Farmington River Report 6/17/20: a little wet, a little dry, a lot of fun

I guided Stephen Wednesday afternoon. We fished within the Permanent TMA from 2:15-6:15PM. Water was 280cfs and plenty cold. I wish we had a better hatch — there was no consistent hatching (and thus, no corresponding consistent feeding). Still, we managed to stick a bunch of fish. Best of all, we had the entire mark to ourselves, an increasing rarity on what has become a crowded destination river.

Check out the big wet fly brain on Stephen! This was not an easy fish to catch — it was haphazardly rising in some in-between water. We got nothing on our first three drifts. Surprise on the fourth! In my experience, if a trout doesn’t take the wet on the first pass, he’s less likely to take on the second, and even more so on the third. Thankfully, I don’t need to be right. Middle dropper was the selection, a Partridge and Light Cahill.



We spent most of the session working on wets, in particular casting and presentation. Even though there was no sign of trout taking duns off the surface, we capped off the day with some dry fly fishing, again with the emphasis on casting and presentation. I also turned Stephen on to the The Usual (you’ve got a bunch a creamy colored ones from 16-20 in your box for sulphurs, right?). As you can see, the trout got turned on, too. Great job, Stephen!


A hefty mid-teens Survivor Strain brown, taken on a Hackled March Brown wet.


4 comments on “Farmington River Report 6/17/20: a little wet, a little dry, a lot of fun

  1. Bob Dibble says:

    Looks like a excellent time on the Farmington, hope you guys celebrated with a Big Kahuna burger afterward.

  2. David says:

    Good afternoon Steve. You go to some creeks for native trout, do you go in the summer time? If so what kind of fly do you use. I went today to broad brook stream I can see the trout we stock but they don’t bite. What is a go dry or wet fly for the picky trouts, stock and native.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi David,

      This time of year I tend to leave small streams alone: it’s hot, the water levels are down, water temps can be elevated and on many streams the fish are purely in survival mode. I’m not familiar with the brook you mention, but chances are that if the conditions I’ve just described are occurring, the fish are focusing on surviving rather than eating. So, consider giving them a break. If you must fish, the early morning is when the fish will be stressed the least. As far as go-to flies, my go-to flies tend to be what I have in my box that most closely matches the naturals the fish are eating. Under normal conditions (in spring or fall) on a brookie stream, it’s hard to go wrong with any bushy dry like a Stimulator or Elk Hair caddis.

      Hope that helps.

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