Farmington River Report 8/12/14: Before the rains came

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.

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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.

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8 comments on “Farmington River Report 8/12/14: Before the rains came

  1. Jim Smith says:

    Steve, Those are my kind of fish any day! Real nice. Good for you.

  2. mike says:

    Ditto Jim’s comment
    Great post thanks!

  3. Steve Krampner says:

    Excellent post! Can you please tell me how long your have been an expert tier? Those flies look amazing

    • Steve Culton says:

      I don’t know that I’ve ever been an expert tier. You certainly don’t need to be one to tie effective wet flies. But you are very kind, and I thank you for your positive energy.

  4. mike says:

    Steve, Do you sell flys? Or can we get these at Upcountry/

    • Steve Culton says:

      Mike, by “these” I take it you mean the wets I named in this report? As far as I know, none of them are commercially available.

      I do do custom orders from time to time. If you are interested, contact me via email (swculton at yahoo dot com)

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