Action! At Last Light. Stack the deck in your Favor!
Have you ever truly realized the potential of flyfishing in low light conditions? Large trout have a tendency to feed more actively in dim conditions. The cover of darkness is a great way for trout to avoid predators and take advantage of food sources that becomes available under these conditions. These food sources can be comprised of various mayfly spinners in a whole array of sizes. Some spinners can come in very small sizes and can be hard to spot lying flat on the water so keep your eyes peeled and look at the water closely if you are not sure of their presence. Some mayflies hatch right into darkness and patterns that imitate them are excellent pattern choices. Take Isonychia for example, the duns can continue to emerge right into total darkness and throughout the night. I love to fish these bad boys in size 10-12 after dusk while listening to the fish come up and sip well into nightfall. Sipping trout actually make a slurping sound when feeding. Listening is a very effective way of detecting strikes in this night game.
Low light conditions also eliminate many obstacles between fishermen and the feeding trout. First it allows you to use much larger tippet sizes because of the low visibility. The increased breaking strength of a heavier tippet is always handy when trying to land larger trout. Next, fish aren’t as easily spooked by your flyline and leader landing near them. As they feed on naturals and the light decreases, they are comforted by a darkened sky and the natural presence of fewer fishermen. Many have already left the water when the action starts ramping up. Fish typically develop a rhythm of picking off insects as they float in the drift. At times the feeding frenzy can be furious leaving them vulnerable to a well placed fly.
This low light condition is not specific to nighttime, it also applies to early morning when the sun hasn’t fully risen. Fish can feed heavily on spinners in the early morning hours, creating a wonderful opportunity to get on some heavy fish. Many trout cruise pocket water and back eddies during early morning hours slurping up spinners and any insects left from the night before. There’s nothing like leftovers! Some types of Caddis become active in the morning causing trout to opportunistically feed on Caddis larvae and pupae during the wee hours of the morning. These make excellent fly choices.
Often large trout cannot be seen sipping insects from long distances as the light recedes or reappears, causing many fly fisherman to overlook a subtle take from a large trout or simply not see them feeding at all. Don’t let this happen to you. When darkness moves in or the sun is far from rising over the mountains, move quietly and slowly to feeding trout. The goal being to perfectly present your fly at shorter distances with laser like precision; Meanwhile staying ever keen using your other senses to detect the presence of nearby gently sipping trout. The next time your on the water and the sun is on its way up or down put this logic to good use and take away the trouts instinctive advantages over you. With a little luck you will put a few more trout in your net. Good luck!
Hatches (in order of importance): Sulphurs 14-18 March Brown/Grey Fox 12-14, Isonychia 10-12, Winter/summer Caddis 18-22, Tan and Green Caddis 16-20.
Comments: Early am the winter/summer caddis have been driving trout bonkers causing them to line the banks and softer water snatching pupae that are swimming toward shore, I prefer to fish Dave Goulet’s foam pupae skittering down and across the current. Mid afternoon and evening have been frantic with Sulphurs, Caddis, Isonychia, BWO’s, Potomantis, and a few March Browns. When the hatches get frantic like this it can be a frustrating time if you are waiting for a specific hatch. Stay focused and hone your powers of observation by finding a few fish and watching them closely for clues as to what they are feeding on. When watching trout feeding be mindful of escaping insects, and rise forms to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together. Fish aren’t taking your dry imitation? Tie a dropper off your dry to imitate the emerger. Switch your flies frequently until you can match the hatch. Rusty Spinners in larger sizes such as 12-14 are putting some of our bigger trout on the line in the late evenings. As far as nymphing we have been catching lots of nice trout during the am Caddis hatch on simple yellow Caddis larvae patterns. There is a strong population of Golden Stoneflies in various sizes my favorite are size 12 and 6. These flies always produce fish for us. I have personally been using the French Nymphing tactics to target some specific hatches with great success. If you have started using this technique don’t be afraid to use those hatch specific wet flies on the top of your brace. We have been putting a bunch of fish in the net in the afternoons by positioning Sulphur wets as a dropper on our brace of flies. I am planning to trying this same thing with Isonychias which are a much bigger insect and food source for trout. These larger insects seldom pass without large trout noticing in my opinion. Whether your voice is hoarse from screaming obscenities at the trout or shouting “Fish on!” have a good week and enjoy our wonderful Farmington River.
Water Condition: good, water not affected by heavy showers lately.
Access Point: Upper TMA
Hatches (in order of importance): Vitreus and Sulphurs 14-18 are out in full force on the river. March Brown/Grey Fox 12-14 are hatching throughout the river and with decent numbers causing plenty of fish to notice however the Rusty Spinner in 12-14 have been working great in the evening accounting for some nice fish in the last week. Rusty Spinners in the smaller 16-20 range are showing in good numbers as well. BWO 20-26 on rainy days and in the evening. Winter/Summer Caddis 16-22 in the am are still catching a lot fish. Green Caddis and Tan Caddis are all over the river in 16-18 with lots of fish feeding on them.
Comments: The fishing has been good in the mornings on the Caddis hatches, and the evenings have been dynamite on spinners and Sulphur parachutes. There have been so many different type of insects on the water in the evenings, its important to watch fish closely to see what they are feeding on. Size of insects and riseform are very important when trying to do this. The cold water really has the trout in the river fighting hard, so grab your rod and waders and we here at JWflyfishing will see you down over the bank!
Hatches (in order of importance): March Brown Spinners 12-14 and Rusty Spinners 16-20 are falling in the evening. March Browns/Grey Fox 12-14 are starting to show. Winter/Summer Caddis 18-22 have been coming off the water early and making some great sunrise action. Blue Wing Olives 16-20 have been blowing up the river on cloudy, cool days. Tan Caddis 16-18, and Green Caddis 16-20 are hatching from Collinsville to Riverton and the fish are spending a great deal of time taking these in the evening right up until dark. A few Vitreus & Sulphurs have been seen on the river.
Comments: This past weekend I had an absolute great time fishing with my brother in law on the Famington River. I absolutely enjoy each chance I get to take a family member out on the river, it really makes me feel good to get out there with others and see their face flood with happiness as they set the hook into a nice fish.The first evening was a great confidence builder as we knocked some of the rust off his casting. We took a few smaller browns on some caddis emerger patterns and finished the night off with a rusty spinner which was turning fish left and right. The next morning with his skills looking a great deal better he got in a wrestling match with a nice Farmington Brown. I shouted instructions like a drill sargeant as he landed the fish. When we were done I was glad that he is an understanding and tolerant person. I apologized and congratulated him on a super nice catch.The caddis and spinners work wonderful for us this weekend as we relaxed and enjoyed the scenic Farmington River. We took fish on both dries and french and spanish nymphing. Fishing with family is a great way to have some fun and always seems to have a great ending. A weekend filled with great food, great company, and some great flyfishing on the Farmington River.
Who could ask for more? Nymphing has been producing some nice fish. Caddis larvae in just about any color has been getting it done in 12-16, I suggest green or brown as these are the most common colors that I see in my seine.
Hatches (in order of importance): 5/17/2010 – The Farmington is flowing TMA at 450cfs. The Hendrickson hatch # 12-14 is just about over but still can be found below Hogback Dam on the uppermost reaches of the river. Hendrickson Spinners #12-14 and Rusty Spinners #16-20 are falling in the evening. Winter/Summer Caddis #18-22 have been hatching close to daybreak and producing during the early hours of the day on the slower sections of the River. Blue Wing Olives #16-20 have been hatching in the early evening accounting for some nice trout.Tan Caddis #16-18, and Green Caddis #16-20 are now hatching from Collinsville to New Hartford. March Browns/Grey Fox #12-14 have also been reported on the lower river in Collinsville to Pleasant Valley.
Comments: This past week the fishing was great in the early morning hours busting many fish with Spanish and French Nymphing on caddis patterns. The evenings have been fishing good with Rusty spinners and small caddis emergers. The caddis have been coming off religiously for an hour before dark. Trout have been feeding on these Caddis explosively throughout the evening. Many of these fish feeding on Caddis cannot resist a large spinner drifted over them, and will suck it up. This past week has brought some nice fish and a few great opportunities to catch some trout with some old friends on the river. The rainy conditions over the next few days should bring a great opportunity to nymph on the Farmington with the possibility of some higher water conditions. Hit the seams and dredge up some big browns.