Monday, April 22, 2024

Monday 4/22/24 Farmington River Report: Hendrickson hatch & Flow Cut today

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 are selling out fast.

The new Thomas & Thomas Avantt II fly rods recently arrived, and they have really impressed us. Slightly more flex in the tips (which is good!), plenty of power in the mid & lower sections, with fantastic crisp recovery and a low swing weight. 

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. Don Butler ties some great patterns for our bins such as his Peach Bugger, Green Weenie, Hendrickson emerger, Hendrickson Egg-Sack Parachute Spinner, Winter/Summer Caddis dries, Foam Ant, and more- ask us. Bruce Marino’s Hendrickson Nymph is back in stock and ready to catch fish- also check out his new Early Black Stonefly nymph.

Pictured up top is DJ Clement with a handful of stunningly beautiful wild brown trout tricked with a Hendrickson dry fly on Saturday. Second pic is Ben Toscano holding a thick brown from the weekend, and the last pic is John Antolini with a very colorful brown trout. 

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.

Monday 4/22 4pm Flow Update:
As expected, the flow at the dam was reduced by about 200cfs, bringing the USGS Riverton flow gauge from 665cfs (at 8am) down to 442cfs. This reduces the total flow in the Permanent TMA/C&R from 891cfs to 662cfs. Should be great fishing conditions this week with the Hendrickson hatch (see below), reduced flows, mild weather, and lack of rain.

Monday morning 4/22:
This looks like it’s going to be “the week”. The Hendrickson hatch is full-blown now and at least as far up as Church Pool, and likely even above that. It will progress upstream a bit every day, and hatches best on milder days. Not sure on the downstream limit of the hatch, but I’m guessing you should see it down into Collinsville/Unionville, and Canton for sure. We should also see the dam release cut from 600 to 300 or 400cfs this morning, I’ll update the flow when we have the info. The Still River is down to just over 200cfs & dropping. And Mother Nature is finally giving us a break: the 10 Day Forecast is highs in the upper 50’s to low 70’s, and mostly sunny with next to no rain and a lot less wind. Very likely you will see the Permanent TMA/C&R get stocked this week, and if not almost certainly next week. I won’t know until they actually do it, but I’ll announce it when it happens. Game on! 

Riverton from Goodwin/Hogback dam down to the Rt 20 bridge is reading 665cfs this morning, and combined with 226cfs from the Still River a little below that, this puts the total flow downstream of that in the Permanent TMA/Catch & Release at 891cfs. As I mentioned above I’m pretty certain you will see the dam cut down by 200-300cfs this morning, and we will update this report when this happens. This should put Riverton at about 350-450cfs, and the total flow in the Permanent TMA/C&R somewhere between 575-690cfs. Last I knew the East Brach was running at 250cfs (comes in ½ mile below UpCountry), but they may have reduced it. I’ll also update that info if they email it to us today.

Some good fishing reports from Saturday, along with good Hendrickson hatch reports and some nice browns landed in the upper teens. Some 20” plus stocked rainbows were landed too. Be prepared with Hendrickson patterns in emergers, duns, spinners, and nymphs. Also, don't forget about Hendrickson soft hackles/wet flies. The nymphing for big trout with Hendrickson nymphs can be fantastic, especially for the 2-3 hours before the afternoon hatch. Try Bruce’s Hendrickson nymph, also #12-14 Pheasant Tails will imitate them (plain, beadhead, flashback, soft hackle, or Frenchy style with a hotspot). The hatch generally occurs sometime between early and late afternoon. Spinner falls can happened almost anytime on the Farmington River, even though the books say it happens in the evenings. You know spinners are about to fall when you see the yellow egg sack females flying up & down over the riffles- they start up high in the air and gradually work they way down in elevation until they hit the water. Big trout love spinners because they are helpless once on the water and cannot fly away. 

Plenty of stocked trout have been getting caught (as you can see in the photos this spring) when we aren’t flooded lol, along with some bigger wild & holdover fish for those putting in the work. While Hendrickson’s are now the Glamour Hatch, there are still some early season Blue Winged Olives #16-18 hatching in the afternoons (especially cloudy days) along with a few Blue Quills/Paraleptophlebia #16-18. Early Black Stoneflies #14-16 are near the end but still some around on milder, sunny afternoons. 

Other than the year round Catch & Release/TMA, the entire Farmington has been stocked from top to bottom, most of it twice now. They stocked most of the river again for a second time last 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.



-Hendrickson #12-14: hatching now, from downstream in Collinsville/Unionville to at least as far upstream as Church Pool, and likely even further up than that. Afternoon hatch, best on milder days. Seeing spinners too. 

-Blue Winged Olives #16-18: near the end, afternoons (especially cloudy days)

-Early Black Stoneflies #14-16: near the end, afternoons (especially milder sunny days)

-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

Nymphs & Wet Flies/Soft Hackles:

-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #14

-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20. Use #12-14 as a Hendrickson nymph.

-Dark Hendrickson Soft Hackle #14

-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

-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, try also Don's Peach Bugger

-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