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.
I started fishing with a Spanish/French nymphing setup a month ago to increase productivity of my idle time while I was waiting for hatches of insects. It has done just that and in a major way. French/Spanish nymphing allows the nymph fisherman to fish further away from himself with more precise casting than the traditional Czech nymphing method of rolling or lobbing your flies upstream of you and letting them drift downstream. The strike indicator or float is replaced with a 18” piece of coiled monofilament. The coils in the mono make it look like a spring which is exactly what it is and how it’ll be utilized. When you add weight to the spring it opens up and when your take weight away it closes. This means that while my flies are sinking to the bottom my spring is still closed, once the slack has fallen from the leader the weight pulls on the spring making it open up again. You can tell where the bottom of the stream is by watching and taking slack out of the coiled “Sighter”. You can do this simply by adjusting your rod tip up or down. The trick is to find the bottom and just keep the sighter slightly opening and closing almost in a rhythm which ensures your flies are on the bottom, magic things will happen there. Say you need to fish a little deeper, no more adjusting a strike indicator; just lower your rod tip mid-drift and your back in the strike zone. This method definitely shines when fishing swift pocket water as well as medium velocity transitions into tailouts. French/Spanish nymphing offers a much quicker solution to the problem of weighting your line. Here the problem is addressed simply by just weighting the flies themselves.
In a normal Czech nymphing scenario you must add and take away shot or some kind of weighted putty making your flies heavy enough to swiftly reach the bottom. Anyone used to fishing this knows the scenario; too much weight and too much slack in the leader is a dead ringer for a bottom snag each time. The flies can be weighted nicely with a beadhead, some lead wire or a combination of both for super heavy flies that will get down fast and give you more time in the strike zone. No more fumbling around with a tin of shot or blowing into your hands on a cold wintry day trying to make your sink putty more pliable. Hey don’t throw out your putty yet! I have found if you get in a jam and your team of flies is not sinking fast enough for the water conditions, a couple pieces of the putty rolled on your leader ahead of the flies and you’re right back on the bottom. Precise casting of this rigging is far superior, even when I have added weight via putty. This rig still cast much better than the classic Czech Nymphing. The slinky effect of the coiled sighter catapults your flies forward in a more precise manner opposed to simply hurling your flies in front of you (which I still love to do and find to be most effective in shallow water situations).
If the mind boggling strike detection and ease of casting (which equates to greater control and precise drifts) aren’t enough to convince the wary, then the added ability to fish much heavier tippets and still catch fish should set you over the top! The use of 5x tippet gives you the ability to confidently land trophies from the uncharted depths in no time at all! All you ambitious fishermen out there should give this one a try. I can’t forget to thank Aaron Jasper for shining a light on this technique, and providing some of his wisdom on this subject, which I have found to be quite helpful and effective. I hope this has been helpful and to all those interested in giving his a shot I have a video on how to make the leaders in the making. JW
Hatches (in order of importance): The Hendrickson hatch 12-14 is winding down with the best chances to take fish being on the Hendrickson Spinners which have been falling in the morning and evening. Winter/Summer Caddis #18-22 have been hatching at the break of dawn and producing during the early hours of the day on the flatter sections of the Farmington River. Blue Wing Olives 16-20 have been hatching in the early evening, taking some nice fish. Caddis larvae 12-14, and Pheasantail Nymph 12-14, have been doing a super job subsurface taking good numbers of fish.
Comments: I have taken some good fish on plenty of varieties of Hendrickson duns to spinners and including the nymphs, and emergers. Its been exhausting and to think we have the rest of the year ahead of us. This first push of the season is coming to an end with the closing of the Hendrickson’s. Its been fun and I have been hearing lots of stories of some big fish being taken on the Farmington. Get ready for the next round, Sulphury will be here soon and we will be pulling those bigger Caddis foam Pupae from our boxes as well. I was able to get out on the water with my 4 year old daughter Ava this week for some Hendrickson Spinner action and she actually landed her first two trout of the season. It was dynamite, we watch several geese making a big commotion fighting over nesting sights, and a good number of spinners on the water with plenty of rising fish. She was so excited as she held them up so I could take her picture. Its great to be able to enjoy their company fishing with me, yes a little stressful at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Tight Lines and Hook a big one!
Hatches (in order of importance): Caddis pupae 18- 22, Bwo 18-20, Mahogany Duns 16-18, Rusty Spinner 14-18 in the evening.
Comments: The morning Caddis hatches are still going strong bringing lots of trout to the surface. There have been some Bwo mixed in with them and I have been taking fish on them as well. Yesterday morning I used all my pupae in my box up and I started casting 18 Bwo’s and the trout took it eagerly. I have been spotting Hendricksons yesterday fish were feeding on them from Unionville to People’s State Forest. With the weather looking good for the next couple of days and warm temps this hatch should progress nicely. The Dep will be stocking the TMA this week and just in time with the Hendricksons well on their way. Be on the lookout for the evening spinnerfall! Good luck!
4-3-10 I not sure of my exact feeling with what is going on at the Dam right now. We have had tons of rain and it has caused many problems here in New England over the past week or so. Here is the thing that Irks me. All week the flows on the Farmington River have steadily fallen and then yesterday the water tapered down to definitely fishable levels. The water from the dam was like 150cfs. They let the water drop and run all day with a combined flow of around 800cfs once you added the Still River. Now here’s the part I don’t understand, why would they let the water run low all day long on Friday and then let it all go and run 2000cfs on the weekend when its 70 plus degrees outside and a mad mass of fisherman are ready to kick their year off with their CT. licenses in their pockets which they paid twice as much for this year. Hmmm, I really think the smart and courteous thing to do would have been to run water all day yesterday and then to try to minimize the flows on the weekend so all the people that pay the ever rising price of licensing fees, high energy prices, high energy taxes, etc…etc…etc… (and believe me the list goes on and on and on) could get on out there and enjoy the sunshine and the Easter holiday. I guess it goes to show us that a little courtesy may be too much to ask for in these days and times. Off I go to enjoy the morning fishing in the woods with the water running at 2700cfs, have fun!