It's been another week of big browns, as you can see in the photos. Top pic is a very large and perfect colored up male brown by guide Zach St. Amand, and below that is a big 21"+ female brown by guide Steve Hogan- looking at the belly, I'd guess she already spawned. 3rd down, Derrick of CT Fish Guides got his client Mark Maloney into a hefty 2 Year Old Survivor Strain brown (notice clipped adipose). Bottom pic is Steve Hogan's client Susan Doll with a very nice brown she caught here recently.
Fall/Winter Store Hours:
8am-5pm 7 days a week
Thomas & Thomas is debuting their Paradigm series of moderate action, dry fly type rods, along with a new Contact 10' #3, and a Zone 10' #4. We just received samples/demos of the new Contact & Zone 10 footers, and should be getting in Paradigms in 9' #4 & #5 any day now. Zach St. Amand has been beating up the new 10' #3 Contact and loves it so far. Grady & I were impressed with the Paradigms, they are on the moderate action/somewhat softer side, but they cast beautifully from up close to far out and will protect lighter tippet. 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.
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 was 318cfs (178cfs from the dam, and 140cfs from the Still River). 8am water temp in Riverton was 48 degrees and still dropping due to colder weather here now. 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, morning have been very slow.
Dropping water temps & shorter days has the Fall streamer bite going. Trout get more aggressive due to spawning, plus it seems like Mother Nature programs them to eat more in preparation for leaner times in the Winter. Some keys to successful streamer fishing: change pattern styles & fly color until you figure what turns the trout on. Historically good fall colors include yellow, brown, white, and olive. An all yellow streamer, or yellow as a secondary color paired with a predominately different color fly (such as brown) can be lethal in the Fall. Try different casting angles, it's not always down & across- frequently across & up is a better angle. Experiment with your retrieves, although more often than not a faster retrieve is better in the Fall until the water temps get really cold, then you typically slow it down. Cover lots of water, you are looking for the aggressive fish- at any given moment, only a percentage of the fish are willing to eat a streamer, and you need to present your fly to those fish. The more trout you show your flies, the more you will catch. DON'T be a stick-in-the-mud or your catch will be severely limited.
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 weighted streamer- this will get you some of those trout that move for your bigger streamer but won't eat it. In lower flows 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.... if you want dedicated streamer stick 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.
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.