Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tuesday 11/24/20 Farmington River Report: Brown Town

Nice trout are showing up in angler catches every single week, the top pic is Derrick’s client Andrew Dickson with a 20.5” brown, next down is Kevin Wietsma with one of many quality browns landed recently from a “secret spot” haha :)- this one is a holdover Two Year Old Survivor Strain (notice clipped adipose). 3rd down is a VERY photogenic brown by Lane Finley.

We recently received some massive fly tying materials orders &  from Wapsi , , Nature’s Spirit and Fulling Mill

Fishing AdviceCurrently fishing is a mix of nymphing, streamer fishing, with some dry fly action here & there. Current hatches include Winter/Summer Caddis in the AM, and Blue Winged Olives & Midges in the afternoons. Subsurface has been the most consistent, dry fly fishing has been spotty in the afternoons, maybe due to the constantly changing weather lately? Think slower & deeper as water temps drop, lethargic trout don’t like to move far to eat. Make it easier for them to eat and you will put some fish in your net. Play with your retrieves, flies (especially color) & rigging when streamer fishing, make sure you are getting them down deep. Try both fast retrieves, but as slower ones as the water temps continue to slowly decrease. If nymphing, two fly rigs rule the day. Try a medium to large nymph (#8-14) paired up with a smaller one (#16-22). Your bigger fly can be a Junk Fly (Mop, Worms, Weenies) or something more imitative like a Stonefly, and your small fly can be a Midge, Baetis/Blue Winged Olive (BWO) nymph, or something generic like a Pheasant Tail (“PT”). Most nymphs/larva/pupa are smaller this time of year, and BWOs (Blue Winged Olives) are the dominant November bug- typically a #18-20 is the way to go in nymphs (the dries are normally in the #22-24 range and even smaller). Look for BWO hatches in the afternoons, especially on crappy cool, overcast days. While the red hot egg bite is past, eggs are still effective and will work well straight through the Winter and into even the early Spring. Trout are genetically programmed to eat eggs: real ones have lots of calories/protein, and they cannot escape. This holds true on all trout species whether they are stocked, holdover or wild.

Water temps and best time of day to fish:

Cooler late Fall nights and colder water means you don’t need to start at the crack of dawn unless you are trying to hit the early to mid morning Winter/Summer Caddis hatch. Other than that, the late morning to late afternoon time slot will typically be more productive, as it puts you into rising water temps and more active trout. It’s not so much the absolute water temp as it is the relative temperature change. As long as temps are moving toward optimal, it tends to get the trout feeding. Temps moving away from optimal tend to shut them down. After a really cold night, in the morning the water further downriver will be colder than the water coming out of the dam, because the dam water comes out the same temp all day long regardless of the air temps. As water flows downstream, it will warm or cool depending on ambient air temps and sunlight. As the day progresses, if it’s mild & sunny the downstream sections can see warmer water temps than the section up near the dam. It’s a particularly good idea to carry a thermometer this time of year.

For those of you who have struggled this Fall, the MDC stocked up in Riverton (Rt 20 Hitchcock/Riverton Self Storage bridge up to the dam, about 2 miles) on 11/4 with 1,700 “large” (over 12”) Rainbow trout. Rainbows tend to be more aggressive eaters than brown trout, and they have not yet been fully “educated” by anglers. If you are looking for something different to do, the CT DEEP has so far recently completed TWO 2020 Atlantic Salmon stocking in the nearby Naugatuck River- 2 more Salmon stockings to come in the very near future. Swung & stripped streamers are typically the way to go for the salmon. They love to lay in the pool tailouts, especially near rocks. Try streamers especially in yellow, white, and black, as well as other colors, and keep your tippet heavy as in 0-2x.

Our most popular jig hook, the Hanak 450 Jig Superb, is now finally available in #18, and we have them in stock. Just in time for tying the nymphs of late Summer/early Fall. The hook design is excellent: ultra wide gap for better hooking, curled in barbless point, and a slightly short shank to tie smaller bugs. Ends up being more like a #20, but with the gap of at least a #16. If you want a similar hook with slightly heavier wire that is available in smaller sizes, try the Fasna F-415; it goes all the way down to a #20 and runs about one size smaller than the Hanak. A #16 Fasna is about the size of a Hanak #18.

Hot New Rods:
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 for casting and playing big trout. 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.


Current Store Hours:
8am-5pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends.

The Farmington is currently at a total flow of 379cfs & dropping through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area (historical normal total flow is 360cfs), and averaging low to upper 40s for water temps- depending upon the weather, river section, and time of day. Riverton is at 243cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in an additional 136cfs below it's junction with the West Branch. AM. Riverton water temp was 46.5 degrees this morning, look for temps to slowly creep downward now that seasonable, cooler November weather is back. Downstream water temps have been cooler in the mornings after colder nights.

*Blue Winged Olives #20-26: afternoons, especially cloudy/crappy days
Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24: pupa & winged adults, typically early/mid AM
*Midges #20-32: anytime
(365 days a year)
-Parachute Adams #1
2-24: different sizes imitate Isonychia, BWOs, Midges, Caddis and much more

er Nymphs #16-22: size more important than exact pattern, but definitely experiment
Blue Wing Olive #16-22: various patterns with & without hot spots and flash
Egg Flies #10-18: assorted colors (yellow, pinks, oranges or mixed colors)
Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies/San Juan Worms, Green Weenies)
*Zebra Midge #1
6-22: black, olive, red
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-1
Cased Caddis #12-14
-Stoneflies #
8-12: golden/yellow, brown, black
& Pheasant Tails #14-20: various sizes imitate Mayfly nymphs like Blue Wing Olives, Cahills, Isonychia, also smaller Stoneflies and many others
-Antoine's Perdigons #14-20: black, brown, olive, yellow
-Attractor Nymphs #1
4-20: anything flashy, gaudy, or with a hot spot. Try the Haast Haze, Rainbow Warrior, Blue Lightning Bug, Miller's Victim, Triple Threat, Princes, etc.

Soft-Hackles/Wet Flies:
Assorted Patterns #10-18: Hare's Ear, Partridge & Orange/Green/Yellow, Partridge & Flash, Starling & Herl, Leadwing Coachman, March Brown, Partridge & Pheasant Tail
in colder water get them deeper using weighted point flies, sinking leaders, or sink-tips/sinking line

BMAR Yellow Matuka #6
-Muddler Minnow #6-10: unweighted is very versatile- float, swing, dead-drift, strip/twitch, dangle- you can do all 5 presentations in one drift, use split shot to sink it if needed
-Zuddler #4-8:
olive, yellow, white, brown, black
-Complex Twist Bugger & Mini version #2-6: assorted colors
-Sculp Snack #8 (George Daniel pattern)
-Home Invader #2-6- tan, black, white, yellow 
-Foxeee Red Clouser Minnow #6
-Dude Friendly #8 (white, yellow, natural)
-Woolly Buggers #2-14 (black, olive, white, brown, tan)
-Rio's Precious Metal #4 (Kreelex copper, olive)
-JJ Special/Autumn Splendor/Tequeely #4-8:
brown & yellow is a DEADLY Fall color combo
-Matuka #4-8 (yellow, olive, brown)

Cortland's "Top Secret" Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon tippet has a glass-smooth Plasma finish and is by far the best and strongest stuff out there: it has the most abrasion resistance, stretch, flexibility & clarity. Total game-changer, and an extra-good choice if you like to nymph with lighter tippets - here's a link to purchase it off our site: http://www.farmingtonriver.com/cortland-top-secret-ultra-premium-fluorocarbon/

Report by Torrey Collins