As of May 20th, CT
guidelines for "non essential businesses" like us changed to once again allow customers in the store.
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- no exceptions.
We are now open Monday through Friday 8am-6pm, and Saturday/Sunday 8am-5pm.
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stuff, fly tying materials & flies. A big "Thank You" to each and every one of our customers.
-Grady & Torrey
Farmington River Report
We are in the front end of what I like to call "Crazy Time", when all sorts of hatches are coming off in the same day. Hatch times have varied markedly from day to day, and also in different river sections. Sulfurs #14-18 (Invaria & Dorothea) have been popping anytime from lunchtime to dark, #10-12 March Browns are hatching sporadically in the faster water, there are tons of assorted Caddis (averaging #14-18, but some bigger & smaller) hatching & egg-laying just about anytime, and there are even big Isonychia ("Iso's") hatching downriver (Collinsville/Unionville/Canton) in late afternoon/eves. Hotter/sunny days will often push afternoon/early evening hatches to dusk and earlier morning, cooler/cloudy days will see "evening hatches" begin & end earlier. Further upriver, closer to the dam, afternoon & evening hatches will begin & end earlier due to colder water temps, downriver many hatches will happen more in the evenings- don't leave the river early!!! On average, dusk to dark has been peak bug activity more often that not of late. It is becoming a "bug soup" out there, Antoine tells me he's have good luck blind fishing all sorts of dries in relatively shallow water, even when the trout aren't rising. Ants, Mini Chernobyls, and beetles are all great flies to blind fish and pull trout to the surface. In riffled/broken/choppy water, also try Elk Hair Caddis (not a good choice in flat water though).
Top pic is guide DJ Clemente with the same 20" wild brown I caught 2 weeks ago- it was in 8" of water, he deceived it with a Caddis pupa (and so did I). 2nd pic is a 20" brown by Antoine Bissieux's client Bill Ryder. 3rd down is Dave Machowski with a very nice brown, 4th pic is Zach's client with a beautiful and unusually spotted brown. 5th pic is "DJ" Paul of Reel Adventure Outfitters with a nice brown.
Fishing subsurface with nymphs & wets/soft hackles is also a very good choice, especially when it appears not much is going on. Subsurface however, the trout are often chowing down on nymphs & pupa. Look for the medium to fast water (pool heads, fast runs, riffles, pocket water), and seek out current breaks & seams. Experiment with flies, as the best ones can and will vary throughout the day. If you are unsure, start with a Caddis pupa #14-16 (tan or olive/green) & Pheasant Tail/Frenchy #14-18 combo, it covers a lot of bases. If you get out early, nymph the fast water with big Stonefly nymphs, this is usually good from first light to 10am or so (later if it's cooler/cloudy out). The big stones crawl out onto the rocks overnight and in the early to mid morning, and that's when the big nymphs #6-12) end up in the drift. For wets/soft hackles, fish at least 2 flies (I like 3 for that), and pick flies to imitate Caddis (bodies of Hare's Ear, green, or olive), and others with yellow bodies to imitate the various Sulfurs. The Partridge & Orange is an old standby that is in most serious anglers top 3 soft hackles. Wets & soft hackles are particularly good in the evenings when fish move into shallow water to feed just subsurface right before & during evening hatches.
FYI a classic Euro nymphing mistake I see a ton
of people do is picking out the heaviest anchor flies that we have in the bins. One of the biggest Euro myths is that you have to dredge the river bottom to catch fish
. Yes, in the high/cold flows of March & April and in the Winter you will primarily be using heavier anchor flies with 3.5-4mm beads on them, and maybe heavier dropper flies too- this puts them in the face of lethargic cold water trout that won't move much at all to eat your flies. The past month plus though, I've mostly fished anchors no bigger than a #14 with no more than a 3mm bead, occasionally using a 3.5mm (1/8") bead for truly deep, fast water
, and bigger nymphs when bigger bugs are active (March Browns, big Stoneflies, Isonychia, etc.). Droppers have ranged from #14-18 with 2mm-3mm beads
. You don't have to be on bottom this time of year, 1/2 to 3/4 the way down is normally plenty deep
(and can even be too deep during a hatch, that's when wets flies/soft hackles beat out nymphs). Water temps are optimal, there a lots of bugs hatching & in the drift, and trout are feeding throughout the water column. As long as you are getting your flies down and in touch with them, you will do fine. Be aware that when fishing lighter flies, strikes are primarily visual, so watch your sighter like a hawk. I've hardly lost any flies lately, because I'm hardly ticking bottom at all, but I'm catching plenty of trout. If you are ticking bottom multiple times per drift, snagging bottom frequently, or losing a bunch of flies to bottom snags, your flies are way too heavy. Lighten up and I guarantee you will catch more trout, have better strike detection, and lose way less flies.
Sunday night 5/31 FYI I (Torrey) lost my big wooden Brodin Pere
Marquette net (33" x 20" x 15" with a deep black mesh bag) off the top
of my car, somewhere between UpCountry and the Satan's Kingdom tubing
parking lot- 5 mins later it was already gone. If you know anybody who
might have found a net in that vicinity, I'd be much obliged as that net
has strong sentimental value and has netted more big fish than I can
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. During hatching activity where you see bugs and
occasional rising trout, keep all your flies unweighted and fish near
the surface. If it's slow and trout don't seem willing to move to your wets, use a lightly to moderately weighted
soft-hackle or nymph on the point position to get your rig down deeper
where the trout are. 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.
Remember the beloved Grey's Streamflex rods? If you liked them, you will
love what I'm about to tell you: Pure Fishing has released an updated
version of the Streamflex series under the Fenwick name, using the
latest materials that
give the rods even improved rod
recovery and durability. These rods feel
fantastic in the hand. We have these in the Euro specific models, The
11' #3 & #4 Streamflex have an MSRP of $349.95-
we are selling them for $265. The also do a Streamflex Plus that goes
from 10' to 10' 6"- a six inch extension piece hides in the handle and
can be put in or out in seconds. We have the 10' #3 Streamflex Plus
(goes up to 10.5')- MSRP is $379.95, we are selling it for $285.
Nymphs imitating or suggesting
Caddis Pupa & Caddis Larva
(olive/green #14-16), Sulfurs #14-18, Vitreus #12-14, March Brown #10-12, Blue Wing Olives/Baetis #16-20, and larger Stoneflies
#6-12 (golden, brown, black) have all had their
moments. Also try attractor patterns (gaudy flies with hot spots, flash,
UV materials, or unusual colors), sometimes they will outfish the usual
drabber flies for reasons only know to the trout. It can be worth trying
nymphs such as Stoneflies & Mops- larger nymphs sometimes
interest larger trout (more calories in a single bite, just like with
streamers). Bigger nymphs can also be better in higher and/or off-color flows. 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 better than a "perfect" drabber imitation. 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 exactly 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 on Pheasant Tails, Frenchies & Hare's Ears. The shape (tails,
slimmer abdomen, thicker thorax),
color (brown) and size match up to the real Mayflies. I've caught many a
rising trout during various Mayfly, Caddis & Midge hatches on a Parachute Adams
after they refused a dozen different dun, emerger, cripple & spinner
For streamer fishing
black, olive, brown and white are great starting colors, but make sure to
experiment and let the trout tell you what they
want. Other often good colors are yellow and tan. Two tone streamers such a brown/yellow, olive/yellow, etc.
can sometimes be the ticket. Try the following hybrid rig: a
weighted streamer such
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. Streamers will produce fish if
fished properly. The low light of early & late in the day are the prime times, but if you target structure & shade you can catch fish on them during midday. 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
Current Store Hours:
8am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends.
The Farmington is currently medium-low at a very wadeable 255cfs total flow through
the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area and averaging in
the low to high 50s for
water temperature in the afternoon (depending upon the weather, river section, and time of day)- USGS historical normal combined flow
for today is 311cfs. Riverton is 227cfs from the dam on the West
Branch, and the Still River is adding
additional 28cfs below it's junction with the West
Branch. 8am Riverton
water temp was 47 degrees this morning, downstream water temps are higher, temps will rise during the day. Sunny days will see the biggest increases (peaking in late afternoon), and the further you get from the dam, the higher the temps.