Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday 5/11/21 Farmington River Report: transition time

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. 

New fish pics:  Alexis Williams up top, picking up things fast with a nice holdover while coached by Jason Grieco. Second down is Kerri, a client of Derrick (CT Fish Guides) with one of many on a guide trip. Third pic is one of several decent sized Brookies I caught after work this past weekend. Last but certainly not least is local guide Steve Hogan with a real quality brown.

River has come down and is getting back in nice shape- wehave good clarity are at a total medium-highflow of 509cfs & dropping this morning, Riverton is 178cfs from the dam, and two miles below the dam the Still River is adding in 331cfs. Last I knew the East Branch was adding in another 200cfs 3/8 mile below UpCountry (they may have reduced it, and if not they will soon). Hendrickson hatch is still going but we are getting into the tail end of it- I’d look for it from the upper permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R) from about Campground and up to the dam. You will still continue to see spinner falls throughout the TMA/C&Rand downstream too when weather conditions are favorable for it (mild, no rain, not windy). Spinner falls normally continue for a good week after the hatch is done in any given section. Most days the hatch has been on the light side, lasting anywhere from 15-30 minutes up to 1-2 hours. 

We are starting to see a few Caddis (olive/green, tan) in the #14-18 range in the lower/mid TMA/C&R- not quite enough yet to call it a fishable hatch, but any day now. If you go downriver I hear it’s a legit hatch, just be aware that down in Collinsville, Unionville, Farmington, Avon, etc. its a much bigger river and at the moment it’s kinda high down there (1,090cfs and dropping at the Unionville gauge)- I’d wait for the flows to drop more in that section. Caddis Larva in olive/green work all year on the Farmington, and when the Caddis hatches get going nymphing the faster water with a pupa in olive/green or tan is DEADLY. Soft-hackles & wet flies fished on the swing, ideally 2-3 at a time on tag-end droppers, can also be quite effective when Caddis are active. Its been on the cooler side lately, generally not breaking 60 degrees for air temps, but starting Thursday the daily highs are mid/upper 60s every day- this should help to get the Caddis going later this week. We continue to see Blue Winged Olives (BWOs)/Baetis on cloudy, crappy days in the afternoons, not so much on sunny days. There has also been some pretty solid streamer action of late- flow bumps & overcast weather are typically catalysts for a good streamer bite. 

The books say the Hendrickson spinner fall happens in evenings, but on the Farmington I’ve seen them mid to late morning, at lunchtime, mixed with the mid afternoon hatch, and also in the evenings. Look for mild days with minimal wind and no rain- if conditions are not right, the spinners mass over the riffles, but instead of mating in the air and dropping spent onthe water, they go back into the trees and wait for better conditions. But when a spinner fall does happen, it often brings some of the biggest trout to the surface. Where riffles dump into pools is a spinner fall hotspot, but pool tails often also are great in the evenings for big trout. Make sure to bring your “A” game for the pool tails: long leaders, stealthy wading, and delicate drag-free presentations. 

Don ties a cool Parachute Egg Sack Spinner for UpCountry, and don’t forget to grab some Dick Sablitz Hendrickson/ Red Quill Soft Hackles, and some of Bruce’s BMAR Hendrickson nymphs.

Stocking Update: The entire river has been heavily stocked multiple times including quite recently, the permanent Catch & Release (C&R)/TMA was stocked in mid April. Hard to go wrong with Woolly Buggers (black, olive) & Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies, Green Weenies) it you are fishing for fresh stockers. #14-18 Hare's Ears typically work well too. 

We received a batch of the new Hardy Ultralite & Ultralite LL (Euro) rods. While I have not yet personally fished them, they feel amazing in handand 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 Ultralite the 9’ #4, 9’ #5, 9’ #6, 9’ #7, 10’ #4, and 10’ #5. 

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, the best Euro rods currently on the market according to most serious Euro nymphers. 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 running medium-high and clear at a total flow of 509cfs & dropping this morning in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R). Riverton is 178cfs two miles below the dam, and the Still River is adding in an additional 331cfs (and receding) about 1/4 mile below the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton. The Still River runs warmer (50s) than the water from the dam (mid 40s) this time of year. The East Branch was releasing and additional 200cfs about 3/8 of a mile below UpCountry as of 5/5, they may or may not have reduced it since then, and if not they will cut it back very soon. Unionville USGS gauge is 1,090cfs & dropping this morning- that's fairly high for down there FYI.

-Hendrickson #12-14- mid afternoon light hatch & nearing the end, moved upstream from about upper permanent TMA/C&R (Campground) up to the dam in Riverton
-Rusty Spinner #12-14: imitates Hendrickson spinners, try Don’s Parachute Egg Sack Spinner
-Blue Winged Olives (BWO/Baetis/Olives) #16-20 (near the end, afternoons on cloudy/crappy days)
Assorted Caddis #14-18 (tan, green)- mostly downriver, but a few are popping in low/mid TMA/C&R
-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

-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #12
-Olive Nymphs #16-18
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-18
Caddis Pupa #14-16- tan, olive/green
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20: various sizes imitate Mayfly nymphs like Blue Wing Olives, Hendricksons, Paraleps, etc.
-Cased Caddis #10-14 
(especially after flow bumps)
-Egg Flies #10-18: assorted colors (yellow, pinks, oranges or mixed colors)- 
works on fresher stockers
Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies/SJWorms, Green Weenies) for higher or off-color flows 
-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, Haast Haze, Blue Lightning, Miller's Victim, Triple Threats, etc.

Soft-Hackles/Wet Flies:
-Hendrickson Soft Hackles #12-14- Dark Hendrickson & Red Quill (tied by Dick Sablitz- deadly)
Assorted Patterns #10-18: Hare's Ear, Partridge & Orange/Green/Yellow, Partridge & Flash, Starling & Herl, Leadwing Coachman, March Brown, Partridge & Pheasant Tail
-best fished 2-3 at a time, on tag end droppers

-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