Friday, May 14, 2021

Friday 5/14/21 Farmington River Report: Caddis...

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:  Up top is a beauty by Lane Finley- a stealthy approach from the opposite side of the river  did the trick on this 19.5” fish. Second is two smiling clients from Paul of Reel Adventure Outfitters. Dave Machowski’s client is third down with a long brown with unusual coloration. Fourth pic is Alex Williams again with another nice fish, and fifth down is CTFlyGuyz with one of many nice trout landed here recently. 

Lots of product arrived this week. Big order from Simms (including some new clothing, packs, vests), a huge Korkers order (both Boots & Soles), Fulling Mill (fly box restock, tippet & lots of new flies), big Book order (new titles & restocked sold-out ones), and some awesome new foil strips came in last week from Perdigonmania for tying some cool flashy Perdigons.

Quick summary of flow/water release & major hatch updates:
Flow is low 300cfs in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R), at 9am the MDC is upping the dam release from 150cfs to 310cfs, it will likely stay at that for a while because it’s for “Riparian release”- meaning to provide more water for Rainbow Dam power generation 
downriver.This will bump the total flow to the mid/upper 400cfs level- still very fishable, medium to medium-high. Hendrickson hatch is about done in the permanent TMA/C&R (might see a few), but you will still see them in Riverton above the Still River, from the Rt 20 bridge up to the dam (about 2 miles). Weather permitting (mild, dry, and not windy), you will continue to see spinner falls in the permanent TMA/C&R for another week or so- long range forecast is 70s every day, not windy, nice and dry. Caddis are a good hatch hatch now, heaviest from New Hartford (about where we are located) & downriver, but they are a light to moderate hatch in the lower to mid permanent TMA/C&R. Seeing both olive/green & tan, leaning toward green at the moment, and the pupa are doing very well fished in mornings & afternoons in the faster water. Dead-drift them, but then let them swing up at the end. Strikes can come at any point. Wet flies & soft hackles in Caddis colors can be quite effective too.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 mediumand clear at a total flow of 328cfs this morning in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release (C&R). At 9am the MDC is increasing the release from the dam in Riverton from 150cfs to 310cfs- this will push the total flow to the mid/upper 400cfs range- I’d call that medium/medium-high and very fishable. The Still River is currently running at 166cfs – it dumps in about 1/4 mile below the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton. The Still River runs warmer (well into the 50s) than the water from the dam (mid 40s) this time of year. The East Branch is releasing an additional 150cfs about 3/8 of a mile below UpCountry as of 5/13. Unionville USGS gauge is 636cfs this morning- that's a nice flow for down there, but remember it will increase by 160cfs when the additional water release reaches down there.

-Assorted Caddis #14-18 (tan, green)- good hatch New Hartford & downstream, light/moderate but fishable hatch up thru low/mid TMA/C&R
-Hendrickson #12-14- near the end, light hatch, upstream only in Riverton now (Rt 20 bridge up to the dam)- you will continue to see spinner falls downriver in permanent TMA/C&R for another week
-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)
-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

-Caddis Pupa #14-16- tan, olive/green
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #12-18
-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #12 
(Riverton only now)
-Olive Nymphs #16-18:
-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)
-Junk Flies (Mops, Eggs, Squirmies/SJWorms, Green Weenies) for higher or off-color flows 
& fresh stockers
-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, yellow
-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: 
Riverton only now
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