Farmington River Report 6/21/17: A strange start to summer

The official start of summer isn’t beholden to calendars or warmth or maximum daylight. For me, it begins with liberating my cane rod from the confines of its storage tube and tying a Magic Fly to the end of a 12-foot leader. That this all happened on the 21st of June was a happy coincidence.

Monday’s storm left a swath of destruction in the People’s Forest area. Downed trees and limbs everywhere. The river soared a few hundred cfs, and Grady Allen told me the action Tuesday night was not so good. When I drove through New Hartford yesterday, the roads were wet and steaming from a late afternoon squall. Random piles of hailstones in the woods made me glad that I missed it. The river was down to 450cfs, but still carried a stain and some debris.

Not a lot in the way of catching for me, but I did get a low teens wild brown to hand on a size 18 Usual. I also rose fish to the Magic Fly size 18, Catskill Light Cahill size 14 and 16, and size 10 Convertible (look it up).

To the strangeness. Nothing so odd about the hatches proper: Sulphurs came off like clockwork and 5:30 and 7:30, first the bigger size 16 mayflies, the size 18s following, with the usual 6:45-7:00 lull. A few caddis and Isos here and there. The hatch strength was average. Normally this time of year, the Farmington lights up from 8pm to dark. Last night it was a dimpled surface wasteland. No spinner fall, no straggler hatch, no water boiling with feeding trout. How bad was it? I counted seven total rises during the witching hour (I might expect to see that many in 30 seconds on a good night).

I finished the evening by tossing a size 4 Olive Zoo Cougar into the gloaming. A few bumps and one stuck fish, but that’s not a fly made for cane.

Welcome, summer, even if your entrance was a little oddball.

And the heavens parted and a light shone from above, and a voice seemed to say. “Cast thy flies to the bank, Steve, where the current is softer and many trout are lying in wait.”

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4 comments on “Farmington River Report 6/21/17: A strange start to summer

  1. Greg says:

    Tuesday for me-water high everywhere but in stretch below the dam to Riverdale.

    After freezing my butt off for 2 hours up there with about 6 missed strikes on 18 caddis, scouted out river below the Still all the way to Church pool with high water conditions everywhere.

    Got to Church pool and sulphur hatch started slowly 8 ish PM then a blizzard. Could not reach risers at lower third of pool since water was too high to wade out. Around 8:30 working my way along shoreline found close in risers. Caught 18 incher rather slender brown another large one got loose. By then getting dark and saw more close in to shore risers but had to go.

    BTW when water was flooded with naturals kept my flies moving and triggered strikes from those two.

    Advice, until water recede hit Church pool at dusk.

    Greg from NJ

  2. Dwight says:

    I’ve had a Convertable in my flybox for 15 years but never had the nerve to use it (on an eastern stream). But this spring a size 10 Turck’s Tarantula saved a couple of slow days on SC’s Chattooga River.

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