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.
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!
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!