Observations from yesterday’s Farmington River outing

I nymphed in and out of the permanent TMA for several hours and found trout in every spot. Water was around 320 cfs, 56 degrees, and clear. Not much in the way of hatch activity, although there were some caddis and midges. Four things stood out to me.

— My fish were evenly divided between the top dropper (sz 14 March Brown wingless wet) and bottom fly (sz 12 BHSHPT). So it’s good to give the fish a choice.

— One of the fish was a juvenile salmon. When I was stripping him in, a big brown gave chase and bailed just as I was lifting the salmon out of the water. I think it’s time to tie up a JV salmon flatwing.

— The last fish, a substantial wild brown in the high teens, took the fly on my first cast after I witnessed a smaller fish clear the water and another boil at the surface. Clearly, there was a caddis emergence in that brief window, and I was not surprised that he took the top dropper (which looks very caddis-y — see point number one.)

— In one spot, there were several anglers fishing in the run above me. All of them blanked. It could have been that it was just a slow day, or it could have been that they were all standing in the same place, fishing the same water for 45 minutes. If you’re not catching, move and find the fish.


Back on the striper night shift

Last night’s striper adventure returned me to some favored waters along the Sound. There were grass shrimp and mummies, and as the tide began to pull back toward the sea, the estuary suddenly came alive with the random staccato of carnivores on the prowl. The assembled diners were only in the 12″-18″ range, but what they lacked in sized they more than made up for in gusto — and in eagerness to jump on the fly.

I fished a three fly team last night, and caught stripers on all three patterns (top dropper = sz 10 Deer Hair Shrimp, middle dropper = sz 6 pink Crazy Charlie, point fly = 2″ Orange Ruthless clam worm). The bass favored the top dropper and point fly. I caught them on the strip, the swing, and the dangle.

We went low budget (but thoroughly enjoyable) on the cigar, a JR Cuban Alternate Cohiba Esplendido.

Now begins the internal debate: do I get a good night’s sleep tonight? Or do I venture out into the very wee small hours again?

Droppers are the fastest way to find out what the fish want.



How to tie a dropper rig for stripers. (Just in case you missed it the first time.)