Monday, May 13, 2024

Monday 5/13/24 Farmington River Report: Flow cut & great weather

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 John Antolini with a solid brown he landed over the weekend. These are the type of quality fish that keep anglers coming back to the Farmington River.

We are open until 6pm on weekdays now, still 5pm on weekends, opening at 8am every day. The dam release was reduced from 370cfs down to 250cfs at 9:30am this morning, putting the total flow in the Permanent TMA/C&R at about 435cfs, this is an excellent water level for fishing & wading.This flow cut will also raise water temps from the Still River and downstream, and that is a good thing. The dam is currently releasing water at about 45 degrees, and the Still River will be in the 50’s, likely moving into the upper 50’s with the warm weather this week. The section from Goodwin/Hogback Dam down to the Rt 20 bridge is about 300cfs after this cut, with the Still River adding in 135cfs below that. Riverton water temps above the Still Riverhave beenranging from mid to upper 40’s, and downstream has been averaging low to mid 50’s during the afternoons-look for these temps to go up a bit this week due to the flow reduction and nice weather.

The flow cut and warm air temps this week should be nothing but good for improving the hatches, pushing them further upstream, and getting the trout feeding more actively. This also means the entire river is very fishable from top to bottom at these water levels, this will help spread out the fishing pressure (hopefully!). Caddis continue to be the bug du jour, the main ones are a mix of olive/green #16-18 and tan ones in #14-18, along with some other assorted Caddis. Vitreus mayflies (aka Pink Ladies) are gradually increasing, they average #12-14 currently and are active in the faster riffly water, hatching from the lower river (Collinsville/Unionville) up to about New Hartford. On a mild sunny day like today, you may still see a few remnant Hendrickson spinners in Riverton up above the Still River, but it's about done. Good numbers of Craneflies have been hatching virtually every day, they are light colored and some people mistake them for a Sulfur. The cooler, cloudy days were seeing #18-20 Blue Winged Olives, not so much on a sunny mild one like today. When trout aren’t rising (more often than not), expect it to be more of a subsurface game with nymphs, wet flies/soft hackles, and streamers. The bigger, wider, slower pools have seen some limited dry fly action. Mild weather this week and dropping flows should only increase the possibility of surface feeding by the trout. There is a lull in bug activity after the Hendrickson hatch ends and the Caddis get cranking. New hatches start downriver and progress upstream, so the better bug activity currently is about mid to lower river, and moving upstream every day. The 70 degree plus weather this week should only help hatches & the upstream progression of them.

Trout don’t always rise to hatches, so be prepared to go subsurface with Caddis pupa, wet flies/soft hackles, and streamers. Also try BWO nymphs #16-20 (especially on overcast days), #14-18 Pheasant Tails/Frenchies and other assorted nymphs. Cream Mops& Squirmy Worms (pink, red) are always worth a try, especially as a clean up fly after you nymph a run, or if trout are not responding to your usual patterns. Also good in the early morning before the bugs get active.

Nymphing with Caddis Pupa can be deadly when they are hatching in the mornings & afternoons, 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 hatching or egg-laying. Nymphing with a variety of different patterns is a consistent tactic. 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 been catching some nice trout- try olive, tan, black, white. Experiment with how you present your streamer to the fish: dead-drift, twitched, swung, and various retrieves.

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.


-Caddis #14-18 (olive/green, tan): hatching all the way up through the permanent TMA/C&R and right up to the dam in Riverton
-Blue Wing Olive #18-20: cloudy afternoons
-Craneflies #14-16: plenty around, often mistaken for Sulfurs
-Vitreus #12-16: just starting, from the lower river up to about New Hartford
-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:

-Caddis Pupa #14-18 (olive/green, tan)
-Pheasant Tails/Frenchies#12-20
-Wet Flies & Soft Hackles #12-16: assorted colors/patterns
-Junk Flies (Eggs, Mops, Squirmy Worms, Green Weenie)
-Blue Winged Olive Nymphs #16-20, good all year
-Zebra Midge #18-22: black, olive, red
-Winter/Summer Caddis Larva #18 (yellow): can also imitate Midge larva
-Caddis Larva (olive to green) #14-16: lots of these in the river
-Cased Caddis #12-14: underfished pattern, abundant in the Farmington
-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