Chunky Farmington browns on streamers

On Thursday night, the Farmington crested in the upper TMA at around 1,500cfs. By this afternoon, is was still pumping out 750. Winds were gusting to 30mph. What a great day for some streamers.

I felt like fishing something new, so this morning I went down to the bench and pulled out a size 6 streamer hook. Since I didn’t know how much the water had cleared, I went for high-visibility. On went a gold bead, seated with some heavy wire. Made a tail out of marabou and gold Krystal flash, a body of gold mylar braid, and a doubled white marabou collar as long as the fly. On top, some silver Krystal flash. Any self-respecting ambush predator should be able to see that.

Line choice was a bit of a puzzler. I hemmed and hawed, and finally decided to go with an integrated full-sink tip, not so much to get the fly down — that would certainly be welcomed in areas where the current slowed — but mostly for casting in the banshee wind, and to keep the line below the flotsam that was sure to be bobbing merrily on its way downriver.

Yowzah, it was cold. I immediately regretted leaving my fleece vest in the truck. The wind chill had to be in the 40s or 30s. Some pinhole leaks in my waders and 53 degree water certainly didn’t help. But at least I was no longer slinging mulch in my garden. Even if I was able to do that in the comfort of a t-shirt.

The river was off-color, more of a tea-stain than muddy. As I suspected, lots of leaves/branches/twigs combos in the water. There were bugs out, but their presence was mostly belied by the legions of swallows working overhead. And yes, there were trout.

I spent most of my two hours working the banks, casting and stripping in short bursts. In my first cycle through the run, I took four browns and dropped a couple more. The trout weren’t particularly big, but most of them were chunky holdovers that fought well in the current. (Sorry, no pictures. Left the camera at home. Too cold/lazy to get the iPhone out.) I had a few swipe, miss, and come back for seconds. That’s always good for a thrill.

Dropped a handful more on my second and third go-rounds, and that was it. Pretty soon it will be time for streamers under cover of the night. And if I’m lucky, I’ll be fishing in shirtsleeves.

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