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 (but we can also do trades over the phone and then you can drop the rods off to to us for final evaluation). Call in advance at 860-379-1952, and please make sure to wear some sort of face covering.
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 nowadays.
This is uncharted territory for all of us, so please be patient as we figure this out and evolve. We are bound by a whole new set of rules & restrictions that is making it much tougher to do business. We will do our absolute best to accommodate all our loyal customers, we appreciate every one of you. Your continued support keeps our store open so we can keep supplying you with the best fly fishing stuff, fly tying materials & flies.
-Grady & Torrey
Farmington River Report
Just another day in paradise. Air temps take a dip for Saturday (high of 44), and then back to 57 degrees on Sunday. Originally they were talking an inch of snow tonight (Friday), now it looks like 1/4" of rain instead. Weekend will be windy, with Sunday the lesser of the 2 days making it the better choice. The Hendrickson hatch continues, the lower end of it seems to be New Hartford, and they are at least as far upstream as Pipeline/Lyman Rock (just below Still River confluence). They may be above that in Riverton, but we haven't had any reports because most fly anglers have been staying in the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA. If they haven't started yet in Riverton, they will be there very soon. There have been some spinner falls this week, but it's been hit or miss. You need those warmer, windless (mostly) and dry days to get spinners to mate and fall to the water. The books say they occur in the evenings, but we've seen them on the water here anywhere from mid morning through dusk/dark. I've often seen them overlap with the afternoon hatch, and when that happens the bigger fish will often key in on the spinners (spinners fall spent to the water and are unable to fly off and get away from the trout, they are easy pickings). Spinners can also imitate a knocked down dun that got its wings stuck in the surface tension. And FYI, rusty spinners in various sizes imitate well over 50% of Mayflies. Spinners mass in the air to mate over riffles, and the females will sport a bright yellow egg sack on their butt, males won't have one.
|#14 BMAR Hendrickson Cripple|
The Hendrickson hatch typically starts at 2-3pm and goes until late afternoon, but none of that is set in stone. Milder days see the heaviest hatches. Spinner falls have been sparse so far, but they will have to happen eventually- look for mild temps, minimal wind & no rain.
Recently stocked trout sometimes prefer gaudy flies that don't match the hatch, and "Junk Flies" (Mops, Eggs, Worms, and Green Weenies) often reign supreme and outfish normal drabber, more imitative nymphs that we fish most of the time. They will also often prefer a fly that moves or drags in the current, not a dead-dirft presentation, so let your nymphs, streamers & wets swing out at the end of each drift & try twitching them. Once the trout have been in the river for 3-4 weeks they become attuned to natural food and will start to prefer drabber flies fished on a dead-drift (mostly, with plenty of exceptions). Fishing pressure will also teach them to be suspicious of commonly fished flies. Buggers can be deadly on recently stocked trout- start with olive or black and go from there if you don't get a positive reaction. Also experiment with your retrieve, and try a plain swing with no added action if stripping it in doesn't get a response, and also try dead-drifting them like a nymph.
For streamer fishing black or olive have been really good 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 the following hybrid rig: a weighted streamer such as a conehead Bugger, Complex Twist Bugger, Zuddler, Slumpbuster, etc. with a #14-16 soft-hackle, wet fly 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 (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, 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, "curbside pick up" only. Call 860-379-1952 to place orders or have us put together your order for pick-up.
The Farmington is currently medium-high at 620cfs & dropping through the Catch & Release (C&R) area and averaging in the low 50s for water temperature in the afternoon- USGS historical normal combined flow for today is 358cfs. Riverton is 448cfs, and the Still River is adding in an additional 172cfs & dropping below it's junction with the West Branch. 8am Riverton water temp was 46 degrees this morning- downstream water temps in the C&R will be higher than this on milder/sunny days due to the Still River running warmer than the colder water from the dam.
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.