Farmington River Strategy Czech!

     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

  • Dont like the High water? Ignore it, some guys are doing just that.

    Hats off to Mike for the Photo Op this morning.

    Nice clean release.

    Date:  4-5-10

    Water Flow:  2070 Farmington/Still combined
    Visibility: decent
    Water Temp: 42 degrees am.
    Water Condition:  High Flow
    Access Point:  Church Pool
    Hatches (in order of importance):  Adult Caddis 18-20,  Stoneflies 16-20.
    Comments:  The trout in the back end of Church Pool sipped small adult caddis this morning, while I as an observer met two nice Gents who were catching trout.  It was a blast talking with them and watching them take the “Ignore It” approach to the high water. This seems to be the approach that I most often employ.
    The trout were rising along the edge or seam where the turbulent meets the slack water.  There were trout rising in this slower water all morning as they gently picked off the adult Caddis.  This was encouraging to watch but do not be fooled, with exception to a few slow pockets most of the river is un-navigable, and only fishable along the banks.  Many trout have been seen and caught along the very edges of the river, fishing the water directly in front of you first is a good rule of thumb.

  • Looks like high water for the Weekend!

         The river is running extremely high on all fronts.  Morgan brook and the Still river are both over their banks and a recent check today at the tail water below Hogback Dam revealed that it also is tremendously swollen from releases at the dam.  I hope they shut  the water down in time to create some fishing this weekend though it will likely be done in slack pockets close to the shore.   Good luck to all you die hard fisherman  this weekend!  Dont forget your stearns inflatable!  Better yet be safe and stay on the banks.  Your husbands/wives will appreciate it.

    Still River

    Riverton, CT.

    Canal Pool in Riverton, CT.

    "Greenwoods", area near the "Boneyard"

  • Farmington River Series October 2009

         October was a wonderful month on the water and I had a lot of time spent there with my two precious partners in crime.  Pumpkin Caddis came to the water in waves to lay their eggs beneath the water in vegitation and under rocks, this was a great time to fish an orange Lafontaine Diving caddis in sizes12-16.  Though it took  a bit of pondering as to why an orange caddis dry fly, was not getting the job done.  As soon as I saw those insect crawling through the meniscus to the underside of rocks and grass bingo the light went on!  Diving caddis.  My children and I had a blast fishing Isonychia’s in the warm afternoon sun.   With a twitch here and a twitch there trout were eager to take our CDC Iso emerger in sizes 12-14.  We spent many evenings enjoying the scenery, the fishing and each others company.  I will forever cherish  evenings on the water as memorable as these.