Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday 4/16/21 Farmington River Report: getcha some big trout & TMA stocking

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

Friday afternoon update
The Permanent TMA/C&R (catch & release) was stocked today. This combined with increasing water temps and more bugs every week should really get the fishing cranking. This section is from the bridge abutments at the tail of Whittemore Pool (just above the Campground on West River Rd), downstream 6.2 miles to the Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford. Any method is legal in this section, but you have to pinch your barbs and all trout caught must be released. 

More nice fish recently- get out there and fish, you just might nail one. First pic is an awesome wild by Derrick’s client Alex Rhody, wow. Next check out these 3 beauties by Zach’s son Hunter, all caught on Tuesday & Wednesday. That kid is already a force to be reckoned with. Plenty of others are nailing nice fish too. 

Farmington River Cleanup:
The 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 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. 

One last day of cold (Friday), then back into the 50s Saturday, and 60 and sunny for Sunday! Getting mixed reports on the Hendrickson hatch. Some are saying they hit a light but fishable hatch & rising fish as far upstream as the lower end of the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) in New Hartford between 12:30-4pm on Tuesday/Wednesday, but local guide Steve Hogan is saying he’s just seeing a few downriver in Collinsville/Unionville (the hatch starts downriver and works it’s way upstream). Zach has seen a very light hatch mixed with a good amount of Early Stones. I’m sure the colder temps of yesterday (Thursday) & today probably stalled/shocked the hatch, but milder weather comes back in for the weekend. So don’t expect to hit the hatch yet, but…. be prepared to possibly hit it if you get lucky and are in the right place at the right time. Forsythia are in full bloom, and that normally correlates with the Hendrickson hatch. Sunday would be the more likely day as its warmer & sunny, plus that give the river another 48 hours to drop from yesterday’s rain. Currently we are at a high flow in the mid 700cfs range, stained and dropping fast- Riverton is only 215cfs, 500+ is coming in from the Still River, but it is dropping fast. I’d guess a total flow in the 400s/500s for Saturday, and at least another 100+ cfs lower for Sunday. Friday & Saturday look like good days to throw meat if you are a streamer guy- and don’t be afraid to go big right now!

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. There has been limited dry fly activity, with Church Pool & Greenwoods hotspots for that. Think Early Stones, Baetis/Blue Winged Olives (BWOs), and now also keep an eye out for the Hnedrickson hatch. All three are afternoon deals: BWOs like crappy, overcast cooler days, Stones like warmer/sunny days, so it's usually one hatch or the other, but not both. Hendricksons are usually a mid afternoon deal, but can start as early as noonish sometimes here. 

Subsurface with nymphs & streamers is by far the most consistent currently, with some big fish getting caught. Try various #12-16 brown, black and darker nymphs (such as Pheasant Tails, Princes, etc.) that can imitate Early Stones, BMAR Hendrickson nymphs, #16-18 olive to olive brown nymphs for the Baetis/BWOs, and assorted Caddis Larva (regular & cased). Higher flows dislodge lots of cased Caddis. The streamer bite has been solid lately, so don’t be shy about throwing some bigger ones to hopefully connect with some of the bigger trout. Play with retrieves, fly size, and fly color until you hit on what works for that particular moment.

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. #14-1Hare'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.)

We recently 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 
high at a total flow of 762cfs Friday morning and dropping fast through the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) area (historical normal total flow for today is 533cfs), 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 at 215cfs from the dam on the West Branch, and the Still River is adding in another 547cfs below it’s junction and it’s dropping fast. AM Riverton water temp was 4degrees 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 UpCountry. 

-Hendrickson #12-14-just a few here & there, but be prepared in case you hit this afternoon hatch. 
 Soon will be a legit full-blown hatch, but not quite yet.

-Blue Winged Olives (BWO/Baetis/Olives) #16-20 (afternoons, esp. cloudy/
-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 #12-24: different sizes imitate many bugs including 
Hendricksons,Midges & BWOs

-Olive Nymphs #16-18
-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #12
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #1
2-20: various sizes imitate Mayfly nymphs like Blue Wing Olives, Hendricksons, Paraleps, etc.
-Darker Nymphs in brown, black, 
peacock#12-18(such as Prince Nymph)
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-18
-Cased Caddis #10-14
-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
-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 as Rainbow 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