I guided longtime client Mark yesterday and we found the Farmington in its classic summer pattern: long stretches of nothing punctuated by bursts of frantic activity. We fished from noon-7pm. The method for the first five hours was a team of three wets, including some shot-on-the-leader presentations in deep pools. While we found some trout willing to jump on (See that tree over there? There’s always a trout hiding underneath it…) the bug/bird/bite activity was dramatically slower than it has been, no doubt due to the bright sun and soaring temperatures. We fished below and within the Permanent TMA. Late afternoon found us ensconced in one of Mark’s favorite dry fly runs, and as we moved toward evening, it was no surprise that the trout became a little more active. Nonetheless, I found the hatch to be disappointing-to-mediocre-at-best. But we persevered and stuck a few trout on tiny sulphur Comparaduns. (It was sulphurs, caddis, and some guest Isos, but mostly sulphurs, especially after 7:30pm) I fished past the time I could no longer see my fly, and called it quits after the last take. By this time the surface was simmering. Hello, summer!
Mark has a knack for this: I tell him I’m going to shore to put on my jacket, and that I’ll recognize him from a distance due to the bent rod. Yesterday I took about ten steps and suddenly I heard splashing. True dis: it’s happened two years in a row. In the same spot. Way to go, Mark!
You mentioned ” a team of three wets, including some shot-on-the-leader presentations in deep pools.” When you use shot on the leader with 3 flies, where do you normally place the shot?
Also I have noticed that using 3 wets when coming upon a deeper pool or deep drop off there seems to be a point that it may make sense to use nymphs instead to get down deeper. Trying to figure out if there is actually a magic number of depth where this switch to nymphs makes sense.
I place the shot just above the knot that forms the middle dropper. There’s no magic depth number. Generally I prefer to fish the traditional unweighted setup in water 1-4 feet deep. Rising fish are always a good sign regardless of depth. You can fish wets as nymphs and like nymphs and vice versa. The only rules are the ones you decide on.