing terrestrials like #14-18 beetles & ants before you tie on the tiny stuff,  means sometimes you won't have to go super small. Fishing riffly water in the eves can give you an edge, as the trout have to make a quick decision, the bugs are bigger in the faster water, and the trout don't get to inspect your fly with a magnifying glass there. It's also the same water both Mayfly spinners & egg-laying Caddis are active in. Win-win. 6x will suffice for most of the evening bugs. Think 7x on the smaller dries.

Dry/Dropper can be a fun way to fish now: use a bigger buoyant dry (like a Mini Chernobyl, Chubby Chernybol or big Isonychia) and drop a #16-18 tungsten bead nymph 1-3' below the dry. Most fish will take the nymph, but you will get some bonus fish on the dry also. Tie the nymph off the hook bend. Run it closer (12-18") to the dry during insect activity or in shallow water, run it further apart (2-3') in deep water and during non-hatch periods. It's like the fun of dry fly fishing, combined with the consistent effectiveness of nymphing. Plus it allows you target fish at distance and not spook them. If you wanna target big trout on the surface after dark, try a short/heavy 6-7.5' leader (0x) with a deer hair mouse pattern- make sure to bring a BIG landing net with you...:)

While the focus for many of our customers seems to have shifted to dry flies, the subsurface angling with nymphs, wet flies & soft-hackles remains consistent and is often better than the dry fly fishing, especially when the trout aren't rising and/or when they are refusing your dries/emergers/spinners/terrestrials. The key is to focus on the faster/broken water (pool heads, riffles, runs, pocket water, etc.), get your flies down, get a dead-drift, and cover lots of water. Experiment with your flies, as the better producing flies may change as the bug activity changes throughout the day. 
Now is still a great time to experiment with fishing a pair (or even better yet a trio) of soft-hackles/wetflies, it is both fun & very effective. It's an efficient and pleasant way to cover a lot of water, and you can hit those thin water lies near the banks that are hard to nymph- big browns often hold in water like that, especially during hatches & low light. It's also deadly during a hatch, as a lot of the bugs get eaten by trout just under the surface, and that is where you are presenting these flies. The people fishing soft-hackles & wet flies are giving me some excellent reports, try soft hackles with Hare's Ear bodies, Partridge & Orange/Yellow/Green/olive, etc.- these flies will cover your various Caddis, Sulfurs, and Cahills/Summer Stenos. I recommend fishing 2-3 at a time, on tag end droppers, spaced about 20-30" apart. If tangles are a big problem, go to 1 fly only, but be aware 2-3 at a time are more effective and allow you to animate the flies in ways that you cannot do with a single fly (eg. "dancing the top dropper").

We have a great assortment of custom tied soft-hackles in our bins by Dick Sablitz, they are both fun & deadly to fish. We have flies to imitate all the current hatches, the most effective way to fish them is 2-3 at a time on droppers. 
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.

FYI we are now in our extended hours: 8am-6pm weekdays, and 6am-5pm on weekends.

We have Devin Olsen's hot new book "Tactical Fly Fishing", and it's really good. Its 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.
From April through October we are open 7 days a week, 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends.

-Tricos #22-26: early/mid morns, just starting up, at least as far upstream as Church Pool now
-Isonychia #10-12 late afternoon thru dark in faster water (7pm to dark lately, hatch is light)
-Light Cahills/Summer Stenos #12-16: eves (various cream colored mayflies)
-Needhami #22-26: mornings (hatch is light & winding down)
-Caddis #14-20 (tan, olive/green): AM hatch, evening/dusk egg-laying
-Ants & Beetles #12-20: anytime, esp. late morning thru early eve during non-hatch periods
-Midges #20-32: anytime
-Blue Wing Olives #22-24 (afternoon/eve, esp. cloudy days)
-Summer/Winter Caddis: #18-24 pupa & adults (early/mid AM)

-Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasant Tails #12-20
-Caddis Pupa #14-18 (tan, olive/green)
-Isonychia #10-12
-Large Stoneflies/Pat's Rubber Legs #6-12 (gold/yellow, brown, black)
-Yellow Sally Nymphs #16-18
-Frenchy #16-18
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16
-Assorted Olive Nymphs #18-20
-Fox Squirrel Nymph #10-14   
-"Junk Flies" #8-14 (Mops, Squirmy Worms, Green Weenies)   
-Antoine's Perdigons (various colors) #12-18
-Zebra Midge #18-20 (assorted colors)

Soft-Hackles/Wet Flies:
-Assorted Patterns #10-16: Hare's Ear/March Brown, Partridge & Green/Orange/Yellow, Sulfur, 
     Pheasant Tail, etc.

-Complex Twist Bugger #2- assorted colors
-Sculp Snack #8 (George Daniel pattern)
-Home Invader #2-6- tan, black, white, yellow 
-Foxeee Red Clouser Minnow #6 
-Tequeely #4-6
-Dude Friendly #8 (white, yellow, natural)
-Woolly Buggers #2-14 (olive, black, white, brown, tan)
-Rio's Precious Metal #4 (Kreelex copper, olive)
-JJ Special/Autumn Splendor #4-8
-Matuka #4-8 (olive, brown, yellow)

Click this Thomas & Thomas blog link for a review I wrote about their awesome Contact 10' 8" #6 rod for Steelhead & Lake Run Trout/Landlocks:

Cortland's "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon tippet has a glass-smooth Plasma finish and is by far the best and strongest stuff out there: it has the most abrasion resistance, stretch, flexibility & clarity. Total game-changer, and an extra-good choice if you like to nymph with lighter tippets - here's a link to purchase it off our site:

     -Report by Torrey Collins