We are now open Monday through Friday 8am-6pm, and Saturday/Sunday 8am-5pm.
You can 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.
Website and Phone Orders get free shipping at $50. Please take advantage, we typically ship the same day if you call by 3pm.
Your continued support has kept our store open so we can keep supplying you with the best fly fishing stuff, fly tying materials & flies. A big "Thank You" to each and every one of our customers.
-Grady & Torrey
Farmington River Report
The brand new T&T Contact II series in 10' #2, 10' #3, 10' 9" #3, and 10' 9" #4, with more models coming later this Summer (11' 2" #3, and maybe one more...). New improved materials, new guide spacing (stripping guide is closer to handle to reduce line sag), downlock reel seats are standard now (to better balance the rod), and a new fighting butt design that is more comfortable. Recovery is noticeably better, actions were "tweaked" for more big fish playing power, and the blanks are incredibly strong and much much harder to break. These rods cast beautifully- easy to cast, extra distance, and accurate. Retail is $825.
Found somewhere in the People's State Forest area: the butt section of a 2 piece custom Sage rod, stop by UpCountry if you think it might be yours.
Top pic is a stunning dry fly brown this week by Jonathan Bye, it's flawless and just shy of 22". 2nd down is once again a client of Zach St. Amand, Thomas, with a 20 3/4" brown tricked with a Dry/Dropper rig (very effective this time of year). 3rd pic is Mark Swenson's smiling friend & client Judith Fifield proudly holding up a big beautiful brown. 4th pic is local guide Derrick of CT Fish Guides with one several high quality browns he caught this week- check out the cool blue cheek dot. Last fish pic is Zach's client again, this time veteran John with a really nice brown.
SECOND full day Advanced Modern Euro Nymphing clinic next month on the following weekend of Saturday August 29nd from 9am-5pm, cost will be $125, class is limited to 8P. The above link in red is clickable and will take you to the page with all the details about this class. Learn what the top competitive anglers from France, Spain, Czech Repbulic & Poland are doing to outfish everybody else. Euro Nymphing has totally evolved over the past 15+ years. This is not an intro to Euro Nymphing, you need to have a basic grasp of the technique and suitable tackle.
We apologize if we've been out of some products, but due to the Coronavirus there have been interruptions in the supply chain. That combined with incredibly high consumer demand and slow shipping from some suppliers is leading to empty spots on our walls/shelves. We're doing our best to fill in the holes. FYI we recently received a big book/DVD shipment, including the new "Adaptive Fly Fishing" DVD by Lance Egan & Devin Olsen, the new John Gierach book "Dumb Luck and the Kindness Of Strangers", and Charlie Craven's latest book "Tying Streamers". We are receiving new product daily, and there are lots of cool new flies in the bins.
The water is still coming out of the dam in Riverton nice and cold at about 50-51 degrees, and then rising slowly as you move downriver away from the dam. If you plan on fishing the lower river during hot weather, please do so in the mornings when water temps are at their coolest, and then migrate upriver to colder water. In the early to mid AM, streamers, nymphs and dries are all possibilities. Match the hatch if you have risers, chuck streamers for big fish, blind fish big Stoneflies in the fast water, or try a Dry/Dropper rig with a buoyant dry trailed 18-30" below with a small weighted nymph.
Zach St. Amand, Rich Strolis & myself all met independently Joe Goodspeed recently to test out version seven of the T&T Contact II 11' 2" #3 prototype, and we all loved it. Look for that model to appear in the production Contact II lineup around mid/late August, it casts even better than the original Contact 11' 3" #3, has more fish playing power, and is incredibly durable.
Getting reports of a brownish #16 Caddis in the eves around New Hartford, and a lot of anglers are reporting big creamish yellow #8-12 Mayflies in the evenings in the slow water (prob mainly Varia, aka the "Yellow Drake", maybe some Potamanthus mixed in too) all over the river. You may not see Isonychia hatching in numbers, but despite that trout are always on the lookout for that big #10-12 bug, both the dry and the nymph. The bugs you will see hatching will depend upon which section of the river you are in, and the water type (fast, medium, or slow)
FYI many of you are telling me you are seeing small Sulfurs hatching all over the river in the evenings. The actual Sulfurs (Dorothea, Invaria) are only up in Riverton now, closer to the dam and coldest water. Just like every other hatch, they start downriver and work their way upriver. Many of these reports are actually Attenuata, which would more accurately be lumped in with Blue Wing Olives. If you grab one in hand, they are a bright greenish yellow, verging on chartreuse, and their wings & legs are cream colored. They run #18-20, and most commonly hatching in the evenings, although you may see them in mid/late afternoon when you are upriver closer to Riverton. FYI the winged Dun emerges from the nymph on the stream bottom, and then rises/swims to the surface, and then the Dun rides the surface like a typical Mayfly. Quill Gordons & Vitreus have this same hatching behavior.
I try to give you guys a lot of info on here, but it's hard to pin down the exact time of day various bugs hatch on this river. It varies depending on how far below the dam you are, and also according to daily weather. The unusually cold water coming out of a deep reservoir makes info in the hatch books often inaccurate on our river and often means we see hatch activity at time of the day you won't see them on freestone rivers. We are seeing assorted Blue Winged Olives (aka BWOs/Olives) all over the river, ranging anywhere from early mornings to evenings, and everything in between. They are currently the most numerous bug far, ranging from #16-18 (Cornuta?) all the way down to #24-26, maybe even smaller. They hatch best on overcast days, but are also showing up on sunny days. Don't forget to imitate their spinners in the eves with a Rusty Spinner, so many people don't realize when fish are sipping and porpoising on spinners. Big trout luvvv spinners! Nuff said. In the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R), overall the heaviest hatching is in the eves, going to darkness and beyond. Look down below for a list of hatches & dry flies. July is a big Isonychia (Iso) month, look for them in fast water, anytime from late afternoon right up until dark. Plenty of other bugs are hatching/egg-laying in the eves- Sulfurs (Riverton), Cahills, assorted Caddis, Potomanthus/Varia (BIG yellowish Mayflies), Attenuata, and more. Midges are always a possibility, anytime.
The majority of anglers are fishing dries, and many are giving us good reports, especially in the evenings. All other methods are producing at moments: Dry/Dropper, Nymphing (both Euro & Indicator), Streamers, and Wet Flies/Soft Hackles. If you haven't yet tried it, Dry/Dropper with a buoyant dry like a terrestrial (Beetles, big Ants), Isonychia, Stimulator, or other attractor dry, and a small weighted nymph (#16-18) dropped underneath it, is both very fun and quite effective. 18-24" is a good starting distance between flies, but go longer if you aren't catching fish or you are in deeper water. FYI the bug activity has many quality trout holding in shallower, broken water. Don't limit yourself to only waiting for bugs and rising trout, as some days you won't be in the right spot, or maybe you don't want to brave the often crowded conditions in the popular, known "dry fly" pools. Dry/Dropper lets you have the pleasure of fishing a dry, and some fish WILL eat the dry. You can also blind fish the same type dries with no trailing 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 noticeably improved rod recovery and durability (30% increase). 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.
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 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. 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 success.
Current Store Hours:
8am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends.
The Farmington is currently medium at a nice total flow of 328cfs total flow through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area, and averaging in the mid 50s to mid 60s for water temps on most of the river (depending upon the weather, river section, and time of day)- USGS historical normal combined flow for today is 230cfs. Riverton is 262cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in an additional 66cfs & dropping below it's junction with the West Branch. 8am Riverton water temp was 51 degrees this morning, downstream water temps are higher (50s-60s), 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.