Friday, November 10, 2023

Friday 11/10/23 Farmington River Report: nice conditions & nice weather, finally!

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. We can use some income after the slow summer we had, and you, our loyal customers, should benefit. 

UpCountry has also purchased a large 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. 

Flow Level:
The total flow in the permanent TMA/C&R is 396cfs. Riverton above the Still River will be 257cfs. These are both very good medium levels and normal for this time of year. Riverton water temps are in the low 50’s, and downstream is mostly mid to upper 40’s.

Friday morning 11/10:
Pictured up top is customer Zach Daugherty with a stud of a male brown trout, landed on 7x tippet in about 1 minute flat, looks like a wild fish to me. Second pic is a rarity, a Farmington River wild Rainbow I landed Thursday. I can count on one hand the number of wild Rainbows I’ve landed here, and they’ve all been very small, colorful, and parr marked. The picture doesn’t truly do justice to how beautiful it was. 

Looks like a very good weekend, because finally flows & weather are both lining up- no rain! Medium water level with highs mid to upper 40’s and sunshine both days. I did much better in the afternoon yesterday than I did in the morning. We were nymphing, and the bite definitely picked up as the day went on. This could be due to rising water temps, and/or an increase in insect activity. Didn’t see Olives Thursday where we were, but there have been reports of afternoon Blue Winged Olive hatches in #22-26 in the afternoons with rising trout in the bigger, wider, slower pools. We did see small Midges in the late afternoon with an occasional rise here and there. Subsurface egg flies & small nymphs #18-20 were the ticket. The afternoon bite was definitely better than the morning bite. I even caught a very small wild rainbow, a true Farmington River Unicorn- there aren’t many at all. 

The brown trout are in spawning mode, so keep you eyes out for redds. People have already been observed standing right in obvious redds and also wading through them- please don’t be that person! Walking on redds and just below them crushes the eggs. Redds are the 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 can be very effective, especially downstream of spawning areas. Eggs continue to work well straight through the Winter. Pair them up with a smaller nymph for best results.

The best flies lately have been Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmy Worms), smaller nymphs #16-20, and various streamers. With the normal flows here now, think smaller more imitative nymphs, and that should also lead to more dry fly fishing on small Blue Winged Olives & Midges. Look for bigger, wider, flatter pools to find rising trout. 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 Fall a 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 riffle water 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 will crush 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. More often than not in the Fall a faster retrieve is the ticket. 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 #22-26 in the afternoons in the pools. The lower the flow, the more likely you are to have rising fish. 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 help 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 & Unionville 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. 



***Small Blue Winged Olives & Midges are the 2 main hatches***

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

hatch will go all November and well into December

-Midges #22-28: anytime, try a Midge Pupa (#18-24) subsurface

-Summer/Winter Caddis #18-24: hatching in early to mid morning, all year long


-Egg Flies #12-16: brown trout are spawning, try shades of yellow, pink, orange

-Blue Winged Olives (BWO) #18-22: fish in afternoons when they are active

-Assorted Small Nymphs #18-22: most of the bugs from late Fall through the Winter are small & skinny, and darker colors such as brown, black & dark olive are common. Try Zebra Midges (black, red, olive), Pheasant Tails (natural, olive, black, chocolate brown, etc.), BWO/Olive nymphs, etc. The size, shape & presentation are genrally more important than exact fly pattern. Play with drab, flash, UV, hot-spots, no hot spots to see what works best, because it can and will vary.

-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #14-20: 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


In the Fall and during 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

-Woolly Bugger #4-12: assorted colors

-White Zonker #4-6

-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.