Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday 4/13/21 Farmington River Report: thinks are picking up

Our store hours through MarchMonday through Friday, 8am-6pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-5pmWe are now open until 6pm on weekdays (not weekends) and will be on that schedule through OctoberWhen 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.

Plenty more big trout. Aiden, a client of Derrick this past weekend, with the biggest of SIX (!) 18" plus fish landed on a guide trip- this wild fish taped out at a little under 22"!!! Next is a clean looking brown by Lane Finely, and 3rd is Gordon Perkins with a quality fish. 

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 here to sign up

We just got in one last batch of Strolis Infant Stones, tungsten #14s- 100 brown, 100 black. The brown ones can also double as a Hendrickson nymph. Great fly pattern, get 'em before they sell out again. 

So here is the latest: Fishing is finally picking up recently, albeit it's still mostly subsurface with nymphs, streamers & wet flies/soft hackles. Everything but the permanent TMA/CAtch & Release (C&R) was stocked last week. The Hendrickson hatch is imminent- a few have been spotted in Canton/Collinsville/Unionville, but not enough to call it a "hatch" yet. I imagine it will get going in that section sometime later this week, and once it starts there it should should up in the permanent TMA/C&R about a week later and work it's way upstream over time. Cold weather Thursday/Friday may stall the hatch out a bit, but it goes back up into the 50s over the weekend (60s today & Wednesday!). 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: BWOs like crappy, overcast cooler days, Stones like warmer/sunny days, so it's usually one hatch or the other, but not both. Subsurface with nymphs & streamers is by far the most consistent, with some big fish getting caught. 

Stocking Update: Last week the entire river outside of the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA was heavily stocked. Hard to go wrong with Woolly Buggers (black, olive) & Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies, Green Weenies) it you are fishing for fresh stockers. #14-16 Hare's Ears typically work well too. The permanent TMA/C&R will get stocked at some point later this month (Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford upstream to bridge abutments at tailout of Whittemore, just above the Campground entrance.)

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/medium-low at a total flow of 239cfs through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area (historical normal total flow for today is 553cfs), 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 40s and up to 50+ degrees or so on warmer, sunny afternoons. Riverton is medium-low at 157cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in another 82cfs below it’s junction. AM Riverton water temp was 41degrees this morning, water temps usually rise on sunny or mild afternoons- it hit 43 yesterday afternoon there. Downstream water temps can be higher than this in the afternoons, especially on mild sunny days. East Branch is currently releasing 25cfs (last I knew) about 3/8 mile below UpCountryEntire river is currently in great shape for fishing, normally in April it would be MUCH higher.

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)
-Parachute Adams #1
2-24: different sizes imitate many bugs including Hendricksons, Midges & BWOs

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

Darker Nymphs in brown or black #14-18

-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #14-20: various sizes imitate Mayfly nymphs like Blue Wing Olives, Hendricksons, Paraleps, etc.

-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
-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 Threatsetc.

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

-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