Tuesday was shooting day on the Farmington. I met filmmaker Matthew Vinick and his crew around 2pm above the Permanent TMA. They reported an active hatch and feeding session in the early afternoon, but by the time we started filming at 2:30, it was…over. Done. Nada.
You keep hoping that it’s going to pick up — I mean, it will eventually, right? — but we were plagued with five hours of virtually no visible hatch activity and no feeding trout. You’d see a trout come up occasionally. But then, nothing. No rhythm, no continuity, no consistency. I felt awful for Cosmo and Byron and Matt, but when Mother Nature feeds you a poop sandwich, ya gotta hold your nose and eat it. And so we did.
It is my considered opinion that the State of Connecticut chose wisely in the naming of its state flower.
So, after going oh-for-three, I stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and hit one out of the park. It was a 17-inch (a true rarity among all the 18-inchers on the Farmy, he said with good-spirited sarcasm) Survivor Strain brown buck who was lazily feeding in about a foot of water six feet off the bank.
See that frog water just off the rocks? That’s where the fish was holding, just at the left edge of the frame. I made a lucky cast, and the brown rose with confidence to the fly, fully committed to the take. Cosmo and Matt were shooting on either side of the rise, and I’m hoping they got a great moment of incidental magic on film.
Mr. Day Saver, taken on a size 16 Light Cahill dry. Accurately taped at 17″.
Of course, after the crew went home the river lit up. Many active feeders beginning around 7:45, and continuing till dark. The trout in the faster water were keyed on sulphur emergers (a Magic Fly or Usual would serve you well), while the trout in the slower water were putting on a spinner sipping clinic. I couldn’t buy a fish for hours; in the last half hour, I stopped counting after six. At one point I had a fish on four consecutive casts.
The rousing finale had me galumphing this 20+” wild brown into my net. Taken on a size 16 Light Cahill dry. Here’s the release.
Cameras are deadly on fishing. Many years ago I was the designated fly angler for what was to be a photo shoot of blue sharks (or maybe makos) on the fly. Had to wear the same clothes both days so the footage could be assembled seamlessly. We chummed at the Mud Hole off the RI coast for 2 days with never a shark in sight. I wouldn’t have believed you could put that much chum and bunker oil in the water on 2 nice non-windy days and not have a predator show up, but those video cameras exert a powerful influence. Sounds like you at least got a few good shots.
Hopefully I’ll look editorially brilliant!
There is a large growth of Mountain Laurel along a trail I regularly hike with my dog. I look forward to seeing it every June
It’s seasonal sign post for sure.
Steve, Great release photo.
I appreciate that, Don.
[…] video projects as well. On Wednesday, we shot home interview and fly tying footage for director Matthew Vinick’s film on Farmington River dry fly fishing. We covered stuff from hatches to our day on the river to the […]
[…] on dry fly fishing the Farmington River, I didn’t think twice. Crew and angler assembled on a gorgeous afternoon in late June for my segment. The trout were gathered too, although they were most uncooperative. Sadly, […]