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
The river has come way down from the high weekend flows (it hit 1,500+ cfs on Friday 5/1), we will be dropping under 700cfs today (a moderately high but very fishable water level). Lots of anglers braved much higher flows than this over the weekend and were quite successful, just look at the fish pics! While subsurface tactics & flies ruled the day over the weekend, quite a few fish rose to Hendricksons in the afternoons, despite the water levels. Wind yesterday & today has kept Hendrickson spinners (rusty #12-14) off the water, but when some milder days that aren't windy or rainy occur this week, look for spinners. 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.
Above average flows means some adjustment in spot selection, tactics & flies. Fish closer to the banks, on the current seams between fast & slow, away from the fastest current. Don't just wade out crotch deep and start fishing- start by the bank and work your way out, the catchable fish will often be in surprisingly close to escape the heavier currents. Look for wider pool sections, inside turns, current seams, and fish behind objects that break the current (big boulders, downed trees). You can typically up your fly size a bit, and you can fish heavier tippets too. High flows will reduce but not eliminate dry fly fishing, bigger/wider/slower pools like Church, Beaver, the Wall, School Bus, etc. seem to usually have some risers, even in higher flows. Church Pool is the "bara Milder/sunny days have seen the best Hendrickson hatching activity, with fish feeding on the surface and also gorging subsurface on the nymphs. On cooler days Blue Wing Olives have been the main afternoon hatch, with excellent dry fly fishing in some areas, and cold days have also slowed the Hendrickson hatch.
|BMAR Hendrickon Nymph|
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. Starting as early as 2pm and also mixed in with Hendricksons have been hatches of Blue Wing Olives (sz 18), and Winter/Summer Caddis (sz 20-22, more of a morning hatch), Midges #22-28, and a few Blue Quills/Paraleps (sz 16-18) have also been making appearances.
In addition to the Hendrickson hatch, we are seeing some #16-18 Blue Wing Olives (BWOs)/Baetis & Midges in the afternoons in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (more so on colder/cloudy days). Think about fishing a smaller nymph that looks like BWOs (#16-18, slim, olive to olive-brown to brown). They have been rising to bugs in some spots in the afternoons, so have the matching dries/emergers. There are also Winter/Summer Caddis & Midges. If you see splashy rises, that is probably either Caddis or Hendrickson emerger. Gentle sips are more typical of trout feeding on BWOs & Midges.
Streamer fishing has really picked up, and lately 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 703cfs & dropping through the Catch & Release (C&R) area and running in the upper 40s/low 50s for water temperature in the afternoon- USGS historical normal flow for today is 412cfs. Riverton is 456cfs, and the Still River is adding in an additional 247cfs & dropping below it's junction with the West Branch. 8am Riverton water temp was 45.5 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.