It’s been a slow summer for me swinging wets on the Farmington. Until today.
They dropped the flow from the dam to 340cfs, placing the upper river at a near-ideal 375cfs, and the lower river at 400cfs. Water temp on the lower river at 2pm was 66 degrees, darn good for mid-August, and no doubt cooler still at the bottom.
I visited several locations today on both ends of the river and found plenty of trout willing to jump on the wet fly. I fished my usual three-fly team; today it was a size 12 Squirrel and Ginger top dropper, a size 14 Drowned Ant in the middle, and a size 12 soft-hackle BHPT on point. I caught trout on all three flies, and even had a Farmington River Grand Slam with at least one brown, brookie, rainbow, and Atlantic salmon in the mix. One of today’s salmon was approaching the double-digit inches mark. Salar the Leaper indeed.
A staggeringly beautiful wild Farmington brookie who took a Drowned Ant on a mended swing. This is one of the best fish I’ve ever landed on this river, a tremendous fighter worthy of your applause. Also note the classic contrasting colors of the fontinalis fin.
With the lower flows, my focus was on exploring some treacherous snotty water that had been previously out of reach. I almost went swimming a few times, and I even breached my waders when I stepped into a chest-high hole. (Please use a wading staff when you’re wading swift or difficult sections.)
Very little in the way of hatch activity today, although the Cedar Waxwings were busy.
The big one — 20+ inches — on a wet fly still eludes me this year. But with a bounty of wild browns like this one, I’m not complaining.