As of May 20th, CT
guidelines for "non essential businesses" like us changed to once again allow customers in the store.
Per new CT rules, you must wear a mask/face covering of some sort inside the store
- no exceptions.
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
Saturday the 4th of July we will be open from 8am-3pm
. All other days we are open from 8am-5pm.
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. We received a bunch of product from
Cortland (yes, 5x & 6x tippet), Loon, Rio, Tacky fly boxes,
nippers/clippers, zingers, a big Simms order and more. FYI we also got in a big book/DVD shipment Tuesday, 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".
The brand new T&T Contact II series. Literally just arrived this morning, in 10' #2, 10' #3, 10' 9" #3, and 10' 9" #4, with more models coming later this Summer. 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", and the blanks are stronger and much harder to break. Retail is $825.
|Paul McConnell with a "Red Eye Special" Bow, literally|
Top pic is customer Ben Canino with an impressive dry fly brown he managed to deceive this week. 2nd pic is Alain Barthelemy's buddy Mike whom he mentored into this pretty Brook Trout. 3rd pic down is Paul McConnell with a "Red Eye Special" Bow, crazy looking! Last fish pic is a nice brown by a client of Antoine Bissieux.
The holiday weekend is now at hand, I'm sure many of you have today (Friday) off. Looks like T-Storms for today, and then Saturday the 4th and Sunday will be sun & clouds with highs in the 80s and no rain in sight. Flows remain excellent at a medium level (about 340cfs), water is nice & cold with temps averaging in the 50s, creeping into the 60s if you go waaay downstream (Collinsville/Unionville). Fishing and hatch reports both remain good, with a variety of bugs out there. Match the fly profile & stage as best you can (Mayfly, Caddis, emerger, dun/adult, spinner, etc.), the size, and the approximate color. Doesn't matter if you cannot ID the bug or know the Latin name, just match what it looks like, paying close attention to the size and making an accurate, drag-free drift. At this point in the season, all the trout have seen a ton of fake flies and real bugs, so you need to be on your "A" game to fool them. Get as close to the as you can, and use a long tippet (3-4') to help get a drag-free float. If you get a few accurate natural presentations with no takers or you get a visible refusal, either change flies or move to another fish. A refusal means you are close, but something isn't quite right (size is slightly off, color isn't right, they want an emerger, etc.). As a last resort, sometimes a gentle twitch when the fly is a couple of feet above the trout will seal the deal. But sometimes it will spook them, so do that judiciously.
No major changes in hatches. Sulfurs are working their way upriver, not
sure of the exact bottom end, but I'd stay from the upper
permanent TMA/Catch & Release area and
upriver into Riverton if you want to catch that hatch- seeing some #16 around lunchtime, and #16-18s in the eves (prob Invaria & Dorothea). Big Isonychia
("Iso's") are all over the river almost no matter where you go, just
remember they hatch in fast water, normally later in the day sometime
between 4-5pm and dark. Lately it's been later rather than earlier, but
cooler/cloudy days often make them hatch earlier. Don't look for them in
slow pool water, only faster water. Iso dries & Iso nymphs have
been tagging some big trout lately. Plenty of other bugs too, depending
upon what river section you fish and time of day. Look for assorted
Caddis averaging #16-18, with some bigger and smaller, in various
colors. Light Cahills (eves), Attenuata (eves), small Blue Winged
Olives, and more.
Overcast weather like today makes streamer fishing a good option
if you want a change from dries & nymphs. Low light conditions and
increased flows make for a better streamer bite- the biggest trout will
often be near structure like big rocks, undercut banks, downed trees,
etc. Olive is a good starting color for streamers, but it's important to
change colors (black, brown, tan, yellow, two-tone, etc.), fly size,
fly type, retrieve, depth fished, etc. Nymphing, as always, is another
good option- target the faster water with imitations of the current bugs
& attractor nymphs. Big Stonefly nymphs are often "hot" in the
mornings. Iso nymphs, Caddis Pupa, small Mayfly nymphs are all having
their moments. Remember that Iso nymphs are great swimmmers, so always
let them swing out at the end of each drift. In addition to a specific
imiatation, bigger Princes & Pheasant Tails can also successfully
imitate Iso's, and various size Pheasant Tails/Frechies imitate many
medium to small Mayfly nymphs.
A customer found a “Tacky” fly box floating in the river by the People’s
Forest recently, and he wants to return it to the owner. You can message him
Remember this: the
further downriver you go, the more the river behaves like a natural
freestone river, meaning early & late are the prime times to be out, and you need to pay attention to water temps.
Closer to the dam the icy water (upper 40s/low 50s) means that "morning hatches" happen
later, and often the "evening hatch" can start & end before it does
downstream. Warm to hot air temps make terrestrial imitations such as
beetles & ants great choices, especially in the afternoons when
hatches are generally scarce now. You can blind fish them, or target
sporadic risers with them. Dry/Dropper with a buoyant visible dry fly
(Mini Chernobyl, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, etc.) trailing a smaller
weighted nymph 18-30" off the hook bend is another effective and fun
option when the hatches aren't coming off. And of course Euro nymphing
the faster water is always a good option when they aren't rising. First
light with streamers can produce a big trout- cover lots of water. Hot
sunny weather means that targeting shade, structure (big rocks, undercut
banks, downed trees, etc.), and faster choppy water are good ideas.
Remember that trout don't have eyelids, and they also seek concealment
from predators. The most technical midday game is fishing dries to trout
sipping in slow, flat water. Sometimes it requires a long light leader
and tiny dries, and sometimes 5-6x and a beetle or ant will fool them.
Be stealthy, wear drab colored clothing, use longer leaders, lay your
casts down gently, and make sure to make pinpoint accurate &
drag-free presentations. Lighter rods in the #2-4 range will help you
make a gentle presentation.
Be aware that bug activity varies from day to day and section to section, but also depending upon water type
Don't look for Isonychia 200 yards down a pool in the flat water, as
they are a fast water insect and that's where you will find them, at the
pool heads and in pocket water/faster water. I hear customers tell me
there were "no bugs", but then I find out they were fishing early
afternoon in flat/slow water on a bright sunny day and expecting to see
Iso's. Do your homework and learn at least a little about major hatches
(e.g. Iso's, Sulfurs) that are common and last a while. Sulfurs
typically are seen in medium-slow to medium-fast water. Mayfly Spinner
falls occur over riffles & pocket water. Caddis most commonly hatch
& egg-lay in riffles and faster water. Big trout will often drop
into the tails of pools in the evenings to feed. Bottom line is that if
you aren't seeing bugs, move around to different water types, and move
up & down the river. Fish have been hit up hard this season and are
no longer pushovers, so be on your "A" game, especially if you hope to
land some big wild browns.
FYI there are truly no secret "hot spots". The entire stretch of river from the
dam in Riverton down to Unionville (20+ miles), numerous trout spread
throughout it in very good numbers. Big trout are scattered throughout
the entire river. This
is not a river where you have to be in one of only a handful of spots to
do well. The trout are truly everywhere, a mix of 2020 stockers,
multi-year holdovers, and plenty of wild fish too. Excellent habitat and
of cold water means the trout exist in good numbers all over the river.
Yes, the 6.2 mile permanent TMA/C&R (catch & release) likely
has the highest density of trout (and the heaviest fishing pressure by
far), but.... the rest of the river holds a lot of trout too, and some
really good ones. Most years I catch my biggest trout outside
of the permanent TMA/C&R. 2020 has been a year for the books, with
an epic number of anglers venturing out trout fishing all over CT and
states. Make 2020 the year you explore new water on the
Farmington,-drive until you see some juicy looking new water unoccupied
anglers and explore it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised
Make sure to to make accurate, drag-free presentations when targeting
rising trout during hatches. Try to make your first cast be the best
one, subsequent casts often "wise the trout up" and results in refusals
or no looks at all. If you get a handful of good drifts over a fish with
no take, either change your fly, or move to another fish. Refusals
often mean your fly choice is close but not quite right, or that you are
getting subtle drag. Longer tippets in the 3-4'
range will help you get a drag-free float with your dries, and in really
tough situations you can go even longer with your tippet if it's not
windy and your fly isn't too bushy or wind-resistant.
subsurface with nymphs & wets/soft hackles is a good
choice even when it appears not much is going on. Subsurface
the trout are often chowing down on nymphs & pupa, unseen to us.
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, when nymphing start with a Caddis pupa #14-16 (tan or
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 prefer 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.
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, better fly animation, 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 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.
Nymphs imitating or suggesting
Caddis Pupa & Caddis
(olive/green #14-18), Sulfurs #16-18, Cahills #14, Blue Wing Olives/Baetis #16-20, and larger
#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,
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.
Farmington is currently medium at a nice total flow of 338cfs total flow
the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area, and averaging in
the 50s to low 60s for
water temps (depending upon the weather, river
section, and time of day)- USGS historical normal combined flow
for today is 297cfs. Riverton is 306cfs from the dam on the West
Branch, and the Still River is low and adding
additional 32cfs below it's junction with the West
Branch. 8am Riverton
water temp was 48.5 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.