On Saturday I guided Randy and John from noon to evening. We spent the bulk of our time walking a long stretch of the upper TMA swinging wets. The fishing was great — we barely saw another soul (contrast to Church Pool, populated by a good dozen-and-half anglers when we drove over the bridge). The catching, not so much. Despite the cloud cover and the threat of precipitation, the BWO hatch never really got going. We pricked a few fish, and John lost a pig in a secluded side stem, but other than that it was a lot of casting and wading. That we had such a good time anyway is a testament to my two clients: they fished hard, they fished well, and they realized that some days the bear eats you.
John exploring the nooks and crannies of one of the Farmington’s many side stems.
Randy working the seams, ready for a take that never came.
On to Plan B: catch the evening rise. We found some lovely dry fly water at 5pm that we had all to ourselves. By 7pm it looked like we had been teleported to Church Pool. Where the heck did all those people come from? Our focus was on fishing wets like dries, particularly the Magic Fly. The bugs certainly cooperated: sulphurs (size 14 and 18), March Browns, 16-18 BWOs and some size 16 tan caddis. For two-and-a-half hours, it was JV salmon city. Then the trout came out to play. When our time wound up, John and Randy graciously shared the water with your humble scribe. I was fortunate to connect with four lovely wild browns, cookie cutter in their length (10-12″) and unique in their markings: one had an odd scarcity of spots; another was rainbow-like in the density of his spotting; yet another still had faint traces of parr marks. Exquisite.
Sunday night I ventured to a different spot to check out the summer steno situation. They did their part, but sadly the trout didn’t cooperate. I had fair enough action from about 5:45pm-7pm (size 16 sulphurs hatching). Past 7pm it was total shutdown, even during the magic hour of 8-9pm. The summer stenos were out in force, but the trout weren’t interested. Massive spinner fall at dark with nothing on it. Perhaps when the water warms and drops a bit more (last night 57 degrees and 516 cfs).
An abundance of spent mayflies on the surface Sunday night, but a strange lack of sippers.