No cold is too cold when your catching fish like this!
Its been mighty cold as of late, but for those who venture out in the blustery winds and freezing temps can be greatly rewarded with some great Steelhead fishing! With the Salmon River flows being quite low (for the most part) this winter, Smaller flies and lighter tippets have been key for any Fly Angler, in having a truly successful day on the water. I will start fishing with 6lb fluorocarbon and if the action is slow I will bump down to 4lb making these beasts tough to land.
Vanesssa with a nice French Nymphed Farmington Brown!
Water Flow: 200 CFS
Water Temp: 60°F
Water Condition: very low
Access Point: upper TMA
Hatches (in order of importance):
AM: Winter/Summer Caddis 20-24, Blue Wing Olives 22-28, and tiny Rusty Spinners 20-26,
Midday: Tan Caddis 18-20, Black Ants 14-18, Beetles 12-16.
Evening: Isonychia 10-14, and Cahills 12-14, Flying Ants 16-24.
"Shocking" the Farmington River
Comments: Some rain has finally come and the river has moved to a more comfortable 200Cfs putting a little bit of water over resident trout! Winter/Summer Caddis all our still going in the early a.m. hours. Tiny Blue Winged Olives fill the air as well. This has been a good reliable hatch with lots of fish taking the small BWO patterns off the top and micro mayflies fished as droppers or along th stream bottom. When the spinners start to fall the fishing has been great on very small spinner patterns down to 26. Nothing but tails, olive thread and a little poly wing on these and your done.
Tan Caddis have been hatching sporadically throughout the morning. I like to fish these with a small X-Caddis tied with a CDC wing and a poly shuck.
Midday there have been a few flying ant hatches that were just spectacular with pools of rising trout to be found for miles it seems. Every fish in the river rolling for them. Size is crucial here and sometimes these things can be as small as a 28 or so.
Iso’s are still getting it done in the evening with the nymphs and emergers catching many large trout, this meal being just to big to pass up. Cahills have been spotty but I have seen them on a few occasions in some sections of the river and managed to take trout on them.
Last week the Farmington river received it’s yearly walk from those carrying the electric sticks and wielding fish barges. I was glad that my daughters and I had the chance again to see them shock, measure, and release many fish while carrying many other large breeders up over the bank and into the trucks off to the hatchery to spawn a new generation of healthy Farmington river Brown trout. I must say it is heartbreaking, to see them go but I’ll wish them a safe trip and look forward to their return in the spring. Good luck on the river, see you soon.
Ants, Beetles, and other terrestrials should do the trick.
Comments: Tricos are coming off in the upper TMA, the Duns start showing up in the early a.m. shortly followed by the spinners into midmorning. I haven’t seen any blanket hatches of these insects by any means, hopefully this hatch will materialize into the lower sections of the river this week.
Winter/summer Caddis are still blowing up the rivers’ edge in the a.m. hours. This is my favorite hatch and it is still going on each morning from the crack of dawn into the late morning. This hatch could almost be fished 365 days a year here on the Farmington River.
Tan Caddis are coming off throughout the day and fish slash at them making loud and splashy rise forms, sometimes launching into a full body breech as they chase these emerging pupae.
Isonychia have been emerging in good numbers in the evening hours. We have been fishing them at last light and into the darkness. Usually shortly after sunset there is a very strong emergence and fish ruthlessly give chase. Anthopotamus or formally known as Potomanthus, nicknamed Golden Dun, hatch and emerge on the slower sections of the Farmington in fairly good numbers during the evening hours. Given their large size take off can be slow and clumsy causing many fish to give chase. Fishing a yellow parachute style fly during late evening can double as the Golden Dun spinner, which also can be seen at the same time as the emerging Duns.
The water is low but we are still having fun and catching lots of fish. I would like to especially thank my nephew Tyler for taking time out of his busy summer and spending it with my family here in Connecticut and on the Farmington River. Tyler, I speak for all of us here at JWflyfishing when I say “We had a great two weeks visiting with you and having you fish along our side.” We look forward to doing it again. Great luck out there to all!
Hatches (in order of importance): March Brown Spinners and Duns 12-14 in the evening, Smaller Rusty Spinners are also on the water in the evening in 16-20. Winter/Summer Caddis 18-22. BWO’s 16-20 on cloudy days. Tan and GreenCaddis 16-18 are appearing on the water all afternoon and throughout the evening. There have also been Sulphurs 16-18 on the water in the early evening through to sunset.
Vanessa with a small Farmington River Brown.
Comments: I have been taking most of my fish on Caddis nymphs in the morning, fished French Nymphing style through deep cuts with a little current, leaving no seam unturned. This style has been producing a lot of nice fish for me and gives an alternative way to fish when the water is unsuited for dry flies. Not surprisingly these same areas hold many of the rivers larger trout. Another method that is just giving me great results is fishing big #12 Rusty Spinners at the very last light. There have been a lot of fish feeding on much smaller spinner in the 16 range as well however the trout just seem as though they cannot refuse such a large morsel of food. I have seen a large number of BWO’s on the water in the evening with some fish taking them along with their small spinners. I have heard from a few people now, that Cahills are making their entrance in the Upper TMA. Caddis continue to be a consistent morning hatch and they keep many fish on the river rising throughout the evening as well. I just got back from a trip to Maine to visit my family and I am working on a little excursion video that I will post in a few days, until then good luck to all who venture forth in the forecasted thunder storms this weekend and remember to play it safe, no fish is worth getting killed by a stray bolt of lightning. If you do find yourself out in such conditions the fishing can be wonderful especially if you like to fish with nymphs! There is nothing like fishing a brace of Caddis on a rainy day, even when the water becomes stained and slightly off fish continue to feed on this underwater smorgasbord. Lets hope the weather holds off and we here at JWFlyfishing, See you out there!
Hatches (in order of importance): Winter summer Caddis am 18-22.
March Browns/Grey Fox 12-14 are coming off in small numbers in the afternoon.
Hendrickson spinners 12-14 and Rusty Spinners 16-20 are still catching lots of fish in the evenings.
BWO’s 16-20 are coming off the water in the evening as well as…
Tan Caddis 16-18 and Green Caddis in 16-20.
Comments: The Caddis in my mind are still very much stealing the show with a good showing in the A.M. and with another good burst of bigger Caddis in the evening right before dark causing many trout to feed exclusively on them and chasing and slashing furiously at the emergers. Violent and splashy rises are the telltale sign of this activity. I have been catching good amounts of quality fish in the morning and evening fishing Caddis larvae as well. I was so excited the other night I actually caught a nice 18″ Brown on my first ever woven fly a size 12 Caddis Larva green on the top and yellow on the underbody. The Rusty Spinner is still landing some nice fish in the evenings even if you don’t see tons of them around, so don’t be afraid to tie one of these bad boys on your leader in a size 12. This is a good meal for a trout feeding in low light conditions. French nymphing has been a huge part of my arsenal of late accounting for some very nice browns and is one of those things that really turns unproductive time on the river into some dynamite fishing opportunities. Next time its raining and spinnerfalls are suppressed due to chilly temps. Don’t mope! Start getting familiar with this technique and put it into play for you on the river! Good luck out there, tear em up!