The state of the Farmington River and other shocking news

In case you didn’t know (and if you’ll pardon the inflamatory headline) the Farmington River has lots of trout. Lots of big trout. And lots of wild trout. All good news if you like to fish the Farmington.

We know this because every September, the MDC draws down the flow of the dam and electroshocks the river. The electroshocking has two purposes: trout census, and gathering broodstock for future generations, aka Farmington River Survivor Strain. (For more on Survivor Strain, see my article in the Spring 2014 issue of The Drake.)

I didn’t attend, but the DEEP delivered their state of the river address to the FRAA a few weeks ago. Here’s their story in numbers:

17 comments on “The state of the Farmington River and other shocking news

  1. don handal says:

    Good news about the Farmington population! Hope you’ll be doing more fly tie classes at Upcountry. Tried to attend Feb 8 group, but told it was over subscribed.

  2. David Bennett says:

    thx for the info and update

  3. RMLytle says:

    That is awesome. I wonder if we will ever just let that river’s fish just go about there business and stop putting them in there. It could probably be very manageable once that sampling gets to 8,000.

    • Steve Culton says:

      I don’t see that happening in the near future. I’m pretty happy with the numbers I’ve been catching the past few years. And the trout are spread out everywhere. I think in 2012 their census estimated a wild percentage at 50%.

  4. deankeister says:

    Steve, Dean Keister from Mianus TU. I need your address to send you a donation letter for tax purposes for the files you donated to our TU Chapter Fund raiser last April. Also, will contact you about speaking again for next fall.


  5. Glenn Baken says:


    It’s articles like this, on cold days like this that get me excited for the upcoming season. Hoping that a few of those wilds will take one of the patterns I have tied this winter.

    Best, Glenn

  6. Dwight says:

    A few weeks ago I stumbled on your blog while searching soft-hackle fly pattern images. Then I noticed where you are located!
    Thirty years ago I moved from the Connecticut shoreline to Columbia, South Carolina where I’ve remained. I grew up fishing for snapper blues in the estuary canals in Clinton, CT. I spent my summers at Camp Sequassen (on West Hill Pond). These summers were probably the happiest times of my life. Alas, I only visited the Farmington for camp tubing trips at Satan’s Kingdom. (Trips with my father to northern Maine really got me interested in fly fishing.)
    Here in Columbia, the Saluda tailwater grows large trout. Best of all, the wild trout water of Great Smoky Mountains NP is only four hours away.
    Can you post a photo of your Soft Hackle Ant? I should probably fish ants more than I do and a soft hackle pattern just might get me to do it. Thanks you.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Dwight. Glad to have you on board. If you so a search on this site, you can find plenty of photos of and the recipe for the Drowned Ant soft-hackle. It’s a fly I do very well on.

  7. Jim Smith (The Elder) says:


    You scared the hell out of me with that headline. Glad to hear things are GOOD! There is enough to worry about when it comes to our favorite pass time. Take care and continued success.

  8. Jack Swegel says:


    You have a great site. I love your pix and your dedication to wet flies

    Jack Swegel

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Gin Clear says:

    Reblogged this on Gin Clear and commented:
    A good review of this New England fishery.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s