Friday 1/30/15 Report:
We are always looking for good used rods & reels to take in trade, we normally give store credit towards new product (this gives you maximum value for your trade-in), or we can buy it from you. This is a great way to upgrade your gear to the latest & greatest at a lower out of pocket cost to you, or just get rid of gear you no longer use.
We just LOADED up the bargain bin in the fly tying section with tons of stuff, make sure to take a peek this weekend before it gets cherry-picked.
Looks like some light snow this morning, prob gonna be about 1" when it wraps up around lunchtime, then mostly cloudy for the rest of the day (good fishing day!). Water temps have been running low/mid 30's lately, depending upon the day and the time of day (after a near zero low Wed night, water temps were about 33 degrees in permanent C&R on Thursday). River is at a medium-high level, total flow in the permanent C&R is 593cfs, with 201cfs from the dam in Riverton, the rest is coming from the Still River (392cfs). Sunday is looking like the day to fish this weekend, with a high in the upper 20's and a mix of sun & clouds. Saturday will be quite windy with a high of only 17, brrr. The super cold temps Wed night had shelf ice starting to form again, the lower half of Church Pool was mostly ice. Last night was much milder, and we are very fishable today. Call us if you are unsure of fishability or what sections are doable (it can change from day to day), and even between morning & afternoon. During cold snaps if there is slush or too much shelf ice downriver where you normally fish, simply head up to Hitchcock Chair/Riverton Self Storage and upriver (Hitchcock, Van's, Canal, or Beaver Pools) to the dam to find fishable water, it gives you 2+ miles to choose from. By early afternoon if it's warm and/or sunny enough, many days the slush may clear, and you can try heading back downriver. Fishermen are still heading out and catching fish most days, with nymphers having the most consistent results lately. Some days have been slow, and some days have been good- typical winter fare I'd say.
All things being equal (are they ever? Haha), milder/sunny days give you the best shot at good fishing. Water temps have been averaging low/mid 30's recently, which can create some slush after really cold nights (which can melt by lunchtime on milder/sunny days, or stay all day on cold/cloudy ones), and depending upon air temps, sunshine, time of day, and where you are in relation the dam- they can be higher or lower than that. Sunny days see the biggest temp increases. If you want to try to catch the Winter Caddis hatch, we recommend starting relatively early (most days, but not after super cold nights)). Other than that, and especially on colder days, the better & more comfortable fishing is late morning through late afternoon when air temps are higher- this gives the water a chance to warm a degree or two, which gets both the trout & the bugs more active. I personally look forward to winter/cold weather fishing on the Farmington, as there are less fishermen out most days, and when present in greater numbers on milder weekends they usually focus on Church Pool & Greenwoods- if you stay away from the super popular spots, you will likely have some elbow room. The Catch 22 is that those are two of the better dry fly pools this time of year. Ahh, decisions, decisions....
In terms of dry fly action, mornings will typically see Winter Caddis (sz 20-24), and Midges (sz 22-28) will normally hatch in the afternoons throughout the winter, and can provide good fishing on the surface, especially on milder days without too much wind. These are both GENERAL rules, and often you will see the caddis hatch in the afternoons, and sometimes the midges will start hatching in mid/late morning. Nymphers overall have been getting the best results lately, especially on windy days that have been so common this winter (significant wind causes less rising activity, and makes it tough to fish small dries). Don't be afraid to fish some some gaudier/flashy/attractor-type nymphs in the winter, the trout often show a preference for them in cold water. If you are fishing streamers, remember that a slower presentation (swinging and/or slow stripping & twitching) matches up with the slower trout metabolism due to colder water temps- but as always, play with your presentation and let the trout tell you how they prefer it, they may still want a bit faster strip at moments. Try using a floating line and bouncing/hopping a Fishskull Skulpin Bunny on the bottom- use a 0x-2x tippet with this pattern & method, that fly is heavily front-weighted and rides hook point up.
The one MAJOR exception to the general winter rule of the best fishing being late morning through late afternoon is the Winter Caddis hatch, which often starts up not long after first light after milder nights, and is typically an AM deal (although some days it continues well into the afternoon). We have the specialized fly patterns you need to match this somewhat unique hatch- the females are wingless and run on the water's surface. Midges normally mostly hatch in the afternoons. Subsurface, egg flies (sz 10-18) are still hot most days, along with medium to large stones (8-12), caddis larva (sz 12-18 ), midge larva/pupa (sz 16-22, especially in red), and attractor nymphs (sz 12-18 in Red Headed Stepchild, Copper Johns, blue Lightning Bugs, Yellow Prince, Rainbow Warrior, etc.)- a little flash in your pattern seems to help with the smaller nymphs, we have some great new patterns to check out. Some days the streamer bite has been good, and others not so much- it's important to experiment with colors (white has been above average) & retrieves and let the trout tell you what they prefer- it can very from day to day, and even during the day as light conditions change.
Aaron Jasper is doing a tying class on his deadly half-dozen nymphs on 2/21, see "Classes" page for details.
Visit us at our new: UpCountry Sportfishing Facebook page for daily reports, photos of big fish and information about the Farmington River community.
We are looking for good used fly rods and reels for trade and purchase. If you have some equipment that you don't like bring it to the store to turn it into something shiny and new. Call to make an appointment for an appraisal or to make a deal.
www.Flyaddict.com has now grown to over 2000 members since its launch and is fast becoming the premier place for fishing reports and conversation in the region. If you haven't yet... I suggest registering for free on the forum page and checking it out. The site is receiving daily reports from the Farmington, plus reports from the Naugatuck, Willimantic, Housatonic and others
Currentseams - Currentseams is outdoor writer, professional fly tier and Farmington River guide Steve Culton's website and blog. Content is added regularly, and includes Farmington River reports, how-to articles, essays, fly patterns, photography, and videos. Currentseams focuses on trout, small streams, striped bass, and steelhead, with an emphasis on wet flies, flatwings, and traditional presentations.
www.Catching-Shadows.com - Rich Strolis's great website featuring information on fishing the Farmington River plus a growing collection of videos detailing Rich's unique fly patterns.
www.TroutPredator.com - Terrific resource for information on fishing Eastern Rivers including the Farmington. Lots of instructional help on Euro Nymphing including regular posters Aaron Jasper and Davy Wotton.
The CT Yankee is a local blog covering fishing in Connecticut from flyfishing, and surfcasting the coast to fishing the many freshwater streams around the state.