Monday, April 1, 2024

Monday 4/1/24 Farmington River Report: Flow Cut Update (Tues afternoon 4/2)

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

We just received the new Thomas & Thomas Avantt II fly rods, and they are very impressive. Slightly more flex in the tips (which is good!), with fantastic crisp recovery and a low swing weight. Also received a big 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.

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.

Current Conditions:
At 11am today (4/2), the dam release was reduced and it’s reading 329cfs from the Goodwin/Hogback dam to the Rt 20 bridge in Riverton, and the Still River is currently adding in 206cfs below that. This puts the total flow this afternoon in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release at 535cfs- I’d call that medium to medium-high and very fishable.

Plenty of stocked trout have been getting caught the past few weeks, along with some bigger wild & holdover fish for those putting in the work. The early season Blue Winged Olives #16-18 are hatching in the afternoons along with a few Blue Quills #16-18. Early Black Stoneflies #14-16 are active on milder, sunny afternoons- we should see some on this sunny mild weekend. 

Other than the year round Catch & Release/TMA, pretty much the entire trout section of the Farmington has been stocked from Goodwin/Hogback dam in Riverton downstream to the Rt 177 bridge in Unionville. They will stock the Farmington again before the 2nd Saturday in April, still the unofficial Opening Day. The freshly planted trout compete with the resident wild fish and get them feeding more aggressively. If you want to avoid the recent stockers and target mainly quality holdover & wild browns, then focus on the permanent TMA/C&R- expect to work a lot harder for each and every fish, but the average size will be larger.

When flows are normal, 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), Midges, 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), 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. 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


-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, Squirmie 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 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, yellow, white, brown, black

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