Hendrickson Vs. Kahle Worm – Two Heavyweight flies, One Winner!


There was some great fishing to be had along the banks of the Farmington River this spring, the weather made some of the Hendrickson dry fly fishing very challenging, but with a very solid Plan “B” the results were a whole lot of fun and some terrific scenery.   Continue reading

  • Farmington fly fishing Memorial Day Weekend 6/1/11

    Nice trout Stan!

    This Memorial Weekend was a stellar weekend for fishing the Farmington River.  The weather stayed good and offered some nice, warm, sunny conditions to fish.  There were lots of Caddis pouring off the river from noontime into the late evening.  Fish on quick water riffles fed on the smorgasbord of Caddis emergers ans the still water fish preferred the adult patterns.  I saw many large fish taken this weekend as the trout consistently fed on the many types of Caddis making their appearance on the Farmington River.  At times fish needed to be hunted down as most fish let Caddis roll over them one after another  and  at other times some fishermen were just in the right place at the right time as large concentrations of insects emerged from the depths.  Fishing nymphs this weekend was especially rewarding for me and many others that I talked with along the river.  Many Caddis patterns such as czech Caddis, Lafontaine Caddis patterns,and many others were good performers in #14-16.  My Kahle worms also caught fish for me all weekend used as my anchor fly.  Finally we have spotted some #16 Sulphurs in the upper TMA and a few fish were caught earlier in the week on the Sulphur emergers.

    A well colored Farmington River meat eater!

    Thanks Mike S. for the great picture.

  • Bring on the Hendrickson’s!

    Date:  4/28/11

    Water flow:  650 CFS

    Visibility:  Clear       

    Water temp:  40*F early a.m.

    Water conditions:  A little high due to recent rains.

    Hatches:  Hendrickson’s 12-14, Winter/Summer Caddis 18-22, Mahogany Duns/Little Blue Quills 16-18, Blue Wing Olives 16-20

    Comments:  There have been a few Hendrickson’s hatching midday at the end of the upper TMA , and I have noticed a few further upstream as well.  Some fish are responding and violently slashing at the emergers and most times letting the adults drift by.  Dry fly fishing can be frustrating and many anglers are bedazzled by the large numbers of floating mayflies that fish ignore.  In the weeks to come trout will wise up, quickly identifying drifting mayflies as a significant food source and start taking them on the top as well as the nymphal forms.  In the meantime many fish have been put in the net by actively fishing the nymph or emerger patterns deeper in the water column at midday when these mayflies are most actively hatching. 

         Mahogany Duns and Little Blue quills are hatching as well, though they are in much smaller numbers and overshadowed by the Hendrickson.  These smaller hatches often take place in back eddies and along the stream bank, so be on the lookout for action in these areas and react accordingly. 

         Winter/Summer Caddis are hitting the water shortly after sunrise with good numbers of fish feeding on them in slack water areas of the river.  The pupae is the key player here, with long legs like oars these insects breastroke to shoreline grass, rocks, and debris to hatch, and its this swimming motion that drive trout crazy.  Fish your pupae pattern with twitches of the rod tip to emulate this action. 

         Most of our fishing is still being done with French Nymphing techniques especially in the high water that has been produced by spring rains and Dam fluctuations.  This method really shines in these high water scenarios.  Leaving the stream bank is rarely needed to land some hefty resident browns that escape the high water flows by migrating to milder currents near the shore.  For those of you employing these methods here are some good fly choices.  JW’s own Kahle worms in lime green and pink have been doing a bang up job on the Farmington for months now and are still producing. 

         Golden Stones 6-12 is another excellent pattern with a million ways to tie them, I like to use a simple straight forward, easy, and durable tie such as polish woven nymphs.   Appearing the same from all sides when awash and having the light underbelly contrast with the darker top, combined with a tungsten bead makes this fly a great choice in fast turbulent runs.   

    Male Hendrickson on left and Female on right

    Pheasantail Nymphs 14-20 are a good choice mimicking many different mayfly species.  Green Rock Worm 12-16 are an essential on the Farmington with tons of these insects showing up in stream samples taken with a kick seine.  As a reminder JWFlyfishing has finally been able to get a goodies store squared away and if you are in the market for some JWSlinky coiled sighters this is just the news you have been waiting for, so check it out!  We even have the ½ and ½ coiled sighters (my own personal favorite) with two contrasting colors so streamside vegetation and sunsets become a hindrance of the past.  Good luck out there and go catch some fish!

    JW

     

  • Houstock Saturday, April 23, 2011 Even foul weather could not spoil this event.

     

    Short Beach Striper Contest

    Houstock Saturday April 23, 2011.  A good amount of hearty fly anglers gathered at Short Beach in  Stratford  CT,  under the Main Pavilion #1.  They gathered there to celebrate fly fishing and all the wonderful  camaraderie that goes along with it. 

         Though a newbie to fishing stripers on the fly, I expected problems when I left my house at 6am and it was snowing with a steady 25 mph headwind!  When I arrived at Short Beach to start fishing at 8am the conditions had only worsened.  I couldn’t believe the amount of guys there that I saw gearing up to brave the torrid winds and rain.  “My hat goes off to these guys” is what I was thinking as  my mental conviction for fishing already had my body in motion tugging my waders over my hips.  Automatically my pace quickened as the rain pour down.  After rigging my rod and seriously contemplating whether these were actually fishable conditions the mainstay of anglers headed off the headwall onto the beach.  Lined up at the mouth of the river waist deep in water they appeared as only shadows as the fog settled around them.  “Its definitely a lefties wind out here” , I heard someone say.  Being a greenhorn I asked my friend Brian what in the heck that meant, exactly.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my being a left handed person was the reason that I was able to cast my line into the wind without taking a set of weighted clouser dumbbells to the skull! (*Important thing for a novice to know, pain being the main consequence for ignorance*)   

        As I peered around I notice that right handed anglers were actually having to turn around and cast, then on the last false cast fire their lines into the wind then turn around and start their retrieve.  “How Ingenious!”, I thought as I truly recognized the skills these men who fish the salt as their daily beat have acquired.  This point was merely solidified as I observed my next totally “Fishy” technique.   A nearby fisherman cast his line and immediately tucked his rod under his arm.  I thought he had to scratch his nose or something and then the magic appeared.  With rod tucked firmly under arm his hands started a double stripping motion feeding the line into his stripping basket.  I envisioned his fly flipping and darting along the bottom just as the resident baitfish must when being attacked by schools of striped bass.  I noticed several times his hands instinctively change gears creating small differences in the timing of his retrieval.  I talked with several anglers who stated that this double strip method can really make the difference in hooking up in the salt.  The faster presentation and erratic action implied on the fly can really turn on stripers and other salt water species feeding on schools of baitfish.   

         After fishing for a while I joined a few anglers observing off to the side with their backs to the wind and hands snuggled warmly in pockets.  Talking about everything from weather to politics made the harsh conditions a bit more tolerable.  As noontime rolled around the fishermen mustered at the pavilion for some warming food and fellowship.  Stories of fishing and travel flew across the table in all directions as fisherman exchanged tales and fishing knowledge as they enjoyed their lunch.  Some great prizes were raffled off including rods, reels, flies, and a tying bench.  The fishing itself at the event was poor at best with 40 anglers or so landing only 3 fish for the day, the biggest being around 21 inches.    The quality of gentlemen attending this event made a miserable day memorable!  

         I would like to thank HFFA, CT/RI, & MIANUS/TU  along with Paul Dinice for all their hard work setting this event up.  I look forward to attending next year as well.  Anyone interested in finding out more about HFFA, CT/RI, & MIANUS/TU can email Paul at pdinice@snet.net

    JW

  • 3/25/11 Farmington Stream Report

    Date:  3/25/11

    Water flow:  Water levels have dropped this week down to a combined 1000cfs for the upper TMA.

    Visibility:  Clearing

    Water temp:  34*F – am warming to 36*F on warmer days

    Water conditions:  River is running a little high but still mostly negotiable.

    Hatches:  W/S Caddis pupae 22-24, Gray Spring Stoneflies 12-16,

    Would the "Infamous" Kahle Worm please stand up!

    Comments:  The water level has been extremely high for the past week.  I fished the Upper TMA both with streamers and nymphs with a good bit of success.  The sun provided some warmth which got the fish moving a little and feeding.  Some Go-To’s are Yellow Stonefly Nymphs 10-14, Crane fly larva 4-6, Kahle worms 4-6, small eggs or sucker spawn, W/S Caddis larvae 16-18, Pheasant Tail Nymph 16-18.  Streamers like Zonkers, Clousers, and Wooly Buggers will give a nice profile for fish to slash at.  I have received some action on some tandem streamers that I tied up for the high water flows of Spring.  Nymphing was especially good to me this week landing several nice Browns.  I will be looking for some dry fly action on W/S Caddis pupae this weekend, the waters’ warming trend should bring on some solid hatches of these critters right at daybreak or soon thereafter.  Look for this to happen especially on slower moving parts of the river.  The snow has finally removed itself from most of our local parking spots and Anglers once again will be able to find their way into most parking areas.  Good luck out there and hope to see you all on the river!

    JW