Saturday 12/20/14 Report:
We just got in a sizeable book collection Friday, and we also have a bin of FREE books (limit 2 per customer). With everybody out Christmas shopping, today would be a good one to catch some solitude on the river if you need to scratch the fishing itch, and it will be above freezing this afternoon. Last week the state stocked huge Seeforellen browns averaging 15 pounds (up to 20 pounds plus) in couple of local lakes (Highland & West Hill)- 50 in each one. If you need to do a little last minute Christmas shopping for your favorite fisherman, we are well supplied, or you can always get them an UpCountry gift certificate if you don't know what they need/want. I made it out fishing from mid afternoon 'till dusk Thursday, picked up some pretty browns & bows on nymphs, didn't see another single angler. I personally look forward to winter/cold weather fishing, as there is a fraction of the normal number of fishermen out most days, and when present they usually focus on Church Pool & Greenwoods- if you stay away from the super popular spots, you will likely have some elbow room. Flow is upper end medium & clear at a total of 456cfs & dropping in the permanent C&R section, 288cfs in Riverton. Sunshine and a high of 35 today, Sunday will be about the same. Warming up from Tuesday through next weekend, with highs averaging in the 40's (53 on Wednesday!).
In terms of dry fly action, mornings with Winter Caddis (sz 20-24) has been the main thing, and we are near the end on the afternoon Blue Winged Olive hatches (sz 24-28). Midges (sz 22-28) will hatch in the afternoons throughout the winter, and can provide good fishing on the surface, especially on milder, windless days. Nymphers overall have been getting the best results lately, especially on windy days that have more often than not been the rule (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 slowing trout metabolism due to decreasing water temps- but as always, play with your presentation and let the trout tell you how they prefer it, they may still want a 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.
As we move toward winter water temperatures (we have been averaging upper 30's), the better fishing mostly shifts to afternoons, with mild, sunny days often the best of all due to a rise in water temps which increases bug activity & trout metabolism. There is one MAJOR exception: the Winter Caddis hatch, which often starts up not long after first light after milder nights, and is typically an AM deal. We have the specialized fly patterns you need to match this somewhat unique hatch. Blue Winged Olives & Midges 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 14-16), midge larva/pupa (sz 18-22), small olive nymphs (18-22), and attractor nymphs in #12-18 (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.
Steve Culton's first "Wet Fly & Fuzzy Nymphs for the Farmington" class on 2/8 filled in 2 days flat, so we scheduled a second one on Saturday January 24th.
Don Butler's 2nd Beginner Class is scheduled for two consecutive Sundays on January 11th & 18th from 10am-3pm, see "Fly Tying Classes" page for details, and call 860-379-1952 to sign up- cost is $125.He's been doing this popular class for 15+ years for us now. If you've wanted to get into fly tying and also learn some Farmington-specific patterns, this will get you ready to make your own flies this winter. See "Events" 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.