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Farmington River Report
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.
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.
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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 in an 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.