Monday, April 29, 2024

Monday 4/29/24 Farmington River Report: Flow Update/Cut this morning & Great Conditions

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

We just 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 a 20” wild brown trout caught by Derrick’s longtime guide client Ben Chang, but he’s obviously learned well because he caught this on a solo outing.

Monday 4/29 Flow Change/Update:

Just received the email, the dam release at Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton was reduced from 316cfs to 187cfs at 9am. Combined with the Still River, this will put the water level in the Permanent TMA/C&R down to about 375cfs. This is an excellent level for wading, fishing, and should increase the number of rising trout during the afternoon Hendrickson hatch

Monday morning 4/29:

Excellent fishing over the weekend, with quite a few big trout landed, including 20” plus wild & holdover browns, and some whopper rainbows up to about eight pounds. When it’s been mild and not windy or wet, Hendrickson spinner falls have been happening in the evening, but they can happen anytime from about 10am to dark. Nymphing with a variety of different patterns has been extremely productive. Streamers, especially jigged ones on a Euro rig, have been also catching a lot of trout. Plenty of trout have been rising during the afternoon Hendrickson hatch, typically somewhere between 2pm and 4:30pm, but can happen anywhere from 1-5pm.

The Permanent TMA/Catch & Release was stocked last week with mostly brown trout. A mix of Yearlings (6-8”), Adults (9-12”), and fat Survivor Strain 2 Year Olds (average 14-18” with some over 20”). These fish will be easy targets for the next 2-3 weeks, and then they will wise up after that. Also, virtually the entire river outside of that was also stocked last week, most of it for the third time this year with more to come in the near future. If you cannot catch trout right now, this may not be your sport….
The Hendrickson hatch is good from New Hartford upstream to about the junction with the Still River. The Still River runs warm (50’s currently), while the water from the dam is coming out in the low to mid 40’s. This makes hatches like the Hendrickson happen later in Riverton above the Still River. It starts in the lower river, moves up into the permanent TMA/Catch & Release, and then up above the Still into Riverton. Mild to warm weather this week will push the hatch upstream. I’d expect to see a very fishable Hendrickson hatch up in Riverton as you get later into this week. Try to get up here ASAP if you want to catch the hatch in the permanent TMA/C&R, as I strongly suspect this upcoming weekend will be the last one you will see Hendricksons there as the bugs progrees up into Riverton. The spinner fall usually goes about 5-7 day beyond the end of the hatch.

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 happen 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.

If you are nymphing, I’d pair up something in the #12-14 range that could be imitative of a Hendrickson nymph (something Mayfly shaped & brown), with a slim #16-18 fly in a darker color that could imitate things like Blue Wing Olive nymphs & Midges. Or pair it up with a Junk Fly (Egg, Mop, Squirmy or San Juan Worm) or attractor nymph (hot-spot, flash, or gaudy colors) to appeal to recent stocked trout.


-Hendrickson #12-14
-Blue Wing Olive #18-20
-Mahogany Dun #16-18
-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
-Frenchies & Pheasant Tails #12-20. #12-14 as a Hendrickson nymph.
-Wet Flies & Soft Hackles in brown or Hare’s Ear #12-14
-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 #16-20, good all year
-Egg Flies #12-18: will continue to produce right through the early Spring, they are very good on recently stocked trout 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
-Cased Caddis #10-14: anytime, but especially good in the early spring, and anytime flows increase.
-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