Fall Store Hours: 7 days a week, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, and Sat-Sun 8am-5pm.
Simms G4 Pro Waders are on sale for about $150 off at $650 (normal is $799.95). You can purchase these in-store or online, we expect these to sell out quickly, and once they are gone that’s it. Simms will only be doing the zipper G4Z version of these for 2023 at $999.95.
We will be limiting the pictures in the reports to about 2 or 3 in total. Additional pics & videos will be posted on our Facebook and Instagram “Stories” (they stay up for 24 hours there). Up top is guide Derrick Kirkpatrick (CT Fish Guides) with a repeat offender wild male brown- when he caught it this Summer it taped at 22.5”, probably bigger now. Next down is Derrick’s customer Ron with a big one from the weekend. Third fish pic is once again John Stratton with another good one he “jigged up”- John is the master of the tight line jigged streamer approach.
I also posted a new pic of an actual trout redd (courtesy of R.M. Lytle) from the Farmington River & wrote a Fall Spawning PSA below so that everyone knows 1) what they look like, 2) avoids fishing to trout spawning on them, and 3) avoids walking through them and the first 15 feet below them so as not to crush the eggs before they hatch out.
Recently arrived, the brand new Diamondback Ideal Nymph Reels:
These are the most well thought out & designed Euro nymphing reels out there, the product of Joe Goodspeed who designed the Diamondback Ideal Nymph Rods. It has a full cage which makes it unlikely for long/thin leaders or Mono Rigs to work their way outside the frame. The machined tolerances are also extra tight to help with this. It has removable weights so you can fine-tune the rod/reel balance. It has an ultra large arbor, large diameter, narrow spool which is ideal for Euro nymphing where you don’t want or need a ton of line capacity- this also gives you a faster retrieve rate and less line coiling. The drag is ultra smooth to protect light tippet. The most unique feature of all is the offset reel foot, which gives you the ability to put the mass of the reel even closer to the rod butt, improving rod balance. If you need to take up slack quickly the reel is designed so you can hit the spool with your palm to rapidly take up excess line. Anywhere the line/leader can rub against the reel when stripping line has been machined round to eliminate abrasion. The Ideal Nymph reel is unique, with all the features you wanted and clever ones you never even thought about. They use the latest 5D-5 Axis machining to make this unusual & beautiful fly reel. These reels have already become a hot seller.
The T&T Contact II 10’ 9 2wt rod is an excellent addition to the best line-up of euro rods . I absolutely love it- the perfect rod for the current conditions that dictate lighter tippets & smaller/lighter flies: casts great, very sensitive, and a blast to play the fish on. It might be my new favorite rod. The length is ideal for rivers like the Farmington, allowing you to fish & cast further away, make longer drifts, casts easier/further, faster hook sets, and the soft tip will protect light 5x-7x tippets against big trout. Plenty of power in the butt section to handle bigger trout, and a bit of extra flex in the tip for better for casting thinner leaders and lighter flies. The new 2wt is a great compliment to your arsenal, especially if you already have the 3wt, which has been the “all 'rounder” for Euro Nymphing.
The entire upper 21 miles of the Farmington River, from the dam in Riverton downstream to the Rt 177 Unionville bridge, is now Catch & Release from 9/1/22 until the second Saturday in April 2023at 6am. If you see people violating this and keeping fish, PLEASE make sure to call the DEEP hotline at 800-842-HELP (4357). Program the number into your cell phone, and call!! Even if they cannot respond fast enough, the call & location of the offense is logged. The DEEP field officers add the vehicle descriptions to their database and will catch repeat offenders, but ONLY if you call it in.
Finally some good news on the flows: Due to increased inflow into Colebrook Reservoir, the MDC is currently releasing 168cfs from the dam (reading 175cfs at Riverton USGS gauge), and Lake McDonough is still releasing 100cfs into the East Branch (dumps in about 3/8 mile below UpCountry). And on top of this, the rain the past two days has pushed the Still River up, it’s currently 171cfs & dropping this morning (dumps in about ¼ mile below the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton). This puts the total flow in the permanent Catch & Release/TMA at 346cfs & dropping (I’d call that a medium level), historical median total flow for today would be 232cfs. This is a nice change from the low 50-100cfs total flow that has been the norm for the past 4 months. Also a better flow for both streamer & nymph fishing. Water is off-color but not muddy behind the shop this morning, plenty enough clarity to fish and it will increase as the day goes on (the Still River is dumping in the extra water and it clears up fast). And from the juncture of the East Branch & downstream, add another 100cfs to the flow. My guess is that there will be improved/normal flows in November the way things are setting up. Increased flows means you can bump your fly & tippet size up on your nymphs & streamers, as well as your tippet diameter. It also frequently pushes fish closer to the banks in many areas, and also gets bigger trout more active. We are still in peak color but on the downside now- some leaves have fallen, but some trees are just starting to change colors.
We are now in the beginning of the spawn, so don’t forget about eggs flies. DO NOT walk through redds (the circular/oval light colored patches in gravelly riffle water where the trout spawn & deposit their eggs), and DO NOT fish to fish sitting on the redds (they are spawning). There are plenty of non-spawning trout downstream of these areas eating eggs & bugs. FYI people are already unknowingly walking through redds, so please educate yourself & pay attention to where you walk. Best insect activity is still in the afternoon. If you must start early, use flies that are independent of hatching activity: streamers & “Junk Flies” (egg flies, Mops, Squirmy Worms, Green Weenies).
Water temp this morning is 50.5 degrees in Riverton, it reached 51 degrees there yesterday afternoon. MDC has been holding back water in the West Branch (reservoirs are about 85% full FYI) since July and doing the bare minimum releases they are allowed to do- the low flows we’ve had this year are NOT due to the drought we had this Summer. Otis Reservoir is currently letting out 30cfs (comes in above Colebrook River Lake), and the MDC has to add this to their planned water release. And typically in November they lower Highland Lake, and that will drain into the Still River (which dumps in a little below the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton).
The best fishing & hatches are typically in the11am-5pm time slot. FYI the afternoon Fall Blue Winged Olive hatches occur whether it is cloudy out or sunny, they have been running anywhere from #18-26. The other two main bugs are Tan Caddis #16-18, and Isonychia #12-14. There are also some other assorted Caddis. Virtually all of those are hatching in the late mornings/afternoons/early eves, which fits the old rule about the best time to trout fish: during the most pleasant/comfortable time of the day. The one exception to this is the Winter/Summer Caddis, which normally hatch in early to mid mornings, even in the Winter. The adults will sometimes be on the water in the evenings to egg lay.
The brown trout spawn has started. Typically on the Farmington River it occurs between mid/late October and late November, but I’ve seen spawning brown trout as late as mid January. Please leave spawning trout alone and let them do their thing. Spawning is very stressful on the trout and really depletes their bodies & energy stores, so don’t add to that. It’s okay to fish below spawning trout, usually the first deeper/darker water downstream of them finds other trout eating loose eggs. Trout spawn on what is called a redd, where the females dig circular/ovaldepressions in the shallow gravelly riffle water with good current (pool tailouts are common areas for this), and then they pair up with the males and deposit eggs there and cover them with gravel. Be aware that many eggs drift 5-15 downstream of the redds. Even after the trout are no longer spawning you want to make sure you don’t step on the redds or the water immediately below them, or you will crush/destroy the eggs & future wild trout. The trout fry hatch out & emerge from the gravel in late Winter, typically February or early March, so be careful where you tread during that time period. The redds appear as lighter colored circular/oval depressions in the darker gravel, commonly in the tail ends of the pools (can be in riffles at pool heads & side channels too). We consider it unsporting to fish for fish that are actively spawning/on the redds, plus it adds to their already high stress level (some trout die from spawning). There are always plenty of other trout to catch that are not on the redds that are pre-spawn, post-spawn, or non-spawning. Let the spawning trout do their thing unmolested and make more wild brown trout, and don’t walk on the eggs they deposited. Our river has a healthy wild brown trout population that seems to be increasing over time, and they have fantastic genetics- lets try to keep this trend going.
Riverton was stocked recently by the MDC from the dam downstream about 4 miles to Whittemore (right above the Campground)- those fresh stockers should be eager to eat small to medium streamers like Woolly Buggers (especially black, olive), “Junk Flies” (egg fies, Squirmy Worms, Mops), and Walt’s Worms/Sexy Waltz.
Fishing remains good with plenty of rising trout, and fish coming to small nymphs, wets/soft-hackles & streamers at moments. Trout are beginning to spawn, so don’t be surprised if you see trout paired up, swimming around doing weird things, andmales may spar with each other. Use streamers to piss off aggressive male browns. The entire river is in play you can fish as far downstream as you want, all the way down to Canton, Collinsville, Unionville, Farmington, and Avon.
-Blue Winged Olives #18-24: afternoons/evenings
-Assorted Caddis averaging #16-20 (tan, brown, olive, black): hatch in late mornings & afternoons (tan are most common), come back later in the day to egg-lay in riffled water
-Isonychia #12-14: faster water, afternoons/evenings
-Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24: hatching early to mid morning, sometimes go later, adults are present in the evenings
-Mole Fly #20-24 (olive, brown): deadly emerger that covers many small bugs & fools difficult trout
-Mini Chernobyl #12-16: very consistent foam bodied attractor dry, great to blind fish or rig up Dry/Dropper with a small weighted nymph under it
-Stimulator #10-14: great fast water attractor dry fly to blind fish, assorted colors
-Midges #18-28: anytime
-Small Nymphs #18-22: Assorted. In the Fall (especially during low), often the secret is just going smaller, as most nymphs are small this time of year with a few exceptions. Experiment and try drab, flashy, and with & without hot-spots.
-BWO Nymphs #16-22: various patterns, anytime
-Caddis Pupa #16-18 (tan, olive/green): a fast water go-to straight into early November
-Big Stoneflies #8-12 (gold/yellow, brown, black): first light to mid mornings
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20: various sizes imitate many different Mayfly nymphs & smaller Stoneflies
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16: anytime, all year, lots of these in the river
-Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmies/SJ Worms, Green Weenies): good during non-hatch periods, and also for higher/off-color flows & fresh stockers, or just as a change-up to natural/imitative flies after you fish through a run
-Jigged Streamers #8-12: various colors/patterns, we have a bunch of new ones
-Attractor Nymphs #12-20: anything flashy, gaudy, or with a hot spot such as Rainbow Warriors, Sexy Waltz, Prince, Triple Threats, etc.
-Midges/Zebra Midges #18-22: olive, black, red. Midges are a staple food item, especially when there aren’t many other hatches.
-Hare's Ear, Partridge & Flash, Leadwing Coachman, March Brown #12-16
*best fished 2-3 at a time, on 4-6” tag end droppers, spaced 20-30” apart
*dead drift them, swing them, twitch them, bounce them
*great for imitating Caddis and Isonychia this time of year
Fall is PRIME TIME to fish streamers, as brown trout spawning ramps up aggression
-Jigged Streamers #8-12: various patterns/colors, deadly fished on a tight-line/Euro rig
-Rio's Precious Metal #4 (Kreelex copper, olive, white)
-BMAR Yellow Matuka #6
-Zuddler #4-8: olive, yellow, white, brown, black
-Complex Twist Bugger #2-6: assorted colors
-Conehead White Marabou Muddler #8
-Woolly Buggers #2-14 (black, olive, white, brown, tan)
-JJ Special/Autumn Splendor/Tequeely #4-8 (brown & yellow streamers)
-Matuka #4-8 (yellow, olive, brown)