Monday, May 6, 2024

Monday 5/6/24 Farmington River Report: Caddis starting, Hendrickson hatch upriver & near the end

Store Hours: 8am-6pm Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm on Saturday & Sunday.

We recently picked up a collection of inexpensive used fly rods, about 20 rods total ranging from 4 to12 weight, all $100 or less.

The new Thomas & Thomas Avantt II fly rods arrived in March, and they have really impressed us. Slightly more flex in the tip, plenty of power in the mid & lower sections, with fantastic crisp recovery and a low swing weight.

Pictured up top is Zach’s longtime client Preston Cheung with 20.5” of wild brown trout on a nymph and 6x tippet. He got blown up by a 23-25” fish on the next cast lol.

We are open until 6pm on weekdays now, still 5pm on weekends, opening at 8am every day. Flows bumped up a bit from Sunday’s rain but remains nice & very fishable, with 484cfs total flow in the Permanent TMA/C&R. From Goodwin/HogbackDam down to the Rt 20 bridge is 231cfs, with the Still River is adding in 253cfs & dropping below that. Riverton water temps are ranging from about 45 to 50 degrees, and downstream low to mid 50’s. Hendrickson hatch is moving upstream fast and getting near the end. Campground & up is where you want to be to catch the Hendrickson hatch, and it’s better up in Riverton above the Still River. Hatch is typically sometime between 2pm and 4pm, but can be anywhere from early to late afternoon. It’s been a light to moderate hatch in 2024, best on mild, sunny days, and slow on cooler, cloudy days. You will continue to see spinner falls as far downstream as New Hartford & Canton, and the bottom boundary for that will push upstream on a daily basis.The last few days Blue Winged Olives (BWO’s) averaging about a #18 have been the main hatch in the afternoons, they like crappy overcast, cooler weather. Try #16-18 Olive nymphs in the riffles, pool heads, runs & pocket water. Looks for fish rising to BWO’s in the pools during the afternoon.

Caddis are rapidly becoming the main hatch on most of the river as the Hendricksons wane, with a fishable Caddis hatch as far upstream as New Hartford- heaviest Caddis hatching is in Unionville, Collinsville & Canton. Olive/green #16-18 along with tan in #14-18 are the 2 main culprits for Caddis. Nymphing with Caddis Pupa is deadly, target current breaks in faster water. When they come back to egg lay, typically later in the day, that’s when you are most apt to see trout rising to them. Swinging wet flies & soft hackles are often very effective when Caddis are active.When it’s been mild and not windy or wet, Hendrickson spinner falls have been happening in the evenings, but they can happen anytime from about 10am to dark. Nymphing with a variety of different patterns has been productive all day. Try a pair of nymphs, with one attractor/gaudier type fly, and another that is more imitative. Streamers, especially jigged ones on a Euro rig, have been also catching a lot of trout- try olive, tan, black, white. Experiment with how you present your streamer to the fish: dead-drift, twitched, swung, and various retrieves.

The permanent TMA/Catch & Release was stocked about two weeks ago with mostly brown trout. A mix of Yearlings (6-8”), Adults (9-12”), and fat Survivor Strain 2 Year Olds, averaging 14-18”. These fish are easy targets initally, but they will wise up very soon. Also, virtually the entire river outside of that was also stocked over the past 2 weeks, most of it for the third time this year with more to come in the very near future. If you cannot catch trout right now, this may not be your sport….

The Still River runs warmer (50’s currently), while the water from the dam is coming out in the mid 40’s. This makes hatches happen later in Riverton above the Still River. Hatches start in the lower river, move up into the permanent TMA/Catch & Release, and then up above the Still into Riverton. During Mayfly hatches, the spinner falls usually go about 5-7 day beyond the end of the hatch. The books say Hendrickson spinners fall in the evenings, but you will see them here anytime from about 10am up until dark. They need mild air temps, minimal wind, and no rain- today (Monday) & Tuesday look like good spinner fall days with air temps in the 70’s, not windy, and no daytime rain. Wednesday & beyond look more like Blue Winged Olive days with the rainy weather moving in.


-Hendrickson #12-14: upriver, mainly in Riverton now (above the Still River)
-Caddis #14-18 (olive/green, tan): good hatch as far upstream as New Hartford
-Blue Wing Olive #18-20: cloudy afternoons
-Blue Quill/Mahogany Dun #16-18: afternoons, near the end, Riverton mainly
-Summer/Winter Caddis#18-24: hatching in early to mid morning, all year long
-Midges #22-28: afternoons through dusk

Nymphs & Wet Flies/Soft Hackles:

-BMAR Hendrickson Nymph #14 (upriver/Riverton)
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20. #12-14 as a Hendrickson nymph.
-Wet Flies & Soft Hackles #12-16: assorted colors/patterns
-Caddis Pupa #14-18 (olive/green, tan): hatching New Hartford & downstream
-Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmy Worms, Green Weenie)
-Blue Winged Olive Nymphs #16-20, good all year
-Egg Flies #12-18
-Zebra Midge #18-22: black, olive, red
-Winter/Summer Caddis Larva #18
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16
-Attractor Nymphs #14-20: such as, Rainbow Warriors, Frenchies, Prince, Triple Threats, Pink Bead Walt’s Worm, etc.


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