We received about 2 3/4" of rain between Wednesday afternoon & Thursday morning, and flows are a bit higher. Should be somewhere from 300-400cfs total flow for Saturday, and probably another 50cfs lower on Sunday. More water is better for streamer fishing, and it also means you can go bigger & gaudier on your nymphs. Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmy/San Juan Worms, Green Weenies) could all be in play now. Pair them up with a more natural nymph. Historically we are now in the time of year when egg flies can be deadly, so make sure to have some with you in 2-3 colors, and pair them up with a regular nymph to give the trout a choice.
The permanent Catch & Release area/TMA is medium/medium-high, wadeable, and fishable for sure at 460cfs total flow this morning & dropping (85cfs from the dam in Riverton, 375cfs from the Still River), 8am water temp was 54 degrees in Riverton. The entire river from Riverton to Unionville is fishing well with optimal water temps, so don't limit yourself to just one section or pool. Isonychia have been hatching daily starting as early as 3pm, depending upon the day. The October brood of Isonychia are smaller, averaging #14, give or take one hook size. Caddis #14-18 (mostly tan) will be active all month, and we are still seeing a few Hebes/Fall Sulfurs & various cream mayflies (Cahills/Stenonema) later in the day. There are dry fly opportunities it that's your thing, with mid afternoon through dusk being the peak period. You can also blind fish/prospect with bigger attractor dries when trout aren't rising, and wet flies/soft-hackles are still catching plenty of fish and are a great way to efficiently cover a lot of water quickly.
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...:)
Mark Swenson's next Fly Fishing 101 Class will on Sunday October 20th, call the store at 860-379-1952, cost is $150.
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. But, if you are looking for some easier & more abundant targets, head to the recent stocking locations and "educate" them- it's your "civic duty" haha. Woolly Buggers, various "Junk Flies" (eggs, Mops, worms, Green Weenies), and wet flies/soft-hackles should work well on them, but you may want to pair them up with a drabber/natural looking nymph now that they've been fished over and are learning what real bugs look like. Plus, the holdover & wild fish will be more keyed into natural bugs. Isonychia nymphs, Caddis Pupa, Stonefly nymphs, and various small nymphs are all working well subsurface. Fall streamer action is currently hot, so make sure to try them at some point- read below for some Fall streamer advice & tips.
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 weight streamer- this will get you some of those trout that move for your bigger streamer but won't eat it. In lower flows like we've been having 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.... 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.
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.
Dry/Dropper can be a fun way to fish as long as water temps are 50 degrees or higher, and there are decent hatches: use a bigger buoyant dry (like a Mini Chernobyl, Chubby Chernobyl, 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/hatches 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...:)
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.
From April through October we are open 7 days a week, 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 6am-5pm on weekends (this will be pared back to 8am-5pm 7 days a week in November).