1st & 3rd pics are the Griecos,-Jason up top with an impressive spinner-eating brown, and below Mark with his grandson Jackson and an Iso eating trout. 2nd pic is a handful of wild dry fly brown trout, one of multiple that Derrick of CT Fish Guides landed during a very productive dry fly session.
Mornings & evenings remain the peak times to be out if you have a flexible schedule, and the majority of anglers are finding success with dry flies. The morning match-the-hatch dry fly game is mostly of the technical flat water variety, with small dry flies, long leaders & light tippets. Midday is slow on hatches, so think terrestrials (Ants, Beetles), attractor dries, Dry/Dropper, or do some Euro or Indicator nymphing in the faster water- look for shade if possible, and fish tight to structure (rocks, fallen trees, undercut banks, etc.). Look for deeper water, indicated by darker water, but don't ignore the knee deep & shallower stuff, mamy Evenings sees some bigger size bugs hatching in riffly water, you can find success with bigger flies (#10-18) and slightly heavier tippets. 6x is about "average" right now, but the tiny dries all but require 7x tippet, and some of the bigger evening bugs like Isonychia can be fished on 5x. It's all about getting an accurate, drag-free float, which is easier to do with lighter tippet. Most leaders come with two feet or less of tippet built is, but I find 3-4' gives me much better drag-free presentations, so I inevitably lengthen out my tippet when I fish dries. This will often also you to fish slightly heavier tippet.
Water released from the dam is still plenty cold (mid 50s) but warms slightly each week now. It was 56 degrees early this morning at the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton, and rose to about 60 degrees in mid/late afternoon yesterday. As you go downriver, temps slowly rise above that, and during the day the temps increase and peak in mid/late afternoon- especially on hotter, sunny days. Cloudy days see much lower water temps increases. In early to mid mornings, you can currently safely fish probably as far downstream as New Hartford (where we are) and even Canton, but by late morning I'd be moving upstream at least up to the mid permanent TMA/Catch & Release (Greenwoods, Church, Mathie's Grove, etc.) and upstream to stay in trout-friendly water temps. It hits about 68-70 degrees mid/late afternoon by the shop in New Hartford during sunny days, yet if you are in the upper part of the C&R/TMA (say Campground) water temps shouldn't go above the low/mid 60s. Optimum trout water temps are low 50s to mid 60s. So start further downriver in the AM, move upstream as the day warms, and ideally carry a thermometer if you aren't sure about the water temps. Highs will average 80'ish through Thursday, with night down into the low/mid 50s.
Ironically, while we would overall prefer more water coming out of the dam, this lower water has made for even more dry fly fishing. When there is a hatch, this makes for more rising trout. Less current + less depth = more energy efficient for trout to feed on/near the surface during a hatch. It's always energetically efficient for trout to feed on nymph down deep, all they have to do is suck them in. But when flows are down and the bugs are concentrated on the surface or in the surface film, it makes it much easier to eat bugs on the surface as compared to when they have to rise from deeper/faster water. Trout, especially bigger ones, have to make sure they get more energy from what they eat than they expend catching their meal, and big trout burn the most energy of all (think of a Hummer vs. a Moped when it comes to gas mileage haha).
FYI we have plenty of the hard to find "magic" UTC Sculpin Olive wire in the ever popular Brassie size (for Lance Egan's "Thread Frenchy" nymph), as well as size Small.
The brand new T&T Contact II series (10' #2, 10' #3, 10' 9" #3, 10' 9" #4 & 10' 8" #6) are now available, and now the 11' 2" #3 has joined the lineup- Zach & I (Torrey) were closely involved with the prototype development of this last rod, and on version 7 of the prototype they absolutely nailed it. New improved materials, new guide spacing , downlock reel seats are standard now (to better balance), and a new fighting butt design that is more comfortable. Recovery is noticeably better/crisper, and the actions "tweaked" for more big fish playing power, plus the newer materials they use to make the rods inherently store more energy and give the rod more power. The blanks are incredibly strong and much much harder to break. These rods are easy to cast, will give you more distance, and they deliver with improved accuracy. Retail is $825.
Tricos have joined the other small bug morning hatches (Needhami #22-26 & Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24). They run #22-26, and the spinner fall is the main event. They form balls of spinners in the air, and allegedly hit the water when the air is about 68 degrees, plus or minus a little. Typically they are an early to mid morning event, but that all depends upon air temps. They start earlier on warmer mornings, and later during cool ones.
Dry/Dropper is very effective, especially now with the lower water. This technique will let you fish slower and shallower water that can be tough to fish with Euro Nymphing or Indicators, and it lets you stay further away so you don't spook the trout. Try a small weighted nymph 18-30" below a larger buoyant dry fly. Nymphing the fast water, either Euro or with an Indy, is almost always effective. Just make sure to fish a pair of nymphs, and make sure one of them is small (as in a #18-20, give or take), and use much lighter flies than you would in the Spring. Dominant hatches include Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24 (early/mid morns), Needhami #20-26 (/late morns, have duns & spinners), and also Tricos in the moringing (#22-26, spinners are the main event, they hit the water at about 68 degrees air temp), and then assorted Blue Winged Olives #18-26 at various times during the day, and #10-14 Isonychia (later in the day, faster water only). There are also assorted Caddis #14-22 (tan, brown, black, olive/green), various Cahills/Summer Stenos (eves), assorted spinners (especially Rusty), and the big Varia/Potamanthus #8-12 (eves, slow water). Beetles & Ants are great late morning to early evening choices when hatches are sparse- you can blind fish them over likely water, or fish them to sporadic risers.
Their first nymphing clinic filled up in 2-3 days, so Antoine Bissieux & DJ Clement are put on a second Advanced Modern Euro Nymphing clinic on Saturday August 29nd from 9am-5pm- both clinics are now FULL, but we are taking down names for waiting list & future clinics. The above link 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. This is an intermediate level class (no Euro Nymphing beginners!!!), make sure you have a good grasp of euro nymphing techniques and suitable tackle (as in Euro rod) & flies before signing up.
All methods are producing at moments: Dry Flies, 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.
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The Farmington is currently low and at a total flow of 167cfs total flow through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area, and averaging in the mid 50s to upper 60s for water temps on most of the river, depending upon the weather, river section, and time of day. Riverton is 154cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in an additional 13cfs below it's junction with the West Branch. 6am Riverton water temp was 56 degrees this morning (it hit 60 yesterday in mid/late afternoon), downstream water temps are higher (upper 50s to mid/upper 60s), temps will rise during the day. Most mornings (assuming a relatively cool night) water temps are trout-friendly as far down to Canton/New Hartford, but I would not go further downriver (Collinsville/Unionville) than that, and by late morning I'd be at least several miles upstream in order to stay in trout-friendly water temps (mid permanent TMA/C&R and upstream). The further upstream you go right now, the colder the water.