Monday 5/25 Memorial Day our store hours will be 8am-3pm.
If possible please purchase your CT fishing license in advance online by clicking on this link. FYI if you don't have a printer, it's perfectly acceptable to keep your license on your mobile/smart phone nowadays.
-Grady & Torrey
Farmington River Report
The holiday weekend is finally at hand, and now you can all come in the store and do some real browsing & shopping! Nice to go back to semi-normal in the fly shop. We continue to get quite a few good to excellent fishing reports on a daily basis from our customers. Trout are getting caught on nymphs, dries, streamers and wet flies/soft-hackles- a mix of 2020 stockers, plenty of bigger holdovers, and some really beautiful wild trout. Mostly Brown & Bows, with an occasional nice Brook Trout in the mix. The stocking trucks were seen rolling on the river again this week (outside of the permanent TMA/C&R), the Farmington is literally loaded with trout right now (I think this is 7x they stocked in 2020!!!). The weather for the weekend looks nice: highs 68-78, mostly sun & clouds (Saturday dsy has 70% chance of 1/4" rain from about first light to late afternoon, this should not affect the flows much at all), and not windy. Flow is near perfect- medium at 317cfs (240cfs from the dam, additional 77cfs from the Still River), Riverton water temps have been upper 40s, and below that in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) it's been pushing up well into the mid 50s & rising- these increasing water temps are getting both the bugs & trout more active.
Top pic is a stunner wild brown by Chester Cheung on a Caddis pupa this week- this is the kind of fish people go to Montana to catch, but it's right here in CT! 2nd fish pic is an absolute beauty caught by Daniel Girardi while being guided by Zach St. Amand Thursday and working on his Euro nymphing- he started at 10am and landed 30+ fish by 2pm, wow.
Vitreus have joined the fray, they are at least as far upstream as New Hartford (likely up even further now). Assorted Caddis are all over the river, upstream to the Pipeline/Lyman Rock/Still River junction. Be aware that during the Caddis emergence/hatch, trout often feed subsurface on the pupa and you may not see many rises, so try a pupa in your nymph rig, or swing some soft-hackles in Caddis-y colors (green, olive, Hare's Ear, etc.). When they come back and egg-lay (often in the low light of evening), you often find rising trout them. You also may need to twitch your fly as they are an active bug. Rises to Caddis are splashy more often than not. The Hendrickson hatch is mostly just in Riverton above the Still River (Rt 20 bridge up to the dam), but you will probably continue to see spinner falls downstream of that this weekend, they typically last for about a week after the hatch ends. Try Don Butler's deadly Hendrickson Parachute Egg Sack Spinner pictured in this report if trout are refusing standard rusty spinners. The yellow foam egg sack also aids to the pattern's floatability.
|Don's deadly Hendrickson Parachute Egg Sack Spinner
We got in a pile of flies from Fulling Mill (and their full line of excellent jig hooks too) & 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.
If you are fishing wets/soft-hackles (and you should be!), 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.
Current Store Hours:
8am-5pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends.
The Farmington is currently an excellent 368cfs & droppng steadily through the Catch & Release (C&R) area and averaging in the low/mid 50s for water temperature in the afternoon- USGS historical normal combined flow for today is 391cfs. Riverton is 246cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in an additional 122cfs below it's junction with the West Branch. 8am Riverton water temp was 46.5 degrees this morning- downstream water temps in the C&R will be significantly higher (low/mid 50s) than this due to the Still River running warmer than the colder water from the dam.
Cortland's brand new 2020 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. Zach St. Amand gave it a big 2 Thumbs Up after fishing it for a week straight.