Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday 4/12/24 Farmington River Report: Afternoon Flow Update/Flow Cut

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

We just purchased yet another good sized fly tying collection, and it includes quite a few quality dry fly necks that are priced to go at $15-20- these will sell out fast.

The new Thomas & Thomas Avantt II fly rods recently arrived, and they are quite impressive. Slightly more flex in the tips (which is good!), with fantastic crisp recovery and a low swing weight. Also received a large Fulling Mill order with flies, tying materials, fly boxes, beads, and hooks.

Rich Strolis dropped off another batch of his streamers(3/22), including his single hook Ice Picks in several colors. These are a very good baitfish imitation, the tan ones can pass as a small Salmon Parr or Brown Trout. We also have a variety of his articulated patterns for targeting big fish. Bruce Marino’s Hendrickson Nymph is back in stock and ready for the upcoming hatch- also check out his new Early Black Stonefly nymph.

Pictured up top is 20” of blue cheeked brown trout caught yesterday in high water on a dry fly by Zach St. Amand, and the second pic is one of six big browns Derrick’s client Mike T. landed this week.

We have a new spot in the book room with some FREE Fly Tying Materials. We will be adding to it regularly, as we have to thin out the three massive fly tying collections we bought in the last year. There will be some good stuff that will get snapped up quickly so make sure to check it out every time you come in.

Select T&T Zone rods are 40% off. 2023 Thomas & Thomas Avantt rods all 40% off. Hardy Ultralites also 40% off.

Friday afternoon 4/11 Flow Update:
As of 2pm, the Army Corps of Engineers reduced the flow at Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton from 400cfs to 50cfs. There is still some runoff on top of this, so by the time it reaches the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton it will still be 100-200cfs higher than this. It’s about 250cfs & still dropping as I write this. About ½ mile downstream of the Rt 20 bridge, the Still River is currently adding in 1,550cfs and dropping. Total flow in the Permanent TMA/C&R is
quite high at about 1,800cfs and going steadily down. Be aware that the fishing pressure in Riverton will be unusuallyhigh this weekend (it’s only about 2+ miles from the dam to the Still River)due to the Riverton Derby, lower water level,and the fact that you will be able to keep two 12” or bigger trout as of 6am on Saturday 4/13. 

Friday morning 4/11:
Another slug of rain overnight has once again pushed the Still River up, and even Riverton went up by 200+ CFS as of about 9am- it peaks & drop fast through.The heavy rain is behind us, less than 1/10th of an inch is predicted for the rest of today. Not sure exactly what they will do with the flow, historically they try to cut it back for this weekend (basically Opening Day & the Riverton Derby) for safety reasons, and then if need be put the flow back up higher on Monday morning. Riverton from Goodwin/Hogback Dam down to the Rt 20 bridge (Riverton Self Storage/Hitchcock) is high but definitely fishable, they cut it back by 500cfs yesterday, it is peaked out & about to drop now at 687cfs, and a little ways downstream from that the Still River is adding in 1,700cfs. This puts the total flow in the Permanent TMA/Catch & Release at 2,387cfs and makes the water below the Still River off-color and too high to fish a the moment- it will drop a lot & clear considerably by SundayI’d expect to see a big drop in the Still River over the next 24 hours and another big drop by Sunday morning- it both rises quickly and drops fast. You may see the MDC/Army Corps of Engineers cut the flow back at the dam today- they often cut it to 200-300cfs for this weekend, we will have to wait and see. I’ll update this report this afternoon if there are any changes. FYI the East Branch is adding in 250cfs about ½ mile below UpCountry.

Plenty of stocked trout have been getting caught (as you can see in the photos) when we aren’t flooded lol, along with some bigger wild & holdover fish for those putting in the work. The early season Blue Winged Olives #16-18 are stillhatching in the afternoons (especially cloudy days) along with a few Blue Quills/Paraleptophlebia #16-18. Early Black Stoneflies #14-16 are active on milder, sunny afternoons. With the mild winter we had, the Hendrickson hatch should be soon. They always start downriver first (Farmington/Unionville/Collinsville) and work their way upstream.

Other than the year round Catch & Release/TMA, 
the entire Farmington has been stocked from top to bottom, most of it twice now. Riverton from Goodwin/Hogback Dam down to Whittemore will get stocked today. They stocked most of the river again for a second time this week, and the Permanent TMA/C&R usually gets it’s annual stocking in mid to late April. We don’t get advance notice of trout stocking, but we will let you know after they do it. The freshly planted trout compete with the resident wild & holdover fish and get them feeding more aggressively. If you want to avoid the recent stockers and target quality brown trout, then focus on the permanent TMA/C&R. Expect to work harder for your fish, but the average size will be larger-quite a few have been mid to upper teens lately.

There has been some limited dry fly activity- both in the mornings to Winter/Summer Caddis, and in the afternoons to Blue Winged Olives/Baetis, Blue Quills (a few), and Early Black Stones. Early Stoneflies are active and in the drift. If you are nymphing, I’d pair up something in the #12-16 range that could be imitative of an Early Stonefly (black, brown), or an immature Hendrickson nymph (something Mayfly shaped & brown about a #14), with a slim #16-20 fly in a darker color that could imitate things like Blue Wing Olive nymphs & Midges. Early to mid morning Winter Caddis hatch aside, the bug activity is confined to the afternoons when water temps rise a little. Blue Winged Olives favor cloudy afternoons, and the Stoneflies are most active on warm, sunny days.

We have a good selection of the specialized Winter/Summer Caddis dry fly patterns from #18-24, it’s a unique hatch that you don’t normally find on other rivers, and it comes off all year long in the morning. The Winter Caddis larva are about a #18 and yellowish in color, and are also worth imitating. That same fly imitates Black Caddis larva (also yellow & small), as well as some Midges- killing three birds with one stone.



-Blue Winged Olives #16-18: afternoons (especially cloudy days)

-Early Black Stoneflies #14-16: afternoons (especially milder sunny days)

-Early Brown Stonefly #14-16: afternoons (a few)

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

-Blue Quills/Mahogany Dun (Paraleptophlebia) #16-18: afternoons, a few

-Midges #22-28: afternoons through dusk


-BMAR Early Black Stone #14: Bruce Marino’s new pattern

-Strolis Infant Stones #14 (black, brown): this popular pattern imitates the Early Brown & Early Black Stoneflies, with the brown version also passing for a Hendrickson nymph.

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

-Blue Winged Olive Nymphs #16-18

-Egg Flies #12-18: will continue to produce right through the early Spring, and are also very good on recently stocked trout- they will hammer an egg fly until they get dialed in on real nymphs, larva & pupa. Try shades of yellow, pink, orange. 

-Zebra Midge #18-22: black, olive, red

-Winter/Summer Caddis Larva #18

-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #14-22

-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16: anytime, lots of these in the river. Good choice when you aren’t sure what to fish

-Attractor Nymphs #14-20: anything flashy, gaudy, or with a hot spot such as Sexy Waltz, Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Prince, Triple Threats, etc. Great on recently stocked fish, but big holdovers & wilds eat them too. 


-Jigged Streamers #8-12: various patterns/colors, deadly fished on a tight-line/Euro rig, often sorts out bigger fish. Great to use as a clean-up fly after you nymph a run.

-Ice Picks (tan, gray, white, yellow): tied by Rich Strolis, a very nice single hook baitfish pattern

-Wooly Bugger #4-12: assorted colors

-Zonker #4-6: a classic fish catcher! In white, natural

-BMAR Yellow Matuka #6: deadly fly! Also standard Matuka in olive, brown

-Zuddler #4-8: one of our favorites, in olive, white, brown, black, yellow

-Complex & Mini Twist Bugger #2-6: assorted colors, very effective