3-29-10 The chilly conditions this weekend held the water temperature at 39 degrees. The flows to the Farmington River continued to run high this as the feeder streams continued to drain their spring runoff, and water from the dam continued to gush, narrowing any anglers preferred method to nymphing and fishing streamers. I had some success fishing tight to the banks with a Czech nymphing rig. I hooked what I thought to be an average brown on a #16 Golden Stonefly drifter near the bank in front of me. I fumbled to shed the gloves from my hands and free my camera as the fish ripped into my running line almost tearing the rod from my hand. When I gained control of the situation and realized this was no average fish, I quickly put the backbone of my 20+ yr old LLBean 5/6 to work. This rod coupled with 5x and chilly river temps made quick work of this trout and made for a great chance for me to admire and greatly appreciate the size and girth of this nice fish. Others that I came in contact with had some success also on big streamers. I continued to pull good numbers of size 16 Golden Stoneflies in my stream samples, along with tons of size 18-20 mayfly nymphs. Caddis larvae in all kinds of sizes still definitely have the largest presence on the stream bottom. Don’t let the high water this time of year get you down, get out there and give it a whirl along the edges fishing with some small nymphs or streamers.
Spawning fish continued to move throughout the river. This meant a great opportunity to get weighted nymphs in front of large fish in shallow water. I fished an indicator rig consisting of a San Juan worm with an Isonychia nymph fished off the bend of the worm. Warmer days with temps above 35 degrees brought up hatches of Winter Caddis in the slackwater pools where fish could gently pick the swimming pupae from the surface.
November was a great month on the River with lots of big fish aggressively moving about as the spawn is on! I had a great month fishing on the bottom with nymphs. Some of my better producers were Isonychia nymphs in size 12-14, and the San Jaun worm tied on a #12 caddis hook weighted with wire.
There was a consistent hatches of Blue Winged Olives in smaller sizes #22-24. The bigger fish have been sitting in slack or slow rolling water and refusing a vast majority of dryflies, and eagerly take the emerging insects one right after the other. I had great success fishing tiny BWO wets as droppers, off a CDC parachute Blue Winged Olive. This method addresses the problem with bigger fish seemingly feeding stricktly on emergers.