Friday, April 9, 2021

Friday 4/9/21 Farmington River Report: Water temps are rising & trout stocking

Our store hours through MarchMonday through Sunday, 8am-5pm, 7 days a weekWe will are now open until 6pm on weekdays (not weekends).When entering the store please try to maintain a 6ft distance from other customers if possible, and as per the governor's decree you must wear a mask/face covering of some sort inside the store. We are happy to deliver curbside if you are uncomfortable shopping inside. Just give us a call.

Farmington River Cleanup:
he annual Farmington River Cleanup on Saturday April 24 9am-3pm will be a team competition this year with awards for the most trash, strangest, biggest pile, shopping carts, and most fishing line. Everyone participating will be automatically entered into a free raffle for a T&T rod, and Simms G3 waders- click hereto sign up.

Opening Day update:
As of Thursday March 4th, Governor Lamont announced the early opening of trout fishing season to help alleviate overcrowding during COVID.What does this mean for us on the Farmington River? It’s business as usual here, as we were already open to Catch & Release (C&R) from the dam in Riverton 21 miles downstream to the Rt 177 bridge in Unionville, and that section remains C&R until the traditional Opening Day date of April 10 at 6am. All trout streams with TMAs remain Catch & Release until April 10this year, and onall trout streams that are not TMAs and fall under general regulation you are now allowed to keep a daily limit of trout.

More finned beauties for ya: top pic is Ben Canino with a BIG holdover survivor strain 2 year old brown while guided by CT Fish Guides. 2ndis Angela Ziogas with a really pretty fish that matches her jacket haha. 3rdis once again Zach, with a pretty 19” holdover brown he nymphed up just before dark.

Couple more super mild days (68-70), then back to seasonable Sunday (highs 50s-60s). Saturday looks like the day to be out this weekend with sun & clouds and a high of 70 degrees. Conditions are currently unusually good for the 2ndweek of April. Fishing has steadily been picking up, although not easy, it’s improving weekly- stocking this week should help things out in that regard. There has been limited dry fly activity, with Church Pool & Greenwoods hotspots for that. Think Early Stones & Baetis/Blue Winged Olives (BWOs). Both are an afternoon deal. Subsurface with nymphs & streamers is by far the most consistent, with some big fish coming to lucky angler’s nets. Water temps have been steadily creeping upward- Steve Hogan reported 51 degrees afternoon water temp in Unionville the other day. Riverton at the RT 20 bridge is 41 this morning, and reached 46 yesterday. Water temps are higher downriver, and reach their highest temps later in the day. With numbers like that, the Unionville/Collinsville should start seeing Hendrickson hatches downriver sometime in the next week or so. FYI it is usually a week later in the permanent TMA.

Stocking Update: This week the upper river from the dam to Whittemore was stocked, along with the lower Collinsville dam down to Rt 177 in Unionville, and also Rt 177 down to Rt 4 in Farmington. For those of you who have been struggling, it may be worth giving these sections a try. Hard to go wrong with Woolly Buggers (black, olive) & Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies, Green Weenies).

Lately it seems there is often an early to mid morning nymph bite, and then another in mid to late afternoon when it turns on again. This may be due to Behavioral Drift- a phenomena where a certain percentage of the nymphs & larva free drift downstream to redistribute the insect population early & late in the day during low light. It’s not technically a hatch, but to the trout it is- lots of bugs in the drift all at once, can make for some very good nymphing. Typically bugs in the drift will be stuff hatching in the near future, so think about what bugs will be going in about a month, and fish imitations of them, albeit maybe a size smaller. Things like Caddis Larva (regular and cased)& Pheasant Tails/Frenchies in appropriate sizes are good choices to imitate some of the Behavioral Drift bugs. FYI Blue Wing Olive nymphs are a super common item in behavorial drift almost all the time.

Normally we would be high right now in early April (median historical USGS flow for today is 599cfs), but the Farmington flow is medium & clear with a total flow of 267cfs-great level for both wading& fishing. Blue Winged Olives/BWOs/Baetis are the current glamour hatch, they are big as far as BWOs go, #16-18. This is typically an afternoon deal, and if they don’t rise fish some olive type nymphs in that size range in the afternoons. You may also see trout rise to Early Stones #14-16 in the afternoons when they are active, especially on mild, sunny days. Baetis/BWOs prefer cloudy, crappy days, it’s been sunny of lateTry also nymphs imitating Early Stones around a #14, and BMAR Hendrickson nymphs.The streamer bite has been solid lately, so don’t be shy about throwing some bigger ones to hopefully connect with some bigger trout. Play with retrieves, fly size, and fly color. 

Wrecently received a batch of the new Hardy Ultralite & Ultralite LL (Euro) rods. While I have not yet personally fished them, I got to wiggle them and they feel amazing,and I’m predicting they will be big sellers in 2021. Euro specific rods received: Ultralite LL series10’ 2” #2, 11’ 2” #2, 10’ 8” #0/2. 9’ 9” #3, and 10’ 8” #3. In the standard Ultralitethe 9’ #4, 9’ #6, 9’ #7, 10’ #4, and 10’ #5- we already hadthe 9’ #5s in the rack. Big orders of Simms, Korkers, Fishpond, Scott, Ross, Lamson arrived this week.We have also received large orders of Nature’s Spirit, Wapsi, and Hareline fly tying material orders recently. 

The new T&T Contact II series (10' #2, 10' #3, 10' 9" #3, 11' 2" #3, 10' 9" #4 & 10' 8" #6) is a home run, arguably the best Euro rods currently on the market. New improved materials, new guide spacing, down-locking reel seats are standard now, plus a new fighting butt design that is more comfortable. Recovery is noticeably better/crisper, 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, even when you do something stupid. These rods are easier to cast, will give you more distance, and they deliver with improved accuracy. Retail is $825. FYI demand is often exceeding supply with these rods, so if we don’t have what you want in stock get your name on a waiting list.

The Farmington is currently 
medium at a total flow of 267cfs through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area (historical normal total flow for today is 599cfs), and has averaged in the low to high 40s for water temps lately at the USGS temperature gauge in Riverton- depending upon the weather, river section, and time of day, look now for downriver temps to hit the mid/upper 40sand up to 50+ degrees or so on warmer, sunny afternoons. Riverton is medium-low at 167cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in another 100cfs below it’s junction. AM Riverton water temp was 41degrees this morning, water temps usually rise on sunny or mild afternoons- it hit 4yesterday afternoon there. Downstream water temps can be higher than this in the afternoons, especially on mild sunny day. East Branch is currently releasing 130cfs (last I knew) about 3/8 mile below UpCountryEntire river is currently in great shape for fishing.

Blue Winged Olives (BWO/Baetis/Olives) #16-20 (afternoons, esp. cloudy days)
Early Stoneflies #14-16: afternoons (especially sunny/mild days)
Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24: pupa & winged adults, typically early/mid AM
-Midges #20-32: anytime (365 days a year)
-Tiny Winter Black Stoneflies (Capnia) #18-24: afternoons
-Parachute Adams #1
2-24: different sizes imitate many different bugs including Midges & BWOs

Olive Nymphs #16-18
-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #12

Darker Nymphs in brown or black #14-18
Early Stoneflies #14: brown, black- most active in afternoons
-Egg Flies #10-18: assorted colors (yellow, pinks, oranges or mixed colors)
Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies/San Juan Worms, Green Weenies)
-Midges/Zebra Midges#16-22: black, olive, red
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-18
-Cased Caddis #10-14
-Blue Wing Olive #16-2
0: various patterns with & without hot spots/flash
Bigger Stoneflies #6-12: golden/yellow, brown, black- often works when smaller stuff doesn’t
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #14-20: various sizes imitate Mayfly nymphs like Blue Wing Olives, 
Hendricksons, Paraleps, etc.
-Antoine's Perdigons #14-20: black, brown, olive
-Attractor Nymphs #14-20: anything flashy, gaudy, or with a hot spot 
such asRainbow Warriors, Blue Lightning, Miller's Victim, Triple Threats,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
this time of year due to cold water temps you need to fish them deep & slow

-BMAR Yellow Matuka #6
-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 
-Woolly Buggers #2-14 (black, olive, white, brown, tan)
-Rio's Precious Metal #4 (Kreelex copper, olive)
-JJ Special/Autumn Splendor/Tequeely #4-8
-Matuka #4-8 (yellow, olive, brown)

Report by Torrey Collins