Hatches (in order of importance): Sulphurs 16-20, March Brown/Grey Fox 12-14, Isonychia 10-12, Winter/Summer Caddis 18-20 am, Blue Winged Olives 16-20 evenings and foul weather, Tan and Green Caddis 16-20
Comments: The water this week has fallen below 300 Cfs, the need for much finer tippets will be upon us soon. The Sulphur hatches in the afternoon have been lackluster for me and I have purposely been fishing the sulphurs that are coming off in the late evening, taking nice trout on both the dun and the emerger. When nymphing I use tags on my leader to attach emerger patterns, but when I am fishing dries I drop an emerger off the bend of the hook. Some people say its a pain and I couldn’t disagree with them more, it catches fish period. Not to mention how many times it saved my neck when fish were feeding exclusively on emergers. Sulphur spinners have been working well at last light, some fish have been feeding solely on them and its taken me a while to catch on. When I responded I went straight to a Sulphur spinner and Bingo! The presence of the Isonychia has me overflowing with joy! I love these bugs, they are big and meaty and easily seen and the fish just love them. I had an outing this weekend where I made it a point to catch fish on all stages of Isonychia and the fish responded eagerly. The morning Winter/Summer Caddis hatches are still producing good numbers of trout, when the sun pokes over the trees its scary what you might turn on a 18-22 foam Caddis Pupae. French Nymphing any of these hatches has been dynamite producing good healthy fish. I would recommend fishing with this method at the front end of a hatch before fish are feeding on duns. I have been fishing with less weight and adding wetflies or emerger patterns as my dropper. I lost a fish the other day in a foot of water. I thought I was snagged and I pulled on the rod twice to try and free it, then it pulled back and with a head shake and my 5x fluorocarbon gave under the strain. Enjoy the warmer weather and good luck to you all and we at JWFlyfishing hope to see you soon on the Farmington River.
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!
4-11-10 I didn’t get any fishing done while I was visiting PA this past weekend. I checked several rivers on my way down through PA and all were high, filled with spring runoff. I watched the West Branch of Octararo Creek during my stay there and rains quickly swelled the stream and made its water resemble a cup of coffee. I hope you guys that fished here on the Farmington had better luck. You certainly had clear water and great flows on your side. However dissapointed my spirits were quickly lifted with a chance to visit my favorite Cabelas store located in Hamburg, PA. That store has absolutely everything, I have heard others say that about Cabelas, but with store it is absolutely large and physically has everything. One room is dedicated to nothing.but trophy whitetail deer. Some deer are posed as though they’re leaping through the forest, the outside walls are just plastered with huge trophy deer shot in states I have never even been to. Another popular attraction is the huge freshwater fish tanks there with several different species of fish, some of which have grown to monstrous proportions! Theirs nothing like topping all that amazing stuff off with one of their wild game meats on their menu for lunch, mmmmm. This is a great day trip with children packed with lots of fun, and neat things to look at for the whole family. I highly recommend it for any sports enthusiast.