Friday, November 3, 2023

Friday 11/3/23 Farmington River Report: Flow Cut Friday morning

Store Hours
: 8am-5pm, 7 days a week

We recently purchased another huge collection of quality fly tying materials. Stop by and check it out. Hooks, dry fly necks, streamer necks, dubbing, flash, squirrel, used vises, tying tools, fur, zonker strips, rubber legs, deer hair, foam, and LOTS more.

Additional 10% off used & clearance fly rods & reels over $500 (in store only). Clothing is 20% off the marked price. All Landing Nets are 10% off the marked price. The sale merchandise is going fast as it's rare that we mark things down during the height of the season.... but we can use some income after the slow summer we had, and you, our loyal customers, should benefit.

UpCountry has also purchased a giant collection of Used graphite, bamboo & fiberglass fly rods, used fly reels & classic fly reels. Most of this equipment is very affordably priced and will only be offered in store to our walk in customers. There are lots of classic Orvis, Hardy, Pfleuger, custom and much more. Come and take a look before someone gets there first. Most items are between $10 - $200 with a few higher end bamboo rods mixed in. If you have ever considered buying an affordable bamboo rod to fish with, this is the time, we have some great rods from $100-500 dollars and a few premium ones for the more experienced bamboo aficionado.

Friday morning 11/3:
Pictured up top is Zach’s long time client Tim O. with a 21” plus wild male brown, what a beautiful fish.

MDC just sent us an email, they made a 100cfs flow reduction at 9:30am below Goodwin Dam in Riverton, which will bring the total flow down around 615cfs through the year round Catch & Release (C&R) area, and put Riverton at about 440cfs. Still River is 175cfs. Water temp is 55.5 degrees in Riverton this morning, colder than that downriver in the mornings and then rises and peaks in mid/late afternoon. I’d label this flow as medium-high to moderately high, but certainly quite fishable in all the main pools- just fish a little closer to the stream edges, out of the heavier current. The East Branch was reduced from 100cfs to 50cfs at 10am (East Branch come in about 3/8 mile below UpCountry, above Satan’s Kingdom). Weekend looks great with highs up around 60 and nights down to 40.

Per Zach & Derrick spawning is full blown this week, so keep you eyes out for redds. People have already been observed standing right in obvious redds and also wading through them- don’t be that person! Redds are light colored oval areas in gravelly riffles where the brown trout are currently spawning. By late November 90% of the browns will have completed spawning. Egg flies are very effective right now, especially downstream of spawning areas.

Smaller wild browns 6-10” and 4-8” Atlantic Salmon Parr have been active all October and have been the most common catch, but bigger wild & holdover browns in the 16-20” plus range are showing up now. When flows are up, the best flies have been Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmy Worms), bigger Stonefly nymphs, Prince nymphs, and various streamers. During normal flows, think smaller more imitative nymphs averaging #16-20, and that should also lead to more dry fly fishing on Caddis & small Blue Winged Olives. Streamers are always in play in the Fall, especially early and late in the day- play with colors & retrieves, it can make a big difference. Usually in the Falla fast strip is the way to go with streamers, but change it up if that isn't producing.

Fishing Advice During the Spawn:
Keep an eye out for redds & spawning trout, the oval light colored depressions in gravel riffles where trout deposit their eggs. These are commonly located in rifflewater in pool tailouts and in side channels, often in shallow water. Trout look to spawn where there is pea sized gravel with the right amount of current. Avoid those areas and the first 10-15 feet below them (many eggs drift downstream), otherwise you willcrush the eggs if you walk there. The eggs don’t hatch out until about February/early March, so watch where you walk or you will be crushing & killing future wild trout. Don’t fish to actively spawning fish, they are already stressed out, just let them reproduce in peace and make more wild browns. Fish the deeper, darker water downstream of the redds, there will be plenty of unseen non-spawning trout eating drifting eggs.

For streamers, both conventionally fished bigger streamers (can be single hook or articulated) and jigged ones fished on Euro rig have been effective. Play with streamer color & retrieve, it can make a BIG difference. Good colors of late are tan, white, yellow, olive, and other colors paired with yellow such as brown/yellow, olive/yellow, and tan/yellow. There have been some trout rising to small olives #20-26 in the afternoons in the pools. The lower the flow, the more likely you are to have rising fish. Keep your eyes out fortan Caddis #16-18, especially in the mid/latemornings & mid/late afternoons. Pupa fished subsurface have outfished the Caddis dries. Small Blue Winged Olive (BWO) nymphs #18-22 are working in the afternoons- fish them paired up with another slightly bigger nymph (or an egg fly)to get the trout’s attention.

The state stocked the river on October 10th from just below the Rt 219 bridge in New Hartford all the way down to Collinsville & Uinionville and below that too. Please remember that as of 9/1, the entire river from the dam all the way down to the Rt 177 bridge in Unionville is strictly Catch & Release. I received word that MDC stocked the upper river in early/mid October, that would be from the dam down to Whittemore.



Tan Caddis & small Blue Winged Olives are the 2 main hatches.

-Fall Caddis #16-18 (tan/light brown): hatching in mid/lateAM, and returning to lay eggs in the riffles mid afternoon to dusk.

-Blue Winged Olives #22-26: afternoons, especially on cooler/cloudy days

-Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24: hatching in early to mid morning

-Midges #20-28: anytime, try a Midge Pupa subsurface


-Egg Flies #12-16: spawn has begun, try shades of yellow, pink, orange

-Tan Caddis Pupa #16-18: dead-drift & swing in medium to fast water.

-Blue Winged Olives (BWO) #18-22: fish in afternoons

-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20: various sizes imitate many different Mayfly nymphs (BWO, Isonychia, Sulfur, Iso, etc.) & smaller Stoneflies and are quite effective everywhere, all year long. A smaller #16-20 Pheasant Tail is almost never a bad choice on the Farmington River.

-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16: anytime, lots of these in the river

-Jigged Streamers #8-12: various colors/patterns- dead-drift, twitch, swing & strip, best on a Euro rod & leader, excellent choice to fish in the Fall

-Attractor Nymphs #14-20: anything flashy, gaudy, or with a hot spot such as Sexy Waltz, Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Prince, Triple Threats, etc

-Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmies/SJ Worms, Green Weenies): especially good in high/stained water, or as a change-up fly after you have fished a good run with standard nymphs, also killer on recently stocked trout

-Wet Flies & Soft-Hackles #10-18: assorted patterns, Partridge & Orange is very good in the Fall


With Fall at hand and brown trout spawning, trout are more aggressive and now is prime time to fish the meat. Big trout are almost always on the lookout for bigger bites, especially early & late in the day (low light) and during lulls in bug activity. Also a great choice anytime the flow is up or off-color.

-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

Classic Streamers #6-10: Sometimes they work better than modern streamers. Try: Black Nosed Dace, Muddler Minnow, Marabou Muddler, Grey Ghost, Black Ghost, Baby Brown Trout, Mickey Finn, Hornberg, etc.