Farmington River Report 8/12/20: Howling back at the dog days

While it’s positively tropical across the rest of the state, the Farmington continues to offer respite. True, they’ve lowered the flow (165cfs within the Permanent TMA) but the water is plenty cold. This can be a tough time of year to fish: hatches are sporadic and sometimes light at best; and in flows this low the fish are concentrated in certain areas and can be downright spooky. Nonetheless, Dave wanted a wet fly lesson, and off we went.

At this height, the river is still quite agreeable to the wet fly. You’ve got water that’s deep enough to swing, enough water to create a good current, and as a bonus the fish are always looking up. Dave did a great job, and his enthusiasm was palpable. We fished three marks, and found players in one of them, a nice mix of brook trout and a jewel of a wild brown. All of our fish came in faster water/riffles. Dave is awarded the Currentseams Order of the Straight Line: he is my only student this year to make it through a wet fly session without a tangled leader! Well done, good sir, under some challenging conditions (we did not see another fish caught all day).

Guides love bent rods (although I must’ve got him between strips). Fish on, baby!



This was a stocked brookie, but he’s been in the river long enough to regain some lost lustre and begin to grow some proper Fontinalis fins.



6 comments on “Farmington River Report 8/12/20: Howling back at the dog days

  1. Steve says:

    Yup, its getting low and slow, but a cool place to fish!

  2. Fred Lord says:

    Hi Steve , I have an opportunity to go fishing at Nantucket next week. I am staying at my son’s cottage. Do you have any suggestions on where to fish from shore. Thanks for your consideration. Fred Lord PS Keep up your good work and posts.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Fred, thanks for reading and for the kind words. Unfortunately I’ve never been to Nantucket, so I can’t help you out. There’s got to be a fly or fishing shop out there that can point you in the right direction, yes? I would think that this time of year, if you’re targeting stripers, that low light/night would be best.

  3. GregTarris says:

    Hard to believe no tangles. Don’t you have an award that you can give out? I am sure it would only be awarded every few years.
    BTW have developed a variation of your three wet fly set up. Instead of using weight if and when I need to get the flies down further in the water column, I use a bead head soft hackle nymph for the point fly.
    Yesterday on the West branch of the Delaware caught a half dozen small trout and a nice 17 inch brown on that point fly fished by swing the flies as normally one does for wets.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Great minds and all that, Greg! I’ve been doing that for years now when the water is high, even using a tungsten bead head if current and water height warrants it. The bead head on point is part of my Wet Flies 101 presentation.

      Glad you’re experimenting and glad you’re catching some nice fish. 🙂

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