Farmington River Report 9/19/18: Better get out the scale…

I waited two years for yesterday. A day after a heavy rain where the river would be up and off-color but still wadeable; preferably late summer or fall; some cloud cover; with most anglers opting out of fishing. Classic streamer conditions. Huck a bug at the banks, strip away, and wait for that telltale thud from a bruiser brown.

I fished three spots in the permanent TMA, and while all of them produced (including a smallie, the farthest north on the Farmy I’ve ever caught one) the action was slow. Still, I made the command decision to stay away from the recently stocked areas in the hopes of trading numbers for size, and that’s what happened. All trout to net were over 18″, including my biggest of this year.

The method: target banks with a full sink line, a longer (7-8 feet) leader and a deer hair head fly to get some neutral buoyancy going. Black is the classic stained water streamer solution, but they wanted it bright yesterday (nothing on black or olive — they were into white, yellow and chartreuse). Every day is truly different.

The type of trout you measure in pounds instead of inches, this pig was sitting six feet off the bank in a foot-and-a-half of water. Second cast, first strip, and he rolled on it. Right away I could see he was a good fish. Taken on a yellow Zoo Cougar, and a worthy opponent in a 750+cfs flow. Wonder what’s in that tummy?DCIM100GOPROG0013068.



16 comments on “Farmington River Report 9/19/18: Better get out the scale…

  1. Brian LabowskyB says:

    Congratulations on a real nice fish.

  2. Alton Blodgett says:


  3. Mike says:

    Bravo Steve, Great fish!

  4. Rowan Lytle says:

    BOOM! Excellent! Really wish I had been on the river yesterday or today!

  5. David says:

    Nice Brown, Greenwood pool?

  6. Greg says:

    Always wonder at what point do you switch from the black streamer to the light colored one

    • Steve Culton says:

      Great question. In this case, it was educated guesswork: I’m fishing spots that should hold fish, I’m not getting anything, maybe the water isn’t stained enough, I’ve fished for 45 minutes…so I got out of the pool, walked back to the head, and cycled through a second time with a chartreuse/white concoction. BANG! was the answer. I really don’t change streamers that often, since most of the time I’m confident that I’m fishing the right fly. As with Wednesday, there are exceptions.

  7. Steve says:

    Curious, do you always fish a full sink line with streamers? Must have been dragging bottom that shallow!

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Steve,

      No, I don’t always fish a full sink with streamers, and on Wednesday I didn’t touch the bottom once.

      Always ask the question, “What do I want the fly to do?” In this case, I had a full sink line, a longer leader (about 8 feet) and a deer hair head fly. The line wants to sink, the fly wants to float, and the end result is somewhere in between. Depending on the current direction/speed, after a strip, the fly will want to rise up. The line then pulls it down. You get a bite trigger motion of erratic swimming/wounded prey.

      If I’m trying to get to the bottom, I’ll either use a floating line with a long leader or full sink line with a short leader — and a fly that wants to sink.

      Hope that helps!


  8. Dave says:

    Nice one Kelly, er, Steve…

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