Farmington River Report 3/16/16: Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive.

I had the good fortune to spend several hours in the permanent TMA today, and what the catching lacked in numbers was more than made up for in overall size. Three trout, one mid-teens wild brown, and two high teens Survivor Strain browns. You can always tell when you have a substantial fish on from the head shaking and the sulking along the bottom — and if those fish are stream-born or long-term residents, they come even less quietly.  The water was cool, clear, and running about 480cfs. Midges, early grey stones, and some un-IDed spinners about a 16-18. And, lest we forget, a magnificent Casa Fernandez Toro from Miami.

What the hellgrammite? I fished him out of the water as he was making his way downstream. As General Patton would say, you are one ugly sonuvabitch.

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All my fish today came on the top dropper, a size 14 Hare-and-Copper variant (you can see the fly here). This was my second Survivor Strain and the last fish of the day. No mistaking the takes today, as the indicator went under hard each time.

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Stayin’ alive. You can identify a Survivor Strain brown from its clipped adipose fin.

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Off you go. One of the more satisfying aspects of landing a nice fish is giving it the opportunity to swim away. When next we meet…because I know where you live.

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4 comments on “Farmington River Report 3/16/16: Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive.

  1. Mike says:

    One word
    AWESOME!

  2. Jon says:

    Nice!
    I went out sunday for bout an hour til the fam showed up on the shore where i was and wanted to ‘go do something’
    So off to kohls girlie shoppin… Good greif.. BUT after i took the shoppin trip, took a nice ride all the way to hogback damn and showed them the river… Musta been 75 plus guys in the river that i saw on the way up…
    Didnt get any fishin but the scenic ride, walkin on the dam etc the Fam enjoyed the peace and quiet… And just maybe understand a little more of why i just can stand in the river for hours… Catchin or not and still love it… And got a kick outta guys stacked 5-6 deep in a spot…

  3. Steve M. says:

    Nice fish pictures. Hopefully next week will see me adding to the crowds on the river. BTW, what point fly were you using, and what would you recommend?

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Steve,

      I used two different flies on point. I started with a sz 12 SHBHPT (always popular with Farmy trout), then switched to a soft-hackled cased caddis, probably a size 10 3XL. I’ve never had much luck with the cased caddis, although I don’t often fish it. So, my conclusions are: a) they wanted something a little higher off the bottom; b) they wanted something a little lighter in color and smaller; c) maybe all of the above.

      I was fishing a drop-shot nymph rig, so weight was not a factor.

      As far as recommendations go, I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, and sticking with high-confidence patterns. I rarely change nymph patterns during an outing (a few summers ago, I used the same two flies over a 45-day period). If you’re fishing two or more flies, give the trout a choice: different sizes, colors, species. They will always tell you when you get it right.

      Hope that helps.

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