We are open 8-5pm daily for curbside pick-up. Call us on the phone at 860-379-1952 before arrival or from the parking lot, tell us what you want and we will take a credit card payment over the phone.
We are also offering limited 1/2 hour shopping appointments in the store from 3pm to 4:30 pm daily, In order to do this under the new regulations, we are limiting to one employee and one customer in the store. These appointments are for those intending to make $200+ purchases, and this will also be the procedure for trades. Call in advance at 860-379-1952.
Website and Phone Orders get free shipping at $50. Please take advantage and we will ship same day
We will not be issuing fishing licenses during the closure to comply with the new rules, so make sure to purchase one in advance online by clicking on this link. If you don't have a printer, it's perfectly acceptable to keep your license on your mobile/smart phone.
-Grady & Torrey**********************************************************************************
Farmington River Report
The Hendrickson hatch is here!.... flows through the Catch & Release area are a medium 500cfs and yesterday brought Hendricksons as far north as Church Pool with good numbers of bugs and trout feeding on top. Before the Hendricksons came at 2pm were good hatches of Blue Wing Olives (sz 18), and Winter/Summer Caddis (sz 20-22).
Brownish nymphs #12-14 are working well throughout the entire river as they imitate the Henrickson nymph, and also crossover to imitate Early Brown Stones (still some around). It can be a specific imitation, or something brown with a Mayfly shape such as a Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasnant Tail, Frenchie(basically just a PT with a hot spot), etc.
Top picture is Paul Battapaglia once again with a beautiful brown, 2nd pic is Zach catching yet another big brown (one of about a zillion so far in 2020). 3rd pic down is my hand (Torrey) holding a very pretty wild brown I snaked out of a heavily fished stocked trout spot Easter Sunday after work (I caught it again 30 minutes later!), and the 4th pic is Brett with a very respectable brown trout.
If you are fishing wets/soft-hackles, try a 2-3 fly rig, on tag end droppers about 24-30" apart, and use a lightly to moderately weighted soft-hackle or nymph on the point position to get your rig down deeper where the trout are. During hatching activity where you see bugs and occasional rising trout, keep all your flies unweighted and fish near the surface. Throw across & slightly upstream and make an upstream mend to sink your flies, let them dead-drift (watch your fly line tip for subtle strikes), and then let them do the traditional wet fly swing- expect strikes especially at the 3/4 downstream point when your flies rise toward the surface. At the end of the drift let them dangle for several seconds, then twitch them up & down a couple of times. Add some slight rod tip twitches during some drifts, and on others just let them drift. Keep your rod tip up around 10 o'clock during the entire drift for tippet protection, and better hook-ups- this creates very slight controlled slack you need so trout can inhale your fly and not short strike it. This technique is great for covering riffle & pool water where the trout are spread out and can be anywhere, the kind of water that can be difficult/challenging to nymph.
Nymphs #12-18 imitating or suggesting Early Stones (black, brown), Hendrickson nymphs, Blue Wing Olives/Baetis, and Caddis Larva (regular olive/green #14-16 & cased #10-14) have all had their moments, as well as attractor patterns (gaudy flies with hot spots, flash, UV materials, or unusual colors). It can be worth trying bigger #6-10 nymphs such as Stoneflies & Mops too- bigger nymphs sometimes interest bigger trout (more calories in a single bite, just like with streamers). Remember that GISS (general impression of size & shape) is far more important than having an exact imitation, and sometimes exaggerated features like a hot spot or flash gets their attention. Trout perceive our imitations differently than us humans do, so what looks good to YOU isn't necessarily what the trout prefer. We'd be lucky to catch any trout at all if our flies truly had to look just like the natural insects. If your fly size & shape/profile are close to the natural bugs, and the color is ballpark, all you then need is to put it in front of a willing trout with a good presentation. I've caught more trout than I can count during Hendrickson hatches on #12-14 Pheasant Tails & Frenchies. The shape (tails, slimmer abdomen, thicker thorax), color (brown) and size match up to the real bug. And I've caught many a rising trout during a Hendrickson hatch on a #12-14 Parachute Adams after they refused a dozen different dun, emerger, cripple & spinner patterns.
In addition to the Hendrickson hatch, we have been seeing good hatches of the #16-18 Blue Wing Olives (BWOs)/Baetis in the afternoons in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release. In addition to dries think about fishing a smaller nymph that looks like them (#16-18, slim, olive to olive-brown to brown). They have been rising to them in some spots in the afternoons, so have the matching dries/emergers. There are still some Early Stones around (black, brown), as well as the Winter/Summer Caddis & Midges. If you see splashy rises, that is probably either Caddis or Stoneflies. Gentle sips are more typical of trout feeding on BWOs & Midges.
Streamer fishing has picked up noticeably, and lately black or olive have been top colors, but I'm also a fan of brown this time of year, and white can be very good also- experiment! Two tone streamers such a brown/yellow, olive/yellow, etc. can sometimes be the ticket. Try also the following hybrid rig: a weighted streamer such as a conehead Bugger, Complex Twist Bugger, Zuddler, Slumpbuster, etc. with a #14-16 soft-hackle or nymph trailed 14-18" of the hook bend- the streamer often functions as the attractor, and then the trout eat the trailing smaller fly. This helps turn some of those chases, rolls & flashes into a solid hook-up.
We got in a pile of flies from Fulling Mill & Umpqua recently, including some cool streamers we haven't carried before, check out Tommy Lynch's deadly D&D that swims like a Flatfish lure- fish it on a sink-tip/sinking leader/sinking line to get this unweighted pattern to the proper depth, the action/movement on this fly is INSANE. Weighted streamers like Woolly Buggers, Zuddlers, Slumpbusters, and Complex Twist Buggers all continue to produce fish if fished down deep. Try also streamers with Sculpin Helmets, bounced & twitched along the bottom on a floating line- deadly on bigger trout. Play with colors, fly size, pattern style, retrieve, depth, and cover lots of water and you should be able to find success
Current Store Hours:
8am-5pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends, "curbside pick up" only- we will be going to 8am-6pm eventually and will announce that on here when it happens. Call 860-379-1952 to place orders or have us put together your order for pick-up.
The Farmington is 500cfs through the Catch & Release Area and running in the high 40s for temperature in the afternoon.
Cortland's brand spankin' new Nymph Series Rods for Euro Nymphing are in stock. This series is all in a 10.5' length and three line weights: #2, #3, and #4, and retails at $299.99. These replace the extremely popular Competition Nymph Series. We have fished the new version in the 10.5' #3 model, and they are a noticeable improvement with a crisper action, faster recovery, more sensitivity, a downlocking reel seat for better rod/reel balance, and improved guide spacing to minimize line sag between the reel and the stripping (first) guide. The new construction also significantly improves the durability, and they maintained the stealthy matte finish to minimize rod flash on sunny days. You won't need a heavy reel to balance these either. I'm sure the #3 will be the best seller and it is the most versatile for all around Euro Nymphing, but the 2 weight is sweet with a soft tip that will protect 6x-7x tippet on big fish, and the #4 has the power to handle heavier tippets with bigger flies on bigger fish and can cross over as an Indicator nymphing rod too. This series looks like a real winner to us, and the best under $300 Euro rod on the market hands-down.
Thomas & Thomas's new 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 its 10' 8" & 11' 3" cousins, it has a crisper action that make it a very good choice for someone who likes to Euro nymph, but also likes to cross over and throw fly line with dries, wets, and small/medium streamers. Also good on smaller waters where the casting is restricted.