Farmington River Report 3/10/14: Big Browns (or nothing at all)

Finally. Weather that doesn’t suck. A schedule that is clear. Yes, dammit, there will be fishing today.

I had been planning this trip since last week. Streamers. That’s what I wanted to fish. And that’s what I had been tying over the past few nights.

My plan was brilliant in its conception: target a pool that has been inaccessible to vehicles (and probably 99.9% of potential anglers) for weeks, if not months. Park the Jeep as close as possible, then schlep through hundreds of yards of water and snow pack, all to be able to present to trout that might not have seen a fly since last year.

Good God, what a hike. So overheated and uber-saturated was I that upon arrival, I actually stripped down to my Under Armour. Cheap thrills for the Canada geese who warily eyeballed me. (And if someone hasn’t yet patented the Upstream Slog/Snow Cover Deep Step In Neoprene Boots Workout, I very well may.) On the way out, I passed another angler who apparently had the same delusions of grandeur as I. “Enjoy the walk,” I hailed him. “Any rewards?” was his response. Nope. Two sticks, three lost flies, and not a touch.

The advantage of being able to tally your weight in fractions of ounces is that you don’t sink up to your knees in snow when you attempt to walk across it.

Dinosaur Bug

Spot B was on the walk out, and it likewise was a blank.

The river was running about 400cfs, clear, and 36 degrees. I wasn’t the only person who thought today would be a good day to fish. But when I emerged from the woods at Spot C, I was all by myself.

Bump. “That was a fish,” I thought. I repeated the cast and strip. Again, bump. Then, whack! I could tell it was a good trout — the big ones often sideswipe the fly as if to stun it, then return for the kill shot. Seventeen inches, typed jaw, heavy black leopard-like spotting. Back to my slow walk downstream. Bump-and-whack again, another brown that made my rod creak as he exerted his will against the tension. One more trout hooked, a younger brother, who decided to scamper off from whence he came as I prepared to net him.

A seventeen-inch Farmington brown, endeavoring for gator status. (Come see me when you reach twenty-plus).

Gator Brown 3:14

We liked this fly today: an impressionistic cone-head soft-hackle in earthy colors I’ve been playing around with. Details  to come.


Spot D was a blank. Except for that stick. Not a bad fight, but not worthy of release. So I tossed it up onto the bank.

8 comments on “Farmington River Report 3/10/14: Big Browns (or nothing at all)

  1. Glenn Baken says:

    Thanks for the notes. I’m feeling the pull, and hope to hit the water soon. Thanks for throwing that stick up on the bank, I think I snagged it in September

  2. Beautiful browns. I’ll check back for info on that fly…I could use more stick catchers!

  3. David machowski says:

    Nice job getting out. My friend and i did the same yesterday up in New York.Climbed over 20 ft of snow to fish a hole that had not seen a fly ina week. 4 steelhead i will always remember

  4. RMLytle says:

    Nice fish! I gotta get up there soon. Two years ago I did a summer trip and dumbly decided to walk all the way from greenwood’s to the bone yard in my waders. I ended up with some wicked chafing!

  5. Dave says:

    That cone-head looks a bit Galloupesque- can’t wait to see it on the vise! Thanks for getting out there in the snow, Steve- your reports are the highlight of the day for those of us who are stuck in cubicles.

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